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TF Speedwriting fic

I just posted this in tf_speedwriting as a response to a prompt using the Death Tarot card.  

Title: Just A Game
Warnings: warnings of future character death. Unbetaed, except by me.
Rating: PG
Continuity: G1, shortly before that slagging 1984 movie that I hate.
Characters: mostly Optimus and Mirage, with G1 crew supporting the action.
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers or anything to do with the characters.
Prompt: #4 - Tarot card #13 – Death. From this pic:
Notes: I love the Tarot! In my younger days, my friends clamored for me to tell their fortunes – I used to be pretty good. I found my special Tarot book (it’s over 30 years old and pretty worn) and I was surprised at how much I remembered of the cards. This prompt just spewed out of my head, and the spread and interpretations used would be my true reading. It took me almost the entire 2 hrs, including proofing. Phew. I thought the ending was a bit weak, but I was running out of time!
The ‘trick’ of reading is in your interpretation of the questioner’s circumstances and how much you know of a person’s background. In this case, Mirage knows the other Autobots pretty well, due to him hanging around invisible all the time! But, he can’t understand how Optimus’ fortune came out so dire. I mean, it’s just a game, right?


Optimus Prime paused in the door of the recreation room, and let his somber gaze wander to the far corner where most of the assembled mechs were crowded around a table.

No one paid any attention as Prime made his way over to the nearby energon dispenser and drew two cubes, one for himself and one for his tactician. As usual, Prowl was sitting near the doorway reading a datapad, seemingly oblivious to the occasional exclamations coming from the far corner.

“Why am I not surprised to find you all alone, Prowl?” Optimus asked, as he set the second cube down in front of the black and white mech.

“Oh, you know me, Optimus. The Ark’s token loner.” Prowl gave his leader a slight smirk as he reached for the cube. “Thank you.”

“You’re welcome,” Optimus automatically responded. They sat together in companionable silence for a few klicks, until a loud cheer and accompanying groans erupted from the gathered crowd. Optimus jerked his chin toward the crowd, asking, “What are they so intent about? I haven’t seen the crew so immersed in a pastime since Spike introduced the twins to video games.

Prowl set down his datapad and frowned in the direction of the noise. “A few months ago, Mirage placed an order with one of our human allies for a deck of cards to be made out of sheets of plywood – large enough for us to hold. Paid quite a bit for them, I heard.”

“I thought we had playing cards made up orns ago,” Optimus mused. “Why did he need another deck?”

“This is a special deck, called Tarot. They are used in a fortune-telling game here on Earth. Mirage saw the humans using them at one of the county fairs we attended, and was thrilled with the similarity to decks he knew. Apparently, he was quite good at telling the fortunes of his friends in the towers. He had these specially painted with Autobots and Decepticons, and the crew has been enthralled with his skills.” Prowl grimaced, he wasn’t as enamored with Mirage’s skills. He knew telling fortunes with cards was totally illogical. No one could tell what the future would hold. The Tower as his outcome, indeed. Humph.

Optimus smiled, he knew exactly what Prowl was thinking. “It’s harmless fun, Prowl. At least they aren’t destroying the Ark with some prank.”

“That’s what you think. You haven’t had your fortune told yet. Although, it looks like your time is coming,” Prowl smirked at Optimus. While the two mechs had been talking, they had been noticed by Sideswipe.

He yelled, “Hey, everybody! There’s The Prime! Let’s do him!” This statement was followed with a general hubbub of agreement, and a mass of mechs practically stampeded to Optimus and Prowl’s table.

With only a minor protest (this game seemed to be good for morale – who was he to spoil their fun), Optimus allowed himself to be led by his crew to the far table, and set down in the chair opposite Mirage. Mirage seemed to exude extra secrecy and aloofness, which was all part of the game. Or so it seemed to Optimus.

“Prime,” Mirage acknowledged his next client with a twinkle in his optic. “Are you ready to delve into the mysteries of the Tarot and see your future?”

Optimus nodded and his optics showed his smile. “Yes, Swami Mirage. Astound and enlighten me.”

Mirage handed a deck of twenty-three cards to Optimus and instructed, “Shuffle these, how you will, for as long as you wish, thinking of your question, then ask it aloud. Then place them down on the table in front of you.”

Before shuffling, Optimus glanced at some of the painted figures upon the face of the deck. He saw, among others, his Elita-1 labeled as The Empress, which pleased him. Seeing himself as The Emperor made him feel humbled. The Ark was symbolic as The Chariot, Prowl definitely did Justice proud, and Soundwave, Strength. Sunstreaker and Bluestreak were entwined in an extremely graphic embrace depicting The Lovers. He briefly wondered why Hound was pictured as The Hanged Man, but totally could see Starscream as The Fool. Megatron certainly was The Devil, and their beloved Primus signified The World.

“Who told the artists which mechs to use as subjects?” Prime asked.

