Note: Here it is! What would've happened if Dinobot hadn't been able to go to the Valley to save the protohumans. The least likely bot, that's who. Please send me your comments. I hope you enjoy it. And I would like to thank Ann R. Egerton, without whose help this fic never would've been completed. She gave me, a new author, advice on character, dialogue, and plot, and I thank her very much. I would also like to thank Michael and David DeLaubenfels, for being good listeners and helping me to come up with the ways that our hero took out each of the Predacons in turn. I would also like to thank Benson Yee, without his website with scripts of "Code of Hero," I would've done a much poorer job on this fic.

Disclaimer: Beast Wars and all related characters belong to Hasbro and Mainframe. This version of "Code of Hero," which was originally written by Ian Weir, is a version of my own.

Code of Vermin
by: Adam Safran

Dinobot looked up at the sky. Everything now served to remind him that he had lost his honor. He had given the Golden Disk back to Megatron, betrayed his trust to the Maximals, and had betrayed every precept that he held true to. He had proven to himself that he was a hypocrite, without honor. Without honor, how could he win himself a place in the Matrix from an honorable death? He had lost what was most sacred to him, and saw no way to regain it. Without what was most important to him, he could not go on. His sword came to right below his chest, hovered there for a few seconds, hesitated, and then it plunged in, barely missing his spark.

A voice came over the comm, "Dinobot, this is Optimus. I need you to review your planned patrol route with me. Dinobot, are you there? Slaggit Dinobot, answer me! Rhinox, come with me. Dinobot has some explaining to do."

A few moments later there was the sound of feet stomping in the hallway. A deep voice came out and grumbled, starting to sound alarmed, "His door is locked. I can't open it, or override it."

A pause before a very commanding voice responded, "Dinobot, can you hear me? Dinobot, has something happened?" The voice paused, and there was no answer. "Slaggit, that's it, we're coming in! Rhinox, I want that door open NOW!" the commanding voice screamed.

Rhinox ripped the door off the wall, and he gasped at what he saw. He'd seen a lot of horrible things in his long lifetime, but this topped the list. "Frag it all to the Pit, he tried to take his life! Optimus, help me take him to the CR chamber. This is an emergency!" Dinobot was carefully picked up off of the ground, mech fluid squirting everywhere, and cradled by Rhinox like a baby. Rhinox then raced, for Dinobot's life was depending on how fast he ran, to the CR chamber. He nearly threw Dinobot in, and then he closed the door to the CR chamber and programmed it for one of its toughest jobs yet.

Several hours later, the worst was over. Dinobot was repaired enough to survive, and for now he would be in his quarters, on an energon drip, and under constant monitoring. Attempts at suicide among Transformers was almost unheard of, and no one wanted Dinobot to try again. All of the Maximals knew what he had gone through, and none of them wanted to lose a friend. One little bot most of all, though if you told him that he would deny it vehemently.

Rattrap entered Dinobots quarters. "Hey, Lizardlips. Of all the stunts you've pulled this one takes the cake! How could you ever..." the rat-bot shouted.

Dinobot interrupted rather calmly, "Shut up Vermin. The time for instults is over. I do not want to stay in this world any longer, for I have lost my honor, and without my honor I have nothing to live for. I must entrust you with a task, a task that was my own until I became unworthy of it. It is a matter of honor that it be carried out, to preserve what is left of mine, and of the Maximals."

Rattrap stammered, "Wha-, Chopperface, common, you just can't get up and quit on us. And why me, I mean, why not Boss Monkey? I mean, he'd be much better for the task at hand than me. And what the heck is it that you're talking about?"

Dinobot responded, sighing, "You are the most experienced Maximal here, in the arts of war. You had an excellent service record in the Great War, and you were the only Maximal here with any kind of military experience, besides myself. In that you are the most worthy to take on my task. Now it is time that I tell you what is on the Golden Disk. It is a recording from the Voyager Spacecraft sent from Earth in the latter half of the human's twentieth century. It contains a message from the original MEGATRON!"

