Author's Note Please Read: I know I've been a bit MIA for a few months. I've had a lot of life changes. I'm not sure how quickly I'll be able to produce chapters for this story (I now have a weekly webcomic on Comic Fury under the same pen name and I'm doing a few other projects outside of work). I do have the second chapter written, but I'm not sure how quickly it will be posted. I would prefer to have the third chapter written before I post the next one. As it took me six months to write chapter 2 after writing chapter 1, it might be a while. Never fear, all of my stories will be completed.
So this story is a continuation of a few stories. It's loosely tied to Lost and Alone and Wailing in the Night (so it would be a Bluestreak trilogy). This is a direct sequel to Witness and Devotee.
As of right now this story will be rated T, however depending on how far I want to take this story it could end up with a slightly higher rating.
As always constructive criticism is always wanted and appreciated. Please enjoy.
Bumblebee loved watching humans go about their daily lives. He saw how they would greet each other with a smile and ask how they were doing. He watched as the children chased each other in the park while the adults gossiped and took pictures. He wondered if Cybertron had been like this once upon a time. The war had long since destroyed anything that would resemble a human playground when he had been a sparkling. He did know some Cybertronian greetings, but he had little experience outside of the military decorum usually implemented (Jazz was an exception not a rule).
"Bee buddy you okay?" asked Daniel Witwicky as he opened Bee's passenger door when he couldn't get the yellow car's attention.
"Hmm, oh I'm fine Dan," said Bee. "Did you get all of the stuff on the list? Eleanora sounded desperate."
"Dad said that would end as soon as she hit the third trimester," said Daniel. "And yes I did get everything. I don't want her bursting into tears again because I forgot her favorite dessert."
"Did Carly have anything to say?"
"Yeah, 'deal with it'. I swear mom is eating this up. She can't wait to be a grandmother," said Daniel scratching his head.
Bumblebee chuckled, "Well I'm excited. You were so cute as a kid. I can't wait to see mini you."
"Well Eleanora's abuela thinks the baby is going to look like the perfect mix of both of us," said Daniel. "I hope he looks more like Eleanora. I'd feel bad if he got my ears," said Daniel laughing. "How's Blue been?"
"He's his usual chatty self. He was interviewed a few nights ago on a late night talk show. I think he enjoyed it," said Bumblebee.
"Nice," said Daniel. "The perks of being Cybertron's ambassadors to Earth."
"We're not ambassadors," snorted Bumblebee "More like the staff at the embassy."
Daniel laughed as Bumblebee pulled up to his apartment building. "Thanks for taking me, Bee," said Daniel. "Don't forget the baby shower is next week. Remind Blue for us will you?"
"Will do," said Bumblebee. "Let me know if you need to escape or go on an emergency ration run."
"It won't last much longer," said Daniel. "I hope."
The drive back to the Cybertronian Embassy was not too far. Though the Arc was still functioning inside the volcano on the west coast of the United States it crashed into, Optimus Prime had graciously accepted several new locations around the world for Cybertronian embassies. Bumblebee was currently headed to the one about a half hour from Washington DC. It was close enough to be polite, but far enough away to avoid the worst of DC traffic.
Bumblebee pulled up to one of the smaller buildings near the embassy and transformed. "Bluestreak I'm back," he called as he entered the relatively large living space he shared with Bluestreak. The humans could have fit four large families in the space. "Daniel is nowhere near the wreck Spike was when Carly was pregnant. I think he'll survive this without having his hair turn grey" He didn't hear a response. "Bluestreak?"
Bluestreak's door whooshed open. "Sorry Bee," said Bluestreak his helm out the door. "I couldn't hear you."
"What are you doing?" asked Bumblebee as he came into Bluestreak's room. Bluestreak was gathering the few possessions he owned.
"I got a message from Prowl," said Bluestreak. "He wants me to visit Praxis. Apparently they're about to start the rebuilding process and he thinks it would be good for me to go. It might bring some closure."
"Oh," said Bumblebee. "Do you think it will?"
Bluestreak sighed. His servos hovered over the few possessions he wanted to take with him. "I don't know. I had hoped to never go back."
"When are you headed out?"
"When the next transport gets here." said Blue. "Guess I'm missing the baby shower, huh. Will you give Daniel and Eleanora my present?" Bluestreak handed Bumblebee the wrapped bundle. "Do you think they'll like it?"
"A blanket big enough for a baby whale? I think they'll be thrilled with the fort possibilities," said Bumblebee.
Bluestreak heard the sarcasm. "Thanks, Bee, you're a real pal."
"No I'm serious," said Bumblebee. "I think Eleanora will appreciate the effort you made to hand make them a baby blanket." He checked the time. "Come on, that new show is going to be available to download soon. We can be the first to post reviews."
"Some things are definitely more fun when you're directly connected to the internet," said Bluestreak as he followed Bumblebee out into the living room.
