OKAYS! This is actually a fanfiction of a fanfiction. The original Kaceystar-fiction is from optimus prime 007, if you haven't read it, some of the things here will make little to no sense, so I suggest you go to her first. (I'd suggest it heavily anyway, she's an excellent writer). This will revolve around the same crew, though, so we'll see a lot of our beloved 'Bots, I assure you. This takes place between the second and third parts of her trilogy, around three months after the ending of MBRS. (if you haven't read it, go read it! doooo iit! dooo iit NO0OW!!!1!)

DISCLAIMER:

Hasbro and their buddies own all recognizable Transformers, I only borrow them for your entertainment.

Also, the following characters are optimus prime 007's property and are not to be used without permission: Kaceystar and the rest of Optimus Prime and Elita-1's kids, Galen and Kayla, Marshall, Sidewinder (or little Sides) and Nitro, Rox and his buddies, Venom, Viper, and a bunch of the younger folk.

The rest of the unrecognizable ones are mine (the only one I really use in this chap is Cross). If you use, I'd like to at least be notified. If not, I'll sic my puppy on your afts.

How to read the lines: :bond talk:, 'comm-link talk', "normal talk", thoughts

Enjoy!


Galen

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker had done it – again. It didn't really surprise anyone at that point, but that didn't mean that my father let them off any easier.

"OWW! Watch what you're doing, you slag-head!" Sides complained as my father made a little adjustment to his position. Father didn't even grace him with a retort, instead concentrating on his work. At that moment, he was attempting to get rid of something sharp embedded into Sides's aft. My guess was that it was a part of shrapnel from when Sides and Sunny's prank backfired, courtesy of Wheeljack. I winced at the memory resurfacing…

Earlier that day

It was nice and calm in the rec room, with mechs and femmes alike chatting away. It had been fairly quiet, and we really needed the rest after the crazy stunt the 'Cons pulled. Attacking the younglings… I shuddered at the memory. I'd felt so helpless, and humbled, too, by Leo's brave attempts at trying to help his sister, Kaceystar. I pulled myself from my musings before Ariel could pick up on them. I swear, the femme is a psychic with how easily she feels my mood swings, especially anything negative.

The femme in question was cuddling my side, carefully sipping energon and listening to her older twin, Orion, conversing with Sockets. They had become rather good friends over the course of years, perhaps because they were both rather calm by nature. Not that I wasn't, and they were good friends of mine, too, but I had Ariel to care for. Primus, I thank all deities willing to listen for every moment I can share with her, even if I can't show it all to her. Yet. A smile caressed my lips, and of course she noticed it.

"What are you thinking about?" she asked, a ghost of a smile twitching just below the surface, her optics glittering enticingly. I gave the best charmer-smile I could muster.

"You. Nothing else can make me smile like that spontaneously," I answered, nuzzling her face affectionately. She returned the gesture with a small sigh. I leaned in to plant a kiss to her forehead –

The whole rec room exploded. I quickly, instinctively covered Ariel's frame with my own to shield her form anything. When I realized I heard no plasma-fire, I cautiously looked around. Some sticky, semi-liquid substance in pretty much all the colors imaginable had flown everywhere and nanokliks later there was another minor boom, and the air was filled with small, fragile looking things. I caught one in my hand and looked closer. A feather. A completely normal feather. When I tried to get it off my hand, it stuck like glue. I shook my hand, attempting to dislodge it. No such luck. Many adults were already swearing and trying to find the culprit. Or culprits, I thought and looked for a certain set of Lamborghini twins. Of course they were not around. I looked around to see if any of the higher officers were here. I winced, spotting Red Alert, Prowl and dad along with Ironhide.

