Disclaimer: I own nothing recognised as belonging to others.

Polls are still up on mech or femme. Will be announced next chapter.

I was tired writing this chapter so cut me some slack.

I smashed into the asphalt of a street several blocks away, shoulder first.

Taking a moment for my processors to figure out which way was up, my scanners picked up a sound.

Half-way to standing up, I froze.


...No, three. One was deeper than the others.

I hadn't heard that sound since just after the evacuation ship blew.

A few calls and frantic search turned up a terrified minibot sparkling, an oddly-formed, aggressive middle-sized sparkling and a mellow, confused Supreme-class sparkling.

I sent an angry mental hiss in the All-Spark's direction, terror flooding from my Parental Core Programming when I realised I was very much not equipped to care for more sparkling but my Core Programming not allowing me to leave them alone or with the Autobots.

The All-Spark sent a wave of apology and knowledge. It had the chance and took it.

Life must continue.

I sent grudging acceptance.

'The Harmonic One.' It reminded me.

Realising where I was, I sent out a scrambler pulse as I noticed the cameras and camcorders some of the humans around myself and the sparkling had trained on us, stopping transmissions out of the area for a joor or so. Let the human military deal with the evidence.

I picked up the two smaller bots, took the black Supreme's servo and quickly set off down the street to where my GPS was telling me was where Jazz and, hopefully, Masker were waiting.

Jazz was sprawled across the bonnet of a blue car, Masker, favouring his right foreleg and steaming slightly, was crouched beside him, the smoking shell of the Tank-Con not far off down the street.

I released the little Supreme's servo and put the two sparkling down beside Masker, ushering the bigger sparkling closer to the cat-zoid, scanning Jazz's torso and main fuel lines as I did so.

Striding down the street towards the deactivated Con, I triggered the transformation in my right, dominant, arm that brought out the tools mandatory for my Faction that I'd need to cannibalize the parts of the fallen Cybertronian.

I stagged when there was a sudden burst of 'noise' from the All-Spark.

Grief. Pain. Love. Change. Orders.

"...Red Star..." Megatron.

'CHanGe Is-is NeC-EC-eceSSary-ry-Ry...'


The Bond between us was now tedious at best.

The All-Spark was dormant.




After I'd stabilized Jazz as sensed the medic and frontliner coming our way, I'd encouraged the Supreme to transform back into the black SUV, loaded the dispensing machine into the back compartment and transformed back into the Ferrari form before opening my door for the rather clingy little game-system bot. Masker cloaked himself and left to collect Sprint and Dash so we could meet up at a pre-designated spot outside the city.

We managed to get out easy enough and drove to rural area about half-an-hour from the city limits and down a side road.

Within moment, the three sparkling were clamouring around me for attention.

I opened a compartment in my leg and brought out an Energon ration for them.


Eight 'days' after the All-Spark 'changed', I drove down the highway towards Mission City, the Sparklings recharging with my zoids standing guard back within dense woodland.

I drove listlessly through the streets, monitoring the radio waves and phone lines for any news on what was happening.

The skirmish had been blamed on a terrorist attack and several exploded gas mains. Furthermore, they were on the lookout for an unaccounted-for Decepticon (the police Interceptor), an unknown black Ferrari-F430 and an unknown black Cadillac Escalade, the latter two are wanted for questioning but all three are to be reported and not approached.

I paused in surprise at a light when I noticed the police-former Decepticon turning into an underground parking lot.

Curious, I followed him down to the fifth level where he was apparently waiting for me.

We regarded one another for a time, wary of attacking an unknown.

He crept slightly closer, sending out a subtle scan. I sent one back, causing him to jerk and rev his engine.

A familiar small silver head with four blue optics popped up from behind the dashboard.

I admit, I stalled for a few moments in surprise.



Optimus Prime was blank.

There were at least one unknown Cybertronian adult and, if what Samuel Witwicky had said was true, three very young Cybertronians in the battle-zone from eight solarcycles ago.

One of the bystanders had gotten a good shot of the Unknown from behind. Black on black with a 'spine' some of the Femme Decepticons had been fond of before they all mysteriously vanished not long after Megatron went missing. As far as they could tell, the Unknown was a well-maintained upper-class military model with close-fitting armour with some of the most 'excessive bunch of gaudy low-class engravings I have ever seen in my entire lifestream', to quote Ratchet. Their alt-form was a black Ferrari-F430.

Still, if reports were true, this 'bot had gathered the newly-sparked terraformers and made repair to Jazz that saved his life. What was possibly another Cybertronian or drone was seen standing guard over his gravely injured Second in Command, but was unable to be confirmed.

Jazz had been saved by cannibalizing parts from the Decepticon, Brawl, a disgusting if practical procedure known to be utilized by the neutrals based in the Apalka Quadrant.

Optimus' optics dimmed as he thought about his smaller Second in Command.

Jazz had been his Third in Command until Prowl, Optimus' first SIC had gone MIA. His body was never recovered. The loss of Prowl had his Jazz hard and many had questioned if he was fit for the position after the loss of his Sparkmate...

...Until Ratchet had discovered that the Sparkbond was merely strained to near-nonexistance instead of broken.

Jazz had clung to the belief that Prowl would return; a belief that had been slowly becoming weaker.

Optimus blew air out his intake valves, rubbing his own chassis above his Spark, the broken Bond throbbing distantly, as he wandered sadly why Megatron had called for their lost Red Star after denying that it ever existed in the first place for so long but moments before he went offline.

The Prime put down the datapad and left to see how repairs on Jazz were going, not noticing the frame was paused as the bot in the fame glanced over their shoulder with Ultra-Violet optics.

As if you haven't figured out the subplot by now.

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