Hot Shot's Childhood
Time of Recovering
The headmaster clearly did not see the horrified expression that had come to Hot Shot's face as he started to speak again: "The need for counselling was of course to be expected. You have just finished going through a very traumatic experience, after all."
"I'm not crazy!" Hot Shot screeched suddenly, causing the headmaster to stare at him in something akin to wonder. Hot Shot had now gotten the attention of his audience and was not finished with his tirade yet. "You don't understand anything! I don't need a shrink, I don't want one!"
"Dear boy, no one has claimed you to be crazy", Datamist said, his expression growing grim. "This is a necessary precaution for the sake of the safety of both you and of those around you."
"You're saying I'm a crazy nutcase that needs to be locked away?" Hot Shot snapped heatedly, the question having a sharp enough edge to chop the man in front of the boy to pieces. But Datamist ignored the last outburst completely in favour of saying: "You will be arranged to meet a well accomplished expert, who will help you get over this experience and also guide you to take hold of normal life again."
"Normal life?" Hot Shot questioned heatedly, letting out a bitter laugh. "My life is far from normal, Mr headmaster. You don't know about half of the scrap I've been forced to endure! You have no idea what it's like to be me! No one understands!"
In the heat of his own emotions Hot Shot did not notice the other occupant of the room approach him until he was securely wrapped within strong arms. The ranting and yelling youth quieted down immediately, leaning into the by now familiar touch.
"Please, Hot Shot", Optimus whispered quietly. "It might help to soothe your pain. It kills me to see you suffer like this."
For the second time that day Hot Shot had tears blurring his vision. Small droplets of energon ran down his cheeks as he noticed that only in Optimus' arms he held no pain. Smiling for the first time since his ordeal had started Hot Shot spoke: "Optimus...I l-" Hot Shot did not even get halfway through with his sentence before he felt his head implode. The pain had his vision turning black as he screamed as loud as he could, but no sound came from his lips. The pain passed away quickly, leaving Hot Shot feeling strangely numb as a voice that sounded mistakably like his own spoke: "Let go of me! We don't need you and I. Don't. Want. You. Here!" The last word was screamed loudly as Cold Gaze yanked his body out of Optimus' arms. "Stay away from us!"
Hot Shot could still and hear what was happening, even though he had been reduced to a mere observer, as Cold Gaze continued to tell Optimus to never come near them again. But Optimus would not relent. No, he was actually looking at the child in front of him with new understanding, like he had suddenly gotten an answer to all of the questions he had ever asked.
There was a sudden wave of surprise from Cold Gaze when Optimus suddenly swept the yellow transformer into his arms, against his wide chest.
"You are such a gentle sparked person, Hot Shot", Optimus spoke quietly and suddenly Hot Shot could lift his hands to brush against the deep red armor. Somehow, possibly because of the shock, Cold Gaze had retreated back to his own spot right behind Hot Shot's own mind. Hoping against everything his common sense was telling him Hot Shot put his faith in Optimus, allowing himself to believe that the older bot knew what was wrong and would save him like before.
"Help me", Hot Shot whispered quietly, pleadingly, as he surrendered himself to the feeling of belonging Optimus had been able to awaken in him ever since they had first met.
"Hello, you must be Hot Shot", a faint red femme bot started as soon as Hot Shot walked into the office-like room of the doctor he had been assigned to. "Go lie down, sweetie, I'll get to you as soon as I'm finished." The femme was currently sitting behind a computer, tapping furiously on the keyboard. Hot Shot did as was requested and went to sit down in the chair in front of the doctor's desk.
After a while the fast typing slowed down and ceased completely. Hot Shot sat perfectly still and watched the femme nervously as startling, bright green optics turned their attention to him. The femme gave a small smile as she started speaking: "I am doctor Sphere." She tapped on a single key on her keyboard and glanced briefly at the computer screen. "I know all about your case, Hot Shot. You have absolutely nothing to worry about. This is my speciality."
"I highly doubt that", Hot Shot muttered sceptically not sure if it had been him at all who had spoken the words. He had been a bit unsure about that ever since Cold Gaze faced off Optimus in the headmaster's office. After that event Hot Shot had said a lot of things that were straight from Cold Gaze's thoughts and he often found himself moving when he had not intended to. It had been going on for three days now.
"I specialize in harmonic sound waves", Sphere spoke like she had not heard Hot Shot's comment. "Do you know what harmonic sound does?"
Hot Shot shook his head, and briefly thought that ComCom would probably know.
Sphere studied Hot Shot for a brief moment before speaking: "Harmonic sound waves affect our sparks directly. I specialize in spark therapy. So you know what spark therapy does?"