"When I find them, I'm going to reformat them into fragging DOORBELLS!!!" dad snarled viciously. No one had to ask as to whom he was referring to. This wasn't going well for Sunny and Sides, as I was sure they were the culprits. And so were dad and Prowl. Apparently, he had been having his lunch energon, probably having a calm conversation. I sneaked a quick look at Prowl. He had a reasonably calm expression on his face, like nothing bad had happened. For a moment, I thought the twins would be able to avoid his wrath this time. Then I saw the tell-tale twitch on his thin lips: he very nearly smiled. It must've been the scariest thing I'd seen in a few months! I quickly opened a comm. channel to Sides, seeing as he was the one that was easier to talk to of the twin Lambos. Also, it was highly probable that he was ultimately behind all of this. Usually Sides designed the pranks and then dragged Sunny with him, so he didn't have to suffer the consequences alone.

'Sides? This is Galen. Soooo, you know anything about colored, sticky paint-bombs going off in the rec room?'

A pause that was slightly too long to be convincing.

'Noooo…' he sounded like he was totally awed by the idea of an explosion of colors and feathers.

I resisted the urge to facepalm, silently thanking my father for having such a stubborn nature for me to inherit. From Sides's tone of voice, I could hear he was an inch from totally cracking up.

'Where are you?' I asked, a bit peeved at him. I had sticky, multicolor paint all over me, and feathers to boot, and the mech laughs?!

'I have monitor duty! It's not like I could really prank anyone when on duty, now could I?' came the completely innocent and blatantly fake answer that wouldn't have fooled a drunken, mentally unstable Decepticon. I suppressed a growl, and sent one last message.

'Okay, good, because father threatened to reformat you and your brother into doorbells, and if you happened to have any evidence on you, he wouldn't hesitate to do it. He's been recharging less than what's healthy, and he only now got to a break. Also, I should inform you that Prowl might be even more of a problem. I think I saw him smile…'

'Oh FRAGGIT! Sunny!' And the comm. link died. I snickered, unable to hold it back. Oh, they were so in for it…

After some chasing down, Sides and Sunny were cornered near Wheeljack's lab. They'd tried to take two big boxes of paint cans and feather sacks to the waste disposal centre, but Prowl, with Red Alert's help, intercepted them long before they reached their goal. Ariel had gone to clean herself of the drops of paint that had somehow managed to land on her despite me trying to protect her, so I was now alone. I couldn't help but feel a bit sorry for Sunny and Sides, annoying as they were. They had about twenty mechs and femmes screaming for their energon, and they had nowhere to run. Sides forced out a laugh before Prowl and Ratchet, who had led the hunt, could move closer than a few steps.

"Heyyy, guys, what a coincidence to see you all here. What are you looking for? Wheeljack? I don't think it's smart to go in his lab at the moment, I think he's experimenting… But wait, I know, we'll go check for you, ok? Just sit tight for a minute, and we'll… run, Sunny!!" And they tore towards 'Jacks lab. Suddenly the lab door opened and Wheeljack himself emerged, optics wide. He took one look at the assembled mismatch of soldiers and civilians before screaming.

"Duck and cover!" and landing face first on the floor. Those of us that knew him didn't bother wondering what had him scared, because we knew from experience that it couldn't be good. Sunny and Sides, however, and gathered too much momentum to stop. Instead, they braked and slid forward a bit – and stopped right in front of the open door to the lab. Their faces fell.

"Oh, sla-!"

BOOM!

My mind was pulled from my musings by another yelp of pain, this time originating from Sunstreaker. Apparently my father had managed to dislodge the nasty piece of shrapnel from Sides's aft and was now concentrating on Sunny. He was in a better condition, since he had held the box of leftover feathers rather than the metal cans that had, due to the force of the explosion, ripped apart. I suspected that some of the shrapnel embedded to the twins was from those, but the one in Side's aft had been way too big to be from a simple can.

Which led me to assume that it had come from 'Jack's lab.

I did not want to know what its purpose originally had been. Some things are better left undiscovered, as my father has taught me.

