Fandom: Transformers Bayverse
Author: Femme4jack on livejournal, femme4prime on ff . net
Pairing: Wheeljack
Rating: PG
Codes: mild violence, very mild xeno
Summary: Wheeljack's Backstory for the June challenge
Notes: Written in the Point of View fanverse and used for the Dathanna de Gray fanverse
"text" translated Cybertronian.

Brighter than Hope

Axiom brought Wheeljack out of stasis just at the edge of the small G-class system whose 2nd planet was lush and green with organic life. As was customary, his spark was nourished by the small generator on board prior to his being brought fully online. Shortly thereafter, he was examining the sensor logs himself, a cube of energon being emptied by a small tube-like cable coming form his wrist.

"It looks promising," he said to the weary ship.

"Indeed, the most promising we have encountered yet, in close to 2 vorns."

"Have you reported yet?" Wheeljack inquired.

"I have the standard preliminary report ready to go."

"Don't, Axiom. Please...let's take our time on this one."

"Of course, Wheeljack. As you wish. I am going to recharage now, and to connect with the generator. I have engaged manual controls."

"Rest well and renew, my friend."

When sensors told him that Axiom was indeed in recharge, Wheeljack paused for a moment, placing his head in his hands.

"I am truly and deeply sorry, my friend," he whispered, his vocal indicator lights flashing mournfully before he proceeded to insert the code that would ensure that Axiom remained in stasis until Wheeljack brought him out. There was simply no way that his friend, his partner in research for these many vorns, would allow him to do what he was about to do.

By the time a solution was found, it was too late for Axiom's spark.

The first time Wheeljack met C'chukt was shortly after he landed Axiom on the jewel green world. Insatiably curious, the black feline-looking organic approached him and rubbed its sensory feathers on Wheeljacks hand. Wheeljack sat absolutely still.

All of the readings on the fur-covered organics indicated they were a suitable harvest. Had Wheeljack been following protocols, he would have immediately reported back so that the nearest harvest ship could be dispatched. Upon its arrival, an appropriate gas would be injected into the atmosphere, and all of the organics with the correct readings would then be collected. They would be placed into stasis until they were connected to whatever generator they were destined for, whether a mini one with ten to fifteen specimen like that on Axiom, a city-wide generator with tens of thousands, or the Allspark's generator which contained enough to populate a small world. The planet would then be watched to see if other organics evolved the needed energy levels, or if this were unlikely, its star would be harvested for energon. Occasionally, depending on the current energy needs, a small population was left to propagate for a future harvest.

Wheeljack, of course, did not send the report, nor did he intend to. He had been planning this moment since the very first time he had ignored all protocols and warnings and remained online and aware while connecting to a generator to "nourish" his spark. The feedback he had experienced still made him shake. Pain/terror/horror...with desperate desire to be released, to be allowed to die. That had been his nourishment. No wonder they were never allowed to be online when it happened. He had been taught from the beginning that to be online during spark nourishment was tantamount to death and could forever damage the one who did so. They were right, except it was not death he experienced, but rather the horror of a death-dealing pain without the promise of death's release.

And now he found himself sitting perfectly still, allowing the little organic creature to explore him with claw tipped paws and delicate sensory feathers that grew from the top of its head. He lay back as it walked up his chest, over the plating that separated it from his insatiable spark which lunged at the small creature as it walked. The creature then sat directly on his face, staring into his blue optics with large brown eyes. It opened its mouth and sounds emerged, the same sound, repeated , "C'chukt," it said, and then stared at Wheeljack, its tale lashing in frustration when he did not respond.

C'chukt had walked back to his people with the gigantic cybernetic being in tow, as if bringing home one's would-be conquerer was the most normal thing in the world. Wheeljack had been surrounded, and then covered by more of the fur-covered beings exploring him with paws and sensory feathers. And then they had played music and danced, and Wheeljack knew that nothing would ever be the same again.

Once he recognized their noises as language, it was not difficult to learn. He had to fabricate new parts for his vocal processor to allow him to make the proper noises, but within a few days, the harvest had become people to him, people he could understand and speak with. People like C'Chukt, whom he found himself confiding everything to, including the plans for the weapon that would take out his own world to save others.

C'chukt had been with him when he had opened the generator on Axiom to reveal the flyers inside. There were ten of them, their plumage dull, their whithered bodies hooked up to myriad of tubes for hygiene, nourishment and waste disposal. Wires connected the remainder of their neural net and cortexes with the machinery around them.

