Hot Shot's girl: . . . . . . okay so I ended up making a new story! So sue me! At least it's not One Piece like I've been doing lately alright! I just suddenly got in a Transformer writing mood and this popped into my head and right now, I can't stop writing it. I already have about 3 chps written so this story may be updating a lot faster :) Well hope you enjoy this, I already thought out the plot and everything so like I said, this should be updating more often. Hopefully I can keep on a schedule for you guys, lol. Well enjoy!

The young 'bot ran as fast as his legs could carry him. He didn't know how it happened or why but all he knew was that he had to get home in time. In time to save them. His family.

He could feel his energon reserves depleting as he forced his systems to the max to try and make it in time. His joints were beginning to malfunction, this he was sure of. Just by looking down at his knee rotators he could see the sparks flying off of the snapped circuits that had already been overused.

It seemed as if he was pushed beyond his breaking point. He was just a child after all, a sparkling as some older 'bots would call him. He wasn't meant to overexert himself like so, not at this age. But he had no choice as he ran down the streets and corners to reach his destination.

He was closing in now. He was close enough to even feel the heat of those hungry flames that seemed to want to burn up anything. He could melt if he got too close, but he didn't care—because inside those flames were his family.

"MOTHER! FATHER!" he cried out, his voice processor reaching just above 100 percent to perhaps be heard by them, but nothing was heard in return.

All the young 'bot could do was stare blankly into those piercing flames. His mouth agape just a bit as he watched his home in mere minutes burn to the ground. There was no way any Transformer would have survived such an explosion, such a catastrophe.

"No!" he gasped as he quickly shut his optical sensors off and immediately ran straight into the flames.

He ran until he was inside the burning building. When he stopped he onlined once again his optics and looked around. It was hard to recognize any wall, hallway, or room inside that building. Everything was falling apart so fast that barely anything was noticeable.

"FATHER! MOTHER!" he cried out once more, but as he called out to them he realized there was yet another family member he forgot to mention at the time.

His optics brightened at the realization of his younger brother and so he quickly scanned his memory banks and quickly darted in the direction his brother's room remained. He dodged falling debris as best he could until he managed to make it to his room.

"Hot Shot! HOT SHOT!" he cried out as he entered the burning room to find most of the belongings inside on fire—but this part of the home seemingly not as destroyed as the others.

He ran over to the berth chamber to find the remaining insides still intact and the being he sought after sound asleep. He quickened to open it and take the young sparkling into his arms. He held the young 'bot close and then searched for a way out hoping that his parents had somehow managed to make it out unharmed.

But his search was cut off as the ceiling collapsed and fell down upon him and his brother.

"AAAAAHHHHHH! ! !" he cried seeing the burning ceiling come crashing down right upon him.


The voice suddenly woke the screaming 'bot up and he jolted upward with a start, panting and trembling. His sapphire optical sensors scanned his surroundings 'til he came to the young face of his sparkling brother who was staring at him with frightened protoform blue opticals.

"Hhhuh, Shoty what's wrong?" the elder asked as he sat up, a hand placed over his overly pulsing spark.

"You were screaming in your dream," the young sparkling said. "Were you having a nightmare?"

"Hhh, yeah buddy, I was," the eldest brother known as Hot Rod admitted as he placed his hand on his little brother's head. "It's nothing to worry about though Hot Shot. Did I wake you up?"

"Yeah," the little one mumbled, bowing his head and kicking at the ground beneath him.

"Sorry," Hot Rod sighed out as he sat up against a knocked over pillar—it seemed this sector of Tyger Pax was full of nothing but debris and wreckage from the war . . .

And orphans.

"What was it about?" Hot Shot asked, sitting his little frame down next to his big brother's.

"Hhh, it was about the night when father and mother offlined," he said, his sapphire optics gazing out into the dark skies of Cybertron, glittered with faintly sparkling stars millions of light-years away.

"Oh," Hot Shot turned his optic gaze down and just stared at his small feet. "I don't really remember that night . . ."

"It's good that you don't Shoty," Hot Rod said, his gaze lifting higher to see shallow smoke lifting into the skies along with the stars—from a battle not too far from the sector. "It's not something you'd want to remember."

Hot Shot saw the sad look in his brother's features and wished to somehow make him happier. He didn't like it when his brother went into moods such as these, they always seemed to get him just as down as his brother. Even though he was young he was still old enough to know that Hot Rod was still just a child and shouldn't be in such a depressing mood.

