AN: (Bows) And here it is! Much thanks go to VioletLight, Hearts of Eternity, and Litahatchee for betaing and dealing with my nerves. And even after all is said and done, I still do not like how this chapter came out, but I've put off this story long enough!
A few quick things. This chapter is basically setup-so forgive me please if it does not read well, is a little jarring, or does not have enough information. I can promise you the following chapters will be reading much smoother and will explain any and/or all questions you may have.
I also am starting to have keyboard problems of the highest order-so my updates will be a little fragmented until I can get it repaired. Towards that end, Intimacy will be updated over the weekend-with this fic getting chapter 2 by next Friday. System of a Down may get an update by Monday.
This fic takes place long after the events of Sparks.
Credit: Thanks ever so much to Violet and Lita for allowing me to use the sparklings they've come up with and their ideas-Violet for letting me borrow Nightshade-her idea of Nightshade and Soundwave, Siren, Nightwave, and Starburst, along with the idea of their trine and caretakers. Lita, thanks ever so much for letting me borrow Sunshadow-Nightfire needed a baby brother!
I don't own Transformers or the characters listed that I've borrowed, but I do own Artemis, Nightfire, Polarity and Lifeline. Use any of them and any of my other ideas without my permission and Frenzy gets to play with your computer, while I hit something called the 'report abuse' button.
Guns and Cyber Roses
Arrival of the Younglings
Life for the Autobots and Decepticons had changed considerably since the human year of 2007. Sparklings had been born, old foes had become allies, and the discovery of a lost colony was helping the struggling Cybertronian race rebuild. Optimus Prime and Nightshade had agreed to a peace treaty as leaders of their respective factions- Optimus for the Autobots, and Nightshade for the Decepticons, with Soundwave as her second- and so things had started to become quiet.
Relatively speaking. There had been a minority- Autobot and Decepticon- that didn't agree with the treaty. Banding together, they created a new faction and declared war on the newly reunited Cybertronians. So while the fighting had sadly continued, it was significantly lesser and more quiet compared to the brutal Energonbaths that had been the norm of the Great War.
With the introduction of the colonists, Optimus (and a rather reluctant Nightshade) agreed to a non-partial Senate being elected to represent the populace at large. The countless vorns of fighting had only served to cement in the faction lines… Autobot, Decepticon, and Neutral. Optimus and Nightshade remained leaders of their respective factions while the Neutrals elected their own leader to represent them.
The next matter had been finding a place to live. Not wanting to impose any more on their human friends, the Autobots had relocated to a nearby solar system, with the Decepticons (warily, it should be added) joining them. Two moons and one planet were quickly turned into colonies, with various outposts scattered about. The planet where the Cybertronian suriviors of Floatlia were originally found (Styxia) was fully settled, with a massive orbital space station being built above it. In this way, the remaining Cybertronians settled down, wanting nothing more to watch and help the younger generation grow, a miracle many had believed would never happen.
Layrissan Solar System
"Yes, I heard you." Chromia said breathlessly, doing a last minute check of the suite she and Ironhide lived in.
"Yes sweetspark, Nightfire's coming back." Here the silver-blue femme turned her attention to the playpen, picking up a small bundle of black armor. A vorn past she and Ironhide had sparked again-the result a little mech they had named Sunshadow. He was absolutely adorable, wanting nothing more than to play or snuggle into his creators and his beloved "Fiyah".
A pity then, it had taken Nightfire quite a while to adjust to the idea of another sibling-as she had not been pleased. The most she would comment on her new baby brother was "Put it back." Sunshadow on the other hand, had been instantly entranced by his older sister and idolized her, struggling to follow her everywhere and do what she was doing. His tiny spark was overflowing with unconditional love for his Creators and her, and eventually Nightfire found herself giving in.
Sunshadow also idolized Ironhide. If he wasn't trying to follow his sister, he was trying to follow his father. And much to the humor of the Autobots, the wrath of Ratchet, and the fear of the Decepticons, Sunshadow was showing early tendencies of wanting to run around and blow up things…
"In a few joors." Chromia answered, pausing to gently rub one of Sunshadow's audios. The sparkling squeaked in pleasure. "But before that, we're going to try and find your father so he can give you a little Energon. Mama's got a few things she needs to finish at her work."
