A/N Once again co-authored by myself and robopie/PiegirlUSA. We do not own Transformers Animated, we just did this for fun. Skids belongs to Piegirl, Dreamer belongs to me.
Galvatron felt the metallic deck plating tremor beneath his feet as Unicron rumbled yet again. Part of his processor wondered if this was simply the giant, planet-sized robot's way of asserting his own authority, or of reminding everyone who might be onboard just how large and powerful he was. Frankly, Galvatron wouldn't put either past Unicron.
After a moment the rumbles and tremors subsided, and the giant robot's voice boomed. "Galvatron, your troops await you in the central chamber within me. Go to them, and attack the Autobot ship that is approaching. If possible, bring the occupants to me online. If they resist too much, destroy them and bring me their remains. Either way, I will remake them into part of my servant army, as I have remade you and your fellow Decepticons."
With little choice, Galvatron did as he was ordered. He wasn't familiar with the...lay out, if you could call it that, of the tunnels and such that ran through the entire being of the evil god, but it felt as though something was leading his spark in the direction of the central chamber.
That's when Galvatron realized something: Unicron literally controlled him, in spark, processor, and body. He gritted his dental plating and swore he felt the slightest of tremors course through again, as if the plane was snickering at his own misfortune.
Still he continued-or rather, was lead-to his comrades. He wondered what had become of them, looks wise anyway. Had they been merely fixed, transformed like him, upgraded? Or what if they were changed completely? Galvatron never exactly cared much for appearances so long as his followers were loyal and did as he commanded. But from the little he had done these past solar cycles, the curiosity consumed him and was almost a purpose for the former tyrant.
When he finally arrived, nothing could have shocked him more.
"What...have you done?" Galvatron whispered hoarsely, looking over what used to be his command.
Unicron chuckled, amused by his minion's reaction. It was a deep, unpleasant sound. "Why, I remade them, of course."
Galvatron continued to stare at the bots before him. Indeed, they definitely were the same ones he had been with prior to the destruction of Omega Supreme. And they had been put back together and repaired very well, but there was definitely something wrong with them.
For one thing, they only vaguely had some of their original colors, shining dully through the sickening gray color that all transformers turned when they died. Only these bots were not dead; their optics glowed red, which seemed to be the only thing that suggested they were alive at all, except for the faint glow from their sparks that could be seen somewhat through their chassis's. They stared straight ahead, their expressions blank and lifeless, as if their only purpose was to see, hear, and obey commands.
"Are they… alive?" Galvatron found himself asking in spite of himself. He had to wonder, did he actually have an army here, or were they half online and half in stasis lock or something?
"Technically, yes," Unicron replied in an almost bored tone. "However, any connection between the spark and the body and processor is eliminated."
Clenching his servos at his sides, Galvatron found himself seething as he continued to stare at his Decepticons—or were they even Decepticons anymore? They looked to be no more useful than the maintenance droids that existed to serve on space vessels. Worse than that, these were bots who'd had their minds stripped from them. They were no more than puppets!
As if in afterthought, Unicron then added, "I only left your spark, processor and body completely connected because I needed a fully aware bot to lead this team. I don't need any of the others to retain full awareness; it would only hinder things."
As in us rebelling? Galvatron thought to himself. However, he felt the entire room vibrate violently as if there was a quake.
"DON'T EVEN TRY YOU WORTHLESS SCRAP! IF I BRING YOU TO MY MERCY, YOU DO AS I COMMAND!" Unicron's voice thundered.
Galvatron had fallen to the floor, but he noticed his small army hadn't even budged an inch. He quickly rose to his feet.
"Now....go." Unicron's voice was packed with authority, leaving no room for discussion and especially none for argument or debate.
Before he could transform, he found the old Magnus hammer floating beside him, and noticed it had taken a grayish hue like that of his band. Soon he flew out of the planet-sized god through a small opening followed by the other former Decepticons.
I shall lead you to the ship, then you handle the rest my loyal slave, Galvatron heard Unicron in his head.
Yeah, as if he had any choice to be anything but loyal. Galvatron permitted himself a growl of displeasure, along with a few thoughts that were anything but complimentary. Still, he was apparently the only Decepticon present who had the ability to think, and he was being controlled like a puppet on a string. The only freedom he had was his own processor and his own thoughts, so he was going to do what he pleased and think whatever he wished of his new "master".
However, if Unicron was still monitoring his thoughts, perhaps the planet-god had chosen not to act in any way. Maybe he simply didn't care, so long as Galvatron was out to do his bidding, or perhaps he was limited from doing much while his slaves were outside of him. Galvatron figured he would have to ponder this more later; right now, as much as he hated it, he had a mission to accomplish.
