The Complications of Life

By: Nightelfcrawler

Disclaimer: I do not own, merely covet adoringly.

Authors' note: And now I can finally publish the side story at this chapters release. For obvious reasons as you'll find out. Things been done for ages, but I didn't want to release it before certain details became known ^_~

Warnings: Contains a background of slash relationships.



Chapter Fourteen

It was not long before the mutterings and surprise about Starscream's mysterious past revealed ceased to be the talk of the Ark. It was fascinating to watch him training the others. Alexis never would have thought the soft-spoken scientist with a sarcastic streak of humor could be as ruthless and swift in battle as Starscream was. However, as the days passed and she watched him take control of training the Autobots, she began to see why he was given so much respect by Optimus. The files on him had grossly understated his abilities, and though he had obviously not used them in some time, they came naturally back to him. Through the weeks, he trained them how to shoot fliers in specific, taught them about fighting tactics he knew, took them through the files of all the Decepticons he knew of, telling them what he knew, and even gave them one-on-one instruction when needed. His mannerisms were sharp and to the point, sure of himself, a true leader. During his off time, he spent much of it fielding questions from the curious. A few were hostile at first, but after their initial shock wore off, the hostility faded. It had, after all, been a very long time since he had fought against them, and an enemy commander was still extremely skilled and valuable to listen to. Thus, he was awarded not only with a healthy dose of curiosity and awe for having survived after everyone thought he was dead, but given great respect based on his ability to teach them how to better fight.

The improvements were easy to see.

Alexis watched as the mechs moved smoothly about in a battle simulation on the open desert plane, guns equipped with paintballs instead of energy as they did a full-on war game maneuver. They were evenly matched, both teams having been hand-picked by their respective commanders. Neither side seemed to have lost a mech to being shot 'dead' yet, but there were plenty of paint-splattered casualties. Still, watching them battle it out across the open desert was absolutely fascinating, especially when the aerial team swooped in dropping paint-loaded bombs on their 'enemies' and swooping out amidst rapid gunfire.

She turned her head as she heard a sudden thump just behind her, followed by turbines powering down. Eclipse had landed smoothly and was striding calmly towards her spot under what had to be the only tree in this desert. Up until now, Eclipse had remained much of an enigma to pretty much everyone. She was aloof and quiet, preferring to go out exploring on her own, obviously fascinated with the planet on which they had landed. She had not spent much time at the base, though given how everyone ogled after her Alexis honestly couldn't blame her. Still, as the slender femme approached, her violet optics slid down curiously to study the human leaning against the tree. "Hi." Alexis lifted her hand to greet Eclipse. "Aren't you joining in?"

"No." Her sultry voice sounded mildly amused and she paused beside Alexis, her gaze sweeping the field with slight interest. "They seem to be having fun on their own. I would just be a distraction."

Alexis laughed at that. "I believe it. Are you tired of it yet?"

"Incredibly." The femme slipped down into a casual crouch at her side, flashing the human an amused smile. "It was fun at first, but now I see why Starscream warned me." Her head tilted slightly, optics intensely curious as she studied Alexis. "You are a femme of your species, are the males always so insufferable for you?"

"Not to that extent." Alexis grinned. "But then there's a lot more femmes of my race out there for them to ogle at. I'm by far not the prettiest catch, and most guys don't like women with brains in their heads." She tapped hers. "I'm too smart for most of them, or more accurately they're too stupid for my tastes."

"I can relate to that." Eclipse agreed, wings twitching slightly as her gaze swept out to the field where the mechs battled it out.

Alexis shifted. "Uh so I have to ask…" Eclipse blinked down at her. "Is it true what I've heard, that femmes are pretty much extinct?"

"As far as I know, yes." Eclipse shrugged slightly. "I've been told that they haven't been seen for decaeons, and that if any do survive they are extremely skilled at staying alive."

"And I take it your uh, parents, are protective for that reason?"

"Incredibly." She drawled sarcastically, flashing a smile down at her. "I can't blame them I suppose. Starscream is the worse of course, he is insufferable when it comes to not letting me do what I want. I imagine many creations suffer similar circumstances under over-protective creators, but considering our situation I find it understandable, if irritating. However, he constantly forgets how well he has trained me. I can take care of myself."

Alexis smiled at that. "So he trained you as well?"

"In many aspects." She shifted, sinking onto her bottom as she tucked her thrusters beneath her and sat calmly on the dirt. "There is little to do while in a small ship with claustrophic fliers. We get out flying now and then, but much of it is spent studying their research. We had visited organic planets in the past, but none with sentient life. I find it refreshing to finally meet others aside from our family unit."

"I'm sure." Alexis chuckled. "Being stuck with your parents for your whole life, never meeting other mechs, it must be nice being here."

"Incredibly." Eclipse stretched her arms overhead, wings quivering as she did so, before she relaxed against the tree trunk. Both girls stared out at the battle scene, watching it progress. As they did so, Sunstreaker pulled a bold move and he and his brother broke away from the group, and tackled a mech down by tag-teaming him. They went sprawling in a puff of dust and dirt, and a volley of paint exploded from the gun as it was crushed, drenching the three of them. "Oh now this is entertainment." Eclipse murmured, then abruptly sat up, optics twinkling as she held her hand down. "Lets take a closer look."

