Disclaimer: Since I'm still waiting to get my name legally changed to Hasbro, I still cant claim any of the characters as my own, save for the names/titles, you don't recognize. Any flames will be dealt with by Wheeljack. :D Con crit is welcomed and encouraged.
Summary: After a tragic accident, Bumblebee does the unthinkable. Now, mute and alone, he faces the consequences.
Rating: T to be safe for possible future chapters
Authors Notes: this just came to me while I attended to monotonous chores. When the mind has only the constant drone of machine, its amazing what it comes up with! And NO, the drone of machines had nothing to do with Autobot or Decepticon…. It was a lawnmower. :D
All mistakes are Wheeljack's. He was unsupervised. The authoress is completely innocent.
"Optimus, you know our law," Prowl said evenly, gazing into his leader's optics. "The human law also dictates that a debt be paid."
"There has already been a sentence," Optimus said with great sorrow. The weight of the world seemed to hold itself upon his noble shoulders. Gentle gusts of air wafted through his vents, the sound rattling in the silence that stretched between them. The sorrow was evident in every striking feature of the appointed Prime, though disturbing, coming from such a great leader.
"Not what the laws from both societies demand," Prowl added, stealing a glance inside of the prison cell. He dared not stare long for fear of what his processors, his mind, his spark, would do. He snapped his attention back to his leader, the Prime. The one who controlled all of the Cybertronian destinies. The one who was christened to lead them in times of peace, and in war. "The laws of both factions demand that he be held accountable for his actions. You know this."
"Yes, I do," Prime said, feeling his spark thudding dully in its casing. He knew the laws. Was well versed in the punishments allotted to the crimes. Each and everything in perfect balance. Laws protecting the innocent, punishing the wicked in equal measure to their crime.
He knew of the punishment for this incident. The crime whose act was so severe and unforgivable, the penalty was termination. There was no way to get out of the sentence. The law was clear. The law was precise. The law distinguished between no faction, no loyalties, made no room for excuses, seeing nothing as justifiable in such circumstances. But somehow, Optimus couldn't bring himself to say the words that would condemn the soul to termination. There were so precious few of his people remaining, and with the All Spark gone, his species was condemned to its fate.
"You have to make a ruling on this, before the humans decide to interfere," Prowl said slowly, watching his commander's face, finding the sadness in the blue optics, the weariness upon the stoic frame, stealing his resolve. He had to overlook these things if he was to perform his job. He oversaw the punishment details, from the petty pranks, to the horrible atrocities that now faced him from the darkened cell where a life hung in the balance. But when the crime was so heinious, he turned to the Prime, the only one who was allowed to make the tough choices in such circumstances. Prowl had to remain neutral, for if he allowed himself the indulgence of emotion, then he would put a permanent glitch in his system, having been unable to sort through the tumult of emotion, and the cold hard truth of fact.
"Perhaps I can have a word with…" Prime started, but Prowl cut across.
"This can't be covered up! The government's compliance and alliance with us only extends to a certain point, and they are unstable relations at best." Prowl gave a heated sigh through his manifolds, his worry about the human interference starting to eat away at the back of his processor. When the humans found out what had happened, they would demand vengeance, and they would be swift. Their anger over the loss of three young lives would ignite a full mob against the Cybertronians. A mob they couldn't and wouldn't fight against for fear of damaging the organic life and possibly creating more casualties.
"I can assure them that we will have dealt with the crime," Prime said, ignoring his second in command's blatant insubordination. "I won't allow them to bring harm to him, to us. This is a matter that is for me and me alone, to decide. You are my people, therefore, my responsibility."
"They won't see it that way," Prowl muttered darkly, his mind full of imagines from the internet of what infuriated humans could do. The sight brought a wave of sickness through his filters, his body threatening to purge in disgust. "They'll want to see him punished, and they'll want to be the ones that deliver the sentence."
"Not if I have anything to say on the matter," Prime put in forcefully, clenching his hands and causing the servos to grind.
"Then you must make a decision," Prowl said slowly, noting his leader's frustration and obvious distress. Prime had been the figurehead of the Autobot forces so long, others had a tendency to forget that he was a mech, just like them. He had his faults, his fears, his worries, and his doubts, though very few had ever witnessed such vulnerability. The fact the Prime had allowed another to see him in such a turbulent state was a testament to how encumbered the flamed leader was with the presented options.
Prowl lowered his voice and extended a hand to clasp the wrist that was nearly twice the size of his own. He struggled to keep his voice steady, but failed at maintaining his collected façade. "Prime, you must make a decision. The law is clear, for both Cybertronian, and human alike. This type of crime is unforgivable, and according to our doctrine, you are the only one allowed to decide and enact the punishment. If you present yourself to be unable to control your soldiers, then the humans will turn on us. It's a regrettable, but inevitable fact."
"Prowl, can you honestly tell me that you wish for this sentence to be carried out?" Optimus asked softly, turning to stare at his Second.
"That isn't what I'm saying," Prowl said with an aghast expression. His optics darkened, his face lowering in shame. Another rare show of emotion from a reserved, uncomeatable mech. "I wish none of this had ever happened. I wish we were all back home on Cybertron, free from war, free from pain, free from suffering. But I know that it did happen, and my wishes are illogical in this situation." He raised his head, giving his leader a wounded expression. "But what I feel is immaterial. The fact remains that three humans have lost their lives and the one responsible has admitted to the crime. To ignore our laws is to become savage, and I for one will not submit to such cowardice."
