Yes, back by popular demand, well, I received my mandated 10 votes not counting multiple voters, you know who you are so I decided to give ya'll a little taste of what's coming in part TWO.
HUGE SHOUT OUT to those who reviewed: Morrigayn DeWyvern, AD Axel, CaMaRoFaN14, Kimmie 98, Ladyofthedrgns, Shuriken1600, DarkSirocco, Poiuni, Aquastreak-autobot femme, lokichaos, SunnySidesofBlue, quasarsmom and Blitz-Krazy-1.
I'm just THRILLED so many had left me messages! You truly made my week, month, year! And since you asked so nicely, and with so many voices, here's a snippet of part two.
And Together, We Rise
Approximately 3 months after the Autobots and Decepticons wake up on Earth.
"Come on Sunshine!" Sideswipe crooned, hitting the triple digits on the highway, the sound of sirens falling away into the distance.
"Stop calling me Sunshine," Sunstreaker groused, maintaining a short distance between their bumpers.
Sideswipe cackled, accelerating to the sharp bends that marked the Oregon countryside. Though the state was forged in unforgiving volcanic rock, the sharp turns and chaotic roadways were a Lamborghini's playground. The twins were extremely pleased with Tele-Tran for scanning their new alt modes. They would have self terminated if they had to be seen in 'domestic' armaments. Not only did they enjoy racing along the streets and hugging the curvaceous asphalt, but they also employed another favorite pastime.
Being a menace to constabulary officials. Imagine the twin delights when they realized the human population had several branches of policing agencies. And they vowed to test every single one of them.
Prowl had already commed and informed the duo they were expected back at the Ark and their cell was waiting, as per usual. Apparently the local police had contacted the Autobot headquarters and warned them of their speeding allies. Sideswipe suspected the Ark was already on the humans' speed dial.
Prowl had tried to explain to the human authorities that some of their warriors needed the freedom given by speed, but understandably, other commuters had to take president. The Autobots were granted one hour a month at a local racing track for those who wanted to participate. The twins took the time in stride, then spent the rest of their time racing along the highways and being a general nuisance to anyone without a fast engine.
Sunstreaker gave a pained cry, slamming on his brakes and slewing across the road. His tires screamed along the asphalt, making a set of black landing strips across the highway as he fishtailed and barely avoided colliding with the guardrail. As soon as he shed his significant speed, he transformed, the carrying momentum causing him to gallop a couple of steps before dropping to his knees, grasping his helm.
Sideswipe careened off the road, his tires grating along the serried border that served to wake up potential sleepers behind the wheel. He shuddered hard against its gruff surface and transformed, performing a fancy street move he learned off of Jazz the week before. He stood in perfect attention, like a gymnastic poised to accept their round of applause for a well executed feat, but when only pitching whines greeted his presentation, he dropped his manner and headed for his twin. He winced, feeling the residual pain leak across their bond. The sensation of having someone shoving a fork into his processor was becoming very uncomfortable. He knew it was nothing compared to what Sunstreaker must be experiencing.
Vents open and air heaving in heavy cycles, Sunstreaker fought to ward off the pain, but his attempts only made the situation worse. With a strangled cry he fell off line, the ingrain need of self preservation keeping him from screaming into madness.
Sideswipe barely got to his twins side before he collapsed. He pulled Sunstreaker across his shoulders and carried him into the surrounding wilderness. Humans were still very wary of the Cybertronians, and if an unsuspecting one came across the two very large and very skilled front line warriors, well, there was a chance that problems could arise. Sideswipe's quick thinking kept their exposure to a minimum.
