By: Sinead

The child was not conceived easily.

The child was not born easily. The mother died in the process.

The child was not raised easily. The father didn't know how to deal with new habits and issues easily. The father didn't know how to understand the child easily. The father didn't know how to smile easily.

The father did, however, know how to train easily.

And so, he trained the child, raising it in discipline and honor, trial and error.

The child was endurant, and it thought of this training as something that was to be mastered, harnessed, and to be used only for the good of others. This child didn't mind the father's harsh ways, but still strived to cause the father to smile, to show at least the smallest piece of affection, which meant the world to the child.

The father understood this, and did what he could, little though that was. The child understood, and when it reached its coming of age, it began to wonder more about the vast universe around it, not just the small planet it resided upon. The father understood this, and by the child's fifteenth year, it was decided that the child would go on an exploration mission, to the far ends of the universe, and discover.

But the father disappeared before the final paperwork. His child set about, searching wildly, but it was soon discovered that the father had been branded as a criminal. The captain of the exploration team wouldn't hear any of the child staying alone on their world, so he took the child under his wing, despite her background and harsh ways.

And so, this is the child's story . . .

The Stasis Pod landed. Rattrap leaned against a tree, his Transmetal form reflecting the sunlight that wafted through the leaves. His mind wandered to a few days ago, when he lost his best friend. He knew it was his responsibility to tell his tale, and yet, it was a burden he was willing to bear.

The scanners retreated, and the bot's thoughts drifted to another bot, who he had met before they had started to go after Megatron's ship, with the Golden Disk on it. She wasn't what you could call the best one to put on a Maximal exploration team, as she was Predacon. But, Optimus wanted her to be with them, and so she was brought onto the voyage, although she wasn't accepted by the other Maximals, especially himself. Who could blame him? Rattrap's family had been killed by a group of renegade Predacons, who thought war was the only way to treat Maximals with.

The pod's door opened, and Rattrap saw a white cat's-eye staring out at him. It reminded him eerily of how Dinobot stared at him, when he was ready to attempt to kill him again. He walked closer. "Hey. Welcome ta do Maximal team, I guess. 'Ya comin' out?"

"Maybe, maybe not," the voice replied icily. Again, that feeling of déjà vu dissipated upon Rattrap, reminding him further of Dinobot.

"Uh . . . well . . . lissen, here. Do 'ya wanna get scrapped by da Preds or sumthin'?" he asked, preparing himself for an argument.

"Being a Predacon has nothing to do with it."

Rattrap stopped, and slapped his forehead. "Dat's it! You're dat Pred-girl dat da Big Cheese said was comin' wid us!"

The door was pushed upwards, and a slim, red-brown Velociraptor stepped out. "Well, the prejudiced cretin has finally learned to listen and remember, has he?"

That blew Rattrap's cool, and he insulted the recruit right back.

Optimus sighed. "Good. He found the pod."

"True, but why do you think that he hasn't called in?" Rhinox asked, stating the obvious.

Optimus shrugged, and indicated that Cheetor call him. The teenager did so. "Hey, Base to Rat-Breath. What's goin' on?"

All that was heard back, was, ". . . crazy Pred recruit!"

Optimus looked at the comm-link in surprise. This wasn't what he had been expecting. Neither did he expect the reply.

"Oh? Well, then, as my father said, 'Better crazy than a skidplate-kisser'!"

Cheetor snorted a laugh, trying not to remember who else would have said that.

Rattrap replied with gusto. "Skidplate-kissuh! Heh! Den dat's better 'n bein' an ignorant 'Raptuh!"

"Ignorant? I could count your processor's micro-chips on one hand, and have fingers left over!" An evil chuckle was heard. "And I only have three, in this form."

Silverbolt leaned towards Optimus, and said, "Where do you think she learned to insult like that?"

Optimus shook his head. "I have no clue, but I think that she's finally been accepted by Rattrap." He walked over to the comm-link, and gently pushed the laughing Cheetor out of the way, before fairly bellowing, "What is going on over there?!"

There was a surprised silence, before Rattrap answered meekly, "Nuttin'. I just was tellin' da recruit 'bout you guys."

