The Diego Diaries: Chaos 34

=0=Later that orn

Ratchet walked into the Tower and ambled to the elevator. As he entered, he looked down. "Turquoise."

The somber optics of Turquoise of Capital City regarded Ratchet. "Hello, Ratchet. You don't mind if I ride up with you?"

Ratchet stared at the little bot for a second, then enveloped him in his arms. When he did, the dam broke and Turquoise wailed his sorrow all the way up to the 49th floor.

-0-On the rounds

Ironhide walked down the train track that run everywhere under the city. There wasn't a place in the city that the tracks didn't reach, every different location accessible to those coming and going. Freight from guns and ammo to furniture, energon and anything else a destination needed was also taken to the dozens of platforms that led upward into the sunlight from dozens of places around the great city.

He was headed for Military Depot/Hub 7 underneath the big towers of the new habitation going up in quarry 5. Tucked safely into the crook of his arm, a tiny botlet looked up at him, her little blue optics searching everything that her focus could reach. She could see the big bot holding her, the flash here and there of a light. The tunnels were well lit to allow pedestrians to make their way on the sidings that lined each side of the tracks.

As he neared the depot, he heard the rumbling of a train coming. Pausing, staring to the corner he waited. The train appeared, a robotic mechanism driving a load of missiles to the depot at Aerie Hill. It rattled past them pulling ten cars filled with deadly but disarmed munitions. When it was past, Ironhide looked at his daughter. "Those are for Seekers. Those aren't like the stuff I've already shown you. Those are way too big for you." He watched her face as she looked at him, struggling somehow to understand what he was saying or so it seemed to him. He grinned and kissed her helm. "Some time soon I'll show you a lot of things and you can tell me what your favorite is. Okay?"

She looked at him and smiled. He looked at her with misty optics. He had missed carrying Praxus around. That has been a bothersome thing for him giving that little sweet mech to the schools. He was determined to have his little femme with him as long as he could. With that, he turned and walked onward.

-0-CMO's Office, Medical Tower

They sat on a couch, Turquoise leaning against Ratchet. He had wept like his spark was broken and then it passed. Ratchet held him, his arm around the smaller bot's shoulders as they sat together in the warm sunlight of the late afternoon. "Thank you, Ratchet. I don't know what came over me."

"Sadness. Depression. Hurt," Ratchet said squeezing the little bot's shoulders. "Don't apologize. This has been terrible for both you and Copperton too."

"It has been a desolation," Turquoise said softly. "I thought this would be the place, that our family would live here happily. Now this. I dream that the city will find out and we will be shunned."

"No one will," Ratchet said. "Prime gave you his word."

He nodded. "I know. I just miss my son. He isn't beyond hope."

"No one is," Ratchet said. "I have two sons who never had a home until now. They were left on their own at sparkling age and it shows still. They are brutal warriors and tough younglings but they are mine and I love them. They are finding their way to another way of thinking every day. Your son will too. He is alone with his thoughts. He will change."

"Do you really think so?" Turquoise asked sitting up, his expression desperately hopeful.

"I do," Ratchet said nodding. "I have been given the charge of looking after his health. I can go see him. I will talk to him too. We didn't abandon him. Prime is wise, Turquoise. He's very, very wise. He knows what he's doing."

Turquoise stared at Ratchet, emotions warring across his face. "He is wise isn't he. He has the Matrix to guide him. The Matrix probably designed this for my son. Do you think so?"

"I know so," Ratchet said nodding. "Have you been to the Temple? Have you asked the AllSpark for an answer to your fears?"

"No," Turquoise said shaking his helm. "I haven't been … I have been embarrassed to go out much. Just coming here was so difficult."

"That's silly," Ratchet said rising. "Come on. Let's go see the AllSpark. Let's see what that venerable force has to say that will give you comfort and hope." Ratchet looked at Turquoise. "Understand, my friend. I have been in the Pit so deep it took vorns to see the sky again. I have been separated from my bond for eons. But never at any time did I not feel there was hope."

Turquoise looked at Ratchet and rose. He leaned into Ratchet's chassis and Ratchet hugged him. "Thank you," he said softly. "I want to believe."

"Then let's go ask," Ratchet said. Turquoise nodded and the two turned walking to the door. They took the elevator and walked from the Medical Tower to Metroplex District.

Turquoise stared at the ground as they walked, shame forming on his handsome anxious face.

"Turquoise, let's take a side trip. I think it will do you good," Ratchet said taking the bot by the arm. As he did, he turned right down the main highway through Metroplex, the one that led out into the hinterlands.

-0-Moments later

They paused at the door that led to the lower levels where the central command center that made up Metroplex was located. Turquoise stood trembling unwilling to go further. "Oh, Ratchet … I can't face him."

"Have you ever talked to him?" Ratchet asked.

Turquoise shook his helm. "No."

"Then trust me," Ratchet said soothingly. "I have." With that, he opened the door and gently gripping Turquoise's arm, he walked inside and the door closed behind them. They were two levels below the ground in the heart of the huge transformed mechanism. Metroplex lit the corridors as they walked to the command core following the diagram on the wall that lent them directions. Their ped falls echoed around them as they walked on immaculate floors toward the inner sanctum. As they did, they met Scamper. He stood watching them come, a tall bot in the range of Ironhide. He was gray, bore the Autobrand on his chest and watched them with optics hidden behind a blue visor.

"Hello, Scamper. I want to speak to the boss."

