A Series of Unfortunate Events Starring Eject
Note: Bunny harvested from Flamingmarsh on the bunny farm. Grew from a drabble into this monster. As Always, Transformers are not mine
Also note that I am ignoring that Cliffjumper falsely accused Mirage of being a traitor. As this did not happen, there was no lesson learned.
Eject ran through the forest, ignoring the sting of branches whipping against his plating. One arm pressed against his side, trying desperately to slow the energon leakage. His side burned, fire spreading out from the bite, but he ignored it and pressed on. He didn't know where he was going; he just had to get away. Pushing aside more he ran as fast as his legs could carry him. His body protested the movement violently, finally shutting down his motor relays in protest. The little cassettebot stumbled, collapsing face first onto the forest floor. He lay still for a moment, before trying to get back to his pedes. He only succeeded in pushing himself onto his back, allowing him to stare up at the canopy of trees. Sunlight trickled through the branches here and there, illuminating pieces of the foliage. The overall effect was peaceful. Unconsciously Eject allowed his body to relax, though he still kept his arm pressed to his side. Dazed, he tried to remember how it had all played out. It had started early that morning and gotten progressively worse as the day wore on.
He had stayed up late the night before to watch the Superbowl. No one had wanted to watch it with him, but that was fine. Unfortunately, he'd gotten a bit carried away watching all of the interviews and party broadcasts after the game and hadn't gotten into recharge until early the next morning. So when he got to his shift working with Blaster and Rewind in the Communications Center not only was he late he was also exhausted. He was listless through most of his shift, and wasn't really paying attention when Blaster asked him to do some sorting. He hadn't meant to erase the footage of the last battles that Prowl needed to analyse, or download the virus that had come attached to an email from an unknown source. It had taken all day to fix, and both his brother and creator had been in a foul mood by the time they had finished. Eject had thought it best to make himself scarce, so when everyone else went to the rec room for their evening rations Eject skipped out and went back to their quarters.
He hadn't realized that Steeljaw was in there, nursing a migraine. If he had, he never would have cranked the sports channel on full volume. But he hadn't known. In fact, he only found out when the other cassette yowled loudly and pounced, pinning him down and clamping his jaws around his little brother's throat. Needless to say, the sports fan vacated the room quickly.
The kicker though, came when he was fleeing down the corridor, running as fast as he could in case his brother was following him. Looking over his shoulder, he didn't see Ratchet emerge from the Medbay, his hands full with the medical supplies they had finally been able to get shipped in. By the time he did see the CMO it was too late to stop. He collided with the larger mech's legs, knocking him off balance and into Prowl and Optimus Prime. Caught by surprise, none of the three mechs was able to catch the container as it fell, spilling important equipment everywhere.
Poor Eject had never seen any of the officers as mad as they had been at him. Ratchet had ranted at him for twenty minutes about his carelessness and how it could cost someone their life. The little bot had wanted to curl into the floor and die. Too make matters worse - he hadn't thought that possible, given the rotten day that he'd already had - Blaster and the rest of his big brothers came by and overheard the tirade. All of them looked at him with disappointment and anger. By the time Ratchet was winding down, he was sure that he was going to be stuck in the brig for the rest of his life. What his punishment was going to be, however, he never found out, as at the exact moment Prime began to speak the alarm sounded, signalling a Decepticon attack. Eject had almost been relieved, but the looks the adults gave him told him that this wasn't over.
Transforming into his cassette mode he had ridden alongside his siblings in Blaster's chassis, and had to listen to Ramhorn make snide comments about his clumsiness and short attention span the whole way there. Rewind was refusing to even look at him. It had taken the other cassette a long time to trap and cleanse the virus, and he hadn't been able to save everything. Unfortunately, the virus had gotten into Rewind's private encyclopaedia. Whenever the little mech came across a fact that he found interesting he would compile it into a storage unit on Teletrann's hard drive. The crew had dubbed it "The Encyclopaedia of Interesting and Useless Facts". Rewind had loved it and had gathered over 50 000 nuggets of information. It had taken the virus less than an astroklik to wipe it out. Yeah, Rewind was pissed and, after harshly chewing out his younger brother, refused to speak to him.
It was a relief to be able to escape the confines of his carrier and his brothers. Leaping out into the battle he didn't bother to wait for the others to catch up. He was immediately targeted by the Decepticon twins, who seemed to think it was their personal mission to destroy him and his brothers. Seeing him alone, Rumble and Frenzy thought he would be an easy target, but Eject didn't play so many sports for nothing.
