I did this up quick because I forgot my zip drive at home so I had nothing important to do in 3 classes and 3 studyhalls... bored out of mind...

Anyway, this is all building up to the title I swear- so enjoy this chappie, and lemme know what you think

Ariel Pax: a Spider Story

What Stork?

Ratchet looked at the door when it opened, he had only just arose from re-charge, and was surprised to find anyone entering the base that early, usually everyone else was still blissfully asleep save if Sari hadn't woken one of them for one reason or another. He was especially surprised it was Optimus whom was entering the base so early, "What were you doin' out?"

Optimus only glanced at the older 'bot, he seemed fairly refreshed, but exhausted all at once, the red mech sighed, "Its alright Ratchet, I came out of recharge early and decided to go for a drive." At his elder's suspicious look, he shook his head, "Don't give it a second thought!"

Had there been time, Ratchet would've likely pressed the subject on the unusual behavior, but Sari came running out, still putting her boots on, "Hey! You guys remember what today is?!" She smiled up at them for a moment before realizing there blank stares. She pouted, "You forgot!" she huffed out.

Fortunately Bumblebee came to their rescue, rushing into the room, "Sari's taking us to a Zao!"

She rolled her eyes, "Zoo Bumblebee. Zoo."

He shrugged, "Yeah whatever."

Optimus shook his head, "I'm still not quite sure about the concept- locking life forms in entrapments so that you can see them?"

Sari shook her head, "Like I told Prowl, they're mostly endangered species and animals that were sick or hurt so they couldn't survive on their own! The zoo keeps them safe, and they have people come look at them to educate the public on them so they'll help."

Prowl emerged from the shadows, "I still say it seems they're prisoners."

Sari tugged at her pigtails in frustration, "But they aren't! They're taken care of really well!"

Bumblebee transformed, "Let's go let's go let's go!"

Sari shook her head, "But we have to wait for Bulkhead! Besides, the zoo doesn't even open until ten!"

Ratchet nodded, "Just because you're a morning person Bumblebee, doesn't mean the rest of the universe is!"

Bumblebee transformed back and stomped his foot down, "It's not fair! I don't wanna wait!"

Prowl shook his head, "Why are you so impatient?"

The smaller yellow bot nearly growled, "I am not impatient! Why are you calling me that? Tell me now!"

Sari laughed for a moment before her stomach rumbled fairly loudly. She nervously laughed, "Calm down Bumblebee- I'll eat breakfast while we wait for Bulkhead, by then we'll probably go."

Bumblebee kicked the floor as Prowl got Sari breakfast.

Hours later, they finally went to the zoo, Sari mentioning how fortunate it was that the Detroit zoo had been expanded, mentioning how they wouldn't have fit inside before, especially Bulkhead. Sari thrilled in watching the animals from around the word by just sitting on Bumblebee's shoulder. Bumblebee however quickly lost his early enthusiasm.

"Whoopti-do. I don't see what's so great about these things. Most of them aren't even moving!"

Prowl sighed, "That would be because many of them are nocturnal Bumblebee, they sleep during the day and hunt at night."

Bumblebee groaned, "Well it's boring!"

Bulkhead was treading extra-carefully, and looked over the fence at some lounging lions, "They don't look like mighty hunters to me. I'm not sure the little plaque here's right…"

Prowl shook his head, "Most hunters don't seem to give off the appearance of such, that helps them hunt to look non-threatening."

Optimus glanced in the exhibit and saw one of the females grabbing a cub in its mouth, "Is that one eating they protoform there?"

Sari shook her head vigorously, "No, no, no Optimus! That's her baby, she's just carrying it; even cockatiel moms won't eat their own babies!"

Ratchet looked at the feline carrying the cub, "Are you sure?"

Sari nodded, "Of course! Look!" The lion put her cub down and began to groom it, "See?"

Ratchet nodded, "Seems the creatures of this planet take good care of their protoforms."

Sari nodded, "Most do. Some bugs will eat their young, but they're more likely to feed the daddy to the babies."

Bumblebee stuck out his oral probe in disgust, "Eww, they eat their creator?"

Sari nodded, "Uh-huh. The mom bug kills the dad bug, then feeds him to the babies." At the disgusted looks she shrugged, "They're only bugs…"

Bulkhead gestured to the next exhibit, "Maybe we should move on…"

Sari glanced over and smirked, "Ooo! Gazelle!"

Further in the park, a mechanical stork (courtesy to the zoo from Sumdac Systems), was feedin motherless hatchlings, its reason for existence along with three other identical robots. One of the living storks in the exhibit decided to dive under the pond, only to bring up two small glowing allspark fragments. The stork stared at them for a bit, as a bird fasinated by glowing or shiny objects, and brought it back to its nest. The stork placed them with its eggs in the nest nearest to the robot mother-birds.

The energy from the fragments made the nearest robot stork begin to go haywire, making horribly loud, screeching noises. The noise made the nearby mother bird move to protect her eggs, her wings expanded and her mouth threateningly open. The allspark fragments glowed brighter, and somehow embedded themselves in the robot stork along with some feathers from the real stork, the energy overload throwing the living stork back and consuming the robot entirely.

