Manhunt

Transformers Prime does not belong to me, and I make no money off of this.

This is my first Transformer's fic, so any response would be appreciated. :D

Once again, this is set somewhere before the episode "Orion Pax Part 1"


Orion Pax had no idea how a human had gotten aboard the Nemesis, but one had, and already a group of lower ranking Vehicons had been dispatched to find it.

The mech had used the technology at his disposal to do research on the planet Earth's current inhabitants, and found the race known as Homo sapiens to be quite intriguing. They reminded him somewhat distantly of his own race, in the beginning. But they had their faults—as everyone did. War being one of their largest. It came as a shock to him how their planet even still stood after everything they'd done to it. But even then, he came across the brief moments, random acts of kindness that surprised him still. They were a race to be studied still, as Orion could not yet comprehend them fully. But if one was on the Nemesis, this could be his only chance of meeting one face to face.

He patrolled the winding and confusing hallways of the Decepticon ship with utmost care, not wanting Vehicons to begin following him in their pursuit of the human. If Orion's guess was correct, the Homo sapien would not be senseless enough to remain with the menacing Decepticons, and would've hidden further in the bowels of the ship. While on his way, the red and blue mech passed through a hall whose walls were more reflective than move, and he paused to examine the new symbol engraved on his arm. It felt strange to have it there—alien, and foreign. But then the clank of Vehicon footsteps further ahead drew his attention and he continued on, swifter this time. All of the lower ranking Decepticons on the ship had been commanded to go on a manhunt—apparently, Megatron had some poor experiences with the human race that he would rather leave unmentioned.

Turning around a final corner, Orion was stunned to see a Vehicon standing a few feet before him, his plasma cannon trained onto something on the ground. Following the line of fire, the mech felt something within him jolt at the sight of a human youngling cowering under the barrel of the gun. Orion moved without thinking—before he could grasp what in the name of Primus he was doing, he had shoved the Vehicon lieutenant's gun out of the way, the beam scorching a portion of the ceiling instead, saving the human from harm.

The Decepticon growled, turning to face him. "What do you think you're—," his threat died on his glossa. He bowed slightly. "O-oh, sir. Forgive me."

Orion waved aside his apology. "It is alright, lieutenant." Out of the corner of his optic, he could see that the human youth was now gazing up at him with a mix of awe and shock. He returned his attention to the Vehicon. "Although, if you could resume your duties, your previous ones, I will not report this…misdemeanor to Commander Airachnid."

The Vehicon bowed again, not seeing through Orion's mock bravado. He turned on his heel and was gone without another word. Once he had made sure that the warrior had indeed left, the mech turned back to the human. He was mildly surprised to see that the being had moved closer, eyes wide behind his spectacles. He didn't seem to be afraid of him…Orion crouched down, the motion strangely familiar, and spoke in what he hoped was a comforting fashion to the human. "It is quite alright, youngling," he assured softly. "You need not worry. I will do you no harm."

The human, Orion identified him as a male youngling, nodded. "I…I know," he murmured, pushing his sliding spectacles further along the bridge of his nose. The mech's optic ridges furrowed at the boy's statement, but didn't question it. There was another, more pressing matter at hand.

"How did you manage to arrive here, youngling?" he inquired kindly, if not curiously. As far as he knew, the humans hadn't amassed Ground Bridge technology yet…

"Umm…" the bespectacled child shuffled his feet, avoiding eye contact. "That's kind of complicated….."

Orion shook his helm. Others would come to search this hall soon enough. "Never mind, youngling. We must return you to your creators before others come searching for you." The mech offered the human boy his servo, and after a moment's hesitation, the child actually stepped forward, sitting calmly in the center of his palm. Curling both servos around the youngling, Orion stood, taking great care not to jostle the human. They were both quiet for some time, passing by other Vehicons and Eradicons in tense silence, before Orion spoke again, contemplatively, "I have never been in such close contact to a human before. Tell me, are all those of humankind the same stature as yourself?"

Looking down, the red and blue mech was startled to see that the child was gazing up at him with a mix of dawning horror and awareness, before he ducked his head. Confused, Orion cocked his helm to the side as he continued walking. "What is the matter, youngling? I do hope that I didn't frighten you. I only mean to take you to our Ground Bridge—,"

"You're one of them…"

The red and blue Cybertronian faltered, staring down at the small human with his optical ridges furrowed. "Come again?"

The boy swallowed, but raised a small hand to point towards the armor along Orion's left shoulder, where his new symbol was now engraved. He noticed that the small appendage was trembling. "You're one of them," the child repeated, lowering his hand. "A Decepticon…."