He ducked under Rumble's first shot, crouched down in a low run and executed a perfect sliding tackle into the Decepticon's side. He smashed his fist into the other's face, just as he was jerked off the prone body by said body's furious twin. Frenzy got in a couple of really good shots before Eject was able to bring his knee up into the other cassette's chassis. Settling into a boxing stance he delivered an uppercut that knocked the red menace's head back. By this point Rumble had gotten back up and was trying to fire at him. Eject knew that he couldn't handle them both, and so dove to the side to avoid the blasts. Rumble didn't fire often though, as he was trying to avoid hitting his own twin, giving the Autobot room to manoeuvre. It was more luck than anything that he tripped as Rumble fired, hitting Frenzy, who had come up behind the smaller mech. Cursing, the Decepticon brothers retreated to the safety of their cassette player to wait out Frenzy's repairs.
Eject lay sprawled on the ground, momentarily dazed by the impact. He had to get up; it wasn't safe to stay where he was. He had known that. So, despite the pain he pushed himself to his hands and knees, trying to clear his head. His vision spun, and for a moment he thought that he had imagined it. Those mechs in the shadows, they couldn't possibly be the Stunticons. After all the vicious sports cars were always the first ones on the battle field. So why were they...?
After a moment he was able to see clearly, and with that he was able to see the small mound of metal they seemed to be guarding. Probably Megaton's latest weapon. But the Decepticon commander loved showing off his weapons and foretelling the Autobots of their impending destruction. So why hide it? He looked around to see if anyone else had noticed the oddity, but it seemed that the Decepticons were going out of their way to keep his comrade occupied with their individual battles. He tried contacting Blaster, but his fall had damaged his comm link and he got no response. There was no time to go and get anyone either. As he got closer he was able to see that the machine had been charging, and it looked like it was almost ready. He had to do something.
Many thought that Eject, with his sports obsession, was not overly intelligent. They were all wrong. After all, sports called for a great deal of strategy; coming up with the perfect plan was almost a game in itself. But he could see that he had no time to come up with a game plan; he had to act. The Stunticons hadn't seen him yet, but they would if they looked down. Taking advantage of the fact that most mechs only looked at optic level or above while in battle, he weaved through their legs, careful to not alert them to his presence.
There was a beep, and the charge indictor reached full power. Motormaster had then taken aim at Optimus Prime, comming Megatron to let him know to get out of the way. Time was up; Eject knew it. Without thinking, Eject leapt up and threw himself at the barrel, knocking the shot away from his leader. Unfortunately, he had directed the blast at the power plant they had been trying to protect. Coming out of his dive, he flipped and landed on the ground, distancing himself from the shell shocked Stunticons.
He hadn't noticed who he had landed next to, but he definitely took notice when Cliffjumper started in on him, calling him a traitor and worse. None of the Autobots around him seemed willing to help him either. In fact, he could tell they were all furious. The little bot did his best to ignore them though, and concentrate on the battle, but it was difficult. He found himself separated from his comrades as more 'cons rushed them. The battle may have been over in regards to the weapon and power plant, but Megatron hadn't called for a retreat.
Perhaps if the young mech hadn't been so busy dodging shots and punches, he would have realized that he was being herded away from the relative safety of his team. He had found that out rather quickly when jaws clamped into his side, and Ravage mumbled "Lord Megatron would like a word," as he dragged the struggling form towards his leader. Luckily, Ironhide had seen this and removed the catcon with a well placed shot, even as he refused to look at Eject. He couldn't recall the rest of the battle, but eventually Megatron realized that he wasn't going to get his hands on the mech who had ruined his plan and called for a retreat.
He remembered the disappointed and furious looks he had gotten after it was over, and the blistering lecture from Prime and Blaster. Thankfully, none of the humans had been hurt when he had brought the plant down. Still, he was facing serious brig time. The destruction of human property was a serious issue, and though he hadn't meant to break anything, the others were still furious. He wasn't going to get out of this lightly. He had tried to explain that the Stunticons were aiming at Prime, but he couldn't get a word in over the adults' shouts. Eventually though, his creator and leader turned to other matters, such a transportation of the wounded, and relaying the battle to those who had had to remain at the Ark. It was at this time that First Aid had approached, asking if he was injured. Eject denied it, remembering the wasted medical supplies from earlier in the day. It was just a scratch, he was sure. No need to waste any of the valuable materials on him. The medic in training looked sceptic and reached for him, but he jerked back away from the pacifist's touch. First Aid looked startled, but he respected Eject's decision and moved onto the next mech.
A wave of dizziness had passed through his processor, causing him to stumble. Cliffjumper and his malicious gang of followers had seen his momentary weakness and made sure to comment on it, as well as the fact that they viewed him as a traitor before moving on. Eject had stood there in tears, not sure what he was supposed to have done. Yeah, the building had been destroyed, but if he hadn't done it Optimus could have been seriously hurt. Well, if they didn't want him around, he would leave. He tracked down Beachcomber and asked him to tell Blaster that he was going to catch a ride with the cleanup crew and not to wait for him. The mellow bot, the only one who was not mad at him, had smiled sympathetically and agreed to relay the message. He made sure to close off the bond he had with his creator and siblings as much as possible so that they wouldn't find out that he lied. As soon as no one was paying attention the little cassette had turned and disappeared into the trees.