Being at the age of 5 millennia, and his older brother only 8 millennia older. They were young to be on their own, yes, but still . . . at least they had each other. Hot Rod was usually the one to provide for the both of them, stealing what they needed to survive—it was a hard time they lived in, and an even more dangerous sector, one full of dark Transformers often said to be Decepticons.

One had to be tough and fend for themselves if they were going to survive living here . . . at least that was what Hot Shot was told.

Hot Rod halted in his gaze into the skies, his audio receivers picking up small clinks and clangs. He turned towards his brother who's cheek plates began to spark with embarrassment.

"Shoty . . . are you hungry?" Hot Rod asked, tilting his head towards his brother.

"Mm, maybe . . ." Hot Shot mumbled as he wrapped his small arms around his legs and pulled them close, trying to hide his embarrassed face—often his brother had to tell him to hold his meals for they didn't come by them that often . . . so he learned to never speak much of it when he became hungry and drained.

"Hhh, why didn't you tell me Shoty?" Hot Rod asked, scooting closer to his little brother who still wished to hide his face.

"Because," came his mumbled response through his legs. "You said we don't get meals often and . . . and to hold my energy supplies."

"Yeah, but if you're hungry Shoty then tell me okay," Hot Rod smiled, pulling his little brother's legs down to show him he didn't mind going out to get him something, a soft smile on his features instantly shifting towards Hot Shot's own lips.

"Okay," Hot Shot smiled as Hot Rod brought his head down and touched foreheads with his little brother in a close show of affection.

"Well," Hot Rod sighed as he stood up and straightened his limbs. "Guess I better go get something for you," placing a hand on his own stomach he smiled. "I'm getting famished myself—we haven't eaten in a good couple of weeks, our energy supplies are getting rather low. I'll see what I can find alright."

"C-Can I come with you?" Hot Shot asked, standing up and tugging on his older brother's arm plating.

"No Shoty, this is just like before," Hot Rod said, shaking his head and kneeling before his young small brother. "You're too young and small to help out. You could get hurt or caught by a mean Transformer. What would I do if I lost you Shoty?"

"But I promise I won't get in the way," the young Transformer pleaded. "Please, I don't like being away from you."

"Neither do I Shoty," Hot Rod sighed out as he took the little one in his arms for a loving embrace. "But you'll be safe here alright. You know where to hide right until I return?"

"There," Hot Shot sniffed as he turned around and pointed to a pile of ruble that opened a small enough hole for him to fit in so he could be out of sight and wait.

"Good boy, now go—I'll be back in a couple of hours," Hot Rod said, nudging him forward.

Hot Shot walked a few steps before turning around and flashing a dazzling protoform blue eyes at his big brother, hoping it would convince him to let him come. Hot Rod only chuckled and shook his head.

"There'll be none of that Shoty, now get going—go," he said, waving his arms off to motion the boy to enter the small hole.

Hot Shot did as he was told and once he was safely out of sight Hot Rod turned and left him. Hot Shot watched his brother turn and leave the dark alley they had come to call their home. He sniffled a little before turning around and lying down the best he could in the makeshift debris tunnel.

He didn't like living here, but this was the only home he had ever known really. The only one he could remember by far. He was 3 millennia when his Father-creator and Mother-creator had died and so memories of them were just distant shadows, only images the best he could imagine of what Hot Rod told them to be like.

Still though, of what Hot Rod said it seemed like they were happy . . . and right now . . . it was hard for Hot Shot to imagine what happiness was. All that were around them were nothing but fallen buildings of debris, dark streets of dark and lowly Transformers—and litters upon litters of orphans come to be known as the forgotten children on Cybertron. Orphaned by the wars of this planet.

"Hot Rod," Hot Shot mumbled to himself, trying to pull his body into a recharge to pass the time and save what little energy he had left. "Come home soon."

At that Hot Shot offlined his optical sensors and let his memory banks take him to a place he could only call dreams.

"Hey guys, I'm back," Hot Rod called out to his friends who immediately jumped out of their hiding places and came to greet him.

"Heeey, Hot Rod, you're back!" a young 'bot of about the same age as Hot Rod whom was called Tracks answered.

"Yeah, haven't seen you around in a long time man," another 'bot around the same age as Hot Rod by the name of Jazz spoke up.

