Ratchet POV

As soon as Optimus and Bluestreak entered the war room, I sealed the door and activated the sound barriers. This was not something that needed to be spread about. I was the last one to take a seat, and I looked around the table at each of the bots gathered there.

"I'll get right to the point, this meeting is about Autumn, and Smokescreen, if you ever reveal anything that is said in this meeting, I will not only offline you slowly, but I will make sure that you beg no less than Primus himself to take your spark long before I actually offline you!" I began with a glare at the mech who was notorious for gambling, blackmail, and sometimes even gossip.

"I am being forced to breech doctor – patient confidentiality for the sake of the patient in question, and you had better never repeat any of it to someone not in this room or even allow some other bot to overhear you speak of it. Am I perfectly understood?"

"Besides, as of this moment, Autumn is now your patient as well." I added quickly while still glaring at the mech.

"I take it dis is real serious den?" Jazz asked leaning forward and placing his mid arm joints on the table.

"Yes Jazz it is… very serious!"

"Autumn has a forming glitch unlike any that we've dealt with before." I began slowly.

"How serious is this particular glitch and what is the nature of it?" Prowl asked quickly.

"Autumn's personality core is split. There are actually two separate and distinct personalities within her. The first, the one we are familiar with, is a perfect definition and description of insanity. It's filled with nervousness, apprehension, fear, anger, guilt, and depression combined with a psychotically murderous rage that includes a penchant for self destruction and a fear that borders on terror of those in authority. The second personality is kind, gentle, and forgiving, with a loving nature that is actually hard to believe."

"Now you understand what I see in her!" Bluestreak exclaimed.

I couldn't help but look over at the bot sadly. He really hadn't had any idea what he'd been getting into when he had formed his bond with Autumn. Unfortunately, I had to be the one to tell him.

"Actually Bluestreak… none of us have seen any hint that this second personality ever existed. What we have seen from Autumn so far is strictly the damaged personality. The other is too weak, too repressed, and too ineffectual to dominate her systems at this time." I told him as gently as I could.

"So she is a pit spawned glitch then. I knew it!"

I couldn't keep my engine from growling ominously as I ground my denta and glared at the weapons specialist. "Ironhide, I will tell you only once, that if you ever call her that again, I will reformat you into a portable toilet for the humans to use, and I will ensure that you are the only such facility on this entire island! Autumn is a sparkling, and she has already been through the very pit itself. So far the only thing she's had for any type of protection is a memory of her mother… what we would term a carrier. That memory is located where her nonexistent firewalls should be."

I glanced at each of the bots at the table to see that I now had their undivided attention. "Autumn's sire has tormented her and treated her even worse than the 'Cons treat their prisoners. Apparently, the only thing that has kept her even partially sane is that one hazy memory of her mother's love and kindness."

"Can she not be made to understand that we will now protect her?" Optimus asked with quiet intensity.

I vented heavily as I looked over at the large bot. I knew him to be a caring and compassionate mech who always tried to see the best in others. I also knew that it took a lot to make him angry, but what I had to tell everyone here would probably do that and more.

"That won't be as easy as it sounds."

"And why not? Surely Autumn will now have some evidence to reinforce that belief."

"No Optimus, she doesn't. What she knows is based on the traumatic experience of her past. Right now, she probably sees us as being no different from any of the other human adults who have already failed to protect her when they were charged with doing so. The reason for that is because when Bluestreak found her, she was dying. Chained up, abandoned in the woods for any carnivore or scavenger to finish off, stabbed in her left lung to drown in her own blood or die from blood loss, and smashed in the back of her helm to die from cerebral damage. The result is that she was in stasis or a coma, which for humans often precedes death, for three weeks. At the end of that time frame, we did something that was no different from all the other figures of authority that Autumn is familiar with… we sent her back to her tormentor." I stated sadly.

Primus this was hard! I have so much that needs to be said, and yet I don't want to violate Autumn's privacy any more than I absolutely have to.

