Author's note: This story is based off the 2007 movie. While I like G1, I also find the Movie more easy to manipulate, so I'm going for a more free-form approach where I can tweak things, and you can be surprised. Therefore, it's clearly going to have some non-cannon things presented, and many liberties taken. Please read with that in mind. This is my first Transformers attempt, though I have been writing for many years, so when giving feedback, no flames, only constructive criticism and comments please.

How it Was
Chaper One: The Golden Age
By: Nightelfcrawler
Disclaimer: Obviously Transformers is not my own, and is property of Hasbro. Be gentle.

This is our story.

You are the first of your kind to hear it.

Heed it's lesson well, for much can be learned.

We do not know where we came from. That knowledge has been lost through the centuries, memories fading, records corrupted. We know that once, we were like you, young and inexperienced. We made mistakes, and we learned from them. We grew, developing technology, space flight, and interstellar travel when once we could barely program computers. Our society grew as we did, from small cities to a network of interconnecting systems that functioned as a whole. We had no poverty, no want. Everything we needed was provided, and we worked to better ourselves, and our people.

But like all great civilizations, peace can only last so long.

Our great Empire fell.

This is the story I tell you today.

My name is Optimus Prime, and I am the appointed leader of the Autobots, refugees from Cybertron.

"No matter how many times you say it, I'm still not going to figure out that iron-headed brother of yours."

"Ariel, please. Can we NOT have this discussion at the moment."

"Fine. But I had to say it."

"You've said it before."

"And I'll say it again. He's never going to change, Orion."

Orion Pax sighed, feeling irritation knowing at the edge of his patience. He valued Ariel's companionship deeply, but there were times when logic failed to explain some situations. She had no siblings, she couldn't understand the bond. "That may be true, but he's good at what he does, and I don't wish to get in his way."

"He's psychotic."

"He has illusions of grandeur at times, but who doesn't." He argued, crossing his silver arms across his chassis. "You think I want to be stuck overseeing factory manufacturing my whole career?"

"No of course not." Ariel sighed, her blue optics lifting to the ceiling, as if to proclaim her exaggeration. He loved it when she did that… the way the light caught on her cranium sparkled. "But at least you're not teaching other mechs to blow things up."

"Point." He agreed, smiling slightly. Ariel had a way of putting things bluntly. "But he enjoys it, let him have some fun."

"If he ruins my finish one more time…" She growled, tapping a slim foot on the metal bridge they stood on. "…I'll personally scrap him myself."

Orion shook his head, chuckling quietly. Ariel had never much liked Minos Omega. She often said you could judge a bot by his name, and she thought Minos was an over-inflated windbag. He had to admit, his brother COULD go off on long-winded tangents, but then he was used to hearing his tirades.

"Well, I'd best be getting back to work." She turned, her head swiveling up to regard him, as her vocal processors practically purred. "See you tomorrow, hot shot."

"Yes." He murmured, one hand lightly caressing her sculpted cheek, before she turned and strode away across the bridge, heading back towards her own domicile. Orion sighed, watching her go. How was it that femmes were able to do that? She was the first he'd met since they were extremely rare, and he'd noticed others turning heads at her passing. But to his very spark, he'd never understood why she'd chosen him. He was just the foreman at the primary industrial facilities for Energon production. It was a good job, and he was responsible at it, but it was hardly glamorous. His brother's job, now THAT was glamorous. He was in charge of his very own squadron of fliers. From what he understood, his job was no more interesting that Orion's, only he DID get to leave the surface of Cybertron, journey up to the local asteroid belt and mine some of the ore there for smelting. While it was just as important as what he did, Orion was secretly jealous of the ability his brother had been given to leave the atmosphere. He'd been SO proud when he'd been given the command and authorization for alterations to his structure. He'd come home twice as big, and three times as inflated, sporting his new jet packs. He hadn't shut up about it for cycles. Still, out of all the mechs, Ariel had snubbed her nose at his brother, and instead attached to him. Orion's old mentor had taken him aside, patted his shoulder casing, and explained the sparks and the pulses to him. Femmes had the rare ability given to them by the Matrix to bond with another mech, and together they could do a very rare thing, generate new life to a new mech's shell, something that fortunately was not needed often. There were tales of this through Cybertronian history, but to think that one of these rare and fascinating creatures had walked into his life still baffled his circuitry. His mentor had warned him not to mess it up, since he likely wouldn't get another chance, and other mechs would be lining up for her if she left. He had taken that advice to heart.

