I don't know how to classify this other than a series of short one-shots that never happened. Most of them are connected to Transformers: Prime, but one or two may be from the live-action movies. There are two in this chapter, and maybe more later.
That's all I really have by way of explanation. If you like one of them, let me know! I might expand it sometime.
Galloway watched the men of N.E.S.T. with growing consternation. By now, most people were either trying to curry favor with him or threatening to kill him, but beyond a first encounter, neither of these had happened. He remembered the day when Master Sergeant Epps had stood up to him regarding the Autobots' place on Earth. Snidely, thinking how clever he was, he'd said, "Soldier, you're paid to shoot, not talk."
He hadn't heard what the man had muttered under his breath, but he did see the mammoth robot they called "Optimus Prime" make a calming gesture and murmur, "Easy."
Instantly, the man relaxed, murmuring, "Aahroh, T'o't." And there hadn't been another word about it. That was the first time Galloway heard the name.
The politicians never said those words, the other Autobots never said those words, only the soldiers of N.E.S.T. did. Galloway started observing them, trying to see why they said the mysterious phrase and whether it was some sort of code he needed to tell the White House about. There was certainly a pattern in the way the words were said, he discovered. Younger soldiers, men and women who had only just been recruited, would stare with wide eyes at the Peterbilt truck and gulp, "Aahroh, T'o't." in timid voices. The ones who had been there from the beginning, like Epps and Lennox spoke the words with a mixture of confidence and respect.
In time, the politician gathered that it was almost a preferred form of address among the soldiers for Optimus Prime. He wondered whether it was a word from the aliens' language. Even the Witwicky boy used the word on rare occasions.
The one time Sam had said it within his hearing, he'd been covertly watching from a hidden camera as Director Mearing began one of her world-class verbal assaults on the young man, criticizing him as a civilian and for bringing his girlfriend to the base. The boy's face was red, and Galloway had seen Witwicky enough times to know that an über-sarcastic tirade was coming Mearing's way that would only strengthen her position.
From across the hangar, without even looking away from what he was doing, the Prime called "Samuel. Vtz payrway vahray j'tjoo." Or that's as close as Galloway's brain came to translating the sounds.
To his surprise, rather than argue or toss a quip at his antagonist, as was his wont, Sam merely clenched his teeth and, with an effort, ground out, "Aahroh, T'o't."
Optimus nodded and motioned the humans to join the Autobots, effectively cutting off Mearing's attack. Well, for once Galloway didn't disagree with the giant warrior.
He personally catalogued over two hundred individual uses of the phrase "Aahroh, T'o't" as well as some fifty uses of "Aahroh, Optimus" and fifteen uses of simply "T'o't". Every time it was said, the Autobot leader always reacted with a curious little smile, no matter the context of the situation. After finding no equivalent in any of the languages that the humans on the base spoke, he decided that it must be a Cybertronian word. Arrogantly, Galloway barged into the mess hall one day and demanded that the men explain the name to him. The eyes that looked into his were cold and hard.
"That's not something we share with people who haven't earned the Autobots' trust," Lennox said flatly.
Oh joy. Loyalty melodramatics. "It sounds to me like a code," Galloway snarled, "And unless you want me to tell the Pentagon that you're all conspiring against your country with aliens, you'll tell me what it means!"
The men and women looked at each other, then to Epps, who had yet to speak. They seemed to be holding a conference merely with their eyes.
Epps stood and stretched, then locked his hands behind his back and casually walked up to meet Galloway. "Conspiracy theories? I think you've been watching too much "X-Files", sir," he said pleasantly, "It doesn't mean anything sinister, or even applicable to the military!"
The tone was light, the words pleasant, but Galloway got the feeling that this man was fully prepared to break him in half if pushed. Carefully, he made an attempt at humility.
"You have to admit that it sounds suspicious to outsiders," he reasoned, "You boys seem to want to avoid the appearance of wrongdoing, so why not just settle the matter here and now?"
Epps and Lennox caught each other's eyes and frowned. "Aahroh means "I understand", or "Very good," that's all," Will said calmly, "We asked Ironhide to teach us the word." Pointedly ignoring the slippery director, he turned back to his plate and continued eating.
"And what about the other word? Why do you call the Autobot commander "t'o't"?" Galloway's curiosity put a demanding tone in his voice.
The moment he pronounced the word, every soldier in the hall glared at him as if he'd committed a sacrilege.
"That's our name for Prime, not yours!" one woman hissed.
The temperature in the room seemed to drop several degrees, and Galloway wondered if he could have planned this better. "Tell me why," he tried to sound in-control of himself. "Why do you call him that?"
As one, the members of N.E.S.T. stood threateningly. Robert Epps strode forward and seized Galloway by the collar before he spoke for them all. "We call him T'o't because he allows us to use that name. We earned his trust, and he earned ours."
The tension in the room heightened, and Galloway began to sweat. Something was happening here that he did not and could not understand. These were aliens, and common soldiers! What could they possibly share to make them so protective of each other that they wouldn't allow a perceived threat to even utter a certain name for their ally?
