Here it is. The start of the Aftermath epilouge. We start out featuring two characters that didn't get as much time as I wanted in the main Aftermath series. Skywarp and Thundercracker. It's a bit of a sequel to Consuelo Higdon's oneshot 'Captain', which tells what happened to Thundercracker. You all should read it. It's really good.
Anyways, as for other information you have to know, this whole epilouge will be in chronological order. This happens right when everyone is returned to their chassis. Enjoy!
Skywarp was surprised at how cold the Well of All Sparks was. Or was he in the Pit? He knew that he had never done anything bad enough to deserve it. He had barely been online long enough to, and a majority of that time he had been in stasis cuffs. He impulsively shuddered, remembering his previous fear of stasis lock. Although he was generally over his cowardice, a few phobias still remained. Only reasonable ones, he was sure.
As his surroundings began to come into focus, he realized that he had seen this place before. Was the afterlife supposed to be familiar? And cold? He blinked to remove all of the fog from in front of his viz scanners, rubbing around his faceplate at the same time.
The Well of All Sparks…what was it supposed to be like? He never was taught anything about it. He had snippets of information about it from the memories passed on to him from Starscream. Most of that, though, was whining about the fact that his creator was never getting to that elusive paradise. Paradise. He had called it that, hadn't he? Maybe this wouldn't be so bad after all.
His viz scanners jolted open, looking around in every direction to find the source of the voice. No longer was it too difficult to concentrate on his location. He was on an asteroid. No, the asteroid. The one that he had been stuck on before he had had his spark taken. But that wasn't important. The voice. It was the `bot he had been so concerned about. He was here too!
"Thundercracker? Thundercracker!?" He cried.
There he was. On the other side of the asteroid, staring at him in disbelief. Skywarp had never been happier to see his brother in his life.
"You're online." Thundercracker said softly. He walked over, kicking aside a pair of stasis cuffs that he apparently had been messing with.
Skywarp processed this. Thundercracker said he was online. So that meant he wasn't in any form of an afterlife. Somehow, some way, he had returned to his chassis. He had a faint recollection of travelling after that bright flash of light had dominated his vision, but he had assumed that that was his journey to the next world. Assumed falsely, as it would seem. What had happened for him to get back here?
Ah, it didn't matter. What mattered was that he was still online, and it was the first time he had ever felt this confident.
"Yeah…yeah, I am!" He realized aloud.
"That's good." He sighed, "I was afraid that you weren't coming back."
"You were afraid?" Skywarp exclaimed incredulously.
Thundercracker paled. "N-No! Of course not! I…It's a figure of speech!"
"Then what do you mean?" Skywarp asked, getting onto his stabilizing servos.
"I mean…I mean that nobot of my caliber gets scared! Not like you."
"Not like me…" He repeated. "But I'm not like that anymore!"
"Please. Watch this."
Thundercracker put his fingers an inch away from Skywarp's faceplate and snapped them. He blinked.
"What was that supposed to do?" He asked.
Thundercracker frowned. "You…you usually scream and cover your head with your hands…and sometimes jump around."
"I told you! I'm not like that anymore!"
Skywarp shrugged. "Wish I knew. But we all seemed to get a bit different."
Thundercracker seemed to consider this. Then he went over and grabbed the stasis cuffs he had left on the ground. When he came back over he waved them menacingly in Skywarp's direction, making what was supposed to be frightening sounds. Once again, it did little to nothing to stir any strong emotions inside of Skywarp. Except amusement.
"Well…obviously I, the superior of the clones, would not forego such changes. I'm already too perfect to be anything different."
Skywarp decided to ignore this. It was just Thundercracker being Thundercracker. He knew not to take it seriously.
"You really wouldn't believe it, Thundercracker! I stood up to Dirge without even flinching!" He gushed, "And Blitzwing! I met one of Megatron's top lieutenants and didn't cower. Not even once!!"
Thundercracker gave a small smile. Not one of his sadistic, 'I'm-so-much-better-than-you-haha-bow-before-me-and-kiss-my-stabilizing-servos' smiles. No. It was genuine, and it expressed something Skywarp had not seen in his brother before: Pride. He was proud of what he had done.
"I'm brave now! I can do things that I couldn't do before! It's so great!" Skywarp was so excited, he felt like going to find some inferior life form and scaring it to see what it was like to be on the other side of the fear game.
"Yeah…it is…" Thundercracker said. Then he shook his head, erasing the smile from his visage, "But, don't get so cocky. Remember: I'm the bravest `bot in the universe. You'll never compare to my bravery ever in your pathetic lifetime."
"Of course, Thundercracker." Skywarp replied with a grin. "Whatever you say."