"Her father was going to kill her after that. He had already stabbed her again, chained her to a pole, and had her subjected to repeated rapes to the point that if she had remained human, she would never have been able to conceive a child because her reproduction system was severely and permanently damaged. It's a miracle of Primus that she was still alive when we got to her. She had already been a full week without food or water. I won't even factor in the blood loss from being stabbed; the lack of water alone should have killed her within three days. We returned Autumn to her father so that he could end her life! So why would she see us as being any different from others who were supposed to help her? Why should she view us as anything even slightly different from her own mech creator?" I demanded strongly.

I glared around the table to see that every mech there was in a state of shock. I had never seen Prowl's doorwings drooping listlessly before, but there was no way that I was going to say anything to him about it. The issue at servo was far too serious for such teasing! Smokescreen looked like he wanted to purge his tanks, and even Jazz had lost his jovial attitude and become all business.

"So what are we sposed ta do now?" Jazz demanded.

"What we do now is something that we Autobots do best… we work together to correct the problem, and overcome the obstacle. It's going to take a coordinated effort from all of us to overcome Autumn's past."

"That will not be easily accomplished. I have seen the confession of Autumn's creator, and he stated that once Autumn reached the age of seven, that he made certain she was always experiencing pain from at least one broken rib, and sometimes even a broken arm. She has been physically assaulted on a daily basis to such an extent that the abuse and pain might very well comprise a vast majority of her experience and memories." Prowl said as he leaned forward and lifted his wings to a close to normal position.

"Those memories of abuse are what she remembers most Prowl. I've seen victims of the 'Cons who had been tormented for several vorns endure much less than what she has lived through in barely more than a fifth of a single vorn."

"Oh come on! You're making it sound as if this human mech was more twisted than Soundwave or Shockwave!" Smokescreen exclaimed angrily.

"Smokescreen… when you consider that Soundwave was already in her processors, deleting her memories, could have done whatever he wanted, before he realized her actual age and restored her to what she was, then you'll understand that her sire was actually far worse than a Decepticon! Even Soundwave doesn't condone what Autumn has been through! After seeing what she has for memories, I doubt that any Decepticon would act in such a way! Offlining a sparkling is one thing… but torturing them? Not even the worst of our enemy has ever done such a thing."

"If… if that's the case, then why am I here?" Bluestreak asked in a mix of anger and sadness.

"You are here for a very good reason. Bluestreak, you've got advantages that no one else has right now, in fact there is no one on this planet who has the same advantages that you do… a pair of advantages that will be sorely needed for Autumn's benefit."

I could see the confusion and nervousness spread through the mech rapidly. At the same time there was also a determination to help the young femme that he still considered to be his mate.

"What's that?"

"You have her trust."

There was absolute silence in the room as everyone looked at the young bot.

"You are also the only one that Autumn has ever considered to be a friend." I added sadly.

"Am I to understand that Autumn's existence up to this point has been completely bereft of friendship as well as one of non stop abuse?" Prowl demanded in disbelief with his wings arched angrily.

"Yes Prowl, that is exactly what I'm saying. Autumn has latched onto Bluestreak as something she can depend on. She sees his cheerfulness, enthusiasm, his compassion, his kindness, and the fact that he seems to care about her, and she will do anything she can think of to hold on to that." I answered.

"So my making that bet with Blue…" Smokescreen began with slow suspicion.

"Ended up hurting her to the point that she actually considered offlining herself."

"Is that what she was referring to when she mentioned that she should have jumped off that cliff when she had the chance?" Optimus demanded with a low growl of his engine.

"When did she say that?" Bluestreak asked almost instantly. It was a question I wanted answered as well.

"A short while ago in the medbay. It was right after I went over to her." Optimus stated sourly.

"That would have been right after she tried to use her bond with Bluestreak and discovered that it was no longer in existence. I responded with feelings of security, and tried to reassure her, but to no avail." Prowl stated.