With the aide of Ratchet, Prowl, and the team of medics, both Oil Slick and Nightbird, along with their sparklings, arrived safely at the Iacon hospital. The three sparklings were immediately moved into the sparkling care area while Oil Slick and Nightbird were moved into one of the standard rooms, where they could be given more energon and a general check over.
Red Alert, who had just finished checking on Bumblebee again, was mildly surprised to see all the ruckus. She immediately went into action, going to assist with the sparklings.
In the meantime, Ratchet and a couple of medical assistants proceeded to give Nightbird and Oil Slick a thorough examination, and successfully gave them each a boost in energon. Ratchet was especially careful when he examined their sparks, knowing that their life source was the main thing that he needed to watch. Both their sparks had been forced to endure a lot of strain, after all. Especially Oil Slick's; a mech was not exactly designed to handle the carrying of sparklings, although he'd only had to do it for a few minutes.
In the end, however, Ratchet deduced that they were both fine. But they would both need bed rest for a while in order to regain their strength and to give their sparks a chance to recover.
Both of them wanted to know how their sparklings were doing, and Ratchet told them that he would go and check on them immediately. He certainly hoped that the smallest one was doing okay. So he left the room and had every intention of going to the sparkling care center… only to be completely distracted before he could do more than take a single step down the hall.
The figure which distracted him almost crashed into him, them grabbed onto his arm with a frantic, iron grip. Completely taken aback, Ratchet found himself staring down into the face that was so panicked with wide, wild optics, that he almost didn't recognize her at first.
"Dreamer!" he gasped, startled. "What is the matter? Are you alright?!" He'd never seen his adoptive daughter look so terrorized before. Then he noticed the energon leaking down the front of her chassis, and he immediately assumed the worst. "Oh Primus… Dreamer, you're bleeding!"
"Oh Ratchet!" Dreamer wailed, and clung tightly against her father's torso plating. "I didn't know what to do! Arcee left to take Skids on a short walk and then I couldn't find her so I didn't know what else to do and so I came here!! What's happening to me?! Am I DYING?!" She spoke so fast that, if it weren't for her hysteria, she might have sounded like a feminine version of Blurr.
After some of the shock had worn off, Ratchet finally realized what was happening, and it hit him hard. He never truly realized before how much he had cared for Dreamer; in a way, she was his little girl, and now...
"C'mon," the old bot said calmly, "I'll take you into a room, and when we get there place a rag onto your chassis and I'll explain everything, okay?"
Dreamer whimpered, nodding against his torso. She was still scared, but somehow he seemed to know what was going on. Since he sounded calm, she knew that it couldn't be anything too serious. "Okay," she finally murmured.
They went into one of the empty hospital rooms and Ratchet helped her onto the medical bunk. As he went to get a rag from one of the cabinets, part of his processor remembered the sparklings he had intended to check on. However, he figured that they could wait. After all, if they were in any danger, someone would have summoned him by now. That probably meant they were okay and in very good hands. Besides, Red Alert was with them; that alone made him feel better.
"Alright," Ratchet said as he approached her with the rag in his servo, "let's put this over the edge of your chassis, it'll contain the energon leakage."
Dreamer nodded as she placed it over the leak. "Am...am I sick?" she asked with worry in her optics. Ratchet merely grunted and rubbed a servo on the back of his head, sighing.
"Dreamer...don't you know how sparklings are...made?"
The young femme blinked her optics, not quite understanding what that had to do with anything. "Well… I know that it has something to do with, um… two sparks merging or something," she murmured.
Ratchet sighed. Of course he would get stuck explaining something like this. Arcee was the mother, and the teacher, and most importantly of all, a femme. But of course, she wasn't here right now. So that meant it was up to him to explain it. At least he was a doctor, though; that made it a bit easier, he supposed.
"Yeah, that is a big part of it," the old medic finally said. "But don't you know about the maternal energon cycle that happens in a femme, once she reaches the age of maturity?"
Dreamer blinked. "Uhhh…"
Ratchet sighed. "Obviously you haven't," he muttered, rubbing the edge of his helm with his hand, warily.
"Well… what does it mean?" his daughter asked, looking completely clueless. "Why am I bleeding?"
The bot really didn't want to explain bonding or interfacing with Dreamer; he'd leave that to Arcee later. Carefully, Ratchet tried to explain it in terms to where he didn't need to bring it up.
"You see, Dreamer, over the course of an orn or so, energon is stored up inside a femme's spark chamber, in case she bonds and becomes sparked...and if she doesn't, that extra energon is leaked out through the chassis."
For a few moments the small femme seemed to be processing the information she just received, rag still pressed against her. "So...do I just have to sit here with the rag until it's over or something?"
