Judgement Day

By: Landray Depth Charge and Sapphire


Writers' Note: This fic is a comedy set in an alternative universe.  It is deliberately silly and is to be taken lightly.  So, with that in mind, enjoy!


It was evening in the Charge household, and Sunset had prepared a nice dinner for the meeting between her newest boyfriend and her father. Depth Charge was standing with his arms folded, listening to his daughter's pleading. 

"Daddy, please, I beg of you, behave this time. Retro's nice!" 

"That's what you said about the last one, Sunset." 

"Well...Chaingun doesn't count." 

Depth Charge scoffed at his daughter across the room, who was busily making sure everything in the house was perfect. She was really coming into her own, and, frankly, the manta-bot didn't like that one bit. She kept bringing home friends and boyfriends that he wouldn't have touched with a twelve-foot pole when he was her age. He despised it. But he couldn't deny her her freedom to go out and meet bots, so here he was at another arranged dinner for him to get 'pleasantly acquainted' with one of her latest love-interests.  

Sunset fluttered about the room, then dashed into the kitchen, yelling: "If he arrives while I'm still getting the dinner out, let him in, ok? And BE POLITE!"  

Depth Charge grumbled and made his way to his favourite chair, when the familiar whir of a vehicle-bot transforming was heard from outside. The metal manta lifted his head and turned to the door. His mind automatically shifted to accommodate the situation -- it was once again time to vanquish an evil from his house. The doorbell rang. 

"OH MY GOSH! He's here already! Dad, I'm taking the energon soup into the dining room now, please let him in!" Sunset called. 

Depth Charge started heading for the door. "With pleasure," he muttered sarcastically. He opened the door. There stood a fairly handsome young mech, red and grey in colouring with the obvious vehicle mode of a car. He blinked up at Depth Charge, who positively towered above him.  

"Uh.... hi! You must be Sunset's dad! Pleased to meet you..." he attempted to extend a hand for a shake. 

Depth Charge's frowned deepened into a sneer as he took the 'bots hand in his own. "My pleasure." He said lowly, gripping Retro's hand so hard he heard metal beginning to bend. The young 'bot managed to keep a straight face as he pulled his hand from Depth Charge's iron grip. The Maximal manta stepped from the doorway, fins splaying as Retro walked past him. "Welcome to the dark side," he whispered tersely as the boy walked by. 

Retro glanced about the house with an obviously faked confidence. Depth Charge knew that he was putting up a brave front. It made him feel better about the whole situation. Fear meant he had control, and control was something he liked. "The dining room is this way," he told Retro gruffly and ushered him in the right direction. As they walked towards it, he said: "One thing before we go in..."  

Retro stopped and faced Depth Charge expectantly. Depth Charge glared at him sternly. "You make even the slightest hint that you don't like my daughter's cooking, and I will tie you to a rack and force-feed it to you 'til your optics pop. Even if it tastes like absolute SLAG you chew, swallow and smile after every mouthful. Got it?" Retro's eyes had widened and he nodded quickly. "Good," Depth Charge said lightly, and pushed open the door that lead to the dining room. 

Sunset had already set up two bowls for the soup, though three chairs were ready to be used. Her father's lack of a mouth made eating in robot mode impossible, but he'd sit and talk to them while they ate. He always did. Retro could practically feel Depth Charge's stare boring a hole in his back as he waited for Sunset to be seated, then sat next to her. The hunter sat across from him. 

Finally all seated, Sunset took the first spoonful of soup and slopped it into her bowl. "So glad you could come tonight, Retro! I'm sure you and dad will get along great!" Depth Charge's frown didn't waver in the following little silence.  

"Uh...yeah," Retro cleared his throat. "Nice place you got here...s-s-ir, um... I like the abstract art on the walls... And all the fish tanks. I can tell you like fish...heh...oh well, considering your beast mode...which is really cool don't get me wrong...I guess having fish...in tanks...would...like...make you feel more...*cough* at home..." he trailed miserably. All through his poor attempt at conversation, Depth Charge had remained motionless, eyes fixed on the stuttering mech. Sunset bit her lower lip and glanced at her dad, then back at the soup. She took a spoonful and added it to Retro's bowl. The noise of the slop seemed extra loud in the uncomfortable silence. 

