Chapter 12- Late night
Before long the Predacon was deep in recharge. Optimus watched the young creature rest, laid in something that resembled what the humans called a 'cot' and partly a cage. He hoped before long, they wouldn't have to keep the Predacon in something that bore even the slightest resemblance to a prison. They couldn't have it running around the base, more so since it was a human military base. He averted his gaze as he turned his mind to the rest of team Prime. Quite how this new responsibility would be handled, he wasn't sure, but besides Ultra Magnus, the others weren't completely disregarding the Predacon. Whatever had happened to her at the hands of the decepticons….was not something he wanted to consider. He was already sure she would have a better future with them.
The loudest of roars pierced the semi-darkness of the room, sending an electrical shiver down the drones' spinal cortex. It was the second time the Predacon had awoken; and as the first time went, it was as though he had woken from a nightmare. His vitals were still not stable, constantly fluctuating wildly. Not to mention eradicating the dark energon was a slow and painful process. (A laborious task from the vehicon's point of view) However, they were under orders to continue the process, and to keep away from him.
Predaking fell back to the berth, feeling exhausted as the wave of pain relented. His frame was not as bad as it had been, but it was only better by a fraction. It was not physical pain that had woken him in the first place.
The dream he had was comforting yet… it disturbed him greatly. Taking light breaths, he closed his optics, the all too clear images still visible. On the distant plant of Cybertron, the day would be dawning. He would be high upon a ledge, looking out over a world filled with living Predacons. Then from behind him, he would hear a small sound. He would turn to see Huntress running to towards him, and he would embrace her with open arms. For that moment everything was perfect. Harmony and peace. Power and prosperity. Past and future.
Then that moment would end abruptly. Huntress would be ripped from his arms as his kind fell dead around him. There would be darkness, as the light would fade with his hope. Then a silhouette, something feminine , with an air of strength, just standing, looking back over her shoulder at him, only visible were those bright yellow optics. Something odd lied within them, something he couldn't fathom. Then, the figure would completely turn her back on him. A sense of failure and loss would follow. Then there was emptiness.
He laid still, his thoughts running wild. Huntress was safe. That is what Shockwave had said. But where? How? Who was she with? Where they even looking after properly? How would she learn about being a Predacon? He desperately wanted to see her again. He wanted her back. However the cold reality hit him; he meant to clench his servos in determination, but his aching joints and weakened strength could barely manage it. He felt his fury increase evermore at his hopelessness. I pray you are safe Huntress. I will come for you….At that moment, he wondered. He had heard the other Cybertronians mention the entity 'Primus'. Some sort of god, or the first of their kind, as he had heard it be referred to. He wondered if the gracious Primus they spoke of would answer a Predacons prayer.
"Why not Preda-Princess?" Miko moaned, desperate for her own idea to be accepted.
"It's cute and all, but I don't think it suits the little pred. Needs more…ferocity. She's definitely got fight in her, that's for sure." WheelJack commented, trying not to disappoint Miko who pouted. "It could be a nickname."
"Don't you think it'd a little early you decide a name when we hardly know her personality?" Arcee questioned.
"Oh, I think we all know exactly the kinda personality she has." Smokescreen said, holding his bitten servo for all to see.
"Yeah. If I didn't know any better, I would have said she was a scraplet." Bulkhead slightly shivered as he remembered the last time he had encountered them…Primus he hoped he never had to deal with them again.
"Snappy? Wildcat?" Miko said, voicing whatever came to mind.
"Snappy? Really?" Arcee questioned.
" I don't see you coming up with any bright ideas." Miko said,, confidently confronting the blue femme.
"Maybe we should just wait and get to know her better." Bumblebee said, finding nothing that suited the Predacon.
"Or maybe…something that shows her for what she is…"
"Err…come again?" Bulkhead asked, looking at Smokescreen. Unusual for his type of character, the young mech actually seemed to be taking the matter seriously.
