((I'm a terrible horrible authoress… I know. I haven't updated anything… Honest to god, I blame myself, tumblr, and life… Life… it sucks. Plain and simple. Its… its hard to write, when everything just goes wrong at home… So I'm sorry this is short… I'm sorry that I'm not quality… I'm sorry I cant update like I did with GIBTH. ;~; I'm sorry…

This is a timeskip, too, just so you know.

And because I want this shit to get rolling, you can have death.))

I honestly don't have much to say about the time that passed. Eventually, the block my sire put there broke… and I collapsed into inconsolable wails. I mourned him for a long time… a long, long time… Several months in human time, truly, though I did so when I wasn't taking care of Shadeburner and WindStrider. I spent what time that I wasn't fighting, training, and caring for them, in mourning for my lost creator.

Let it not be said that we didn't love. We loved hardest of all, for we knew that such love was to be treasured, as it could slip away in the blink of an optic.

The Primes were slowly taking over fully now, integrating new laws and enforcing it. They were creating jobs that paid credits, and were creating large metropolises that would be almost impossible to topple or storm without half the planet on your side. Two city's came into being. Kaon, and Iacon. They were the large capitols of the planet, and were on the opposite sides from each other.

Slowly, they were working to try and shut down the pit-fighting program. One of them had been sassing me recently that I should go to work with one of them, perhaps become a 'paper pusher' as the human slang goes. They said, if all works out, those who are fit for it will go down to the mines of Cybertron and begin to mine it.

I was the only one in our household bringing in credits. WindStrider… he and Mimi spent a lot of time close. He hadn't been doing well, this past while. He'd been going further and further down hill, towards the endless sleep that we all, deep down inside, craved. He was starting to drift off at intermittent times,

So was Mimi. His carrying was hard on him. He hated the sparkling for all that it was worth, and tried time and time again to starve to death. Given that anything he ate came right back up thanks to the tank upsets made worse with spark break, it wasn't too hard to see why. My injectors went to become his main form of fueling, and through that, he survived.

It… did impede on my siblings growth. It was small. Too small, actually, to be of the right size it should be. But, it still kicked strong and hard, making Shadeburner's lost mind hate it more. His chest was only minutely swollen by the time it came for him to deliver.

During the raid, our quarters were destroyed. My lab survived, so I got to keep my work. But, we had nowhere to go. Windstrider stepped up, though, and took charge for a time. He got us a home… Well, he gave me his ship. He wasn't in the state to drive it, though he did get it to sync to my systems rather then his. We lived on his ship, which I christened Misery's Keep.

Misery's keep was large, and it had ample storage space, and a tiny Energon creator that WindStrider stole from somewhere on Cybertron. Someone had apparently built it from the parts of a femme, and designed it to create Energon… And this machine kept us from starving, when we lived off of mouthfuls, or rather injections for Shadeburner, of energon per day. I gave my ration to my carrier, much to his distaste.

Misery's keep had many rooms and things that most bots wouldn't think of. It was built to house a large, large family, and had a humungous Cargo bay. But, I suppose it makes sense. WindStrider hauled things many times our size. Its little wonder why his cargo hold was so big, and why the armored plating of the ship was as thick as he could possibly make it and still get off the ground.

Blackwind stayed with us too; though he didn't share credits. He didn't use our energon either. But, he was always there, doing whatever I asked. If I wanted a sparring partner, the mentally damaged mech was more then content enough to scrap me, or be scrapped, and then fix us both up. If I needed him to help me test my poisons, he would gladly inject the antidote after a good amount of time.

He was there. I might not have truly hated or liked him, but he was there. He became almost a friend. Almost.

Shadeburner alternated between hating my guts, and loving me like no other. It was a dizzying array of emotions that my body was very slowly growing accustomed too, when it came to him… And only got worse the farther into carrying he'd gotten.

Shadeburner had managed to drink a half cube today, and had been relaxing on the couch with WindStrider while I worked in a corner on creating a mod for my cannons to let me fire my shots after injecting them with my poisoned energon. So far, no luck. Anyways, Shadeburner was relaxing when he lurched up with a cry, and his chest began to leak.

I'd never witnessed labor before, and honestly, when a mech labors, it is terrifying. Shadeburner was violently ill for hours, purging everything into the waste disposal unit of the wash rack area that I still was unsure how to work. He dry heaved intermittently in-between these painful looking tightening movements of his chest, sometimes bringing up the oily secretions of his tanks that passed as oil for my kind. I'd been sitting with him in the showers, WindStrider curled against the cabinet on the far side, while Shadeburner cursed at the sparkling and at me for making him live for the sparkling in between dry heaves and splashes of fluid and lurches of movement from within him.

