Disclaimer: I don't own Transformers or any of the characters, Hasbro & Paramount Pictures does.
I would like to give an extra-big thanks to everyone who was kind enough to draw pictures of Bumblebee for me. Or you could just go to my profile where I have links for all of the art pieces people have done for me. And I will be referencing Litahatchee's wonderful idea of carrying from her story Night Fire, which I truly hope I do justice in this story. Thank you.
Sparkling - Chapter VI - Discovery
The rugged brown hallways of the Vector Sigma Autobot Military Base was filled with the humming of machines and the sound of explosions from the outside firing range. Small, compact corridors made up most of the base, designed specially for the defensive purpose of keeping Decepticons out. However, this mattered little to a particular Autobot who was determined to get out of the base without being apprehended by his pursuers at that very moment.
"Yes, I saw them," snapped Silverbolt uncharacteristically into his com-link at his commander, "Trust me, Prime, there is no way I would mistake that paintjob or frame."
Did you see any others? asked Optimus in a frantic voice.
"Yes, I saw a dark blue figure just prior to the second sighting," said the Autobot aerial commander, cautiously glancing around the corner before proceeding to head down the next hallway, "The whole squadron must be here."
I will increase the search for Bumblebee and inform the crew to be more discreet in their ventures so as not to attract unnecessary attention, stated Optimus, his powerful voice sounding slightly haggard and flustered, This is a rather…unexpected predicament.
"I must agree, sir," whispered Silverbolt, hurriedly ducking down behind a large crate when he saw a slim figure appear at the end of the hallway, "What would you have me do, Prime?"
Do not worry about searching for Bumblebee, ordered Optimus, his calm voice regaining its usual confidant persona, For now, all I want you to focus on is returning to the ship unseen and undiscovered with young Fireflight.
Silverbolt gazed down at the youngling whom he held cradled in his arms, child-like faceplates scrunched up into a frightened frown. The little red flier had not made so much as a peep since the very beginning of his guardian's frantic sprint, instead opting to remain silent as Silverbolt attempted to get back undetected to the docked battle cruiser, which was proving to be quite the challenge.
The protective guardian was at least reassured by the fact that if he did happen to directly encounter one of his pursuers, they would never purposely bring any harm unto his adoptive youngling. Such a worry had never even crossed his processor. However, it was the possibility of his pursuers being tapped by Decepticons if they were ever captured that would truly put Fireflight or Bumblebee into harm's way. And that was the reason why the mechs of Artemis I had not allowed these fellow Autobots to even know about the existence of the younglings.
The Autobot aerial commander was knocked out of his thoughts by the frightened voice of his youngling. He tightened his hold on the young red mech, placing a gentle kiss upon his forehead before peering out to look down the hallway. It appeared to be empty at the moment and from what he could tell from the blueprints he had downloaded from Red Alert earlier, it seemed that he was not too far from the connecting hangars of the Autobot base and Artemis I.
"I need you to stay real quiet for me, okay, little one?" whispered Silverbolt.
Fireflight nodded his head, squirming a little bit to get into a more comfortable position in his guardian's arms. Once the youngling was satisfied, he gave the older mech a small smile.
"That's my lil' mech."
With a cautious glance both ways, Silverbolt emerged from his position behind the crate and proceeded to make his way towards the connecting ship. He made it down three hallways and was just one corridor over from entering the hallway that connected Vector Sigma to the battle cruiser when the aerial commander heard a very loud and very familiar yell from all the way down a far passageway.
The towering red and white Autobot frantically looked around, well aware of the fact that he was caught and there was no escaping his pursuer now. It would look far too suspicious if he were to run away. So, he did the first thing that came into his processor and smacked the control panel on the doorway that he stood beside and promptly threw Fireflight into the unidentified room.
He heard his youngling let out a startled yelp before hitting the panel yet again and shutting the doorway. It was with a nervous chuckle and wide grin that Silverbolt turned around, his dark blue optics immediately locking on the slim figure that was very rapidly approaching him. Silverbolt felt his spark blaze with a ferocious longing and it took all of his willpower not to race down the hallway and sweep that familiar deep purple and rose red form into his arms.