"It's supposed to calm a person down, right?" Hot Shot replied, only slightly unsure of his response. Sphere nodded her head and continued: "But what I'm going to do for you is slightly different from normal spark therapy. I'm going to try to find a certain frequency that will have a conscious-dimming effect on your spark." The doctor gave Hot Shot a steady look. "I'm going to try to put the other you into sleep."
"W-what?" Hot Shot stuttered in amazement. "How do you know about that?"
"I told you that I know all about your case", Sphere replied as she clicked some more keys and looked at something on her computer screen. "I don't think you have been properly informed about your situation as of yet. Am I correct?" At Hot Shot's nod the femme started explaining: "As you surely know, a transformer's spark is created from the energy released at the collision of two sparks. But sometimes this energy charge is so strong that two sparks are born instead of just one, resulting in twin sparks. These sparks are supposed to be separated immediately to avoid the two personas melting together. Because the melting process is so fast, most transformer twins have easily predictable natures. While one of the twins is emotional and all in all a completely normal child then other one is emotionally deprived, unable to settle in among other children. Do you follow?" Once again the green optics focused on Hot Shot and the yellow bot nodded. "This is what has happened with you. You have two sparks instead of just one and they have melded together so that they are close to impossible to separate. But the other spark is unable to survive in the society so this separate entity is likely to cause you a lot of problems and grief in the future. This is why we will try to use harmonic sound waves to make the other spark go dormant."
Hot Shot listened to Sphere's explanation intently and as the femme finished he glanced down to his lap, deep in thought. So Cold Gaze was really his brother, twin brother at that. The yellow bot glanced up again to see Sphere getting up from her chair and walking across the office.
"Follow me", the doctor said and Hot Shot jumped down from his seat and scurried off after the red transformer. When he came to the femme's side he noticed that Sphere was a lot shorter than the other transformers he had encountered. She was only a head taller than Hot Shot. Sphere opened a door at the side of the room and lead Hot Shot into a smaller room that had a recharge bed on the one side and some equipment on the other side. Hot Shot suspected the equipment to be there to create the harmonic sounds the femme had been talking about all that time. But there was still one thing that bothered Hot Shot.
"Um...doctor?" Hot Shot started, bringing the gaze of the haunting green optics to himself. "You said the sound waves you will be trying to reach will put Cold Gaze to sleep. Won't it do the same to me?" That was something that really had Hot Shot on the edge. He did not want to fall into a sleep he might not wake up from. The red femme gave Hot Shot a reassuring smile as she responded: "Different sparks react to different sound levels. It has a lot to do with your personality which sound waves affect you. You couldn't possibly share a personality with the other spark so there is nothing to worry about. Just tell me if you start to feel strange or tired."
Hot Shot nodded his head and went to the recharge bed, climbing on top of it and lying down. That was one thing he did not need instructions for, even if everything else happening left him feeling at a loss. When his head hit the surface of the recharge bed he heard Sphere's softly muttered comment: "He named it, that is rather unusual."
"I didn't name Cold Gaze", Hot Shot cut in, wanting to the get that point across. "He told me his name himself." A curious and peculiar look came to Sphere's face at Hot Shot's words but the femme quickly went back to her professional self, smiling encouragingly at Hot Shot.
"I'm going to turn this thing on now, so just relax and tell me if something begins to feel different."
"Okay", Hot Shot said with a curt nod and then there was a click and a soft humming sound filled the room. It was not pleasant sound to Hot Shot; it made him feel like his head was about to explode.
"My head hurts..." the yellow bot mumbled weakly. There was a slight sound of recognition from Sphere and another click. This time Hot Shot did not hear a thing, suspecting the sound to be too high for his sensors to catch it. His head felt heavy and Hot Shot believed it to be because of the headache from moments ago. But then the heavy feeling spread to his arms and legs and he was beginning to get suspicious.
"Everything's heavy", Hot Shot commented with a slight groan. There was another click and soon Hot Shot felt energy returning to his frame. He felt strangely light-headed, like he had just eaten too much energon. A goofy smile plastered itself on his face as he spoke quietly: "I feel funny. Seriously funny."
"That's your pleasure-level, I suspect", Sphere commented and there was a yet another click. This was a sound Hot Shot could actually feel, even if only as a faint whizzing. And it made him feel strangely aware of everything around him, how the wall was not actually silvery but a dark shiny grey and how Sparky would have probably found the experience amusing.
"Hot Shot?" Sphere's voice came suddenly, snapping Hot Shot out of his musings. He turned his head to look at the femme as the doctor spoke: "Are you feeling alright? You're looking strange."
