Surprise! Thought I'd died, didn't you? ;)
L for Love: Indeed, but the femmes I've been working with lately don't really have that... fiery personality, I guess. The one in this chapter is supposed to, but I'll let you be the judge of that. :P Thanks for the advice! ^.^
Kirake: Aww, thank you! I'm glad it could meet your expectations so far. Like you, I'm way more of a Starscream fan than anything else. :P
Shadowwolf1618: I think most fanfics like to build up to the background, but the authors never really get round to it. Thank you for your kind words. ^.^
Transformer Diva: One year later... :P I apologise about that. XD
16 SilverMoon 16: :O I certainly hope that wait hasn't made you go *too* insane? ;)
Nigel Flemming: So sorry about the wait! Well, since you asked so nicely, here's the next chapter :P x
NeonEyes: You and me both! XD You're very much welcome. And thank you for your review. c:
PainInUrAft-Nexy: Aww, why thank you! I apologise if this next chapter doesn't live up to expectations though.
kukuioPunk: Thank you :3 Sorry about the long wait. DX
StolenWings: Well hello there familiar face :P Hopefully this is going to be continued, and won't be left for another year! Finding inspiration is hard sometimes. Thank you for your review!
For any Moonlight Dancing fans that happen to be hanging around, I was in the middle of writing the next chapter when... bam... shitty Internet Explorer makes its move and erases probably over a thousand words of progress. Yay me. Hopefully will find inspiration again for that soon.
So, I've been a bit out of the writing game for awhile, so I may be a little rusty. Sorry guys. Feel free to flame or criticise or anything else that'll make me get my act together. This is taking a different approach to the "back to the past" chapters I occasionally have.
Flashfire was pissed.
More than pissed, even, if that was remotely possible. The whole scenario was completely ridiculous. Uncalled for. The Decepticons might as well kill her for all she cared, because she wasn't telling them slag. And neither would any of the other femmes! Apart from that Skyflame... Flashfire could see her cracking in an instant without the support of the other three femmes. It was too bad she'd still been in stasis when she'd been dragged away. She hadn't gotten a chance to order the young femme not to tell them anything, which she undoubtedly would, should the Decepticons choose to torture the spark out of her. The youngest of them never had had the strongest resolve.
Flashfire tugged at her restraints, muttering under her breath darkly as she tried to separate herself from the wall. The filthy Decepticon troops had chained her there, on display in some kind of... private room, which she hadn't determined the purpose of- yet. Surely it wouldn't remain a secret for too much longer. The Decepticons didn't have that kind of patience, and honestly; neither did she. She couldn't wait for them to come back in, if only so she could have someone to yell abuse at. They might even bring Snowfrost in to join her. Or Sonic. Actually... hopefully not Sonic. The femme's inability to speak didn't make her the most riveting conversationalist. She had no idea how anyone managed to be friends with someone like that in the first place, yet somehow both Snowfrost and Skyflame had managed it. Kudos to them.
Regardless, she was still bored. And trapped. And incapable of moving. There was absolutely nothing of interest in the room that they'd locked her in, asides from neatly organised shelves and a blank monitor screen. Perhaps this was a new Decepticon torture method. Leave Autobots alone in a room until they eventually cracked from boredom. She had to hand it to them- it was working.
Joors of frustrated huffing, cursing and uselesly struggling must have passed before someone finally entered the room, much to Flashfire's excitement.
"About time," she sneered, "I was beginning to think you all had forgotten about me."
It was a pity she hadn't checked to see who she was addressing before she'd spoken, in typical Flashfire fashion. Putting a filter between her processor and her glossa was not an art she'd perfected, and certainly wasn't one she'd ever wanted to. Until now, it seemed.
The lights flickered on as the Decepticon fully entered the room, and Flashfire felt her spark drop as the looming mass of a certain mech strode towards her. Her optics widened as she got a full look at him- and what he had in store for her- and her spark suddenly began to accelerate beyond reasonable speeds.
"Wait, wait! Son of a glitch-! No-!"
"Flashfire! We need you in the Med. Bay NOW!"
The femme quickly sent back an affirmative, running towards her work place as fast as she could. Explosions rattled the small base that the squadron of Autobots had temporarily set up for the mission, sounding much closer than they had a few clicks ago. Not that those were her main concern as of the moment. Someone was obviously severley injured and required urgent medical attention. And as the Wrecker's medic, it was her primary job to attend to them, rather than burst into the heat of battle the first opportunity she got- guns blazing.
The young femme burst through the Med. Bay doors, pushing through the two Wreckers who blocked her path and heading straight for the berth. She grabbed her medical tools on the way past, immediately preparing to set to work.
"Alright, tell me what's happened."
"Wait, Flash', there's something you should know first-"
Too late. The femme froze in her tracks, nearly dropping her tools in the process. Her spark clenched tightly within its cavity as she stared down at her latest patient; half their faceplate blown off and body mangled almost beyond recognition. Their single remaining optic was offline, oblivious to the world, and precious energon was gushing out in multiple places. The paint on their armour had literally been melted off, leaving a messy glob of red and orange dripping off the Autobot's protoform. A mixture of rage, sorrow and a sudden sense of helplessness swirled inside Flashfire at the sight of her own mother. Fading before her. And fast.
"Shut up." She snapped, immediately lurching into action. "I need to concentrate."
"Hi," someone said to her, sounding unusually cheerful for an Autobot who had lasted this long into the war.
Flashfire glanced up from where she was staring at the ground, meeting the optics of a lightly coloured femme who looked even younger than she was. They were painted a strange colour of pink and blue, with optics shining almost as innocently as the day they were sparked. They were even smiling at her, could you believe it.
