All that was stated in Part 2 is true in Part 3.
bNotes:/b HELLO. Wow. I still can't believe this took me so very, very long, but it's here and the next chapter is drafted out as well. Many and multiple thanks again to Moonsheen for her support, encouragement, and advice on a transitional scene that was giving me headaches.
And further big, loud, glittery THANK YOUs to everyone who's read, commented on, or in anyway enjoyed this fic and hoped for it's continuation. I'm five year late and super rusty, but I hope so much that this tale continues to please. You're all the best!
I can be found elsewhere on twitter as Justbolts and as boltstuck on tumblr.
Thundercracker was prompt, as was the agency he'd chosen to manage their documentation. Within a joor of the interview, the bonding contract had been sent for Bluestreak's review and signature, and by the next orn, he was completely, officially bonded to another mech.
It took longer to hash out the details of changing his permanent residence status with the administrations of Praxus and Vos, but outside of the interviews he had to attend, the agency was able to handle most of that as well. In the meanwhile, he had friends to inform - friends that, unlike Sideswipe and Sunstreaker, he didn't feel comfortable sharing his full situation with, and who were shocked at him suddenly being not only bonded, but bonded to a Vosian - bills to pay off now that he could, and creditors and other contacts that would throw fits if they couldn't get a hold of him after the move. His late patron's former lawyer threw a fit anyway.
Well, at least as much of a fit as said mech ever threw, which mostly meant she looked profoundly disappointed in him. Considering the most expressive she'd ever been before was a mild frown, Bluestreak ended the visit feeling awful and was hit with an attack the instant he returned to the body shop.
Sideswipe began his trip in the midst of Bluestreak's preparations. "Message me as soon as you get to Vos," he said, "I expect video."
Bluestreak, for once unable to find the words to express his gratefulness and how much he was going to miss Sideswipe, shared the sentiment through hardline.
"At least I got a good laugh out of it," Sideswipe said dismissively and added ::Just take care of yourself:: through the connection. "I've convinced Sunstreaker to let you continue crashing here until you're set to go, but you know how he is. Give him his space and you'll both be fine."
Sunstreaker himself was far more brusque. "When are you leaving?"
"As soon as I'm a legal resident of Vos."
"So you have enough time to scrub my work tables. Get to it."
All in all, it took two megacycles before everything was ready.
When that time finally arrived, it was heralded by the tiny, unassuming beep of his alarm system. He would be meeting Thundercracker on the other side of the Vos border at a location they'd arranged the previous orn.
He shut down the holographic game he'd been playing to distract himself and returned it to its storage unit. A final sweep of the barren apartment to make sure he wasn't leaving any of his few belongings, and there was nothing left to do but make sure Sunstreaker knew he was heading out.
The other mech was down in the work room, all of his considerable concentration tied up in decorating a small, delicate shell. It was for the shortest of the Praxian models, one that just barely came up to Bluestreak's hips. Sunstreaker had carved an interlaced pattern that ran from the helm down to the ankles, and was now fitting a thin tape of light emitting metal into the groove. He glanced up when Bluestreak tromped noisily down the stairs.
"Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I'm leaving now and I wanted to thank you for letting me stay here so much longer than you originally agreed to. It really meant a lot to me."
Sunstreaker set down his tools while Bluestreak talked.
"Come here," he said into the first pause.
Bluestreak obligingly went to stand before him. When Sunstreaker didn't do more than frown critically at his chest for a klik, Bluestreak added, "I promise to keep up my regular maintenance while I'm in Vos. You really did such a great job with my plating and I want to show it off."
That earned him a scowl. So this wasn't a final inspection and warning about his paint job. Bluestreak felt a little bad for thinking it was. Sunstreaker didn't share much about what was important to him outside of his appearance and his craft, but that didn't mean it was all he cared about or all that mattered to him.
"Here," Sunstreaker said. He flicked his hand and drew a small cube from subspace, cradling it between two fingers. Light refracted in rainbow colors along tightly the woven circuitry inside the clear plexiglass casing. Only the tiny black circle of a lens marked it as different from a standard data cube.
"A holoimager?" Bluestreak asked, "That's really nice, I don't have any more left since -"
"Listen," Sunstreaker said, cutting him off, "Sideswipe won't always be here to help you. If you run into trouble and can't get a hold of him any other way, use the contact code stored in here."
He uncurled his hand, extending the cube toward Bluestreak.