"Good to have you back nonetheless," the third friend spoke up, the red 'bot known as Blaster was, as well, around the same age as Hot Rod. "Where's your bro?"

"Hiding in his usual spot," Hot Rod motioned his thumb behind him signaling he had left him behind. "You know what happened last time he tagged along."

"Yeah," Tracks said, placing his thumb and index finger on his chin in remembrance of what happened last time. "Poor little guy almost got stepped on by the 'bot we were nabbing from."

"Yeah, don't want that happening again," Hot Rod sighed out. "He's only 5 millennia anyways, too young to do stuff like this."

"I agree," Jazz shook his head and crossed his arms. "So what are we getting this time? Supplies, energon, money, what?"

"Food, period," Hot Rod spoke up. "Me and Shoty are running low on our energy supplies and so need a fill-up."

"Same here," Blaster nodded.

"And I," Tracks agreed, rubbing his abdomen.

"Well boys, I actually refueled a few days ago, but there's no harm refueling again," Jazz shrugged with a grin.

"Alright then, let's make this quick," Hot Rod nodded as he turned and led the group of outsiders into the dark town through secret ways and there waited to find the right person and opportunity to take from.

Hot Shot came back online and looked around. He poked his head out of the small hole he laid in and found that Hot Rod had yet to return. He usually slept through until he did come back, but today was different.

With a yawn Hot Shot crawled out of the hole and stretched his legs. He looked upwards to the sky and found that more spoke had made that place even darker and drearier. He groaned at this—one of the reasons why he never liked the area they lived in . . . too ugly, though Hot Shot admitted he didn't know any other place but his imagination often brought him to beautiful cities full of light and happiness. He would like to live in a place like that when he was older and could venture out on his own—but right now, he was going to stay with Rody, even if it was in a place like this.

Hot Shot jumped a little as his sensors picked up faint struggling sounds. He crawled back towards the debris and rested in the shadowed corner, hoping whatever was making that sound would go away and pass by his alleyway quickly. He could have turned and crawled back inside the hole his brother had told him to stay hidden in, but he didn't, right now he was too nervous to do anything.

The sounds grew louder and soon he made out what it was. It sounded like a Transformer running on a low energy supply. His labored breaths gave away that thought.

Hot Shot bit his bottom lip and shrunk more into the darkened corner as he watched a fairly clean looking Transformer stumble his way into the alley. The 'bot was red and black and didn't look to have come from this sector. Watching more closely Hot Shot could see a nice hole in his torso, which scared him quite a bit—seeing energon for the time in that much amounts frightened him.

He's hurt, Hot Shot's thoughts wondered into the Transformer's state. He's leaking energon—so much energon . . .

Hot Shot watched the man look ahead of himself to see the alley way had been blocked off by debris. He heard him speak to himself in curses and then turn. He watched as the mech's sensors alerted him to other 'bots near—Hot Shot could even hear them himself. He watched the Transformer look around for anything or any place to escape; yet there was none.

His optics then came to rest on him as he sat there in a shadowed corner. Hot Shot gasped, had he been spotted? Had he been seen? Sure his plating was yellow and quite noticeable, but he was dirty and covered in shadows—he thought that that at least could help him evade any trouble . . . it had so far.

With another gasp Hot Shot watched in fear as the Transformer nearly dragged himself over towards him. Hot Shot wanted to get away but he was stuck in the corner watching as the mech came closer and closer.

"No, no!" Hot Shot cried now realizing the 'bot had seen him and was coming closer to him. "Stay away!"

"Hush little one," the 'bot's voice came out soft—in his kind of a condition it even came out calm. "I'm not here to hurt you."

At that he fell to his knees, hitting the dark metallic ground quite hard. Hot Shot gasped and watched as the man bent forwards in pain, but no horrid cry escaped his injured lips. He clenched his teeth and tried his best to hold back the energon spilling from his wound—but it only helped a little.

"Listen to me little one," he groaned softly as he took out a small chip. "I need . . . I need you to take this."

Hot Shot was deaf to everything the 'bot was saying. His mind was solely fixed on the wound the 'bot carried and the amount of energon he was losing. He was scared, too scared to think about what or who this 'bot was so he hadn't felt anything as the 'bot reached out and opened his motherboard to place the chip securely inside.