She internally gave a contemptous snort, resisting the urge to roll her optics at the sheer naiveness the femme was radiating. What could she possibly want.
"Hi." Flashfire replied flatly.
"I'm Snowfrost," the femme introduced herself, seeming unpertubed by Flashfire's lack of enthusiasm.
Oh. That explained a lot. Prime's little sister. She'd probably spent the entire war holed up nice and safe in Iacon- away from the hardships of battle. It couldn't be hard to remain optimistic when all of your friends were still alive and you hadn't been forced to watch loved ones drop before you like flies. She was soft. Pathetic. Wouldn't have lasted a day in the terrain that Flashfire had endured alongside the Wreckers. Just one of the many elite sodiers who didn't know the true meaning of war.
"That's great," Flashfire replied, bitingly sarcastic.
It was too late. She was gone.
Flashfire slumped in her chair, optics empty and devoid of emotion as she felt any remaining energy drain out of her. The desperation that had formerly been powering her had dispersed, much like the spark of the empty husk that now lay on her medical berth. She'd failed. She couldn't do it. She couldn't save her own mother's life. Energon lay in a pool around the deceased femme, sliding off the berth to drip onto the dirty floor below. Explosions still shook the building. She could even hear the sound of gunfire now, drawing steadily closer. It would be any moment now before the Decepticons reached and infiltrated their makeshift base. Yet she couldn't seem to make herself care.
"Who did it." She demanded of the two mechs, her voice dangerously low.
Silence. Neither of the mechs seemed willing to answer, and their pitying stares were burning right through her armour. Her emotions overboiled into an immediate explosion of fury, and she whipped around to throw one of her tools at them.
"WHO DID IT?!" she screamed.
"Flashfire, I know you're hurting, but you must calm down."
"JUST FRAGGING TELL ME WHO!"
"Dreadwing. It was Dreadwing. One of his bombs went off, and she was caught in the explosion."
"We need to get you guys away from here."
"What? Why? Perceptor, that doesn't make any sense!" Snowfrost objected, trying to push past the Autobot. "There's plenty of room on here for all of us. Tell the others to retreat! Come with us!"
"I'm sorry, Snowfrost. But Optimus's orders were clear."
"What do you mean "Optimus's orders"? I wasn't informed about any of this!"
Flashfire stood at Snowfost's side at the entrance to the ship, in complete agreement with the femme. Two other femmes she'd never met before- a flier and one who looked way too young to have been thrown out on the frontlines- stood someways behind them, further inside the vessel. The Autobot Perceptor was insistent though, attempting to push both Snowfrost and Flashfire back, whilst his companions continued firing on the invading Decepticons.
They'd been told they'd come here to fight, to help ward off Decepticon attacks so that a shipment of Autobots would be able to escape Cybertron's atmosphere and temporarily find refuge somewhere else. What they discovered, however, was that the "shipment" was not as big of a group as they had anticipated. Flashfire felt a spark of annoyance over being expected to flee like cowards.
"Someone else can take my place," Flashfire said, stepping forwards. "Its not in my programming to run from a fight."
"I don't care if its in your programming or not, Optimus's orders are absolute!"
"You can't just expect us to leave you all behind!" Snowfrost objected, still trying to push past the mech and rejoin the fray.
"I will be accompanying you," Perceptor informed her, taking a step forwards in order to force her a step back, "but we require reinforcements in order to hold off the Decepticon armada, otherwise none of us will be going anywhere!"
There was a sudden explosion that rocked the ground as Decepticons managed to break through the main wall, and began pouring into the launch area. Autobots and 'Cons alike locked arms, trying to keep them away from the ship. Flashfire shifted uneasily beside Snowfrost, fighting the urge to join in. Soft mechs like Optimus didn't know what they were talking about.
"Look, please just hurry-"
"Perceptor!" Snowwfrost screamed in dismay.
The mech's plea was cut short by a stray shot that punctured straight through his chest cavity, leaving a gaping hole that allowed them to see through his armour and out the other side. Flashfire caught him as he began to fall to the ground, systems still online, but barely so. Snowfrost merely stood there, staring at his fading shell in obvious horror, but the former medic of the Wreckers was already acting- dragging him inside the confines of the ship. Unbidden memories began to flood her processor.
"Snowfrost we need to go!" Flashfire told her, attempting to snap her out of her daze.
Snowfrost deftly nodded, but she didn't move for a few more clicks as reality was still catching up with her. Frustrated, Flashfire grabbed her shoulder and shoved her inside also, startling her into action.
"We need to go!" Flashfire repeated, only more forceful.
The sister of Optimus Prime immediately sprang into action this time, running down the ramp to where the two unfamiliar femmes were. She began barking orders at them- telling the younger one to assist Flashfire in carrying Perceptor to the Med. Bay, and the flier to help her with taking off the ship. The ramp began closing behind Flashfire before she'd even properly gotten inside, Perceptor noticably slowing her down, though his weight was soon aleviated by the small grounder Snowfrost had ordered to accompany her. Flashfire gave her a nod of appreciation, and the two hurried towards the Med. Bay.
A defeated vent of air escape Flashfire as Soundwave disconnected his tentacles from her hard drive, ceasing the overwhelming flood of memories and information, and she now hung limply in her restraints.
She felt drained and exhausted as old feelings and grievances returned to plague her, spurred by the memories the Decepticon had been forcing her to relive. They mixed in with her present state, causing a strange concoction of fear, desperation, helplessness, anger and horror, that left her more confused than she'd care to admit. The mech didn't move from where he stood. His faceless visor reflected back her own lost faceplate, exposing to her just how hopeless and vulnerable she appeared to him. Another slice of anger peirced her spark, as she felt as if he were almost mocking her.
Basterd, she thought to herself, before falling back into stasis.