"The code will reset after one use, so make sure you only use it in a real emergency. I've locked the imager's hardline access to your signature, but I'm no programmer. Don't let anyone else get a hold of it."
Deeply touched, Bluestreak accepted the small device.
"Thank you," he said and held out his hand, the data-ports along his wrist uncapped and exposed in offering.
Sunstreaker leaned back at the gesture.
Bluestreak wasn't surprised by his hesitation. It was rare for Sunstreaker to allow a hardline interface for anything other than pleasure-play and even then, he seemed to prefer it when Sideswipe was there to act as a buffer.
He eventually clasped Bluestreak's hand in a brief, perfunctory grip, without allowing a connection.
"Lock the door behind you when you leave," Sunstreaker said and turned away.
Bluestreak smiled without answering. He gave one last look around the workshop; at the racks of nanite tanks and bins of supplies and rows of tools mounted on the walls; at Sunstreaker's elegant frame bent intently over his craft, outlined in the bright glare from the overhead lights.
Then, Bluestreak led himself to the exit.
A scattering of mechs made their way up and down the wide corridor the Body Shop's main entrance opened into. Voices, laughter, and snippets of music drifted over from the open-air market on the other side of the building, mingling with the roar from the overhead freeway. The neighboring shops stood open, but sparsely populated while the market was in swing.
Bluestreak followed the corridor out to a main street and walked from there to the train station.
The question of how he was getting to Vos had been unexpectedly answered when the Protection Forces issued him a driving restriction in the name of 'Public Safety'. He could still walk his way to the border, but even he admitted that was taking his aversion to public transportation too far. After all, he'd only delayed a bus because of an attack that one time and as a friend had pointed out, it was safer than if he had an attack on the road.
He was still upset about the restriction, of course, just not as much as he thought he would be. He'd been dreading getting one for over half-a-vorn, ever since his first major attack in public. A megacycle ago, he would've seen this as the final death knell of his independence.
It turned out, however, that Praxian laws were not enforced in Vos.
::It is still on your record,:: Bluestreak's immigration agent warned after checking with the Vos Protection Forces, ::And will be taken into consideration should the Vos Forces have reason to re-evaluate your public safety status. Moreover, since you remain a citizen of Praxus, you have the right to be tried in a Praxian court of law, in which case all previous rulings will apply.::
Bluestreak had no intention of getting into that position. He had money again and once he was settled in with Thundercracker, he'd be able to hire a medic-programmer and begin fixing himself. As long as he was careful in the meanwhile, the Vos Protection Forces would have no reason to notice him at all.
The train ride to the Praxus-Vos border took about a joor, including stops. Bluestreak opted for a seat with a view and took the chance see his city before he left it for the next vorn. It made for a good distraction from his looming sense of dread and unease.
This particular route cut through the industrial district before skirting the edges of the upper class neighborhoods where Praxus's wealthiest and most influential citizens lived, then twisted around a commercial sector and dove down to the base levels of the residential district that butted up against the border zone.
The upper class neighborhoods were especially scenic this part of the orn; the setting sun caught and reflected off of artfully arranged crystals and mirrors, drawing splashes of color on the clean, square lines and geometric decorations of the surrounding buildings. Open-air courtyards and plazas ringed each structure, delineating them not only from each other, but the rest of the city built below. Seeing it, even for the brief moment the train traveled past, sent a hard pang of longing and nostalgia through Bluestreak. While not this neighborhood, he'd been raised in one similar and he'd always loved how it looked in the natural light.
As the train went down into the lower levels, open spaces vanished and buildings became closely interconnected and lost any element of decoration or style. The residential units that housed working class and lower income communities were designed to be space efficient and functional above all else. They were also supposed to be clean, safe, and in decent repair, but Bluestreak had discovered that usually wasn't the case. This neighborhood was even more worn down than most, likely because it was so close to the border.
Bluestreak was grateful when they passed it and pulled into the less disreputable train station that the marked the end of the line. He unloaded with the rest of the passengers and shuffled into a corner away from the flow of traffic to calm down and get his bearings. He had managed the journey without incident, but he still felt hyped up and shaky. It wouldn't do to push himself.
He gave himself a few breem to be sure he was under control, and then contacted the stations' attending AI for directions to immigration processing. It was adjacent to the train station, only a short walk away. Almost there.
Oh, he hoped things went well with Thundercracker. It'd be terrible if he completely messed things up and got sent straight back to Praxus.