"I know what the law dictates," Optimus said forcefully, jerking his hand away with a hiss, earning a slight flinch from his Second. Normally the Prime wouldn't have reacted in such a fashion, but both mechs were facing the most painful decision in all of their long lives. Prowl lowered his head, realizing his words were ill spoken.
Prowl was silently glad he wasn't the one that had to make the ultimate decision, and a part of him mourned for his long time friend and leader. Both were teetering on the edge of a breakdown, refusing to believe such atrocious actions had been performed. And it was their duty to render the termination verdict on a being who was suffering so deeply.
"I've had the laws drilled into my processor since I came online. We all have! But I was entrusted with the full depths of our law, the lessons practiced repeatedly in preparation to be made Prime! It's not an easy task, nor simple burden to bear, and there are painful choices that demand to be made. But this…" Prime waved his hand towards the darkened cell, where the being in question remained in stony silence. "This is asking too much! It's a choice I'm not willing to make!"
"You will ignore our laws?" Prowl asked in surprise, finding Optimus' anger to be worrisome. Never in their many millennia together had Prowl seen Optimus in such impassioned aggravation. He had witnessed grief and pain, worry and dubious exasperation, but never had he witnessed such rage and virulent anger from the normally stoic mech. Prowl felt a prickle along his neural net, and suddenly could see the resemblance between Optimus and Megatron.
"Times change. We change. What we took for granted before can't be so now," Prime said, lowering his voice and reigning in what control he had remaining. Air circulated through his systems and cooling fans kicked into high gear, punctuating the leader's words. "The war has been long. The price, too high. I'm not willing to sacrifice another life for the sake of laws that were made before our world, our people, were devastated, scattered to the stars." Prime's optics bore directly into the navy blue of his tactician.
Prowl opened his mouth to speak but Prime cut across. "I won't give the order." His voice dropped so low it was barely discernable to the tactician's audios. "I can't."
"He killed three humans!" Prowl interjected, his anger directed more to his leader that was showing such vulnerability, than towards the being sitting in the cell. "Murdered them! In cold blood! He feels no remorse for his actions. Are you sanctioning such behavior? Because that is what the humans are going to think. And you know they are going to demand retribution for this!"
Prime allowed his gaze to drift to the barred window into the cell. His voice, usually commanding and booming, was meek when he finally spoke. "Could you give such an order, Prowl?"
Prowl visibly recoiled, finding the question to cut through him like a Decepticon blade. His face contorted in bewilderment, his processor misfiring as his logical mind warred against his mourning spark. He glanced through the window into the soundproof cell, noting the mech in question was sitting in the dark. A silent ghost, a former shadow of himself. The optics that once shone in vibrant life, now stared dully, dim, and distant.
Something was missing.
Something was lost.
No happiness or joy glimmered. No emotion at all in the battered face. Just the look of total, blank submission, waiting for the final sentence. The word that would seal his fate and end his misery. He had acted with extreme hostility, taking the life of three humans, finding their screams barely assuaged his anger, his inner turmoil more than his spark could bear. Unable to voice his pain, he had taken measures against the humans, allowing their anguish to mirror his own. But it was a false pleasure. Empty comfort. After he had allowed himself to torment the wicked and undeserving, he had went before the Prime, not bowing down in shame, but in utter exhaustion, his story bubbling up from unknown depths via broken transmissions and scattered memory files. Prime had immediately ordered his incarceration, to which he went willing into the darkness, a darkness that was fitting for the emptiness eating away at his internals.
He had succumbed quietly. No arguments. No protests. No pleas for leniency or excuse for his actions. No lies, no deceit, no bargaining or anger towards his jailors. He was nothing but a complete autonomic being, allowing others to direct his movements, no thoughts entering the turbulent processor. There were no considerations of escape, no excuses, no reasoning.
He was only a silent shell, awaiting the verdict that was sure to come. A sentence that was understood, before the crime, and was accepted as his fate. A punishment for the unthinkable.
He stared at the cell door, towards the Prime and the Second in Command, unable to truly see them, his vision not allowing cohesive focus from long, restless, endless days of recharge. When his body could no longer function without the much needed rest, he would fall into fretful dreams, his mind replaying the horrible events that had led up to his impending execution. The day when his life had truly ended.
He stared back at the dark cerulean optics of the Prime, the mech that held his fate in his capable, battle-scarred hands. He had once been bestowed with kindness and benevolence from those brilliant orbs. Now, they looked to him with shame and sadness, grief and worry.
Had that look been given to him any other time, he would have quelled, stalling his actions, allowing his processor time to catch up to his already determined spark. Now, nothing mattered. Not anymore. Not even the look of aching worry the Second bestowed on him.
Prowl felt himself lean forward, though unconscious of doing so, placing his hands on either side of the cell window, staring intently to the apparently lifeless shell sitting in his cell. He had never considered this day to happen, these actions, these hideous twists of fate that would lead them to this horrific decision.
Prime's voice asked again, so softly, it barely carried in the short distance between them.
"Could you give the order, Prowl? Could you sentence Bumblebee to termination?"
00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00
Well, what do you think? I know, there are some errors. I don't have an editor and I'm busy on a multitude of other projects, but this has been sitting on my computer since the first movie and after taking pity on it, I finally got around to uploading. Sorry if the formatting isn't up to par, but for some reason hates my documents. I've tried everything to fix it. This is the only way I can get anything to upload with any sort of literary decency.
Like it? Hate it? And if the response isn't favorable, then I can always delete it. If you would like to leave me a note, please feel free to hit that little review link. Afterall, reviews are like a buffet to a starving person. :D