This is the second chapter of a story I’ve been putting a lot of hard work and time into. Please be sure to tell me what you think. Any favorite parts. Anything I could improve on. C&C welcome and appreciated.
If you have yet to read Chapter 1, please do so before reading this.
Rise of Maximus
By: Maxwell Wade
#Chapter 2: Making Friends
Immediately Maximus ran back to the space port. By now the shuttle was long gone, as he expected. He was hoping there would be a second one being prepped for launch, but to his disappointment there was none such luck. He then decided to give his jet form a bit of a test run. The predacon transformed into his alt mode and took off skyward.
Flying came naturally, much to his surprise. Maximus flipped and spun and twirled and looped to his heart’s content. The speed and the rush was all so thrilling. Then a thought came to him. Just how high could he go? Maximus put his nose strait up and accelerated as fast as he could. He climbed higher and higher into the sky, but the higher he climbed, the harder it was to continue. Suddenly everything felt terribly cold. He could feel frost forming on his wings. His engines coughed and sputtered before giving out completely. The thrill and excitement he had felt mere moments ago had quickly turned into panic and terror as he plummeted to the ground.
Maximus transformed back into robot mode. His mind was racing, desperately trying to think of what to do. Countless alarms and warnings popped into his vision, only adding to his stress and panic. Then he noticed something off in the distance. It looked like a jet or a ship of some kind, and it was getting closer. For a moment seeing the craft distracted him from his current situation. As the craft got closer, Maximus was able to notice some details. It was large, red, and moved astonishingly fast. So fast in fact that within moments the craft crashed into the young predacon head on. In an instant it felt like his entire body was screaming, then all at once everything went black.
Maximus awoke on his back. He blinked his optics open. He could see the sky above him. The same vast and beautiful expanse that captivated him before. Only now it somehow seemed smaller. That’s when he noticed the two walls to his sides. He was in an alleyway.
Then a completely new sensation came to him. All at once his body was flooded with a horrible feeling. Maximus quickly recognized this as pain, and he just as quickly decided that he didn’t like it. Everything hurt and ached, from the bottoms of his feet to the tips of his wings. Though he did notice his right arm was the only part of him free from this agony. Come to think of it his arm was completely absent of all feeling, good or bad.
He saw spots of rust and several scorch marks on the walls. This place was a lot different than the grand majesty of the temple or the advanced and stunning spaceport. It all felt unclean.
Admiring his surroundings only served as a brief distraction from the pain. Maximus decided that he needed to find out why he couldn’t feel his arm. Slowly he rolled his head over to his right. The movement only made the pain worse. The motors in his neck groaned and whined. The pain was so unbearable he had to shut his optics tight to complete such a simple action. Once he felt his head clink on the ground he stopped. The young predacon rested like this for a few moments before opening his eyes to find out what had happened to his arm. Much to his surprise, the limb was missing entirely.
The complete shock of what he saw caused Maximus to jump to his feet and back up against the wall. But just a moment later his entire body screamed in agony, and he collapsed back on to the ground. This was without a doubt the worst experience of his life. Though come to think of it he could probably count all his life experiences on a single hand… on his only hand. This was definitely not ideal.
Maximus then heard footsteps. Someone was getting close. A stranger walked up to him and leaned over the incapacitated predacon. He was tall, strong looking, and colored a bright vibrant red. He had two halves of a jet cockpit on his shoulders, and two prominent spikes on the back of his head. Maximus also noted that the stranger was holding his missing arm.
“Well look who’s finally up. About time.”
Said the stranger.
“Give me… back… my arm!”
Maximus groaned. He lazily raised his arm to do, something. He wasn’t quite sure. Whatever he was trying to do clearly wasn’t happening. Lacking the energy to do much of anything, his arm fell back down on to his chest.
“Nice to meet you too.”
The stranger said in a dry sarcastic tone.
“Anyway, the name’s Torchwing. What’s yours?”
The young predacon used what little energy he had to sit up and rest against the wall. His head fell to one side and he looked up at the stranger.
“I’m Maximus… now tell me why you have my arm?”