Now however, it seemed that his injury had caught up with him, and it was all he could do to remain conscious. Low energon warnings flashed behind his optics, alerting him to imminent stasis lock if he did not get some soon.
He didn't care though. Eject was tired, and judging by everyone's reactions it would be better for them all if he just went offline permanently. They wouldn't have to worry about him screwing up anymore. He'd have liked to have apologized to everyone, but since he couldn't do that, then maybe he could give them this. A part of him though, didn't want to give up. It was that section of his mind that kept his hand firmly pressed to his injury, even as he lost the battle to remain awake. His systems began to power down, and he slipped into stasis lock.
"Hey Ironhide, have you seen Eject?" The van was surprised to find the Communications Officer waiting by the entrance of the Ark. Ironhide had stayed behind to lead the salvage team. It had taken hours, and finally they were home. The mech was looking forward to a couple hours of recharge before his morning shift.
"Not since the battle. Why're you askin me?" Blaster frowned.
"Beachcomber told me that Eject stayed on the cleanup crew and was going to catch a ride with one of you guys." The tape deck had grown concerned when the clean up mechs entered the Ark without his creation. He had hoped that Eject had caught a ride with Ironhide, the last mech to approach.
"Now why would he stay with us? The kid shoulda been on the first trip outta there; that was some nasty hole Ravage tore into his side." Alarmed, Blaster asked,
"What do you mean?"
"That little demon got a hold of yer kid towards the end of the battle. Seemed like he was draggin him off somewhere. Ah saw First Aid go up to him afterwards. Ah figured he was put on the first transport out." Blaster said nothing else, and took off running for the Medbay. Ironhide followed. He liked the kid, and was one of the few who thought that there was a better reason that he had destroyed the plant than simple clumsiness. The kid played dozens of sports fer cryin' out loud! He was one of the best fighters, considering his size. Nah, there was something more goin' on. It didn't take them long to arrive, and they immediately let themselves in. Most of the Medbay had cleared out, with only a few patients left. All of the remaining bots had minor injuries that the apprentices could take care of, so Ratchet turned his attention to the new mechs.
"What do you want?" Blaster ignored him, looking for First Aid. By this point, the rest of his creations had felt his fear, and all of them had made their way to the Medbay.
"Blaster? Is something wrong with Eject?" Steeljaw asked timidly. He still felt guilty for attacking his sibling. He had been startled out of recharge and reacted. He didn't realize who he had attacked until he'd had his jaws around his throat. He'd seen the flash of fear in his little brother's optics before he's let go, and had watched his brother flee. He had wanted to go after the smaller mech, wanted to apologize, but feared chasing him would only make things worse. Now he feared never getting the chance to say sorry; the terror emanating from Blaster was a kind that he creations only felt when one of them was in serious danger. He looked to his brothers and saw his own dread and confusion reflected back; the two of them had been particularly nasty, Ramhorn especially, and said some things they hadn't meant within hearing range of their brother.
"I need to speak to First Aid. Now!" Ratchet could see he genuine panic in Blaster's optics and therefore didn't argue; he called for the Protectobot immediately.
"Yes Ratchet?" The CMO wordlessly pointed to Blaster. Confused, the young medic turned to the bots hovering by the door. "Can I help you?"
"You spoke to Eject after the battle, did you not? What did he say?"
"Um... he said that he had no injuries."
"Did you examine him?"
"No. He had his arms crossed and didn't let me near him. Considering the way everyone was treating him I can understand why he didn't want anyone to touch him." Ironhide cursed.
"No good rotten... we're Autobots we do not abandon comrades because something looks bad. Now the kid is hurt and afraid to ask for help." Ratchet narrowed his optics at that.
"What do you mean, hurt?"
"Ah mean Ravage tore a chunk outta Eject's side. The slagger was trying to drag him towards... Megatron, Ah think. Ah managed to shoot him, but didn' get a chance ta look at Eject."
"Well where the frag is he? Get him here now! If he doesn't get that looked at then he could bleed out!" Ratchet was already moving, preparing a berth and pulling supplies from the cabinets.
"We, ah, we dunno where he is."
"What?" Ratchet turned, bewildered. "How can you not know where he is?"
"He ran away." Blaster's voice was almost monotonous, only a thin sliver of fear sounding through. "He's closed down the bond, so we can't track him. He must have left right after the battle. It's why he lied and said he was staying on the cleanup crew."
