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Title: Crash Course, Chapter 4 – Asleep at the Wheel
Author: [ profile] anon_decepticon & [ profile] mdperera, with input from [ profile] kookaburra1701
Rating: PG-13 (for now)
Pairing or Character(s): The Stunticons. No pairings in this chapter.
Disclaimer: I don’t own Transformers.
Warning(s): Humanized TFs (entire story), violence, offensive language, smut in future chapters.
Summary: An accident turns the Stunticons into humans. Now the Decepticons think they're traitors, and other humans think they're eccentric, dangerous...and occasionally, dead sexy. From here, things can only get worse.
Author's Note: For those unaware, “Crash Course” is a collaborative fic jointly written by myself and [ profile] mdperera. Previous chapters can be found here on FFN or on our respective journals. Also posted to [ profile] gestalt_love. This time Motormaster’s in the driver’s seat, and there's nothing you can do about it. Suck it up, weaklings!

Crash Course, chapter 4 : Asleep at the Wheel

Motormaster grunted with satisfaction as he reached up to switch off the dome light and reclaimed his grip on the steering wheel. The look of nauseated agony on Drag Strip’s face was highly entertaining, but the lighted interior of the car made it difficult to see the road.

“Breakdown,” he heard Dead End ask behind him, “What are these bits of plastic?”

“I don’t know,” Breakdown replied after a brief pause. “What’s Visa mean?”

“Something to do with travel, I think,” Dead End said. “This one says American Express – some kind of train, perhaps?”

“You mean like Astrotrain?” Wildrider asked.

“A human train,” Dead End replied disdainfully “These must be access passes to human transportation. That could be useful.”

“Why?” Wildrider said. “We already have a car!”

This is only temporary, Motormaster thought. It had seemed bad at first, but now things were looking up. They had a car, clothes, and money. Soon they’d have a computer too, and then they could contact Megatron and get their bodies back. Everything was going according to plan.

That was something of a miracle, considering his team was a pack of irredeemable glitches. He might have guessed they’d find some way to screw up the mission Megatron had assigned them, but this time they’d truly outdone themselves.

A low growl rose from his vocalizer at the thought, and for a moment he considered pulling the car over and doling out a proper punishment.

Humans. They were slagging humans.

The car swerved slightly as his grip on the steering wheel tightened. At first he’d been convinced that it was all some kind of Autobot trick. A hologram, an illusion, something that had caused his optics to deceive him. But then he’d tried to draw his sword from subspace to deal with the slagger who’d dared to try and mess with them, and it hadn’t come.

There’d been a moment of absolute denial, of total refusal to accept what was happening. And then the ground had begun to shake.

“I want my shoes,” Drag Strip said in a strained voice, still doubled over in his seat. Motormaster smirked when a second later the human female’s shoes came flying through the space between the front seats and landed with a clunk on the dashboard in front of Drag Strip.

Drag Strip seemed far less amused. Ignoring the other Stunticons’ laughter, he straightened up and reached out to grab the coveted footwear, muttering resentfully as he gathered them close to his naked chestplate.

Motormaster chuckled darkly. Things were definitely looking up.

“Human clothes are weird.” Breakdown’s voice drifted up from the backseat.

“Seems simple enough to me,” Dead End replied. “Ones like this go on the bottom, and this kind goes on top.”

“I want that one,” Wildrider said. “I like hard rock.”

“Oooh, this one’s soft,” Breakdown said. “Feels like a polishing cloth.”

“Give it here,” Dead End said.

Drag Strip turned around in his seat, rising up onto his knees to peer into the back. “Are there any yellow ones? I want the yellow ones.”

A scrap of white cloth with bright yellow blotches on it fluttered into the front seat, and Drag Strip seized it triumphantly, turning forward again to shove his arms into the flopping, ruffled sleeves.

“Ah,” Dead End said, sounding uncharacteristically pleased. “Humans have visors, too.”

Drag Strip was up on his knees again immediately, reaching into the backseat. “Give it to me, I want it.”

“Get your own,” Dead End replied smugly. “This one is mine.”

Drag Strip opened his mouth to protest, but Motormaster cut him off before he could speak. “Sit down and shut up, Drag Strip. That goes for the rest of you as well.”

They all knew better than to argue when Motormaster used that tone. Drag Strip turned around, crossing his arms over his chestplate and slouching down in his seat with a resentful huff. The others fell into a cowed silence, the human clothing momentarily forgotten in the face of Motormaster’s ire.

