A/N: Another distraction from my usual ongoing multichaptered stories. Boy, did I need a break, and little drabbles were the answer to everything!
I'm estimating about ten series of these things, maybe a little more. They're kind of vaguely in chronological order, but only vaguely. Once everything gets going, the central characters will likely include Team Prime, Team Athenia, Wheeljack, and Perceptor, though lots of characters are also present. I should also mention that Autobots are the only focus of these series. (Though there may be exceptions.)
…I guess that's everything you need to know. Enjoy. (:
'What will it be? Are you an Autobot or a Decepticon?'
Kup doesn't want to answer. He doesn't want a war. He doesn't want to fight against his Decepticon friends, though they had long since been separated by differing opinions and changing tides. He kept denying, kept avoiding the subject, knowing the whole time that he'd soon have to choose a side like everyone else. What he hadn't known was that today was that day.
What's worse, he knows Alpha Trion isn't leaving without an answer.
He singled out Warpath because he knew he could train him, like one might train a wild animal.
Warpath. Ex-Decepticon. Now he wore an Autobot insignia and despite the fact that he'd signed on of his own accord, he didn't seem very appreciative. He'd spent his fair share of time guarding the Stockades and the rest haunting some desolate, dark corners of the commonwealth.
Some said that Warpath, who'd killed before and wasn't afraid to do so, couldn't be brought down by anything.
Yet before Yoketron, Warpath lay helpless on the dojo floor.
He would learn.
Every extra cycle Beachcomber spends on Cybertron, the more crowded he feels. It isn't just a matter of the skyscrapers and tunnels and Cybertronians bearing down on him like dead weight, like he was being buried alive.
It's about the fear that crowds the street.
He takes the first transport out and doesn't look back.
'You can't be serious.'
Impactor said it, though he knew from experience that Ultra Magnus was serious about everything.
'If the Decepticons become violent, I want you to offline Megatron,' Ultra Magnus repeated. 'Without Megatron, they won't be able to rally. Stop the Decepticons from rallying and you stop a war. Remember that when the time comes.'
How can Ultra Magnus expect him to choose between his sense of honour and the life of a friend?
Right now, Wheeljack hears rumours of massacres and murders and war, rumours he knows aren't true for the most part.
Right now, he sees Perceptor – his old rival in school – rising up, while leaving him in the dust.
Right now, Wheeljack tinkers with his projects in the dark, saying he enjoys the isolation and lying through his dental plates.
Right now, Ultra Magnus is hovering in his doorway, telling him that they need his help.
'Have you been keeping up with the news lately?'
'Y'know, all that stuff going on with the Decepticons.'
'Nope. I don't think it matters all the way out here, don'cha think? I mean, all that's just political stuff, right? It doesn't affect us.'
'Yeah, you're right. All that stuff just happens on Cybertron. It never gets this far out.'
Ultra Magnus wants to make the right choice. They'd lived in peace alongside the Decepticons for stellar cycles and all of them had friends and colleagues in the ranks of their enemies. Still, he let the High Council discuss the situation freely, and the meeting ends badly. Mirage storms out. Ultra is reading over Mirage's letter of resignation, stating that he wants no part in it. No part in breaking up the Cybertronians.
Mirage is wrong, though. He doesn't want them to split up, but maybe that's the right thing to do.
He is accustomed to knowing what's going to happen, to see the consequences of his decisions. But this time, he's completely blind.
'I've been working all night!' exclaimed Perceptor. 'I can't live like this! Do I look like a machine to you?'
Mainframe folded his arms.
'…Do I look like a machine that can work all night to you?' Perceptor corrected.
Mirage lightly touched the Autobot insignia imprinted on his chest plate. Was this right?
He didn't regret defending the Decepticons, because of one thing he was certain: they were victims, not criminals. They were just doing what they felt was right and that had erupted into tension across the commonwealth. Now Decepticons were killing Autobots, and Autobots were killing Decepticons, and Mirage could plainly see that everything was plummeting into chaos while Ultra Magnus seemed to be doing nothing about it.
He didn't regret defending the Decepticons, except for when Autobots looked in his direction and behind their optics was a sort of malice.
Mirage the Sympathizer. Mirage the Traitor. Mirage, who Autobots look at with contempt and avoid him when their paths cross.
Never before has he felt so isolated.
It's just a phase. It's just a phase.
Brawn hid in the mines of his home, going through the motions, and telling himself that there won't be a war. Soon everything will settle down between Autobots and Decepticons.
Then, in the middle of the work day, everything comes to a grinding halt, and it's announced over the speakers, in a whimsical and frightful tone that echoed in his head for stellar cycles to come.
*Machine: Since this takes place before the war, my head canon says that at this point in time, Perceptor still has his emotions. This naturally provokes an emotional response.