"Ratchet to Red Alert. This is a base wide alert. Please confirm."
"Confirmed. Go ahead Ratchet."
"Attention all you sorry slaggers. We have a possible medical emergency. Eject's been badly injured, but he did not return from the battle. Blaster believes that he has run away, and First Aid has confirmed that he is terrified of his comrades to the point where he refused to ask for medical attention. Now I don't know what the Pit you fraggers did to scare him that badly, but so help me Primus you are going to get out there and find him now. If you don't there will be Hell to pay. That is all."
After ending the base wide announcement Ratchet turned to the mechs in the room and began to bark out orders. In a matter of moments Swoop and First Aid were rushing to retrieve the portable medical equipment and Ironhide was attempting to get the cassettes to return to their quarters. Blaster wouldn't be able to handle losing another cassette right now. He knew he was part of the reason that his creation had run. He hadn't meant to react the way he had, but he had had a horrible day. There was no excuse for taking it out on his youngling though, and he could understand why Eject had left. He could only hope that they found him before it was too late.
Prime had been in a meeting with Prowl and Jazz, trying to determine which punishment suited Eject's actions. Prime was playing the mediator while Prowl and Jazz argued. Prowl was all for solitary confinement, as Eject had been reckless and damaged a lot of valuable medical equipment because he was running in the hall, which was against the rules, and he had destroyed a human power plant, and the government was demanding retribution.
Jazz argued that Eject was a youngling, and yes, he had run into Ratchet, but that wasn't an action that warranted such severe reprimand. He also said that they had no reason to inflict such as harsh punishment on the youngling. Yes, he had caused a lot of destruction but there had to be a reason for it. There was no way that the only Cybertronian in the universe who could figure skate, because damned if that didn't take more grace than even Jazz had, had been careless enough to knock over a powered up weapon.
Prowl countered that regardless of why he did it, the end results were still the same and that was only looking at the afternoon's incident. Eject had done enough damage over the course of the day to warrant a harsher punishment. Besides, Eject knew enough to understand that there was no way that he could take on the Decepticon gesalt, and should have called for backup. Logically, Eject, though not the one who fired the weapon, was at least partially responsible for the damage, as he didn't call for help. In fact, the cassette should never have been in that area of the battlefield. Prowl had ordered him to the far side in order to help protect the backline and wounded. Eject had disobeyed a direct order. The arguments against the cassette were logically sound. He did agree, however that perhaps solitary confinement was too harsh. The mech in question was young and likely hadn't thought far enough ahead to summon backup or give reason for his deviation.
"Or maybe he couldn't," Jazz replied calmly. He had stopped yelling now that his mate was calming down. His Prowl was a stickler for the rules, but there were some things about the event that didn't make sense. He was glad that his mate could see that. Blaster was his best friend and he knew the cassettes well. Putting Eject in solitary would do much more harm than good.
Prowl finally had time to turn his battle computer on and began to run the incident though his simulator. He was unable to come up with a satisfactory explanation for Eject's actions as the computer did not have enough data to come up with a probable simulation. Judgement for the battle would have to wait until they could get Eject's side of the story. For now though, they would determine his punishment for the lost supplies.
Prime was amused. Ultimately the decision was his, but he always asked his officers for their opinions in order to examine every angle. His 2IC and TIC often had opposing points of view and worked them out in this manner. He had listened to both sides of the argument, and noted that both mechs had good points. He agreed with their conclusion as well: judgement would have to wait. They moved onto another topic, but did not get far into it. Ratchet's base wide alert sounded.
They listened with growing horror, and Optimus flinched when it was announced that his men had scared one of their own into fleeing from them. He, Prowl and Jazz immediately adjourned and left the office to help for search and rescue groups.
He stumbled across the Autobot's trail while searching the battlefield for salvageable parts. Following it, he had found the brat. This was the one who had destroyed his master's plans. The machine could only be used once; they did not have enough meteorite crystal to power a second blast. It would have destroyed the Prime and anyone who tried to sacrifice themselves for him. But this rival cassette had gotten in the way. Luck, however, seemed to be on the Decepticon side, as instead of praising the Autobot as a hero they ostracized him to the point where he had run away. And now he was alone in the woods, bleeding to death. He almost left him there to die, but a thought occurred to him as he turned to leave. His lord wished to speak to the cassettebot, to punish him for what he had done. Perhaps he still could. Contacting Soundwave, he transmitted the coordinates and sat back to wait. He couldn't move the mech without killing him, unfortunately, or he would have just taken him back to base. He settled in to make sure the Autobot didn't die before his time.