"Except when you end up finding a fanfiction involving Hot Rod, Springer and some human fan girl," laughed Bumblebee.
"You found that fic too?" asked Bluestreak. "I liked her imagination, but she got some of our anatomy wrong."
"Wait you read the whole fic?" asked Bumblebee.
"I was curious," defended Bluestreak.
"Have you been able to look Hot Rod or Springer in the optic since reading that?"
"Blue, they'll be here on rotation next."
"Okay so I haven't seen them since I read the fic, but who knows, I might still be gone while they're here."
Bumblebee fell to the floor laughing. Bluestreak set up the TV so the show would start streaming. Bluestreak had to elbow Bumblebee to stop his laughter.
The show was pretty good, but nothing they hadn't seen before. Bumblebee had already figured out half the plot. He glanced at Bluestreak. "What do you think Prowl wants you to find in Praxis?"
"I don't know," said Bluestreak with a sigh. "I'm not even sure what closure means. Prowl faded out too quickly. He said he was near the ruins and that the connection wasn't very good."
"Well I hope you find, you know, whatever 'closure' is," said Bumblebee.
There was a long pause.
"Do you think there are any sparklings on Cybertron right now?" asked Bumblebee.
"I just think it would be cool, you know, to finally meet a sparkling," said Bumblebee.
"Is this because of Daniel?" asked Bluestreak.
Bumblebee rubbed his helm. "It might be," he said. "I just wish, I don't know, to meet a baby bot. Wheelie doesn't count. He was a youngling when we met him."
Bluestreak thought for a minute. "I bet you'd make a great guardian," he finally said.
"What?" said Bumblebee. "But I've never even seen a sparkling. How could I take care of one?"
"Can't be too hard if Ironhide and Chromia were able to take care of you," smiled Bluestreak.
"Thanks Blue," said Bumblebee as he elbowed Bluestreak.
"But seriously," said Bluestreak. "You're great around the humans and look how their kids love you. You're very good with them."
"Maybe," said Bumblebee.
"Come on, after this let's look at some of the cute videos the humans post of their offspring," said Bluestreak.
"I found this great one of a cat, a baby and a banana," laughed Bumblebee.
"Is it better than that really old one of the dog trying to teach the baby to crawl?" asked Bluestreak.
"That one's hard to beat," said Bumblebee.
Thundercracker onlined his optics a little too quickly. His helm felt like it was spinning and he fell out of his bunk.
"Hey mech, you alright?" asked one of his many roommates, a squat dark red mech with molten orange optics. He had awoken to when Thundercracker fell.
Thundercracker rubbed his helm. "Fine," he said. "I'm fine. Just a bad recharge cycle."
"War dreams?" asked the mech. Thundercracker offlined and then onlined his optics to clear his vision. He was having trouble recalling the mech's designation. Thundercracker had not bothered to learn many of the mech's names onboard their salvage ship.
After he had spent a few stellar cycles helping to rebuild Iacon and being rehabilitated to "Autobot standards", he had been allowed to join one of the salvage ships helping to find raw materials and wayward Cybertronians. There was a little bounty hunting on the side as well for both Autobots and Decepticons. Optimus Prime had requested they be brought back to Iacon to either stand trial for war crime or for rehabilitation. It was difficult to determine who should stand trial, since in war no one was innocent. Thundercracker had been surprised when he was permitted to join.
"Something like that," said Thundercracker almost too soft to hear.
"Yeah, I get 'em too," said the red mech. His designation had to have Iron in it. No that was that walking arsenal The Prime kept as a pet. Was it Runner? "My whole unit was taken out by 'Bots. Strange having them run the show now. Didn't think anyone would take out Megatron. Well, don't know how things would have gone if we had won. 'Bot sure wouldn't be alive."
"Megatron wasn't one to leave survivors," said Thundercracker. He was only half listening to the red mech prattle. He managed to pull himself back onto his berth.
"Nope, he wasn't," said the red mech. Gunner, the mech's designation was Gunner. "Seems kinda funny it was a little Praxian that finally took him out." Thundercracker jerked his helm up. "Oh, now I have your attention."
Thundercracker snorted. "I'm glad he made it," he said with a small smile. "Optimus is a better leader than we could have hoped for. He let us go, didn't he?"
"Some of our mechs are still locked up," said Gunner. He thought about that for a second. "But those mechs would have shot 'Bot or 'Con."
Thudercracker was barely paying attention to Gunner. One of his other roommate's engines sputtered in their recharge. Gunner rested his arms against his knees. "When's your next shift on his rust bucket?"
"2 cycles," said Thundercracker. "I landed first shift."
"Want to trade? I have third." Thundercracker raised an optic ridge at the mech. Gunner sighed. "You look like you lost a round to the Unmaker. Maybe some extra recharge will do you good."
