35. Peace

Ten vorns later

"All hail the great hero, back from another long session of negotiations!"

I caught Apis as she flung herself at me, spinning her around before kissing her thoroughly. "You have no idea."

I hadn't thought that a war of millions of astrocycles would be easy to end, but neither had I anticipated all these vorns of negotiations. There had been so much to do. The beginning had been easy—the obliteration of the Axis Decree, guaranteeing the right of freedom to every Cybertronian. The treaty between the Autobots and Decepticons had taken significantly longer; commanding an army and leading a revolution had in no way prepared me for diplomacy of this magnitude.

There were so many issues to work out—my position as co-ruler, the creation of three more or less independent nations for the Autobots, Decepticons, and Neutrals, energy rights, the rebuilding of space trade with our neighboring solar systems, the construction of a spacebridge to allow rapid transit to and from our sister planet of Earth, and convincing the humans that the Decepticons were no longer enemies and should be allowed onto their world at all. I had not yet visited the little blue planet. There always seemed to be more to take care of here on Cybertron. Without Shockwave's help, I would have been lost.

There were still tensions, and likely would be for centivorns to come, but outbreaks of violence grew fewer and fewer as the negotiations went on.

Kaon had changed over the vorns of peacetime as we moved more of our facilities aboveground; the city-state began to regain some of the ancient grandeur of the Golden Age. Better still, my family no longer had to stay in Megatron's old quarters. We had an estate to ourselves, with room for Skywarp and Sunstorm as well as any of Apis's extended family who came to visit us.

"How's rebuilding the world coming along?" Ramrod asked, slipping his arms around my waist from behind and pressing a kiss to the back of my neck. I relaxed between my bondmates, the strain of the negotiations melting away in the face of their warm, thrumming Sparks.

"It's going well. How is everything here?"

Apis pressed her smile against my faceplates. "It's only been an orbit since you left, you know!"

"I know. But I don't want to miss a thing."

"Ratchet came for a visit," Ramrod answered. "To check on Apis. He said the sparkling looks fine."

"Where are the twins?"

"Blackie's hanging on Sunstorm."

Black Hole's habit of hanging on my wingmate was nothing unusual. Shockwave and Ratchet said that because of the twins' unusual Spark makeup, they possessed the ability to siphon off the energy of others. This made Sunstorm, whose energy never ran low, their primary target. I felt sympathy towards my poor wingmate, who endured the twins' feasting with saintly patience.

"And Spot?"

Apis and Ramrod exchanged glances.

"He's down in the old base," Apis answered at last. "In the usual place."

"Another fit?" They nodded. "I'll go say hello to him," I told them, extricating myself from the double embrace.

"Good luck. He was in a mood when he left."

Apis gave me a quick kiss on the left cheek, Ramrod on the right. I purred, Spark pulsing happiness and love back at them. How lucky I was to have two such wonderful bondmates. They offered me all I needed, support and guidance and love. There could be no happier mech on all of Cybertron.

I took to the sky, seeking out the air entrance to the old command center, which was closest. My steps echoed through the silent halls. Some mechs still lived and worked here, most notably Undertaker and the Archivist, but this section of the base was deserted.

The door to the trine's old room was open when I approached, though the lights were dim inside. I could just make out Spacespot's small frame on the berth, lying faceup with his optics offlined.

I sat down on the side of the berth, gently touching his wing. "It's me."

He gave no response.

Nobody had been able to tell us what Spacespot's condition meant. Most of the time he acted like a normal sparkling, but every so often he would change somehow. He would grow distant, go to places that he shouldn't have known about, use strange mannerisms which struck me as familiar.

All that Shockwave had been able to tell us was that Spacespot's Spark was unusual. Unique…

"You all right?" I asked quietly. Spacespot shifted slightly.

"Am I defective?" he asked.

"No. Not at all."

He sighed. There was a long moment of silence.

Finally, in a voice that sounded strangely mature and out of place, he asked, "How are you?"

I folded my hands together, leaning forward to rest my elbows on my knees. I'd long had my suspicions about Spacespot's condition, his unique Spark. Nobody else knew; I didn't know who would believe me… besides perhaps Skywarp, who had always shared a special affinity with Spacespot. I doubted I would ever tell him.

"I miss you," I said.

"You're doing fine, scraplet." I could almost see him there, if I offlined my optics, listened only to the voice, felt the rightness in my Spark. The belonging.

I tried not to think about it too hard. Spacespot and Black Hole were split-spark twins, and part of Apis and me had gone into both of them, but something else had become Spacespot as well. He was ours, there was no denying it… but at the same time, he was not.

"I'm proud of you."

I smiled. It was among the highest compliments he had ever paid me. "Thank you."

After a beat, Spacespot said, "For what?"

"Never mind, scraplet. Come on, I know something that will make you feel better."

We walked together out of the old base and back towards our home. "Go ahead and call your brother."

"Okay, done," he said after a moment, smiling up at me. As twins, Black Hole and Spacespot shared something akin to a Spark-bond, allowing them to communicate much like Apis, Ramrod, and I did. "Where are we going?"

"You'll see."

He continued to pester me with questions which I refused to answer, much to his frustration. As we passed our estate, Black Hole came running toward us, falling into step on my other side.

"Hi, Spot!"

"Don't call me that!"

The twins were ten vorns old this decacycle. I had seen the signs before leaving for the negotiations, the twitching wings and pent-up energy. It was the orn I had been waiting for all these vorns as I had watched them grow. It was time for my sparklings to mature in this age of peace, time to give them greater freedom than the elimination of the Axis Decree ever had. Time to come full circle.

I stopped them at a large, flat area I had selected vorns ago specifically for this purpose. The twins looked up at me in curiosity. The future of Cybertron, the future of our race, a future of peace and equality and freedom. My sparklings.

Enjoying the breeze, I looked up at the sky above, a sky of purest turquoise, uninterrupted by skyscrapers or clouds, stretching my wings to embrace that endless blue.

I smiled at my sparklings.

"It's time you learned to fly."


A/N: We have come now to the end. We made it! Some 120,000-odd words (about a quarter of my total words on this site), 35 chapters, and almost two years later, this story finally draws to a close. And all of you are the reason I got this far.

A big thanks to all the reviewers (Lurkers, it is not too late!), especially Shadir, Starfire201, QOTRS, BR, Kaede Akira and all the regulars, everyone who hangs out at rise_revolution (which is still running with AUs and artwork), plus all you anonymous reviewers out there.

Another big thanks to Jon for the title and of course Nova's name. Wouldn't have gotten far at all without you!

But the biggest thanks of all to Dancinglemur, who squeed and giggled and sobbed and suggested and beta'd and all sorts of other wonderful things! She was always there to fill my head with wonderful Rise-y goodness. Thanks for providing Nova's love life, twin!

I hope that you've all enjoyed this as much as I have. Of course this is nothing like goodbye... you'll still be around, and so will I (and even Nova, if you keep a sharp eye open). This has been a tremendous journey and I thank you.

Now I'll stop before I get too corny, and I'll let you all use your last opportunity to leave a review, a weather report, a report card, a dissertation, anything you'd like. Thanks for reading!