Coming out of my cage

And I've been doing just fine

It started out with a kiss

How did it end up like this?

It was only a kiss

It was only a kiss

Now I'm falling asleep

And she's calling a cab

While he's having a smoke

And she's taking a drag

Now they're going to bed

Now my stomach is sick

And it's all in my head

But she's touching his chest now

He takes off her dress, now

"Let me go!"

'Cause I just can't look

It's killing me

And taking control

- 'Mr. Brightside', The Killers


*bubble pipe* Hello, people! Author/write/fanfiction drama queen behind Souvenir, here! As mentioned in the final chapter, this is not an additional chapter per se. It's more of a 'behind the scenes' sort of thing. 'Director commentary' sort even with a few deleted scenes. And question responses! Yes! There's something for everyone!

..Unless you wanted plot. Then.. This has nothing for you. I am sorry. *hangs head in shame*

As stated waaay back in chapter one, Souvenir started off as a plain old 'Shockwave kidnaps Blurr instead of crushes him in to a cube' plot line. Since there were plenty of these around, I was content to let my subconscious play with it. Ninety percent of everything was seen in dreams. I think in images; every night is like a brand new TV show all for me. It's absolutely awesome.

But I digress. I was pretty happy letting my brain play with it, as I was still working on Streamline at the time and I didn't want to overwhelm myself. However, I befriended BBPuyo of Deviantart, and talking with her and sharing my insane brain's private showings helped to speed it along.

Some of the basic plot lines came from those dreams. In the first 'drafts', Blurr had been captured alone, there's the usual start of terror, yadda yadda. He eventually fakes Stockholm Syndrome and forces himself to seduce Shockwave in order to convince him to allow him to use the communications console and email systems and ultimately uses that to send a message home and to escape.

Then, one night.. Cliffjumper showed up in the show. To this day, I'm not sure what set that off. Looking back, though, it kind of all worked out as if it was always meant to be that way. Hmm.

Talking to Puyo about this, and she convinced me to write that very first chapter. I wrote it for her. And she loved it. And even drew the first illustration for it.

Puyo is the reason you have Souvenir, folks. Thank her. ;) BBPuyo of Deviantart. Check her scraps for illustrations.

ANYway, now I'm going to go through the chapters in order to set off various notes.

Chapter Notes:

Chapter Two: "I hope there isn't a repeat of the last time."

When I wrote that particular line in, I had absolutely no idea what the hell Megatron was talking about. My brain has this habit of putting things like that in to stories without telling me why, only for a later dream in my head to explain it and it will all make sense. It's absolutely bizarre.

The 'last time' wound up being Tap-Out's escape attempt that killed a number of Decepticons. At the time, the Original Six hadn't even been conceived yet.

Chapter Four and Trackback:

Trackback is Cheetor from Beast Wars. At least, he started off that way. That's what I saw in my head and I learned long ago not to argue with my subconscious. However, as Cheetor in Beast Wars did not earn his name until after the Axalon crash and this would never have happened in TFA, he did not have a name here. Nor was there any recorded name of what Cheetor would have been called before Beast Wars. 'Dawn of Futures Past' was absolutely no help. So, I named him based on the situation. Which, again, seemed to work out.

Trackback's backstory has changed at least a half dozen times since I wrote him in. One of the early versions involved him as part of a space exploration crew that had been intercepted by Decepticons; likely a nod to his Beast Wars origin.

However, he then became gradually younger and younger with the more I wrote of him. More of a child prisoner and less of a mature adult.

I may yet write a Trackback-centered fic with more, so I will not admit more to this for now.

Chapter Six: He looked tot he names on the rest of the cards, unwittingly recording them to memory. Hubcap, Volks, Tap-Out, Carerra, Windcharger, Fallback.

Amusingly, all six of Shockwaves' earlier captives were chosen before I knew that most of them had TFA counterparts. I had gone through the TFWiki's page on minibots and chose them from there. Tap-Out was the only one who actually started off as his TFA self.