“Oh, right. That. Well you see I saw you falling over by the space dock. You clearly looked like you had no idea what you were doing so I tried to catch you. And well, I got most of you. Or well, about half… I managed to get all the important bits, that’s what matters. Anyway I brought what I had here, managed to find all the missing bits, and fixed you up.”
Torchwing walked over to Maximus’ side and knelt down. He put the shoulder of the arm into the socket and began to adjust it.
“And where is here exactly?”
Maximus asked in a tired groan. He was slowly regaining feeling in his arm.
“You my friend are in Kaon. Specifically speaking, right next to Maccadam’s. Best oil house on Cybertron.”
Torchwing replied pleasantly.
The arm finally clicked in, and Maximus regained complete control of the appendage. For a brief moment it felt good as new, but it quickly started hurting like everything else. Slowly he tried to stand back up. He looked to his shoulder and moved it around a little. Everything felt in place.
“Well thanks for saving me I guess.”
“Yeah well us predacons gotta look out for each other. Though you should count yourself lucky. Just about anyone else would have taken anything valuable and leave the rest for scrap.”
Torchwing said as he leaned back on the wall opposite to Maximus.
Maximus shifted and adjusted himself, trying to get a bit more comfortable. His joints were still stiff and sore, but getting better.
“Then why? Why did you fix me?”
“The thing is for a lot of preds, it feels like the world is out to get you. And more often than not it is. Maximals don’t treat us right, we don’t treat each other right, so someone’s gotta look out for the bottom guy you know?”
“Yeah, I guess that makes sense.”
“Say, I’m kinda new around here. Mind if I stick with you for a while?”
Asked the young predacon.
“What do you mean ‘new around here’? Like fresh out of the Well ‘new around here’?”
Torchwing responded, more than a little skeptical.
Maximus said awkwardly. The way Torchwing phrased the question made it sound like being so young was a bad thing.
“So you’re a new born. That sure explains a lot.”
Chuckled the crimson pred.
“Yeah, I don’t mind if you tag along. Though the crew and I are going to be going off world soon. And with you being so young and all, I’m not sure if you’d want to come with.”
“Wait a minute. Off world? Like up there off world?”
Maximus asked, pointing straight to the sky. His voice was full of hope and excitement. The young bot looked up, and saw the now familiar countless stars above him. His mind immediately flashed back to the shuttle he saw earlier. He was flooded with feelings of awe and fascination.
“Yep. We go all over the galaxy. Exploring the stars and scoring riches you would not believe.”
Torchwing said. He spoke with a noticeably boastful tone.
“Please, let me go with you. I want to see what’s out there.”
Maximus’ tone was eager, almost begging the older predacon to let him come with.
“You sure about that?”
Torchwing asked, raising a metaphorical eyebrow.
“Yes. More than anything.”
“You know for someone this new to life, you sure know what you want to do with it. Alright then. I guess I can’t stop you. Follow me inside and I’ll get you set up.”
Torchwing walked out of the alley and Maximus followed. Moving still caused a great deal of pain, but the pure thrill and excitement of getting to go into the unknown was more than enough for Maximus to push through it.
Above the front door there was a large neon sign that read
Maccadam’s Old Oil House
All are welcome
Inside the establishment was loud and lively. Lots of different bots were drinking, laughing, and having a good time. There were about a dozen or so different tables with seats around them. There was a lovely sound playing through the room that Maximus soon recognized as music.
Maximus looked at all the different bots around him. So many different shapes, sizes, and colors. At one table he saw two predacons arm wrestling, while at another there was a group carrying out a pleasant conversation. The whole place just seemed so friendly and inviting.
Torchwing lead Maximus to the main counter in the back. Behind it was a tall and slender bot cleaning out some glasses. He had tank treads draped over his shoulders, and a large digger drill on his back. He was mostly blue with a lot of white highlights and accents. His optics were a bright and vibrant yellow.
The crimson predacon sat down on a stool in front of the counter and motioned for Maximus to do the same, which he quickly did.
“Two rounds of energon. Standard.”
Torchwing said to the bot behind the counter.
“You got it.”
He replied with a nod and turned around to get the drinks.
“Who’s this guy?”
Maximus asked his friend.
“He’s the guy who owns this place, and a good friend to a lot of different bots. Maximals and predacons alike.”
