Chapter 15

SAW spent the next few days with Perceptor, trying to figure out the problem behind his inability to recharge properly. The scientist had studied the younger mech in every little aspect short of going in for a lobotamy--which he suggested to Ratchet, who had responded with a very loud and forceful NO. So SAW had Perceptor study him while he attempted recharge, when he actually did catch a few hours of recharge, his stress levels and how they affected his mental status, etc.

Perceptor had made an educated hypothesis that SAW's inability to recharge was somehow connected to being the Allspark; the power it held, the stress in his life, and, he concluded, after looking over Ratchet's diagnostics of SAW's physical, and piecing bits of information together, saw that the younger mech's physique was reacting to the Allspark, and he came up with the main reason of SAW's insomnia.

The Allspark was ready to make a new life.

When SAW heard this, he was sure his stress level skyrocketed, which was most certainly doing wonders for his insomnia problem.

When Elita-One heard, she shooed everyone away and calmed SAW down, reiterating the fact that the decisions were his and his alone. It didnt comfort SAW much, but he did calm down a little. They had spoken with Perceptor and Ratchet, making the scientist and medic swear upon their very sparks not to tell anyone else--not even Optimus. The last thing SAW needed was pressure to create a new life, no matter how well-intentioned the coaxings might be.

Above and beyond all else, SAW hadnt spoken a word of it to either Bumblebee or Barricade; he knew that the two of them were very close, and he didnt want to start Cybertronian War II because of either of their desires to be the next sparkling father. So he kept it to himself and spent the next week thinking things through.

It was a lovely day, SAW thought to himself. He was currently sitting outside the base on the edge of the mountain, looking over the horizon. There wasnt a single cloud in the sky, and the sun felt great on his metal armor. The fresh air was doing him good too; Perceptor advised that calming moments like these would be beneficial for recharge, so he was taking the scientists' advice to full heart. His 'chaperon' for today was Sunstreaker, who wasnt too happy with the job. He had bitched and groaned to Optimus that all SAW did when he went outside was just sit out in the sun and do nothing and it was SOOO boring and blah blah blah. But nonetheless, he was sitting just above SAW on the mountain, mumbling to himself about the unfairness of it all, oh the drama, and leaving SAW to his own thing.

SAW almost pitied Sunstreaker, and half debated going back inside for the yellow Lamborghini's sake, but quelled it down, thinking that Sunstreaker needed to be taken down just a few pegs more, and leaned back against the mountainside, letting Sunstreaker suffer his boredom.

"You ready go back inside yet!?"

...Yeah, hold onto THAT dream.

"Why dont you just TRY to enjoy yourself, Sunny?" he called back up. He felt a small rock plink down on his head.

"Dont call me Sunny!"

"Why not? It's a cute nickname!" He grinned when he heard Sunstreaker swear in English, Cybertronian, and Italian.

"I am NOT cute! I am handsome, striking, and debonair!"

SAW couldnt help it; he burst into laughter, almost falling off the side of the mountain. "Shit...Sunny, you're too much, you know that?" Sunstreaker grunted in reply and slid down to stand next to SAW.

"What the frag ever, can we just go back inside?"

SAW sighed. "Sure," he replied, standing up. "You gotta lighten up...get that stick out of your exhaust pipe..." Sunstreaker whapped him upside the head, but didnt reply. SAW smirked and walked back inside, settling down on the makeshift couch. Everyone else was either gone or busy, so he amused himself with playing online poker.

That lasted about ten minutes before he was jerked violently out of his game by Optimus barreling into the main room, shouting for all hands on deck. Everything was dropped and everyone came rushing in. SAW couldnt help but feel his spark pound relentlessly in his spark casing.

"We have an emergency!" he shouted, his faceplate already in place from sheer habit. "Bumblebee, Barricade, Sunstreaker, Ratchet, you're with me! Perceptor, Arcee, Elita-One, stay here with SAW and Honeydew!" Everyone didnt even bother to question what was wrong and followed their leader out. SAW immediately latched onto Elita-One.