Carerra and Volks were both based on the South American G1 Cliffjumper repaints. Not three weeks after I wrote them in, I managed to snag a Carerra in the correct color (they came in quite a few colors) on ebay. I like to think of it as a sign. ;)

Three minibots that had almost landed in the roles were Rook, Tailgate and Bumper.

Fallback is, indeed, Australian. He's based on Outback; according to the wiki, Fallback is an older name of his that, frankly, I just liked more.

Chapter Eight: "Uh.. Had a roommate back on th' farm studyin' this stuff. Helped him out a bit."

In my universe, Ironhide was studying to be a secretary before he found out he could turn in to a nigh invincible sheet of steel.

Mostly because the concept of secretary Ironhide makes me giggle profusely.

Chapter Nine:

Puyo asked this once, so I may as well say it here. Yes, Cliffjumper stayed awake and ware longer than Blurr had. Cliffjumper had interfaced frequently and far more than the younger mech ever had; prior to his capture, Cliffjumper had enjoyed drunken one-night stands on a regular basis. His spark had simply been used to more activity.

Chapter Ten:

Shockwave is a bit OCD with cleanliness and order. That is all.

Chapter Fourteen:

At this point, I had not decided who the Magnus was. I decided upon Sentinel only after rewatching the 'Autobot Boot Camp' ep and realizing how casual Sentinel was with Cliffjumper.

This is also when the Rodimus Prime in my dreams began to speak with Star Fox's voice. I have absolutely no idea why.

As an extra note, if it wasn't clear by now, Carerra had been in love with Hubcap.

Chapter Fifteen:

Review Response:

2ScarletRibbons: "How did Cliffjumper and Sentinel get to be friends?"

They met in a bar. They were drinking buddies. They enjoyed complaining about things and complained about them together. Man friends. The sort of friends that would go to a bar together, comment on any femme that caught their eye, and complain about idiots. They were both good friends but mutually disturbed by the concept of taking it further than that.

A line from Sentinel that I had never managed to fit in to the story: "I don't leave my friends behind."

Sentinel is still haunted by the situation with Elita-1/Blackarachnia. Cliffjumper had been a good friend for quite a few years and had been one of the few friends that Sentinel felt hadn't betrayed him in some monumental way; he simply could not bring himself to abandon him.

They had never been lovers, but you don't have to be in love with someone to care deeply about them.

Chapter Twenty-Five:

Now, here's where things get interesting.

Review Response:

Smoking Caramels: "Why did Bee react so intensely?"

Bumblebee, as far as I see, really hit it off with Blurr. Not in a 'I have a crush'/'I'd tap that' sort of way, but in a 'holy crap, this guy is awesome' sort of way. In my universe, Bumblebee and Blurr were enough alike to really get along, but not so much that their personalities clashed; a good recipe for friendship in any book. They had chatted together for a few hours before the whole space bridge fiasco and formed a friendship.

Bumblebee's fainting spell came along from this thought process: "Shockwave had a thing for minibots? But.. I'm a minibot. And Shockwave was nice to me.. Ooh, dear Primus, he wanted to do that?" Crash.

Chapter Twenty-Nine:

Review Response:

Anonymous Reviewer: "What happened to the turbo fox?"

What is it with you people and that turbofox? My brain's image of it is a Bulbasaur, for some reason.

Anyway, I swear, that turbofox came this close to following Cliffjumper and becoming a pet. The only reason this did not happen was because it didn't fit with the plot as a whole.

But, yes, the turbofox is still in Wire Tap's room. It's his smuggled pet. He actually adores the thing. Wire Tap is simply a very messy and disorganized bot.

The turbofox scene was supposed to be reminiscent of an old-fashioned dungeon prisoner waking up to find a filthy rat in his cell. I believe I failed in this endeavor. XD

Chapter Thirty: "Once, Spittor got fragged off and tore off both my servos and pedes at the ankles and wrists. Oilslick put them back on the wrong limbs, I think for kicks."

This was inspired by an actual RP thing that happened in World of Warcraft RP. It was so strange, I had to fit it in as a nod to my other hobby.