Sari's key fortunately sensed the signal, and the team made it to the exhibit in time to see the energy re-absorb into the robot bird, Sari leaned in between the bars, "That bird is giving off the signal."

"No duh." Bumblebee remarked, earning a raspberry blown at him.

The bird looked around and outstretched its previously immobile and fake wings. The wings had been all white and polyester before, and now looked more like a living bird with soft, true feathers. It looked around and flew right out of the confinement, landing a safe distance from them on the information plaque.

Prowl approached it, "Easy, easy, we won't hurt you." He looked at the allspark fragment he could see embedded under the bird's wing. He tried to make himself as un-threatening as possible, to little avail, "It's alright! Just let me get that out of your wing."

The bird shook its head side to side vigorously, and a small, soft, distinctly female-protoform like voice came from it, "No. Don't touch it!"

Sari was taken aback as the others, "What are you?" The little girl peeped.

The bird looked around a minute then shrunk back, "I don't know." The bird looked around, only having the vaguest thoughts of her time as an essential nanny-bot. "Prema." She mumbled, "The zookeepers always called each of us Prema Storks. Whatever that means." The stork looked around and simply transformed. She was even smaller than Bumblebee, though that wasn't suprising, and it was then visable that she had two pieces of allspark embedded in her, one on the crest above her enormous silvery optics, and a second embedded above the armor on her chest, though the armor was hardly that, more like the black portion of her wings wrapped around her. On her neck armor and the armor resting on and wrapped around her hips, was a star-shaped silver mark, similar to the glow of the crystals themselves. However, Prema didn't notice any of this, all she knew was her center of balance had been moved, which sent her plummeting to the ground on her face. She yelped at the surprise, "What…!?"

Prowl moved a little closer to her, "You transformed, that's all. Those allspark fragments must've manipulated your circuitry."

Sari looked up, "Circutry? She looked like a bird to me!"

Prowl pointed to the other robotic birds, "It looks like a few robot storks are in there too." Prema looked around, clearly confused, "Are you alright?" Prowl mumbled, reaching out to help her up.

Sari smirked and looked at Bumblebee, "And you said the zoo was boring!"

Predictably, the Autobots took her back to the base with them, fortunately explaining to the zoo staff beforehand what had happened, and that she was no longer just a mindless machine. Once at the base she acted like any animal in a new place, exploring the main rooms, asking incisively simple questions.

Prowl and the others sort of assumed she would like all the plants and animals in Prowl's room, but she seemed only mildly interested, her truly favorite thing in the room being an un-hatched egg resting with it's already-hatched siblings, she peered at it, "That one's slow… but it'll be a big bird!" she chirped, leaving the sight of the nest to explore other rooms.

She was small enough to fly through the base without trouble, and began to settle herself in the upper corner of the living room in the rafters. Ratchet folded his arms, "You can't re-charge up there! You've only just come online- we can't have you falling and getting injured you protoform!"

She folded her wings and ducked her head for a moment before flying down and transforming, "You're loud."

Sari laughed, "Welcome to our world."

Ratchet shook his head, "I think we should scan her just to assure she is in top working order."

"Scan?" Prema piped, "Will that hurt?"

Bumblebee shook his head, "Not if you hold still- if you don't Ratchet hits you."

"I do not!" the medic groaned, fully annoyed by the speedster.

Prema slowly approached Ratchet, "You sure it won't hurt..?"

The medic tried to smile, "I promise it won't hurt a bit."

It only took a few minutes for him to scan her, and for them all to realize that because of the circumstances of her creation, she wasn't all robot, she was techno-organic. Like Blackarachnia. Sari smiled, "This might be a good thing…"

Bulkhead glanced down at her, "Why do you say that?"

"Because…" The little human smiled mischievously, "The Decepticons can't trace the allsparks in her, so she and I can play with absolutely no repercussions outside!"

Ratchet shook his head, "Not without us. She'd still be an easy target. And we can't be sure she won't give off a signature at all. We'll wait a little while to see."

Bumblebee rushed over to the television, "Hey Sari! Wanna play a game?"

The child grinned and rushed after him, Bulkhead following to watch. Ratchet grumbled something about them all being stupid sparklings, and moved off to his own quarters to recharge.

Prema flew back to her perch as soon as the medic was gone, and though she watched the others for a while, eventually tucked her head under her wing to rest. Optimus watched it all with interest at first, but what Sari had said earlier in the day about bugs and spiders feeding the mate to the young had his mind wandering to disturbing places that reminded him of the minimal rest he had gotten the night before, and he decided to just go to re-charge.

Though Prema was asleep for the first time in her new sentience, she was for from resting. Words and names and a voice pounded in her head, a comforting voice that told her everything she needed to know; including why he made her.

Hmn, maybe that wasn't QUITE subtle enough, but this is seriously going to lead to a good twist or two. Fourtunatly I've only got 2 more days of school, then I don't have an ABSOLUTE ton to do for a few days, but I'm still going to be pretty busy at least until the 29th; after graduation.

So, please let me know what you think(Primus its boiling hot out, 99 freekin' degrees...) Eh-hem, well, hope you enjoyed it!

I love hearing what people have to say; so let me know!