Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers, or any of the characters thereof. Although that would be cool . . .

AN: I really wasn't going to start this until after I finished my last two Inuyasha fics, but I really don't feel like working on them right now. So, here's the sequel to Neutral. Enjoy, and expect this one to be a lot longer than the last.

Chapter One

It scared him, knowing that Megatron had finally arrived on Earth. He knew that the monster would come after their youngling again – and she was still very much a youngling. Had she been born a true Transformer, she would have barely been able to talk yet. As it was, she would have been considered an adult by her parent species, or something very close to it. Adult or youngling, it wouldn't matter if Megatron ever got his claws on her. She would be killed at best, tortured by Soundwave at worse.

He, Harbinger, would not allow it.

A touch on his shoulder drew his attention away from the computer display and his dark thoughts. He looked up to see Veris's dark optics staring back at him. "I'm assuming from your silence that Megatron has finally arrived." he said quietly.

Harbinger nodded, letting his frustrations loose with a sigh. "He arrived a few hours ago." he muttered. "Optimus Prime and the Autobots were right behind him. It's getting to the point where I'm not sure it's a good idea to let Rae out on her own anymore."

Veris shook his head. "You know exactly how well Rae takes to that." he chided. "After all, she is sixteen years old."

"I don't care how old she is." Harbinger snapped. "She's still our youngling."

"I wouldn't disagree with that." Case came to stand on the other side of the computer bank. "But the thing you have to remember is this – Rae is not defenseless. We have had eight years to prepare her for what's going to come. We knew it would only be a matter of time before our base was discovered. If the Autobots and Decepticons attack, she will be prepared to deal with the fallout. If anything happens to us, she will be able to take care of herself."

Harbinger scowled, but nodded all the same. He really couldn't argue with that logic. After all, he had been the one to train her in weapons of all kinds – and where a mech was weakest. If needed, she could indeed defend herself.

Primus help her if it ever came to that.

Bracket, the spider-like Decepticon, jumped onto Case's shoulder and studied the computer readout. A look of distaste crossed his metallic face. "Great. Now we have to deal with those two glitch-heads?" he spat.

Case nodded. "Yep."

"Pit. Bracket doesn't want to deal with them."

"Does Bracket think the rest of us are looking forward to this?" Harbinger snapped. Veris headed off the coming argument with a raised hand.

"Sheol and Greystreak will be back with Rae in a few hours." he said quietly. "I will brief them in a few minutes. They will be ready for an attack, should one happen. As for the rest of us, be on alert. We don't want to get caught unawares."

The other mechs nodded. Now was the time for vigilance, not panic. They would protect their youngling.

/---/

Starscream was not looking forward to this.

He knew exactly what Megatron would be after, but he just couldn't figure out why. After all, on a planet full of humans, why couldn't the mech find another one to kill? It wasn't like there was anything special about the youngling on the Neutral base – unless one considered her upbringing.

In front of him, at the entrance to the Decepticon base, Megatron and Soundwave stood facing each other, unaware that Starscream was watching from the shadows along with Barricade. For whatever reason, the Decepticon police cruiser had decided to join in on the seeker's eavesdropping session.

"Report, Soundwave."

"It is as we expected, Megatron. They have raised the human in Transformer ways. She may as well be a youngling now. I don't think even she considers herself human." Soundwave sounded pleased for whatever reason. Megatron chuckled darkly.

"They've just finished our work for us." he said. "Are you sure she's ready?"

"It would take a few days of observation to make sure, but yes, I believe she is."

"Good. Take Blackout and Frenzy and get me those few days. Tell me everything she does, how she reacts – the works. I'll need every detail if I'm to make my plan work." The mech turned to his trusted companion – one really couldn't say Megatron had friends, but Soundwave was probably the closest he had to one – and flashed him a sadistic grin. "We'll have the AllSpark yet!"

Starscream and Barricade exchanged looks. "Do you know what he's talking about?" Barricade whispered.

"Barely." Starscream growled. "I just hope I'm wrong."

"Why?"

"If I'm not, I'm going to have to do something that's probably going to get me killed."

/---/

It was an interesting planet, Bumblebee had to admit, but he still wasn't quite sure what had drawn the Decepticons here. He had said as much to Ratchet when they first arrived, but the medic couldn't answer his question any better than anyone else had. All Optimus had said was that the Decepticons had come here, and so had they. Now, as they set up their base, he turned to Ironhide. "How long before the Decepticons find out we're here?" he wondered.

"Not long." Ironhide grunted. "Not if the Decepticons are even remotely looking for us."

"Which they are." Jazz pointed out. "Primus, if they even hesitated for one pit-slagging second we'd actually have some breathing room to work with!"

Ironhide slapped him in the back of the head. "Oh, mute it, glitch-head." he snipped. "You know we won't get any of our breathing room until we fry Megatron's aft to pit and back."

"All of you mute it." Ratchet snapped. "Bickering about it won't get Megatron fried any faster you know."

"Ratchet is right." Optimus said, effectively putting an end to the budding argument. "Our goal right now is to find out what the Decepticons are up to and put a stop to it." He turned to face the others. "Let's get to it."

/---/

AN: Yeah, short, but hopefully this new plot idea will make Rae a more important character than she was in the first draft. Let me know what you think.