Chapter Thirty-Two:

Yes, the red-and-white Elite Guard slave is named Hotspark. No, I am not kidding. He exists and that is his actual name. Look him up in the TFWiki. I found him clicking the 'random' button and just had to fit him in.

Deleted Scene:

"Hotspark? How did you get that designation?" The fellow rescuee in the berth over boggled at the name.

"My boot camp instructor said I had a lot of life and energy. A burning spark ready for anything." A bitter laugh. "I didn't work out in my favor when the 'cons got me, I'll tell ya that."

Chapter Thirty-Four: "I rather not delve my thoughts in to that blunder again."

The incident with the femmes in question involves Blitzwing's Random side, two captured Autobot femmes, a week-long search, and an Alice in Wonderland style tea party.

Blitzwing has not been allowed near the femmes since. Icy is fine with this. Hothead is slightly miffed. Random is thoroughly disappointed.

Deleted scene:

Once again, Bumper narrowly avoided entering this fic. For a while, my brain showed that he would have been the first minibot Shockwave would have seen in the slave roundup.

Yes, 'first'.

"Hmm.." Shockwave murmured from above him. Slowly, Cliffjumper looked up; he gulped, a dreadful feeling forming in the pit of his spark at the realization that his master had spotted something in the room. A single gleaming optic was locked squarely on a target; he brought his own line of sight in the same direction in the hopes of finding what the cyclops had seen.

It didn't take long to find it. With fear splayed on a blanched faceplate and huddling with the rest, a minibot bearing his exact protoform mold quaked and trembled. This minibot was not altogether different from the norm; a pale, dusty yellow paint job and tendrils of metal indicative of an artist coated the small frame.

Another mech within the frightened mass of bodies had spotted them first; a nudge and a whisper brought this information to the small yellow Autobot. A visor optic shot up in alarm, staring directly at Shockwave in clear, naked terror.

Then, the minibot noticed Cliffjumper. The captives' gaze flickered between the collared slave and his master, back and forth several times in quick succession. A growing, horrified realization began to dawn on a pale faceplate.

Cliffjumper winced in shame; the minibot knew exactly what was going on.

There was no warning for what happened next; the small Autobot shot up despite the shackles around his wrists and ankles and lunged at a guarding Decepticon. Stunned, the lumbering brute couldn't react in time to stop the much smaller bot.

By the time the guard so much had the chance to turn around, it was too late. The minibot had grabbed the holstered gun, brought it up to his own skull and fired.

Screams filled the room as the small body dropped to the floor. A nearby Autobot, now covered in his friends' own fluids, began to wail. "Bumper! Bumper, Bumper, why..?"

Cliffjumper could only gape; a part of him was horrified. The rest of him understood.

Above him, Shockwave let out a disappointed sigh. "Pity."

I did not include this scene simply because it was sheer overkill. Too much angst, too much drama, too much sadness. It simply did not feel right to include it.

So, it never was.

Chapter Thirty-Six:

Deleted Scene:

Oh, yeah. Another one.

When I first imagined Furao waking up after being so horribly, brutally violated, I had nearly written in that he had been completely broken from the experience. In the original scene in my mind, when Cliffjumper approached the berthside, poor Furao was singing a broken, depressed melody while crying and staring at the ceiling.

Possibly because, in the original draft in my head, Furao had ben a virgin.

Still, he waited for the door to slide shut before making his way to the berthside.

Furao didn't get up. In fact, the yellow minibot continued to whimper and cry. He was still splayed flat on his back from the previous torture, spark exposed and shining brightly.

Slowly, marred by weeping clicks and depressed hiccups, a disturbed melody came from the young mechs' vocalizer.

"We're damned after all.. Through fortune and flame, we fall.." A sob. "And.. If you can stay.. Then I'll show you the way.. To return from the ashes we crawl.."

It was more than a little disturbing; Cliffjumper gulped, unsure how to react. He feared that sanity had completely left his new cellmate; what, then, if it had? Was the poor mech to suffer in madness?