"Hide!" Sunshadow squeaked, grabbing his 'boom booms'. "Dada!"
The transport was stuffed to capacity as it pulled away from the building. Inside, a dark-blue femme yawned before violently thrusting her legs out in front of her, ignoring the curses of the other occupants. Her companion, a smaller blue and white femme smiled sheepishly at the poisonous glares aimed their way before attempting to stretch out her own limbs as well.
"Nightfire, I'm really not in the mood to diffuse another fight. I just want to go home, see my Creators, recharge…"
"You're making it sound like I'm looking for a fight."
"You and 90 percent of the student population." The femme muttered. "Please, for the love of Primus, let's just have a quiet trip back to Omega?" The pleading tone had Nightfire raising an optic ridge.
"Are you okay Artemis?" Her friend smiled softly, shaking her head.
"I didn't get much recharge last night-I was too excited to get home. And my last batch of exams weren't very kind." Here she stretched; the artificial light glinting off the sky-blue accents on her armor.
"Offline on the shuttle then. Lifeline will probably be happy for the company." Nightfire said. The transport shuddered to a stop and the dark-blue femme grinned as half the occupants left, resulting in a significant amount of free space. Shuttering her optics in bliss, she prepared to stretch out once again…
Only to pull back her legs and snarl at the mech who had suddenly appeared in front of her, red optics narrowed, piggy-backing a white and yellow mech.
"Move your legs, glitch!" He snarled.
"Frag you!" Nightfire snarled back.
"Polarity, nice to see you too." Artemis remarked dryly. "I see Lifeline's already in oblivion." The silver-gray Decepticon grinned, shifting position so that the 'bot offline on his back wouldn't fall off.
"I found him like this at the stop." Grunting, he slid the white and yellow mech onto a nearby seat. "Don't think he'll be onlining 'til we're back at Omega."
"I can hear Ratchet screaming now." Nightfire murmured. Then her optics narrowed and a wicked looking knife materialized in her right hand as Polarity drew back a foot for another kick.
"Do so and I will gut you." She declared.
"Do that and I solemnly promise your computer will never function again." Polarity countered. Artemis groaned and muted her audios, shuttering her optics. Maybe if she was lucky, Nightfire and Polarity would kill each other before they reached the outpost where their Creators were.
Ri-Omega, one joor later
Sunstreaker scowled, checking his chronometer.
"So where are the bratlings already?"
"They should be enroute." Optimus answered. "It will take a few joors."
"Missing your spawn?" Prowl asked. This earned him a dirty look from the golden twin.
"Where's Ironhide?" Elita quickly asked, wanting to diffuse the argument before it even began.
"Out at the landing pad, checking over its security." Prowl replied.
"Soundwave already beat him to that this morning." Optimus said, his optics never leaving the computer screen in front of him. He and Elita were trying to finish off as much work as possible-so that when Artemis arrived, they could spend a good amount of time with her.
"Actually, he's been out there from…" Here Prowl stopped, raising a hand to an audio. "Excuse me a minute." He turned away from the group, listening intently to the report that was coming in.
"Stop checking the time Sunny." Elita said, frowning at something on the datapad in front of her.
"Like you're not doing the same for Artemis!" Sunstreaker snapped back.
"Sunstreaker, in the name of Primus, just relax!" Optimus said, giving the younger mech an astonished glance. "You're worse than usual!" Here Sunstreaker bit back a snarl, dragging in air though his vents.
"…I'm sorry." He finally said. "Just that…I've missed the punk, you know? And then with that recent report of fighting breaking out in that sector near Styxia…" A hand placed itself on his shoulder, and the golden mech turned his head slightly to see Prowl standing alongside him.
"Everything will be fine." The black and white said. "Don't forget, you're not the only one feeling this way. Everybody here misses them-and they're worried about their safety as well."
"Straxus wouldn't dare attack the youngling transports." Elita chimed in, coming over to stand on Sunstreaker's other side. "Not unless he and his followers want to become the most hunted 'bots this side of the galaxy."
"Primus knows he's made enough threats about it though." Optimus said, his eyes narrowing. "And he and his group have been too quiet recently." His mate looked over at him.