They had returned to the scene of the battle and spread out. According to Beachcomber, Eject had been near the tree line when they had spoken and since no one had seen him cut across the clearing it was likely that he had instead left via the forest. Blaster was pinging random locations in the forest to see if he could get a metallic echo, while Rewind and Ramhorn followed Steeljaw. The cassette couldn't get a great reading on his brother, as the scent of energon was too strong, but he had managed to find his brother amid the overlaying smells. With them were Ironhide, Ratchet and the twins. Prime, Prowl and Jazz were leading the other groups, which had been sent to the destroyed plant, and the non forested area surrounding the clearing.
Rewind felt terrible. It was his entire fault. He had been really upset with his baby brother for the virus thing earlier in the day, and might have told Ramhorn that he wished the younger mech would disappear, but he hadn't meant it! He had been irritated. Now he would give anything to take it back. Staring at the ground, he noticed something pink. He wasn't a nature buff or anything, but he knew that that wasn't a natural color. Bending down, he trailed his finger across the pink-splashed leaf. The color flaked off, gleaming against his fingers. There was only one substance that he knew of that did that.
"Blaster! Guys! I think I found energon!" Ratchet examined his findings and confirmed it.
"It's definitely energon. It's a good bet that he came this way."
Blaster commed the other groups, telling them they had found the trail. As they moved farther ahead they began to see dried energon on tree branches and shrubbery; the farther they went the more of it they found. They were getting close, but the amount in the forest was concerning. Eject was the smallest of the cassettes; this amount of energon loss would be fine for an average size cassette, but for Eject it was close to fatal. They refused to believe they were too late however. If Eject's systems had gone into stasis lock then they had a chance. Stasis lock slowed all the systems in the body to almost zero in order to conserve energy. While SL in itself could be fatal for an average mech, as the circulation to various parts decreased greatly, in a cassette the energon had less distance to travel, and could therefore circulate at a greater capacity than a normal mech for longer. It would effectively slow the bleeding, and hopefully Eject would survive.
The Autobots were close, but his master was closer. Ravage informed Megatron and Soundwave of the approaching Autobot party. He had explained why the Autobot was out in the first place when he had contacted his faction the first time, but after being informed of the rescue Megatron's original plan of torturing and killing the brat changed. He would make the Autobots watch as he murdered the cassette, and he would make sure that they knew they were the cause of his death. After all, if they hadn't chased him off, Megatron never would have gotten his claws on him. He told Soundwave to disguise their signals. After all, no point in giving themselves away until he wanted to.
The two mechs and the command trine – who had been brought along for protection – landed in the clearing. It was obvious Ravage had patched the bot up enough to keep him alive. Megatron examined the comatose Autobot. This was the little scrap heap that managed to beat the Stunticons and ruin the entire operation? Pathetic. He would be having words with Motormaster and his crew. But for now he had a new victim to play with.
"Soundwave, pull him out of stasis lock. I want him conscious for this little reunion."
"Acknowledged, Lord Megatron. Ravage: return." The Decepticon panther returned to his carrier as the sapphire mech knelt down next to the prone body. Megatron couldn't see what he did to the annoyance from his position but the little form jerked and trembled before settling down again. "Autobot: awakened. Two point three kliks until full reboot occurs."
Blaster waited impatiently for the other teams to join them. Jazz's crew had spotted Decepticon signals over the forest, but they had disappeared, so Prime wanted everyone at the ready in case they were forced to engage. Ratchet too was displeased. He had a patient somewhere in the woods and Prime was keeping him from him. The medic understood why, but he hated it. Finally, after what seemed to be an eternity they were all gathered, and Blaster, the Cassettes and Ratchet were allowed to rush forward. It didn't take them long to break through the bushes hiding the clearing where Eject lay. Only now he wasn't sprawled across the ground. Now his limp body lay cradled in the hands of Megatron.
"Ah, Autobots. So good to see you. Shall we wait for the rest of the mechs to join us? I would hate to have to repeat myself." Automatically all five mechs raised their weapons but Megatron said,
"Now now, it would be a shame to have to kill this youngling before his time would it not? Lower your weapons." He tightened his mocking grip on the little bot, stressing the metal. It didn't do anything more than superficial damage, but the Decepticon's point was made perfectly clear. Reluctantly, the Autobots did as they were told.
Optimus knew that something was wrong. He shouldn't have let the others go on ahead, but they were all capable warriors and it was very likely that Eject needed immediate attention. So, against his better judgement he had allowed it. Now though, now he wished he hadn't. Neither Blaster nor Ratchet had responded to his hails, and the forest was eerily quiet. He urged his men to move faster. They approached the clearing with caution, but the thick shrubbery made it impossible to see what was going on on the other side. With no choice left to him, he gave the signal to break through the greenery.
"Ah Prime. So nice of you to join us. I had hoped today's battle would be our last meeting. Pity this little brat," he gestured with one hand to the figure curled up against his chest plate, "had to interfere. We could have ended the war today if he had not."