Fireflight yelped in surprise when he was suddenly thrown from the warm safety of his guardian's protective arms and into a dimly lit room that was full of old equipment and crates that were stacked ceiling-high. With a huff of disgust, the youngling folded his arms and glared at the doorway as it slammed shut behind him.
How dare he!! thought Fireflight, puffs of irritated air coming out his vents when he heard his guardian's voice talking outside, Throwing me around like that! Humph!!
The young flier pouted, both agitated by being thrown into a strange room and by the fact that he could not quite make out what his guardian was saying to whoever it was he had encountered. Overall, Fireflight was not a happy youngling.
"Who's he talking to?" mused Fireflight.
He may not be able to understand what they were saying, but Fireflight could hear the sounds of their voices. And he did not recognize the sound of this new mech's voice at all. It was certainly someone he had never met before, because the voice held a very strange lilting tone to it that was very unique and unforgettable. Fireflight was fairly sure that this was a voice he would not have forgotten.
"Hmmm, maybe if I could— "
The youngling was suddenly cut off by the sound of a loud crash in the back of the room. Fireflight jumped at the unexpected sound, taken aback by it. After a few moments of silence, the young red flier slowly started to inch his way toward the far left side of the storage room that was filled with large crates and assorted equipment. Fireflight was not exactly sure what to do, but it was very clear that he was on his own in this new situation. If the sounds coming from outside the door were any indication, then his guardian had his hands full at the moment.
Fireflight barely made it to where he had heard the crash take place before he was sprawled out atop two of the smaller crates along the wall. With a shake of his head and a curse at his infinite clumsiness, Fireflight glanced done at the ground to see what he had managed to trip head-over-heels on this time. What he saw shocked him, to say the least.
The young red flier gazed down at the twittering sparkling, his optics surprised by the sight that they were transferring back to his processor. Of all the places for the yellow sparkling to end up, he just happened to be in the exact same storage room that Fireflight had been so kindly tossed into by his guardian. And it was a storage room that was not on board Artemis I at that. Coincidence?
Fireflight thought not.
"Bee!" hissed Fireflight, quickly regaining his composure and moving down to pick up the clicking sparkling, "What're you doing all the way out here?"
The sparkling continued to click rapidly, his little arms flailing and pointing in a number of directions as his fellow youngling scooped him up. Fireflight nodded, barely able to keep up with the yellow mech's explanations. So Bumblebee had heard a strange noise in the ventilation system of his room and had decided to investigate it. Well, that explained a lot.
"You shouldn't follow strange noises, Bee," scolded Fireflight whilst sitting down on a nearby crate as the sparkling continued on with his story, "What if it had been some-thing really bad, like a Decepticon?"
Bumblebee clicked even more rapidly in an attempt to justify his actions, not at all happy to have his reasoning questioned by his only fellow youngling.
"That doesn't matter, Bee," sighed Fireflight, internally wondering if he was this stubborn as a sparkling, "You could have been seriously hurt and no one would've known where you were."
The yellow sparkling twittered loudly, smacking Fireflight's chassis a few times to get his point across and show the older mech his displeasure.
"Jealous?!" gaped Fireflight, "I'm not jealous!"
Bumblebee released a long series of buzzes, pointing and poking at various parts of the older youngling's faceplates.
"And I'm not clumsy," sniffed the red flier in indignation, "Things just happen to get in my way."
With another series of twitters and buzzes, Bumblebee explained how he followed the strange intruder and ended up in the storage room. Of course, much of this was done with the occasional cuss thrown in every now and then.
"Primus, your manners are as bad as 'Hide's," stated Fireflight, shaking his head at the sparkling's tendency to cuss and swear every time something in his story did not go his way, "Maybe Ratchet is right and you should…"
Fireflight was suddenly cut off when another loud crash came from the other side of the room from where he had found Bumblebee. Both youngling and sparkling gazed at the overturned crates with wide optics, not sure what to make of it or what they should do since neither one was too eager to investigate. The young flier shifted the sparkling in his arms, leaning forward to get a better look into the darkness.