"I need you to keep this transferred data—until, cough, until the others can find you," at that he coughed out a small amount of energon but still he had enough strength to pull his arm back and hold the empty chip in his hand. "Please keep it safe little one."

At that he crushed the chip in his hand and then stood up, trying to make his way back out of the alleyway to perhaps draw his enemies away from the sparkling. Hot Shot touched the back of his head where it had been opened to receive the data and then his optics followed the 'bot as he staggered his way out only to be met by three large and dark 'bots.

Hot Shot gasped once more as he watched in horror the three 'bots beat the wounded one. He fell to the ground and they were shouting something at him. He could barely talk with the low supply of energon he had left, but still they demanded something from him.

In horror Hot Shot watched them pull out guns on the mech and shoot his legs and arms. Hot Shot offlined his optical sensors and covered his audio receivers at the wretched sound. He hated the sound of cannon fire and wished it all to go away.

As he did this it was then he heard the largest of the 'bots demand once more in words he could make out.

"Where is it Autobot? !"

Hot Shot's optics onlined in time to see the beaten 'bot beneath the other two Transformers only hold up his arm and open his hand to reveal the smashed chip.

"Frag it all! He destroyed the chip!"

"Send him to the pit then!"

At that last command Hot Shot watched the two smaller 'bots take their guns and shoot into the Transformer's spark—instantly offlining him. Hot Shot shook all over he couldn't stop—he was scared, he had just watched someone murder another being before him. He had heard about such a thing, but never before had he seen anything like it.

"Hot Rod," Hot Shot whimpered as he covered his audios and offlined his optics once again.

He hadn't noticed that at his small whimper the others had heard him.

"What was that? !" one lower 'bot spoke up.

"There's someone here!" the other spoke.

Then, ruby red optics shined in Hot Shot's direction and instantly Hot Shot was found out. He gasped and saw the large 'bot coming near him. Trembling was all Hot Shot could do as the large horned 'bot neared him and looked down at his pathetic form.

"Tcheh, it's just a sparkling," he spoke up. "Pathetic thing."

"Should we kill it lord Megatron?" one of the lower Transformers spoke up.

"Not worth my time," the one known as Megatron turned, but looked back at the little one. "If you tell anyone about this little one—I'll return to offline you."

At that Hot Shot felt his very being freeze. He couldn't even feel his spark pulsating as the 'bots left, the lowers ones snickering at the frightened sparkling. It wasn't until they were gone did Hot Shot finally realize he was still alive.

On knocking knee rotators Hot Shot stood up and looked at the still dead, what they called, Autobot near the entrance of the alley. His small optics scanned around the dark area for anything else but when he found himself alone he quickly turned and ran back into his hiding spot. Burrowing himself far away into the debris and swearing to never come out again.

After all that had happened and all that he had seen he quickly began to cry. He didn't care if you had to be tough here to survive—he was still just a sparkling and he was still alive . . . but he was so frightened he didn't know what to do. So he cried—for his brother he cried.

"Ehhh heeeh, Hot Rod!" he cried as he held himself close and trembled even more at the enveloping darkness that cover him.

"Hhh. Preceptor," the large blue, red, and silver Transformer sighed as he looked down at his offlined old friend's corpse. "Not you too . . ."

"Optimus sir," came a soldier up to him, this one more white and in the shape of a Cybertronian jet. "I'm sorry we didn't find him in time."

"How he managed to get here is unknown," another Transformer spoke up, this one green and purple.

"Jetfire, Scavenger—did they find out if he had it?" Optimus turned to his two comrades and asked.

"Hhh, by what the others say—Preceptor probably destroyed it," Scavenger said, crossing his arms.

"Yeah, looks that way," Jetfire spoke up as he returned with a small, very small, piece of a chip that had been destroyed.

"Is that it?" Optimus asked.

"'Fraid so," Jetfire sighed. "The Decepticons must have taken the rest of it."

"This can't be good," Optimus gave out a frustrated sigh, pinching the brim of his nostril plating. "That data that he had was the last—the project's as good as over if—"

Optimus stopped mid-sentence upon noticing some other officers crowded around a pile of rubble, speaking to it even. Scavenger and Jetfire noticed the trail of Optimus' golden optics and so turned in the direction he watched.

"What is it?" Jetfire asked.

"You mechs there, what are you doing?" Scavenger called to the mechs who were supposed to be helping the other officers around the crime scene.