Motormaster smirked at their reaction, seizing the opportunity to pass a slow-moving station wagon that was plodding along sluggishly ahead of them. Its headlights dwindled rapidly in the rearview mirror, and they soon had the road to themselves once more.

A flicker of movement off to his right caught his attention. He glanced over, noting with relief that the vision out of his right optic was no longer blurred, and discovered Drag Strip poking around in the compartment below the dashboard. When he glanced back again a moment later, Drag Strip was gulping some kind of liquid out of a clear plastic container.

He reached across the gap, his hand closing around Drag Strip’s wrist like a vise. Drag Strip jerked in surprise, coughing and spluttering, a flicker of fear flashing through his optics as he met Motormaster’s narrowed gaze.

“What is that?” he demanded.

“It’s water,” Drag Strip replied, eyeing him warily. “You know, like we put in our radiators.”

Motormaster deliberated for all of a moment, then jerked his chin toward the backseat and released Drag Strip’s wrist, returning his hand to the wheel and his optics to the road. Hunching his shoulders defensively, Drag Strip passed the container through the gap to Breakdown and the others.

After a few minutes Motormaster raised his left hand, and the container – now nearly empty – was slipped into it. He checked his mirrors and pulled over, deftly maneuvering the car onto the shoulder with one hand while he raised the container to his mouth with the other and drained it.

The liquid was warm like energon, but thin and tasteless. Nevertheless it felt good on his parched throat. Setting the handbrake, he opened the car door and tossed out the empty container. “Let’s see what we’ve got,” he said, heaving himself out of the driver’s seat.

A series of rapid clunks announced the opening of the other doors as the rest of the Stunticons piled out of the car. They gathered around him as he took the suitcase from Dead End and moved around to the back, laying it out on the trunk and thumbing open the latches.

He turned to face them then, looking them over appraisingly. Dead End’s optics were now hidden behind a pair of dark lenses – a poor substitute for his usual visor – and his lower half was clad in a loose-fitting garment patterned with a series of criss-crossing lines. Instead of a Decepticon insignia, Wildrider now had the words Hard Rock Café emblazoned across his chestplate.

Scowling, Motormaster returned his attention to the suitcase. From Megatron's elite warriors to this. He rifled through the contents, inspecting each item briefly and rejecting any that were clearly too small to fit him, passing them on to the others to complete their disguises.

Regrettably, that accounted for most of the contents of the suitcase; he was unquestionably too large for the majority of them. He finally settled on a front-fastening upper garment that fit (albeit snugly) over his broad shoulders and a loose, flowing lower garment that stretched at the waist. It tangled around his legs when he moved, but he didn’t think it would impede his ability to walk or drive.

He turned back to the others after he’d pulled them on, noting with satisfaction that they all appeared sufficiently covered, and gave a curt nod of approval. Turning back to the suitcase, he raised an arm to close the lid. The action was met with a soft tearing sound as the thin cloth stretched across his upper arm split open from shoulder to elbow. Behind him, someone stifled a snicker.

Motormaster turned to face them with slow deliberation, pinning them all with a baleful glare. Once he was certain he had their attention, he reached up and ripped away what remained of the garment’s arms, leaving his own bare from shoulder to wrist.

"All right," he said into the sudden silence. "Let's get moving."


They made good time on the largely-deserted highway, and Motormaster thought things were progressing fairly well. Soon they’d be back where they belonged.

Shortly after they got back on the road, Breakdown informed them that he’d discovered a box in the back seat. Before Motormaster could ask what was inside – a weapon, he hoped – Wildrider asked, “Is that cake? Lemme try it.”

“What are you doing?” he said sharply, unable to turn around completely and not wanting to show that he had no idea what “cake” was.

Drag Strip twisted around to look. “I want some too,” he said. Motormaster was fairly sure Drag Strip didn’t know what cake was either, but of course he’d want to do whatever the others were doing. When Drag Strip turned back around, he was holding a chunk of some pale crumbly substance covered with a thick white paste that gave off a faint sweet odor.

What in Megatron’s name is that?

“Hey, there’s writing on it.” Breakdown sounded intrigued.

“What does it say?” Dead End asked. “Hazardous? Toxic? Explosive?”

“From…this…day forth. Wildrider ate the rest.”

They were going to eat that? Motormaster grimaced in disgust. Even if that was what humans did to refuel, the thought of swallowing something solid made him want to purge his tanks. Drag Strip seemed to have no such compunctions, however; he eagerly raised his piece of cake to his mouth.