Mirage shyly hung his head. “I did, Lord Prime. I hope you are not offended.”

“These are beautiful, Mirage. The artists did a wonderful job. And I think your choices were inspired.”

The surrounding mechs murmured in agreement.

“So, let us see how inspired you are as you divine me my future,” Optimus laughed.

“I don’t know how inspired he is, Prime,” Ratchet grumped. “My outcome was The Fool, and we all know I’m no fool. And if anyone says so, I have the wrench to discredit that statement!” Ratchet waved said wrench in the air as the gathered mechs snickered.

Mirage gave a huff, explaining, “Ratchet, as I told you twice before, The Fool is not necessarily Starscream, but symbolic of unexpected events, new experiences and the unknown. Please save it to your processor, you are going to drive me mad.”

Optimus cut in before Ratchet could respond, stating, “Quiet, please. I need to concentrate on my question.” A hush fell over the crowd as Optimus started shuffling. “I would like to know…if I shall ever see the end of this war.”

He placed the deck facedown on the table, and tapped it twice with his finger, for luck. Mirage smiled and picked up the deck, starting his patter to explain just what he was doing.

“Thank you, Optimus. There are as many different ways to lay out the cards for a reading as there are reasons for doing readings. In the traditional Tarot, the Celtic Cross Spread, also known as the Ten Card Spread, is most favored. I’ve found that one is quickest, easiest, and usually the best.”

“Duh, Mirage,” Cliffjumper interjected. “Get to the good stuff already.”

Mirage frowned at the minibot, as the mechs around Cliffjumper shoved him and entreated him to be quiet.

“As I was saying, before I was so rudely interrupted, this is a very quick and accurate spread. If you were truly concentrating on your question, Optimus, unlike certain medics, you should be pleased with your outcome.”

“Hey!” Ratchet lifted is head. Ironhide slapped his hand over Ratchet’s mouth before he could continue complaining.

Mirage continued, drawing the card at the top of the deck, “This card signifies the Basis, or foundation of your past.” The Hierophant, in the guise of Thundercracker, stared sightlessly up at them. There was some shoving in the back as mechs craned their bodies to see what was going on tableside. “Signifying protection, good will, positive influence. Representing deep feeling, focus on organizations, groups, and a search for truth. Travel, complications, disappointment - a venture that unexpectedly fails. This shaped your past.”

Prime nodded as Mirage took the second card and placed it in a position above the first. “This position is where you are now, circumstances present in your life which motivate you. The World is generally a lucky card, symbolizing time and eternal life. Also meaning divine protection, fulfilled desires, travel. You have known the gamut of emotions, with heights of bliss and depths of despair. No longer subject to the status quo, you have new beginnings. Your obsession with the past is hindering your ability to see what is really going on, but no matter how bound you’re feeling now, you can still break free.”

Card three was placed in a line above the card two. Mirage continued, “Hopes and fears. This is an important aspect of your reading because it reveals the inner workings of your mind.” Optimus saw an exploding star labeled as The Tower. “This symbolizes that evil is the necessary compliment of good, and that mechkind is but one part of the universe. You are afraid of unexpected events, destruction, painful but necessary changes. You are full of self-criticism and doubt. You know that what is right, essential, or meaningful will be preserved. It’s time to discern what is meaningful to you.”

“Present and passing. This card covers not only your recent past, but long-term influences as well, and though its effect may still be felt in this present, and possibly very near future, its influence is moving out of importance.” Card four was placed to the left of, and in line with, card two. The Empress, Elita-1, looked up at Optimus with a Mona Lisa smile. Mirage continued, “The Empress represents femme energy, dynamism, acquired knowledge, arts, literature, harmony, cleverness and a solution to a problem. I don’t think I need to interpret anything else with this card,” Mirage said with a smile.

Optimus rumbled, “I think we all know what inspirations and influences a certain femme has had on me.” This statement was followed by giggles and laughs erupting from the watching mechs. “Please continue, Mirage.”

Mirage pulled card number five from the top of the deck, and placed it crosswise over card two – Optimus’ present position card. There was an almost deafening sound as almost all the mechs watching vented huffs. Megatron, pictured as The Devil, lay sneering on the table. “Oh, my,” Mirage whispered. “How appropriate. Card five crosses you and represents forces for or against you. The card in this position plays a major role in determining the outcome of the reading, because its influence is the crux of all preceding events. And, since this was dealt in a reversed position – although I don’t see how the card could have been flipped upside down – it has a negative connotation, with opposing forces. The Devil is charismatic, bestial, and passionate. Complete change, abuse of power, dangerous temptation, vice, perversion, lies, tyranny, violence, ruin and a black period.” Mirage was shaking with disbelief. “I am taken aback at the fact that this particular card came up in this specific placement.”

