Disclaimer: I finally get around to play in the sandbox like everyone else. Does anyone have a shovel and a pail I could borrow? I want to make a sandcastle.

Author Notes: This is just a collection of one shots focused around the rivalry between Blades and Vortex set roughly somewhere towards the end of season two G1. I did take some liberties with the timeline, events that never did happen, and mechs' roles in their respective teams but I attempted to keep everyone as in character to the show as possible. Let me know if I utterly failed at the please.

Sit back and enjoy as Vortex goes in search of confirmation about the newest helomech on Earth while having fun playing with an unfortunate Aerialbot at the same time.

Warnings: This story does have Vortex in it so expect torture scenes with semi graphic/graphic descriptions.

Across the Line

Prologue: Playing with Jets

"Ack!"

He saw the incoming laser fire and wrenched sharply to the side trying to avoid the shot. For a moment, he thought he had succeeded but, before he could rejoice and call his own rifle from subspace, he felt it hit his arm. There was no pain from the shot but he felt it in his shoulder joint when his arm suddenly stopped moving and the rest of his chassis kept going, resulting in a rather loud crack from the joint and an irate growl from him. He looked back at the offending appendage only to see a wad of quick setting glue covering everything from his elbow joint down and pinning it to the wall of the canyon.

"Fraggit!" He snapped and yanked at his arm, trying to free it despite the flare of pain that warned him not to yank too hard. He almost yanked again just in spite before he noticed movement out of the corner of his optic and turned towards it. Unsubspacing his rifle only to have his other arm hit with another glue pellet. His rifle fell to the ground with a clatter and both arms were now pinned together on the canyon side.

"Primus be slagged!" he snapped as he yanked on both arms trying to get them free. This was the whole reason why he hated having Air Raid as a wingman. Air Raid always got bored way too easily and now was off showboating who knew where while he was stuck on the ground. He was going to blow Thrust out of the sky the next chance he got for shooting him down, right after he beat the crap out of Air Raid for leaving his flank wide open and then leaving him to fend for himself!

He turned to glower at the mech approaching him, but he didn't let any of his anger or -even if he didn't want to admit it- embarrassment show. He schooled his features to blankness and pinged Silverbolt for back up. Air Raid may have been a slaghead and left him but Silverbolt would abandon a dogfight in a spark pulse to help any of his brothers.

And with Vortex sauntering up to him the sooner he had back up the better.

The Decepticon interrogator was meandering up to him without any rush in his step and that put him on guard. Since he wasn't actively trying to kill him, he could only assume that it meant Vortex wanted to talk to him about something which was never a good thing. He pinged Silverbolt again as Vortex slipped his glue gun back into subspace when he was at arms length from him and causally kicked Slingshot's gun further away from them.

"Now, what was your name again?" Vortex said cocking his helmet to one side, putting one curled servo to his battle mask while it was being supported at the elbow with his other servo. "I know you are one of Superion's arms. You are not Fireflight, unless he got repainted and changed his alt mode. He's the right arm. So… Oh yes, you must be Slingshot!" Vortex said with a snap of his digits ending by pointing at the aforementioned mech.

Slingshot growled at him.

"Oh aren't you a cute, little, vicious jet," Vortex said in a patronizing voice as he patted the top of Slingshot's helmet. "Don't worry, you'll be free soon I'm sure, and have the opportunity to eventually come back for a deliciously sweet revenge for both of us to enjoy. Though for vastly different reasons. Until then I need you to answer a few questions for me."

"Eat slag and rust," Slingshot hissed at him as he tried to kick the larger mech in the shin plating.

Vortex just danced back with a giggle bubbling out of his vocalizer, "And you have anger management issues too! How endearing!" He put his servos on either hip and leaned towards Slingshot, "Maybe when I'm done asking you questions I'll stick around and play with you for a bit."