I had to admit, though, that their plan was a bit better than usually, since they often stayed near the prank to see it happen, and thus got caught ridiculously easily. This time, they'd used remote controls, and since they both had monitor duty, they could do their jobs AND watch the show at the same time. The perfect alibi. Smart, really, if you didn't get caught later with some incriminating gear. Of course, this was not the way the twins usually worked, and I caught a scent of Kacey's involvement. Either that or the twins had somehow managed to get the idea from her. Kacey would do something like that, but it was way too smart for 'Sides. Or Sunny.

Deciding it was better to leave my irate father deal with his vict-, I mean patients, I strolled out of the med bay, headed to see how the clean-up in the rec room was coming along. I was just about to round the first corner when the base-wide radio blared to life. I easily recognized the voice to be Prowl.

"Attention! All Autobot officer personnel gather to the Command Center! Repeat, all Autobot officer personnel gather to the Command Center! This is NOT a drill!"

I frowned. Prowl wasn't the type to just issue orders without a good reason, and something that serious-sounding must not be good. Then again, he'd been a little beyond twitchy because of the lack of Decepticon activity lately, bordering to paranoia almost rivaling Red Alert's. Nevertheless, I heard the med bay doors whoosh open, and my father stomped out.

"Galen, make sure they don't leave the med bay. Strap them down if you must." I didn't have to wonder who he meant by that. I sighed, and turned around to head back.

I could only hope that the meeting that had so abruptly been called wouldn't be long. I had promised Ariel that I'd spend the rest of the day with her, and I wasn't about to do it with the twins watching us over my shoulder!

Ratchet

I growled, stomping down the hall leading to the Command Center. Prowl better have a good reason for his sudden meeting, or I'd rip him a new one! Mechs and femmes alike steered clear of my path, making sure not to make optic contact with me. That was one of the good sides of being the notoriously cranky monster of the med bay. I silently congratulated myself as I entered the Command Center – I was one of the first answering the call. The others would have much more trouble trying to get through the overly populated hallways.

"Ratchet!"

I turned to look at Prowl. He was standing near the main computer with Blaster typing away at it. He beckoned me closer.

"What do you make of this?" he asked, motioning at the radar on the screen. At first, it seemed like just the normal readings, but then the radar showed something that wasn't there before.. Something that usually spelled trouble with capital letters. I swore, and Prowl nodded.

"That's what I thought. It does look like a 'Con ship, don't you think?" I affirmed my general opinion with another profanity.

"Unfortunately, yes it does", I snarled after somewhat composing myself. I already had enough work, and now, after a long, long break, the 'Cons suddenly decide to attack?! They were out to get me, I was certain. Then I realized I sounded like Red Alert at his finest and quit my musings before they got out of hand. Prowl shifted.

"What makes me wonder is how we got it on the radar," he said. I cocked an optic ridge, silently encouraging him to elaborate. "Blaster intercepted an emergency signal."

"Did an Autobot ship get blasted by that?!" I fairly screeched. If that was the case, I didn't even want to think what had happened to the poor 'Bots on the unfortunate ship. There would have to be searching parties, I'd have to care for the wounded…

Prowl cleared his vocalizer, prompting me to stop fussing. But it was Blaster who then cleared the situation to both me and the officers who now had made their appearance as well.

"That's the funny thing, Ratchet. To our knowledge, the signal originated from that ship. And it was of Decepticon origin, so it can't be an Autobot trying to contact us by hijacking the comm. systems, either. They'd have sent an Autobot signal by overriding the controls manually and then… Sorry." He explained, looking fairly sheepish because of the faces the others were making at him. I was baffled.

"But… But why would a 'Con ship ask for help from us? That doesn't make any sense! Unless it's a cleverly disguised trap… We should shoot it out of the sky!" Red Alert. Trust him to come up with an explanation involving deception from anything. If someone told him that some people liked to start the morning by having a cup of steaming hot tea instead of coffee, he'd make it a theory of revolution and usurpation in a nanoklik.

"I believe we should investigate. Do we have their landing coordinates, or are they not following a pattern?" Prowl asked, and I could practically hear the gears and circuitry in his head working overtime to count all the probabilities of what could happen.