"Uh, sorry sir!" they turned and saluted their superiors. "But there's a young sparkling hiding in the ruble, he may have seen what happened, but we can't get him to come out."

"I see," Optimus said, coming forward and parting the officers. "Don't worry, I'll take it from here."

Everyone watched as Optimus crouched down low to where the small opening in the ruble was. He brightened his optics to reveal the small form inside—he looked frightened and wishing to be kept in the dark, unseen by all. With a soft unseen smile Optimus turned to his mechs that surrounded him and said—

"To coax out a sparkling you've got to know how to handle them—and," at that he took out an energon goody. "Know what they want."

"Hhh, here we go," Scavenger rolled his optics making Jetfire look confused.

"What is it sir?" Jetfire asked his superior.

"Hhh, anything to do with sparklings Optimus always jumps in first," Scavenger sighed knowing that his commander had always loved children.

"Come out little one," Optimus coaxed, holding out the energon goody just close enough to the cave for the little one to come out. "We mean you no harm. Are you alright in there?"

Hot Shot wished to not hear them, he wanted to just shut his audio receivers down and let the world pass him by, but he could hear everything and he was scared. He glanced at the one trying to get him out this time and one look at those soft glowing golden optics made something inside him feel . . . at peace.

"Come on out," Optimus soothed, continuing to wait patiently for him. "I'll wait here all day if I have to until you're ready to come out."

He's going to . . . wait for me? Hot Shot asked himself, he didn't want anyone to wait for him for THAT long.

Soon his optics fell down upon the thing in the older Transformer's hand. It was a full energon goody. Hot Shot had eaten two known in his lifetime—they weren't even whole ones either, but all he knew was that he loved them.

Whenever Hot Rod would come across one they'd always share. Both sparklings loved them, and not to be greedy but sometimes Hot Shot wished he could have tons of tons of them all to himself—very sweet they were.

Hot Shot licked his dirtied lips; perhaps he could snatch it from the mech before he could see it. Hot Shot shifted and readied to pounce. After today's events he thought he deserved a whole energon goody!

With a grunt Hot Shot lunged at the goody and tried to snatch it into his tiny hands, but alas he had not kept an optic on the optics closely watching him and his movements. Instead of him snatching the goody away from the older Transformer he was snatched away from his hiding spot.

"Got you," Optimus said, gripping firmly at the back collar plate of the young sparkling.

"Ah!" Hot Shot squeaked and cried out, wiggling around to be let go and to his horror he was pressed firmly against the broad chest of the older Transformer.

"Hush now little one," Optimus cooed the young boy down. "I'm not going to harm you. Calm down."

Hot Shot didn't know why but . . . he liked being held like this . . . in the arms of a strong and large Transformer. The soft reverberating sound waves of his vocal processor seemed to calm the wild child to a still and slowly Hot Shot felt . . . safe.

With a blink the young sparkling looked up at the 'bot who looked down at him with soft gentle opticals. Then he looked down, noticing that in his hand the goody remained. He looked back up at the older mech as he said—

"You can have it if you want little one."

Again Hot Shot looked down at the energon goody in his hand, but did nothing. He felt embarrassment creeping over him—what with all the strange optics looking at him. His cheek plates began to spark and soon he buried his head into the broad chest of the one holding him.

"Eh, heh, heh, cute isn't he?" Jetfire chuckled until Optimus gazed at him warily.

"Now, now son . . . don't be afraid, we're all friendly here," Optimus softly bounced the young child like a mother-creator would her newly birthed protoform.

"Optimus sir, no disrespect or anything, but this sector of Tyger Pax doesn't know much of friendliness," Scavenger spoke up.

"I understand," Optimus nodded as he gazed back down at the yellow and red sparkling in his arms. "Little one . . . what's your name?"

The young boy popped his head up and gazed at him with the brightest, biggest, protoform blue optics anyone had seen. He looked as if he were about to tell when he bit his tongue and held the information back.

"Ah, I see," Optimus softly smiled. "It's rude to ask someone's name without telling theirs right? Well, my name is Optimus Prime little one; I'm the leader of the Autobots—and a dear friend of the one who was offlined here today. May you tell me your name?"

Hot Shot wanted to, he did, but Hot rod had told him to never tell his name to strangers and well . . . this mech was a stranger—right? Though . . . in truth he didn't feel like one.