It wasn't like he wished to start up a new unit of his own, goodness knows he had enough on his plate with the plant's production. But still…the idea lingered at the back of his processors every time they spent time together. Most mechs never got this chance, and often didn't want it. It was unusual, since there were more than enough workers, too many at times. They didn't need more, as long as they kept their current population in good working order. Sure, there were the occasional industrial accidents or unstable Energon reactions, but to lose a mech was as rare as creating a new one. Yet, the idea still was fascinating. Perhaps one day.

"Daydreamin' again?" Orion turned, feeling a little shame well up as he'd clearly neglected his audio receptors. His mentor had managed to sneak up on him again. "Why don't you stop chasin' her chassis and ask her to bond with you?"

"I don't think I'm ready for that yet, Ironhide." Orion sighed. "I still am trying to figure out what it means."

"Slag it, boy… you're putting off the inevitable. You and she share a similar spark. It's going to happen eventually."

"Speaking from experience?"

"Er…well…" The older veteran made a small polite cough, while turning his optics upwards to the starry sky above them. "Chromia and me, we're different."

"Yes, you've told me the tale before, old friend." Orion smiled, still fond of the story, even if he'd heard it so many times that the pathways were permanently ingrained in his CPU. "Two warriors, defending the planet against the evil Decepticons… turned the tide of battle with your wits and weapons."

"Slag it boy, you make it sound like some bedtime story. It was war."

"I know, I know." He waved a hand quickly to appease the veteran. "But the Decepticons were defeated over a millennia ago. No one has seen bolt nor brake of them since. I don't think we have to be concerned about that again."

"Yeah well…" The larger mech scratched at his round silver head. "You tell me that when I'm ready to go into stasis-lock, boy. I'm a realist."

"You're a pessimist." Orion chuckled quietly to himself.


"Nothing, nothing." He avoided the intense glare and instead turned his optics back towards the city spread out beneath him. "I'm just glad we don't have to be concerned about war any longer. I don't care for fighting or strategies."

"Helps you learn about life, kid." Ironhide grunted. "But I can't pretend I don't like a little R&R… but I'm getting restless. Losin' my touch."

"You'll never lose your touch." Orion shook his head. "You've never lost a bout once yet."

"True. And the day I do, I'll turn in my cannons." He grinned proudly. "Oh, which reminds me… Alpha Trion wanted to speak with you and Minos."

Orion blinked his optics, shifting their focus to regard his mentor. "Alpha Trion? Why would he want to speak with us?" If it had just been him, he would have been concerned that his management of the facility was faulty, but the Cybertronian leader wishing to speak with them both changed things. It was rare that the elected leader summoned others for an audience. Orion had been hearing of his failing parts for vorns. It was no secret that Trion was beginning to gather candidates to a successor, but in no way had Orion even thought he would be considered. The thought send chills through his chassis.

"Didn't say." Ironhide said casually, although by now Orion knew enough about his mentor's mannerisms to tell he was excited. "But I imagine it has to do with some kinda interview-thing."

"Did he say when?"

"Soon as ya could, I guess." Ironhide replied casually. "Can go right now if you want."

"I'd rather wait for Minos to return. It would be best if we reported together."

"Sure, as you like kid." Chuckled his mentor. "But one of these days, you're gonna have to kick that brother of yours in his aft and tell him to go find his own path. You coddle him too much."

"He needs some guidance." Orion sighed. "He comes to me for advice."