"I got the coordinates of landing almost immediately after tracing the signal. Someone up there knows we're listening. They almost sent them to me, it was that easy to trace. I think it was intentional. Either that or these people REALLY don't know what they're doing." Blaster recounted. I frowned.

"If that's not the case, then it's the opposite. Someone on board might actually be manipulating us with this. Do you think it could be Soundwave?" I asked Blaster. It was his turn to frown.

"Nah, not his style. And Megatron wouldn't let his third go off like that. The vessel is large enough only to house eight or ten Decepticon mechs, and it's headed straight for us. That amount of mechpower wouldn't be enough to even scratch us, and Megatron knows it, and even if he didn't, then Soundwave surely would. Suicide isn't something he'd be interested in, even for his cause." Blaster said. I believed him, since he was the one that knew Soundwave best. Ironhide grunted.

"Well, if it isn't Soundwave, then who is it?" he asked, clearly irritated. I knew what he wanted to do: shoot the thing, just like Red Alert had suggested. But I also knew he'd wait until Optimus gave his orders. Ironhide truly hated the 'Cons with an unyielding passion, but he was, above all, fiercely loyal to his Prime. Said mech straightened his posture and issued his orders.

"We will wait for it to land, and see what this is about. Prowl, gather a team of twenty soldiers and meet me outside in fifteen minutes. Ratchet, Ironhide, you'll be coming, too. Take a few other medics with you, Ratchet, if there really is a problem on the ship, there could be injuries. Blaster, stay here and monitor the situation. Make sure they don't try to reach any 'Cons or try anything and maintain constant communications with me and Prowl directly. Everyone knows what you're supposed to be doing. Proceed." And with that, he left the room. Prowl started barking orders, but I didn't stick around. I had to get my own crew together. Exiting the room, I opened a comm. link channel to Wheeljack.

''Jack? Get Perceptor and Swoop and get the med bay ready for incoming casualties. And get Sockets and First Aid to come to the front entrance in the next ten minutes. We have a mission to go to. Also, why weren't you in the meeting? All high ranking personnel were supposed to attend!'

'Ratch'? What are you talking about? Wait, there was a meeting? Sorry, I was experimenting on something Ironhide mentioned. It's quite fascinating, really. You see, I put some nitroglyse-'

'Wheeljack, we don't have time for that! Move, now!'

'Oh, right! Sorry, I'll get right on it! Wheeljack out.'

I huffed, knowing Wheeljack it would get him at least five minutes to detach himself from whatever crazy project he was working on. It had to be loud, Prowl hadn't exactly been discreet with his announcement of the meeting. I hurried to the med bay, and was glad to notice the twins weren't around any more. I wasn't sure I could take their slag right now. I saw Galen putting away some tools from where I had worked on the Lambo nightmares.

"Galen," I called to him, making him turn around.

"Yes?"

"I'm going for a mission, so I need you to help 'Jack and the others as they instruct you. We might have incoming casualties, so make sure your mother doesn't come by with Kayla." I said and left to meet with Optimus, not waiting for a reply. I trusted my son, he'd do as instructed.

Kaceystar

I could feel my father long before I heard his heavy footsteps from the hall. He was confused, apprehensive and… nervous? No, that wasn't it. Father was never nervous, even when the Autobots were in a heap of trouble. But he was… There isn't a word for it. When he stepped into our family's quarters, I immediately went to hug him.

"What's bothering you, father?" I mumbled into his chest. He rewarded my question with only a heavy sigh.

"Something isn't making sense, sweetspark. I'm going away for a bit, so I'd like you to-"

"No way, dad, I'm not staying behind when something's bothering you like this. Going away? Is it about the thing you had the meeting about?"

This rewarded me another hefty sigh. He then pulled away, and I took two steps back in order to be able to look at him without much difficulty.

Slag the mech was tall!

