Rebirth – Part Three
Case placed Rae gently on Harbinger's recharge berth, having moved it to the center of the room. She didn't flinch at the cold, hardly reacted to the tender touches of her caregivers. Her skin was too pale, her respiration and heart rates too slow and shallow. Her body was slowly shutting down, and Case didn't have the technology to fix her before she died. One look at his hardened optics, and no one doubted his belief that this would work. Whatever plan he had up his armplates was well worth any doubt the others might have had in him. The odd looks being exchanged meant nothing to the medic. Case didn't have the same skills as Ratchet – pit, he didn't even have the same respect from his patients that Ratchet commanded – but they did trust him, and that was something he could not afford to lose. This had to work. If it didn't, they would lose so much more than the youngling they had taken in as their own.
He carefully placed the AllSpark, now ten cubic inches, on Rae's chest. "Bracket, I need you to stand by her feet." he said calmly. As the little spider-bot climbed into position, he began issuing instructions to the others. "Veris, on her left. Harbinger, her right. I'll stand at her head. Everyone else, find a spot and get in as close as you can." Easier said than done for such large organisms, but they managed.
Starscream took a place on Veris's right, Barricade to his left. Jazz and Ironhide took similar positions beside Harbinger. The other Neutrals filed in where they could, Sheol and Silver on opposite sides, Greystreak taking place beside Bracket. They pushed together so they were almost touching, and only inches away from the berth. If anything happened, they would easily be able to reach each other and Rae.
"I hope you know what you're doing." Veris muttered to Case. The medic shot him a grin.
"Have I ever been wrong?" he asked cheekily. Harbinger rolled his optics and Greystreak snickered.
"Does he want the list?" the ex-Autobot teased.
The others simply tolerated the banter. Tension was thick, almost oppressive. It was only a matter of time before someone snapped, something happened, and if the teasing was a way to put that off, they would let it.
Suddenly, Rae moaned, her eyes opening blearily. Case reached out and touched the cube, motioning for the others to follow suit. Bracket, being too small to reach the AllSpark and still maintain his position in the circle, settled for touching Greystreak. The two exchanged worried looks, too nervous and agitated to actually talk to each other. There really wasn't a need. The Neutrals had been around each other for a good thousand years – they knew each other better than they knew themselves. The look traveled around, and all optics landed on Case.
It was time. He reached down and touched a few of the symbols.
Child of mine, what is it you request?
Case paused for a moment, trying to collect himself for a moment. "We plead for this youngling's life." he said quietly. The others stiffened, unable to hear the AllSpark's voice, yet none of them doubted who he was talking to. Once again, doubt swept across the group. The AllSpark had been designed for sparking Transformers, and while it had accepted Rae once, what were the chances of it happening again? "She is simply too young to return to Primus just yet."
The AllSpark seemed to consider this.
Do Decepticon and Autobot alike plead for this youngling called Rae? For you know as well as I that the AllSpark cannot be used to further one side or another, not now that peace is so close to being achieved.
It only took Case a moment to answer. "There are two Autobots and two Decepticons here on their own volition. They are here to see Rae healed."
Sudden warmth flooded the room, and now everyone could hear the feminine, mechanical voice.
Do you truly understand what is asked of you? In order to save this youngling, some of your power must be taken. I can heal her wounds, but you must bring back her spark.
For a moment, there was nothing. Veris cast a look of understanding at Case, and the Neutral mech simply nodded. "There is also the possibility of one of us dying if there is insufficient energy." he said evenly.
Starscream laughed suddenly. "Since when has imminent death ever stopped us?"
"Got that right." Jazz shot back, a smirk on his face. "Let's do it."
Does he speak for all of you?
There was a murmur of agreement from around the room. The AllSpark seemed to sigh.
Then let us begin.
It was dark and cold, but Rae didn't really care at this point. She knew she was dying, that there was nothing Case could do at this point and time. It was too late for her. The cost of ending the war had been her life.
She wouldn't change a thing. It was worth dying now, to have lived her life the same. She loved them all so much – the sometimes stuck-up Veris, psychopathic over-protective Harbinger, little Bracket with his funny way of talking, Sheol and Harbinger with their constant fighting, even Silver and Case, who were constantly cramming knowledge and training into her mind.
Even Starscream, Barricade, Jazz, and Ironhide held special places in her heart. They had taken good care of her during her short stay with them. They had tried to protect the neutrality the others had worked so hard to build.
She wanted to see them again.
If she could have, she would have jumped. "AllSpark?" she asked. "What the pit? I thought you created sparklings, not showed people across the River Styx."
A chuckle. True. But I am not here to introduce you to Primus. I am to bring you back, should you wish to come.
Rae couldn't believe it. It was almost too good to be true. "Are you serious?" Suddenly, she paused. "What's the catch?"
How do you know there's a catch?
"If there wasn't, you would have brought me back already."
True. The catch lies in the way you are healed. Mechs can do many things with spark energy – I have used some of it to heal your body. There are – changes, now.
Rae was listening now. "What kind of changes?"
You will live as long as they.
"That doesn't sound bad at all."
You will also have a mental connection to all of them, as well as me. Should you find need, you will be able to channel my energy and defend yourself – or them. On the downside of this, you will lose any connections you may still have to your human origins.
That made Rae hesitate. "I don't care."
Then it's time to come home.
The drain on the mechs was incredible. Bracket fell into recharge before the healing was even completed, increasing the strain on the others. There was no bright light, no flashy fanfare. Suddenly, the energy flow stopped, causing everyone to drop to the ground. The AllSpark gave a contented sigh, and while the symbols had faintly glowed for the duration of the healing, it was now dormant once again.
The ex-Decepticon was instantly back on his feet, gently picking Rae up and cradling her to his chest. "It's all right now, Rae." he whispered. "You're safe now."
Rae wrapped her arms around his neck. "I know."
The others exchanged warm looks, the tension leaving the air as easily as Harbinger held Rae. Barricade stared, openly stunned. "But how?" he demanded. "It makes no sense."
Ironhide laughed. "I really don't think that matters now, 'con." he said simply. "She's back again."
"Indeed." Veris stood up, keeping his balance with the recharge berth. "You should stay here." he said, indicating the residing Autobots and Decepticons. "Get some recharge. I think Prime can suffer without you for a while."
Jazz and Ironhide nodded. "Hey, we wouldn't miss this for the world." Ironhide said calmly.
No one made it to their recharge berths that night. They recharged in a bundle on the floor, Rae cradled between them. On the table, the AllSpark hummed contently. Bigger plans had already been set in motion, and now her children had the ability to protect themselves and the last chance the Transformers had to find true peace from the war.
Ok, not too thrilled with the ending, but this is the last of the Neutrals for right now. More stories may come, but I'll be knocking off a few of the ones I already have going – namely The Dark Side and Together Forever. Until then, I remain yours truly,