"He needs to get his head straight on his own. He'll learn. Course, blastin' rocks all day probably got a few loose nuts in his cranium."

Orion smiled. Perhaps Ironhide was right. His advice, crude as it sometimes was, usually was smart and accurate. He'd seen more things in his vorns of service than Orion could ever hope to. Of course, it had been a very different time in his day of glory. Ironhide told the tales often. Stories of great battles, wars against a powerful enemy capable of brutal destruction. It had sapped their Energon resources severely, destroyed half the planet, and drove them to new limits. It had only been the cunning wit of some brave mech that had developed a new method of disguise which allowed them to triumph, and drive the Decepticons away. Everyone assumed they were all gone, fled or offline by now, but Ironhide swore they'd be back one day, when someone strong enough to lead them came around to stimulate their fluids. It had been a strange development in Cybertronian history when this civil war had broken out. Until then, the planet had been peaceful, developing their technology on their own, never having felt the blow of rivalries between them. But then, a faction rose wishing to take power into their hands, and the two had been forced to fight. That was the beginning of the Decepticons …and it wasn't the end, according to Ironhide. Though the factions had stood down and melted back into the framework of their rebuilt city, the wariness still remained. This was why their leader had been appointed, instead of individual cities, it was one united city. Everyone respected Alpha Trion's wisdom and experience. He had been one of the heroic victors of the Civil war, and unanimously appointed leader by the ruling council. Under his watch, the city had prospered, their civilization had risen to new boundaries, and they had flourished.

It slightly disturbed him that this balance was now in jeopardy, and he knew Ironhide felt the same way.

"My boy…" He'd told him one cycle. "…this could spell trouble, or it could be nothing. But any time you got a new change of power, people are gonna question it. This could be the chance the Decepticons have been waiting for, mark my words… trouble will brew when a new leader is elected."

He was probably being overly paranoid as he often was, but still… something about his warning had stuck with Orion, and he'd kept it in mind.

"You don't give yourself enough credit."

"How so?"

"You manage an entire production line. The Energon is key to our facilities, it's one of the most important jobs you can get, and look at you, you're still first model, barely older than a sparkling."

"Hey, wait a minute here…"

He laughed raucously. "Jus' kiddin'. But honestly, you've come far quick. You got talent. You've a fair mind, a good sense of balance, and you listen. That's the most important qualities in a leader, and that's why he's been eyein' you."

"What about Minos?"

"Well, he's the other flipside of the coin. He may not have a smart head on him, but he's got respect, skills, and strategy to boot. He's a kid after my own spark." Ironhide snorted. "Got a sharp knack for tactics that one. Probably why they stuck him in charge of the big guns." He looked thoughtful. "Can't say I know what Trion's thinkin' though… Minos' heads' too big for the chair. But, I suppose he has his reasons. Anyway…" Ironhide stretched, gears grinding. He scratched at the old scar stretching down his chassis from optic to vocal processors. "I'd best be getting back. Let me know how it goes, kid."

"You got it."

He watched his mentor shift forms into a more transportable method, before turning and starting his way down the bridge towards the city proper. He was jealous that Ironhide could do that… He'd always wanted the ability to transform, but he didn't need it in his job. Maybe one day. Meanwhile, he had time to walk this new development off and think it through. What would he say to Trion? He had never met the leader before, it unnerved his CPU to think he wanted a private audience. Certainly, there was no reverence among mechs, but he was a bot to be respected nonetheless. Trion's position was key to their society.

"Incoming!" Came a sudden booming voice above him, and Orion looked up in time to take a quick step back, as twin fueled jets nearly took the chrome off his cranium.

"Minos." He said with a sigh, as his brother slammed down onto the bridge, making it quiver slightly at the impact. "I take it you got the message too?"

"Yeah." Minos stood several heads taller than his brother, and while their facial features were constructed differently, the similar protoforms were there. They were the same models, only altered for their jobs. Minos sported his boosters, several cutting and welding tools, while Orion was land-bound, and carried tools to assist his job as foreman. "What's the old geezer want with us?"

