Hello, my friends, I have some news. As much as I have adored writing this tale, and even more so getting story suggestions from you all, I think it is time that I closed the book on this one. That's not to say I won't still re-tell stories if you ask me to, merely that requests may have to come through pm's rather than reviews.
I adore you all, thank you for reading and reviewing my stories.
The first tale is one last "Bro'er Moon" tale, because they're just so much fun to write!
The second tale I leave you with is a re-telling of a story by Max Lucado called "With You All the Way". I'd quite forgotten all about it until I found it at the school I volunteer at today.
Well then, let's be on our way.
Ah! What is this? Look here, sparklings: I've found one of your uncle's favorite toys from when he was a little youngling! What is it? Why, don't you recognize Bro'er Moon when you see him? You thought he was a white rabbit? Well, he was at one point...your uncle has had this for a very long time, and I doubt it's been cleaned more than three times in the entirety of its existence. But today, we clean him! Come along, my little ones. If we're going to give this to your baby sister, we should get some of the grime off.
Oh indeed, my dear? Well, I don't think he'd be lonely in the detox chamber. You can sit outside and keep old Moon company if you like. What's this? You want your Snapper the Predacon doll to be decontaminated as well? You know, I'm really not certain why your Carrier bought you that. Alright, alright, no need to get upset; Snapper can sit in there with Moon. He'll have to stay close to Moon, you know. Moon doesn't swim as well as Snapper does, as Sis Spider found out one day. I haven't told you that story yet? Good Allspark! I'm astonished that there are any stories you haven't heard! Very well, come here you little rascals. It all started a long time ago on a planet called Gaia...
Sis Spider catches Old Snapper
Well after a while, Bro'er Moon went and made friends with the Predacon what lived in the swamps out back of the mines where Moon lived. Old Snapper, his name was, and he was always in the mood for some mischief. Well, those two hit it off right away, and they got to pullin' all kind of tricks on their neighbors, particularly Bro'er Wasp and Sis Spider. Now, Sis Spider wasn't too pleased with that. In fact, she was mighty incensed about it! And Sis Spider, she's not the type to wait around for too long if she's good and proper mad.
Sis Spider knew she didn't have a fool's chance at catchin' that rascally Bro'er Moon, so she started watchin' the bogs, waitin' to see if she could catch Old Snapper out in the open. One morning, she was out takin' her normal walk, when she came across Old Snapper right in the middle of the road. He was just shakin' his helm back and forth and gaspin' for air like he was dyin'! "Well how do, Bro'er Snapper," says Spider, "What's the matter with you?" And that turtle just sort of gasps again and he says, "Oh, Sis Spider, you wouldn't believe it! I was out strollin' through the field by the swamps, all mindin' my own business, and along comes this high-and-mighty Decepticon, and he sets the field on fire! Can you imagine?"
Old Snapper laid his head down in the dust and sighed loudly. "I wasn't goin' to outrun those flames, not this old turtle! I just curled up in my shell and let 'em go right over me. I tell you, Sis Spider, I'm fair to roastin' in this shell of mine, and I think my poor tail is singed!" Sis Spider came strollin' over and leaned down. "Well I'm mighty sorry to hear it, Bro'er Snapper!" she said, "You better let me see." So Old Snapper uncurled that little tail of his and poked it out through the shell. And Sis Spider grabbed him quick as a wink and yanked him off the ground. "Old Snapper," she says, "You ain't gonna bother me no more!" And she stood there, swingin' him back and forth while she was tryin' to think of what to do to him. Now, Old Snapper is a crafty turtle, just as sneaky as Bro'er Moon, so he starts wailin' and pleadin' for Sis Spider not to drown him. She can throw him back in the field, on account of he's kinda got used to burnin', but please please don't drown him!
That spider stood back on her heels and thought about it a good long while. Throwin' Old Snapper in a fire was sure tempting, but then she recalled as he'd just curl up in that shell of his and be just fine on the other end. Well, fire was out, so she decides to drown him. Sis Spider wrapped the turtle all up in webs and threw him over her back, then off she went towards the pond. "Please oh please, pretty Sis Spider, don't drown me!" Well, she's flattered, but she's not lettin' him off that easy. "Now I ain't makin' any promises!" she says, "You and Bro'er Moon played one trick too many on me!" She pulled him out of the webs and started to dunkin' him up and down in the water, holdin' him by the tail.
"Oh! I'm drownin', I'm drownin'!" shouts Old Snapper when he comes back up for air, "Oh don't let go of my tail, for the love of the Primes, or I'm a goner for sure!" Sis Spider let go of his tail and jumped back. "That's the idea, turtle!" she yells. Well wouldn't you know it, he sinks straight to the bottom and sits there just a'laughin' and a'laughin' at her. That's when Sis Spider remembered that Old Snapper lived in the swamp, and never had any fear of drownin' in the first place! "I dare ya to come down here," Snapper called. Sis Spider never messed with Old Snapper again!
Was that silly? Yes, yes it was. Why in the world would Sis Spider forget that a turtle lived in water, I'll never know. Ah, there we are. All cleaned! Here, you take your Snapper, and you take Bro'er Moon. I'm sure your Sire will be very amused to see him his proper shade again. You should ask him about the time he and your uncle lost Bro'er Moon at their cousins' place and he almost took a nosedive into a heated forge! Well I can't tell you that story, I wasn't there for it. Go on with you, he'll be walking by the Archives any moment now, as always. You can ambush him! Yes, go on, I give you express permission to terrorize. You're only young once, after all.
