Days Like This
AN: Please refer to the first chapter for disclaimer, and ch 4 for time measurements. Once again chapters 1,2 & 4 have been edited.
Warnings: TF swearing, Non-gendered mech/mech pairings implied
"Blah" com speech
Chapter 5: Meet the Bots
Excerpt from Southern Cybertron: A History:
"Near the end of the civil war between the Flyers of Vos and the Drivers of Iacon; an Iacon Medical scientist designated Flatline designed a most heinous virus. This virus called Flightless, infected half the Flyers of Vos and grounded them for the rest of their existence. Some of the infected lost their processors as being flightless was too much to handle. But in a curious twist that could only be by the servos of Primus; most of those infected with Flightless did not go insane as the designer intended. Instead they became the ground versions of their uninfected brethren, without the sky hunger. Without having the ability to fly those infected redesigned themselves to have sensory wing panels instead of having the full wings of their Vosian siblings. At the war's end, these bots left Vos and founded Praxus."
~Doom Bringer & Keeper of Ways
Nemesis – somewhere on Earth:
Hook snarled, clawing another diagram into shreds. Worthless, absolutely useless! Not a single design was useful or tasteful let alone secure! Nothing less than perfection would do for what he and his fellow gestalt mates are about to build! They built some of the most glorious Towers ever to grace Crystal City so why was it so pit damned hard to create a safe and secure nursery for a sparkling? Why?
"Hook! Hook!" Scavenger called excitedly, "They agreed! They really agreed!"
Hook nearly snarled at his brother but managed to restrain himself, barely. "Who agreed to what?"
Scavenger was startled at his brother's mood but didn't let it affect him, "Starscream agreed to provide some of the toys he was saving for the hatchlings and Barricade agreed to look for a securable area for us to build the sparkling's nursery!" Scavenger bounced delightedly on his peds, "Our other brothers are really excited! Mixmaster is already beginning to forge the building materials we need out in space! And the others are out acquiring whatever else we'll need; soft material for the berth and flooring. Things like that! How are the blueprints coming along?"
Hook calmed himself down, it was a rare thing for his brothers to be this happy or excited about anything. "They are not coming along. The war has gone on for such a long time I think I've almost forgotten how to create instead of destroy! And what do you mean Mixmaster is forging some of the materials we'll need? And why in space?"
Scavenger clapped his hands over his lip components sheepishly.
"oh well you know that alloy we found from that blackholeright?well..."
"Scavenger! Slower please. What about the black hole alloy?"
"uh, Mixmaster found out that the gravity wells of planets affect the strength of the alloy during the purification process so he had me bring his mobile forge so he could work on purifying the metals. Mix said that there will only be enough for one or two rooms so he's also going to see about strengthening the metals found on this planet. Oh Mix reported that the metal was supremely strong and able to withstand rapid fire plasma cannons!"
"I see." Hook considered what he had been told. One or two rooms eh?
Scavenger watched happily as Hook once again bent over his work table, rapidly drawing the images suddenly coming to him.
Ark – T-minus 4 earth months from Earth
"Uh Prowl? Do you have an astro-second?"
Prowl looked from his holoscreen to see a fidgety Bluestreak in the doorway. He motioned the gunner into his office. Bluestreak partially vibrating into the office, letting the door slide shut behind him. He immediately began to pace, door panels arched high in threat position and hands clenching and unclenching sporadically.
The gunner didn't seem to hear Prowl, he just continued to pace and mutter to himself.
Prowl was once again ignored. With a huff, the TiC rose from his chair and stood in Bluestreak's path. The grey Praxian stopped just short of Prowl, looking into the caring optics of his commander, and finally gave voice to what he was feeling.
"Why is it that I have this extreme urge to go down to that miserable mud ball of an organic planet and destroy every squishy I see? It doesn't make sense! I don't like random slaughter! Yet all I want to do is take some of Grapple's good explosives and blow some up! We're allied with them and from some of the communiqués a few of these humans are really good friends of ours! And yet I still want to use the rest of the race for target practice!" Bluestreak cried out in frustration.
Throughout Blue's tirade, Prowl remained calm and unsurprised. He thought he knew where this was coming from but had to make sure, "Blue? Calm down and tell me when you started feeling this way?"