Wordlessly, Sideswipe disconnected a lead from his wrist and inserted it into the access port of his twin, trying to manually reboot him or at least get a basic diagnostic so he would have the information for Ratchet when they got back to base. But Sunstreaker's processor was completely shut down. There was no scrolling messages, no urgent flashes, no warnings, or any readouts. Only blank nothingness greeted his inquiry. The only worrisome aspect of Sunstreaker's condition was when Sideswipe touched him, his plating was extremely hot. Internal heating must have triggered a protective measure to keep the warrior offline until he cooled enough to allow a reboot. Sideswipe idly wondered if his brother scorched his paint when he carried him into the brush.
Frowning, Sideswipe withdrew his connection and tried reaching out with the bond he shared with his brother, but only silence greeted his summons. It was odd. Sunstreaker always broadcasted to his twin, each knowing where the other was at all times. Even in recharge, they instinctually knew where each other were. Their sparks were in constant communication, unless they chose to close off their end for sensory bombardment or not wanting to alert the other of their emotions or in Sideswipe's case, his mischievous intentions.
The ruby Lamborghini didn't like this cold silence coming from his twin. It didn't seem natural.
Sunstreaker twitched, and a spark winked along his helm in a good imitation of Red Alert when Sideswipe was at his most devious. Sideswipe pulled his brother against his chest, cradling him near and opened a comm. to headquarters, ignoring the blistering heat radiating from the golden frame.
'Sideswipe to Ratchet,' he called, ignoring the two barks of outrage against his hacking of the broad band width. Red Alert threatened and spewed Decepticon propaganda and infiltration and Prowl declared both twins to an extensive stay in the brig. But Sideswipe paid them no mind. His attention was centered on Ratchet's comm., which remained silent.
'Sideswipe to Ratchet,' he repeated, desperation clouding his vocals.
'What, you annoyance?' Ratchet snarled in his usual good humor. 'If you or your twin did something stupid to get yourselves hurt, you're just going to have to suffer with it.'
'Sunny collapsed,' Sideswipe said, hoping that help was already heading for their location. He made sure his distress signal was broadcasting loud and clear.
'What did you do to him?' Ratchet asked, sounding more annoyed than concerned.
'I didn't do anything!' Sideswipe snapped, feeling very helpless. 'He just transformed, grabbed his helm and went off line.'
'Sounds like a trick to me,' Red Alert put in, having to eavesdrop on every conversation on the public bandwidth.
'It's not a trick!' Sideswipe snarled, his grip tightening on his brother. 'Sunny's plating is burning hot and his helm sparked.'
'If you are trying to get out of your punishment detail….' Prowl started, but Sideswipe screamed over his droning.
'My brother is unconscious and unresponsive! Something is wrong with him!' Sideswipe's voice was strong and commanding. 'Get here and help him! NOW!'
'On my way,' Ratchet intoned, sounding harassed.
Sideswipe was ready to throttle the entire Autobot forces with the nonchalance being bled through the comm. line.
'Don't hurry on my account,' Sideswipe seethed, sending as much venom as possible through the communiqué. 'Rest assured that if my brother terminates, I will be right behind him and your slagging afts can fight the Decepticons all by yourselves!'
Sideswipe cut the connection, uncaring if the command unit was now mobilizing to punish his insubordination. If it took his court martial to get Sunstreaker assistance, then he would suffer it. Course the worst thing they would do was sentence him to the brig, which he practically lived in there anyway. And if they terminated him, which he doubted, then Sunstreaker would certainly follow him. The Autobots couldn't afford to lose their two best fighters over something as simple as screaming for assistance for a downed comrade. Sideswipe didn't hear the comm. chatter as Ratchet yelled for preparation of the med bay and stand by supplies, Prowl ordering Mirage and Hound out to find the downed warriors and supply backup in case of a Decepticon trap, and Prime ordering for immediate roll out.
Five minutes later, Sunstreaker rebooted his optics, squinting as the late evening sunlight filtered through the canopy of trees. His body was slow to restart, his systems humming a low medley as they woke up. The first thing he was aware of was someone was holding him and their arms were wrapped very tightly around his upper body. Sunstreaker tensed, disliking the sensation of having another so close.
