Hey everyone! I know that you are probably all wondering where the new HiWtHi chapter is, but don't worry. It's underway. This bunny bit me and wouldn't let go so here I am starting ANOTHER story... Oh woe is me! *headdesk*

Still, I'm already rather fond of the idea and the story has grown on me! Warnings ahead. OCs. But they're cute Oc's ^^

Just a quick word to avoid confusion. This fic is a mix of G1 themes and Bayverse themes. So it doesn't necessarily follow any format or storyline other than the one I give it! Also, they never actually go to Earth in this one.

Read, enjoy and let me know what you think!

Disclaimer: Transformers and all recognizable characters belong to Hasbro. All OCs are mine.

Enjoy ~

Discovery Beneath Tragedy

Space had always been an unpredictable frontier for any species. Sometimes it could be cold and uncaring, throwing any to its deep depths to rot alone, or with unfriendly natives of a different world. Other times, it was giving, one finding fuel or a new planet with friendly life. And still at others it was just one backdrop of beauty to behold. It had always brought a sense of mystery to sentient beings alike, each species reaching to grasp hold of its answers like an organic grasped for food when hungry or water when thirsty.

Cybertronians were no exception.

Eons of exploring space and even establishing intergalactic trade with near and far planets and still their scientists, explorers, dreamers and theoreticians had only ever scratched the surface. There was no conquering it and it played no favorites.

It never differentiated between weak or strong, good or evil.

All were subjected to whatever fate it wished to deal you. And often times, that fate was not a kind one.

Optimus Prime, bearer of the Matrix of Leadership and holder of military and political power over his entire planet, reflected on these different sides of space and the universe as he stared at the display screen on the command deck of the Ark. The large red and blue commander sighed sadly at the sight of the debris that had once been a neutral ship escaping from the war on their home planet of Cybertron. How many lives had been lost in this asteroid field? How many lost to the lasers of whatever merciless ship that had shot the passenger shuttle into its sorry state? How many more lost to the cold void of space? How many more still lost to Megatron's cold war?

He wasn't sure he wanted to know.

: Sir, the field team is ready to board. Awaiting your orders:

The Prime sighed, his saddened gaze turning away from the sight on the screens and he answered his comm. and the rumbling voice of his Weapons Specialist and long time friend. : Very well, Ironhide. Take your team when ready. :

On the docking deck of the large battle cruiser, Ironhide nodded and shut off his communicator, the large black armored mech turning to allow his piercing blue optics to observe his small team of field soldiers that would be accompanying him.

Sideswipe, the red painted devil stood next to his golden twin Sunstreaker, tall and broad frames tense. One shifted eagerly, ready to get going and the other… was admiring his golden paint in the reflective surface of the crate he stood by. Sideswipe was a little too energetic and far too much of a trouble maker for Ironhide's liking and Sunstreaker too stand offish and vain, but they were good soldiers and frontline warriors. Their teamwork when together was unrivaled and they were always eager to jump into a fight if they were needed or not.

Hoist stood beside them, cheerful as he could be in a situation like this. Personally, Ironhide would have preferred to leave him here, the mech not much of an asset in battle, but this was a retrieval mission and his expertise on what was usable and what was not was needed. The yellow-tan of his paint reflected in the very crate that Sunstreaker was looking in with full attention.

The Protectobot First Aid shifted from pede to pede nervously and Ironhide didn't blame him. The tall, lanky red and white medical assistant was on no way a warrior although he had all the necessary basic training of surviving. Not that he really ever needed it, the way his gestalt brothers herded around him and protected him. But he was necessary, an asset in his own right both as a gestalt piece and a medic. He just needed to grow a back strut. Well, kid was still young. Plenty of time left if the war didn't cut him short a few vorns. Plus, the kid had a soft part of Ironhide's spark

And last, but certainly not least was their minibot companion Bumblebee. The black and yellow espionage scout stood at attention, ready for any action and even younger than First Aid. And Ironhide would know, considering he had mostly raised the youngling. While it made him nervous for the just barely adult to accompany them in battle and other war related activities, Ironhide would be the first to admit that Bumblebee had earned the right to stand next to all of them. He was quick, agile and efficient in espionage and scouting. And certainly not bad in servo to servo, Ironhide had made sure of that. His doorwings were flaring gently, indicating his readiness.