Slingshot knew what kind of playing Vortex was talking about and he had no desire to participate in any of it. He yanked on his arms again which caused Vortex to chuckle at his predicament. This time when Slingshot's ped lashed out it connected with Vortex's shin. "You're spunk is so charming," Vortex said, acting as if he hadn't just been kicked. "Now are you going to answer some questions for me? Or should I just go grab Fireflight and talk to him?"

"Leave him alone," Slingshot growled in the most intimidating voice he could muster. Vortex had gotten a hold of Fireflight once before and the results hadn't been pretty. If his servos had been free he would have been rearranging the Decepticon major systems like he promised Fireflight after the first of many bad recharges to date. It was still impossible for his younger brother to recharge alone after almost six orns after his rescue. "Stay the slag away from him."

"Then why don't you be a good older brother and just answer a couple questions. I'll leave him alone, Combaticon honor." The Decepticon stood at attention and thumped his right servo closed into a fist against the left side of his chest plate with an audible clang.

"Like that means anything to me," Slingshot sneered, ignoring the formal military salute Vortex had just given him.

Slingshot got the feeling that Vortex was string at him blankly through his visor as his stance wilted slowly. "Alright then," the helicopter said perking back up after a moment. "I'll go get Fireflight. That kid will tell me anything."

As he started to walk away from him, Slingshot yanked brutally at his trapped arms. There was a grinding crunch from his right shoulder joint and the flare of pain was enough to tell him that he had almost ripped his arm off. "Leave him alone, Vortex!" he yelled at the Decepticon who was in the process of transforming and getting ready to dust off. "Stay away from him! Fraggit!" Vortex was beginning to gain altitude and Slingshot gritted his denta, enraged at the helplessness he was feeling. There was no way he could protect Fireflight glued to the wall like this.

"I'll tell you anything you want, just leave him alone!"

Slingshot hadn't realized he had said anything until Vortex spun around, transforming and landing ped first before him as if he had never started to leave. "Slag it all to pit," Slingshot mutter to himself as he slumped against the cliff face. Vortex grabbed his chin and forced him to look at his visor. 'Where are you Silverbolt?!' he cried through the bond, letting a touch of his anxiety through with his thoughts.

'I'm coming, just hanging on.' A wave of reassurance and determination came not only from Silverbolt but from Air Raid. They were fighting somemech by the feel of it, probably a mech that Vortex got to delay them. It figured that using the bond would finally get Air Raid to pay attention to him again. Either that or Silverbolt got after him on the comms after Slingshot first requested back up.

"Calling your brothers for help?" Vortex said in a calm voice, squeezing his chin brutally. "Don't worry, I'm won't hurt you anymore than necessary. Everything that happens from here on out is all your doing, Slingshot. Just answer my questions and nothing will happen to you." He paused for a moment as Slingshot snorted in disbelief. "There's a rumor that the Autobot's recently got another transfer of soldiers from Cybertron. Is that true?"

Slingshot jerked his faceplates free of the crushing grip and growled out, "You know as well as I do that there was a new transfer." The twelve new mechs had arrive almost two orns ago on the Decepticon space bridge after the Autobots 'borrowed' it for a bit. "Stop playing stupid."

Slingshot never saw him move but he felt the blade slide neatly into one of the transformation seams in his side. Miraculously, it didn't cut anything but Vortex next line made him realize that the blade had been positioned on purpose. "You should speak to your elders with respect, little jet. I don't want to hurt you but you're leaving me with no choice. Now, don't move or you'll cut yourself. I would hate it if you got hurt, Slingshot. One of these new mechs is another helo model, correct?"

Again it had been pretty obvious, Bruticus and Superion had been in the middle of a fight with each other but helomechs in general were very rare. When Blades had first dusted off, half the Autobot fighters there had paused to stare at him and more than that many Decepticons did as well. Vortex had to have heard about him if he hadn't noticed him himself. Another smart aft remark came to his mind but there was a blade was still wedged in his side. He had to settle for just glaring at the Decepticon but he did give the interrogator a single stiff nod.