Bluestreak's fans whirred to life in an attempt to keep his systems from heating even more from his anger, "Well it wasn't too bad initially. I was disgusted with the humans when you debriefed us about the sparkling, but..." Bluestreak paused in indecision then forged ahead, "You know I'm dating First Aid right? Did you know that First Aid received the Sparkling's medical report from Ratchet? Wait of course you do, probably passed it on to him but anyway First Aid was really distraught by what he read. He didn't tell me everything but some of the things..." Bluestreak trailed off shuddering.
Prowl nodded understanding what was happening with the gunner. He laid his hands on Blue's shoulder armour in comfort. "I saw the report. I know about the spark damage."
"How can anyone do that to a sparkling?"
"Blue, more than likely the humans had no idea what they had in their clutches. They had Megatron for nearly fifty steller cycles and based their technology off of what they managed to reverse engineer from him. I'm not surprised they did something like this to a more vulnerable a target. To most of them we are just sparkless machines. Is it any wonder they would treat a sparkling as nothing more than an object to be studied?" Prowl replied logically, his own temper slowly rising once more as his battle computer brought up likely scenarios of what happened to that poor sparkling.
Bluestreak's hands fisted, "No. But that still doesn't mean I should want to obliterate the whole race with extreme prejudice!"
"If you're functioning properly, then yes it does."
Bluestreak gapped his fellow Praxian speechless.
Prowl chuckled lightly. He gently pushed the gunner out of his office and towards a lift in order to guide Bluestreak to the practice rings and began to explain, "Your young enough that you might not know some of your dormant programming Bluestreak but I assure you what you're going through at this moment is normal. Expected even. Like Vosnians, Praxians have Sparkling protection and avenging protocols that awaken when a sparkling is in danger or harmed..."
Autobot Base: NEST Base - Earth
Harry didn't know which way to look, before him standing on their wheels were there different coloured versions of the same bot. He didn't understand how one spark could be in three different bodies at the same time doing three different things; but thought it was pretty cool even if he wondered how painful the process must have been. Harry sat in Ironhide's arms, optics wide as he tried to watch all three at once. Two of the sisters sat at their terminals keeping an optic on cameras and radars while the reddish pink one slowly approached the two. She stopped within reaching distance of the pair; light blue optics alight with curiosity.
Ironhide cooed at Harry, having noticed that the sparkling had tensed up, little doorwings fluttering. The Weapon's Specialist was not as versed in doorwing language as Ratchet or Jazz, but he could tell a few basic things. Such as when the doorwinged mech was threatening somebot, or when they are excited about something.
Glancing up at Ironhide for permission, Arcee slowly lifted her clawed hands toward the cute little sparkling. Harry reached out with his own little hands and cautiously grabbed hold of one of the Chaser's fingers. Arcee chuckled lightly as she allowed her hand to be brought closer to the sparkling so he could get a better look at it. The mechlet chirped when she wiggled her finger free of the little guy's grasp.
"I have a present for you, sparklet." The chaser held up a small energon goody with her other hand. With Ironhide's nod of permission she held it out for the sparkling to take and broke a little on the inside as he just chirped and whirred at her in blatant confusion.
Harry hesitated chirping his confusion at the thing being held at him. He didn't know what the glowing blue thing was and he didn't want it if the thing was going to harm him in any way!
Ironhide cooed comfortingly at the sparkling, "It's alright Blitzwind. That is an energon goody. A treat we make out of energon. It's a treat like a human cookie or candy. The treat won't harm ya, well unless ya eat too many."
"Then Ratchet will ban energon goodies for vorns." Acree added on dryly.
"That he would."
Harry clicked in acknowledgment. Taking the goody from Arcee he studied the glowing blue treat before taking a cautious bit out of it. Doorwings arched up in surprise as the taste of sweet energy exploded across mouth sensors. He couldn't name the taste if he was asked to try but took a second bite. Yup the flavour was the same. Harry purred lowly as he consumed the small treat with enthusiasm. Another was held up to him. He chirped a thank you to Arcee, his whole frame bouncing in delight as he took the new one to nibble on.
Arcee waved at them as they left. Ironhide ambled down to the rec room. With luck somebot would be in there for him to relinquish Blitzwind to temporarily while he got some energon. When the two mechs arrived Ironhide saw Jolt watching TV. Harry's optics widened at the sheer size of the room they had entered. They room could hold over a hundred bots easily! Just how big was this place anyway!
"Hey Jolt! Why don't ya come over here and meet Blitzwind!"