"Yes, yes it is. And I take it you're going to insist on coming with?" he asked, almost resigned sounding. I frowned. It wasn't like him to show how tired he was, but now he looked exhausted. Sure, he'd had a lot of trouble trying to calm the base down, especially Red Alert and Prowl, who were both fritzing because of the lack of action from the 'Cons, one from paranoia and the other one from overwork on trying to find out what they were up to. My personal opinion was that my uncle had something else on his mind. Which, of course, should've made me nervous, but I couldn't bring myself to care. Not when everyone was having the down-time that we'd been craving for a long time now.

"Yes, I think I will. When do we leave?" I asked, already making a list of things I might need. Blades, a few small explosives, some med equipment… I counted in my head. My father's soft chuckle brought me away from my thoughts.

"Right now. I'll notify your mother about the situation, although she won't be the least bit impressed with it, I'm sure…" father said. I winced in sympathy. Mom had been more than a little stressed out lately, trying to take care of all my younger siblings. Leo had become a nightmare, I swear…

"Get to the front entrance, Kacey. I'll be there in a minute." father said and went to write a message to mother about our sudden disappearance. I went to my room, grabbed my effects and raced out. I hadn't seen action in a long while, and I was dying to get some! It had been far too long!

When I got to the hangar that served as our deploying post, I noticed that this wasn't just a normal let's-go-check-what-landed-mission. Prowl was issuing orders and Ratchet was there, too, with First Aid and Sockets. This meant business, and my jovial mood was instantly gone, replaced with sheer determination. I marched up to Prowl.

"Where will you situate me?"

"Right here in the base," he tried.

"Ha. Ha-ha." I deadpanned, making a few of the mechs chuckle before Prowl could identify them.

"I mean it, Prowl. I already talked about it with my father, and he is letting me come with. So where do you want me?"

He sighed, but didn't seem all that bothered about it.

"You go with Ironhide, he'll make sure you don't get into situations, in case it's a trap. If it is, we can be sure that they target Prime and his offspring first."

"Who?"

He frowned. "Didn't anyone tell you what has happened?"

"I just got here, I don't know anything yet." I answered, shrugging my shoulders for emphasis. He noticeably sagged.

"You're going on a mission… and you know nothing about it… Great, go to Ironhide and have him explain the situation, we're deploying right now." I nodded and made my way to the old weapons specialist.

"You coming too, then." It wasn't a question. I felt us lift off, and then head west from the base.

"Yeah, I couldn't wait to see some action again. It's been horrible, being just cooped up in the base. How do you take that? I mean, you're not exactly a patient mech," I said with a grin. He snorted in response, but smiled.

"Why you slaggin' little… I go to the firing range, of course. There's not a better way to relieve stress from not being able to blow Decepticans apart than blowing holo-Decepticans to smithereens. 'Cept for interfacing, of course," he added after a little pause. I groaned.

"Figures you'd mix the two… Anyway, onwards with the important stuff, Prowl told me to come to you for information about the situation. Why does he want me to stay close to you for protection? It can't be that bad, I mean, I've been fighting 'Cons for the bigger part of my life!"

"This is different. We don't know if these are 'Cons for sure or not. It's a 'Con ship we're going to look at, but it hailed us with an emergency signal. 'Cons don't do emergency signals. At all." I frowned.

"So aren't sure what this is?"

"No."

"And Sunny and Sides are still recovering from the, aah, healing process Ratch' gave them?"

"They're at the base, trying to sort their CPUs out, I suppose, yes."

"So why do we have this little people with? And not all that many officers with, either. Magnus isn't here, mother isn't here, frag, not even Chromia's here! What do you think we're looking at? If this is a 'Con ship and it's supposed to be a trap, it'll be packed with those slaggers. We'll be shot on sight, and with numbers that big, we won't -"

"Kacey, calm it. It's not a war-ship we're going to see. It's almost like a large emergency pod, it could house only eight mechs if they knew each other well, and ten if they were intimate," Ironhide interrupted my calculations. I didn't need that mental image. I really didn't. I grimaced.

