This is it! Chapter Ten has been posted. I'm a bit sad to see this end, but hey, this is why we have sequels for things!!
Thought I'd have a character narrate this one. R&R!
So there you have it. Life was pretty normal after that. Well, as normal as things can get with Jazz around. I stayed with my sire, with regular visits from my mother after Ratchet informed her of Stronghold's identity. And when I moved out, I actually think my stepmother was sad to see me go.
I tried to stay as connected as possible to my family, but we eventually fell out of touch. I didn't hear from any of them until Stronghold's death in a lab accident half a century later. Optimus became something of a mentor and a close friend to me. I reported to him for training for several stellarcycles before joining the Defense Forces.
All in all, life really turned out...well...normal. My visits with Nitroblast became less and less frequent after awhile, although I did attempt suicide once more after I heard that Machete had been paroled "for good behavior". Cosmos found me that time. I was hospitalized for about a quartex, with Jazz and Ember chewing me out for not sticking to my medication for the lingering depression. A mistake I don't intend to make again.
Jazz still considers himself the normal one, but I've never quite agreed with this. He and Blaster were always the athletic ones, and they spent most of their time at practice, which was mostly considered "normal" in Jazz's family. Ironhide was on some team, and Chromia was a cheerleader.
Ember was hospitalized from not refuelling for about a decacycle before our official acceptance into the Cybertron War Academy. It turned out she was also depressed about family problems, and that she'd been cutting herself. She was institutionalized for a couple of stellarcycles until she had recovered enough to continue with a normal life. She takes the same medication I do, just in a stronger dose.
When the factions split, Red Alert, Jazz, Blaster and I all defected to Optimus' side without hesitation. Ironhide later joined, after Optimus had promoted Jazz to Head of Special Operations, Red Alert to Head of Security, and Blaster to Head of Communications. I'd been somehow made Second-In-Command, and Optimus' tactician. Cosmos and Flareup had been part of the science division already, and Smokescreen and Bluestreak became part of Special Operations. It took awhile before Ember finally joined, and she filled the vacant spot of Head of Intelligence, where she gained Cosmos as something of a second-in-command. She was later critically wounded in battle, and when we escaped on the Ark, she was put into medical stasis (which, as I understand, is similar to what the humans call a "drug-induced coma".) This is why the "office staff" do not get assigned to missions that involved heavy weaponry, as Red Alert, Ratchet and I have stressed numerous times. Not long after she woke up, we were all separated. Intelligence, Security, Special Operations, Communications, Weapons Development, Science, Medical, Elita One's Division, central command...we were all almost completely dispersed. Ratchet, Jazz, Ironhide, and Bumblebee remained with Optimus Prime, and you know the rest from there, I'm sure.
As you've no doubt realized, we are now stationed on Earth with Optimus. A few of us are still missing old friends that we've not heard from.