Jolt twisted around to look the pair, "Whose Blitzwind? Oh!" Jolt jumped up and rushed towards them when he saw the sparkling he had only heard about. He had never seen a real live sparkling before! Awa he looked to cute with wide optics and an energon goodie in his mouth! Were those sensory panels on the mechlet's back?
"Whoa there mech! Don't startle the little one!"
Embarrassed and excited all at once, Jolt stopped short of the two and gave Ironhide turbo puppy optics. "Oh please let me hold him! I've never held one before but I promise not to drop him!"
Ironhide chuckled at Jolt's enthusiasm, "Alright. Just mind his wing panels. Those just started moving today so they'll be tender. I need ta get some energon so you can hold him until I'm finished my ration."
Jolt nodded. He took the small sparkling and held him against his chest plates, giving Harry a hug. For his part, Harry cooed at Jolt. A half eaten energon goodie in one hand but the other was latched onto the mech's chest platting. He got a good feeling from this one so he snuggled into the whip master's embrace. Jolt nuzzled Harry's helm, happy that the sparklet was happy.
The peaceful atmosphere around the two shattered as Skids and Mudflap loudly burst into the Rec room startling the pair. The twins were fighting again. Harry whirred and clicked in fright, frame beginning to shake. Jolt revved his engine in an attempt to calm him. Hugging the sparkling with one arm, Jolt ignited one of his whips with the other. He snapped the whip once to get the twins attention. The two ignored his warning and continued to fight. Jolt waited an astro-second then at the right moment cracked his energon whip across two helms causing twin yelps.
They separated to turn on the one who hit them but stopped dead in their tracks. Jolt was glaring fiercely at them while holding a distressed and clicking sparkling.
Mudflap pointed to the clicking bundle of parts, "Is dat da sparkling?"
"Yes and your fighting upset him! You should have heard by now that Ratchet had let him out of med-bay!"
"But we've just got back from patrol! How are we supposed ta know 'e was out!" Skids protested.
"Who upset Blitzwind!" Ironhide snapped, energon forgotten due to the distressed clicking, cannons online and hot. Jolt pointed at the short twins, cooing at Harry and rubbing his back struts soothingly. "I'm gonna use you two for target practice if ya upset him again! Didn't Ratchet contact ya?"
"Ya mech but!" Skids looked wide optic at the black mech.
"But nothing! Try controlling yerselves for once!"
"Yes sir Ironhide sir!" They chorused at cannon point.
12 hrs later:
"Is there something you needed Ratchet?" Optimus starred at his preoccupied CMO in concern.
"No. Not really Prime. I'm here to give you my report on Blitzwind." Ratchet dropped himself intone of the chairs littering the office.
"Have you discovered anything new?" Optimus leaned back in his own seat.
"Not quite. I gave him another scan when Ironhide brought him back for some recharge. The interaction seems to have done him some good. I'll continue to let him out of med-bay provided the other mechs behave themselves." Ratchet grumbled, irritated. "No what I have is a report on his protoform development."
"Yes. I've determined his age to be about fifteen steller cycles old. His protoform is not as developed as I would like but giving his circumstances I'm fragging surprised it's as advanced as it is! He won't be able to walk for another few vorns yet. But has learned to crawl somewhat. He won't go anywhere fast but he's still mobile. His vocalizer is not that advanced, he's only capable of sparkling speech for the next five to six vorns. I suspect Trailwind was suppressing some of Blitzwind's subroutines to make the sparklet seem unimportant. With the suppressors gone, Blitzwind is now able to express himself more. Hence why his sensory panels activated today instead of earlier."
"Yes, those panels are most expressive and cute." Optimus mused with a smile.
"All of us think those panels are cute. I can only imagine what the mechs on the Ark are going to say when they seem them." Ratchet replied with a laugh before turning serious again, "His processors are still repairing themselves."
"Still repairing? I believe you said that his spark was the only thing left?"
Ratchet nodded tiredly, "I did. I missed something obvious during my other scans. I must have assumed that some of the data was normal for him." Ratchet paused in order to gather his thoughts.
Optimus kept silent waiting for Ratchet to continue. The Prime knew that repairing the sparkling had been very hard for Ratchet to do after so many megavorns repairing only soldiers.
"Optimus the reason his spark is taking so long to heal are those lines of fragged up coding calling it's self a spark leach. The virus hadn't been in his systems for only a short time period of time like I had initially reported. That virus had been implanted in him after he turned one steller cycle old. Pit I'm surprised he understands as much Cybertronian as he does."
Optimus starred in dawning horror at his CMO.