"Oh and now you're grumpy. I'm so sorry I have to do this to you but you've been such a good little jettling so far. Maybe I'll reward you when I'm done." Vortex ran a thumb along one of the ridges in his helmet and Slingshot jerked away from the comforting touch. He knew enough about Vortex to know that a reward from him was just as bad -if not worse- than his normal torture methods. It was just one of his normal processor games. He couldn't fall for them. "What's this little helo's designation?"

Slingshot also knew enough about Vortex to know that him showing so much fascination in one mech was never a good thing. It was going to hurt but he tightened his lips into a thin line and then looked away from Vortex, focusing on the middle distance over the Decepticon's shoulder. Some of his dread must've filtered into the bond, because he felt Silverbolt send another pulse of reassurance. 'I'm coming!'

"I'm waiting Slingshot," He kept his face a placid as possible while he gritted his denta and braced himself as best he could. "Oh, your trying to protect him, aren't you? He must mean a lot to you…as much as you're little brother, I wonder?" The blade in his side moved a little, causing him to flinch slightly, but it wasn't enough to actually cut through anything. Slingshot started to shut down pain receptors in that area, he wouldn't know how badly he was hurt but at least this way he wouldn't feel it right away.

"Tell me about this 'copter. Don't make me open your mouth for you." Vortex's voice had dropped in pitch steadily and now it was almost a whisper. "Tell me, Slingshot. What is this mech's designation?" The blade shifted a little more but this time Slingshot was able to not flinch. The seam the blade was sunk into was right above his hip joint and it felt like the tip of it was scrapping against part of his energon processing unit. He was going to be leaking to death quickly if Vortex puncture it.

There was a gusty sigh, "You made me do this to you, Slingshot. Remember that."

He caught a flicker of movement out of the corner of his optic before there was a blade suddenly striking his faceplates. It hit with precision accuracy, slicing into his lip components before it was being thrust backwards in the same movement. His denta were forced apart but the blade kept going, slicing through the thin plating on either side of his mouth. The sudden attack and the blinding pain as the blade moved cause him to howl in pain only to choke on the sudden rush of energon spilled from the capillary lines being cut open in his face plates.

'Slingshot!'

He didn't think Vortex was going to stop for an astrosecond but, right before the blade would have begun to bit into his intakes, it stopped. The blade stayed in his mouth but it was no longer moving. Some subroutine that he couldn't isolate tried to close his mouth but that just caused more energon to flow from the wounds and he started to gag. It felt like his glossa had even been cut.

As suddenly as the knife appeared it was gone. Being swiped out at a slight angle, enough so that his abused plating was cut just a millimeter deeper. He hung his head, coughing up processed energon that ended up streaking down his side and over the knife hilt still in his transformation seam. He whimpered. Even he had to admit that a little bit of fear was starting to creep up out of the depth of his processor.

His fear leaking into the bond caused an explosion of emotions to start swirling about. Fireflight was panicking, a garbled stream of nonsense was coming from his part of the bond. Skydive was worried and Slingshot could feel him piece together what was happening to him when he realized that Vortex was the only Decepticon missing from the battlefield. Fireflight's panic reached and all time new high as he undoubtable remembered what Vortex had done to him. Air Raid was furious at himself for leaving Slingshot alone and a grim sense of determination filled his part of the bond. Silverbolt was trying to reassure him that they were coming but his fear for Slingshot's safety wasn't all that reassuring to Slingshot. He knew he was in trouble, he didn't need somemech adding on to that fear.

A servo suddenly grabbed his faceplates and forced his helmet back against the cliff with more force than was necessary. Vortex shushed him gently, wiping up some of the excess energon spilling down his faceplates with a soft touch and a clean cloth he had pulled from subspace. There was no sign of the second knife having ever been there even though Slingshot had the wound to prove it. "It's going to be alright," Vortex said soothingly. "I didn't want to do that, Slingshot. Please, don't make me do that to you again."