His chest plates were beginning to open, so that was good… I think. I was going off of datapads, knowledge, and downloads from the others. "Mimi," I spoke softly, "I need you to sit along the wall for me. Please?" I asked.

He growled at me but did as I asked, leaning back against the wall where he was where I could get to him. Gently, my digits worked into his chest plating, parting it. At the top of his chest, the sack, pulsating and slightly torn at the top, was wrenching upwards to force the small help up where I could get my fingers at.

Shadeburner vomited bile onto my arm as he sat there, and began to shiver as the helm came into my digits. I didn't flinch; I'd had worse things splattered on me. I could see his fragmented spark pulsing in his chest, half dark, as I gingerly pulled upwards on the helm. It didn't seem ready to move yet, so I simply held on as he contracted.

It would seem that the pulsing of his spark kept dimming. Mimi looked up at me, his visor retracted. Blue optics gazed into mine, half crazed with pain, and began to dim. His lips turned to a smile, bittersweet, and he reached for me through the bond with something that was neither love nor hate. /I hate you. Both of you. But I love you too. May unicron devour my spark for all eternity, for I cannot do it./

I didn't respond, too startled as his end of the bond suddenly went dark, and pain slashed through me. All that was connected to me, was the dimming bond to my sibling as it struggled feebly. Shock filled me higher, and I couldn't vent, couldn't process… Mimi was gone. Just like that. The orb of his spark was fully dark, limp in his chest, and his optics were black. His visor released from his helm, and rolled down onto my arm. Shadeburner… he'd been unable to keep his vow.

"Mimi's… dead." I blinked softly. The pain raging in my spark was terrible, and I almost wished it would kill me… because now I was orphaned. Taking a breath of faintly oxidized air, I focused on the pain. It amplified within me, and I drank it in, using it to center me. The pain was a welcome reprieve for the shock of his death. I tucked it deep down inside of me, burying the pain for a day I wanted to submerge myself in agony.

A feeble panicked feel from the little one still within my carrier had me lashing with my claws and slashing open the gestational chamber in which the sparkling was flailing. My hand plucked it up gently by the back of its neck, and as soon as it was clear from my Carriers graying frame, it began to hack. Fluid dribbled from feminine lips, and I patted its back. A glob of liquids came from its vents, before a healthy wailing left the little one.

Its coverings were gone and the tiny frame, no bigger then my hands cupped together, squirmed and flailed, screaming with the pain of the lost bond. A quick glance told me it was a femme. The color was an odd shade of green, pretty yet bland. Little wiggling helm fins shook themselves out along the side of her helm, and a set of door wings fluttered behind her, shaking off the goop from her untimely birth.

WindStrider looked over at me tiredly as I glanced to him, not sure what to do with her. "Hold her close to your spark." He said after examining the little one. "She'll bond with you instinctively." He murmured.

I swallowed thickly and did as told, and the little femme's flailing hands clutched to my chest. Claws clutched at me as she wailed; nuzzling the glass compartment I'd grown in while she'd gestated. My chest tingled faintly in response to the distressed sparkling, and my energon sacks began to fill behind my plates. I wasn't quite at adult hood yet, but I was a few of my kinds years from it, and programming was booting up.

WindStrider got up with an aged grunt, and moved forwards. In his hand he clutched an old Datapad that he'd been reading on and off, or so it seemed. He shifted and knelt next to me, staring down at the little warbling femme. His optics flickered softly, and it suddenly occurred to me that I was going to be alone with a mentally unstable mech and a sparkling here very soon. A rattling sigh left him as he stroked a thumb over her helm. Tiny helm fins flicked at him, and she wailed louder. "She needs a name, Nightstrike." He murmured softly. "She is yours now… Shadeburner… he did not die honorably."

I bowed my helm some in acknowledgement of his words. My mouth was dry, and despite the flood of lubricants I let loose, it felt as if it was filled with organic fur. "I'm not good with names, Uncle…"

He sighed softly. "I figured you wouldn't be. Grant me one last gift? May I name her?"

Eagerly, I looked to him and nodded. "Yes, please."