"That's not what I heard. Both of you come back to the base. If I find out that either of you have tried to harm each other, you can bet that you'll be punished accordingly. Is that understood?"

"Perfectly," the recruit said lightly. "Nice to be talking to you again, Optimus."

"The feeling's mutual. And you, Rattrap?"

He heard a few mumblings from the rodent, before he gave a straight answer. "Yeah, yeah. We'll be right dere. Rattrap out."

The lift came back up with the recruit and Rattrap, both glaring death at each other. Even in her beast mode, she towered over the Maximal. Cheetor stared in open amazement at the fact that she was a Velociraptor. Both Optimus and Rhinox expected something like this, but had said nothing. However, Silverbolt was also staring at the 'Raptor, as if he expected her to just go ballistic, and kill everyone in the room. He had heard the comment about her being a Predacon, and wasn't sure on how he should treat her.

She walked off of the lift, and raised her head higher, to be fully at eye-level with Optimus. He smiled, and shook his head. "Wonderful to see you again. Have you given yourself a new name?"

She nodded, and replied, "Velobot."

Rattrap shuddered slightly, at the similarity of her and Dinobot's mane. When will it stop?

Optimus nodded to him, and he left the room, still not understanding. Nor would he, for a long time . . .

"Oh, fer bootin' up cold!"

"What did you do now? Blow a few more brain-chips?"

Rattrap jumped, hitting his head off of the panel he was under. "Aah! Dat's not cool!"

Velobot said nothing else, but, "Well?"

"Da holographic alignment system is broke."

Velobot came over, and said, "Turn it on."

Rattrap sighed, grumbling that he didn't see how it would make anything different. Velobot blinked at the fuzzy image, then transformed, roughly pushed Rattrap out of the way, and gave the alignment box a good, swift kick. The image jumped to perfection, and Velobot tested it slightly.

The Transmetal rat was ready to snap. Her face was . . . was . . .

Velobot turned to look at him. Her optics glanced over his face, and she sighed. "What now?"

Rattrap stopped, and looked away. "N-nuttin'."

Velobot walked into his line of sight, and frowned. The facial expression caused Rattrap to shake. The female backed a step up, then asked, "Are . . . are you functioning normally?"

Rattrap shook his head. "You . . . you look like one of my friends . . . dat we lost only a few days ago."

Velobot's face softened. "Who was he, Rattrap?"

The bot looked up sadly. "I dunno. He said dat 'is name was Dinobot. He . . . you look almost exactly like 'e did."

"That's because of who she is, Rattrap," Optimus said quietly. Rattrap looked at him, as the commander had entered the room almost silently. "She's his daughter."

Velobot turned swiftly. "What."

Optimus didn't say anything else. The young bot let out a strangled sob, and Rattrap saw her hands go up to her face. He looked at Optimus, whose face was as desolated as his soul felt. Rattrap walked over to Velobot, and touched her arm tentatively. She jerked, then looked at him. He sighed, and said, "You know how he was, about an honorable death."

Velobot nodded, not trusting her voice.

Rattrap's optics were full of lamentations. "He . . . he went out, savin' da human race."

Velobot nodded, but she crumpled, and knelt, holding her head in her hands. Rattrap knelt next to her, feeling obligated by the memory of Dinobot, to comfort the warrior's daughter, at any cost.

Even if it meant his pride.

Optimus looked in on the girl, sleeping peacefully for the first time in a week. Rattrap stood by the door, shaking his head. "I just can't believe that she's 'is kid, 'ya know?"

Optimus smiled, and patted his friend's shoulder. "I'm sure that, in time, she'll understand what you feel for her."

Rattrap spluttered, then sighed. "Figures you'd find dat out."

"You and Cheetor both."

Rattrap sighed, and looked back at Velobot. He sighed, and said, "Choppuhface's swords collection is still here."

"I'd give them to her, if I were you."

"Dat's what I was thinkin', but I didn't want 'ya to think dat I was goin' all soft on da girl."

"Rattrap . . ."

The smaller bot smirked, then shrugged. "Eh, well . . . it could be worse."