"Something to talk about with Nightshade then?" Optimus nodded.
Youngling transport, halfway between Styxia and Ri-Omega
"And I said that no, we'd do it my way. Because when we did it my way, we always came out on top-"
"Why in the Pit is Starburst here with us?" Nightfire groaned, sliding down into her chair. Covering her optics, she glanced at the far end of the transport to the commotion-a group of young Seekers were clustered together, listening to a story being told by a red and white femme in their ranks.
"I thought you were still snapping at Polarity." Artemis commented. Then she blinked as an orange/red and white hand thrust a can of Energon in her face.
"Here. Your systems are sending me alarms clear across the transport." The owner of the hand said. Artemis accepted the can with a smile.
"Thanks Siren." The new femme gratefully sank into a nearby seat, flexing the rotors on her back.
"Do you mind if I stay here with you for a while?" She asked.
"Considering how bad that lot is starting to carry on over there, feel free." Artemis answered, taking a sip of Energon.
"If anyone asks, I'm not related to her." Siren muttered as she glanced at the femme Seeker, who was now starting to yell at another 'bot. Then her optics shifted over to Lifeline-who was still deep in recharge on the nearby seat, spread eagled with his mouthplates wide open.
"How come you're not out cold like him?" Artemis asked, taking another sip of Energon. The air-rescue femme smiled, rubbing a hand over her face.
"Stimulant-Energon. I should be offlining right about now but I want to see my Creators before I close my optics."
"You would think hearing her whine would actually make you offline." Nightfire commented, giving the Seeker femme a dirty look. Then she made a face.
"Oh Primus, did I just sound like Wheelie?!"
"You did." Siren answered sagely. Then she burst out into a fit of giggles as Nightfire proceeded to slam her head into the headrest of the chair in front of her. "Oh stop that, you'll give yourself CPU damage!"
"Like that would change anything." Artemis muttered.
"I heard that." Nightfire hissed.
"You were supposed to." Her friend countered, taking another gulp of Energon.
"You want to get a new set of vents? I can cut them up nice and pretty for you."
"I knew it. You clearly have a fixation with your knives."
"I do not!"
"Stop it!" Siren barked. "Artemis, drink your Energon and take a nap. Nightfire, stop…" Here she blinked as the dark-blue femme pulled one of the aforementioned knives out of her subspace and started to inspect it. "Stop acting like your Creators."
"How am I supposed to act then?"
"Sane would be a good start." Polarity piped up from his seat behind the femmes. Then he ducked as the knife was immediately chucked at him. The weapon went flying down towards the end of the transport, burying itself in the wall right by the Seeker gathering.
"HEY! STOP THROWING YOUR KNIVES, YOU TRIGGER-HAPPY GLITCH!" Was the resulting screech.
"Oh go suck your exhaust." Nightfire growled to herself as she got out of her seat, intent on recovering her knife.
Ri-Omega, three joors later
It was with some trepidation then, that the group of mechs and femmes assembled on the launchpad, all optics fixed on one particular transport that was coming down. Some were happily bonded pairs, others were not. Several were even raising a youngling by themselves.
"…They're probably just going to recharge and drink Energon for the first two orns." Ratchet said finally, breaking the silence.
"That's fine, I'll just be happy to see them again." Nightshade answered. In her arms, a black sparkling squeaked, blinking ruby optics up at her.
"Mine." Nightshade smiled at this, gently pressing a kiss to the sparkling's head.
"I know Nightwave. Everything is your 'mine'." She said. In Chromia's arms, Sunshadow narrowed his optics. Not wanting to be outdone, he twittered up at Chromia.
"She's in there, see?" Chromia cooed, pointing a finger at the incoming transport. "'Fire is in there, sweetspark."
"I think the question would be if she's killed anyone by now." Thundercracker commented, coming over to stand alongside her. "That's an awful long flight between here and Styxia…"
"Nightfire is a paragon of self control and restraint." Ironhide rumbled. Then his optics narrowed as snickers and snorts started to come from the group.
"You keep thinking that." Sideswipe chortled.