"That is a very disturbing thought. Let's forget it, okay?" I sighed. "Alright, so we might have up to about ten hostile mechs against us, or we might have the same amount or less friendlies, possibly in a bad condition. We don't know which, since it could be a genuine reach for help, or it could be a not-so-subtle trap. This is ridiculous," I said. Ironhide shrugged.

"I've noticed war has quite a few points that are border-line ridiculous." He opened his mouth to say more, but then the internal communications channel flared to life.

"Decepticon vessel sighted on the ground. Prepare for landing."

I steeled myself. I had no way of knowing what to expect, but I was going to find out. Soon.

Optimus

I had to admit I was apprehensive. After landing, I lead the small band of Autobots to the site where the small Decepticon vessel was still smoking from the impact. It had carved a large amount of plants and dirt from the ground. The place was a mess. I turned to Hound.

"Do you get any readings?"

He concentrated for a moment, then his eyes widened.

"Seventeen spark-signatures, all in the vessel," he answered, but sounded like he was a bit unsure of what he was talking about. I couldn't help but second-guess him. I trusted him, no doubt about that, but the vessel was, as I now could see, simply too small to house such a large amount of signatures.

"Check."

"I tripled already. Wait… Oops, make that nineteen signatures. Sir, could they be cassettes?" he asked. I shook my head.

"I don't think so. That would mean Soundwave was with them, and even if he had all his six creations with, it would still leave the vessel with thirteen mechs and six cassettes. And Soundwave is their only tape-deck as far as we know."

What was this…? I opened a comm. to Ratchet, attempting to ask his opinion.

'Ratchet…'

'I don't understand it, either. I think I sense more than that, though. Hound's long-range sensors are good, but they are only so accurate. My medical scans show at least twenty-two sparks, and a few others that just might be sparks, but they are weaker. Let me go closer.' He'd obviously overheard our conversation, or eavesdropped on it, but I didn't care at that point.

"Prowl, Ironhide, Ratchet, with me. Now. The rest of you, keep us covered." I moved, but then noticed a fourth soldier trailing behind me. I sighed.

"Kacey…"

"I want to come too, father. I don't want you to be hurt," she pleaded with me, sending her love through our bond. I couldn't resist her, and allowed her to come after us.

We stepped closer cautiously, knowing it could be a trap. We've been fooled like this before, I reminded myself of the first time we met Venom, my nephew. I shrugged it off, reminding myself that this time we were prepared.

"Ratchet, how are those readings?"

"There is too much interference, I can't get a good fix on them all. There is at least twenty-two, but I have four readings that are too inaccurate to tell anything. I think there's something on the alloy of the vessel that's disrupting my readings." I very nearly growled out of frustration. The situation was tense, and I could almost feel Ironhide's need to just blast the doors open and shoot anything stupid enough to move.

"What if we opened the door, or made some kind of a hole in the hull?"

As if it heard us, the door hissed open. Before I could say anything, I heard multiple clicks behind us, and the unmistakable whirr of Ironhide's cannons warming up. I opened my mouth to command my troops.

"Don't shoot!"

I nearly choked on my unspoken words from shock. The voice was fairly high-pitched, and didn't sound like anyone we'd brought along. It belonged to a femme, too, and the only femme Autobot present and accounted for was my own daughter.

And my daughter wasn't a youngling anymore. The owner of that voice was.

I peered in to the doorway, trying to see something, anything. I felt with my bond, too, since Megatron might've tried to pull another Venom on me, this time with his little femme, Viper. I didn't get anything back, however, so I resorted to verbal communications.

"Who are you?" I asked. Prowl also cleared his throat.

"State your designation and faction."

"Slag that, Prowl," Ratchet suggested and moved closer. "You have nothing to fear, young one. Please, step forth so we can see you."

"I can't come on my own…" the young femme trailed off from the darkness. "My legs are too damaged. Can my friend help me? I'll have to crawl over if she can't." My officers looked at me expectantly.

"Of course."

"Okays. Come on, it'll be okay, I promise," the little femme said, obviously trying to encourage her friend. I heard a few more whispers, and after that, silence. Then they stepped into the daylight for us to see.

