The X Factor

(or The Transformers vs. The X-Men)

by Phantom

Well, here it is -- the crossover you never thought you'd see! Come to think of it, there ARE some stranger ones out there.... Anyway, this was actually my first fanfic, which I began last year but put it aside in favor of others, and now I am resurrecting it. Any comments, flames, and other communication will be appreciated. I don't bite -- I only nibble a bit. :)
Disclaimer time (collective groan): The Transformers are owned by Hasbro and various other companies (namely, not me). The X-Men are owned by Marvel and probably some other companies too (also not me). Other than Phantom, who is my creation, somebody else holds the rights to these characters. (Whew! Glad that's over!)

Chapter One

"Just when I thought I'd seen everything," grumbled Wolverine as he scowled at the newspaper's front page. "'GIANT ROBOTS ATTACK NUCLEAR POWER PLANT'. And I thought the Sentinels were bad news!"

"I thought you didn't read The Enquirer," Cyclops commented, his voice slightly muffled. He withdrew his head from the refrigerator, a carton of orange juice in his hand.

"Giant robots? Give me a break," Jubilee groaned. "That reporter's becoming as loony as the nuts he writes about. Hey, can I have the funnies?"

"Let me see that," said Phantom. Wolverine handed her the newspaper. She brushed back her long black hair as she skimmed the article. "If this attack on the power plant is genuine, we could have a problem on our hands."

"Problème?" inquired a thick Cajun accent. "Mais mademoiselle, there can be no problem when Gambit is around. Bonjour, mes amis."

"Bonjour, Gambit," Phantom replied. "Comment allez-vous? Ca va?"

"Ah, comme-ci comme-ca, chere. Can't complain. What's this about a problem?"

"Somebody's been sniffin' news ink too long," growled Wolverine.

Phantom held out the newspaper. "Look at this, Gambit. I may have just joined the X-Men, but I've seen my share of weird things. I don't think we should dismiss this so easily."

"Can't I at least finish my Wheaties before I save the world?" Jubilee complained.

//Professor//, Phantom called out telepathically. //I think you should come look at this.//

//On my way, Phantom//, Professor Xavier replied, using his own telepathic powers.

Several minutes later, the Professor glided in on his yellow hoverchair. Cyclops addressed him. "Good morning, Professor. Would you like some orange juice?" He held out the container.

"No thanks, Scott." Cyclops shrugged as he drained his glass. The Professor smiled. "It is nice to have a peaceful breakfast for once, though. What did you want to show me, Laurie?"

"I'm worried about this." Phantom pointed out the bold-faced article on the newspaper's front page. "Giant robots aren't the usual headline material."

"Hmm," the Professor murmured as he glanced over the article. "They obviously aren't Sentinels. I wonder -- could the government create such robots? Judging from this picture, each robot is different. The Sentinels are invariably the same and are made from the same mold. No, I don't think that this has anything to do with the Sentinels. I'm glad you brought this to my attention, Phantom."

Wolverine snorted. "Don't tell me you're falling for some pathetic journalist's attempt to win a Pulitzer."

The Professor reached for the stack of waffles in the center of the table. "Wolverine, I've learned to never dismiss anything that seems unusual, or even impossible. You -- in fact, all of us at this table -- are living proof that the impossible can happen."

Phantom grinned. "Maybe the rest of the world fears and hates us, but I enjoy being different. It must be horribly boring to be normal."

"I imagine so," the Professor chuckled. "Anyway, we cannot afford to dismiss anything that seems impossible, for we know that nothing is truly impossible."

"I can use Cerebro to find out more about these robots," Phantom suggested.

Professor Xavier nodded at her. "Thank you, Phantom. We need to find out whatever we can. Jean can lend a hand if you need it."

* * * * *

"I'm worried, Prowl," stated the Autobot leader. "The Decepticons' attacks have gotten more aggressive in their quest for energy."

"Don't worry about it, Prime. I'm already thinking of strategical moves to make against the Decepticons."

"But that's not my main concern, Prowl. As leader of the Autobots, it is my duty to protect the beings of this planet. In a way, it is my fault that the Decepticons are on Earth." Optimus Prime looked distressed. "If I hadn't ordered the Autobots to take the Ark, our largest spaceship, and search for energy, we never would have crashed on this planet."

