Author's Note: This story came into being after listening to Nickelback's "Saving Me" one too many times, reading an episode synopsis for the G1 episode "Fight or Flee", and an attack from an opportunistic plot bunny. You should be able to figure out who the character is. The story is from his POV. Fic will be short and might not make much sense unless you can fit it into context. Takes place between "Boiling Point" and "A New Life".

Disclaimer: I do not own the Transformers. They belong to somebody else.

Saving Me

Fire.

It seared across the landscape I knew so well, consuming everything in its path. I watched it helplessly from where I hid, pain shooting through my back every time I moved. I had sent the distress call. But would anyone hear it, and would they answer? I didn't know.

I had been teaching at the Academy of History when one of my students had told me of two strangers crashing on our peaceful world. I had gone to see these newcomers. Both bore a strange insignia, one no one seemed to recognize. But I, being a historian, had come across it in my history files and I knew it all too well. It and what it represented.

Decepticons.

A race of warriors who only wanted to conquer. They had started the war my people had fled to avoid.

Fear began to seep through my processor. I tried to warn our leaders, but they refused to heed my warnings. I could only watch as they repaired the two strangers and made them aware of our world's resources.

That was their undoing.

As soon as the two Decepticons were able they sent a message to the rest of their comrades and began taking over our city, killing any who stood in their way. We are pacifists, so we were absurdly easy to subdue. We were rounded up and enslaved. When the rest of the Decepticons arrived they put us to work making weapons for them to use in their war. Any who refused were executed.

From my history files I knew that the Decepticons had enemies, our ancestors' kindred, who bore the same symbol as we did. Surely they would help us. I managed to get loose, find where our ship's transmitter had been hidden, and send a distress call. But I did not manage to escape unseen. I was spotted entering the chamber, and when I emerged they were too close for me to avoid. I transformed to my flight mode and tried to run, but they shot away my rotor blades, forcing me to crash. On the ground I transformed to my second alternate mode and was gone before they found where I had crashed. In their anger they destroyed the transmitter and the building that housed it, starting an inferno that began to consume the city. Instead of doing anything to stop it, they stood back and watched it burn.

What hurt the most was knowing that there was nothing I could do about it.

I don't know how long I hid, but what broke me out of my trance was the sound of roaring engines and the fainter sound of weapons firing. I peeked out from my hiding place and saw more ships, different from the Decepticon ships, arriving. Bots bearing the same symbol I did poured out of their ships. Slowly, I dragged myself out into the open.

The first to spot me was a large, powerful bot colored green and silver. He immediately changed direction and landed nearby. Once it was established that it had been I who had sent the call for help, he took me to see his commander.

I was introduced to a bot named Ultra Magnus. He told me that his commander, the Autobot leader, was already in battle, but he would act as a liaison between the Cybertronians and my people. I told him everything that had happened. He relayed the information to his leader, who began coordinating the rescue missions. The voice I heard over Magnus's comm was a deep, powerful bass, and I silently wished him success.

The battle was fierce, but my people were freed. When Magnus asked to speak to our leader, everyone pointed at me. Our leaders had been among the first killed, and since I had recognized the threat the others had decided that I would take their places. I was told that the Decepticons had been driven off. There was celebration from my people.

Then an urgent message came in. An order to evacuate. The Decepticons had planted an explosive and there wasn't enough time to find or disarm it.

My people panicked.

I tried to restore order, but it was hopeless. The Autobots began herding any bot they could onto their ships. But there were too many of us and there wasn't enough time.

Under my feet the ground heaved. I was thrown aside as the tremors grew stronger. In the distance I heard the sound of metal tearing, could see great blasts of fire clawing at the red-tinged sky. Massive cracks and rents were opening as the planet began to tear itself apart. Scrambling to my feet, I ran for the ship.

To my despair I realized that it was gone; the ground had given way and the ship had been forced to take off. With my rotors destroyed I was unable to fly; there was no way I could escape the death of my home. I watched the ship dwindle to a speck in the distance, silently hoping that my people would survive and find a new home.

Behind me a column of flame ripped through the ground, the heat of it searing my back and sending new pain searing through me. I stumbled, but swiftly regained my footing and ran, instinctively trying to escape. But there was no escape. I was about to stop, let the flames take me, when something miraculous occurred.

My heat-hazed optics spotted something streaking toward me. I blinked, trying to focus. Finally I could see that it was a robot, the flames tinting its armor crimson. Changing direction, I ran toward the flier, holding out my hands in a silent plea. He shot through the flames like a laser bolt, completely untouched by the raging inferno. His eyes, brilliant emerald, locked onto mine. Then he had hold of me and was racing toward the sky.

Closing my optics, I clung to him for dear life. He said something to me, but I couldn't hear over the roaring explosions from below and the howling of the wind past my audio receivers.

A few moments later I could hear the rumble of the ships' engines, then the clatter of metal on metal as my savior touched down. A soft hiss and a dull clang marked the closing of an airlock. Unable to hold on any longer, I collapsed, landing in a heap at the feet of the one who'd rescued me. Then I was taken into the care of the medics.

My homeworld was gone, destroyed by the Decepticons when they coudn't have its resources for themselves. But my people were safe, I was safe, and homes could be rebuilt. As long as we were alive, there was hope.

Fin.

O-kay... (looks over fic) Not quite what I'd intended, but this is what came out. If you're still confused, the speaker is Sandstorm and his rescuer is Ultra Rodimus. Sandy, of course, doesn't remember this until later, but it's part of why he felt so strongly that he owed Ultra Rodimus a life-debt. And yes, Ultra Rodimus can fly in his robot mode. If he does a partial transformation he can manifest parts of his alternate modes in his robot mode. In this case, his jet engines, attached to the backs of his legs like a Decepticon flier's.

Since I wasn't going to do a full fic about what happened on Paradron, this fic gives an overview of the Decepticon invasion and the planet's death. If it comes out odd, blame the song that first inspired it. Then tell me what you think of it. Send me reviews!