Slingshot just tried to pull his faceplates away from Vortex.

"Slingshot," the mech was saying his designation in a sing-song tone. "What is the helicopter's designation?" The cloth was removed from its assigned task and Slingshot felt Vortex's servo trace down the side of his neck, fingering some of the cables and lines there. A quiet threat hanging in the air between them.

Slingshot forced himself to allow the energon to pool in his mouth, despite his desire to spit it out. "Blades," he whimpered. "He's called Blades." There was a good chance that Soundwave had already gotten Blades' designation through the Decepticon spy network so Slingshot knew he wasn't giving away any vital information that the Decepticon's didn't already know. With him complying with Vortex's demands, it would pull him more off guard and a just a little bit closer.

"Oh Slingshot, see how easy that was? Why did you make me hurt you before? I really didn't want to hurt you this time." Vortex cooed. "Blades is part of a gestalt, isn't he?"

Again, Soundwave probably already knew that so Slingshot nodded his head, careful not to slosh the energon out of his mouth. He wondered why Vortex was asking him these questions in the first place. This wasn't anything like what his typical interrogations were like if the reports and rumors were true. This was a personal interest.

"He fights with his rotors right? Like a pair of swords? Just like I do?"

This time Slingshot answered by spitting the mouth full of energon right onto Vortex's battle mask and visor.

For a moment nothing in the small canyon moved, even the gentle breeze that had been blowing since Slingshot had first ditched into the canyon had stopped. Vortex stood frozen in mid pose, staring at Slingshot as the energon started to trickle down and congeal on his facemask. Despite the fact that it hurt worst then when he had one of his wings ripped off by Blitzwing, Slingshot smirked as best as he could. When Vortex finally did move it was to take a step back and draw a clean cloth out of subspace, which he wiped the energon away with. He never looked away from Slingshot, who was starting to become unnerved by the thousand mile stare Vortex was giving him.

"You were never taught any manners, were you?" Vortex said as the cloth vanished back into his subspace. "Well then, here's a repeat of one I already told you," Slingshot was able to hide the wince as Vortex grabbed the blade in his side. "Respect you elders." He then drew the knife up the transformation seam in Slingshot's side and traced it around the back of his shoulder joint.

While Slingshot knew he was lucky that Vortex hadn't stabbed inward and damage his energon processing center, this wasn't any better. He howled again as the blade sliced through wires and hoses in his side. He could tell that the blade wasn't going deep enough to critically injure him but it was deep enough to cause some serious, painful, but not spark threatening damage. He managed to put a block on the bond in time to prevent his brothers from feeling the backlash of his pain, but he could feel their distress as he clamped down on his end of the bond. He felt an underlying rage and promise of revenge echoing from his brothers -the feelings were especially strong from Fireflight which surprised him- through his block.

"Don't do that again," Vortex's said with almost a bored tone in his voice. Slingshot started to feel his processor sputter from the overload of pain piercing his processing centers. He swooned against the cliff face only to have his aching faceplate slapped hard enough to whip his helmet from one side then to the other. "And don't fall asleep just yet. I'd hate to have to go get Fireflight and persuade him to tell me more about Blades."

The threat to his younger brother was enough of an incentive for Slingshot to struggle to remain coherent. He could take this, he could take anything Vortex threw at him, especially if he could prevent Vortex from going after Fireflight or any of his other brothers. "Surprised Soundwave hasn't told you all this yet," he slurred shaking his helmet in an attempt to rattle several of his processes back into order.

"That's not what I asked."

"Of course he does," Slingshot snapped starting to become more irritated than afraid, the pain finally starting to fray his already short temper. The hydraulics in his knees were losing pressure and he had to lean his weight against the cliff face to remain upright. The strain in his arms was beginning to warp his armor, the subtle groan of bending metal coming to his audios. "Why are you so interested in Blades?!"