Bluestreak had known that Vos was built into a series of mountains and canyons that cut deep into the surface and under-levels of Cybertron. He had known that the Vosian models were predominantly air-frames and as such, required plenty of uncluttered aero-space for ease of travel. He had seen pictures. He had watched videos.
None of it prepared him for the physical reality of standing at the bottom of one of those canyons, dwarfed by the sheer vertical walls that stretched endlessly upward on either side and snaked off together into the far distance.
There was no friendly latticework of roads or transport tubes connecting the sides of the canyon together or tying them to the shorter buildings arranged down the middle. There were no decorative structures or art pieces of either metal or light to break up line-of-sight. The only thing in that otherwise daunting openness was the Vosians themselves. They flew through their city on pathways of their own making; weaving, darting, and diving around and amongst each other in a stunning dance. Bluestreak had no idea how they weren't constantly colliding, especially after watching a rotary-frame abruptly descend down through the two lanes of 'traffic' below it and miss hitting three other mechs by bare centimeters.
"Wow," he said aloud, overwhelmed.
An internal alarm beeped and caught him off-guard. In another breem, he was going to be late to his meet-up with Thundercracker. The location they'd picked was not far from the train station, in a shopping complex popular with Praxians who wanted to buy Vosian wares without paying for shipping or exorbitant taxes. Walking into it filled Bluestreak with an odd surge of guilt and fondness. One of his patrons, Quickwire, had been fiercely against her fellow citizens bringing duty-free purchases across the border and had lobbied to get tighter restrictions put into place. She would've been appalled that he –-
I should have expected that, Bluestreak told himself a klik later after a forced emergency reboot.
He found that he was crouching in front of a store display, just far enough out of the way of foot traffic to not cause a jam. He'd still caught the attention of several mechs, but thankfully, only two were coming over to check on him. The rest continued on past with a few backward glances.
Bluestreak straightened up from his crouch.
"I'm fine!" he said, trying to sound confident rather than mortified, "I needed to correct a small malfunction, but I'm fine now!" He waved both hands as if that would somehow prove his state of well-being.
One of the mechs, a type of air-frame he wasn't familiar with, nodded silently and went on their way. The other mech, a petite Class 50H Praxian, lingered.
"Do you need medical assistance or company while waiting for assistance?" the mech asked in polite concern, then added in a more casual tone, "I'd call for Protection Services, but Vosians never give a scrap unless you're missing pieces or trying to take off someone else's. You'd get help faster by heading back home."
Bluestreak was immensely relieved to not have Protection Services called on him already. He told the mech he really was just fine and was supposed to meet up with someone who'd be very worried if he took any longer, then repeated himself twice with different wording just to be clear. The mech let him go then with a final request to be careful and Bluestreak hurried off.
That made three full attacks, and one partial, in only two megacycles. The most since he'd had since coming up with techniques to minimize them.
It's because of everything that's happened, he told himself, the glitch isn't getting worse, I'm just going through a big change right now, and used that thought to drown out the doubts clamoring in his processor.
The meeting place Thundercracker had picked was in a large building fronted by a colorful energy shield. Directly in front of the shield was a row of computer terminals that offered instrument rentals and quarter-joor, half-joor, and full-joor visit times in exchange for varying entrance fees. Bluestreak registered to pay, but as soon as he entered his ID tag, the display announced his fee had been covered. Thundercracker must have already arrived and taken care of it. How nice!
The establishment was lit by blue, green, and pink lights and divided into sections by semi-translucent walls. Bluestreak went down a row of sections until he found the one Thundercracker had gotten for them.
His new bond partner was just inside.
The same giddy rush Bluestreak had felt when they spoke for the first time over the video call went through him again. This was it. This was the start of... of something. Of something new and completely unknown.
Of maybe - hopefully not - a really big mistake.
Bluestreak took up a polite greeting stance in the entrance and infused his voice with every last bit of good cheer and positivity he could find in his spark.
"Hi! It's so good to finally be here and thank you again for agreeing to meet me, it really does make me feel better to have someone who's familiar with Vos lead me the rest of the way in! I'm really looking forward to learning more about your state-city and well, my new home now too, I guess."
Thundercracker turned silently to look at him. The seeker stood in a beam of pink light that gave his blue paint a violet hue and made his red optics even more intense. He was almost a meter taller than Bluestreak and twice that across, though most of that width was wingspan. As with Vos itself, Bluestreak had been aware of those details, but was unable to appreciate the sheer physical presence of them until just now. Thundercracker looked Bluestreak up and down with arms crossed over his chest and that now-familiar frown on his gray faceplates. Bluestreak made sure to hold his stance, even though he was certain his spark was going vibrate straight out of his chest plates from nerves.