The room shook with the impact of approaching footsteps in a slow, measured gait. Grins spread across the faces of the assembled humans and they snapped to attention as a massive form bent down to peer into the mess hall.
"What is going on?" Optimus asked. He sounded inquisitive, but Galloway thought he sounded more like the parent who has caught the child at mischief and wishes to hear an explanation. The Autobot frowned.
"Director Galloway. I was not aware that you were here. I was under the impression that you were to confer with Director Mearing before entering this base."
He turned his serene gaze to the soldiers, particularly Epps and Lennox. "I hope there have been no problems?"
The two old friends sounded as if butter wouldn't melt in their mouths as they chorused, "Je, T'o't."
As with every instance of the word, Optimus's impassive face softened into a gentle smile. He shook his helm wonderingly. "Leave the director alone, gentlemen. He has enough to worry about without fear of assault."
Epps beamed angelically, then leaned over to whisper into Galloway's ear, "No one will ever believe you."
Galloway hastily made his retreat, and did not set foot in the mess hall again.
He never did learn the meaning of the word.
He never did find out that Ironhide had taught the soldiers to call Optimus "Father".
(Inspired by the way the Autobots act around humans in the movie novelization of Dark of the Moon. "T'o't", by the way, is a Nez Perce word for father)
The first thing he noticed was the silence.
He had the vague impression that he had just done something very important, but for the spark of him he could not remember what. He groaned and sat up with a hand to his helm. Wherever he was, it was dark, and the taint of something evil ran through the chamber. The warrior shuddered. The sooner he found a way out, the better!
The soft blue light from his optics fell upon a second form, not far from him. It groaned softly and tried to push itself upright. The first mech crouched curiously in front of the second. He knew this warrior, he was certain of it! The prone form raised its helm and a flood of half-remembered emotions and memories nearly overwhelmed the first. This was a friend, a supporter, this was-
"Where are we, Megatronus?" the smaller mech asked.
Megatronus shrugged and heaved him to his pedes. "I do not know, Little Brother. There is something deeply disquieting about this place."
Arms thrown over each other's shoulders for support, they began to look for a way out. Without warning, three armed Cybertronians burst into the room, looking battle-ready.
"Don't shoot!" Megatronus shouted, pushing his brother behind him. The two mechs and the femme looked confused.
The confusion doubled when Orion tapped Megatronus on the shoulder and whispered, "Who are they? Do you think the Council sent them?"
Megatronus snorted. "Primus, I hope not."
The big green one edged closer. "Optimus, come on! Don't you recognize us?"
Orion and Megatronus looked around to see who the soldier was speaking to, but they didn't see anyone else besides them.
Arcee's optics widened in horror. "He can't remember!" she whispered.
"Your pardon," Megatronus said politely, but with a touch of irritation, "But if it wouldn't be too much trouble, my brother and I have no idea where we are, and we would like to leave. We have a meeting with the Council tomorrow, and I wouldn't like to miss it because some idiot threw us in a hole and left us to rust."
The three intruders gaped openly. "What did you just say?!" the femme demanded sharply.
Orion answered, hoping to defuse the situation. "We were to meet with the Council tomorrow. Megatronus is going to speak against the caste system."
The little yellow one buzzed and hummed worriedly to the others. "No, no this can't be an act," Bulkhead realized, "They both think they're on Cybertron!" He opened his commlink and hailed a familiar Cybertronian. "Ratchet set up the med bay! We need a Bridge."
Orion's optics lit up. "I know Ratchet!" he exclaimed, "He'll know what's going on!"
"That's what we're hoping," the blue femme sighed.
Within moments, they were standing in a primitive missile silo with a very irate medic glaring at the two of them. "What were you thinking?" he yelled at them.
"Is he talking to me or you?" Orion whispered.
"Well, he's looking at you, but in my experience with mechs from Iacon, everything is always my fault," Megatronus joked.
If possible, this seemed to make Ratchet even more livid. "You!" he growled to the Kaonian gladiator, "Med berth, now!" The silver mech grimaced, but did as he was told. As the doctor began to run scans of his mighty frame, the onlooking Orion leaned over with interest.
"Well, now we'll finally know whether or not you really do have a processor under there!" he knocked on Megatronus's helm cheerfully. Ratchet almost dropped the scanner in his shock.
"You too," he said after a few wordless moments, "Get on the other berth." He ran a preliminary health scan, then a processor scan, then another processor scan, then a third processor scan. The data was there, but it didn't make sense! "Wait here," he ordered his patients sternly. Then he swept off to find the other Autobots and share his discovery.
After a few seconds of silence, Orion muttered, "Do you think he meant "here" as in the berths, or "here" as in the med bay itself?"
Megatronus scowled. "Did you see that wrench? You can do what you like, but I'm not going to risk leaving!"
His brother chuckled and scooted himself into a sitting position next to the older mech. "Have you thought about what you're going to say when Councilor Ratbat objects? You know he's going to object." Megatronus opened his mouth to answer, then closed it, suddenly startled.