Altogether, a rag tag crew, but one that covered all angles. Prowl was good with working with what they had.

"All right, mechs, ya heard Prime. We get in, get what we need and salvage anything else and get out. We don't want to draw any other attention while we're out there. The Ark needs fixing before we can head her into any conflict." The black behemoth stated, crossing his arms as all attention focused on him. "Internal comms only and for Primus sake, Sideswipe, no jetpacks. Stay with us." The loud whine that accompanied that was cut off with a clang, indicating that Sunstreaker had smacked his brother. "Right. Let's go."

Activating his grav-mags in his pedes to keep from just floating off, Ironhide watched as the rest of his crew did the same, then signaled for the docking bay to decompress and the doors open. They did with creaking groans and grinding of gears, torture on the audios and just more proof that the dents riddled in the hull prevented a smooth opening. The bulky black mech then signaled everyone to turn on private comms, and waited for the five acknowledgement pings. The lights dimmed to allow for no glare as the inky black of space finally came into view as the last of the blast doors rolled away, one half gone the other barely rolling on its hinges.

It was time to go.

: Primus… : Sideswipe muttered over the interlink, his voice filled with sickened despair as pieces of grayed corpses floated by among the debris of spilled flash frozen fluids and crates and parts. : There are sparklings floating around here. :

: Looks like it was a Seeker neutral ship. : Hoist commented sadly, moving half of a remaining wing out of his path. : Gone in a matter of seconds. They had barely cleared Decepticon controlled space. :

Ironhide said nothing, his tanks churning as his own large servos gently cupping and redirecting the path of a grayed sparkling's trajectory. The little winglets had barely begun to grow in, the young spark extinguished before it had even had a chance to experience life. A sharp pang of despair seized his spark and he had to look away from the small faceplates twisted in pain or risk losing his composure. : Not too much further until we reach what's left of the hull. Keep a tight formation here. I don't want any nasty surprises. :

Acknowledgement pings were given and received before the group carried on in heavy, gloomy silence. Ironhide was the first to reach the darkened hull, his pedes magnetizing to the metal before he looked over the edge he was clinging to. The burns were consistent with heavy fusion fire, the kind often found on a Decepticon Warship. Or Trypticon. The thin metal of a transport shuttle didn't stand a chance.

: They didn't stand a chance. : Hoist murmured, unintentionally echoing Ironhide's own thoughts.

Sunstreaker magnetized to the hull beside him, saying nothing, but his optics were keen on everything around. Each new splatter of energon, each new body, each sparking wire and the ice blues would flash whiter with his anger. Ironhide didn't need the twin bond that existed between the rare pairs of split-spark twins to know that Sunstreaker was seething.

Nobody deserved this.

Bumblebee was equally as quiet, but unlike Sunstreaker his faceplates openly showed his dismay. Sideswipe looked ready to break something in half. First Aid… one couldn't really tell with the mask and visor in place, but the young medic was most likely feeling sick to his tanks and hurting over the lost of life the most. Poor kid.

: Alright, mechs. Move forward and search for anything salvageable. Keep your sensors sharp and your weapons primed. We don't know what could be lurking in here. Sunstreaker yer with Aid. Sideswipe, cover Hoist and Bee, yer with me. :

There was some grumbling to the arrangement, mostly from the twins, but each group chose a course to take through the wreckage. They kept the interlink open for emergencies and play by play if they needed Hoist's opinion or First Aid's.

:Is this thing salvageable? : Hoist studied the twisted piece of – something – before shaking his helm decisively. Sideswipe frowned and grabbed at the next piece of useless metal that floated his way. : This? :

: Does it look usable to you, Sideswipe? : Hoist by nature was not a very irritable mech and had a lot of patience. Sideswipe, by nature, did not. And he was bored. So it was apparently time to play 'How long until Hoist blows his top?'

So far, Hoist was winning, frag it.

After making a show of studying it intensely for a moment, Sideswipe had to concede. : I suppose not. : He shoved the blackened metal away, watching it fly across the small barely intact room they had found in the zero-g until it hit one of the walls with a reverberating noiseless ricochet. Fragging space couldn't even let him have a satisfying clang.

