Author's Note: This is a fanfic that was written by me and one of my best friends (she goes by Light Derived from Darkness here on FFn, and Darkest-of-Days on Deviantart) via RPing on Instant Messenger. My friend told me that I could upload it into my FFn account since she rarely goes into hers anymore. Actually we've been doing these RPs for quite awhile. However, this one is the most recent one we've done. And we're still writing on it too, so new chapters will come as we write them. I probably won't be turning what we write into chapters until I feel we've written enough to make a chapter.

This story contains both original characters that belong to us as well as official Transformers characters seen in Transformers Animated and the G1 series (although in our minds, the G1 characters have a Transformers Animated look to them in this story).

PLEASE keep in mind that this fanfic was written by TWO people with TWO different writing styles, over Instant Messenger. It might gel together really well, but there ARE two writing styles in this fanfic. Yes, there might be some errors here and there. I corrected typos and a few other errors I saw, but I wasn't about to go through the whole thing and correct every single thing. I would appreciate that you would keep all critique to yourself because it is not desired. If you see something not right, please ignore it and enjoy the fanfic for what it is. This is a story that was written purely out of fun by me and my friend. We weren't shooting to win awards or anything.

And I am well aware that some characters are a little out-of-character in this story. There is no need to bring it to my attention. There is a good reason why they're that way. My friend didn't feel like writing every single thing that Wheelie says into a rhyme, so she toned it down a little bit (he only speaks in rhymes every-so-often in our stories). And she also changed his personality and background to be more angst. If you don't like it, don't complain and gripe. I've also changed the Lambo twins just a tad as well. I've made them younger and rookies. Again, if you don't like it, please don't voice your complaints or try to tell me how it's supposed to be. I know good and well how the characters are supposed to act. Changing them a little bit isn't going to hurt anything. This is a Transformers Animated fanfic anyway. Some of the characters in the actual series have a few changes here and there.

Cast of Characters and Who RPs Them -

Darkest-of-Days as: Reverberate/IMVi, Prism, Retract, Sari, Bulkhead, Optimus Prime, Ultra Magnus, Sentinel Prime, and Wheelie

Me as: Rim Shot, Crowbar, Bumblebee, Prowl, Ratchet, Jazz, Sunstreaker, and Sideswipe

The characters of Reverberate/IMVi, Retract, and Prism created and owned by Darkest-of-Days

The characters of Rim Shot and Crowbar created and owned by me

(NONE of these original characters are to be taken and used elsewhere without the permission of either myself or my friend. If you wish to know more about these characters, there are pictures and in-depth info on our Deviantart accounts.)

Transformers/Transformers Animated and all related characters © Hasbro/Cartoon Network

Fanfic owned by my friend and myself. None of this fanfic is to be copied, edited, altered, or posted elsewhere without our permission.

This fanfic rated: PG (for mild violence, disturbing scenes, and slight energon gore)


Reverberate was still asleep even though morning had already come; he'd been up late the night before tinkering with various inventions. He was awoken suddenly, however, by a transmission across the small monitor he'd installed in his room. He let out a startled cry and fell out of his bed, landing hard on the floor. "&%#$^&!!!"

"Watch your language, kid," said Ratchet as he entered Reverberate's room. "And do you know what time it is?"

Reverberate rubbed his aching head and looked up at Ratchet grumpily. "Oh give it a rest grandpa, it's not like there's anything worthwhile to do today anyways." Outside it was snowing heavily. "Well, least not for me. I can't turn into a vehicle that you can strap a plow to."

The monitor beside his bed was blinking obnoxiously with an incoming recorded message.

"Does that mean anything to you?" Ratchet ignored the younger bot's words and pointed to the monitor.

Reverberate turned, then yelped. "It means I've got mail! I'm going to rewire it to the main monitor out in the base," Reverberate said, typing in the code. "It's easier to watch out there and doesn't lag. I need a better transmitter in here." He scampered out to see what the message was. "You coming too grandpa?"

Ratchet sighed before following.

Reverberate pattered out into the main area of the Autobot base. He could hear, outside, the others pulling back in from being out helping the plowing companies get the roads clears for commuters. He pressed the play button on the monitor to begin the message. Optimus paused as he stepped in; the image of Ultra Magnus appeared on the screen.

"Greetings to our fellow Autobots stationed on Earth. I am sending this message with regard to your request to allow your companion Reverberate to remain a permanent member of your team. We have reached the conclusion that he may stay with your group."

Ratchet groaned and kept what he felt like saying to himself.