Rattrap was stunned, "Sweet Ghouda! That guy was one tough nut. He made ol Purple Puss look like Wheelie."

Dinobot continued, "Yes, he did. Megatron was an excellent warrior with no honor. He sought to defeat his foes through every kind of treachery imaginable. He was eventually defeated by the Autobots. However, he took precautions against that eventuality. On the disk is a message from him instructing any Decepticons that happen upon the message, to use the soon-to-be discovered technology of Transwarp to go back in time, and prevent his defeat from occurring by altering the time stream through the destruction of the Autobot's on the Ark. He provided much information and plans for the possibilities of altering time, so that his successor would be well aware of all possibilities, and to take advantage of them. I failed to see the scope of his plans, and now it falls to you to prevent this calamity from occurring. For if Megatron succeeds, than all history is lost."

"I, I, I need to think about this," Rattrap stuttered, as he ran from the room. He needed some time alone, and for once the garbage heaps couldn't give any comfort. So he left the Axalon quickly telling Optimus that he was going out on patrol, not noticing that his patrol would take him within several kilometers of a particular valley...

* * *
Cheetor was not having a good day. He'd been flying out on patrol, when he'd spotted Megatron and Rampage in some sort of Valley, and then they'd blasted him, spoiling his plans of following the Preds discreetly and finding out what they were up to. He decided that it was time to cut his losses and retreat, and he radioed in to base. "Cheetor to base. Cheetor to anybody, come in!"

Rattrap was the first to hear him. "Hey pussycat, what ball of yarn have you dug up this time?"

Cheetor responded, frantically as he was dodging blasts from Megatron and Rampage, " I'm teachin' a solo lesson to Megatron an' Rampage. Trouble is, they're slow learners, an'--" He was sent flying as a blast from one of the Preds nearly knocked him out of the sky.

Rattrap broke in, "Hey pussycat, what happened, they play rough?"

Cheetor laughed, "No, they only winged me, but this is too big a mess for this kitty-cat to stay around and play with. But still, the Preds must be up to something big, and you're the only one in the area, so it's up to you to check on them."

Rattrap growled, but he felt that the best way to get the mass of emotion he was feeling out of his system was to blast some Preds. "Why me? Why do I always get these scrap assignments. Oh, well, might as well go and die."

Cheetor laughed again as he flew off, "You'll never die, Rattrap. You're too much of a coward, unlike this cool cat."

Rattrap sighed, "Youths. Well, you're right about one thing junior; I'm never gonna die. Say hello to the boss monkey for me, and make sure Chopperface is eating his soup."

Megatron laughed. Here he was, with the Golden Disk once again in his possession, and nothing could stop him. The only obstacle in his plans, Dinobot, was out of the picture. He looked to the hologram on the Golden Disk, and compared it with the mountain that Rampage had just blasted. Where once had been a pure, snow white mountain both now and on the disk, there was now a large mountain with the rim missing on both the disk and in reality.

Rattrap, who was watching above, was shocked to his core processor. "Chopperface was right. With that Disk, Megatron can change the future. When reality alters, the Disk alters with it. He knows about the past, and with that knowledge, he can change the future! Aw man, we're all gonna die!"

Megatron looked once more into the Valley. "Now. According to this disk, the human race is destined to emerge from this valley." He hissed, and continued in a low voice, "Humans. Thanks to their interference the Autobots defeated the Decepticons, and thus it is the Maximals which rule us." And he began to crow, "But no longer. No-o. Destiny is about to undergo an improvement. PREDACONS, DESTROY THE VALLEY, AND WITH IT THE FUTURE OF THE MAXIMALS! BWAHAHAHHAHAHAHAH!!!!"

Rattrap had heard enough. It was time to do the smart thing. Call for backup and get the heck out of there. "Base, this is Rattrap. I've got a little situation on my hands."

Optimus responded within microseconds. "This is Optimus. What's going on out there Rattrap?"