This was pathetic! Retro was meek, bumbling, and scared slagless of Depth Charge. His face was like a rock, locked in a permanent scowl as he watched the boy mech take a spoonful of the soup and shove it into his mouth. Predictably, Retro froze for just a second, then, deathly afraid of the consequences, gulped the contents down. Sunset watched him expectantly and Retro swore he saw her father smile.  

And the mere sight of seeing a bot with no mouth smile was enough to make Retro look quickly away. He shot Sunset a desperate look. She shifted in her chair and tried to look relaxed. "So... Dad... Why don't you tell Retro a little about yourself? Oh Retro, dad has some amazing stories to tell! You should hear some of the things he's done in his lifetime." Retro nodded appreciatively.  

"Oh please enlighten me!" he said, glad the spotlight had shifted.  

Depth Charge folded his arms. "Well... I've done a fair deal of fighting in my life. I know how to crack a bot's head, knee him in the lugnuts, snap his arm and tear off his shoulder blades in only one swift move. I also know how to do it with minimal noise, so no one gets disturbed by the...screams." 

If Retro had been a human, he would have been white as a sheet. Sunset smacked her forehead as her father continued. "Did you know that there's fourteen ways to kill a 'bot with a standard human chop stick?" Depth Charge finished with a growl, crimson optics flashing as he accentuated his last word by closing his fist so hard his own palm creaked. The red mech gulped. "O-oh...That's g-good to know!" 

Seeing an opportunity, the manta's optics narrowed sharply. "Why is it good to know?" He questioned suspiciously.  


"You plannin' on killing me, boy?" 

Sunset lifted her head. "Okay, dad! No need to bore Retro with any more of your war stories." She turned to Retro with an embarrassed grin. "He's kind of paranoid delusional. You know, post-traumatic stress disorder, that kind of thing." 

The red Maximal looked back at Depth Charge. The ray-bot twitched, one optic flickering. 

"Maybe we should, uh...change the topic... Like, to how great this energon soup is! Mmm-mmm, you sure are a good cook, Sunny!" he said, looking away from the scowling, twitching mega-bot beside him and shooting Sunset a forced smile. 

"Why thank you, Retro! And it's only partially energon. Dad provided the ingredients! He hunted them personally. Did I thank you enough for that, daddy?" she said, giving her father a look of adoration while Retro fought to suppress the urge to retch. "Dad has an acquired taste for live animals, since he got his beast mode. At first I thought it was SO disgusting, but then after a while, I learned to like it. It's all about opening your mind to new things, ain't it dad?" she looked up at him with a cheerful smile.  

"Yes, pumpkin, I know all about opening minds...." he said, tilting his head with a slightly deranged glint in his eye. 

"Dad has a degree in psychology to help him better estimate the mental capabilities of the enemy. It's pretty amazing - he can read some people like they're open books, and he can smell a lie a mile away!" she informed Retro enthusiastically. The mech had all but shrunk into his chair. 

Retro gulped again, forcing another bite of the energon soup down his throat. "So...what kind of animal is in this soup?" 

Depth Charge smirked. "A medley of things I killed over the weekend. Rat, squirrel, fish, possum, crow, and squid." 

Retro sputtered a little, then managed to regain himself, swallow and say: "Oh....nice..." although Depth Charge suspected the young mech hadn't even heard of half the animals he'd listed. Sunset cut in to prevent any more unpleasant silences and said: "Retro's interested in joining the Cybertronian Police Force, dad. I thought maybe, seeing as you've already been through all the training, you could take him out for a day and give him a few tips! We all know how proficient you are with weapons."  

Depth Charge suddenly snorted, then chortled, then erupted into a fully-fledged guffaw. Retro stared at him incredulously while Sunset just looked confused. The raybot threw back his head and laughed loudly. After he had finished, he leaned forward on the table, closing the distance between himself and Retro to one that made Retro feel less than comfortable. He gave Retro a steady look. "Heh... A skinny, half-manufacture like you join the police force. Hahah... That's a joke, right?"  

Retro scowled a little. "No, not a joke. Just because I'm not an all-brawn-no-brain type of 'bot doesn't mean I can't succeed on the force!" The boy sat back, realizing his mistake. 