All of their conversations over the past megacycles had been text based and solely concerned with settling the details of their contract and Bluestreak's residency. For all the technical details they knew about each other, they were complete strangers.
"Well," Thundercracker said at last and huh, wow, those sonic vibrations were a lot stronger in person than over speakers. "You made it."
He sounded resigned, though Bluestreak thought he was probably just tired or bothered about something else. After all, why would someone be upset about finally getting to be with the partner they'd put so much work and money into acquiring?
"Yes, thank you so much for the clear instructions on getting here," Bluestreak said, "They were very helpful and easy to follow." He started to enter the enclosed space properly, but Thundercracker raised a hand to stop him.
"We're not staying," he said, "I'm only came here to collect you and get you back to my place. The sooner we can finish up your… orientation, the better."
With that as his only warning, Thundercracker started walking toward the entrance. Bluestreak quickly stepped back out of the way.
"Oh, yes, right," he said, keeping his voice bright. He'd been hoping to get to know his new partner better in a neutral space first, but if Thundercracker needed to rest, Bluestreak didn't want to force him.
Thundercracker went past him at an angle to accommodate his wings and kept going on down between the sections and out of the building. He moved at a steady clip that forced Bluestreak to hurry to keep up. Back in the shopping center's main thoroughfare, Thundercracker turned left, leading them the opposite direction from the way Bluestreak had arrived.
"It would be nice to get to your residence and settle in," Bluestreak said, "Um, our residence, I mean. The trip here wasn't too bad, but -"
"You need to know," Thundercracker interrupted him, "That the roads in my area are restricted to medical and commercial use only. I looked into getting you an exemption license, but you won't be eligible until you've been a resident for three or four rotations. Roads near the borders have more access, but further in, you'll have to rely on public transit."
Bluestreak missed a step. "Wha-what? Restri- that wasn't mentioned in any of the documentation!"
"Yeah?" Thundercracker said with a glance in the general area of Bluestreak's left sensor panel, "I'll be surprised if it was the only thing that got left off." He shrugged.
"Oh," Bluestreak said, voice gone small with dismay.
This was awful news! It never occurred to him that Vos would limit access to an entire section of their transportation network - the idea was completely absurd! What if the trains or buses were crowded or down? Or a mech needed to go somewhere that didn't have a stop? Were they expected to walk? Was he going to have to walk everywhere? He'd made the trip here without any major trouble, sure, but having to depend on public transit in a foreign city-state, surrounded by judgmental strangers, was worse than being stuck back in Praxas with the driving restriction. At least Praxas was familiar, was full of friends and his same frame-type and not -
A pressure sensor pinged at him, jolting Bluestreak out of his spinning thoughts. He realized he was gripping his left shoulder tightly, fingers pressing into the same places Sunstreaker had only just removed dents from. He let go and darted a quick, nervous look at Thundercracker.
The other mech had gotten a few meters ahead of him and didn't seem to have noticed that Bluestreak was falling behind. Seeing the back of Thundercracker's wide and very obvious wings, Bluestreak almost laughed at himself.
Of course a region inhabited mainly by flyers wouldn't care about wheeled mobility. It was a wonder they had any roads at all, let alone ones that Bluestreak would, eventually, be allowed to use. That thought calmed him down more than anything else. He wasn't being permanently banned from driving and it wasn't personal; all ground-frames in Vos were in the same situation.
He lengthened his strides to catch up with his partner and said, more in an effort to be pragmatic than anything else; "I hope there wasn't anything else important. We'll both have to make do, I guess."
A grunt was his only answer.
They'd reached a tall archway that marked the end of the shopping complex. Beyond it, the thoroughfare terminated into a sprawling transformation zone that was broken out into different sections. In front of them, a cluster of landing pads were marked with glowing circles and warning symbols, while to one side, mechs with wheeled alt-modes queued up to take turns merging onto the main road. On the opposing side, a group of mechs in the upper size classes loitered near holographic signs that declared "For Hire!" and "Scenic Tours!" in various optic-catching ways. Just beyond them, elevators and walkways took passengers to the train station on the level below.
Thundercracker hesitated in front of the landing pads long enough for Bluestreak to wonder if he intended to personally fly them both home. It wasn't an appealing prospect; tetra jets didn't have passenger compartments, so he'd be stuck clinging to Thundercracker's back while they rushed through the chaos of Vosian air traffic. Embarrassing at best and absolutely terrifying at worst.