Reverberate paused the message and looked at him. "What's wrong with you?"

"Nothin', why do you ask?"

"Because you look kinda phased out. Oh well," he un-paused the message.

"However, if he is to stay with your group, it must be done on one condition. If he wishes to become an official Autobot, then he has to pass the required tests and complete all manners of Autobot training. Though you may trust him fully we must commence with this as a precaution against potential spies amongst our group. I don't need to remind all of you we have had that problem before. He will be gathered on the evening that this message is dispatched; I have sent Sentinel Prime and Jazz to collect him and bring him to Cybertron in order for him to commence this training. I will contact all of you again soon with progress reports on Decepticon activity, Ultra Magnus out." The message went dead.
Reverberate stared at it nervously and blinked. "T-test...?"

A smirk crossed Ratchet's lips. "Sounds like Magnus is going to send the kid to boot camp for awhile."

"Boy, does THAT bring back memories." Bumblebee chuckled.

"B-boot camp?! But I don't have any idea what to do! I've never had official training before!" Reverberate freaked out like a student about to take a test in three hours he hadn't studied for. "And they're coming this evening for me?! Wha...what if I don't pass?! They might not let me come back here!"

"Calm down, Reverberate," Optimus said comfortingly. "You'll be just fine. You're very savvy when it comes to fighting and technical stuff. I'm sure you'll do well."

"But...but I'm at such a disadvantage..." he murmured. "I'm still trying to weed out my Decepticon programming...what if it flares while I'm there?! They might throw me in prison!"

"I'm sure that Ultra Magnus is aware of that," Bumblebee mused, "It's Sentinel I'm worried about. Take my advice and stay away from him as much as you can. It doesn't take much to set him off sometimes."

"That's the problem, though. Sentinel's still in charge of training new recruits," Bulkhead said. "Least last time I checked."

"Regardless, Sentinel won't be able to bully you if you prove yourself, and if he does, you can always inform us of it, all right?" Optimus said, and Reverberate nodded. Optimus smiled a bit. "I know this is sudden, but this will make you an official Autobot and there won't ever be any question again of your loyalty to us as friends, and to our cause as a whole."

"I guess that's true..." Reverberate said contemplatively. "I am getting tired of all the suspicion. I'm just afraid of what might happen once I get there..."

"Don't worry little buddy, heck, if Bumblebee and I can make it through it you sure as heck can," Bulkhead said cheerfully.

"And that's sayin' a lot," Ratchet eyed Bumblebee. Bumblebee only grinned.

"Just who are Sentinel Prime and Jazz anyways?" Reverberate asked.

"Well, they're both members of what's called the Elite Guard; Ultra Magnus is basically the military leader of the Autobots, and the Elite Guard serve directly under him."

"But...none of you are Elite Guards...? You should be. You sound more competent than that Sentinel guy," Reverberate commented.

"Never mind..." said Ratchet.

"Never mind what?" Reverberate said, looking up at him.

"Some questions should not be asked," Ratchet's optics moved to Optimus standing across from him. "Because... some do not wish to answer them."

"And besides," Bumblebee said gleefully, "If we were members of the Elite Guard, we wouldn't be here now!"

"But...then you wouldn't have met me or Sari, or any of the other humans," he pointed out. "Hmph. Fine then, keep your secrets grandpa," Reverberate said back. He then sighed, exasperated and a bit overwhelmed. "I'm going to go pack, then, I guess."

"At least no one will be calling me grandpa after he leaves." said Ratchet after Reverberate left the room.

"Aww, I think it's cute he calls ya that," Bulkhead said with a grin.

"He's so nervous. I really do hope Sentinel isn't too hard on him, even though it's an impossible hope..." he sighed. "Sentinel already detests the lot of us. I'm fearful he's going to try and make Reverberate fail if only to try and make the rest of us look incompetent. It wouldn't surprise me if he did."

"Can't we talk to Ultra Magnus if we think something like that is up?" Bulkhead said.

"Yes, but Sentinel is still one of his second-in-commands. I'm just worried how this will affect Reverberate. He's already scared about going through this so suddenly."

"I am sure he'll be fine." Prowl walked into the middle of bots standing in the room, "Just remember that his training starts now. It takes courage to actually go through something like this. As long as Reverberate keeps his Decepticon side well hidden, I don't see what there is to worry about. Sentinel is tough, it's true, but he's overly arrogant and it's an obvious weakness. A lot of bots have gone through his training and survived."