Vortex perked up at his confirmation, ignoring Slingshot's question, and seemed to do what Air Raid had one time called a 'happy dance'. That was impossible and slightly distrubing to process so Slingshot rebooted his optics thinking that the damage was starting to cause them to glitch. However, Vortex was still bouncing about when they came back online and Slingshot's logic processor momentarily seized up before quickly rebooting. "He's like me," the Decepticon said in a tone of voice that made him sound like a human child who had just been given a puppy. "I thought it was some kind of joke but it is true! He's just like me!" He spun away from Slingshot as he continued to dance.

Slingshot hissed, "He's nothing like you." Blades was an annoying, overbearing, stuck up, slag-headed fragger with his helmet shoved up his own exhaust port far enough he could see the light of day again. He and Blades didn't get along and had already had a few minor fistfights, one of which had landed them both in the medbay with a rather irate Ratchet. Neither Hotspot or Silverbolt had been to thrilled by that stunt either but Blades wasn't half as irritating as Vortex was and no where near as crazy. He was just a 'dickhead' according to the human language that the Autobots had adopted, not a complete psychopath like Vortex was.

"You wouldn't understand," Vortex said sadly, wilting again as he stopped dancing about like an overjoyed sparkling. "Do you know when the last time I saw, let alone fought, with another helomech?" He continued without waiting for an answer, gesturing with his hands in wide arch. "Vorns before I was locked up in the Box. There's a camaraderie that you jets would never understand. Even the Seekers wouldn't understand it." Vortex seemed to deflate completely, letting out a long drawn out sigh from his exhaust vents. "It's been so lonely…"

"But now," Vortex perked back up as he spoke again with a gleeful tone to his voice that caused a shiver to race up Slingshot's back struts. "There is another rotary mech here and I'm not so alone anymore. And Soundwave wasn't lying to me in the report. We are so much alike… It's only a matter of time before we meet on the battlefield and then everyone will understand what it's really like to fight. We'll be mortal enemies!" He roared his last line at the sky, lifting his arms up and out like he was waiting for a blessing from Primus himself.

"You're fragging insane," Slingshot hissed as his knees buckled and he had to scramble for a moment to prevent himself from sliding down the cliff.

"So I've been told," Vortex said nodding his head in agreement. "But enough about my mental issues, we must now focus on you. I thank you for confirming the information on Blades and even though you didn't except my offer originally, I'll stay away from Fireflight from now on. You, on the other servo, are way too much fun." Vortex produced what looked like a set of large needles from his subspace, the three of them held apart from each another by the digits on his servo. "I think I'm going to enjoy this game. Please feel free to scream like you were before." He started back towards Slingshot with predatory grace and cooed, "Has anyone ever told you that you have a beautiful voice?"

Slingshot pressed against the cliff and tried to calm his spark pulse as Vortex approached. Panicking wasn't going to do him much good and there was no way he was going to plead and beg with Vortex. He refused to give the interrogator any satisfaction. That being said, he braced himself for the coming pain, he wouldn't make a peep, no matter how much it hurt.

Vortex took his battered face in a crushing grip and forced his chin up, exposing his neck. Slingshot lashed out with his ped and managed to kick the side of Vortex's knee joint causing it to buckle slightly and Vortex to stumble back. It also caused Slingshot to lose his footing and the pain in his shoulder joints caused him to whimper as he struggled to stand once more. "Oh yes," Vortex said as his rotors trembled against his back in what appeared to be delight. "I'm going to really enj-" The rest of his sentence was drowned out by the roar of jet engines racing down the canyon, the echoes reverberating off of the rock walls making it sound like an entire squadron was racing through the canyon. Vortex subspaced his needles and pulled out his assault rifle, pivoting towards where the sound seemed to be coming from, servo checking the rifle over quickly before bring it up to bear.

