"Oh, my processor..." Sideswipe moaned, onlining his optics. He tried to move, but found that his hands were bound behind his back.
The front liner examined his surroundings. He was in the back of a cave, positioned so that he could just barely see light flooding in from the mouth. The rock was of the same type as Mount St. Hilary, so he probably wasn't even too far away from the Ark. But just how did he get here? He remembered landing safely after getting tossed off Thundercracker's wings in a twist, and he was just about to look for his brother when...darkness. It was all blank after that.
An incoming signal put a pause on his confusion. From the mouth of the cave entered a slender figure. They were mostly black in color, and wore a mask over their faceplate to conceal their identity.
"Who are you?" Sideswipe asked.
"You know who I am." they replied.
His capture was using a vocal scrambler to mask their identity even further. It hit Sideswipe that this could be anyone, even someone from his own team.
"Picture it: Cybertron. Before the purges, before the war. A little bar called Maccadam's. I was minding my own business with a friend when you and your twin propositioned us for a deal you knew we couldn't refuse. Those were your exact words, were they not, Sideswipe? That which we couldn't refuse?"
"Ehh..." he grinned sheepishly. "It rings a bell."
"Maybe this will ring some more!" His captor tore off their mask. Sideswipe's mouth dropped.
"You're a femme?!"
"Ha ha ha, are the bells ringing, Sideswipe?" she sneered. "Yes, I'm a femme. But I bet you can't remember my name. Can you? Think about it for an astrosecond."
Sideswipe shook his head. "I got nothin'."
"I knew it." she scoffed. "I wasn't even worth a space in your memory chips."
"Nah! I'm sure you're in here somewhere..." he objected. She shook her head and stepped closer to him.
"So the humans have a little saying," she started, looking at her hands. "Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned."
"What...what are you going to do to me?"
She turned her head towards him, wearing a sinister grin that made his energon run cold.
"Oh, you'll see." she replied. "First, I have to run a little errand; and to make sure you'll actually stay this time..."
She whipped out a gun, and before Sideswipe could react, she fired at his right knee.
Sunstreaker wasn't worried; no, his brother's strange disappearance after the battle was more of an inconvenience than anything. Prowl had, in his logical wisdom, decided that being his twin meant that Sunstreaker had to cover his brother's shifts until he was found by Hound's team. He thought about that part more than he actually thought about Sideswipe's safety. Did that make him a bad brother? No, it made him a normal one.
But what wasn't normal was that strange shadow behind a tree...
To Sideswipe, his captor looked weaker than a floppy disk. But that must've been another one of her deceptions, because when she returned to the cave, she was dragging a half unconscious Sunstreaker behind her with ease.
"Sunny!" Sideswipe exclaimed.
"That's a cute nickname." the femme laughed, tossing Sunstreaker near Sideswipe. The yellow twin was already cuffed.
"Fraggin' glitch..." Sunstreaker moaned, regaining consciousness and sitting up. "Who the slag are you?"
"What, do corrupted memory chips run in your family or somethin'?"
"You didn't answer my question, femme!"
"Shut up!" she ordered, kicking Sideswipe in his busted knee. He cried out in agony. "I'm the one in charge here!"
"Hey, leave my brother out of this!"
"He's more responsible than you are, Sunny."
"And when will you tell us what the frag we're responsible for?"
"Does the designation Target ring a bell?"
"...No." the brothers shook their head.
"Is that you?" Sideswipe asked.
"No, that's not me!" she snapped. "Target was my sister. Until you two came along, that is."
Suddenly, it all clicked.
"No way!" Sideswipe exclaimed, and flinched from the pain in his knee. "I remember now. Bro, she's one of the twins we met at Maccadam's the night before that prank with the turbo foxes."
"So...you're Copy?" Sunstreaker asked.
She smiled. "You remember now. That's good."
"Right right. Target and Copy. Cool, we remember you now, so can we go?" Sideswipe said.
Copy's smile turned into a frown. "No! I said that she was my sister. When you two just left, it broke her spark. She kept babbling something about destiny and fate; I've forgotten what her main argument was about. Then one cycle she was too preoccupied in her thoughts to notice the Decepticon seekers with null rays pointed at her processor!"
"So why aren't you over at the Decepticon base?" Sunstreaker interrupted.
"Oh, don't worry, they're next. You two are only first because you're the ones that started Target's downward spiral."
"So what are you gonna do? Kill us? Hah! I'd like to see you try." Sunstreaker scoffed.
"I'm not killing both of you." she grinned. "Only one."
Copy turned to Sideswipe. He froze in her gaze.
"And guess who the lucky bot is?"
Sideswipe futilely tried to scoot away from her, but the pain in his knee was protesting too much.
"Psycho glitch, stay away from him!" Sunstreaker ordered, trying to break free from his cuffs.
Copy ignored his demands. She pulled a small, by transformer standards, knife out of her subspace and held it over Sideswipe's chest plating.
"You'll understand where I'm coming from once your twin is offline, Sunstreaker!"
"Not yet, he won't!" a voice from the mouth of the cave exclaimed. Copy snapped her head around towards the voice, and growled.
"Step away from the Autobot." Hound ordered, his gun drawn and pointed at her. She smiled.
"This is a misunderstanding, dear mech." she purred. "I'm only balancing the scale!"
In the blink of an eye, Copy swapped her knife for her gun and fired at Hound. The tracker dove out of the way and fired his own shots.
Copy was hit in the shoulder. "You can't take this away from me!" she cried, firing more rounds. Hound returned fire, and Copy ceased to cry.
Hound finished decuffing Sideswipe and moved on to Sunstreaker.
"How'd you find us?" Sideswipe asked.
"The Sunstreaker outlined drag marks were a dead giveaway." Hound replied as he took the cuffs off of said yellow twin. He looked down at the lifeless femme. "So who's she?"
Sunstreaker looked to his brother, who frowned.
"A woman scorned."