"Prowl… I haven't examined Autumn's memories in complete detail, so I can only give an informed opinion on this, but I would guess that Autumn has relied very heavily on her bond with Bluestreak…"

"She did… well… sort of." Bluestreak said as his wings dropped a bit while in deep thought. "She seemed to get my opinion on almost every situation, and she was almost always nervous, scared, or angry. The few times she wasn't scared or nervous was when she was either training with Jazz, or talking with me. She was sometimes even frightened while talking with Ratchet, but mostly she was just nervous around him."

The idea that I had somehow frightened the young femme didn't help my emotional state at all. Until I heard Bluestreak say that, I had thought that Autumn rather liked me, although I had suspected otherwise at times. Now, I knew it for a fact. I knew this wasn't going to be easy, but it was proving to be much more difficult than I had begun to suspect.

"In order to combat Autumn's past, I will need each of you to assist in helping her to some extent. Smokescreen, you know psychology, so it will be up to you to make absolutely certain that the rest of us know immediately if Autumn starts falling deeper into despair. Jazz, she actually likes you! That jovial attitude of yours will be a large factor in helping her, because she doesn't actually see you as being in a position of authority. Gain her confidence, and if you can, her trust and friendship. Prowl, you are her Guardian now. It will be up to you to show her that she doesn't have to live in a state of constant fear. You have a Guardian Bond with her… use it! Send her feelings of security, safety, and reassure her at the slightest doubt. She needs that." I said firmly before venting heavily to sooth my overheating processors.

I held my silence for a moment before continuing.

"Autumn has lost her family. Her femme creator was offlined when she was at a very young age, and she is still tormented by the memory of having seen that happen…"

"She saw her carrier killed?" Ironhide interrupted angrily.

"Yes, Ironhide, she did. She was forced to watch helplessly as her sire killed her carrier, and she recalls all of it in vivid detail. That event occurred at an age when she was young enough that she should have forgotten it by now, but it made such a horrendous impact on her life that she can't forget it!" I answered angrily.

"As I was saying, Autumn has no immediate family. Her carrier apparently had a sister, but now that Autumn is no longer human, that one link to her carrier is also lost to her. As far as she knows, she is completely alone."

"No… she is not!" Optimus interrupted firmly. "Autumn might be very young, but you obviously believe that there is still hope for her or you would not have requested this meeting. There is a way that she can be helped."

"Yes Optimus, there is… and you will play a key role in that. We know that Autumn's creator was a cruel and merciless tormentor. You will need to replace her creator as a mentor, a surrogate sire, and a concerned authority figure. You are the Leader of the Autobots, the rightful ruler of Cybertron, and therefore the figure of absolute authority in Autumn's life right now. Because of the authority inherent in your position, she fears you. In fact, she may even be terrified of you."

Optimus nodded his helm, and I could see that he was deep in thought. Primus! I could even hear the hum of his processors as he mulled over what I'd said so far. I hated being forced to reveal such information, but slaggit… Autumn had no one to turn to, no one that she could seek out for advice, no one that she felt she could count on for any type of help. I knew that any of the bots on base would help her with almost any problem… for that matter almost any of the Autobots would try to help. The problem would be getting Autumn to understand that. With no one to speak for her, I was left with no choice, I had to break my silence, but that didn't mean that I was going to enjoy doing it.

"Ironhide… you have a lot of experience with sparklings. You need to understand that Autumn is in fact a sparkling. If you add in her human existence, she has only been functioning for little more than sixteen human years, and so help me Primus if you don't treat her accordingly, I will reformat those precious cannons of your into urinals for the humans…"

"Dealing with her won't be a problem."

"It will be when she's terrified of you!" I growled while glaring at him.

"Why would she be afraid of me?"