Thundercracker couldn't help the small smile that formed. "Thanks mech. I owe you one."
"Forget about it," said Gunner. "You saved my hide more times than I can remember sir."
"I'm not a sir," said Thundercracker.
"Right, sorry, must have been some other Commander Thundercracker," said Gunner. He leaned back on to his berth. "Have a nice recharge."
"You too," said Thundercracker. He fell back into recharge almost right away.
The Helix Gardens sparkled during the night cycle. Praxus was a beautiful city, full of life and culture. Thundercracker leaned back and enjoyed the humming sensation of the crystals against his wings. It was peaceful.
And it was wrong. Praxus was gone. Thundercracker had been there when it had been raised to ground. He had been the one to-
"Brother, it seems you are enjoying the night."
Thundercracker turned toward a familiar voice. A light blue, almost grey Praxian built mech stood a few meters away.
"Grayscale?" gasped Thundercracker. His brother looked just like he had before Thundercracker had left to go to the academy in Vos. That was the last time he had seen his brother, until Praxus fell. Thundercracker shuttered his optics.
Thundercracker felt his brother take a seat next to him. "It is peaceful here," said Grayscale. His voice sounded like he was speaking through liquid. It echoed and felt distant. "I wish we could stay here forever. Do you remember when our carrier would bring us here?
Thundercracker opened his optics and turned to face his brother. "Why am I here?"
Grayscale smiled sadly. "I need your help."
"I thought I'd be the last mech you would want help from," muttered Thundercracker.
Grayscale laughed. "You still sulk the same way after all these vorns." His laughter echoed around the gardens. It was hollow and otherworldly.
"I do not sulk," said Thundercracker.
Thundercracker cleared his intakes. "Is there a reason you're here or is this just more cosmic punishment."
Grayscale sobered. "I'm not here to hurt you."
"You always say that when I have these dreams," said Thundercracker. "Some orns I wish you would hurt me, yell at me, or blame me. Primus I wish you would punish me!" The last was a shout. Grayscale continued to smile sadly at his brother.
"If it's atonement you seek, I have a request for you," said Grayscale. Thundercracker wilted in his seat.
"How will a request from ghosts atone for what I did?"
"The war was not your fault," said Grayscale. "It was your commanding officer who gave you those orders. It's Megatron's fault that Praxus is dead. You, your trine, were soldiers following orders."
"Yeah, that's right, I was following orders," snarled Thundercracker. "I never stopped and said that doesn't sound right. I never raised any objections."
"And just what would you have accomplished if you had?" asked Grayscale. Thundercracker bit his lip component. "Nothing, Megatron wouldn't have listened to you. He would have blasted a hole right where your spark is. I'm right aren't I?" Thundercracker winced at his brother's raised voice.
"You're right," said Thundercracker.
"And you risked everything to do what you could," reminded Grayscale. "During the fall and after." Thundercracker felt fluid fill his optics. "Will you help me?"
Thundercracker nodded his helm. He didn't trust himself to speak.
"Please return to Praxus."
Thundercracker's optics widened. "Why?" he asked.
"Do you remember those old sparkling tales carrier used to tell us?" asked Grayscale. Thundercracker found himself nodding again. His carrier had told them many stories about Praxus, while their sire had told them all of the myths of Vos. They had been a happy family before his sire had died suddenly, taking their carrier with him.
"What about those old tales?" asked Thundercracker.
"Do you remember the one about the red crystals?" asked Grayscale. "The one about the priest of Primus who fell to the temptation of Unicron and attempted to summon one of his pit spawn?"
"He tried to awaken a pit spawn in the form of a young Praxian, but the other priests learned of the plan and stopped it before anything could happen. The old north temple of Praxus was said to guard the tainted crystals the fallen priest tried to use," said Thundercracker. "The fallen priest would try to spirit anyone who got too close away to become possessed and be a vessel for Unicrone. It was one of our favorite ghost stories."
"It wasn't just a story," said Grayscale.
"You're not trying to tell me ghosts are real?" asked Thundercracker.
"Aren't you talking to a ghost?" countered his brother.
"This is a dream," said Thundercracker. "Just like all the other dreams you've been in."
"Of course it is," said Grayscale patting his servo. Grayscale felt cold and not quite solid. "What if I told you that after you left there was a report about a youngling and enforcer that were found in the depths of the north temple? The youngling had been homeless, though after the incident a family took them in, However, there were rumors that the youngling was more than a little odd. He was angry and violent all the time. Eventually the youngling ran off. The enforcer also was rumored to have been acting strange after the incident. He became cold and unable to feel any emotions."
"This actually happened?" asked Thundercracker.
"Everyone became interested in the story after that. The northern temple had to stop allowing the general population in until the hype died down," said Grayscale.
"Why are you telling me this?"
"Because the priest is still looking for a vessel," said Grayscale. "I need you to go to Praxus and stop him from finishing what he started."