"You said you were following something, right Bee?"
"Did it happen to come into this room?"
Silence stretched between the two young mechs.
No sooner had those words left Fireflight's voice capacitor before a set of bright red optics could be seen glowing in the ominous darkness. A quiet gasp left the red flier's mouthplates and he quickly backpedaled away from the threat, a frightened Bumblebee clutched tightly in his arms. The youngling was barely able to process the need to yell for help before he was ruthlessly tackled into the crates behind him.
The youngling threw the tiny yellow mech off to the side, taking most of the hard impact himself. Fireflight gasped in pain when his head collided with the sharp edge of a crate, his optical vision blurring briefly before he felt a set of razor-sharp teeth sink deep into his throat plating. A jolt of white-pain shot through his entire frame, everything a hot red that seemed to burn within and throughout his very system. The young flier's hands immediately attempted to grab at the being atop him, but Fireflight's efforts were swiftly thwarted when equally sharp claws slammed down into his forearms, effectively pinning them into the ground.
Bumblebee screamed loudly in terror, his optics widened with horror from where he had been thrown off to the side. A massive dark red and yellow form pinned his fellow youngling to the ground, its large mouth of gaping teeth tearing at Fireflight's throat with a viciousness that the sparkling had never before witnessed. Bumblebee could hear the harsh, gurgling sound of his friend's desperate gasps of agony, the massive form atop the young red flier effectively preventing him from calling for help. So, Bumblebee decided to scream for help in Fireflight's place.
"Silver!! Help!! Silver!!!!"
A pool of bright blue energon had begun to surround the writhing youngling, his much smaller frame completely trapped beneath that of his attacker. Fireflight could very faintly hear the sound of screams coming from somewhere, but he could not quite make out the direction nor the source. Every part of his frame screamed in pain, especially his throat, arms, and legs. It almost felt like knives or claws had been slammed through them and that was why he could not move no matter how hard he tried. And the tearing that he felt in his throat was absolutely unbearable.
"Help!! Somebody!! Please!! Help!!"
Bumblebee continued to scream and yell as loud as he could, watching in horror as the giant feline-mech tore even deeper into his friend's throat. Energon ran out of the red mech's secondary lines, both of which were located in the forearms and lower legs of an aerial bot. Fireflight's attacker had obviously known this and had immediately driven his claws into those strategic locations. Bumblebee held Rufus tightly, his optics bright with terror yet determined as they narrowed into angry slits.
No one hurt Fireflight and got away with it!!
With a twitter of rage, Bumblebee threw Rufus to the side and latched onto the Decepticon's lower left leg. And it was with a growl of utter aggression that the little mech jammed his tiny fingers deep between the feline-mech's shin plating, tearing at the wires that made up the 'Con's mobility system. The Decepticon roared in pain, doing exactly what Bumblebee wanted by releasing Fireflight's throat from his ruthless jaws.
One of the nearby crates overturned as the Decepticon's tail sliced it clean it half, a loud crash echoing throughout the room as the sparkling continued to jam his fingers deeper into Fireflight's attacker. However, it was the sudden appearance of a second attacker that finally drove the 'Con's attention completely away from the youngling pinned beneath him.
Bumblebee looked up in surprise when he heard a loud hiss from above him, his optics watching in disbelief as another, smaller feline figure pounced upon the 'Con who was using Fireflight as a chew-toy. The sparkling was soon flung off to the side, hitting a crate as the 'Con flailed against the new attacker.
However, it was not long before the door to the storage room swooshed open and the familiar voice of the Autobot aerial commander could be heard in the chaotic mess of energon and snarls. Bumblebee could hear Silverbolt gasp in horror, the pounding in his cranial unit not bad enough to prevent the sparkling from sensing the sudden tension and rising fury that was permeating into the room.
