His turn was all the indication I need to know Prowl was agitated. I threw my hands up in front of my chest, palms out.
"You don't have to tell me anything, if you don't want to," I said as I backed away. The glare he had been forming slipped away as he sighed and then turned away.
"It's not that, Hound," his head gave a little shake.
"Well, if you change your mind, I'll be glad to listen," I backed up a few more steps and lowered my hands. Poor guy had a lot of pressure on him at the moment, mostly answering to human governments about rumors of our destruction. Prime wasn't handling the situation any better. I spun on my heel and headed down the orange walls of the base. Artificial lights faded into natural sunshine as I neared the entrance.
The Decepticon take-over of Central City had been an awful blow. Exiled from the planet we swore to protect was only the first slap in the face. The trial had been humiliating, sure, but exiled! I shook the thoughts from my head as I transformed. All four tires had barely settled on the cold steel of out broken ship, when I peeled out. Dirt and dust kicked up behind me as I sped away. Prime and Prowl didn't need thinking time, but I did. The desert landscape blurred around me as I pushed my odometer past 200 Mph.
I couldn't stand the look of the once beautiful cacti, the organically formed rocks and dunes, the blazing blue sky, none of it. It stung too deep, too near my betrayed sense of home. We had been so easily turned away, so easily thrown into the blankness of space. The humans had tossed us aside, for what? To be enslaved by an evil warlord? Clearly, these were not the beings I thought them to be. Spike, Sparkplug and Chip had stood by us, but I was beginning to think they were the exception and not the rule.
My tires gripped the winding mountain track as I climbed steadily higher in altitude. My speed barely dipped below 150 mark as I careened around a particularly sharp corner. It was a dangerous stunt, one that could have Ratchet very pissed off at me, but how could I care when I felt like the planet I had grown to love betrayed me? And now, as the other Autobots wallowed in their own confusion and anger, I felt jilted from them as well. Even Trailbreaker, no doubt exhausted by the over-extension of his powers, was in hiding.
The mountain flattened a little below the peak, and was already occupied as I transformed and came skidding to a halt. Mirage hardly looked up as I stared at him in wonder then anger. How dare he take my spot! He nodded at the green valley below and the misty mountains in the distance, fading into a dull gray, then electric blue of the sky.
"I can se why you come here," Mirage turned his head slightly away.
"How'd you know about it?" I dropped myself heavily to the ground. Two birds, hearing or sensing my displeasure, squawked as they burst from a nearby tree.
"You always patrol this point at some time during your 'on-duty.' I thought it must be something worthwhile," he said as he settled on his haunches near me. "We're not so different, you know."
I was taken aback for a moment. What did he mean by that? I waited for him to explain, but his silence seemed endless. I shifted my weight and pulled my knees up to my grill.
"You loved this planet, despite its faults, because it was new and interesting. I loved Cybertron because it was home, and familiar. We both loved a planet more than was proper. I realized it as we were about to collide with the Sun. I shouldn't love Cyberton more than my fellow Autobots. I should love Cybertron with my comrades," he stopped and looked at me. His sad smile lifted at the edges of this his optics. Was it an appeal? Was he looking for my agreement? He continued before I could reply; his steady blue optics stared into mine. "They hurt you didn't they? Because they are creatures of his ever-changing world, you feel wounded by it. Humans are fickle, but so it the Earth. We know that now, we'll be ready next time."
He broke his gaze and searched the horizon, settling on a tall peak in the middle distance, "I don't hate Earth, but I do get homesick. How do you deal with it?"
Mirage, if anything, is perceptive. How he had found out, what small clues I had left, I don't know, but it was true. I got homesick every so often. Occasionally, it was so bad I had to retreat for a few days, and pull myself free from depression.
"I find things here that remind me of home," I said, tilting my head and laying it over my arms. There was no use to deny it. "I have a whole drawer of stuff I pick through and image I'm back on Cybertron, before the war."
"I do as well," he lifted his line of sight to the cloudless sky. "I have part of a traffic light that reminds me of the relay towers along the old highways."
"Me, too. And half of a sign that looks like it says, 'Cybertronian bar.' I had to modify it a little," I smile for the first time that day.
"A piece of glass shaped like the Poli-hex skyline."
"A collection of Mercury, like the River in Iacon."
"Clever. Melted plastic in the shape of Cybertron."
"Two fused bumpers. It reminded me of a sculpture I saw in a gallery."
"I didn't know you visited the galleries."
"I worked a lot, but I tried to get to them every so often."
We turned to each other. His sad smile was gone, as was my frustration. The betrayal still sat close to my core, and probably would for a while. If Cyberton could still hold my affection, then Earth deserved at least one more chance.
"I suppose the humans understand why Decepticons are called that now," he flicked a rock off the edge of the cliff. His face returned to its usual blank, pensive state.
"I'd like to think they won't let it happen again," I watched as the stone tumbled out of sight.
"Maybe not this generation, but perhaps the next. I guess that's why we try to protect them," Mirage stood then, and looked out over the panorama. "I do like this planet, despite the dirt."
"Me too, despite the people."