Orion mentally sighed. His brother often showed little respect for authority, yet demanded it of others when it came to himself. The only one he seemed to regard as an equal was him. "Ironhide didn't say, but I have a good guess."

"Bah." Minos snorted as the two started walking down the causeway. "That ol' mech shoulda off lined himself vorns ago."

Orion kept quiet, not wishing to start another argument, though he felt slightly indignant at their mentor being referred to in such a degrading manner. He had taught them both since they had been sparklings. His knowledge was key to their learning, and while there had been other younglings benefiting from the sessions, the war veteran had taken a liking to the brothers most of all. He refused to acknowledge it, but Orion had managed to pry the answer out of his cranium one cycle. He claimed they reminded him of his and his spark-mate's own sparklings that had long since moved on to their own place in the world. Though they'd decided not to raise another, he still found the ability to train younglings appealing to him, and challenging. It was almost like fighting a war again, he'd told him.

The two made their way to the City Center, with Minos holding most of the conversation himself. Orion never minded, considering his brother often left him little option. However, Minos stopped his rambling when they reached the Council building. Two mechs were standing watch outside, but permitted them entry after a quick scan confirmed their identities. Unlike the brothers, these mechs had taken alternate forms. Most mechs didn't require them here on their home world, but for those that were trained in battle, and kept guard of their leader, they stood tall with blue paint sparkling off the light from the stars. The doors opened, allowing them entry. Within, they caught their first glimpse of the Council Hall. Having never had a reason to enter before, they both examined their surroundings. The Council hall was arranged in a half-circular pattern, with a chair at each position. They stood empty at the moment, but Orion had no doubt that the room would be much different when a session was in play. However, they made their way through the Hall, and into the private holds of Alpha Trion's chambers beyond. The first room was intimidating, and impressive at once. An enormous space with plenty of room for a full audience, centered with a massive chair, in which Alpha Trion himself sat, patiently waiting for them.

The mech was old, they knew this without having ever laid eyes upon him. But seeing him, they knew perhaps the rumors of his systems failing were greatly misrepresented. The mech's optics were dim, though they studied them as they moved towards him. They could hear the audible sounds of his pumps working overtime, and the grinding of his rotors as he leaned closer. Like his guards, he had adapted an alt form, green paint fading with gold highlights on his frame, less sleek and elegant as the two protoforms before him.

"Greetings." He wheezed, his audio receptors garbled and crackling as he spoke. "Orion Pax, Minos Omega…." He studied them each in turn as they stood at attention before him. "I have heard of each of your accomplishments in turn, and wished time to judge your abilities for myself." Orion heard his brother's pumps work faster at this news. So it was true, he thought to himself, a little uncertain. He was judging them as candidates for his replacement. "Minos, your skills as a leader have been passed down to me, whispered in my ears during recharge cycles, and recommendations given from your superiors and charges alike. None can match your skills in tactics and strategies in the field." Minos' head lifted, though his features remained stoic, Orion knew he was proud. "And Orion Pax…" His attention snapped back to their leader. "Your colleagues have much to say about your skills as a leader as well. You have the ability to judge and listen, to work problems out and solve issues with the least amount of loss from resources. Not only have your charges come recommending you, but you come highly praised from my former General, Ironhide."

"Sir…" Orion began feeling uncertain if he should interrupt the leader or not. "I truly am honored by your recognition of my service, but I don't believe I have the qualities you are seeking in a replacement. I feel I should be removed from consideration."