The aerial commander launched himself into the room and towards the mech who was responsible for the horrifying condition of his youngling. A deep purple and rose red figure appeared right behind Silverbolt, faceplates forming into an expression of complete and utter shock. The Decepticon feline snarled threateningly before diving off to the side, just barely evading the sharp edge of Silverbolt's energon blade. With another snarl and hiss, the feline-mech dove between two crates and disappeared into the previously unseen vent on the ceiling.
Silverbolt roared in rage, shoving his left arm into the vent and firing numerous rounds into the hole as he screamed loudly in a combination of fury and sorrow. If it was not for the presence of the other Autobot and her grabbing arms, the aerial commander would have likely blown the entire ceiling down in his frenzied grief.
"Silver!! Stop this!!" yelled the femme, roughly grabbing him from behind and turning him around to face her, "There are much more important matters to attend to at this moment! Control yourself!!"
The towering Autobot gazed down at his sparkmate with hazed optics, slowly coming out of his frenzy as Airazor coaxed him back to himself. And it was after a few astroseconds when his optics finally strayed over to the catalyst of his furious outrage.
Silverbolt darted over to his adopted youngling, blue optics wide as he took in the extensive damage that had been dealt to the red flier's frame. The aerial commander slowly bent down and groaned in horror, rapidly becoming physically ill at the horrific sight of his darling Fireflight. Thankfully, his sparkmate was there once again to knock him out of his stupor and quickly evaluated the situation, taking charge whilst her usually calm-minded partner attempted to regain his composure.
"We need a medic in storage room 14B," ordered Airazor into her com-link, her normally stoic voice strained as both Silverbolt and her attempted to staunch the flow of energon from Fireflight's wounds, "Code 5 situation."
Silverbolt allowed his sparkmate to handle the distress call, his attention wholly focused on the prone form and pain-filled optics that were staring up at him.
"Everything's going to be alright, Fire," said the older mech, unsubspacing a piece of medical scrap metal and pressing it onto the youngling's weeping throat, "Ratchet will be here in the next breem and he'll patch you right up."
"We have a Code 24 situation," stated Airazor, her voice firm as she continued to speak into the com-link, "Confirmed Decepticon infiltration: designation Razorclaw."
Silverbolt felt his spark tighten and his optics haze red when he heard his spark-mate speak the name of Fireflight's attacker.
The leader of the predacons.
Never before had Silverbolt felt such an intense hatred towards another being in his entire life. Anger and aggression were not second nature to the aerial commander, unlike some of his rowdier comrades. However, at that moment in time, Silverbolt truly desired to rip out the spark of every Decepticon he could get his hands on. And he was sure that Ironhide or the twins would only be all too happy to join him.
"Injured Autobot is…"
Airazor turned to her sparkmate, trailing off into the com-link after she realized that she did not know anything about the attack victim.
"His name's Fireflight," breathed Silverbolt, not once losing optic contact with his youngling, "That should be enough to get Ratchet and the others here as fast as possible."
Gazing at her sparkmate with questioning optics, Airazor nevertheless did not lose her composure and continued into the com-link, "Injured Autobot is Fireflight. Condition is critical and rapidly deteriorating."
"Just open your vents, Fire," coached Silverbolt, running a hand across the young flier's front chassis vents in an attempt to synchronize their breathing, "Open them and breathe in time with me, okay?"
The youngling attempted to nod his head, but instead only ended up hiccupping a large amount of energon, the main fuel lines that led from his throat and down into his fuel tanks obviously severed by the feline-mech's jaws. However, it was the terrified cerulean optics that truly wrenched at Silverbolt's aching spark. He had never expected to see his youngling in such a tank-churning and life-threatening situation. And the fact that he was unable to take Fireflight's pain away was swiftly tearing the powerful aerial commander apart inside.
The aerial commander glanced over to his sparkmate, his optics widening even further when he saw whom she was inclining her head towards. His spark clenched painfully at the thought that not only had Airazor seen Fireflight, but Bumblebee as well. The little yellow sparkling was curled into a little ball beside a nearby crate, a steady stream of energon tears running down his faceplates. However, it was the orangish-red creature that was snuggling up beside the sparkling that caught his attention.