"Look!" he whispered, pointing to a flash of movement and color on the floor.
"What is it, Brother?" Orion asked, curious. The larger warrior shushed him quickly and hopped off the berth to crouch in front of a stack of crates.
"Ssh! You'll scare it!"
Orion moved to join him, peering into the shadows. Something tiny and delicate and alive was staring back at them from behind the box.
"What is it?" Megatronus wondered aloud. Beside him, Orion shuffled forward to get a better look.
"Well, I think it's a sparkling of some kind. It looks like it came out of the Well a little too soon, don't you think?" Blue optics sparkled with fascination as Megatronus slowly reached for the tiny being.
"Hello there," he whispered, "Where are your guardians, little one? Are you all alone?"
The strange sparkling squeaked and tried to scramble away from the silver talons, but he'd boxed himself in behind the crates. Carefully, Megatronus lifted him and cradled him in his palms.
Ratchet returned to find Optimus and Megatron sitting cross-legged on the floor, staring at a shaking Rafael Esquivel. With a cry, the medic stormed over and snatched the boy from the Decepticon's hand.
Megatronus was startled for a moment, then smirked. "Offhand, I'd say we found his guardian."
Orion twisted in his spot to look up at the Autobot. "Ratchet, I didn't know you had any sparklings," he said innocently. Ratchet sputtered, unable to answer.
Suddenly, Megatronus tapped Orion's arm and pointed to where two more of the unusual sparklings stood watching them with wide optics. "It's alright, don't be frightened," Orion coaxed, holding out one hand, "We won't hurt you!"
Cautiously, the larger of the two crept towards them, skirting Megatronus very obviously before coming to stand next to Orion. The other had no such inhibitions, scurrying up to them right away with a smile. Orion gently scooped the two into his arms and held them up to see him and his brother.
"I am Orion Pax," he whispered, trying to keep them at ease. "I'm the Nice One."
Megatronus nodded. "And I am the Ugly One," he said flatly, "Usually known as Megatronus."
The one in Ratchet's hand stared at them, then turned a questioning gaze to the medic. Ratchet nodded. "When Optimus gave up the Matrix of Leadership, I fear he lost more than the collective wisdom of the Primes. He lost his memories, and it appears that Megatron was caught in the backlash."
"How long do you think it will last?" Arcee murmured from the door, utterly astonished by the gentled warlord smiling and nodding as Miko chatted gaily to him.
"I don't know," Bulkhead growled, "But if he endangers Miko at all, I'll rip his spark out through his optics."
"Gruesome, but appropriate," Arcee agreed.
Megatronus and Orion both were shocked and horrified to discover what had become of their homeworld, and the danger their war posed to this strange planet inhabited by squishy sparkling-people. It wasn't until Bumblebee caught Megatron on the top of the mesa contemplating suicide over his role in the war that the Autobots began to truly believe that he meant them no harm. Ratchet noticed that the young scout stuck closer to the huge mech after that, as if convinced he had to watch him every second.
In time, Ratchet convinced them that Orion and the sparkling called "Jack" needed to go to Kaon with the Key to Vector Sigma, saying only that there was something they had to do there. Megatron held the Space Bridge almost single-handedly as his brother and the human disappeared into the vortex with Arcee. When the figure of Orion Pax walked back through the Bridge, Megatronus was surrounded by unconscious Vehicons and was in the middle of a heated battle with Soundwave.
Optimus Prime blinked in surprise at the sight. He remembered releasing the Matrix into Unicron's spark, then nothing until he'd opened his optics to see that he was standing on Cybertron with Jack and Arcee. He wasn't expecting to see Megatron fighting his most trusted lieutenant, nor was he expecting to see the mighty Decepticon shove Bumblebee out of the way of a laser blast, taking the brunt of the attack in his left shoulder. He grunted in pain and barely blocked Soundwave's attack. A second round of lasers startled them both, and Soundwave bridged away quickly.
Megatronus stood and shook his injured shoulder roughly, assessing the damage. "I had it sorted," he muttered petulantly.
Optimus raised an eyebrow calmly as the Decepticon reached down to help Bumblebee to his pedes.
"Is it true, then?" Megatronus asked quietly, noticing the change that had come over his normally jovial brother, "Are you a Prime?"
The gladiator threw back his helm and laughed. "Well, I was right! One of us was meant for greatness!"
The battle mask retracted and Optimus allowed a small smile to creep over his faceplate. He was grateful to the boy and Arcee for explaining his old nemesis's memory loss before he returned to Earth, else he might have attacked his own ally. He watched as Megatron—no, Megatronus—bent down and held a servo out to Jack, who shook it firmly with a proud grin of his own.
"Well done, little Autobot!" the warlord boomed, "Brave spark indeed!"
Optimus commed Ratchet, requesting a Ground Bridge. He turned to his family, standing with and beside him. "Let us go home."
I don't think this one needs much explanation other than I'd noticed that Megatron's optics were blue before he set himself against his brother.
more next time!