"What's going on!?" he cried, panicking. Elita-One rubbed his back.

"I dont exactly know," she replied, her voice worried. "All I heard him say was 'Mikaela'." SAW felt his circuits freeze over.

"...No...! Oh, God, please say she's alright!" Elita-One led him to his room and laid him down on his recharge pad.

"It will be," she said soothingly. "It was just a threat from the Decepticons...they're going to secure the perimeter and make sure nothing happens...Arcee, Perceptor, and I will protect you and Honeydew...we promise..." She leaned forward and kissed his cheek. "Just try to recharge now, okay? I'll wake you up when they all get back." SAW nodded and offlined his optics, willing himself into a light stasis with the promise that everything would be alright.

Elita-One paced around Optimus' office area, wringing her hands nervously. It had been four hours, and still no word from Optimus. She half debated calling him up on the comm several times before reminding herself that this was Optimus Prime she was worried over, and decided to calm down. It was going to be okay, she kept reminding herself. Arcee was out front, watching the sky and land for any Decepticons; Perceptor was keeping Honeydew safe in his science lab which doubled as a safe room; SAW was recharging in his room, which was locked from the inside, and she was guarding it. It was going to be fine.

She sighed and formed a comm link with Arcee. "What's your update, Arcee?" she asked softly. All she heard was static, and she adjusted the frequency a bit. "Arcee, is everything clear?" Nothing. "Arcee!" Elita-One felt her spark leap in its casing, and took one last look at SAW's closed door before heading outside. "Arcee, is everything all--ARCEE!"

Arcee was lying on the ground, unconscious, in a small pool of energon. Elita-One rushed to her and picked her up. "Arcee! Arcee, wake up! Arcee!" She quickly opened up Arcee's chest, and sighed with heavy relief when she saw Arcee's spark still completely unharmed. She carefully carried her comrade back into the base, her spark pounding into its casing. Something was very wrong.


There was a moment of silence, then Optimus came in. "Elita-One, what's the matter?"

"I dont know!" Elita-One set Arcee down on the makeshift couch. "I just found Arcee outside, unconscious, with some energon dripping out of her neck! I didnt hear anything else, but I think that something is very wrong here, Optimus! How soon can you come back?"

"Soon," Optimus replied. "There is nothing wrong here that would suggest an attack. We'll gather and return within the hour. Can you make sure SAW remains safe until then?"

"I will guard him with my life," she replied softly. "Hurry, please...I just have this feeling that something is very very wro--!"

She cut off when she heard something in SAW's room; something that suggested that the young mech was not alone in that room. Without properly closing the comm link, Elita-One raced for SAW's room and quickly pressed in the override code for the inside lock to open the door--and immediately went into battle mode when she saw an unidentified small mech dragging an unconscious but unharmed SAW through the secret emergency exit.

She pulled SAW back into the room, dragging the smaller mech with it, and grabbed the mech by the neck. "WHO ARE YOU!?" she demanded, activating and aiming her cannon at its head as she held it by the neck with her other hand. The mech let out threatening shrieks at her, clawing at her arm. She shoved the cannon into its face. "ANSWER ME!"

The mech stopped struggling and stared up at her, grinning maliciously. "We are your end," he replied nastily. Elita-One stared at him, confused, for a moment, before crying out in pain when a cannon shot struck her shoulder. She dropped the mech, who immediately headed toward SAW, who was waking up. The smaller Decepticon let out a soft keening sound, and SAW fell back into stasis.

"Excellent work, Gammawave," said the mech who had shot Elita-One. "No use using that back entrance...let's head out the front door. Skywarp is waiting for us."

"As you wish, Bludgeon." The smaller mech stepped aside and let Bludgeon pick SAW up, and latched himself onto Bludgeon's back. Elita-One groaned and lifted her head up to see the large mech carry SAW out the door.