All optics were drawn to the hand that, in a mockery of love, tenderly held the cassette to his chassis. Eject was now very much awake, terrified and in pain. Blood dripped down from his wound, staining the Overlord's fingers pink, before falling to the ground.
"Surrender him Megatron, and you and your men can leave here peacefully. If you do not we will use force." The Seekers tensed at that, and Starscream charges his null rays. Megatron just laughed.
"Do not lie to me Prime. You will do nothing that could possible harm this sweet little mech," molten sugar dripped from his words, sending chills through every single Autobot. Blaster was so angry he was shaking. He had to restrain himself from attacking. Only the thought that further harm could come to his creation kept him in place. "You see Prime, I am not a fool. I know that as soon as this little mech is dead, you will all attack us. So instead I am not going to kill him. Yet. I may not kill him at all, actually. But I am going to use him to demonstrate the flaws in your Autobot morals." The Decepticon stopped there, and seemed to be waiting for something. Prime took a moment to figure it out. When he did he grit his dentals and said,
"We're listening." Megatron smiled an ugly smile and adopted a patronizing tone.
"You Autobots pretend to be so just and righteous. You believe in giving everyone a fair chance. "Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" and all that garbage. But like garbage you are quick to discard one of your own. Today should have spelled your death Prime, what with the machine I had created. It was so well hidden, and well guarded that none of you would have known it was there. I don't know how you," he clamped down on the tiny bot in his hand, wringing a cry of pain and static from his vocalizer, "managed to find it, but it matters not. According to the Stunticons you threw yourself at it, correct?" Whimpering, Eject nodded. "So, you sacrificed your body for an ungrateful faction and ended up injured. And how do your friends," disgust dripped off the word, "repay you? They chase you off and deny you treatment, leaving you with this horrible wound." He gently dragged a silver claw through the congealed energon on Eject's side. Eject trembled, unable to scream, it hurt so much. "You preach friendship and peace, Optimus, but then you leave the youngling who saved your life to rot. And your creator, young one, left you all alone too. It took this long for them to come look for you. Obviously he doesn't care. He wants you to suffer. They all do." Everyone could see the words hit the sports fan hard. "At least with the Decepticons you know where you stand. Betrayal is inevitable. Poor little Autobot had to learn it the hard way."
Eject heard the nasty words through the haze of pain. He could just barely make out the horrified forms of his creator and siblings. Megatron was right. It had taken them so long... but wait. That wasn't right. It had taken them a long time, yes, but that was his fault. He was the one who lied to Beachcomber.
"You're...wrong." It hurt so much to speak, but he had to say it. His voice crackled as he pushed on. They c-c-came for m-me. They c-c-came." Furious red optics stared down at him. He knew he was in for a world of hurt, but he had said what he had wanted to. That was what mattered. He tried to meet Blaster's optics. He didn't want Megatron's ugly mug to be the last thing he saw before he died.
"Little pest," Megatron hissed. "Younglings should be seen and not heard." With that he brought his free hand up o Eject's throat and crushed his vocalizer. Rewind cried out in dismay, taking a step towards his little brother. "May his blood be on your hands. I'll send you his remains, if the Stunticons leave any. They are quite annoyed that he managed to best them." Blaster snapped. There was no way he was going to let his child end up in the hands of those monsters.
Moving at speeds he was unaware he was capable of he tackled the hulking gunformer to the ground. He took advantage of the mech's surprise at his apparent suicide to extract his precious creation from the deadly grip. Ramhorn, who had followed him, took his brother's limp form and carried him over to Ratchet. Meanwhile Blaster contemplated the mech below him before slamming his fist into the silver face. Over and over he punched him, ignoring the spray of fluid that coated his body and knuckles.
"Never. Touch. My. Younglings!" Each word was punctuated with a blow as the furious creator unleashed his anger. Soundwave and the Trine stood stunned, all unsure how to react to this development. Privately, Soundwave thought his lord deserved it. Were he in Blaster's place he would be doing the exact same thing. He decided that he would also be having words with Ravage. It was always unwise to torque off a creator, and Blaster very well might decide to go after the panther should he find out his role in Eject's injury.
Eventually, Megatron regained his bearings and managed to throw the Autobot off him. Before he could retaliate, however, the rest of the battalion opened fire. The Decepticons were forced to dodge, but they could not avoid all of the laser fire. Megatron surveyed the odds, but seeing as they were outnumbered five to one, he had no choice but to call for a retreat. They look he shot at them as he fled said that this wasn't over.