He never got a chance to fire.

Later Slingshot found out that Skydive had thrown together a haste plan using what he knew of acoustics to throw Vortex off his game. The relatively small canyon that Slingshot had been caught in had a wider much more passable end and a thin tapered end, riddled with all kinds of natural obstacles created by various forms of erosion. This was Skydive's approach vector, having the most skill and being the best flier out of the Aerialbots, he was sure that he could safely navigate through the smaller portion of the canyon while the rest of his brothers roared down and through the much more open approach. The sounds of their engines echoing off the canyon walls were enough to make Skydive's engine sound like nothing more than another echo.

The surprise attack hit hard and fast. Slingshot watched as Vortex turned and readied his weapon only to jerk and nearly drop it as laser fire lit up his back struts causing his rotors to fan out in surprise. He stumbled as it came to a stop, hissing in pain and anger as energon began dribbling on the ground beneath him. The sound of a mech transforming reached Slingshot's audios astroseconds before Skydive landed between him and Vortex, staring down the mech with his pistol already drawn and his back to his brother. Cursing vehemently in Cybertronian, Vortex turned back towards them about to shoot only to be rammed by an enraged concord jet moving at full speed.

Slingshot wished that his helmet turned enough to see the rest of the fight, to see Vortex get the beat down he wished he could be dishing out, but Vortex was launched out of his vision by the impact. Silverbolt was already half transformed with a look on his faceplates that was furious yet eerily calm and cold. There was nothing in the way of shy hesitancies that he was use to seeing on his oldest brother's faceplates. Slingshot was amazed, Silverbolt rarely got angry at anything -disappointed and embarrassed maybe- but that look on his faceplates meant he was pissed beyond reason and looking for an outlet for his aggression. The last time he had seen Silverbolt look ready to dissemble somemech was just after they had rescued Fireflight from Vor-

Oh.

Slingshot didn't get to see any more of the one sided fight but he heard every ring of metal impacting with metal and choked squeals coming Vortex as Silverbolt laid into the other mech. He was the second least aggressive out of the Aerialbots but when he was pissed, Silverbolt used the fact that he was the strongest of them to his advantage in a fight. Judging by the sound of rending metal behind him, Slingshot could only guess that Silverbolt was ripping Vortex's armor to shreds.

A rotor went flying down the canyon and Slingshot revised that previous thought to 'ripping his rotors off'. It was then he realized that Skydive and Air Raid were there, the former holding him up against the cliff while Air Raid carefully cut away at the glue trapping him to the wall with an energon knife. Behind both of them with his rifle drawn and optics that kept flickering from Slingshot to the sky above them was Fireflight. He was trembling slightly and the looks he kept casting Slingshot were very disturbed, probably from his appearance and remembering what his own torture session with Vortex had been like. Slingshot shifted slightly to try and take some of his weight from Skydive and prove to Fireflight he was going to be alright. "Don't," he was ordered by his brother. "Let me take your weight, you're alright now Slingshot."

Before Slingshot could say anything the glue finally let loose from the rock and Slingshot found himself sagging in Skydive's grip. He arms were still stuck together with glue but they were no longer helping to support his weight. The dull ache that he had barely been aware of burst into pain causing him to whimper as his arms swung limply in front of him while Skydive pulled him away from the cliff. "E-easy, with him Skydive," Air Raid's voice was uneven and stuttering slightly. Air Raid looked about as upset as Fireflight did but not about the same thing exactly. Slingshot could feel through the bond the huge amount of self blame he was laying on himself every time he looked at Slingshot. "Lay him down on his good side so I can get a better look at him."

Skydive moved to comply with their medical tech's orders only to freeze when Fireflight suddenly yelled, "INCOMING!" He opened fire on something but Slingshot didn't get a chance to see what was happening as Skydive moved, half dragging him behind a group of rocks off to the side as laser fire blew holes in the ground the size of Optimus' alt mode. Skydive covered him from flying debris with his own body which only pissed Slingshot off more. He hated to be a burden to his brothers almost as much as he hated not having any idea about what was happening.

