Chapter 11: Aftermath
Despite the fact that the sun was just now coming up the Cybertron Research Facility, or rather where it had been, was crawling with bots. Most of whom were looking for survivors although had any of them bothered to ask him, Optimus could have told them not to waste their time. He sat on the curb, a thermal blanket wrapped around his shoulder struts while Prowl and Ratchet sat on either side of him also wearing thermal blankets.
"Do you think anyone survived?" Prowl asked abruptly.
"Nope," Ratchet said. "No way any bot could have survived that explosion."
"We did," Optimus reminded hi.
"Yeah but we were outside," Ratchet argued.
Optimus opened his mouth to retort but wound up closing it again.
"What's wrong?" Prowl asked.
"Just thinking," Optimus sighed. "Did we do the right thing?" he asked, his voice heavy laden with doubt.
"I don't know," Ratchet muttered. "I just don't know."
For several minutes Optimus lay in the street, dazed. After determining that he was still in one piece and functioning he slowly sat up and looked around. Relief swept over him when he saw and heard his companions moving. Standing, as he discovered, proved to be a real challenge so he wisely decided to remain sitting.
"That be loud," Jetfire exclaimed.
"And it be noisy," Jetstorm added.
"Will someone please turn that alarm off?" Bulkhead begged.
"What alarm?" Prowl asked as he rose to his pedes and went to help the twins up.
"The one inside my head," Bulkhead answered.
"Sorry," Ratchet informed him, "but that's gonna have to go away on its own."
"Aw," Bulkhead groaned.
"Don't worry, Bulkhead," Bumblebee said. "If you don't drive me nuts then later we can go get an energon goodie. How does that sound?"
"Yippee!" Bulkhead cheered.
Optimus waited until he was once again able to stand and facing Bumblebee before yelling, "What the slag were you thinking?"
"Excuse me?" Bumblebee seemed genuinely confused. "What are you talkin about?"
"You know exactly what I'm talking about; don't play innocent with me! Why did you blow that place up? There were innocent bots in there!"
Bumblebee stopped brushing ash off his arm and looked straight at Optimus. "They would've done it again," he said. "They would've started working on more of us and perfected us. This entire mess would've started all over again and I couldn't allow that to happen."
Optimus locked optics with Bumblebee and, for the first time, did not see a killer or even a know-it-all but instead a youngling who had been forced to grow up too fast. "Go to the prison," he said at last. "Tell Mirage that Optimus sent you and that I'll owe him a favor if he lets Wheeljack go. I trust we won't run into you again?" although it was phrased as a question it was really a statement.
"No," Bumblebee shook his head. "You'll never see us again." He pressed something into Optimus's servo then signaled to his friends and they disappeared into the night.
Optimus looked down and smiled when he saw the six video chips resting in the palm of his servo. "Good luck," he whispered silently.
Six Months Later
It took a while for things to go back to normal after the video chips had been released to the public. The news of what Sentinel Magnus and the Cybertron Research Facility had done traveled far and wide. Cybertron had been stunned to learn that not only had Sentinel killed Ultra Magnus but he was planning to take over the world as well. The Council had wasted no time in appointing Optimus as head of the Elite Guard. While looking through Sentinel's files one day he had discovered the location of the Dinobots. He, Prowl, and Ratchet had gone to release them only to discover that someone had already beaten them to it. His first thought had been that Bumblebee was responsible until he saw the video footage. The two bots on there looked suspiciously like Red Alert and Inferno, two bots that had worked for the Cybertron Research Facility and hadn't been seen since. After some internal debate Optimus put them down as dead and filled out a report on two ships that had gone missing. Wheeljack's jail break had also been downplayed and video footage of it had been erased, courtesy of Mirage.
As for Prowl and Ratchet? Well Prowl was now in charge of teaching new recruits some basic self-defense techniques. Ratchet was now the "official" medic; he even had his own personal med-bay which was kept to his specifications. No one knew what happened to Bumblebee and the others but Optimus suspected, or rather he hoped, that they were somewhere out there just enjoying life.
"Me Grimlock better than you," Grimlock said, stomping one of his pedes.
"No me Sludge better!"
"Me Snarl better than both of you!"
"None of you are better than the others," Wheeljack said calmly. "Now behave yourselves and sit down. We're passing through an asteroid field right now and you're distracting Bumblebee so be quiet."
"Yes, Wheeljack," the three Dinobots chorused.
"We be being quiet," Jetfire said proudly.
"We be very quiet," Jetstorm added.
"Yes I'm sure you are," Wheeljack said, smiling indulgently at them.
"I'm being quiet," Bulkhead announced then groaned. "I don't like this ship, it makes me sick."
"At the next planet we'll get a different one," Wheeljack promised then made his way to the deck of the ship where he saw Bumblebee sitting at one of the consoles. "How's it going?" Wheeljack asked as he sat down next to the minibot.
"Fine," Bumblebee answered. "We're approaching a system of nine planets, one of which has organic life forms."
"Sounds like a fun place to visit," Wheeljack said. "I'll take over. Why don't you go back with the others?" he suggested. Surprisingly enough Bumblebee didn't argue but got up and left. "I'm making progress," he whispered gleefully then turned his attention back to the organic planet. "You should be a fun place to explore," he muttered to himself. "Something tells me that we'll have lots of adventures there." At the sound of boisterous laughter behind him Wheeljack smiled as they neared the planet Earth and lots of adventures…
A/N: 5 reviews.
A/N/N: To anyone who was wanting to know; yes, more than likely there will be a sequel but I can't promise that.
The first chapter of 'Prisoners of the Mind' will be posted on Monday.
I hope you liked this story. Thanks for reading and please check out my Masterforce story and Masterforce on YouTube.