"Nightfire: Paragon of chaos and mayhem." Soundwave said in his usual monotone, but there was a sly glint in his optics.
"If you want chaos and mayhem, speak to those two." Ironhide countered, jerking a thumb at Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. The golden twin's optics narrowed.
"Oh no no. If you want that-" Here one finger jabbed the air at Thundercracker, Dirge, and Starscream. "Look at that lot. They have chaos, mayhem, and the…the…"
"Clone?" His twin offered.
"I don't even think clone accurately describes Starburst, lugnut."
"That's my sparkling you're talking about, Sunstreaker." Nightshade growled.
"Look, the transport's landed!" Optimus exclaimed. Immediately, all attention turned to the ship, with twelve pairs of optics intensely scanning for eight familiar spark signatures.
Breems passed. The ship was now almost completely empty-with Creators leading their younglings away. Elita frowned.
"…They were listed as being on this transport, right?" She ventured. Soundwave pulled away from Nightshade, striding over to the transport ramp and heading inside. Several more breems passed, and then the Decepticon communication officer reappeared, waving over the group.
"Younglings: Present. Current state: Unable to come off transport."
"What?" Ratchet barked, hurrying over. "They couldn't have gotten hurt or anything, unless…" His voice trailed off as he entered the transport and saw the scene before him. "Oh. I see."
"See what?" Nightshade said, having followed the Autobot CMO. "Are Siren and…oh." A smile slowly spread across her faceplates.
Eight younglings were sprawled out on their seats, all in deep stages of recharge.
"Looks like they're all out cold." Thundercracker said, having come up alongside Nightshade with the rest of the group. His optics landed on a pair of blue thrusters darker than his own armor color, and his smile only broadened.
"Out of the way, fools!" Starscream barked, shoving past his trinemate and Nightshade. Reaching his goal, he gently picked up one of the Seekers-the red and white femme- and then proceeded to shove past Optimus and the others, heading for the transport's exit.
"Starscream! For the love of-could you at least try to show some patience?!" Nightshade snapped, glaring at the Decepticon Air Commander's back. There was no answer as Starscream left, and she bristled slightly.
"One of these days, I should just…nnggh!!"
"Nice to see that Starscream's concerned." Sideswipe muttered. Sunstreaker had made a beeline for Polarity, gently picking up the silver-gray mech in his arms. Soundwave was leaning over Siren, who was curled up against Lifeline.
"She looks exhausted." Nightshade whispered as she came up next to Soundwave, gently reaching out to stroke her daughter's head.
"Ratchet: Appointment for Siren tomorrow." Soundwave rumbled, picking up his recharging youngling. The Autobot CMO suppressed the urge to roll his optics, gently scooping up Lifeline.
"If it makes you feel better." He grumbled, though he was running his own series of scans over Lifeline's prone form.
"Excuse me, coming though-" Dirge said, moving past with his own armful of unconscious youngling Seeker-a forest green Conehead.
"Ditto." Thundercracker rumbled, following Dirge with his own youngling.
"Alright, if you're that concerned about their health, I'll have First Aid free up appointment slots for tomorrow." Ratchet announced as he started to exit the transport. "Ironhide, I think that goes double for you-Nightfire looks like she's been in her fair share of fights."
"Will do." The black mech rumbled. Nightfire murmured in her recharge, unconsciously moving her head closer to Ironhide's spark chamber. The Autobot weapons specialist smiled at this.
"Put Artemis down for the first appointment please." Optimus said, and then smirked at the dirty looks sent his way from the other 'bots. "What? You had a chance to call for it first."
"Optimus Prime: Unfair."
"Soundwave: Overprotective and a worry bot." Optimus countered.
"Alright, alright, settle down." Elita ordered. "Let's just get them all settled in for now." She smiled at her daughter, stroking one of her audios. "At least now things can get back to normal here."
(sags) There it is...please, be kind. And I assure you, chapter 2 will start explaining many, many, many things.
Side note: Lifeline and Polarity are orphans that were adopted by Ratchet and Sunstreaker respectively, the same goes for Thundercracker and Dirge's younglings (who are named Sidewinder and Whirlwind) While I'll have an explaination on them in this story, they are the focus of a joint fic VioletLight and I are working on together.