" I mean, she's not a pet, if anything she grow and transform from her beast mode, right?"
"I totally forgot! If she's so cute now, I can't wait to see her as a full-grown Preda-femme!" Miko said, lightly tapping the side of her head.
"Will she be as strong as you say Predaking was?" Raphael asked.
"More than likely. If Predaking's strength to go on." Ratchet said, looking up from the monitor.
"Not only that… she's the only one, as far as we know." Smokescreen added.
"So something more…?" Arcee asked, raising a brow.
"You know, just…. Not something like 'snappy'." Smokescreen shrugged.
"Did something happen to you?" Arcee asked, looking slightly differently at the young mech.
"What? I'm not an immature mech all the time." He smirked.
"I beg to differ!" Bumblebee laughed.
"Look who's talking!" Smokescreen mocked back.
"We can think about this another time. I'm going to recharge. See you guys in the morning." Arcee said, rolling her optics. "Night Jack."
"Night 'Cee." Jack responded.
" Come on kids, we better get off to bed as well." June said, gesturing to all three of them.
"Really?" Miko moaned.
"Guess we should get some rest to. Otherwise we'll be up for the next solar cycle." WheelJack said, as he and Bulkhead turned to leave, until he heard an unhappy moan.
"We'll play in the morning Miko." Bulkhead said, turning back. "Gotta rest if I wanna keep smashing 'Cons!"
"Fine." Miko huffed as she followed June and the boys out of the main hall, towards a separate living area for them that had been created on the military base.
"Night 'bee!" Raphael called back.
It quickly became quiet, something Ratchet was thankful for as he continued to monitor the scanners and adjust various settings. Bumblebee turned to smokescreen.
"Thinking of a name is not as easy as scrapping 'cons, is it?"
"No, it's not. But then again, you talking about 'cons that we almost scrap on a daily basis. Even she would be able to take them down." Smokescreen joked, gesturing to the little Predacon
"Guess so. Come on, let's head for recharge. Well think of something tomorrow."
"I'll go in a bit."
Bumblebee shrugged as he walked off to his own quarters.
Optimus watched the young mech left behind sigh, and felt a small smile creep onto his faceplates. The young mech knelt next to the Predacon, watching it as it slept.
"You seem to be rather taken with the young Predacon." Optimus' low tone slightly surprised Smokescreen.
"Oh, err...yeah…I mean besides all the biting and scratching…she is just a youngling. And she's kinda…cute. " Smokescreen finished, hoping he didn't sound a complete idiot. "Do you have any idea of what to call her?"
"I'm afraid not." Optimus answered. "Perhaps Bumblebees earlier advice is best to heeded."
"I would, but…ah, I dunno. I guess I just don't want everyone to see her as a Beast."
"She may live in the shadow of the only Predacon we know, but that does not mean everyone's perception is tainted." Optimus said reassuringly.
"Yeah? What about Magnus? Can't that mech just take a break?"
"Ultra Magnus is-"
" A mech with something stuck up his tailpipe." Smokescreen quipped.
"Is a good mech, and loyal, brave, and an outstanding warrior. Yes, the war has darkened his spark, but he will warm again. Being a Commander is much different from being a soldier in which you fight alongside your comrades…and he has fought in the deepest depths of it." Optimus' ton dropped slightly, an almost light punishment of words.
"That's not an excuse."
"It was not meant to be. If there is one lesson I have learned, it is that you have to learn to understand others. When you do, then you will know how help them."
"Well…I…guess.." Smokescreen muttered, not quite understanding the concept. What was the point in helping a stubborn mech like Ultra Magnus?
"It would be best if you went to recharge. I'm sure we will encounter the decepticons soon."
"By the will of Primus…" Ratchet mumbled groggily as he woke from recharge. His servos rubbed his tired optics. But as they opened to seek the rather un-familiar ceiling of his quarters, he only found the keyboard of the monitor he had been working on. Scrap…The Predacon's wailing then suddenly brought his processors back into to focus. He quickly hurried to the makeshift 'cot', finding the Predacon still sleep, but thrashing wildly among her fear-filled calls. He removed the top before gently scooping the little Predacon gently up in the blanket.