Before the older bot could answer, they both heard footsteps approaching. Prowl peered into the room as he passed by, then when he spotted Ratchet he stepped into the room.
"Ratchet," the ninja said, looking directly at the medic, "Red Alert asked me to find you. She said that all three sparklings, including the smallest one, are stable."
"Oh that's good, thank Primus," Ratchet murmured in relief.
Prowl smiled slightly, then his visor tipped in Dreamer's direction. His smile vanished when he saw her holding a rag over her chassis, near her spark chamber. The rag was drenched with blue, liquid energon. "Are you alright, Dreamer?" he asked softly with concern.
Dreamer stared at the black-and-gold mech for a moment. Then she glanced down at her chassis. That was when some sort of connection formed in her processor, whether it was subconscious or otherwise. She stared down at herself for a moment and then looked back at Prowl, the memory of when she kissed him flashing vividly through her processor….
Her facial plating turned deep scarlet and she turned away hastily, covering herself up with her arms. She began to cry.
Prowl, not entirely understanding what had happened, gave Ratchet a questioning look. Instead of getting an answer he was rushed out by the med-bot. Once the cyber ninja was gone Ratchet sat down beside Dreamer, giving her a comforting hug.
"This st-stinks!" she managed to sputter out. Her father rubbed the side of her arms. Arcee was definitely going to have to talk with her later. He maybe a med-bot, but he was no femme.
The Jet Twins were now in charge of scanning the perimeter around the planet.
Starthrust himself was looking out through the front screen as his brother continued to whimper in the corner.
"Uncle Thrust Star, sir!" Jetstorm exclaimed suddenly, causing the team leader to glance sharply in his direction. Something about the blue bot's tone told him that he had found something.
"What is it?" Starthrust asked, taking a couple of steps toward the smaller bot. He then craned his head, attempting to peer at the scanner readouts that Jetstorm was looking at.
"I think there be multiple targets coming toward us!" Jetstorm replied eagerly. "Definitely not asteroids, but too small to be ships!"
Skyjet made a loud whimper, throwing his servos over his face. "We're all going to go offline! We're gonna be DESTROYED!" He then began to babble incoherently, and no one could understand what he was saying anymore.
Then before Starthrust could even make an order there was a sudden pounding all over the exterior of the ship. Everything rattled back and forth and the emergency lights and alarms sounded off. Everyone was trying to steady themselves and prepare for attack, it ended as soon as it started.
Then everything was shut down. There were no lights and any machinery that was on at the time was no longer working. Skyjet was heard practically sobbing in his spot, "Th-th-they're gonn-n-na get us!" The figuratively yellow-bellied bot continued to sob.
Starthrust, for one, was greatly perplexed by what just happened. But if there was one thing he learned, it was that if an outside force shut off your energy, then there was going to be—
"AN ATTACK!" the twins shouted in unison. Turning around to the front Starthrust saw some great bulking bot ram against the screen repeatedly. He jumped back in a defensive position with Jetfire and Jetstorm, but quickly leapt forward as two other bots fell through the air shaft above them.
Now that there were intruders in their darkened cockpit the fighting began. Although there was little light the Autobots maneuvered according to the spark signatures they detected.
Starthrust threw his clenched servo, connecting it with something solid. And it was a good thing he did because that something had been about to do the same to him a mere moment ago. The seeker then growled softly, feeling as though he had dented his servo slightly. Yet that was the least of his worries at the moment; it sounded like the twins were in trouble, and so was Skyjet—then again, it was always difficult to tell if Skyjet was really in trouble or just, well, being his usual self.
The team leader turned on his heel and, using his sensors, he tried to analyze the scene before him. It didn't take long for him to realize that they were outnumbered on their own ship. Apparently the intruders had come in through the doors and vents.
Quite suddenly, the emergency lights kicked back in, illuminating the entire bridge in a dim, eerie glow. It was then that Starthrust could see that both of the jet twins were effectively pinned down under a couple of bots who looked more dead than alive.
Skyjet was immobilized… except by his own fear. All of the freakish bots on the bridge—bots that looked like they had come straight from the pit—had been enough to scare him even more senseless than he already was. He let out one final scream… then passed out, crashing onto the floor with a noisy thud.
Starthrust's air intakes grew ragged as he tried to think up a new strategy. As he slowly stepped back, he felt himself bump into something...or someone. Slowly turning his head back, the mech indeed saw another bot out of the corner of his optics. In a nanosecond he zipped around to confront him.
At first he brought up his arms to use his laser cannons, but lowered them in shock as he recognized the face. Anger, confusion, and absolute hatred filled him up.
The mech before him grinned maliciously, his red optics glowing a bit more as his hammer cackled from energy.