Skydive must have realized this because he said over the incoming fire, "Blast Off and Onslaught! They're after Vortex!" He peaked up over their shelter, gun out of subspace and ready to fire, before ducking back down just as quick. "They got him," he added grimly as the heavy laser fire suddenly began to diminish and the sound of Blast Off's alt mode taking off drowned out everything else in the canyon. The wall of heat that washed over him and Skydive was enough to over tax his already over stressed systems and his vision fuzzed over with static.

He came online only a few earth minutes later, laying on his side with most of the armor on his damaged side peeled back and away from his internals. By the feel of his lagging systems, Air Raid had given him a depressor, dampening his pain receptors but also making him feel disjointed and numb. Blearily, he started to lift his helmet only to have a servo press it back down which he managed to grumbled incoherently at.

"Don't Slingshot," Silverbolt said in a voice that was soft and gentle. "Don't move around. Ratchet is on his way."

Knowing that his commander was standing over him reminded Slingshot of the danger lurking in Vortex's words. He tried to say something but the damage to his faceplates caused him to just make whimpering noises instead. The servo on his helmet gently traced along the same ridge that Vortex had earlier but there was nothing about the touch that disgusted him. Instead all it did was relax Slingshot and he let out a sigh from his exhaust vents.

No matter how much he wanted to slip back off line, Slingshot knew he still had to tell Silverbolt about Vortex's scheme. There was no telling how long his repairs were going to take, Vortex could have already gotten to Blades by then. He had to warn Silverbolt. With a huff he tried his communicator only to find out that the depressor had dampened most of his internal systems to the point they were either in, or almost in, standby mode. He vaguely wondered why Air Raid had gave him an extra powerful dose before pressing into the bond and reaching towards Silverbolt.

Of course, as soon as they felt him focus his presence into the bond, it meant all his brothers had to reassure him and give him the equivalent of a hug through the bond. Air Raid was especially clingy, sorrow and self incrimination dripping from his presence in waves. Slingshot huffed, he hated it when his brothers were overly emotional and worried about him. He'd been through worse -like when Devastator had nearly ripped him in half, now that had been bad- and for him this was all over.

Right?

Frag, Silverbolt and Ratchet were probably going to make him talk to Smokescreen about this incident.

He pushed that thought from his mind as he mentally embraced Air Raid, giving him a small pulse of reassurance but 'growled' loudly at him not to abandon his post again. 'What if it had been Skydive or Silverbolt or Fireflight?' He sent only to Air Raid. 'Vortex would have destroyed them.' It was harsh and he could feel Air Raid shrink away with an even deeper feeling of remorse but acceptance. With his brother chastised -for now- Slingshot turned back towards Silverbolt's presence. His other three brothers had 'stepped' back in the bond so that he and Air Raid could have their moment, but feeling Slingshot searching for him made Silverbolt 'step' back in, wrapping his presence around him tight enough that Slingshot wondered if it was possible to choke on his eldest brother's worry.

'I'm here, you're safe.' Silverbolt send with a fierce sense of determination tinted with an under laying anger and outright hate. Despite the importance of his message, Slingshot relaxed at the promise his wing leader gave to all of them. 'He won't touch you -any of you- ever again.'

Slingshot felt a smirk tug at his sore faceplates, the over-protective hanger-mom had struck again. Still, the knowledge that Silverbolt would be purposely gunning for the Decepticon helicopter for the foreseeable future would be helpful, especially for Blades. 'He's not after us.' He sent back tiredly as the depressor started to lull him into recharge. He hear tires screeching to a halt and the sound of multiple transformations somewhere nearby but those were unimportant as he pushed one finally thought to Silverbolt before he succumbed to the depressor's affects.

'Silverbolt, he's after Blades.'