"Uh. I don't think we should be going into the battle zone unless we plan on getting splattered in paint." Alexis blinked. "You can probably handle it, but those are mech-sized pellets, they're' as big as I am. I definitely don't want to get hit by one."

"Oh pfft." Eclipse snorted. "You won't. Trust me."

Alexis glanced out at the scene then sighed, climbing onto the femme's hand. In one smooth motion, Eclipse stood up and turned to face the scene.

Then, Alexis noticed something off. It was suddenly quiet. Too quiet. Her gaze focused on the battle, and in that moment her heart leapt in surprise seeing that the entire scene was frozen. "….whoa." She murmured, leaning forward. Each dust particle hung in the air, paint bullets frozen in place, mechs standing in formation but unmoving as they aimed weapons at their opponents. A perfect crisp scene, frozen in place. Her gaze snapped up at Eclipse, startled. "Did you…?"

The femme smirked, and slowly sauntered her way towards the scene casually, igniting her thrusters and drifting between the scene, carefully avoiding paint pellets as she moved, peering curiously at the mechs around them. "Fascinating isn't it?" She asked, reaching forward and holding Alexis up to a frozen paint pellet. The human gently nudged it, and was surprised to see it move forward a little. She stared intently at the blue drifting sphere, and blinked as she realized that no, it wasn't frozen completely in place, but moving very slowly. As she watched, it moved about the span of her hand's width in ten seconds. "My ability is an extremely handy tool in circumstances like this. I often used it to study my creator as he taught me fighting forms. He hates it." Her grin flashed wider.

"You freeze time?" Alexis asked, bemused.

"Not exactly. I can super-accelerate a field around my body, enabling me to move at a much faster rate than the world around me. A warp distortion field of sorts. Everything here is still moving at a normal pace, we are just moving faster than they." She reached out a hand, and pushed it forward, and as Alexis watched, the pellet passed through her hand, leaving a faint blue mark behind which faded quickly. "By accelerating particles, I can even pass through objects, cross great distances in far less time than anyone else, and move out of harms way in the blink of an optic." Her gaze shifted down to Alexis, sparkling with mischief. "It's quite handy. This is why I believe my creator is overly concerned with nothing. He trained me to stay alert, and as long as I can do that, nothing can touch me."

"So you can pass through items?" Alexis' mind was working fast. "How does that work? Matter is still matter. It can't be met with anything but equal force."

"There is the key. Equal force." Eclipse replied, wings perking up as it was clear she loved speaking about science just as her sires did. "We are not equal in this flux state. Our particles are super-accelerated to a degree that matter around us seems slower. While passing through objects is met with a degree of force, their particles are much slower than ours, and this on a sub-atomic level is still enough for me to be able to part the particles. It does take strength out of me however, so I only do that in situations that warrant for it."

Alexis blinked. "Wow. And can you move items like this?"

"Unfortunately, not without great effort." She reached forward, placing her fingers around the bullet hovering before them, and tried to pluck it out of the air. Her fingers passed through it, squishing the pellet in an odd way, distorting the surface of the vinyl coating, making it ripple alarmingly. "We have less substance compared to the world around us in this state. Dense objects can be moved easier than less dense objects, but there is a limit as to what can be done when your body's particles are faster than those of the world around you. For example, there are some substances that are too dense, the particles don't move enough to allow me to pass through them. Some metal alloys, hard stone surfaces of strong bonding cohesion, and anything that moves faster along with the same speed as us, for example, liquids or molten substances. Water will still splatter, as will paint, molten metal would burn, as would fire. It slows the action down, but does not cease it. My exposure would be limited compared to a mech moving at normal speed, but it can still do great damage. In addition, if I shut the field down while a part of me is still intermixed with something else.." She trailed off. "Well it is not very pleasant, let me say."

"I can imagine not." Alexis shuddered. "How did you develop this ability?"

"I was sparked with it." She replied, glancing down at the human as they moved away from the battlefield, returning to the tree. "Some sparks have special programming inherent in them, enabling them to develop special abilities. My creator's trinemates both have such abilities, I've heard."

"Trinemates?"

"His team, wingmates." She explained. "They are like brothers to him." She shook her head. "I have never met them. They are still Decepticons, though from what Starscream has told me it is not likely by choice but by circumstance. They are the ones who got us safely into Skyfire's protection."

"Oh I see." Alexis smiled slightly, then froze. "Wait… us? You mean…" She frowned slightly glancing over at the femme who regarded her calmly. "Skyfire isn't your other creator?"

"No."

A strange cold feeling swept through her. "He's not? But I thought they were… um…"

"Bonded? They are." Eclipse replied with a shrug. "But I was sparked before they became bonded."

Alexis felt a chill run down her spine. So if Skyfire wasn't Eclipse's other creator, the question therefore was: who was?