When Sideswipe felt his brother move, and the rising sound of awaking systems, he released his death grip and pulled back to look at his brother. Sunstreaker offered a jumbled noise and slapped at the ruby warrior, demanding his release from the cuddling session. Sideswipe was reluctant but obeyed, knowing Sunstreaker disliked the perception of being weak. If someone saw him cradled in his brother's arms, he'd self terminate to avoid the bantering of his comrades.
"Get off me," Sunstreaker grumbled, rising to his pedes. He swayed, but regained his balance, shoving his brother's helping hand away. "I'm fine!"
"You're not fine," Sideswipe countered, rising with his brother and standing at arm's length in case the golden warrior lost consciousness again. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing is wrong," Sunstreaker said, taking a step away from his twin. He really just wanted peace and quiet, and with Sideswipe's constant urging along their bond and the loud noises the terrestrial fauna were providing, Sunstreaker felt ready to purge. Why couldn't everyone and everything just mute? Why did it have to be so slagging LOUD?
"What happened?" Sideswipe asked, mirroring his twin and stepping forward when Sunstreaker stepped back.
Sunstreaker growled, his hands rubbing his helm like a groggy sparkling that just woke up. "Nothing happened. Just had a minor ache and my slagging systems overcompensated. That's all."
"You're lying,' Sideswipe accused, standing directly in front of his twin, his optics dark and foreboding. "Why are you lying to me?"
"Back off," Sunstreaker hissed, tensing when he heard engines approaching. Very familiar engines. Oh slag! "You didn't?"
"Where are the idiots?" Ratchet bellowed, having transformed and waited by the side of the road for his two worst patients. Honestly, he was going to reformat both or send them to the smelters. Mirage and Hound flanked the perimeter, ready to set up a defensive screen if necessary.
"We're here!" Sideswipe called, jerking his head toward the Autobots on the main road in clear invitation for his twin to follow. With a scowl, Sunstreaker followed, rubbing his helm to ward off the raw ache that crept into his processor.
When the two stepped out of the treeline, Ratchet crossed his arms over his chassis and arched an optic ridge. "This is the emergency?"
Sideswipe grabbed Sunstreaker's arm, ignoring the hissing protests and marched the golden Lamborghini to the white ambulance. "Sunstreaker off lined from what he claims was a minor ache and his systems overcompensated." Sideswipe shoved his brother toward Ratchet like a sacrificial lamb, earning a death glare from his twin. "Check him!"
Ratchet looked amused at being told to do his job, but pulled out a scanner and began to sweep it over Sunstreaker's statuesque form. When the display showed a clean slate, he switched to another test, waiting until it beeped through its cycle before giving Sunstreaker a look of exasperated indifference.
"Scans are clean," Ratchet reported, putting the scanner back in his sub space.
"They can't be!" Sideswipe barked, stepping around his twin and glaring at Ratchet. "You missed something! Run the tests again!"
"There is nothing to test for!" Ratchet countered, face taking on the dark hue that meant he was preparing for a good wrench throwing. "He's clean! No anomalies."
"Slag!" Sideswipe fumed.
"Sunstreaker, how do you feel?" Ratchet asked, ignoring the glowering Lamborghini.
"Like I'm cursed," Sunstreaker snapped, giving his brother a murderous glare that kept missing its target.
"What's wrong with your helm?" Sideswipe asked, turning his ire toward his brother. He knew he hit the right mark when Sunstreaker visibly recoiled.
"Oh, Pit, you have to ask?" someone yelled from the Autobot ranks. They were ranged along the road side, staring at the Lamborghinis who apparently were trying to pull another one of their stunts.
Sunstreaker's head jerked to the assemblage, his optics lighting on each face and gauging who had spoken. Ironhide looked distinctly uncomfortable under the scrutiny.
"NOTHING is wrong with me," Sunstreaker sneered, puffing up his chassis and adopting a pose worthy of a runway. "I'm perfect. In every way."