“Hey,” Wildrider said suddenly. “I saw a Disney film once where this human ate a piece of cake and it shrank her down to about this big.”

Drag Strip froze, his mouth open, the cake halfway inside. “That was fragging Disney, not a documentary,” he said after a moment, and popped the piece into his mouth.

Dead End offered Motormaster the remains, but he shook his head. He didn’t want human food, especially not human food he had to bite and chew. In any case, it was better to keep his attention on the road.

Afterward an argument broke out when Drag Strip made another attempt to persuade Dead End to surrender the human visor he’d found, but Motormaster put a stop to that by cuffing him across the back of the helm and telling him to shut up. Now Drag Strip was staring sullenly out the window with his arms folded, and the others had lapsed into blissful silence.

But of course that couldn’t last. “It’s too quiet,” Wildrider complained. “Turn on the radio, Drag Strip.”

“Do it yourself,” Drag Strip shot back irritably.

Motormaster ground his denta and reached for the knob on the dashboard, promptly flooding the car with human noise. He manipulated the dial until he found something only mildly intolerable, and tried to ignore the persistent throbbing in his head.

That bought him a measure of peace, if not quiet, and after a time even the noise from the radio seemed to fade into the background, granting Motormaster the opportunity to reassess their situation.

By now they’d likely been declared dead, or else deserters. The fact that their tire tracks could be seen entering the clearing but not leaving it would help to discourage the latter, which meant there was a good chance they’d be forgiven for damaging Megatron’s machine…provided they managed to contact him and explain themselves in time.

He’d take full responsibility for his team; tell Megatron he’d administered a suitable punishment. He hadn’t, not by a long shot, but then again, it could be argued that being turned into humans was punishment enough.

Time was their most precious commodity now. The longer Megatron was made to wait, the less likely he would be to overlook the trouble they had caused him. Keep him waiting too long, and he might not forgive them at all.

His vision was beginning to waver; his optics kept trying to offline of their own accord. He shook his helm stubbornly, determined not to give in to yet another of this human body’s damnable weaknesses. Their only hope of getting their real bodies back depended on it. He just had to...

He was jolted online by an unexpected bouncing and the raised voices of his team calling out in alarm. Motormaster swore as he onlined his optics, wrenching the steering wheel rapidly to the right and then to the left as it attempted to tear itself free of his hands. He couldn’t see the road – all that he could make out in the narrow cone of the Accord’s headlights were rocks and dry scrub not unlike the harsh landscape they’d been forced to navigate when they left the cave.

He slammed on the brakes, and the car jerked to a ragged halt, but not before something struck the undercarriage with a disheartening clunk that shook the entire vehicle from hubcaps to headlights.

“What happened?” someone said as Motormaster shook his helm dazedly, refreshing his optics. “Why’d we leave the road?”

He didn’t bother to reply. Instead he threw open his door and surged out of the car, putting a safe distance between himself and his team before he surrendered to the urge to answer their questions with his fists.

His fuel tank churned with anger and disgust. He’d fallen into recharge – into recharge! – behind the wheel, nearly costing them their only hope of escaping this wretched situation intact!

He wanted to break something. He wanted to crush and hurt and destroy. But even that pleasure was denied him – his magnificent sword was gone, his once-powerful fists reduced to pathetic hunks of meat dangling uselessly at the ends of squishy human arms. He roared with frustration, his wordless bellow echoing back among the stones as if to mock him.

Turning on his heel, he stalked back to the car, his hands clenched tightly into fists.

He managed to keep his temper in check – barely – when Dead End grimly informed him that the Accord had a broken front axle. When he speculated that they’d probably cracked the engine block as well, Motormaster threw him against the car hard enough to dent the door panel, then told the others to gather up everything they could carry.

They walked back to the road again in silence.


Motormaster intended to get a second car by the same method they’d used to acquire the first, but when they returned to the highway they encountered a sign that read Gas/Food/Lodging 500 yards, indicating they were closer to human civilization that he’d thought. Given their recent…mishap and the fact that liberating another car would require them to put more distance between themselves and its former owner, he concluded it would be best for them to walk.

The others complained bitterly about that, especially Drag Strip, who’d discovered during their trek back to the highway that the human shoes he’d coveted so dearly were extremely ill-suited for walking, but a single black look from Motormaster silenced their protests.

They still had money and clothes, he reminded himself. This was only a minor setback.

When they finally stepped onto the brightly lit grounds of the human service area, Motormaster paused and took a moment to assess the condition of his team.