"Hm…" Trion seemed more amused than surprised at this comment. "Ironhide also mentioned the two of you still had much to learn… Pride in the case of one, and Humility in the case of the other." He chuckled dryly. "No one is perfect, boys." Orion could feel his brother tensing beside him, clearly insulted but trying not to show it. Ironic, he thought. Sometimes outside observations were so accurate, and yet they couldn't see their own failings. "We can work on that. Nothing is set just yet. I have a handful of other candidates. The Council will be voting on a decision with my recommendations in the next few cycles. I simply wished to size you up in person, rather than judge from a database file." He straightened up, relaxing back in his chair, his joints creaking. "You both will be asked to attend the vote. Until then, my suggestion is you work on your faults. As a leader, you will need to strengthen them."

"Yes sir." Orion said quietly, noting his brother did not reply.

His CPU was going to work overtime for the next few cycles. And indeed, it provided him with little rest as they left their leader's building.

"Bah… the old mech is going senile." Minos said rather crudely, once they had left audio receptor range. "Clearly I am more fit for the position, and you obviously do not wish it, am I right?"

"I don't particularly care for it." Orion admitted. "However, if Alpha Trion thinks I am capable… I must try and improve my faults so I can better represent his choice."

"Only one can take his place." Minos tone was hard, cold.

Orion glanced over at his brother, and then put a hand lightly on his wide shoulder. "This should not come between us. If you get the position, I will be very happy for you. If I do, then I will not exclude you. Your skills are too valuable, brother."

Minos seemed appeased at that, and returned the friendly gesture. "So be it. I will value your skills as well brother. We will not let this tear our bond apart."

Orion sighed as he sunk back in his chair. His domicile was quiet, the windows overlooking a busy city byway with lights flashing as mechs traveled to and fro in high speed transpiration vehicles. He shut his optics off, to allow him to process this new situation. He hadn't always been the foreman of the Energon plant of course. He'd started out like everyone else in the production line. His brother had been a digger. They had been raised by the same parental units, created to keep each other company as they evolved. They had done so, though their temperaments had been so different there had been many arguments… sibling rivalries as they said. But the brothers, despite their differences had similar qualities, and had remained close through the years. Now this… Orion was concerned that despite his brother's assurance, this might tear their closeness apart. True, he had always been the rather confrontational one of the pair, and Orion could see he hungered for the ability to stand tall above the others. Still, he was a solid leader, and had the wits to do a fair job at defending the planet from any threats, which was important. But would he have the patience to do the more day-to-day activities like mediation and decision making? Orion didn't think so. His brother had no patience, he preferred action to talking.

Orion, you online?

He blinked his optics back on, focusing on the internal messaging system. He recognized his friend's insignia. Dion, I am not ready to recharge just yet.

Too much on your mind, huh?

You heard the news I take it.

Word travels fast, buddy. Congrats on the nomination. You'd do a good job, if I might say so.

I don't think as positively as you, my friend. Orion sighed. Did everyone see him as a potential leader? Trion's position is a key one, I am not certain I have the experience necessary to fill his armor.

Bah, you always underestimate yourself, pal. I'm tellin' you, everyone else sees it. You just need a bit of confidence to see what everyone else can. Sure you're green, but so was Trion once, before the war. Everyone learns from experience. If he sees you got potential, I'd take it to heart.

Orion smiled internally. Perhaps he had a point. Dion had always been the voice of reason since they had been sparklings. He supposed that's why they were such close friends. Dion had practical sense, and usually booted his aft into gear. Thank you. I suppose you do have a point.

Course I do. Dion insisted. You've just got your CPU so far up your aft you can't see it. Stop focusing on the job all the time, and take a look around you. Everyone looks up to you, they respect your advice and expertise, despite your age. Even Ironhide looks at you like he expects you to do great things, haven't you noticed?

Yes… Orion texted back. But…

Aw, can the 'but'. You got the processors, you just lack the upgrades. Way I hear it, that'll be fixed.

Orion sighed and decided to turn the subject away from his potential leadership status. Have you heard who the other candidates are?

I have a list of them, just don't ask where I got it.

Orion chuckled. His friend had a knack for finding information, and not always through the proper channels. You do realize if I replace Trion, you cannot tell me you have privileged information.

Sure I can. Dion texed back. 'Cause I'll be YOUR advisor in official capacity.