"Hhh, we're getting nowhere sir!" Jetfire groaned in response. "Maybe his vocals are gone."

"I don't believe so," Optimus said as he lifted the boy's chin and rubbed a well-built neck, with a well-processed vocal processor. "He can speak, he's just shy is all."

"Hot Shot," the youngling suddenly spoke up, surprising most.

"Hot Shot?" Optimus asked. "That's a nice name. Do you have any creators?"

Hot Shot only shook his head negatively. Optimus sighed . . . another orphan of the war apparently, and so young. It was wrong that there were so many unattended for—they need homes and proper taking care of, if they continued to live like this then . . . then . . .

"Do you have anyone taking care of you?" Optimus asked.

Hot Shot nodded 'yes' and then said—

"A brother."

"I see, and was he here during my friend's murder?" Optimus asked, his features softening knowing that if one was to speak with a child one would have to possess much gentleness and patience.

Hot Shot shook his head 'no' and Optimus only nodded.

"Did you see the ones who offlined him?" Optimus asked.

Hot Shot glanced down, his optics darkening before he slowly said—

"There were three of them . . . one bigger than the others . . . they called him . . . Megatron."

"Megatron," Optimus' features darkened like everyone else's there. "Well . . . at least we're getting somewhere."

"Get anything Jazz?" Hot Rod came up with a sack slung across his shoulders, he was lucky today—him and Hot Shot should have enough supplies to last for a good number of weeks.

"Yeah, check it out," Jazz showed what he had gotten.

"That's nothing," Tracks came up and showed his.

"Didn't get much guys," Blaster sighed, but was glad for the others. "We'd better split the earnings."

"Right," Tracks nodded. "One and a half fourths goes to Hot Rod as always."

"I appreciate this guys," Hot Rod nodded as his friends handed him the shares calculated for him and his brother and then divided the rest up among themselves.

"No sweat," Jazz waved it off. "You have two mouths to feed, with us it's just one."

"Seriously though," Hot Rod said. "You guys are the only friends I have after all this mess that had happened to me and Shoty, I can't thank you enough."

"We're all orphaned by the war buddy," Blaster said. "Forgotten by Decepticons and Autobots alike—unwanted, so who will look after us if not each other?"

"You're right," Hot Rod smiled. "Well . . . I'm sure Shoty's worried, better head back. See you guys later."

"Bye Hot Rod, tell your brother I said hi!" Tracks waved Hot Rod off as he left.

After bidding his friends farewell Hot Rod jogged back to Hot Shot. He knew he'd be so happy to see him and what he had gotten. Reaching in his bag he pulled out two energon goodies he managed to swipe from two teenage Transformers. Hot Shot would be so happy to have one all to himself—he loved these things.

Maneuvering through the dark alleys and past dark 'bots he finally found the small ruined alley they called home only to find it occupied with others than just his brother. He stopped, seeing Autobot officers crowding around it and scanning it thoroughly.

"Hot Shot!" Hot Rod gasped praying to Primus that his little brother was okay.

He scanned around and noticed an offlined 'bot lying near the entrance surrounded by signs prohibiting any 'bot from entering. His sapphire optics soon came to rest on the form of his little brother . . . who was in the arms of a stranger, looking more frightened than ever!

"Hot Shot!" Hot Rod gasped as he put his sack down and clenched his fists so tight that he could hear the metal groaning in his hands.

He bared his teeth and clenched them hard. How dare anyone touch his brother? ! How DARE they! He should have stayed with Hot Shot, or at least brought him along so something like this wouldn't have happened.

Autobot or Decepticon, it didn't matter! No one touches his brother and gets away with it!

"HOT SHOT! !" he cried out as he charged the place, and the mech who held his brother.

Suddenly, without warning he rammed the 'bot holding his brother, just as he turned to watch him charge. He hit him so hard that he fell to the ground, knocking him completely off him feet.

Into his arms Hot Rod took up his brother and held him deadly close. He could feel his brother still trembling and so glared with hatred at the one he decided had caused it.

"How DARE you touch my brother!" Hot Rod spat as he glared at the fallen Transformer who looked mighty surprised at his predicament.

"Prime!" the officers around him said as they readied to strike the juvenile down.

"Hold," Optimus said, getting back up and wiping the dirt off of him. "So you're his brother?"