"Easy little one…" He cooed, finding the words slightly unnatural on his glossa. The little Predacon continued to cry out and thrash, still locked in her recharge. Her face was contorted with distress, whatever dream she had, it not good at all.
"Wake up little one, wake up!"
She didn't respond to his words, and she kept on wailing, and wailing, and wailing… Ratchet began to panic. A fully grown transformer either needed a good slap or shake- even a wrench is necessary. But a sparkling? The last thing he wanted to do was to shock her out of her dream but-
"Will you silence that beast already!" A deep voice did it for him, as the young Predacon suddenly snapped awake, looking around with wide optics. Ratchet was startled as he looked up at the rather displeased form of Ultra Magnus stood in the hallway entrance to the team's quarters.
"Can you not just put it in to recharge-"
" If you had been present earlier, you would have heard that I can't. It is not healthy for her."
"Then she needs to learn how to be silent. We cannot have a screaming beast every night after the soldiers are trying to get much-needed rest-"
"This is out of my control, Magnus." Ratchet sighed, annoyed. He couldn't quite remember where he had put that wrench… The Predacon in his arms seemed to calm down, and turning her gaze, saw Ultra Magnus. Immediately she began to hiss at him. Ratchet shook his head. You're only going to make him hate you more!
"Bumblebee- Bumblebee, wake up!" Ratchet said, speaking over the com-link. The returning voice was tired, but answered that he was coming.
"You would have him sing too it again?" Ultra Magnus said disgusted.
"I don't see you coming up with anything to help calm her down." Ratchet snapped back, as he tried to get the Predacon to quiet down a bit, gently stroking her.
"Is she alright?" Bumblebee beeped tiredly as he walked in.
"No. Calm her down as you did earlier." Ratchet ordered. Bumblebee nodded, as he went to sit, and quietly began to sing the same old Cybertronian tune.
"Ultra Magnus, you may want to return to recharge." Ratchet said dryly, as he focused back on the monitors.
Without a response, the second in command left. He walked down the silent corridor, until Optimus' voice carried along it.
"Is everything alright?"
"Yes, everything is fine." Ultra Magnus stated. He shut the door to his quarters, without even sparing a glance.
Bumblebee had just finished a few last notes of an old Cybertronian song, one he wasn't taught until he was much older than a sparkling. He tried to recall the mech who had taught him it, a gentle, kind spirited spark that had no taste for war. The mech had treated him like a sparkling, and tried, as he put it, to give something that was lost to 'Bees generation- the chance to be young, to be free, to know the care of a sire and a carrier. The song was soft, and its lyrics defining. It was one of the few things having lost his voice that cheered him up- what he processed as words came out as soft, changing tones that reflected music. It wouldn't be the exact sort of sounds it was originally sung to, but it found it was on the few things that was not taken away, but almost given in compensation for what Megatron had done to him.
His reminiscent optics looked down to the sleeping Predacon in his arms. She had taken to the sounds the first time June had suggested using music, and his odd way of communication. Once more, it was nice to see her at peace. He felt somewhat proud to think he could give a sparkling such peace with just a tune. I guess like me, the early part of your life has been just as traumatic for you as it was for me… sadness filled his spark, as he tried to cling to the first few happy memories he had left in his data-tracks. I will make sure you end up with more than I have. We all will.
"She's finally recharging peacefully." Ratchet commented.
"Yeah." Bumblebee commented, placing her back in the cot. "You look exhausted. I can watch the monitors if you want…"
"Thank you Bumblebee, but my shift will be over soon. Go back to recharge."
The young mech nodded uncertainly, and returned to his quarters handing the young Predacon back to Ratchet, who returned it to its 'cot'. He had a feeling this was going to be a long night.
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