Windstrider gave a tired smile to me, before leaning over to take the Visor that fell from my Carrier's frame. He gently stroked the band with a soft look, and then handed it to me. "Keep this. She might want it some day later." His digit stroked down her back softly, in between the doors with a gentle look. "Mm… JadeRush." He said firmly. "That will be her name."

JadeRush, in my arms, wailed softly again, shivering. I shifted and covered her frame with most of my arm, casting a woeful glance down at the dead frame of my carrier. "JadeRush… somehow, I think Mimi and Papa would have loved her, if they'd both lived." I murmured softly.

"They would have." He murmured softly. His hand shifted, and he settled the datapad on my leg. "This… This is for you. This is everything I know, that I was going to train you. I want you to continue your lessons, and keep this for the future." WindStrider glanced at her with a soft click. "Not her though… Our world is changing, Nightstrike. It's not the same one you grew up in. A golden time is coming. Do me one thing, Nightstrike. Break away from the pits. Don't raise her like we raised you. Raise her with love, raise her to be soft, to enjoy the touch of pleasure that we raised you blind too."

I frowned. But… "What am I supposed to do if I don't fight, Uncle?" I asked. "I'm not talented at other jobs, and I refuse to become a miner."

He sighed softly. "Try being a bouncer for the clubs that have been opening. The topside dwellers are not as tough as we are." WindStrider shifted and sat down heavily. "As you are," he corrected. "I'm done, NightStrike. My spark is dimming as we speak." He murmured. "I'll be going to join your Mimi."

I sighed softly and leaned over. My arm pressed to his as JadeRush began to stop her wailing. The bond between the two of us solidified, and she sent me a questioning feeling, wondering where our Carrier was. /Gone./ I answered her simply. /Its you and me, little one./ Shifting my gaze to look at Windstrider through my visor, I sighed. "Neither of you will have died with honor, Uncle… But I will send you off with honor regardless."

He relaxed against my arm with a sigh. "That is all I ask… Is there anything you want to know before I go?"

Remaining stiff, I shook my helm. "No. I know all I need to know. You can go, Uncle. Tell Mimi and Papa that I'll care for JadeRush."

"Will do…" His voice trailed off faintly. He grew heavier on my arm, and my spark throbbed softly with grief. Two of my family gone in one day. My carrier… My uncle… WindStrider's frame careened over with a crash, still and graying. His armor faded from the soft blue to a more deadening gray. Lowering my helm some, I hid my face in the soft helm of my sibling, and allowed myself to weep and grieve while I was still alone.

Very few tears fell, for I was not able to let more fall. There was no need to cry, when I would see him and Mimi and Papa again when I came to join the well of all sparks. It was such the teaching of our kind, that it wasn't needed for grieving to be long. You would always see them again, either battling them on the way to the pits of hell, or flying with them in the skies of the Well.

Her tiny hand began tugging at my chest, and an insistent needy feeling came from her. It took me time to still my tears enough to figure out she was demanding to be fed. Gathering my pedes under me, I stood, casting a woeful glance at the dead frames laying on the floor, before moving and going to the main room.

Blackwind was on the couch, watching me as I entered with the sparkling in my grasp. He kept watching the door, waiting for them to come through. When nothing happened, and I'd sat beside him, he turned his confused gaze to me. "Shadeburner and Windstrider aren't coming out."

"They're dead." I answered flatly. My chest plates opened, upon which my filled energon sacks dropped out. JadeRush latched onto one with a tired, greedy suckling sound, and began to nurse. "Carrier died before JadeRush," I motioned to the little one with a hand, "could be born. WindStrider just died a moment ago."

Blackwind looked to the little one in my arms, his optics clicking slowly shut in a blink. "I see… So we are alone then." His words were bland, not really caring. "I will miss Shadeburner, but it is best he did not suffer." Those words let me know he was having a good day of mostly being sane. "We shall bury them, smelt them, or send them off in the sea of rust?"

"The sea of Rust is our tradition," I answered him sagely. "But… Not tonight. Will you move them to their rooms please, and strap them to their berths? I'll take us there tomorrow. I want to tend to the little one for now."

Blackwind tilted his helm and nodded. "Very well." His frame groaned as he got up, lumbering to the wash racks.

As JadeRush burbled against my chest, vibrating the energon sack in her mouth, I sighed and let my helm roll back. The pain in my spark throbbed and burned, and I let myself submerge in the pain, let it become me.

Why… Why when only after they'd gone, does one begin to feel love?