"She's not afraid of you Ironhide… she's terrified of you… mortally terrified! Think about it. The first time she was actually able to recall meeting you, she was terrified that she was going to be spark raped by all of us, and that happened immediately after she changed from human to a bot! The third time she dealt with you I had to spend jours putting her back together after you and Mirage nearly tore her wings off! You didn't even have the decency to help her adjust to her new weight distribution or center of gravity… oh no! You simply stuck her in a surprise ambush and watched to see how she dealt with it! Given those facts Ironhide… why would she not be terrified of you? Honestly… you'd better be glad that Bluestreak pounded on you before I could get to you, because I was planning on doing much worse!"

The old Weapons Specialist was glaring at me with a very sour expression on his faceplates. I knew he was angry, but he needed to be angry at himself.

"I was just trying to teach her a few things. It's not like I tried to offline her."

"You may not have been trying to offline her Hide, but you will have some serious trouble convincing her of that! You pulled that stunt during the second time that Autumn had been allowed out of the medbay after becoming a bot! She hadn't even had the chance to adjust to having a frame that was much larger, heavier, and with much different proportions than her human body. You don't seem to realize just how precarious her mental processes are right now, so let me inform you. Autumn was not sparked in a normal fashion. She was changed from human to bot. The result is that I'm still not sure what programming incongruities or anomalies are present in her processors. There's no telling what other problems will need to be corrected." I growled angrily.

"Right now Autumn needs friends, she needs individuals that she can count on, because Primus knows she's never had that type of reliability or stability before. Look, I know that there's no one here who wants to see Autumn offlined… but the problem is that she doesn't!"

There were several grunt and sounds of disbelief at that statement, and I couldn't really blame them. The idea that any bots would be cruel enough to offline a sparkling and a femme sparkling at that was revolting, but the thought that Autumn might believe any of us to be capable of such a thing was even more disturbing.

Optimus POV

I had listened to everything that Ratchet had said so far, and it was more than just disturbing. I didn't want to believe that it was possible for Autumn to think we would have her offlined, but I had held her in my lap. I had stroked her back to sooth her, spoken with her… and yet there was fear behind every action, and every word.

Then, the image caused by the words she had whispered in despair crossed my processors again. Her twisted, mangled, and broken frame lying at the bottom of a cliff offline. It was not a pleasant thought. The idea that she believed death to be referable to her current life was not acceptable! That would most definitely have to change.

"Ratchet… what we need now are methods of solution. We need to know what we can do to help Autumn recover from her past. Berating us about what we have already done will not solve anything. You've examined her processors, so you know better than any one else what her actual condition is. So tell us… what do we do now?" I instructed.

"Indeed. A proper course of action is entirely warranted. If Autumn continues to develop in a state of constant fear, it will have severely detrimental effects on both her programming and behavioral status as she matures in the future. That can not be allowed to happen. The focus now should be on what needs to be done to prevent such a possibility from occurring."

Prowl might have said the words calmly, but I could tell that this meeting wasn't easy for him. Dealing with the revelations that were coming to light was not pleasant or enjoyable in the least.

"You're right." Ratchet exclaimed with a heavy vent.

"Bluestreak… Autumn considers you a friend. Because of that, you are going to need to be around her as much as possible. As long as you are nearby, she doesn't feel as threatened as she otherwise might. You are no longer sparkbonded to her so I do not want you interfacing with her…"

"But I wouldn't do that to her!" Bluestreak protested as he quickly became distraught.

"Bluestreak…" Ratchet growled warningly. "That instruction is not directed at you! I know that you won't try to take advantage of her that way. Primus… that femme loves you and cares about you more than she cares about herself! I am telling you this because she might try to initiate an interfacing session. If that happens… don't go through with it. One thing I know from delving in her processors is that she doesn't see much difference between interfacing and simply holding her servo. To be honest, she believes that holding her servo is more intimate, because after interfacing, she has to recharge. That means she's not able to enjoy simply being held. She derives a tremendous amount of emotional satisfaction from physical touch that has nothing to do with causing physical injury or harm. That's because as far as she remembers, there are only two who have done so… you and her carrier. What that means…"

"What that means is that my brother has somehow become her center of safety. She equates him with security, along with a sense of feeling, and being safe." Smokescreen explained suddenly.