"'All-brawn-no-brain'?" Depth Charge leaned further forward, closing the gap to mere inches. "What, exactly, are you trying to say?" 

"Dad," Sunset started, afraid that he might hit Retro. "He didn't mean anything by it." 

"Oh contraire... I believe that was a blatant Freudian SLIP! You got something to say to me, you say it straight to my face! Do you think I'm stupid, huh? Well, DO YOU?" Depth Charge pressed ruthlessly. 

"Dad!" Sunset whined.  

"No, no it's ok, Sunset," Retro said, swallowing hard and straightening his posture. "No, sir, I do not find you stupid in any way, although, seeing as you have asked for my honesty, I will say that I think you get pleasure out of intimidating me...or at least trying to." 

Retro thought that by standing up for himself, by holding his ground, he'd win Depth Charge's respect. But, judging by the slight purple hue Depth Charge's face was turning, he started to think he just might have miscalculated that one... 

The Maximal manta was having a ball, up until that point. He'd had control over the boy, but now he was standing his ground, his fear slipping away. Depth Charge truly didn't like that. His rage slowly melted from his face and his features became deathly calm. He remained there, in Retro's face, perfectly calm in contrary to how he had been a second ago.  

"All right, Retro... If you really think you're cut out to be in the academy, why don't you prove it to me with a good old fashioned arm wrestle!" Sunset groaned. "Oh dad, not at the dinner table!"  

"Dinner table is as good as any," he said, giving Retro a challenging stare. Retro trembled slightly, then tensed.  

"Very well, then, if that's what you want." He pushed aside his bowl of unfinished soup and placed his elbow firmly on the table. 

Depth Charge smirked and grabbed Retro's hand, giving it another death-squeeze. "Ready?" 

"On three." 

Sunset smacked her forehead again. 

The feuding father and boyfriend counted together. "One, two...three!"  

Retro threw all of his strength into his arm, and, surprisingly enough, held Depth Charge at bay! The Maximal manta made a face, as though straining, and strangely enough, his arm started to go the wrong way. Retro was beating him. Sunset watched in awe as her powerful father was fought back, the back of his hand nearly to the table. Retro mentally cheered -- he'd nearly floored this massive 'bot! Depth Charge lifted his head and smirked, all trace of strain gone. He promptly slammed the back of Retro's hand against the table with minimal effort. 

There was a sickening crack and Retro yelled: "YOU SLAG!" in an utterance of pain. Sunset gasped, hand flying to her mouth, Retro held his hand in pain and stared at Depth Charge in horror and Depth Charge merely said... "What did you just call me?" in quiet fury. 

Sunset sighed. She knew what was about to happen. The very same thing that happened to Chaingun, and the guys before him.... She let her head fall into her hands. 

"You lead me on! You-you-...you made me think I was winning!" Retro cried defensively. 

"You have the audacity to insult me and then accuse me of deception? Why you little---" 

Sunset didn't need to have her eyes open to know what was going on. There was the abrasive grinding of chairs as Depth Charge stood up, she heard a sudden "glargh!" come from Retro, there was a loud snap, and the scream of: "oh no, not that!" and then the hammering open of a window, the following: "yaaaaaaaaaaah!" and of course, the ending thud. 

She lifted her head with another sigh to see Depth Charge patting his hands together. She gave him a baleful look.  

Depth Charge caught the look and shrugged. "What? He called me a slag! That has a double-meaning, you know." 

Sunset rested her cheek on her hand and prodded her soup bowl sulkily. "They're never good enough for you, are they dad? You always manage to find something wrong with them!" 

Depth Charge closed the windows and frowned at the crack one of them sported. That would be the third glass pane he'd have to replace this month. He turned and walked over to his pouting daughter. 

"Aw, now don't you get depressed about it, dumpling. I only want what's best for you." 

She nodded softly. "I know." 

There was a pause and then she lifted her head and asked: "Should I feed the fish the rest of the soup?" 

"No honey, it'd kill them." 

The two shot each other knowing smiles, then erupted into laughter. 


LDC: We're extremely strange, neh? Hope you enjoyed this odd little fic-bit that Sapph and I came up with on Tuesday night. All comments welcome!