Thankfully, Thundercracker turned away from the landing pads and headed toward where the "For Hire" section with its flashy signs. Bluestreak expected him to continue on past to the train station, but he instead marched up to a mech standing at the fringes of the group.
"Reservation one-delta-five-oh-eight for two passengers," Thundercracker said with strange emphasis and motioned Bluestreak to come closer.
The mech he addressed was a wide, squat model emblazoned with the same glowing blue logo that flashed on the nearest three signs. A set of rotary blades suddenly fanned out from behind their back at Thundercracker's initial approach and then jerked back down.
"Right, right," the mech said in a high-pitched voice, "I remember that request coming through the other orn." They pulled a datapad out of subspace and scrolled through it slowly.
"Let's see, let's see. One-way ride to 8-Artal, wasn't it? Yeah, yeah, here we go. Any chance you two wanna to upgrade to a scenic tour? The only real way to see Vos is from the sky," they added directly to Bluestreak.
"You're hiring out flights?" Bluestreak asked, perking up with surprise and curiosity. He gave the transportation zone another quick visual sweep.
There wasn't nearly enough space or runway for one of the big planes the commercial airlines used, not to mention such a machine didn't seem practical for inner-city use. Maybe they had smaller ones stashed further out, or maybe -
"That's right!" the service representative said and gestured grandly to the group of upper-range sized mechs waiting nearby, "Our employees are equipped to comfortably carry passengers in a wide range of sizes! They provide a secure ride and personal experience to which no piloted vehicle can compare! Plus, each one is a fully trained tour guide ready and excited to show you -"
"No tour," Thundercracker said sharply. He stood stiffly with arms straight at his sides, armor clamped tight, and his frown pulled down even deeper before.
Wow, he had to be way more tired and stressed out than Bluestreak originally thought.
Their helper nodded energetically, apparently not bothered by Thundercracker's rudeness.
"Too bad, too bad, maybe some other time," they said and tapped a sequence out on their pad. "There, all set! Your ride today is Astrotrain."
"Of course it is," Thundercracker muttered.
Astrotrain was a tall, angular mech in varying shades of purple, with half-circle shaped wings that eclipsed even Thundercracker's in span. Like the mech that had been assisting them, he had the blue company logo adorning each shoulder. A big grin stretched his faceplates at the sight of them.
"My first seeker fare!" Astrotrain bellowed down, "What an honor!"
Thundercracker somehow managed to get stiffer. Bluestreak switched his attention between the two in bemusement. Did they know each other?
"I'm escorting my partner home," Thundercracker said, his deep voice rolling across Bluestreak's sensor panels with each word, "And we're in a hurry." He stared down Astrotrain with narrowed optics.
It was the first time Bluestreak had heard Thundercracker refer to him as his partner and it flustered Bluestreak more than he expected. He'd gone from "bond partner of" the legal phrase, to "my partner" the identifier, spoken in public to strangers. Logically, there was no deeper emotion or meaning between them than there was a nanoklik ago, but it felt like there should be.
Sideswipe was going to give him the worst time over this.
"Well, then what are we all standing around for?" Astrotrain said with an expression of exaggerated shock and made urgent shooing gestures toward the landing pads. "Let's get you two up in the air!"
The service representative's cheerful and well-practiced company spiel followed them the short walk to the nearest landing pad. Astrotrain threw himself at the ground, his body folding inward and then blooming outward into the long cylinder shape of a shuttle. He bounced down lightly on his landing gear and slid open a door to invite them in. Bluestreak was disappointed that Astrotrain didn't have any observation ports, but climbing into the passenger compartment revealed a display at the front of the cabin that was connected to three exterior video feeds.
He settled down on one of the low benches that ran along either side of the compartment. Harnesses hung from the curved wall at intervals. He prudently secured one around his abdomen.
"Hey, Bluestreak, right?" Astrotrain's voice echoed inside the cabin. "This your first flight?"
"Oh no, I've flown before. I used to travel to Crystal City from Protihex all the time, but never in a-it was only on piloted vehicles."
"Bah, pilots! Nothing compares to a proper air-frame when it comes to flying, ain't that right, Thundercracker?"
There was a definite edge of mockery to the last question, obvious enough that Bluestreak's backstruct went straight with sudden tension. Either the two had a history, or there was some Vosian thing going on that Bluestreak didn't understand.