They looked bad, like forty miles of rough road. Breakdown was swaying on his feet. Dead End had set down the suitcase and was now sitting on it, his head bowed in exhaustion. Drag Strip was walking with a noticeable limp as he struggled to bring up the rear, and Wildrider –

Motormaster frowned, his brow furrowing. Where the frag was Wildrider?

He spied him out of the corner of his optic, disappearing through a door with a stylized symbol of a human figure on it. He turned back to the others. “Dead End,” he said. “Give me the human’s wallet.”

Dead End handed it over, and Motormaster opened it, thumbing through the contents and pulling out a single leaf of the green paper the humans used as currency, one with a number twenty printed on it. “Get food,” he commanded, jerking his head toward the brightly lit gas station. “Just food. I’ll get Wildrider and meet you back outside.”

Dead End nodded listlessly, accepting the twenty without argument. He got to his feet, winced and clutched at his side, then moved off toward the gas station with the others in tow, still lugging the battered suitcase.

This is just temporary rationing, Motormaster told himself as he watched them go. They needed to conserve what money they had to ensure they had enough left over to purchase a computer. Once we have our bodies back, they can have all the energon they want.

Shaking his helm, he went to check on Wildrider. Knowing him, he was bound to be in trouble.


Wildrider looked up eagerly as he entered, his optics lighting with recognition. “Check it out, boss!” he said. “I found a mirror!”

Motormaster looked. The room he’d entered was cramped and foul-smelling, lit by harsh fluorescent lights that were less than forgiving to the cracked tile walls and dingy white fixtures. It did, however, boast a bank of grimy mirrors along the wall opposite the door, and it was these that had caught Wildrider’s attention.

He stepped closer, ignoring the washbasins below, fascinated by his own reflection in spite of himself. The face that stared back at him was disgustingly human, with brownish skin and revolting mop of thick, wavy hair, but his optics…

They were purple. The exact shade of purple as the Decepticon insignia, the same color his old optics had been. His intakes hitched at the sight of them, an unexpected surge of hope welling up in his chassis.

Maybe there was something of their true selves left in these worthless human shells after all.

His mind raced, entranced by the possibilities. What else might they have retained? What of their former abilities might remain at their command?

The thought was so compelling he failed to notice he and Wildrider were no longer alone in the room until an unfamiliar voice snarled, “You got a problem, punk?”

Motormaster turned to discover a human male standing alongside the odd receptacles lining the wall to his right, evidently addressing Wildrider, who was staring at the human with an expression of avid curiosity.

The human performed some small action somewhere in the vicinity of his groin and then turned to face Wildrider, grabbing him by the front of his human garment and shoving him up against the wall, his posture stiff and hostile. “I don’t like fags staring at me.”

Motormaster huffed in exasperation and crossed the room to intercede, tapping the human on the shoulder with significantly more force than was necessary to gain his attention. Wildrider’s grin widened as he spotted him over the human’s shoulder, his optics lighting with manic glee.

The human’s shoulders hunched defensively as Motormaster’s shadow fell over him. Dropping Wildrider, he turned around and looked up…and up.

“That punk belongs to me,” Motormaster informed him coldly. “Take a walk.”

The human’s gaze swept over him, taking in Motormaster’s massive frame. “Take it easy, man,” he stammered, holding up his hands in a gesture of submission. “He’s all yours.”

Motormaster jerked his chin toward the door, and the human took the hint, slinking past him to the exit. “Let’s go,” he told Wildrider, turning to leave.

“Wait, I wanna try something,” Wildrider said. “I think I figured out what this plug thing is for.”

Motormaster exhaled impatiently. “Fine,” he said. “Hurry up.”

“This is so cool!” Wildrider said a moment later. “And I feel so much better – it’s like flushing your radiator on a hot day!”

Motormaster turned back to stare at him incredulously, arching a skeptical eyebrow.

“You gotta try this, boss,” Wildrider said.

Reluctantly, he tried it. His human clothing got in the way, and it was probably the most disgusting thing he’d ever done in his life, but Motormaster had to admit that he felt better afterward; the uncomfortable feeling of pressure that had been building up in his abdomen eased. Wildrider watched him the whole time he did it, fascinated.

As he readjusted his clothing and turned to leave, another human came into the room, making a beeline for the metal stalls lining the opposite wall. Wildrider’s face lit up with interest.

No,” Motormaster said firmly, grabbing him by the back of the neck and steering him out of the room.

Primus, what had he done to deserve this?

*Chapter 5 is here*
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