Hoist sighed internally as he picked through intact crates of items that might have been useful for Seekers and sparklings, but not so much for a battle cruiser. His tanks churned sickeningly as he set aside the sparkling grade energon that was never to be used for those it had be intended for. Ratchet may be able to convert it into something more powerful, but it was a long shot he wasn't sure they should take. As he sorted the supplies that had survived the attack, he tried his best not to process how many lives had been lost here. Seekers or not, they had been neutral and had done no bot harm. They were just a group of Cybertronians trying desperately to escape this war and save their sparklings.

: Hoist! :

: Is it blackened, twisted, and otherwise unrecognizable? : The architect didn't even bother to pull away from his task to look.

: Well, kinda - :

: Then it's probably not usable. :

There was silence for a moment, as Hoist resettled into the labourous task of sorting through a crate of wires he had luckily found. Then Sideswipe spoke again, this time more hesitant.

: So, um, that thing I was trying to get your attention for… :

Hoist was coming very close to losing this game Sideswipe was playing. : Sideswipe, it's useless. Can we please get back to work? :

: Uhh… I wasn't aware that something that has a spark is useless unless it's a Decepticon. :

That brought Hoist up short. He had turned and launched himself across the room, landing next to Sideswipe's crouched form to stare into a broken crevice that had been halfway protected by the crates surrounding it. Staring back at him was glaring, panic and anger filled golden optics.

: Primus… : Hoist breathed. : First Aid, Ironhide, we need your teams here now! :

Ironhide and Sunstreaker carefully pulled away the last of the wall separating them from the survivor. And there in itself was a thought to fill the grizzled old mech's spark with hope. A survivor! How the Seeker mech had survived was still a toss-up in the air, but he had. Now they had to get First Aid to him to examine the damage.

The peeled wall fell into the zero-g grip of the unknown, floating away and leaving the hollowed out stowaway compartment open for First Aid to study his patient. The seeker inside gnashed his denta at them, indicating to the Junior Medic that he was suffering from post traumatic stress that was only enhanced from being trapped in a tight space. His red-orange coloring was barely visible in patches here and there among the blackened armor and a sickeningly large diameter of energon was pooled around him. He'd lost much, if the flickering of his optics was anything. One arm, sparking and damaged as it was, was curled up underneath him, most likely holding a wound.

One wing had been torn away from his frame and was most likely now one of the many floating pieces of unrecognizable debris. The other was bent and crumpled, energon leaking from the ruined struts. The mech must have been in agony. He was also panicked and a panicked Seeker was dangerous to work with.

All of this fell to the wayside, First Aid's most pressing concern the large metal beam that was impaling the mech's midsection and the collapsed in hull that was crushing the flier's legs. The fact that the mech was alive was a miracle in and of itself.

: Careful kid. : Ironhide said as First Aid moved slowly forward, palms up to indicate he was unarmed. The Protectobot nodded slightly, taking another step forward. Another… another… one more…

First Aid reared back as the arm not protecting the Seeker's side lashed out, claw tips out and ready to tear if First Aid came too close again. His fanged denta bared in an angry grimace. : Calm down… : The medic said softly over open broadcast, waving away the battle ready Sideswipe. : We're not here to hurt you. We're here to help. :

The reply that came back was harsh and weak all at once. : Back off, Autobot! Don't come any closer! :

First Aid stayed where he was, kneeling on the warped plating of the ruined deck of what must have been the shuttles storage area. : I am not going to hurt you. I need to look at your wound if you are going to survive. :

The golden optics narrowed. : I don't believe you! Vos is gone because of your kind! I - : The harmonic voice petered off for a moment, haggard and broken. : I lost my intended because of you… :

Ironhide would have been the first to admit that Vos was a sparkles attack, and although it had been the now extinct Council's order to destroy it, it had been the Autobot army who did the dirty work. His spark ached for the suffering mech, but he'd be fragged sideways if he let Prime and his mechs take the fall for the ship's destruction. That had been all on the Decepticon's shoulders. : This was Decepticon work, Seeker. Don't you put this off on us. :

: There wouldn't be a war if it weren't for you Autobots and your fragging caste system! : Was the heated reply.