"Exactly! Autumn feels safe when she's with or around Bluestreak, because he has already shown her that he will protect and defend her. I don't like admitting it, but when Bluestreak attacked Hide and Mirage over the damage that Autumn received, it made a strong impression on her. That combined with the fact that he's responsible for saving her life on two separate occasions is part of why she trusts him."

"Den we gotta have Ol Blue stick around her, don we?" Jazz asked quickly.

"Either Bluestreak or you, Jazz." Ratchet replied just as fast.

"Huh? What I got ta do wid dis?" Jazz demanded in surprise.

"Autumn feels comfortable around you for some reason. Even though you are Third in Command, I don't think she actually sees you as an authority figure, because you are so easy going." Ratchet began to explain.

"That can be helpful actually. If Autumn doesn't view Jazz as a typical authority figure, then he might be able to help change her viewpoint on such things." Smokescreen interjected quickly. "It may not be much, but it's better than nothing, and it's worth a try."

"Yes it is." I said quickly. "Jazz, you will show Autumn that someone in a position of authority can be a friend that she can trust and count on for help."

"Ya got dat right Optimus. Ah ain't gonna kick back an let er be scared all da time. Dat's part o why I been teachin er ta defend herself. Ah ain't actually hurt er, but I been pushin er pretty hard; makin sure she knows dat she's learnin something." Jazz interjected with a grin.

"That's true. I know of many times that Autumn needed a hot soothing session in the wash rack after she had trained with you. She was beat, sore, and exhausted, but happy that she was learning something. She actually enjoys those training sessions with you Jazz." Bluestreak said enthusiastically.

"Good! Ah want er ta feel dat way. Don get me wrong, ah ain't goin easy on er in tha least, but ahm not putting er back in tha medbay neither." Jazz proclaimed firmly before he vented heavily.

"Look, ah knew she was gonna be a special case as soon as we foun er. Dat house where she was chained up didin get like dat anytime fast. Dat kina thing don't start happenin quick neither. As soon as ah saw tha condition she was in… ah knew. Ah knew dat she'd been goin through dat for a long time. No one came ta help er, and ah bet she thought no one even cared. Dat's why ah been doin mah best ta prove dat wrong. Yeah… she kina likes meh… at leas ah hope she does, cause she needs friends. So far, meh an Blue done a lot ta help er, but it ain't enough." Jazz said quietly before turning his helm to Ironhide.

"Hide yer gonna have ta change tha way ya think about er. Right now, she's scared o us. Yer holoform ain't as scary ta er. Use it. Make er see dat she ain't got a reason ta be scared o ya. If she was in a frame dat was right for er age, ya woulda known right den how young she was, an none o dis woulda happened, cause ya wouldna let anyone hurt er! Ah know dat, an ya know dat too. Dere ain't no way we can change what frame she's in, but ya gotta remember dat she ain't nuthin but a sparkling. She's been beat down ta tha point dat she even thinks she's expendable!" Jazz explained before he was interrupted by protests from around the table, my own among them.

The only one who didn't protest was Ratchet. All except Jazz turned to look at the CMO for some type of explanation.

"As much as I hate to admit it, I think Jazz may be right. Autumn was berated by her sire for a very long time. Yes, I've seen that pit blasted confession from her sire. That and Soundwave's actions in restoring Autumn's memories, programs, and processors in addition to providing us with addition information that we need to help Autumn is why I asked for this meeting. Slaggit, I've had to yell at Autumn because she will not defend herself. She's so accustomed to being berated and insulted that she simply lets it happen. The fact is that when Autumn's sire wasn't heaping physical abuse on her, he was trying to destroy her mentally. It was an almost constant act that Autumn had no escape from, because she had been rendered mute at an early age, she also couldn't argue against it. Thanks to what her sire did, Autumn has been considered different throughout her life. She's had no friends, and no one that she could turn to for help in any situation. The fact that she hasn't offlined herself already is a Primus blessed miracle. Pain is the only thing she is actually familiar with. Whether that pain is physical, mental, or emotional makes no difference. Autumn is very lucky that we got to her when we did. If her sire didn't follow through in killing her… then it is very likely that she would have offlined herself." Ratchet said sadly.