Rattrap screamed as he had never screamed before, "Code Red situation extreme! The Preds are about to change history, and take us with it!"

Optimus was shocked, and realized the enormity of the event. Rattrap might be prone to exaggeration, and complaining, but he never lied. Rattrap was among his most trusted Maximals, if least liked. If he said the situation was that bad, then it was that bad. "We'll be there as soon as we can. In the meantime, fall back and wait for us!"

Rattrap looked out into the Valley, where the Preds were having a great big barbecue. He realized, that by the time the Maximals arrived, it would be too late, and the Valley would be gone, and with it, the future. He had a decision to make. There was no way that he could stop all of the Preds and get out with his skin intact, but he made a promise. And spy, saboteur, and liar that he might be, he kept his promises. While he hadn't exactly promised Dinobot anything, Dinobot was among his best friends here on Earth, and he wasn't about to let that go. If it wasn't for his honor, then let it be for his friend's. And he didn't spend millions of years fighting Megatron, Shockwave, Galvatron, and all of their Decepticon buddies to let it all be undone by this walking pile of slag, with an ego big enough to be his predecessor's. He wasn't going to be taken out by one Megatron after all of the years he'd spent fighting the other. The future was in his hands, and he wasn't about to let it slip through his fingers. The battle was joined. The setting sun was right at his back as he charged headfirst into the Preds, gun blazing wildly.

First he charged Rampage, who was the most powerful Predacon, and the one capable of doing the most damage. Rampage was in tank mode, and he turned to face Rattrap, preparing to fire his main cannon. Rattrap scooped up several large rocks, and threw them with the accuracy of a Cy Young Award winner who had been playing the game for centuries. One rock slammed its way into each of Rampage's three cannons, and when Rampage fired, his missiles exploded prematurely, and he was blown in half. Rattrap was sent flying into a tree, where several coconuts fell on his head, making his ears ring.

Next the scraped up rodent-warrior went after Inferno, who was happily blazing away at several trees with his flamethrower. Rattrap pulled out a futuristic welding torch, and he disconnected the fuel canister, which was full of some of the most explosive material in existance. He hurled the bottle at Inferno, who brought his flamethrower around to intercept. Instant explosion. Inferno, who was at the center of the explosion, was blown into hundreds of pieces. Rattrap, who was still fairly close, was heavily damaged.

He struggled to his feet to see Blackarachnia, the Black Widow, pointing her poison dart crossbow at him. Remembering a move that Cheetor had once pulled on her, he caught the dart, and hurled it right back at her. It struck her right between the eyes, and she fell to the ground with a moan as her own poison swept through her systems, forcing her into statis lock.

Quickstrike and Waspinator attacked as a duo next. Quickstrike fired his snake cannon at Rattrap, and Waspinator moved into hand-to-hand. Rattrap did what he had done hundreds of times when in this kind of situation. He grabbed Waspinator, used him as a shield while Quickstrike blasted him, and then hurled the unconscious Waspinator into Quickstrike, knocking him out as well.

Rattrap then had one foe left, the most dangerous of them all. The holder of the Golden Disk. Megatron. Rattrap turned to face the archenemy of the Maximals, but was nailed by a blast from Megatron's fusion cannon, and he dropped his blaster. The damage was beginning to slow him down. His computer announced that he had taken too much damage and energy loss, and should go into statis lock to prevent further detereoration. If he did that then Megatron would win. Rattrap overrode his computer, and prepared himself for the final battle with Megatron. Only one of them would walk away from this, he felt.

Megatron laughed at the troublesome rodent. "What are you going to do now to me, rodent? Squeak at me? Try to give me a disease? You have lost your weapons, and are heavily damaged. What hope do you have? Your Maximal friends will be too late to save you, or this Valley. I have the Golden Disk, and you have nothing."