They were two femmes, maybe a bit older than Orion and Ariel. I immediately saw which one we'd been talking with. She was the smaller, and younger of the two, a light blue in color. I winced at her injuries: her right thigh had been punctured by something, and her both ankles had marks of high security energon cuffs rubbing on them, and she leaned heavily on her friend.

Her companion wasn't much better off. She was a bit taller and wider than the one we talked with, and she bore old, light scars all over her light purple body despite her young age. Some of the injuries were recent, but the smaller one's serious damage looked old. The smaller femme looked at us straight in the optics, but the other one kept her head bowed and her face hidden. Both looked like they hadn't had a decent recharge or refuel in a long time, never mind a visit to the wash racks.

I heard a growl next to me, and the older femme flinched, a soft gasp erupting from her vocalizer. I knew it tore Ratchet apart to see younglings in such a bad state, and injuries like that didn't come from a crash, even I knew that. Those were intentional. But, it wasn't doing us any good scaring the younglings. I quickly commed him to remain silent. He did.

"What happened to you?" I gently asked. The blue femme gave a tired smile and corrected her stance, and I noticed a large scar on her youngling chest plates when the light glinted off the dirty surface. It was slash marks, like something had clawed her open. Two were especially visible, and they traced an X-shape on her chest.

"We managed to escape, it doesn't matter what happened before. My name is Cross. This here is my friend, and her name -" a hiss from her friend silenced her before she could continue. Then she smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, I forgot. You'll tall them when you want to. But you will have to soon, you know, that's what Sister told us to do. Anyway, there are twenty-four of us altogether."

A growl floated through the air from the purple femme, but Cross didn't seem to mind. Ratchet wasn't going to wait any more than that, however.

"I'm going to have to check you up, Cross. Your wounds aren't immediately life-threatening, but I don't want you to be in any pain. You're safe now," he said, stepping closer. The other femme flinched again, almost as if she was waiting to be struck, but a few caresses from Cross soothed away her irrational fear. Then Cross turned to Ratchet.

"I know what my legs are in need of, but we have a few friends in the ship that are in a bigger need for your talents, if you don't mind. I'm a partially trained medic myself, I know that if my legs aren't repaired soon, I'll lose them. I've already accepted that possibility, although I don't look forward to it," she said, with a smile on her face. It drove shivers up and down my spine to think that a youngling could speak so easily about her losing her way of moving about! Of course, it baffled me that the youngling would actually know stuff like that. My daughter took a step forward, going to help the purple femme with her friend, but I could sense her distress through our bond. She was as alarmed as I was, if not more so.

"Come on, let me help you. You don't look so good," she reasoned with the timid femme. A shivering sigh escaped her lips as she allowed my daughter take a part of the weight. Cross was addressing me again, so I turned to listen to the little femme. Her azure optics held a steady gaze on mine, like she wasn't afraid at all, and they were practically screaming at me that this femme wasn't as helpless as she looked like. It didn't alarm me, instead, it soothed me, somehow.

"Before you go in, you should know something. Our friends inside, they aren't all -" she was cut off by her friend collapsing. Cross gave a strangled sound and almost fell next to her friend, if it wasn't for Kacey she would have. "Hey! Hey, are you okay?" she asked. Her friend shook her head to clear it a bit, then replied, with a voice that told us she hadn't used it in a while.

"Yeah… I think so. Hopefully," and she lifted her head so she could look at her friend.

I was shocked by her voice. It had sounded so horrible, grating like that. But I was even more shocked when I saw her face.

Or, more accurately speaking, her optics.

Optics like two pools of molten steel. Decepticon optics.


That's the first chapter. I'm open for criticism, even flames, if someone feels the need to bash me verbally. :) Also, if you'd be so kind as to notify me of any and all grammar mistakes or other typos so I can fix them. I don't have a beta yet, so I won't spot everything by myself. Thank you all for reading, though, and I hope that you enjoyed it. I will be continuing this, the next chapter should be up by the end of next week, methinks. So long!