Hello there, my friends. Yes, I am breaking form to address you directly again. You see, we have come at last to the end of this long collection of tales. Some of you have been here from the very beginning, and I must say that it is always nice to see a familiar face. As this book closes, I cannot resist telling you one last story. You see, the world out there is so full of voices, so full of conflicting ideas. I know that simply living day-to-day can be confusing sometimes. It always helps to know who you are and where you are going, I suppose, and it is ever so important that you choose the right companions on your journey, which is why I leave you with this tale.
The Prime's Signal
Once upon a time, in a distant corner of Cybertron, there were three warriors known for their honor and courage. Grimhelm, Last Strike, and Searcher. Each had fought many battles and left stories in their wake. One day, they stood together in an old inn with the son of the ruling Prime, who said to them, "My Sire has given word that my sister desires to take a sparkmate. Each one of you she counts as her friend, and I can think of no better candidates for her hand. The Prime has asked that one test be passed before any suitor presents himself to my sister." As one, the warriors cried, "Sir, but tell us what this test is and we shall meet it gladly!"
The Prime's son smiled softly. "You must travel through the Fields of Dissent to reach the fortress where my Sire and sister are." And the warriors paled, for well they knew the reputation of the Fields of Dissent. Long ago, a mighty battle had taken place there, and so bloody was its aftermath that Solus Prime made a great maze of metal thorns so that no fighting could ever take place there again. Lurking in the depths of the maze, it was said that the twisted sparks of those who had offlined remained and tried to lure travelers to their deaths by imitating the voices of those they held dear. Mechs and femmes called them the Hear-ye's. Constantly at war with the Hear-ye's were the Hear-me's, who—it was said—had been their mortal enemies in life. "Sir, how are we to know what path to take?" asked Grimhelm, who was long held the wisest mech in the province. Many was the time when he defeated his enemy by confusing them with clever words and tactical knowledge.
The other warrior explained that the Prime would send out a signal three times a day to guide them in the right direction. "He will use light from the Matrix to show you the way," he said, and from his armor he withdrew the Key to Vector Sigma. "When the signal comes," he said, "It will look like this." And a beam of light as blue as a sparkling's optics shone from the key. "So I see," said Grimhelm, and he transformed and rolled out into the night, towards the Fields of Dissent. "So I see," said Last Strike, "But what if the Hear-ye's and the Hear-me's attack?" Last Strike was known for his great strength. He could lift both his comrades over his helm with little thought. He was strong, but he was careful and he wanted to know what the risks would be. "They will try. You will have to fight at some point or another, but the Prime's signal will show you safe passage through their ranks," the Prime's son assured him.
Last Strike saluted the higher-ranking mech and transformed, soaring out into the night sky towards the Fields of Dissent. That left only Searcher. "My lord," said the youngest of the warriors, "I have but one question. Will the Prime's signal always be the light from the Matrix?" The other nodded to him. "Yes, it will only ever be that." Searcher was satisfied with this, and soon enough he was on his way as well. Two days passed without a sign from any of the three warriors, and the province grew concerned. At the end of the third day, two figures, scraped and dented, emerged from the maze of thorns. The daughter of the Prime, who had been keeping watch, gave orders that the two were to be brought inside the fortress. "Let their injuries be treated and their armor polished," she commanded, "But do not let anyone see who they are."
That night, a great celebration was held to welcome the one who had come through the Fields of Dissent without losing his way. It was Searcher, and he saluted the Prime respectfully. "Tell us, young one," the Prime said gently, "How is it that you have come through the maze and your companions have not?" Searcher lowered his helm. "Sir, I do not know what has become of Grimhelm and Last Strike, for they entered the maze before me. All I know is that my companion and I were set upon by Hear-ye's almost as soon as we entered the Fields. From every side, they called out to us, "You are wrong! They are wrong! All is wrong!" While the Hear-me's tried to drown them out, crying, "I am right! You are right! All is right!" There was such noise and confusion that we turned off our audial receptors."
Searcher continued. "When it came time for the signal to be sent out, the Hear-ye's and Hear-me's played their most cruel trick upon us. They sent forth their own beams of light, of every shade and color, criss-crossing the paths like ribbons. Many of them were very like in shade and direction to your signal, Prime, but they led only to dead ends or worse." The Prime's daughter held out her hand to Searcher and he took it reverently. "Searcher," the femme asked, "How did you know which light to follow when so many vied for your attention?" The young mech smiled. "Because of who I asked to go with me." and he motioned with his other hand. The crowd gasped as they parted to make way for the Prime's son, still carrying the Key to Vector Sigma. "I knew that the Key carried the same light as the Matrix, and that it would be the only way to know which light to follow." Searcher bowed his helm to the warrior, who placed a hand on his shoulder and grinned at him as he continued. "If I could not trust the son of the signal-sender to guide me aright, then who could I trust?"
Searcher and the Prime's daughter became sparkmates, and ever after told their young ones this story so that they might remember that however confusing their world became, however many voices might shout at them to follow, they might stand their ground with confidence.
For all of you who have followed this story from beginning to end, I thank you. May your days be blessed, particularly this upcoming human holiday: Christmas. I hope to see you all in my Archives someday, whether to find a book or simply to visit. My door is always open.