"You told him Shoty?" Hot Rod asked, not believing his brother had actually spoken to a complete stranger. "I thought I told you to NEVER speak to strangers!"

"I'm sorry," Hot Shot cried, burying his face into his brother's shoulder and crying.

"No need to yell at him," Optimus said, trying to calm the older one's rage. "I meant him no harm. I was just asking him a few questions."

"Stay away!" Hot Rod spat, backing away from the officers, making sure to be careful of what each one did. "Don't think that just because you're Autobots means you're the good guys! All of you, all of you are deserters! Just leave us alone like you always have!"

"Wait, you don't understand," Optimus said. "Your brother has just witnessed a murder of a scientist who was of great importance to us and the Decepticons—if you take him away—"

"Just stay back!" Hot Rod spat. "Don't act like you care about us all of the sudden! We're the forgotten children of Cybertron—so just forget you ever saw us!"

At that Hot Rod turned and darted off with his brother in arm. Jetfire about transformed to chase them down.

"They're getting away!" he said, boosting his engines.

"Wait," Optimus stopped him with a sigh. "If they wish to be alone then let them be."

"But Optimus," Jetfire complained. "That kid—he could . . ."

"I know . . . I'll have to speak to the council about this," Optimus said. "They'll stay in this sector so if we need to we'll come back—but right now all the boy saw was the murder, nothing more."

"It's a shame," Scavenger sighed. "These forgotten children they called themselves. They should be brought to Autobot city in Iacon and given out to families who can care for them. This sector may be close to Decepticon territory, but it is still in Autobot lines."

"I know," Optimus sighed heavily. "I had no idea there were so many here. By the way the older one sounded there were more than just those two living here—stealing what they need and surviving however they can. It's not right, I agree. This is why I'm going to speak to the council—perhaps they can do something about it. Hurry and get what evidence you need here and then take Preceptor's body back to Autobot city—we'll deal with this matter later."

"Sir!" they all said with a salute.

"Rody, where are we going?" Hot Shot asked, his brother seemed to have been running for hours.

"Far away, okay," Hot Rod said as he hopped over debris and ruble to a place that was secluded and surrounded enough to not be seen by anyone near.

Once they reached a reasonable hiding spot Hot Rod put Hot Shot down and made sure he wasn't followed. He sighed and came back to his little brother with a smile on his face.

"Shoty, guess what I have? Look!" at that he pulled out the two energon goodies he swiped and showed his brother . . . only, when he showed him he found that Hot Shot was already sporting another energon goody. "What is that?"

"An energon goody. That nice mech gave it to me," Hot Shot smiled up at his big brother who didn't look too pleased.

Hot Shot's smile faded, seeing the sneer on his brother's face never meant anything good. Hot Rod usually gave him this look when Hot Shot had been a bad boy and done something wrong, but for the life of him he couldn't think of what he had done.

Hot Rod exhaled steam and snatched the energon goody out of his little brother's grasp. Hot Shot squeaked at the sudden snatch and watched helplessly as Hot Rod turned and threw the goody towards the nearest wall, smashing it into pieces.

"Uh!" Hot Shot cried, his little arms still reaching out to the nice treat the mech had given him. "Why'd you do that Rody? !"

"It could have been poisoned," Hot Rod sneered, his fists still clenched tight as he looked away from his brother towards the shattered remains of the treat where only cyberrats would eat now.

"Eh, really?" Hot Shot blinked in confusion, looking towards the shattered remains, not long afterwards watching a pack of cyberrats come out and devour it . . . for some reason Hot Shot didn't believe his brother and felt like he was going to cry.

Hot Shot sniffled, trying to hold back his tears. It's not like he didn't want to believe his brother like he always had it was just that he was old enough to know right and wrong and what Hot Rod did was wrong, that nice older mech gave him that and he knew for sure it wasn't poisoned!

"Hhh, Shoty don't cry," Hot Rod sighed with a roll of his head and optics. "It was just an energon goody, and look . . ." at that he turned and dug into his bag he had snatched up when they ran from the officers. "I nabbed two goodies, one for you and one for me."

Hot Shot looked at them and then at his brother, the look in his optical sensors still telling Hot Rod he was upset with him. With another defeated sigh Hot Rod came up to his brother and sat down next to him.

"Don't be like that Shoty," Hot Rod said, scooting closer to his brother who seemed to not want to face him. "Shoty," Hot Rod spoke in a warning tone, this always made his brother look at him at least.