"A sparkling?!" demanded Airazor.
"A cybercat?" questioned Silverbolt.
Both locked optics for a few intense moments, one demanding answers whilst the other was attempting to hide those very same answers. And it was not long before a look of realization graced Airazor's feminine features, her optics turning toward Fireflight and widening as understanding dawned on her. After all, it was not that hard to figure out if one simply looked at the injured flier's frame.
No adult flier was that small, especially with a fourth-frame.
Airazor's maternal programming automatically kicked in, her spark reaching out to the two younglings before her. The yellow mech was obviously still in his first-frame, making him a mere sparkling. The injured red flier seemed too small to have received his third frame yet, but it was also highly possible that the frame-maker had simply not given the youngling any upgrades or added advancements. Supplies were low and Airazor doubted that the Autobots would be willing to part with the critically needed frame materials until the younglings were absolutely ready to receive them.
"Silver," said Airazor in a shaky voice, "I do not know whether to believe what I am seeing or not." The femme breathed loudly through her vents, suddenly feeling her infamous stoicism fade away. "Are they really— "
The femme never got to finish her sentence before three large forms barreled into the room and began shouting in almost every direction. Ratchet immediately went to the injured youngling, barking out orders at the others present in the room. Airazor was the one most often spoken to due to the fact that she at least had rudimentary medical training and was more level-headed than the others. Optimus immediately went over to Silverbolt, asking the aerial commander what had happened. Ironhide merely cussed loudly and threatened death upon the 'Con who had harmed the youngling.
All optics but Ratchet's turned towards the small voice on the other side of the room, suddenly realizing that there was in fact another youngling present. And this one was even younger and smaller than the one already injured and dying.
Ironhide raced over and scooped up his sparkling, cradling the little mech close as Ratchet shouted orders and demanded that every medic on base converge to his location. He ordered First Aid to prepare the medical bay for an incoming critical condition patient and requested for at least ten mechs to report immediately to Hoist to donate energon for Fireflight's emergency transfusions. They could hear Wheeljack's frantic voice over the com-link, demanding to know the extent of Fireflight's injuries and how many converters and tube replacements he would have to prepare for surgery.
Ironhide was off to the side, staring down at the cybercat that was running around and between his feet whilst making loud mewling sounds at Bumblebee. The other mechs had completely overlooked the orangish-red creature in the chaos and were continuing to as two other medics, Perceptor and Fixit, entered the storage room. Both medics pushed Optimus, Silverbolt, and Airazor aside, immediately going to work on safely moving the youngling into a position where they could transport him to surgery.
The other Autobots watched as Fireflight was secured and moved out of the room by the medics and a newly arrived Inferno. Both chaos and the sounds of a loudly crying sparkling had kept their attention firmly fixed upon the crisis at hand; but as that crisis was taken from the room, realization and shock soon descended upon the four remaining Autobots.
"Airazor," rumbled Optimus Prime's deep baritone, placing his hand upon her much smaller shoulder as her sparkmate raced out of the room to follow the youngling, "We must move to a more discreet location, preferably onboard Artemis I."
The femme nodded her head mutely, well aware that such a location would more than likely be within shouting distance of the ship's medical bay.
"We have much to discuss," stated the Autobot commander.
"Yes, Prime," said Airazor, "I believe we do."
Life has been extremely hectic lately, so chapters may be slightly slow in coming. But you can rest assured that I never plan to abandon any of my stories. I'm just not the fastest writer on the planet, at all. And yes, I have finally introduced a femme into my stories, after all of the dozens of requests I have received about them. This chapter was not the easiest to write & I still have reservations about it & how I portrayed the characters, especially Airazor. If anyone has any comments or suggestions, just let me know. However, most questions that people are probably going to have will be cleared up in the next chapter. Thanks for reading!!
P.S. - In response to all of the requests I have received & my own never-ending imagination, I will be writing a story just like Little Brother in regards to the new Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen movie. My mind will probably be going haywire with ideas after I see anyways.