Almost all of us were looking at Ratchet with horrified expressions on our faceplates. Ratchet had his helm in his servo, and it was clear that he was almost at a loss of what to do.

"Autumn was to the point that she felt very little on an emotional level. The only states that she was familiar with were fear, and anger. She was already to the point that she needed the pain from her physical injuries in order to feel something. She was unable to stop her sire from abusing her, so she turned to causing some injuries to herself, by cutting her wrists. By that point she might have felt that she deserved to live in pain, I don't know. What I do know is that even though Jazz hasn't been in her processors, he's apparently observed enough of Autumn to know how to help her even more than I can. Physical damage, programming damage, even some processor damage… those are things I can fix… but I can't fix a broken or damaged spark… and that's exactly what Autumn has."

"Don worry Ratch… I got yer back struts on dis. We all do! Prowler's gonna be watchin over er, teachin er a few things, an talking with er. Blue's already er frien, an dat ain't gonna change no time soon. Smokey is also gonna try an be er frien… ain't chya Smokey?"

Jazz had turned his helm to look at the interrogator, and although his words had a seemingly friendly content to them, the tone was one of strong warning and there was no smile on that normally jovial face.

'Sure… of course. I'll be her friend, but what exactly is it that you are expecting of me?" Smokescreen asked with a bit of nervousness.

I couldn't necessarily blame Smokescreen for being nervous at that point. Jazz was well known to be friendly and outgoing to almost everyone. It was even rumored that if it weren't for the fear that Megatron inspired, that several Decepticons would join the Autobots simply because of their friendship with Jazz. When Jazz was serious though, it was a much different matter. I knew him to be an extremely deadly mech when he had reason to be.

"Ah want ya ta make friends with er Smokey. Tell er stuff, funny stuff ta make er laugh. She needs dat. She needs ta be able ta laugh about something. She done spent too much time tryin ta be an adult an watch out for erself, an not enough time bein a sparkling. It don't have ta be nuthin impotortan either, just so long as she can laugh about it." Jazz said without a trace of his normal humor in his frame.

"Optimus…" Jazz began as he turned his helm to face me.

"Ah know ya ain't tried ta scare er none, she's still scared o ya anyway. Dat's gotta change. Ya know dat an so do ah, but it ain't gonna happen quick. Ah know ya can show er dat she ain't gotta reason ta be scared o ya. Let er see ya around me an Blue. Show er that ya know how ta smile! Primus knows tha femme don't see much o dat, an dat's what scares er tha most. A buncha cold sparked mechs would scare anyone. Smile, laugh, even it's at one o mah really stupid jokes! Dat serious stuff is what scares er about Prowler. Yer a lot bigger den she is. Her human father couldn tower over er tha way ya do. Yer a lot stronger den she is too. Yeah, she ain't human no more, but she ain't really gotten used ta thinking like a bot neither. She looks at chya an sees a mech that can break er inta pieces widout really tryin. Autumn sees tha size o ya… not tha mech dat we all know is inside dat big frame o yers. Ya gotta show her dat tha frame ain't what makes ya tha bot dat ya are. Ah know ya'd nevah hurt er, an so does everyone ere, but we ain't tha ones dat need convincin… she is!" Jazz told me earnestly.