Rattrap struggled to stand upright, and played one of his last cards, "Hey, Megajerk. Yer fallin for what yer predecessor always fell for, underestimating his opponents. If he had given Prime an ounce of respect as an adversary, he might've won. But nooooo. And Prime kicked his tailpipe across the galaxy, and the Autobots won. And you're trying to do something that you can't succeed at, because you don't give us the credit we deserve. Catch!" And with those last words he hurled his tail sword at Megatron. It hit Megatron right in the chest, knocking open his chest compartment, and sending the Golden Disk flying. Right into Rattraps hands.

Megatron was shocked. "Give it to me Rodent, and I might let you live."

Rattrap smiled, and said defiantly back, "No, I know the danger that this represents, and if you keep it, what you can do to the galaxy. I won't let a baby play with a fusion cannon. And you're the baby. I've seen friends die to defeat bozos like you, for the cause, and I'm willing to die too, if it will keep you from winning."

Megatron laughed, "No, I know you too well rodent. You're too much of a self-preservationist, and a coward, to die to stop me. Yyyyeeesssss, I will take the Disk from your dying hands."

Rattrap said what he would remember as his last words, "Then try, Purple Puss." And with that Megatron charged.

Rattrap pulled two things from his arm compartments. Two small, rather powerful demolition charges. In the past they had taken down mountains. They wouldn't have any trouble taking down a two-bit imitator. He waited until Megatron was just a few meters away, and then he detonated them both.

KABOOM!!

Megatron was heavily damaged, and Rattrap was at the point of death. As for the Golden Disk, that was in pieces scattered across the Valley floor. None of the remains was bigger than a centimeter. Megatron howled a howl from the pain, anguish, and how close he had been. "I will finish you slowly and painfully, for what you have done, yyyyeeeeesssss. Do you realize what you have done, you have let my people, the Predacons, live in bondage again!"

"Tell it to someone who cares, Barney," Rattrap said, becoming much weaker. Megatron slowly closed the distance between them, intending to get enjoyment from finishing the Maximal, when the rest of the Maximals arrived. They all opened fire upon Megatron, and he ran, screaming about how unfair it all was, and how close he'd been.

Cheetor released a gas from his compartments that put out the fires. The Maximals gathered around their fallen comrade.

Rattrap turned to his comrades, slowly and painfully. "Did any of the little human buggers survive?"

Optimus responded, with sadness as well as joy, "Yes, they all did. Well fought, old friend, you saved the valley. You saved us all with your heroics."

"And the Golden Disk?", Rattrap asked feebly.

"I see a few shards of it, here and there.", Cheetor told him.

Rattrap turned to Dinobot. "Mission accomplished, Chopperface. Megatron ain't changin' history on MY watch."

"Indeed, no. And you have proven beyond a doubt that you have honor--more honor than I will ever have.", said Dinobot.

"You're the best of us all, Rattrap, and you're the best friend I've ever had.", Rhinox said.

"Is there nothing we can do for him?", asked Cheetor.

"No, he's too far gone, even for stasis lock.", said Rhinox sorrowfully.

"Remember all the good times, and Chopperface, you still are the ugliest thing that I have ever seen. Tell my story, to old comrades, and new. Please, don't let me be forgotten..." and the hero drone off, as he went offline, permanantly.

Rattrap sighed a final sigh, and his spark floated out of his chest, to join the greatest heroes of all time. Dinobot slowly watched the spark rise, and then stood up as stiff as he could, saluting his best friend, ally, and fellow warrior.

Optimus sadly said, "He lived a rodent... and died a hero. Let his Spark join the Matrix with the greatest of Cybertron."

* * *
At the Maximal base, the Maximal flyers flew above, in a three pronged "missing man" formation, scattering sparks and gases in a display of beauty. Dinobot looked for one last time at his friend, whom he had never appreciated until it was too late, and pulled the lever. Rattrap was given a recycling with full honors, a fate he would've protested, but which the hero he was he deserved. Dinobot resolved then, that he would not forget his friends valiant sacrifice, how Rattrap had died because of his loss of honor, and how he had been cleansed. Dinobot would not let his sacrifice be in vain, for that would be doing a dishonor to the most honorable Maximal of them all.

Rule

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