"But...what if he can't keep it hidden? Sentinel's so grating, and he may try and put down Reverberate so much that it might come out," he grimaced. "Wouldn't even surprise me if he went out of his way to try and do that, just to spite us and Reverberate. That guy's a total jerk."

"That's something Reverberate will have to work out for himself, I'm afraid." Prowl crossed his arms. "Once he's there, it's out of our hands."

"Ya know, it'd be nice if Reverberate's 'Con side really did come out while he's there. He could infect Sentinel." Bumblebee laughed.

"I'm pretty sure that'd get him thrown in prison, or at the very least kicked outta camp," Bulkhead said to BB.

"Regardless, we'll have to keep an eye out for trouble, just to be careful. I know I'm sounding overly protective, but I just really want Reverberate to succeed," Optimus said.

"It's just like you to be such a bleeding-heart idealist, Prime. It doesn't surprise me that your lot would take in a stray Decepticon virus; I'm just shocked Ultra Magnus is even giving him this chance."
Sentinel's face appeared on the screen. "And it's so nice to hear you all approve of me so. Like I care what a bunch of washed-out maintenance bots think of me."

Optimus's optics contracted. "You weren't supposed to be here until the evening."

"We're ahead of schedule and will be there in just an hour. Tell the brat to be waiting for our ship outside the city where it won't garner the attention of those filthy humans," Sentinel spat.

Reverberate stepped out and looked at the screen just as it flickered out. He was buckling at the knee joints. "Eeeennnn...he's not even here yet and he's already annoyed with me...this just can't end well..."

"Uh... You think he heard everything we've been saying?" Bumblebee whispered to Bulkhead.

"Yeah...I think so..." Bulkhead replied.

"You know, even if my Decepticon programming doesn't actually flare, I can't guarantee I won't sink my teeth into him..." Reverberate said a bit angrily.

"Just... stay calm..." said Prowl.

"Yick, I wouldn't. He might infect you instead." said Bumblebee.

Reverberate snickered. "That's a good point. They outta make a virus that makes you act like a jackass like him. It'd be debilitating in the fact that everyone would get so annoyed at you that they'd dismantle you."

"Yeah!"

"Hey guys!" Sari suddenly announced herself as she came into the Autobot base. She was bundled from head to toe in winter clothes and was slowly unraveling herself. "What's going on?"

Reverberate suddenly paused, then looked sad and shuffled behind Bumblebee.

"Eh, nothing new. Reverberate's gonna go to boot camp for awhile." Bumblebee blurted out.

"Uh.... I mean... Was I supposed to say that?"

Sari paused, absorbed it a moment, and then gapped. "What?! He's going away?! But he can't, Christmas is in just a few days and I had everything plaaaaannned!" she whined, cried.

Bulkhead half-glared at Bumblebee. "Niiiice goin'."

Reverberate sniffled. "It's just not fair. I swear they arranged for it right now on purpose."

"Sentinel's fault!" Bumblebee got out before Prowl administered a sharp blow to the back of the young bot's head.

"Why don't you just tell that mean ol' bot to stick it in his aft pipe?" Sari sulked.

"Because this wasn't his decision Sari, it was the decision of Ultra Magnus," Optimus explained. "He wants Reverberate to be put to the test to prove that he's a true Autobot."

Sari looked sad. "But he's proven it to us. A lot of times! Can't they take that as proof?"

"I'm afraid not," Optimus said. "You see all Autobots who serve in the military, no matter the place, need this training to be prepared. So Reverberate needs it too."

"Don't worry," Ratchet sighed, "It's not the end of the world. He'll be back with us before you know it."

Sari sniffled a bit. "You're just saying that to make me feel better..."

"Well..."

"It'll be okay Sari," Reverberate said, stepping in front of her suddenly. "I'm sorry I can't stay around for Christmas. I really wanted to..." he trailed off. "But I still have a gift for you...it's in my room for you to get when the holiday comes around, okay? I made a gift for you and the others too. I'll be sure to message you that day too so we can at least talk, and you can tell me how it went."

"That sounds good." Bumblebee smiled.

"It still won't be the same..." Sari said sadly.

"I know. But there's nothing we can do. This is something I have to do, or I won't be able to stay here anymore," Reverberate said. "Anyways...I should probably start heading to where the ship will be landing..."

"We'll come to see you off." Ratchet said.

Reverberate looked up at him. "Are you sure? You don't have to...I'm sure that Sentinel guy will just bother you all more..."

"Nah, it's fine. We'll come."