Hot Shot turned his optics to his brother, the look on his face still shown he was upset. Hot Rod only smiled at him like he would always and then wrapped his arm around his brother's tiny shoulders.

"You have to understand Shoty . . . those people could care less about us," he said, his sapphire blue optics gazing into nothingness. "They were the ones who abandoned us first."

"Yeah but . . ." Hot Shot sniffled. "That mech was nice, I know he was."

"That's what they want you to think Shoty," Hot Rod warned, looking at his brother with careful optics. "But in truth they only show affection towards us to make them feel better and look good. They'll be nice to you today when tomorrow they'd all-in-all reject you."

"They would?" Hot Shot asked, rubbing his nose and gazing more at his brother whom he knew knew everything.

"Yeah," Hot Rod sighed out heavily. "That's what they're like."

"I . . . I didn't know," Hot Shot said, his optics facing downward. "But . . . what's a Prime, Rody?"

"A Prime?" Hot Rod suddenly didn't know why his brother had brought this up, but he was going to tell him. "Why do you ask?"

"That nice—er—fake mech told me his name was Optimus Prime, is Prime important?" Hot Shot was curious now; Hot Rod could see it in his features.

"Well," Hot Rod sighed, scratching the side of his faceplate. "From what I heard from the guys—is that Primes are supposed to be the rulers of the planet."

"Like kings?" Hot Shot asked, his face all bright and opticals a sparkle.

"Yeah, something like that," Hot Rod rubbed the back of his helmet. "But that was a long time ago, now there's not that many and they don't rule like kings anymore. In fact, I won't be surprised if that Optimus Prime is the last of his lineage."

"You mean there's no more of his family?" Hot Shot asked, his features saddening at the thought of someone being all alone with no brothers or creators.

"Doubt it Shoty," Hot Rod sighed, rubbing his little brother's head gently.

"It must be sad to be all alone," Hot Shot glanced down and clasped his hands together. "Don't you think?"

Hot Rod was silent for a little while. Why did his brother always have to feel sorry for the ones who didn't deserve it? Oh well, he was only 5 millennia so it was understandable for him to feel for others in those ways.

"Yeah, I guess so," Hot Rod wished Hot Shot would just drop the subject already.

It wasn't right to feel for the enemy and Hot Shot was doing just that. He didn't know why that Optimus Prime had to pick on his little brother's emotions like that, but he should have never let Hot Shot out of his sight—from now on he stays with him.

"From now on Shoty . . . you're staying with me," Hot Rod said, pulling Hot Shot to his side and leaning his head against his brother's.

"You mean always?" Hot Shot's mood suddenly perked as he turned to his brother with beaming optics. "Can I come with you when you're out getting things? !"

"Hm, hm, sure," Hot Rod smiled, glad to have his old brother back again. "But keep up this time, don't want you getting hurt alright."

"Alright! I promise I will!" Hot Shot chirped happily, today's events momentarily forgotten.

"Here's your energon goody, all to yourself," Hot Rod smiled and gave the goody to the little one who happily took it up.

"Yay!" he cheered as he took it and began to devour it.

Hot Rod smiled as he watched his little brother happily eat it, showing how much he enjoyed them as he smiled at his brother thankfully. Hot Rod smiled back before his mainframe took him back to today's earlier events and how that mech was holding his little brother like he was his own sparkling. Hot Rod knew that Hot Shot doesn't remember their parent-creators too well and he wished he would have . . . so he'd never replace them ever in his spark.

Hot Rod tried his best to explain what their parent-creators looked like. How their mother-creator was a bright yellow, much like the color Hot Shot is, only brighter, and how their father-creator was a crimson like none other. Hot Rod resembled his father-creator the most and remembered how strong he was, how much he loved his family. It saddened Hot Rod as he remembered how their happy family had come to an end in such a tragic way . . . but then again . . . many of his friends families met their fate in similar fashions, the only difference is that Hot Rod managed to save Hot Shot . . . they were left all alone, no parent-creators, no siblings—nothing.

That was why Hot Rod was so protective over Hot Shot. He was his last family member he had left and he'd do anything to keep him safe—anything.

Even if they lived in this Primus-forsaken sector of the planet he was content just being here with his brother. As long as they were left alone and survived was good enough for him.