The Adventures of Tarmac, the Traveling Transformer!

Episode 2: Dairyland

(Our episode begins with Tarmac emerging from his Travel Pod.)

Tarmac: Ah! That was a long journey! It's good to stretch my servos. That dang Argus sent me by the slow-boat. That's the last time I let *him* book my travel plans. What was he trying to do?! Suffocate me?!

Tarmac: Hello, can you tell me where I am?

KO Trainrobo: You have arrived at the secret location of Fred's Workshop.

Fred's Workshop? Wonderful! I've heard about this place. Time for me to do some exploring. Where should I start?

KO Trainrobo: most folks like to go to the basement first.

Tarmac: Well then, I'm off!

(Twenty minutes later, Tarmac arrives at the bottom stair of the basement, the presumed location of the Workshop.)

Tarmac: Hello, is this the famous Fred's Workshop?

Transmetal Garfield: You're close. This is the kitbash display area, where all of the Workshop creations eventually end up. Kinda like purgatory, only with worse restroom facilities.

Tarmac: Um...I see. Well, can you tell me how to get to the Workshop, then?

Transmetal Garfield: Try down about two more shelves.

Tarmac: Thank you!

(After a short drive down the shelves...)

Tarmac: I say, my good man! Have I arrived at Fred's Workshop?

Wedge: This is the place...or rather, one of the places.

Tarmac: Whatever do you mean?

Wedge: Well, it's like this...the are we're in right now is the actual 'bashing area. This is where numerous new bots are given life. Unfortunately...

Tarmac: Yes?

Wedge: Unfortunately, sometimes things don't work out. Like this pile I'm getting rid of now. Fred took a heatgun to a pile of leftover Scavanger parts. The resulting puddle is...well, it's unusable. And it frightens the others. So I'm going to get rid of it while he's gone.

Tarmac: Gone?

Wedge: Yes, he took himself and a number of his 'others' to a convention of some sort. Those of us he left behind are trying to get into workable condition so that he might save us, or even rebuild us...otherwise, it's the heatgun for us, too.

Tarmac: I see. Well, thank you for your time. May I meet some of the 'others' you were talking about?

Wedge: Sure. About one table over is the Honored Dead area. Be respectful...and don't piss off the caretakers. They have a lot on their minds.

(With that warning in mind, Tarmac proceeds cautiously to the Honored Dead area of the Workshop.)

Tarmac: Hello, I'm...

Ratchet: Yes, we know. You're Tarmac. Big deal.

Tarmac: I beg your pardon?

Ratchet: Step lightly around here, or you may end up like the others.

Powerglide: Eh, don't mind ol' Doc Ratchet there. He's under a lot of stress. There's too-many bodies, and not enough spare parts to go around.

Tarmac: Of course, I'm sorry. I don't mean to intrude. So what goes on here?

Powerglide: We try to repair those who come in here from various places; flea-markets, conventions, what-have-you. Those that can be salvaged are repaired and sent to new homes. Those that can't are...well, 'reborn', in a sense.

Tarmac: The 'kitbashing' process?

Ratchet: Yes, and it's evil. Those poor bots. They never did anything to anyone else. Why subject them to this torture?

Tarmac: I don't understand...

Powerglide: Ratchet thinks that by 'bashing a bot, you don't end up with a new life; he says a souless abomination is created instead. Of course, it probably doesn't help that most here are still just barely functional; every night, he says, he hears their anguished screams as Fred 'bashes them. Still, most come out of the process better than they started, so to me it seems worth it. Better than sitting here in the Dead Zone...

Tarmac: The Honored Dead. I understand. I will step lightly.

(Tarmac ventures on, into the most sacred of places: the final resting place of the heroes of old.)

Tarmac: Skids...Brawn...Prowl...Bluestreak- my God. There's so many of them. Those poor 'bots. How will they ever get them functioning again?

(As he continues, Tarmac spots one of the old Gen One bots ahead, apparently still functioning).

Tarmac: I say, you there!

Huffer: ...must stop the advance. Must save the others...

Tarmac: I say, Huffer, is it? It's so good to see someone still functioning around here!

Huffer: ...gone...all gone...and I must stop them...

Tarmac: Er, what are you talking about? Stop who?

Huffer: (not seeing Tarmac at all)...the others are coming...and I must stop them...

Tarmac: Hello?! Snap out of it! (slap!)

(Unfortunately, the simple attention-getting blow was fatal...or would have been, had Huffer been alive in the first place. But he was not; what little spark had remained in the husk had long since left his body. All that was left was a mindless machine; a machine that was guarding a door. A door...that without Huffer in-place, now opened with explosive force:)

(Jumpstarters. Thousands of them. And they were loose.)

"Freedom! Freedom!"

(They swarmed over Tarmac. Wave after wave of Jumpstarters poured out of the doors, with no end in sight. The very concept overloaded Tarmac's logic circuits.)

(Eventually, there was no sight of Tarmac at all...just thousands of Jumpstarters running around all willy-nilly over everything, continuing to shout, 'freedom'.)

(But our hero would not be thwarted so easily. With a mighty heave, he jumped up, knocking over the legions, scattering them, sending several over the edge.)

(He called to them: 'What is this about!? Freedom from what?! Tell me!')

(A lone voice called out from the Legion; 'Yes, we *will* tell you, you who have freed us from our prison'.)

Tarmac: Who *are* you?

TB: Toiletbot. And these are my Legions.

Tarmac: Legions?

TB: An army of Jumpstarters assembled by Fred to be the last line of defense against the attack on Generation One transformers.

Tarmac: But...there are so many of you...

TB: As it should be. Fred thought that a war was coming...a war that would drive Transfandom into the abyss. His solution was to secretly assemble an army, one from a quarter that would not be expected. He created me to lead them. However...

Tarmac: However?

TB: The war never came. The fans rose up, and Generation One was reissued again. Having no further need for us, he locked us away in crates, awaiting a time when he could call upon us again. And so we sat, forgotten...until today, when you managed to open the lid to one of the boxes.

Tarmac: All I did was knock away one little...

TB: It doesn't matter how. We are grateful. We can continue the struggle from here. We will open more crates, and let others of the legion out. When Fred comes home, he will have a surprise waiting for him.

Tarmac: Well, um...good luck with that. I have to go now. Goodbye!

TB: Fair thee well, stranger.

(Thankfully, Tarmac's adventures were rather tame from there on in. Further exploring the Workshop, he found the rest of the inhabitants to be more stable. On one table, he even met the Minibot Battle Brigade, on-watch for any sign of trouble.)

(Tarmac even had some time to raid Fred's refrigerator, and try some delicious Dairyland-exclusive cheese.)

Tarmac: Mmmm...better than energon!

(But at last, Tarmac's Adventure at the Workshop was at an end. It was time to return to the Travel Pod, and resume his journey. Where would he end up next? Only the postman would know for sure...)

To be Continued.

To find out more about Tarmac, the Traveling Transformer, visit his homepage!