Ratchet watched as Blaster's family kept a vigil over Eject. He hadn't had the spark to kick them out, and instead sent Jazz to get energon for them. He could see the poor mechs were exhausted, but they all refused to leave their littlest brother. They had sat with him for hours now, and it would be hours more before the cassette's body regenerated enough to pull out of stasis lock. Ratchet could wake him manually, but the youngling had already been forced up once. To do so again would be very detrimental, possibly fatal, to the young mech. This time he would have to wake up on his own.
Eject's external injuries had been easy to fix; it was merely a matter of replacing the torn plating. The energon loss, however, was so severe that it had sent Blaster's youngest into system failure in the forest. He had required four transfusions and had to be rushed back to the Ark for surgery. He almost hadn't made it. Ratchet didn't want to do anything that could jeopardize his recovery. Hence why he hadn't sent Blaster and his cassettes away to refuel and rest. They badly needed it, but Eject needed his brothers and creator to help him recover. He had even allowed Blaster to cradle his injured youngling, so long as the communications officer didn't pull out any wires or touch the welds. It went against regulations, but Eject didn't really need to be laying flat on the berth, and the CMO could see how badly the little family needed the contact, needed to be reassured that Eject was still with them. Ratchet finished wiping down his tools before retreating to his office, leaving the family alone.
Eject was warm. That was the first thing he had noticed. The throbbing pain in his side was the second. He couldn't bring himself to complain though. Pain meant that he was still alive. That surprised him. He honestly hadn't expected to come away from that clearing alive. He struggled to online his optics. It was disconcerting not knowing where he was. He liked the warmth though. After a few kliks he managed to generate the power to turn on his optics. He couldn't really see much, as he was staring up a ceiling. The orange color indicated that he was on the Ark, but he had already guessed that. He wasn't really sure where though. He tried to sit up, but a weight across his middle prevented him from doing so. Looking down, he saw that that weight was Steeljaw. His brother was resting his head on his stomach, recharging. Eject himself was laying across Blaster's chassis, while Rewind and Ramhorn where snuggled into him on either side.
'Um...' He wasn't sure what to do. Wasn't his family mad at him? Sure, they had looked worried in the forest, but now that he was ok, why were they still here? Logically he knew that they loved him and would never abandon him, but he still remembered everything that had happened yesterday...two days ago....just how long he'd been out anyway? Well, it didn't matter. He could ask later. First he needed to talk to his creator and brothers.
He wanted to wake them, to tell them that he was sorry and that he loved them, to ask if they could forgive him, but they all looked so tired. He couldn't bear to disturb them when they so obviously needed to recharge. Instead, he shifted slightly, trying to find a comfortable position and curling into the comfort his family provided. Unfortunately, in doing so he jostled Rewind and Steeljaw, startling both of them out of their recharge. Quickly he offlined his optics. Maybe if they thought he was sleeping they too would go back offline. They could talk when everyone was ready to be awake.
Rewind wasn't sure what had woken him. It felt like he had only been offline for a handful of breems, which wasn't too far from the truth. Being careful not to move too much, he pushed himself up onto one elbow, and looked around the room. He noticed Steeljaw was also coming out of recharge. The golden lion yawned widely, shaking his head to clear it. The bipedal cassette stared at his older brother, wondering if it was he who had woke him up. That was disappointing. He had hoped it was Eject. But Steeljaw wasn't looking at him. He was staring at their baby brother, as though confused.
"'Jaw? What's wrong?" Steeljaw's head snapped up, seeing him for the first time.
"Rewind? Did you feel that?"
"Feel what?" Steeljaw looked down again.
"I just... I thought I felt Eject move. It's what woke me up." Rewind looked down at the littlest cassette's face, trying to find any sign of life in the slack features. Both elder mechs were silent, neither wanting to wake the others in case of a false alarm. They could hear Ramhorn's and Blaster's systems working at neutral - indicating the recharge cycle had been initiated - but they noticed a slight difference in the sound of Eject's. His were working slightly harder, meaning he was awake.
"Eject?" Rewind nudged his brother's side gently, "'Ject? Please? We know you are awake. Please? Online your optics." They watched with bated breath, hoping that they were right, that this wasn't some kind of cruel trick. But the sliver of blue peaking through Eject's optical band wasn't a trick. He was waking up. When blue finally lit up fully, Rewind let out a very undignified squeal and threw himself at his brother, careful of the weld wounds.
"Eject!" Blaster jerked, and he and Ramhorn came out of recharge immediately. "Thank Primus you're awake! I was so scared; I thought you were going to die. Don't ever ever ever do that again!"
Eject was shocked. It took him a moment to process that his brother was hugging him, and by the time he did he found himself swept up in strong arms, pressed hard against a warm chassis. He looked up into his creator's optics, startled at the emotion in the icy blue depths. Ashamed that he had caused his creator so much pain, he buried his face in Blaster's neck. Another set of arms wrapped around him. He recognized them as Eject's while Steeljaw and Ramhorn nuzzled him.