"I have tried to wake them. They are too far gone. The only thing I can give them now is death, C'chukt, and I am the one who should die."

C'chukt watched Wheeljack with calm, sorrowful eyes, then leaned forward from where he sat in Wheeljack's hand and touched the switch that would allow the little flyers to finally rest, away from pain and fear. Wheeljack helped him to bring the pitiful bodies outside Axiom where a pyre was set up to receive their still forms.

"You will die if you do not nourish yourself!" C'chukt hissed.

"I can go a bit longer...long enough to finish what I've started, to give you what you need to protect yourselves, little one." Wheeljack felt the now too familiar tremor in his spark traveling to his limbs.

"You know that isn't true. Without you we are doomed. Hook me up, my brother. Let me nourish you so that you can protect us from what is coming."

Wheeljack rose in panic, nearly falling as he backed toward the wall.

"I will never connect to anyone that way again. My spark will starve." He sat in weakness, his frame hardly able to support his weight.

"Wheeljack," the little one said gently, placing his front paws above his spark from where he stood upon the inventor's lap. "They had no choice. But I do. I do this for my people. Let me nourish your spark, so that you can protect us. For you to allow yourself to die when we need you the most would be selfish, my friend."

The pain C'chukt and Wheeljack experienced together, once Wheeljack finally consented, was enough to keep them both silent for days.

The harvest ship, when she arrived, never knew what hit her, nor did the mechs who flew her. The weapon had been swift, painless, but not swift enough. A single report of the Axiom's silent presence had been sent back to Cybertron where one who had thought Wheeljack long dead had contacted his other prized creation, and after calling in every favor he ever had with the council, left along with Perceptor to find Wheeljack and bring him home.

"I will not nourish on your tormented sentients!" the white mech shrieked as Alpha Trion dragged him toward their non-sentient ship, the Quasar.

Assuming him glitched, Trion continued to drag the white mech toward the mini generator on their ship. Perceptor watched in stunned silence, unsure what to do with the small organic creature who had crawled up into his hand to watch with large brown eyes. "C'chukt" it said, repeating itself every few minutes. "Chok'clicl'tk" it repeated again, looking toward the struggling Wheeljack, who began keening at a high pitch that made the feline's ears flatten to his head.

"Enough, Wheeljack," C'chukt practically screamed. "Tell them you will hook up to me. It has been too long for you again anyhow. You have ways of showing them the truth. Make them hook up to your systems while I am in the generator."

"No," Wheeljack replied weakly, unconvinced.

C'chukt simply took a leap down from Perceptors arms, walked toward Axiom, and placed himself into the generator to wait, the cables and wires automatically sliding into his skin.

And they saw. The pain was the worst yet for both spark and tiny body. But Perceptor and Alpha trion finally tasted what it was they had been nourished on unconsciously in recharge throughout their long existence. Finally someone beside Wheeljack knew.

"It will work," Perceptor said in an unusually comforting manner as he finished testing the socket in the small organic's neck. "It has been designed to be extremely sensitive to pleasure, nearly the opposite of what we had before. Wheeljack's inventions may be unorthodox, but they are also elegant and unsurpassed when they are successful."

Wheeljack's limbs were trembling where he lay. Warnings flashed continuously across his HUD. He could not hear them.

"I am ready, tall one. He is starving."

Perceptor looked out at the clan. C'chukt's mates, two females and one male, sat on Wheeljack's shoulders, watching with both hope and concern. Alpha Trion sat closer to the river, though he was completely aware of what was taking place through his creator bond. Nearly a dozen of the young, many of whom were C'chukt's own offspring, climbed on him as though he were a stationary thing meant solely for their play.

Perceptor pulled a cable from the twitching Wheeljack's wrist, and gently sat C'chukt beside his friend and brother, connecting the cable to the socket in the fur covered neck. "Go find him, little wise one, and bring him back to us."

He sat in a sickly dim light. He could not shutter his optics, he could not move a servo. Before him stood his own spark, pulsing weakly, darkening.

"I am sorry," he said to his own spark. "I failed you. I could not give you what you need any longer."

"I have never had what I truly needed," the weak light from his own spark said.

And then there was another light, brighter than anything his dream self had ever seen, brighter than his own spark. And the light reached out a soft paw and touched his face, and he stroked the back of the one who had been his friend and wise brother, and his spark erupted into pleasure brighter than hope itself.