Mirage quickly pulled the sixth card and added it to the spread, to the left of the straight card two and the crossed card five. “This is the near future, indicating how you have emerged from your recent past.” Temperance, as Ironhide, was shown. “Disappointment, negative confrontation or unexpected confrontations and complications. It will be a battle to succeed, because your success is going to be blocked for the time being. You won’t be able to shake off adversity or conclude matters to your satisfaction, but will realize that there is a time to every purpose, action and outcome.”

Whispers from the mechs watching had been becoming louder and more frequent the longer the reading had gone on. No one seemed to like where this was going. Mirage placed card seven to the right and two places down from card six. “Here is how the near future will evolve, revealing the way in which you’ve responded to the near future. Spiritual power and nobility make you receptive to the ability to go beyond reality. Great sensibility, meditation, patience, acceptance, a forthcoming and enriching event.” Hound, although depicted as the sleeping Hanged Man, seemed to frown at them from the placed card.

Mirage was trying to speed up the card placement; this was not going well at all. Number eight was placed above seven. “Effects of others on you. Indicating developments or changes that will alter your course or shed new light on existing situations. It could be positive or negative, connoting the cyclic aspect of life.” The Milky Way Galaxy pictured as the Wheel of Fortune shown black and sparkly on the table. “Luck, travels, accomplishment, opportunities, evolution and fate.”

Sighs of relief were heard as the previous run of bad cards seemed to be thwarted.

“Number nine,” showed Skywarp as Judgment, “placed here above cards seven and eight. Representing you and how your surroundings will affect you and how you will think in times to come. The messenger, symbolizing the unexpected, showing that you must awaken your consciousness – that you must accept the truth and learn how to be aware. Accept what is going to be offered – it could change your life.”

Mirage was visibly relieved that the reading was at an end. Only one more card to go. Please, he thought, be a good one. “And card ten – the outcome of all the previous cards.” Mirage quickly flipped the top card to its position over number nine. Gasps were heard all around and even Optimus jerked back in reaction.

Death. Unlucky number 13. Unicron, the legendary planet-eater looked ready to jump off the card surface and devour the entire group. Mirage jumped up, knocking over his chair. “Prime, I’m sorry, this…this is just wrong. It’s all interpretation, just a trick…”

Furious mutterings broke out behind Prime, as he sat and contemplated the full spread. “Not to worry, Mirage. This is just a game. Please finish the reading for me. I find you very insightful.”

Trembling, and with a static-filled voice, Mirage finished Optimus Prime’s fortune.

“Um, card ten, the summation of all previous cards. Its…its focus is on endings and new beginnings in a career. Not necessarily a bad card, an important event will overpower all other cards in both impact and effect. Relationships will come to an end, but your love will continue. Happiness will come through good friends and reuniting with those who have been absent. You have to let go of situations that no longer serve a purpose in your evolution. A new order will be established, and you will rise up and begin again.”

“Well, thank you Mirage, for your time. This was very enlightening. Looks like there will be an end to the war, after all. I feel that if we trust in Primus, all shall be well. Meanwhile, don’t we all have someplace else to be?”

edit - oops, I forgot to LJ cut.



( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 28th, 2011 10:23 am (UTC)
NICE! I have a Tarot deck of my own, and hardly use it or study the ways of Tarot. I need to make time for it someday. It has great psychological use as well as fotune telling/entertainment use.

I SO WANT a tarot card of Screamer as The Fool! I can see it now...... and I am all smiles. :-D
Mar. 28th, 2011 12:34 pm (UTC)
Somewhere online are drawings of some of the TFormers as Tarot cards. I think I have a couple saved, but I wish I could find if there are anymore out there. Just awesome.
I can picture Star in my card deck, exactly!
Back in high school, one of my art projects was painting The Fool on a piece of quarter-inch plywood. Unfortunately, I have never been very good with paints - pen and ink are my thing. I still have it stashed somewhere.
Mar. 28th, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
Deviantart has a couple, I know. But to have a whole deck would be a dream!

I like where in the deck you put each bot you mentioned, especially the Seekers. I am very impressed with your writing, truly. The dialogue and the descriptiveness, especially.
Mar. 28th, 2011 11:09 am (UTC)
Much much love for this. So much detail, and so much foreshadowing, it's fantastic!

And I love the little touch of Ironhide putting his hand over Ratchet's mouth to shut him up.
Mar. 28th, 2011 12:37 pm (UTC)
Thanks muchly. I wish I could have included more info about the other bot's fortunes, eg. Ratchet and Prowl. But you get the idea. Maybe I will do a re-write and expand when I get a chance.

Sometimes, Ratch has to be mech-handled. hahaha.

Mar. 28th, 2011 12:18 pm (UTC)
Whoa, interesting. I liked it.

“Hey, everybody! There’s The Prime! Let’s do him!” This statement was followed with a general hubbub of agreement

I was so unreasonably disappointed after this line |D
Mar. 28th, 2011 12:39 pm (UTC)
Thank you.

I wrote it that way on purpose, because I am a perv. hahaha!
A little bit of humor before the really dark stuff.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )



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