The bot grinned. "He's expecting you."

"Where are you going?" Ratchet said pausing before the door that led to the command and mental core of the mechanism that formed all around them a vast and complex city. "I haven't seen you out and about in a while."

"I'm on patrol. Then I'm going to the flats and race with the younglings," he said with a chuckle. "I think Metroplex is relaxed enough to let me out."

"Good thing. Nothing worse than a housebound youngling," Ratchet said with a grin. He pressed the latch and the door slid past. "Remember … keep the shiny side up and the dirty side down."

Scamper's laughter could be heard until the door closing cut it off. Turquoise stood tensely beside Ratchet staring at the incredibly complex command center of the titan. All around them stations on automatic programming worked to run his systems. He was colossal, stupendous, the most complex of all the mechanisms living in the city. He was also aware of them. "Ratchet."

"Metroplex," Ratchet replied moving toward the pulsating panel that was the outward face of the internal mechanism. "How are you?"

"I am fine. Thank you for your assistance," he replied.

"You are very welcome. I have someone here who needs to talk to you. He's shy. He doesn't understand your great goodness," Ratchet said. He turned and looked at Turquoise. "This is the most humble bot you will ever know. He is magnificent but he always feels he can do more. That is one of the many reasons that we love him."

Turquoise looked at Ratchet and then the panel of lights. "Metroplex … I … I am honored and humbled to meet you." Turquoise bowed his helm.

"And I, you," Metroplex said. "You appear to be filled with sorrow."

Turquoise looked at Ratchet who nodded. He turned to the panel. "I am here to offer myself to you for whatever punishment you wish to mete out to me. It was my son that caused the explosions that harmed you." Turquoise knelt. "I will do whatever you suggest to make it right. Somehow, there is a way to make it right. Please tell me."

It was quiet a moment. "It is not your fault."

Turquoise looked up. "He is my son. I raised him not to value everyone equally. It is my fault. Children … they don't grow up alone. They become what they are taught. For that, I am abject in my sorrow and wish you to know how terrible I feel. I wish to make amends. Please tell me what you need to feel renewed."

It was silent again. "It is not your fault. Your son is Burnoff."

Turquoise started and looked at Ratchet. Rising, filled with fear he nodded. "Yes. But I am asking for forgiveness and I am ready to make whatever amends you ask for."

"You cannot ask for what you already have," Metroplex said.

Turquoise thought a moment, confusion filling him. "What I already have?"

"I am sick of fighting and recriminations. I am sick of brutality and endless vengeance. Peace begins with forgiveness. I have forgiven."

"My son … ?" Turquoise asked haltingly.

"Affirmative. It is my duty to protect and defend. But it is also my duty to become better and wiser. I cannot do that and hate. And you cannot ask for what you already have."

It was silent. Then Turquoise haltingly walked to the panel pausing before it. He touched it uncertainly and then stepped forward pressing his face against the lights. He stood a moment embracing what he could of the greatest Autobot of them all and then he stepped back. "You have wisdom, Metroplex. You saved my life. I am your servant."

They could almost feel his smile. "And I am yours."

They stood in the beauty of the moment, then Ratchet nodded. "Thank you, Metroplex. You never disappoint."

A chuckle echoed and the good feeling persisted as they turned and walked to the door and beyond. It was a quiet walk to the Temple.

-0-At Depot/Hub 7

He stood proudly as the mechs gathered around him viewed his latest contribution to their effort against extinction. Some were Seekers, a couple were femmes and the rest were mechs, civilian, soldier and neutral.

"What a great little femme," a Seeker said. "It makes me chuckle that all of your sparklings look like you, Ironhide.

Ironhide grinned. "That's Ratchet's psychosis."

"Who conned him into changing his paint scheme?" Sandstorm asked with a smirk.

"You two were meant for each other," Topspin said with a snort.

"Truer words never spoken," Ironhide said with a ginormous grin. "And you can't make me feel bad either.

Hilarity ensued.

-0-Temple

They stood before the Well, the AllSpark turning silently above the blue mist covered pool of infinity that represented a pathway to Primus and The One. The room was quiet, the few there sitting in alcoves meditating on their own situation. Ratchet squeezed Turquoise's arm. "Ask what you need."

Turquoise looked at Ratchet and then stared at the great Cube, off lining his optics. He thought about his son, the only sparkling that he and Copperton had undertaken. The Well had been the source after a very long period of failure with merging. They had been thrilled with the infant and he was a good one. They gave him everything they could, more than he needed it would come to appear. They had given him everything but compassion. Empathy. A sense that all were indeed one.

He thought about his son and turned his sorrows outward. /... Great Primus, I come to you with a broken spark. I come to you to ask for forgiveness in my failures and mercy for my son and bond. We are broken. We are abject. Please show us the way back to the light.../

He stood silently and then he felt it, tendrils of warmth that touched his spark. No one spoke but he heard words of comfort, simple feelings of wellness that suffused him. It continued for what seemed forever and he wanted it to continue, but it then began to fade. When it was gone, he opened his optics, staring into the blue infinity before him. He looked up, the Cube turning unchanged before him. It was unchanged but he was. He felt light of spark. His son was still gone but the hopelessness that suffused him had begun to recede. He would come home some day and he would be there to guide him back to himself.

Turquoise reached out and clasped Ratchet's servo. They stood together for a while staring at the Cube in the stillness of the Great Room. When they finally turned to go, Turquoise would leave changed.

-0-TBC

2012 (10)