Orion's optics widened. This human…knew of the differing alliances… "How...do you know that?" he questioned carefully, walking forth again. The boy ducked his head again. The mech exvented slowly, glancing back up. There were still several minutes before he reached the Ground Bridge system on the other side of the ship… "Do you know of the Autobots?" he queried instead.

The child in his servos froze, fear flitting across his features. Orion instantly jumped to the nearest conclusion, optic ridges furrowed and optics themselves narrowed in growing fury. "Have they harmed you in any way?"

To Orion's surprise, the youngling jerked back, incredulity displayed across his features. "Of course not!" he retorted. "They're…." his face fell again. "They're my friends."

"And is it because of them that you ended up on this ship?"

The boy blinked, before his own brows furrowed and he folded his arms defensively. "No! It was an accident, something with our Ground Bridge…"

Orion looked down at the child curiously, before exventing again. "My apologies, then. But I suppose that you never knew of the horrors the Autobots unleashed upon our home world."

"Cybertron?" the human boy questioned skeptically. "But it was Megatron who led the attack against everyone else, and that eventually destroyed your planet."

The mech shook his helm. "Those Autobots have been filling your head with their tainted lies. But no matter." Orion stood a bit straighter, footsteps echoing against the floor. "We will have you returned to your home soon enough….Oh, and forgive me, I never told you my designation." At the child's perplexed expression, he continued. "My name is Orion Pax. And yours, youngling?"

The boy sighed softly, though Orion never noticed that he was attempting to hold back tears. "I'm…Rafael."

Orion nodded. "Rafael, then. Do you have the coordinates for your home?"

"Um…no?"

The mech waved it aside, making sure to keep the servo holding the boy steady. "No matter. We can search for the correct destination once we have the Ground Bridge technology…speaking of which…" Orion finally entered the aforementioned control room. There was a Vehicon stationed behind the console and he cleared his throat loudly enough to gain the Decepticon's attention.

"Ah, Commander Orion!" the Cybertronian began, bowing. "How may I help you?"

"I require the Ground Bridge," Orion stated, but held up a servo to stop the Vehicon from starting the mechanism himself. "I believe that I am capable enough to operate it myself."

"O-of course, sir," the Decepticon quickly agreed, bowing again before leaving the room. Orion looked around the corner for a moment, before assuring himself that no one else would be coming. He set Rafael down onto the console before activating it, searching through the database.

"Where is your...home?" Orion asked. The boy sighed softly, turning around to face the monitor as well.

"Jasper, Nevada."

Orion typed in the destination, before presenting the human with the image that was provided. From the mech's research, he deduced this to be a main street, with sidewalks and various stores and food establishments. "Is this…satisfactory?" he enquired. Rafael nodded, a smile that looked rather forced across his features.

"Yeah, it's fine…Orion."

The mech nodded, activating the Ground Bridge. There was a second of silence before the swirling portal whirred to life, composed of a myriad of colors. Orion noticed that the boy didn't seem too surprised to see the gateway, his shoulders only sagging. Once the mech Cybertronian had turned back to the console, typing the last of the coordinates, Rafael murmured softly, "So…you don't really remember me, do you?"

"Hm?" Orion began, glancing back down at the child. He started at the boy's appearance. The child appeared to be holding back tears, but met his gaze with as much strength as he could muster. "What do you mean?" he questioned slowly.

Rafael only shook his head, roughly brushing away his tears. He shoved his glasses back on before asking, "Is the Ground Bridge ready?"

Orion nodded slowly, confused at the youngling's reaction, picking him back up and setting him before the portal. Rafael held onto the mech's enormous servo, however, head bowed to hide his new tears. "Rafael—," Orion began, only for the boy to interrupt him.

"I know you don't remember, but I want you to know…that we all miss you. A lot." Before Orion could ask the child what in the name of Primus he was talking about, Rafael had raised his head, still repressing his tears. His spark thrummed, out of bewilderment and longing, a part of him wanting to follow the boy. But Rafael had already entered the Ground Bridge, pausing to wave goodbye to the mech.

Further throwing his processor out of whack, and making his spark sputter at the familiarity, the human child said one last thing before departing altogether. "Well…bye, Optimus."

The Ground Bridge flickered before dying altogether, its job done. And yet, with the child's presence gone, Orion felt as if…something had been taken from him as well. Something familiar.

And why had he referred to him as "Optimus", as those Autobots had?