Prologue: Ratchet & Arcee
It was on Kaon during the tail end of the war when negotiations were taking place between the Autobots and Decepticons; arranging for an end to the long, brutal war. The fragile flavor or hope was slowly spreading across Cybertron and even drifting over to some of the adjoining planets. Kaon, however, was not so lucky; stale breezes bearing hatred and ill-will visited the Decepticons' home planet.
Not even caring that at that exact moment Ultra Magnus and Megatron were signing a peace treaty Ratchet looked anxiously at his patient; a young, beautiful Autobot femme named Arcee. "Come on, Arcee," the medic encouraged. "You're doing fine; just hang on a little longer."
"I don't think I can, Ratchet," she gasped.
"Yes, you can," he soothed, practiced blue optics scanning the inside of her open spark chamber. "It won't be much longer now and you'll have a sparkling."
Ratchet didn't look at her but chose to study the floor instead. "No," he said at last. "You won't survive."
Arcee merely nodded; the knowledge of her fate and the acceptance of it visible on her pink faceplate.
"I could save you," Ratchet told her. "But in order to do that I would have to…" he hesitated, not willing to finish the sentence.
Fortunately Arcee picked up on what he meant and she tried to sit up, her optics blazing red instead of their normal blue. "No!" she cried. "I will not allow you to kill my sparkling in order to save me."
"Calm down," Ratchet said. "I promise I will not harm your sparkling."
"I know you won't but others will." Grabbing him by the wrist she pleaded, "My sparkling will be the son of Megatron and when the Autobots learn that they will kill him. I do not want that to happen to him. Will you watch over him for me? Please, Ratchet, I'm begging you."
Ratchet looked at the pink and white femme then nodded. "I promise that I will look after him," he said.
"Good," Arcee smiled and relaxed only to scream in pain seconds later.
"Hold still, Arcee!" Ratchet shouted to the thrashing femme.
"It hurts!" she wailed.
"You're giving birth; it's supposed to hurt!" he informed her even as his servos carefully reached inside of her spark chamber and pulled out one of the smallest sparks he had ever seen. He placed it in a small frame that had been sitting there for that exact purpose. After checking to make sure that the sparkling was all right he turned to Arcee and said, "He's all right…" his voice trailed off, however, when he saw the completely gray frame lying on the berth. Slowly he walked over to it and closed Arcee's chest plates. "Farewell, Arcee," he whispered sadly. "Farewell."
Two weeks later Ratchet arrived back at Cybertron, Arcee's sparkling hidden in a crate labeled 'medical supplies'.
"Hello, Ratchet," Ultra Magnus greeted.
"Hello, sir, I'm surprised to see you here," Ratchet said.
"I'm here to greet all of our prisoners that Megatron has agreed to let go," the Autobot leader said by way of explanation. "I know you just got back, Ratchet, but some of them are injured and I was wondering if you would mind checking them out."
While Ratchet did mind very much he smiled and said, "Not at all, Ultra Magnus."
"Good. I'll have someone unload your supplies for you," Ultra Magnus turned and walked away. Ratchet reluctantly followed, casting nervous glances over his shoulder at the ship.
Thanks to the two bots, Brawn and Huffer, the medical supplies had quickly been unloaded, all except for one crate. "What do you suppose is in here?" Brawn asked as they carried it outside.
"Medical supplies. What else?" Huffer replied.
"But the other boxes were heavy. This one's really light," he argued.
"So what? As soon as we get done with this job we have the weekend free and I for one am looking forward to it. So I don't really care what is in that crate, okay?"
"Okay, okay," Brawn grumbled.
They placed the crate with the other ones and turned to go but Brawn tripped over it, falling to the ground. "Are you all right?" Huffer called worriedly.
"Yeah I'm fine. I can't say the same for the medical supplies though," Brawn looked at the crate he had tripped over and his optics widened. "Huffer," his voice sounded slightly strangled.
"What is it?" Huffer asked as he turned around. When he saw what had startled Brawn his jaw dropped and he could do nothing more than stare. "Is that what I think it is?" he said faintly.
"Yep, it sure is."
The two of them gazed at the sparkling who lay on the ground, starting at the sky with his red and blue optics. His was very tiny; his yellow and black frame able to fit in the palms of their servos.
"What are we going to do with him?" Huffer wanted to know.
"What we would do to any other Decepticon scum," Brawn replied.
"But it's just a sparkling!" Huffer protested. "I won't have anything to do with it!"
Ten minutes later Huffer found himself walking down an alleyway, carrying the sparkling. When it had become apparent to him that Brawn was intent on destroying the sparkling Huffer had knocked his friend out, grabbed the sparkling and fled. Not caring that he could get arrested for treason Huffer was on his way back to his apartment. So focused on his precious bundle Huffer didn't notice the shadowy figure behind him until it was too late…
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