Prowl spoke patiently, attempting to reassure his leader. "You know that it's not your fault, Optimus. We were desperately low on energy, and the Decepticons were planning to use their energy to take control of the entire universe! We had to search for energy to put a halt to their conquest of Cybertron. Also, we never would have had to crash-land on this planet in the first place if the Decepticons hadn't attacked us in space."

Prime spoke thoughtfully. "Perhaps you're right, Prowl. You know that you are my most trusted advisor. But I can't help feeling responsible for the destruction of the Earthlings' property, not to mention the injuries that they have suffered at the hands of the Decepticons. What's worse, I had hoped to conceal our presence on this planet. That is one of the reasons why we can transform and hide our true nature from the beings that habitate this world. The Decepticons have now made our concealment impossible. I fear that our presence alone will cause panic."

"It is true that the Decepticons will cause untold damage to this world, unless we stop them," agreed Prowl. "We have no choice but to expose ourselves to stop them."

"If only there were some other way," Prime mused. "If only there were a way to win the humans' trust. If only they could learn to trust us, instead of fearing us. We could do much as allies."

Prowl shook his head. "That would take a lot of work, Optimus. I don't know if we can ever forge an alliance with the humans. Our efforts would be better spent on stopping the Decepticons from draining this world of its energy. I'm going to double-check the Ark's security defenses. I suggest you focus your thoughts on stopping the Decepticon menace."

Prime watched as his advisor left the room, then let his head droop slightly. If only there were a way to stop the Decepticons from destroying this planet, as they had done to the Transformers' beloved planet of Cybertron. He felt the burden of responsibility bearing down on him heavily.

* * * * *

"Amazing," murmured Phantom.

"What have you found?" Jean asked.

Phantom sat up straight in her chair, removing the helmet that had connected her to Cerebro, the incredibly powerful super-computer that used telepathy to function. Jean Grey was usually the one to use Cerebros, aside from Professor X, but the Professor had decided that his new pupil would benefit from learning how to interact with Cerebro.

"I think," Phantom said slowly, "that we should call a meeting. This information needs to be shared with everyone." //Professor//, she thought. //I believe that all of the X-Men need to hear my findings.//

//Agreed//, replied the Professor. //X-Men, there will be a meeting held in the War Room in five minutes. Your attendance is mandatory.//

Exactly five minutes later, the entire X-Men Gold and Blue teams were seated in the War Room. It was a rather tight fit, and Storm, who had claustrophobia, was beginning to feel a bit uncomfortable. Her discomfort was forgotten, however, when the Professor cleared his throat.

"Thank you for your attendance, my X-Men. I am aware that this meeting has been called on short notice, but we have encountered a problem that may require our special talents. Phantom, please enlighten us to what you have discovered."

Phantom calmly surveyed her teammates as she spoke. "There have been reports of large robots attacking areas all over America. I am aware of the Sentinels' existence, but clearly this is not their work. From what I was able to observe with Cerebro, the government is at a loss to explain their presence. Also, it seems that the military lacks the power to stop these robots. I did notice a pattern within their attacks. These robots have targeted energy facilities for their raids. I am certain that this is an important clue to their motives. As of yet, I have been unable to determine what they plan to do with their stolen energy, but I'm sure that it can't be anything good."

"You mean that these gigantic metal monsters actually exist? Bummer!" exclaimed Jubilee.

The Professor addressed his pupils once again. "These strange beings pose a threat to the continent, and possibly the entire world. The military is obviously ill-prepared to deal with this menace. The attack on the power plant alone has caused millions of dollars of damage, thirty-eight injuries, and seven fatalities. This time, humans and mutants alike are threatened. I know that the world is not ready to accept mutants, and that we are both hated and feared for our abilities. But there is no telling what these robots may do. We must put a stop to these energy raids as soon as possible!"

"But sir," Cyclops spoke up, "how will we know where they will strike next?"

"I have programmed Cerebro to search for any unusual activity across the United States. If these robots attempt another attack, we will know about it at once."

With those words, alarms began to sound. The dull monotone of Cerebro reported, "Activity of large robots reported at Bowley Dam in northern Oregon."

"These guys work fast," drawled Rogue with a thick Southern accent. "We'll just have to teach these fellas some good old-fashioned manners!"

Professor X ordered, "X-Men, take the Blackbird and stop these robots before they cause untold damage. Good luck!"

"We won't let you down, Professor!" Cyclops vowed.

end of Chapter One

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