On the bench across from him, Thundercracker folded his arms, shuttered his optics, and made a noncommittal grunt. Everything about his posture broadcasted 'don't talk to me'.
"See, he knows," Astrotrain said with an easy-going laugh. The door slid shut and they rocked slightly as he rolled forward. "All right, Praxian, optics on the monitor. You're gonna love this view."
An anti-gravity field snapped into place, causing Bluestreak to float up a few centimeters before Astrotrain's thrusters engaged. The seat - and the entirety of Astrotrain with it - rose up after him. On screen, the main feed showed a bland stretch of pavement rapidly pulling back to reveal a top-down view of the transportation zone. The secondary feeds drew from cameras on either side of Astrotrain's frame and showed the surrounding buildings dropping away as they ascended into Vos's aerospace. The combined effect was delightfully dizzying.
They were up high enough to see how the transportation zone formed a circle from which pathways spread out like spokes on a wheel, framing the buildings that curled around it. Up higher and Bluestreak could see the ring road that encircled the whole arrangement, then turned outward to encase a second collection of structures, like toothless gears fitted against each other along the base of the canyon. A second design emerged in the colors and patterns of the roofs, this one composed of rectangles and straight lines; a sharp contrast to the curvature of the architecture.
"Brace for acceleration," Astrotrain said.
The anti-gravity field disengaged. The returned gravity yanked all of Bluestreak's fluids down toward his feet, and then he was pulled sideways against the harness by Astrotrain rocketing forward. They soared along the length of the canyon, the patchwork of color and structure zipping along below them. Other air-frame - planes, shuttles, rotaries - kept pace with them to either side or blasted past, Astrotrain's frame shuddering from the turbulence. Astrotrain turned in a wide, deceptively slow arc to face one of the canyon walls and began climbing. The wheeled patterns of the canyon floor cut off as they crested the ridge, revealing a more jagged and seemingly less orderly collection of towers and spires at surface level.
This new landscape went on a for a while longer, the ground below rising at a steady incline, before ending in the drop of a different canyon floor.
"Enthusiastic, aren'tcha?" Astrotrain asked, surprising Bluestreak into jumping.
He realized he'd been commenting on the view out loud. His frame flushed through with embarrassment and he peeked involuntarily at Thundercracker. The seeker hadn't moved and showed neither awareness of nor irritation over Bluestreak's thoughtless chattering. He forced himself to relax. It wasn't first time he'd lost control of his vocalizer around Thundercracker and it most certainly wasn't going to be the last.
"Um, yes, I'm really enjoying this," he said for Astrotrain's benefit.
"Glad to hear it," Astrotrain said in a cheerful drawl. He did sound genuinely pleased, and even if part of that was for the sake of customer service, Bluestreak appreciated the sentiment.
Astrotrain gave every sign of being a nice, friendly mech. It was such a shame he and Thundercracker didn't seem to like each other.
They drew alongside a cluster of bubble-like towers that boiled up from atop the cliff edge. Astrotrain executed another turn, this one swinging them all the way around until they could slide in-between the towers. The distant view of the canyon floor became the much closer image of a single wide roadway speckled with mech frames, and lined with decorative features. Energy shields and walls formed of synth-crystal shimmered and flashed to either side, the details of the structures growing clearer as Astrotrain dropped speed. Each tower was formed from dozens of flat-topped spheres. Some towers were narrow, with the spheres twined around each other so that their flat roofs created a stepped spiral all the way up, while others were arranged in stacked rings that grew narrower with each floor.
"Hey Thundercracker, which pad is yours?" Astrotrain asked, "I mean, I figure you got your own private one, considering -"
"Drop us at the main entrance," Thundercracker said, optic still shuttered.
A klik later, Astrotrain re-activated the anti-gravity field and descended slowly onto a much more compact version of the transportation zone they'd departed from. It sat at the base of one of the ring towers; one with bronze-stained windows and steel and gray colored support pylons. The first floor was completely open on this side, erasing any boundary between the landing area and in the building interior.
Astrotrain's door snapped open the instant gravity returned. "And so ends our trip, safe and sound at 8-Artal. All out who's getting out!"
Thundercracker was already pulling himself free of the cabin. Bluestreak took his time unhooking his harness with digits gone clumsy.
Home, he thought, This is home now. I've done it. I've really left Praxus.
He took a full ventilation cycle, checked his logs to make sure there weren't any unusual errors popping up, and followed Thundercracker out.