“Oh. So he’s Maccadam then?”
Maximus said, making the connection with the name on the sign.
Said the owner as he set down two large glasses filled with a bright purple liquid. Torchwing grabbed his and quickly began drinking it.
“I know what the sign says, but the real Maccadam hasn’t been here in a long time.”
“See, my name’s Auger. Maccadam was an autobot who set up an oil house as the Great War was starting up. It was a place where anyone from any side could come in and have a break from the stress and terror outside. Only rule he ever had was no fighting inside the building. I set up this place in honor of that old oil house. Keeping the spirit alive and all.”
The barkeeper spoke in a calm and reserved tone. Something about his words and demeanor made him seem trustworthy to Maximus.
The young predacon looked down at the drink before him. It didn’t take long for his processors to recognize the substance as energon. Something necessary for all cybertronians to keep functioning. With that Maximus lifted the glass and took in the purple beverage. Auger returned to cleaning glasses.
A large and stocky bot came to sit down next to Torchwing. He had a green and purple color scheme. His hands were sharp with fingers ending in claws. A long reptilian head hung from one shoulder, and an even longer tail hung from the other. If Maximus had to describe the bot in a single word, it would be pointy.
He must have had one of those beast modes Hardware told him about. The sight was so fascinating, Maximus couldn’t help but stare.
“Boss, I got someone I want you to meet. He says he wants to join the crew.”
Torchwing said to the stranger. He then turned to Maximus.
“This guy is Lockjaw. Captain of the Star Talons. That’s the crew I mentioned earlier.”
The crimson pred said, trying to introduce his friend. Maximus however was too busy gawking at Lockjaw’s beast bits to pay attention.
Lockjaw looked Maximus up and down, trying to get a good feel for the bot. He then turned to Torchwing.
“I don’t know. Seems like too much of a shiny for our line of work.”
Hearing this, Maximus was snapped out of his dazed amazement.
“What do you mean by ‘shiny’?”
“I can tell you’re a newborn just by looking at you. You’re armor is shiny and new, just like you are. And I don’t think it’s a good idea to have someone so inexperienced in our crew.”
Lockjaw said with a calm and reassuring tone. He could tell the young bot was clearly eager and excited, so he tried to let him down as gently as possible.
“Come on boss. He was practically begging me to go with. What’s wrong with a kid who wants to see the stars?”
Torchwing said, trying his best to convince the captain.
“If he wants to go star gazing then there’s plenty of exploration crews out there he can join.”
“You and I both know the majority of those crews are maximal run. They’ll never let a predacon in. Especially one so young.”
Lockjaw sighed and pinched the bridge of his nose. He stood up, placed a hand on Maximus’ shoulder, and said
“Listen here lad. We’re pirates. We operate outside the law. Criminals. Thieves. Granted the reason we do what we do is born from necessity, but that doesn’t change the fact that if you come with us, this will follow you for the rest of your life. A pirate you’ll be, and a pirate you’ll stay. A mark that will go wherever you go. Do you understand?”
Maximus thought. This was just the opportunity he wanted. But was he willing to take this step? To be an outlaw? He almost decided to back out, but what else was he going to do? If he left, then he’d be out on the streets with no one he knew, and nothing to do. Besides, if the maximals really did hate predacons for no good reason, wouldn’t they deserve something like this? That was it. This was the best thing to do, Maximus decided.
“Yes, I’m positive sir. Let me join you. I want to do this.”
Maximus said confidently.
“Alright then. If you’re really sure about this, I suppose I can’t stop you. Welcome to the Star Talons lad.”
Lockjaw said, reaching out his hand to shake, which Maximus eagerly accepted.
Torchwing said excitedly.
“Three more rounds! High grade!”
“Two rounds. Make the third standard. He’s still a shiny.”
Auger said happily. He quickly prepped three more rounds of energon and placed them in front of the three gentlemen. Maximus noticed that the ones he gave to Lockjaw and Torchwing were much smaller than his, and vibrant cyan color instead of the pinkish purple he had.
The three of them finished their drinks quickly. Maximus looked at his two new friends. He was happy with the decision he had made. Happy to be part of a crew.