I could see where Jazz had a very valid point. I knew that the sheer size of my frame could be very intimidating to others, but I rarely needed to use my size to my advantage. Now it appeared that the normally impressive size of my frame would be a liability. Was that why I had seen so little of Autumn? Did she avoid me not only because of my position, but because of my size as well? Jazz was right. Somehow I had to show Autumn not that she didn't need to fear me, but that she shouldn't be afraid of me. I thought back to the short amount of time I had spent with her before coming to this meeting. Autumn had been afraid of me at first! Then, once I started holding her and attempting to sooth her, she had accepted my presence. That was when I recalled the way she had reacted upon seeing Ratchet. He was one of the bots that Autumn was most familiar with, if she was still frightened of him at times, then I would most likely need to repeated deal with Autumn's fear of me.

"Prowler… ya got tha toughest job outa all o us. Ya gotta be tha one who has ta deal wit er when all o us are done for tha day. Yer gonna see er more den we do. Ah know it ain't gonna be easy for ya. But dat battle computer o yers ain't gonna be much help wit er. She's a bundle o neural receptors Prowler, an emotions are what's gonna be drivin er. Yer gonna have ta forget a lot o logic while dealin wit er, cause otherwise yer only gonna scare er more den what she already is. Ah ta say it, but ah told ya so. Ya gonna have ta learn ta smile Prowler. Show er dat ya ain't a slaggin drone! Showin er nuthin but cold logic is prolly what her sire did on a good day! Dat means she needs ta see ya act like ya got some feelins in dat spark o yers. Ah know ya gonna need help on dat, so ya call meh if ya need meh help. Like ah told ya before, she's a special case, an ya gonna need ta go easy on er." Jazz said seriously while looking at my Tactical Officer.

"You are correct Jazz. You did inform me of such facts… long before Autumn's precarious condition was actually discovered. I am curious as to how you knew then, what the rest of us are only now learning." Prowl stated in a calm manner although his wings gave away a large amount of tension in his frame.

"Dat's simple Prowler. Ah watched. Ah was watchin er when she was still human, an ah saw the problems she had. Ah saw how she barely trusted Blue, an how she was scared o everyone else. Like ah told ya, it took a long time before she would even let Blue hold on ta er servo, an he saved er life! As far as she's concerned… everythin falls inta one o two things… either it's a threat, or it ain't. If it's a threat, den she's scared o it. If it might be a threat, den she figures it is a threat. Command staff… dat's a threat. Doctors, Medics, Healers… whatever tha humans want ta call em, all they done is fix er up enough ta go back ta her sire. Dat's why she's scared o Ratch. It ain't cause o his attitude. Sure he's got a temper, but he ain't nevah hit er. She's scared o Ratch cause he's a Medic! Ain't no different from some bot comin round ta fix ya up so tha Cons can torture ya some more."

"Primus! Is that how she sees me?" Ratchet demanded in obvious horror.

"Maybe at first Ratch… but ah ain't sure dat's tha case anymore. See, when she was brought here, ya gave er back er voice, an dat was a big thing for er. It was important! It helped show er dat ya ain't like tha other Medics she dealt wit. Then ya tried ta keep er safe. Deep down, she knows dat. Believe meh Ratch… Autumn wants ta be able ta trust us, but she's so scared ta do dat cause o what she's done been through."

"I believe that we now have enough information to know how to effectively deal with Autumn in the near future. Jazz, since you have observed Autumn well enough to know more about her than the rest of us, I would like you to make yourself available in case one of us needs some advice on dealing with Autumn. I do not want her to isolate herself, nor do I want her to be frightened of us. In this particular matter, you will have to play a key role." I told everyone while looking at Jazz. To my surprise, Jazz smiled at me.

"Ahm here if dey need meh, sides, Autumn can be a bit o fun, an interestin ta talk wit, once she trusts ya." Jazz answered smugly.

I couldn't shake the strange feeling that Jazz somehow knew much more than he was telling us.


AN:

I officially love how helpful you are Khalthar! Anyways, the other chapter I promised. Aaaaand now I have to get to work on chapter 46. -heavy sigh-

Getting interesting no? The ideas I bounced off of Khalthar, that he put in marvelous words, are finally building up. Can't decide if I like this story more or less than my Twin Ark (SSU and FIT). So what do ya'll think?

~D.R. Out