Touché. Orion chuckled. He was right, he would appoint him as an advisor. So what did you discover?

Well, there's a smelter named Crux that's on the list, since he's efficient at what he does, cutting down production time in half. Then there's a few older war heroes, Ironhide was on the list but turned the offer down. And then there's you two, and…

Uh oh, Orion thought. What was this hesitation? And…?

A fem you know… Ariel.

Orion started. Ariel was on the list too? Well it made sense, she was an expert at information. Dion worked with her, he knew this better than anyone. But the fact he was competing against two of his closest companions bothered him. She did not tell me this.

Probably didn't wanna make you jealous.

I am glad for her. She would make a good leader.

She'd be different, that's for sure. A femme with enough sense and energon to get things done might draw some negative attention.

Few still believe that old way of thinking. Orion texed back. Femmes are just as capable as Mechs.

I know that, most people know that. I'm jus' sayin.

He had a point. There were some old-fashioned mechs that insisted the femmes were built different for a reason and should stick to what they were made for, sparkling raising. But Orion just couldn't process the logic. Why waste good skills and talents by placing femme's into a class of their own? There were other mechs capable of assisting in sparkling training, that was why they coupled in the first place. But still… there were those who did not think progressively. It won't be a problem. He sent back. The Council is in charge of the decision, if she is best for the job, they will choose her.

True. And man, I wouldn't mind watching her give addresses. Dion texted back, and Orion could see the humor in his words. She sure has a smooth chassis.

Watch it.

Just teasin'. Anyway, congrats on the nomination. I'll cheer for ya.

Thank you, my friend.And with that they signed off the conversation. Perhaps Dion was right. He tended to think less of himself, because he could see others with similar skills capable of doing his job. He was no one special, just a bot filling his duty. But everyone around him seemed certain he would fill this new position just as well. He had to have faith in their visions.

The next day was filled with more congratulations than he could process. It seemed Dion had told everyone. He did his best to accept each compliment graciously, but was beginning to tire of all the attention, and constant interruption of his work. It wasn't until Dion texted him mid-day that he realized he'd been blocking all transmissions save for his closest confidants.

Yo, Orion, turn your receivers back on.

Dion, I appreciate the compliments, but I cannot focus on my job with these constant interruptions.

No, there's something important you need to process. He didn't seem very light-hearted.

Orion frowned, and flipped his internal comm. system back on. Instantly, message after message popped up. Some from bots he recognized, some from those he did not. There was a whole stream of news alerts, however. He quickly scanned through each of them, growing alarmed at what was happening. There were various news flashes, stating that several of the nominees had mysteriously stopped functioning, or failed to report into duty today. There were messages from the investigation services asking each of the nominees to check in. Orion quickly did so, and received confirmation. Dion, what in Primus' name is going on here?

Sabotage, my friend. Sabotage.

But… why?

Someone wants to be leader very much… Came the grim reply.

Orion tried to process this. Someone was tampering with the process? Doing away with the candidates? That seemed illogical. It would represent a whole betrayal of everything Cybertronians stood for. It was dirty tactics…in fact… You don't think…

That's what a lot of bots are speculating, Orion. Dion texted back solemnly. Decepticons are playing their hand. They're back.

We don't know that for certain. Orion argued, trying to think rationally. They haven't made any demands… and according to these announcements, the candidates simply are missing, or parts failed in their recharge cycle.

I know, but if you ask me, it's far too coincidental. Watch your back Orion. I don't like this.

Thank you my friend, I will heed your advice.

This was a troubling turn of events indeed. And he didn't like it one bit.

For the next few cycles, Cybertron was on edge. One by one, each candidate mysteriously was vanishing. A few cycles later, they would turn up hidden somewhere, like a junk heap or trash compactor. Still, no one was able to track down any suspicious activities, no one saw what happened, and rumors began to circulate. Fears that the Decepticons had returned hung on every block corner, filled the Energon marts, and continued to rotate on the news briefs. Alpha Trion even made an announcement himself for the benefit of the people, insisting that Decepticons were not in fact invading, and this situation was being dealt with.