"Oh Thank Primus Eject. I'm so glad you're ok. You had us so worried when you didn't come back. And then seeing Megatron get a hold of you.... I don't know what I would do if I had lost you. Any of you."
"I'm sorry," the littlest's voice was muffled. "You were all so mad at me. I thought it would be better for you if I just went away." Blaster, although he didn't show it, was devastated. How could he have let it get that far?
"Never, Eject. I love you, and I love your brothers. I may have been angry, but I would never, never want any of you to leave."
"I'm sorry." Moisture dripped from the little bot's optics, splashing against his creator's neck.
"No, Eject, you have no reason to be. I never should have made you feel as though you were not wanted. I'm so sorry baby."
"I'm sorry too, Eject. I said some things that were really mean, and I didn't mean them. I was frustrated, but I shouldn't have taken it out on you." Rewind's voice was very quiet, as though he was afraid of his brother's reaction. Eject pulled away from Blaster, turning in his brother's grasp to return the hug. Steeljaw and Ramhorn both gave their apologies well, wrapping themselves around their younger brothers. Blaster smiled down at his creations before wrapping his arms around all four of them, pulling them into a group hug. Safe and content in his family's embrace, Eject allowed his systems to power down as he slid back into recharge. His brothers stayed awake, watching over him, as one by one, they too succumbed to recharge's call.
"Alright kiddo, last check up."
"Finally. You know, the medbay wouldn't be so boring if you would install a T.V or something. Or even just the sports channel. I'd be good with the sports channel."
"I'm sure you would brat. Now hold still before I knock you out." Both Ratchet and Eject knew the threat was half hearted, both for the fact that Ratchet would never harm a youngling, and that Ramhorn was sitting in the corner, glaring at the CMO. Eject's siblings had become extremely protective in the week since their youngest sibling had been recovered from Megatron's clutches. The tale of Blaster attacking the overlord had spread through the Ark quickly, exaggerated to almost epic proportions, as had the story of why Eject had destroyed the human power plant. There had been some very sheepish mechs after that had gotten around. Even more so after Optimus Prime had chewed the entire crew out for not only abandoning, but terrifying a teammate. Some mechs were angry that they had gotten in trouble, and thought that Eject should have just sucked it up, but most were very aware that their actions had almost gotten the youngling killed and that didn't sit well with anyone. Prowl especially regretted his harsh judgement of the child, and personally made sure that the humans would take no action against Blaster's youngest for his part in the destruction of their building.
"Alright, hold still." Ratchet set about checking the wound's progress, and found it to be healing nicely. He had been confined to the med bay, and Ratchet monitored his progress daily. If everything looked good, and it did, Ratchet would reduce release him and he would have to visit the medic once every two weeks until the injury had healed completely. "Looks good kid. Make sure that you continue to keep your energon levels above ninety five percent. Other than that come back in two weeks to see me." Eject grinned cheekily, lounging back on the berth.
"Thanks Ratchet!" He made no move to leave though. Ratchet scowled.
"Go on, get out of here." Before Eject could move, however, the med bay doors slid open, admitting Cliffjumper and Brawn. Ramhorn tensed, and growled threateningly at the minibots. He knew that they had been two of Eject's biggest tormentors.
"What do you slaggers want?" Ratchet growled. Cliffjumper ignored him, focusing on the mech sprawled out behind him. Both minis looked awkward, standing just inside the door.
"Blaster told us you'd be here." That was surprising, but if Blaster had sent them then they couldn't want anything bad. Ramhorn quit his growling, but moved to his brother's side. If things got ugly, he was going to make sure that he didn't get hurt again. Brawn looked put out, and stood slightly behind his friend, letting Cliffjumper do the talking. "Look, we just wanted to apologize. We left you hanging when you did nothing wrong. We let what we thought you did blind us. So... sorry." They didn't wait for a reply, instead turning and marching out of the med bay without another word. Eject looked stunned.
"Did...did that just happen?" Ramhorn was just as stunned.
"Sure did lil bro. But I wouldn't have believed it if I hadn't seen it." It was quiet. Ratchet hid a smile.
"Alright you two. Scat!" Laughing, Eject stood on the berth, and then back flipped off of it.
"Eject!" Laughing, the cassette dodged Ratchet, diving for the still open doors. Ramhorn cursed and took off after his brother. Laughter echoed down the hall as the two engaged in a game of chase. The skirted around Prime, almost knocked down Bumblebee and bumped Ironhide on the way out of the Ark. Ironhide watched the rambunctious little mechs as Ramhorn finally caught Eject just outside the Ark, tackling him to the ground. He just shook his head and continued onto the medbay.