"We all carry on.. When our brothers in arms are gone.. So.. Raise your glass high.. For tomorrow.. We die.. And return from the ashes you crawl.."

With that, Furao burst in to hard, wracking sobs that shook his frame.

I dropped this scene because it simply did not fit. It became weird and strange in comparison with the rest of the story. Oh well.

I love the song, though. Kudos to whoever recognizes it. ;)

Chapter Forty-One:

Hehe. Writing this, I completely forgot that Red Alert already knew where the femmes go. Oops.

Chapter Forty-Two:

If anyone is wondering, the 'once white' Autobot that had landed on them and revealed their position is Ricochet. Another 'random page' wiki find.

Don't ask how the femmes got out. I have absolutely no idea.

Deleted Scene:

There was an entire additional plot point that had been dropped in favor of actually ending this insane trip.

In very early drafts of Souvenir, there had been an idea for Cliffjumper to get caught in his email thing. How? A typo.

He would have miss-typed the email address. The email system would have returned it as 'undeliverable' as our email systems do. Shockwave would have seen it and figured it out.

From there, Shockwave would have taken Cliffjumper to Megatron himself as the 'traitor that we haven't been able to find'.

"This is the reason why our plans have been scrapped?" The Decepticon lord fumed. With Cliffjumper already on the floor, all that Megatron had to do was stalk towards the trembling minibot and press the dangerous end of the feared slag-maker's cannon against the back of a shaking red helm.

Cliffjumpr clenched his optics shut; he could actually feel the heat rising against the back of his head. The hum of charging machinery was quick to follow.

This as it, then; the end. It was over. He braced himself for the pain and hoped that it would be quick.

The seconds ticked by. Slowly, the almost blistering heat began to die down; the hum quieted soon after.

"Far too easy." Megatron growled. "It would be too merciful a death for all the trouble this one has caused. No, there is a much better punishment befitting of such crimes."

Cliffjumper quailed.

Since I had never gotten any further with that plot point, I had never decided exactly what would have happened. It would have gone one of two ways, however; Cliffjumper would have either been given to Team Charr for a while - because Cliffjumpers' interference lost them their last slave - or he would have been strapped down to a berth or table somewhere and allowed free access to all Decepticons until Cliffjumper agreed to behave.

I dropped this entire segment of plot for a very simply reason; this story was already dragging on way too long. That, and Cliffjumper wouldn't have survived either scenario.

Better for us all, I suppose. XD

Review Responses:

As I can't think of anything else to add, it's the final Souvenir response time!

Wackylazy: I'm afraid that's a tale for another time, if it will even be told at all. I apologize.

Monkey Took My Taco: Oh, certainly. What that story is, yet, I'm not sure. We'll see what plotbunnies grab hold. ;)

Anonymous Reviewer: ..I made a universe?

Peacewish: Well, isn't that what therapy's for? ;)

Grey Liliy: I was tempted to include Cliffjumper emailing Shockwave 'FRAG YOU' in the epilogue, but it didn't fit his character. XD Otherwise, I guess Shockwave never figures it out.

Silver-head Angel: I like to think that they met in a bar. XD As for the servos, they were laid to rest in a monument in lieu of an actual body. Similar to a gravesite. Perhaps Carerra would bring little Hubcap to see it, one day. As for Cliffjumper Prime, why not? It's as long a name as Optimus Prime.

Black Moon Dragon: Ack. I couldn't fit your request in and no scene came to mind, anyway. :/ Sorry. But Trackback may yet get his own fic!

Windwalker: With all of this outcry, Trackback may get his own fic yet! We'll see! XD

Zarack342: ..Thank you for calling tis 'not just some romance story', which I suppose.. Fits.. As I tried to steer AWAY from romance.. ... I'm so confused.

And that is all. *bows out* Thanks for the ride, folks!

Any future questions left in reviews will be responded to directly from this point on. ;) See ya'll the next time 'round!


It started off with a kiss

How did it end up like this?

It was only a kiss

It was only a kiss

- 'Mr. Brightside', The Killers