: Things are changing now… : First Aid assured before Ironhide's temper could flare up and cost him a patient. : The new Prime refuses to allow the caste system among his ranks and even extends his servo to some Decepticon reformers. : His voice remained calm and soothing, the effect taking its desired toll as the Seeker's optics flickered uncertainly. Even so, First Aid's own didn't leave the flexing talons. : Please. Let me come there and help. If you do not allow me near, I cannot - :

: Too late for me. : This time the voice was filled with pain, both emotional and physical. : Not gonna survive this. I won't make it but…: The pained filled optics glanced back up at the medic. : You're a medic. : The seeker was surprised this time, as if registering this fact for the first time. : You're a medic. You have to help them! You can't let them die here! Please! :

The tone which had been so full of rage and pride was now only filled with desperate pleading. Golden optics glowed brightly, brimming with optical fluid that beaded off and away as it was released into the gravity-less space, the change taking every mech there by surprise. First Aid, seeing this as a good sign, moved closer, almost within reaching distance. : Help who? :

There was hesitance, fear mingled with desperation as the Seeker's blackened, and injured faceplates pulled into a pained grimace as he moved his arm away from his side, claws retracting. First Aid frowned under his mask, moving carefully into the small alcove so he could better see. The mech had been right about his own survival now that the medic had a better look at the damage. It once more amazed him that the mech was even still online. His gaze was brought to the mech's surprisingly undamaged cockpit by a small whimper of fear. His optics widened, the effect making his visor glow brightly. : Dear Primus! : He exclaimed over the private interlink.

: What is it! : Ironhide's tense voice over the link was filled with taut worry.

: Sparklings. : Was the whispered reply. : I have two Seeker sparklings here, sir. Both are alive. : He reached for the biggest, the little orange mechling whimpering and curling himself deeper into the older Seeker's side away from the reaching servo, pulling what appeared to be an infant mech with him. : Very scared sparklings… :

Over the open broadcast there were a few clicks and whistles that was accompanied by a soothing chirr. Seeker cant, First Aid realized as he watched the mechling uncurled himself slowly, yellow optics trained warily on the looming facemask of the stranger. A few more clicks and the sparkling allowed First Aid to pull the infant away gently before allowing the strange mech to tug him away from his kin as well.

The medic backed carefully from the alcove, sparklings firmly tucked into his arms. Arms that were suddenly filled with frantic and terrified squirming as the orange winglet's optics alighted on the many other mechs. Distressed trilling filled the open broadcast as the sparkling reached for his sire, little black servos grasping at nothing. The dying mech reached a servo out and let his sparkling cling to it as he chanted softly to the terrified child.

All mechs in the room looked on with dismay.

: You will take care of them? :

: We will. : Ironhide said firmly, kneeling down and grasping the mech's mangled servo after his child had been convinced to let go anger forgotten. : What is your designation, Seeker? :

The Seeker stared at him with indefinable emotion in his wide optics before he spoke softly, gaze drifting back to the awake and terrified Seekerlet and the exhausted recharging infant. : Overstrike. My designation is Overstrike. :

: The mechlets have designations as well? :

: Stormvice and Pinpoint. Stormvice is the older. Pinpoint is his brother. They are mine. : The red-orange blackened servo squeezed with failing strength at the rough black servo.

Ironhide's gaze softened. : They will not be allowed to forget you. :

Overstrike's optics over flowed and the first small smile appeared on his faceplates. He released Ironhide's servo and reached out to stroke at his children's plating. Stormvice nuzzled into his sire's servo, seeking comfort. : Thank you… :

The servo dropped away, the mech's strength finally failing now that he no longer need worry about his children's survival. It was silent; all aside from Stormvice's spark wrenching wailing that filled the open link. Ironhide stared a few more moments at one of the bravest mechs he had ever had the honor to meet, before turning to First Aid and reaching out for the wailing sparkling. : Here Aid. Let me. :

First Aid handed the small being over and Ironhide tucked the mechlet firmly against his chassis, setting his plating to vibrate soothingly and allowing the small frame to cling to him. He turned to his team. : There's nothing more we can do here, mechs. Let's head back for the Ark.:

So what'd you guys think? Good? Bad? Reviews please!

Also, some ideas on pairings and who should be Stormvice and Pinpoint's caretakers? That would help mightily XD