"Prime, that virus acted as a suppressor for Blitzwind's processors and spark energy, causing unseen damage in all areas; his optics, his developing processors, his memory chips, his vocalizer, and his battle computer."
Optimus bolted upright in surprise, "Battle computer? You're not suggesting Prowl is the other creator are you?"
Ratchet shook his helm in the negative, "No, well maybe. I can't be certain. For all we know the other creator could be Smokescreen, Bluestreak or even Silverstreak! As it stands we know very little about Trailwind to guess whether he had a battle computer or not. I know one of his creators had to have one in order for the sparkling to have one."
Time Skip: One orn later
Nemesis – somewhere on Earth:
"Pit!" The curse rang out as several storage crates fell atop of the purple flyer. Thundercracker snickered from his spot by some other crates, sifting through them too look for more puzzles. Admiring Skywarp's aft as he wiggles out from underneath the fallen crates. Skywarp eventually pulled himself and glared at his sniggering trine mate.
"Some help you are!", Skywarp dusted himself off before turning back to the long untouched crates.
"I was admiring the view 'warp! Such a fine view it was too!" Thundercracker leered.
"Riiight. I'll interface with you later. I want to find those toys first." Skywarp replied amused.
"I can't believe Starscream saved all of this slag." Thundercracker grumbled venting air a little. The blue Seeker replaced the lid of one crate only to lift up another.
"He saved them for the hatc..." Skywarp stopped mid word in pleasure, "Oh I found them!" Thundercracker sighed in relief and closed the crate he was looking through. Turning toward his fellow Seeker, he could only stare as one of the old toys was held up to his optics.
The purple Seeker held up a musical puzzle box, "Think the sparklet would like this one?"
Thundercracker leaned away from the toy, gently pushing the hand away. He gave Skywarp an understanding look, "I don't know 'warp. Until Soundwave returns from his mission, we won't even know how old the sparkling is, let alone what he might like!"
"It's been a whole fragging orn TC! What in the pit is that fragger doing? Baking energon goodies!" Skywarp snapped frustrated with the lack of information.
TC rested his hands on Skywarp's shoulders, "We both know that Autoscum defensive and anti-spy measures are slagging good. With the sparkling there, those Pit-spawn are going to be on high alert. Until Soundwave returns there is no way we can even plan to get our servos on the bundle of parts."
Skywarp leaned into TC's embrace with a sigh, "I know."
Autobot Base: NEST Base - Earth
At long last, Ratchet had deemed him fit enough to be taken outside! Oh he couldn't wait. Ironhide had said that it was even sunny! Harry cooed in excitement from his berth in med-bay. He hadn't seen the sun in what seemed forever! Harry rolled from his side and onto his front then wiggled himself into crawling position. It was a little embarrassing for him to be reduced to crawling of all things when he was used to walking upright but there was no help for it. At least there was nobody from his old life around to see him like this!
With a chirp Harry slowly crawled to the edge of his birth and peered over chirping in astonishment. That was a long way down! He had no idea that he was such a long way up all this time! But he was determined to get down, somehow. There was a room he was really curious about on the other side of med-bay. He'd seen Ratchet go in there regularly, so Harry figured there was an injured mech in there that he had yet to meet. Since meeting him seemed to cheer up all the other bots on base Harry thought he could cheer the injured one up as well.
Harry looked around for inspiration but he squealed in surprise when Ratchet picked him up.
Chuckling Ratchet nuzzled Harry's helm, "Excited to be going outside sparklet?" He asked settling Harry in his arms the same way Ironhide did when carrying him around base.
Harry chirped and cooed at the medic. Foiled for now but he'd find away! Harry settled into his 'seat' as Ratchet took different corridors then he'd seen. These ones led to a lift. The lift took them to the surface part of Autobot base. He'd never been in this part of the base yet! The walls seemed to be dull silver. The rooms they passed had been built to accommodate both humans and Cybertronians.
What was that! Harry whipped his helm around clicking, trying to see the shiny thing that caught his optics but it was already too late!
With a grin, Ratchet tapped the Sparkling's arm to get his attention. "I want you to be brave Blitzwind. You're going to meet several of our human friends today. Ones we trust with our lives and who gives us equal trust in return. You have nothing to be afraid of from them. But should anything happen know that Ironhide, Optimus, Bumblebee and I will be there with you."