"Two additional weeks in the brig," Prowl said in a flat tone. When Sideswipe squawked in protest, he added, "For raising a false alarm about the health and well being of a fellow Autobot and using said phantom injury in order to avoid brig time."
"I wasn't trying to avoid brig time!" Sideswipe yelled, throwing his hands up and glaring at the black and white. "I was worried about my brother, who twitched in my arms for ten minutes!"
Several sets of optics swiveled around to Sunstreaker and as expected, the golden warrior curled his fists and glared at his twin. It was hard to gauge on what had Sunstreaker so pissed, but with his history, it could be any number of things.
"Sideswipe, Ratchet has performed his tests," Optimus Prime started, halting the fuming warrior's tirade. "He said there are no anomalies and Sunstreaker himself claims he is functional."
"I'm telling you, Prime," Sideswipe said, turning his turbo-puppy optics to their leader, "Something is wrong. Sunny collapsed. You have to believe me."
"With your record?" Prowl asked, his door wings fluttering in amusement.
Sideswipe scowled but didn't say another word as Sunstreaker stalked over to him and punched him in the jaw, sending him staggering sideways.
"I said I was fine, you slagger!" Sunstreaker yelled, taking a step to his brother with every intention of settling this argument the old fashioned way.
"Enough!" Prime commanded, halting Sunstreaker's advancement. "Autobots, transform and return to base." He glared at the Lamborghini twins. "That is an order."
Everyone complied, Ironhide grousing about leaving his latest prototype and Hound and Mirage adamant to return to catch the last half of the soap opera they were infatuated with.
Sunstreaker transformed, following the command line back to base, the thundering his in processor rivaling the horsepower beneath his hood. He felt like he needed to purge his tanks, but kept his stoic façade going, not wanting the others to know the agony that clawed at his processor. He wanted nothing more than to sequester himself into a dark, quiet cell, the darkness the only witness to his torment.
When the Autobots arrived back to base, Ratchet stalked to med bay, yelling at Wheeljack who hobbled out of his lab holding one of his aft plates and offering a sheepish look. Prowl transformed, crooked his finger at the two culprits, and lead them down into the brig, where he separated them into cells and ignited the searing purple energy bars. He left without a word.
"Sunny?" Sideswipe called, standing at the edge of his cell as close to the bars as he could without injury. The walls were reinforced with a resilient Cybertronian alloy. The small confines would be sound proofed, save for the energy bars that kept prisoners apprised of the outside world.
"Don't call me that," Sunstreaker snapped, though his voice sounded more tired than angry.
"What's wrong with you?" Sideswipe asked, trying to force his brother's side of the bond to yield to his commands.
"Nothing is wrong,' Sunstreaker sighed, going to the berth and planting himself heavily on its surface. The padding on the cell berths was nothing compared to the private quarters of the mechs, but there was still enough cushion to allow a metal body to be comfortable.
"Don't lie to me," Sideswipe warned, his voice taking on the edge of steel. "I can feel something, but I just don't know what it is. Tell me what is bothering you."
"I'm bound to an idiot that keeps getting me in trouble," Sunstreaker offered, powering down his optics as the light seemed to bore into his processor. Primus, his CPU was throbbing!
"Sunny, we share a spark," Sideswipe pressed, wanting to beat his twin into relenting. "I can feel pain and sadness when you let your side of the bond slip. Now tell me, what is wrong?"
"Forget it, Sides," Sunstreaker sighed, draping an arm over his optics. "There's nothing you can do."
"I can help," Sideswipe snapped, his fact creased with hurt that his twin wasn't divulging any information. They shared everything. Why would Sunstreaker hide something now?
"Just, leave it be, Sideswipe," Sunstreaker called, his systems starting to power down in hopes that some charge would ease the stabbing pain along his processor.