"I'm...fine", Hot Shot replied slowly, hesitating slightly when he realized how true that statement was. "Actually, I haven't felt like this before. Like everything is coming to focus for the first time ever..."
"Oh, good", Sphere commented as she leaned over her equipment. "That means we found the correct sound level. Now you just lie there quietly for a while and then you can go home."
Hot Shot nodded his head and turned his face back to the ceiling. He could not believe that after all this time it would be this easy to finally be rid of Cold Gaze.
"Alright, how are you feeling now, Hot Shot?" Sphere asked as she was once again sitting behind her computer, tapping on the keyboard with startling speed. Hot Shot was sitting in front of the desk again and replied: "Fine. Completely like myself."
"That's good", Sphere muttered as she appeared to study something intently on the computer screen. "Now we need to schedule you a new time, hopefully in a few days."
"What? Why?" Hot Shot questioned, immediately growing worried. "I thought this was it!"
"Of course it wasn't, dear", Sphere said in that calming manner of hers that Hot Shot had grown accustomed to during his time in the office and in the back room. "The treatment has to be repeated every few days for a while for it to have any effect in the long run. Spark therapy results are only temporary if you participate in it only a couple of times. This treatment might take a while to truly have any effect, understand?"
Hot Shot nodded his head at the explanation and questioned: "So, when do I need to come again?"
"The day after tomorrow, after your lessons. Will that do?" Hot Shot nodded his head again and Sphere continued: "Then that takes care of that. Every other day after your lessons you will come here for a few hours of therapy and then you're free for the rest of the day." She tapped on her keyboard and looked up to give Hot Shot a bright smile. "See you then, Hot Shot."
"Right", Hot Shot said, standing up from his chair. After a moment's hesitation he quickly uttered: "Thank you", and rushed out the door.
Sphere stared after her patient for a long while before turning her attention back to her computer. As she began typing once more a single word escaped from between her lips: "Interesting..."
"So", Sparky started after the trio had managed to get their homework done. "How did it go?"
Hot Shot looked at Sparky's expectant face for a moment and then glanced over at ComCom, who was mirroring the expression. Hot Shot gave a slight shrug and replied: "Well, I guess. The doctor said that she needs to repeat the treatment every two days to make the effect permanent. It might take a while but in the long run it should rid me of Cold Gaze."
"I thought you were sent there because of the...thing", Sparky waved his hand. "You know."
"I thought so too", Hot Shot admitted. "But they apparently recognized the signs and realized that I had a problem with an extra spark." Hot Shot smiled softly, a bit sadly. "It can't be removed since it's so closely melded with my own but the treatment should make it dormant so that Cold Gaze won't be popping up every now and then."
"So all is well now?" ComCom said brightly, his tone colored by a hopeful tone. Hot Shot gave another shrug before replying: "Not yet, but who knows what happens later on? Maybe there will some day be a way to completely remove Cold Gaze's spark. Or maybe the harmonic sound waves will put him to sleep for good."
ComCom nodded eagerly at Hot Shot and then cheered: "Lets hope for the best!"
"Yeah", Sparky agreed with a wide grin. "I mean, weirder things have happened. And even within a short period of time." He stood up and stretched his arms far above his head. Hot Shot chose not to comment how the dark bot had claimed such gestures unnecessary at the beginning of the year and merely stuck with sharing a knowing smile with ComCom as Sparky climbed up into his bunk.
"Good night", the black transformer uttered and Hot Shot and ComCom chorused the words. Then Hot Shot leaned slightly closer to ComCom and spoke softly: "How was the day for you two?"
"Same old", ComCom responded vaguely. "We discussed the optional courses we were planning to take next year. We're both going to be phoning home tomorrow to talk to our parents about it." A small laugh escaped from the blue bot. "Naturally we fought a bit, but it was nothing major this time." At that the shorter transformer stood up. "Night, Hot Shot." Then he went over to his own bed and crawled in. With nothing else to do Hot Shot followed his lead and lied down on his own bed on the other side of the room. He stared at the ceiling for a long time, deep in thought. He was so different from ComCom and Sparky. They both had at least one parent, and they could live their lives like normal kids. Anything strange that had happened to them had happened because of Hot Shot. The yellow bot bit his lip guiltily.
Poor Hot Shot, that was what everyone always thought. Poor child, with no parents or anyone to care for him. Hot Shot rolled over to his side, facing the wall as energon tears gathered in his optics. He had no one to turn to when it came to choosing the courses for the fourth grade. And the forms were supposed to be returned in a few days. Hot Shot clenched his hand into a tight fist. He felt so lonely. Even Cold Gaze's ever present looming was gone, replaced by a strange empty feeling. Was this what it felt like to be lonely?
To be continued...