It didn't really help the nervousness plaguing the city.

Orion stepped out of the transport tram into the downtown proper, glancing around at the protos wandering to and fro. Despite the recent situation, most were calm on the surface. He thread his way through the throngs of bots, heading towards the Energon café across the street. It was crowded with silver bodies, but a brief scan about showed him the femme was sitting towards the back at a table, watching him with amused optics.

"Bout time you got here."

"I apologize for being late, Ariel." Orion said as he slipped next to her. "I have had much on my mind."

"That is no excuse, Pax darling." She teased, handing him a glowing vial of high grade. "You forget, I have the same information to process, yet here I am, on time."

He smiled and took the high grade, slowly sipping the fuel. It tingled his pumps as it flowed into his fuel lines. "You never cease to impress me, Ariel."

"That's my job." She replied, leaning back. "Now, how are you holding up with this situation."

"I am not concerned." He said slowly. "Not for myself. I can handle any saboteurs that come my way. However, I am concerned for yours."

"Oh don't be so predictable. You know I can tackle any bucket of bolts that dares try and tamper with me." She teased him, though there was a hard edge to her vocal processors. "I'm more concerned about your brother, to be frank."

"Minos?" he blinked his optics. "I think out of all of us, he can handle himself."

"It's not HIM I'm worried about." She said darkly. "I know you don't want to hear this, but I think he could be involved in this sabotage."

"What?" Orion felt shock register in his CPU. "What are you saying, that Minos is behind the attacks?" He felt furious suddenly. "Ariel, I know you do not like him, but this is crossing the line."

"Orion, are you blind?" She demanded. "He wants power, he's always sought it. Now suddenly the moment his name is announced, he sees the other candidates as a threat to him rising to power."

"Stop this, Ariel." Orion frowned, hating to be the barrier between his two companions. "It may be true that Minos seeks power, but he would never turn to Decepticon tactics. I know him better than that."

She sighed and shook her head. "I am sorry, Orion. But I think you're mistaken. You put too much faith in your brother. I hope you're right, but…just watch him."

He sighed, staring at the high grade in his hand. Were things just destined to become worse with this change? "I will watch out for him, but I trust him with my life, Ariel. If he is doing something, I will stop him, but I will not let you implicate him if he is in fact innocent."

She regarded him solemnly. "Primus, Orion. You know my spark sings for you, but sometimes you can be such a thick shelled moron." She sighed, placing one hand on his. "Just be careful. I don't want to see you offline."

"I will not let that happen." He assured her, squeezing her hand lightly. "After all, when this is over, I have something in mind." Her optics flashed, watching him intently. He drew a slow breath, letting his pump calm down from it's steady pulse as he put his thoughts to words. "I would like to bond with you, Ariel, if you will have me."

For a moment, she said nothing, simply staring at him with wide blue optics, as if trying to somehow hack into his CPU to see if he was being serious. Then slowly, she smiled. "Well, well, so the great Orion Pax gets up the energon to ask at last." She murmured, then leaned closer, so that he could feel the pull of her spark tugging at his own. It made his systems start going haywire. "I thought you'd never ask…." She mused. "And here I'd dropped all the hints."

"My apologies." He said somewhat dazed at the near proximity of her spark. His throbbed inside him, the pull tantalizing. "I…wanted to ask before, but…"

"But you didn't have the nuggets for it." She smirked. "You're a great mech… I had my optics on you since we first met… I was patient enough to wait for you to make your mind up. When this is over, I will accept. We will become spark-bonded." Her smile was warmer than anything he'd seen in the last several vorns. "Finally."

End of Chapter One.

Thanks for reading, comments are appreciated, but please be constructive and don't flame. The concept behind this story is to bring it up to the place where the movie begins. After which I may write a sequel, as I have some inkling ideas.