"No...!" She shakily stood up and followed Bludgeon out to the front. Her cannons were useless; that shot to the shoulder completely severed her connection to the cannon. She had to wing this to keep SAW here long enough for the other Autobots to arrive. She took a running start and tackled Bludgeon from behind, dropping them both to the ground as Bludgeon lost his hold on SAW. Gammawave let out an angry yelp and turned around to shriek at Elita-One, who felt her audio receptors overload almost to the maximum. She put her hands over her head and focused just long enough to disable her audio receptors and swipe at Gammawave, catching him on the head and tossing him farther away.

Elita-One then to Bludgeon and tackled him again away from SAW. "I wont let you take him again!" she shouted at him, even though she couldnt hear herself, and took to pummeling Bludgeon with all she could before the larger mech had the opportunity to use metallicato or psychokinesis on her.

He recovered faster than she expected, and managed to punch her off of him and sent her sprawling onto her back. He stood up, watching her with cold optics as she dragged herself up and toward SAW.

"...Wont...let you take him...!" she bit out, fighting to keep from going offline. She reached out to SAW, who was just within her fingertips, and cried out in pain when Bludgeon slammed his foot down on her arm, crushing it. She let out keens of pain and fought to free it, resulting in her wrenching her arm clean from her body. She let out another cry of pain and turned to SAW again. "...SAW.....!" She reached again and brushed his face with her fingertips.

Had she not disabled her audio reception, she would have heard Bludgeon charge up his cannon. She kept her focus on SAW, feeling unconscious weigh heavily on her, and knew no more when Bludgeon pulled the trigger.

Optimus tore up to the base, almost stumbling as he transformed from truck to mech as he saw Elita-One lying on the ground. He rushed up to her and knelt down, his circuits almost melting from rage. The femme was missing an arm and she had a large hole in her chest. "ELITA!!!" He picked her up in his arms, shaking with rage. "ELITA!!!"

Ratchet was the next to transform, and gently pulled Elita-One from Optimus to check on her spark status. He growled when he saw that her spark was faint and flickering. Without another word, he picked her up and rushed into his lab as everyone else scattered to find the others and assess the situation.

Bumblebee and Barricade immediately raced to SAW's room, letting out shrieks of outrage and fear when SAW was absent. Sunstreaker pounded on Perceptor's lab until the scientist came out, holding a crying Honeydew in his shaking arms. By this time Arcee was regaining consciousness, and jerked up, then fell back down to her resting place with a cry of pain and clutched at her neck.

"Arcee! What happened!?" Optimus demanded, his clenched fists shaking. Arcee made a soft sound of pain, holding her head still.

"...Surprise attack...!" she choked out, some energon dripping out of her mouth. "...Bludgeon...attacked...! he safe...?"

"...SAW's not here...!" Bumblebee stuttered, his optics flickering.

"...They planned this...!" Perceptor cut in, his voice soft from anger and fear. "...They deliberately sent a threat to you about Mikaela, knowing that you would take the strongest with you! They planned this!"

"...SAW's...gone...!" Bumblebee seemed to be on the verge of a meltdown as he clutched to Barricade to keep himself from collapsing onto the floor. Barricade was making a forced grinding sound in his throat, as though his gears were jamming up. He let out a loud roar and barreled out the door, shooting off his cannons at anything in his way.

"I'LL KILL YOU FOR THIS!" he screamed at the sky. "I'LL FUCKING KILL YOU AND SENT YOUR REMAINS TO UNICRON FOR THIS!!!" He shot more rounds and slashed at the forest and mountains with his blade, letting out swears and promises of pain and death as he did so. Bumblebee covered his head with his hands, keening painfully and shaking his head, muttering to himself. Sunstreaker punched the wall, letting out a string of curses. Optimus just stood in the middle of the room, his fists clenched and his spark pulsating violently in its casing.

Indeed, he thought darkly to himself. There would be Hell to pay for this.

Whew...well, more to come! Stay tuned!