Harry chirred in understanding. He felt secure already with just the knowledge that Ironhide and his cannons would be there. Ratchet signalled a door to open and stepped to a large hanger. Sunlight poured into the large hanger vie several large windows and bay doors. The medic gave them a minute to adjust their optics before making their way to the tarmac beyond the hanger.
Assembled loosely on the tarmac were several humans and mechs. Off to one side stood Ironhide and Optimus, Bumblebee stood behind their human companions. The scout chirped a welcome to Harry who returned the greeting nervously, optics on the human soldiers. Harry noticed several more people peeking at them from a very large communications hanger, and around several buildings dotting along the base. He focused on the ones in front of him. A few of them were holding oddly wrapped packages. Harry wiggled a little, wanting to be let down. With a small grin Ratchet obliged him and set him down gently on his aft. The medic kneeled down, keeping a hand against Harry's back.
Harry chirped curiously at the humans wondering why they seemed more nervous to meet him then he was them!
"These ones are our friends." Ratchet pointed at the chocolate colour human, "His name is Robert Epps." Ratchet pointed at the next one, "He's William Lennox, and she's Mikaela Banes, Miles Lancaster." Ratchet introduced each one in turn. "Guys this is Blitzwind."
Greeting done Sam and Will slowly approached the sparkling. Behind them Miles just had to comment, "You know I never thought I'd actually be taller then one of these guys!" He yelped when Mikaela hit him on his arm.
Smiling, Sam presented his present to Harry who whirred at him, "It a welcome to base present. Your supposed to unwrap it to get the actual present inside."
Harry chirped again as he took the present from Sam, doorwings twitching a little in nervousness. He ripped the oddly shaped wrapping off to reveal... A plushy Bumblebee? Harry cooed as his doorwings fluttered in surprise. He looked to Bumblebee to his plushy and back again. The plushy was a near replica of the scout and it was soft. He never had a teddy bear when he was human so this was a surprise! He hugged his plushy Bee to his chest plates chirping and cooing in happiness causing all those around him to smile in delight.
Sam stepped back a little as will stepped forward. The present he held in his hands was slightly larger than the plushy Bee. Harry didn't want to let go of his new toy but knew he had too in order to open his next present. Harry warbled in thought then tentively held it up for Ratchet to take. Ratchet took the plushy and held it gently near Harry.
"This one is from some of my solders here on base. How they convinced my wife to make it I have no idea." Will handed over the present he held.
Harry chittered in amusement and ripped off the wrapping. Harry whistled in surprised delight. A plushy Ironhide! Harry clutched the toy to his chest and nuzzled the head. He was never letting go of either one!
Farther off, sitting on a rocky outcropping and hidden by his cloaking devise was Ravage.
"Ravage to Soundwave"
"I have confirmation of the sparkling. Your orders?"
"Excellent. Orders: Return to base"
"Returning to base."
Several Earth days later:
Skids and Mudflap looked high and low, in every nook and cranny and ventilation duct. Nearly every room and hall and they still couldn't find what they lost. Arcee had never left the monitor room and besides they had already checked there several times already! Time was running out!
They had to find that sneaky sparkling before Ratchet and Ironhide scrapped them and turned them to human femme hair curlers!
They had been tasked with the important job of sparkling watch before Optimus and his chosen team lifted off on a short Decepticon blocking mission. The twins had been threatened within micro of their sparks by the bonded pair to take good care of Blitzwind and they lost him within the joor! They had only taken their optics off him for a breem and he was gone!
Okay so it had taken longer to set up their prank on Sideswipe and Jolt but they didn't think that the little guy would wonder off so fast. His top crawling speed was barely five mph for the Source's sake!
The twins froze near med-bay in fear as they heard the angry bellow of a torque off Weapon's Specialist followed by the distinct sounds of on lining plasma cannons.
"We are so slagged, Skids."
"Oh pit ya. We need ta hide."
"Hiding won't save you glitches." Ironhide snarled from behind them.
With a whimper and a yell, the twins fled further into base with Ironhide in hot pursuit.
Ratchet sighed tiredly as he entered med-bay. He'd check on Jazz first then join the others in finding the sparkling. The SiC was still in stasis but it pays to keep an optic on the mech incase something worse happening.
The medic entered Jazz's room only to stop and stare wide optic at the scene before him. There on the berth was two mechs. Blitzwind was recharging on top of Jazz's damaged chassis, one arm around his Bee plushy. The little one was purring in his recharge due to the tentive and gentle petting of his back by an awe struck Jazz.
"Hey Ratch! This cute mechlet yours?"