"Tell me, or as soon as we're out of here, I'll beat it out of you," Sideswipe threatened, every intention of seeking answers in any fashion necessary.
"Hardly a threat," Sunstreaker snorted.
"I mean it," Sideswipe growled, and the intensity of his anger was enough to drill deep into Sunstreaker's spark.
Sunstreaker wasn't threatened by his twin. Many times the two had tussled and Sunstreaker could always best his brother, mainly because Sideswipe didn't have the street skills bore of illegal fighting to fall back on.
"It's private," Sunstreaker offered, not wanting his brother to know the cause of his strife.
Sideswipe wasn't going to be deterred though. He learned long ago how to manipulate the bond he shared with his twin. Where Sunstreaker was physically the stronger of the two, Sideswipe had the mental control to navigate a closed bond and force it to open.
"You're my twin. My other half. There are no secrets," Sideswipe said, and with a determined spark, he plunged himself into the bond he shared with his brother, battering at Sunstreaker's feeble defenses.
Sunstreaker gasp, grabbing his chest as he felt his brother's manipulation of their bond, forcing his mental barriers to collapse, giving Sideswipe free reign into his emotion. He wanted to scream to his twin to get out and respect his privacy, but Sideswipe was already too far gone into his quest. Sunstreaker gritted his denta, feeling his brother rake over his emotions and though Sideswipe couldn't actively pursue memory files without a hardline connection, he could sense emotion over their bond.
"Stop," Sunstreaker hissed, finding the pain to be building in his processor from his brother's actions. His spark thrummed in vibrant song, Sideswipe controlling its tempo.
Sideswipe was stoking the flame, giving the demons emotional fodder to feed, and though Sideswipe couldn't see the files, Sunstreaker could. With a groan he knew what was headed directly for him as the wave crested and the memory loop opened, forcing him to relive the torment he had inflicted on another all those millennia ago. As the memory loop started, the emotions swelled like the tide, pulling him under their spell.
In the neighboring cell, Sideswipe felt the emotional recoil from his twin, and with it, the pain and suffering that bombarded him with thundering force. He clenched his jaw, trying to keep from crying out, but it was too much. With a strangled yell that ended in a scream, Sideswipe collapsed clutching his helm.
Sunstreaker wasn't granted such peaceful release. He writhed on the berth, condensation beading on his armor, his cables strained to their maximum, his fists clenched, and the burning pain along his processor as the file sputtered. An involuntary cry left Sunstreaker as the mental scene played in its standard configuration, while the physical phantoms repeated on endless, torturous loops like a skipping record, scraping over the warriors psyche and eroding his resolve.
After an eternity, the file played out, leaving Sunstreaker trembling and choking on cries. Overtaxed, and painfully raw, Sunstreaker's systems initiated their shut down procedures. He gladly accepted the request for recovery stasis, though there was nothing to quell his torment as the darkness greeted him with open jaws and consumed him.
And for those wondering why Ratchet and Sunstreaker didn't recognize each other, remember, Sunstreaker never let her touch his face beyond kissing her wrist, so she has no tactile 'face' to put to her attacker. Also, I'm sure his armor has undergone some changes during the time when Sunny left the gladiator circuit and the war began and if you recall, he was only in his basic protoform covering when he violated her.
Ratchet's optics were broken so she didn't see him and after her transferring to a new frame, there isn't anything resembling her old self, so Sunstreaker wouldn't know who she was either. Not to mention that both have had voice coders that can be altered, so essentially, they are complete strangers.
Hope that clears up any confusion. I try to close all loopholes and keep the story plausible.
Well, this is a little set up to where I'm going in part two, And Together, We Rise. Its going to take some time working on it because I want to map it out first and see what else I can throw at Sunny. Poor guy. I torture him so.
Give me a month or so and hopefully I'll get the first chapter out. That is, unless I get a lot of incentive to hurry up… that's a hint folks, in case you missed it. ;)