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Starting Again

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Thundercracker focused on the box at his feet. He had been a high-ranking officer throughout the war, and everything of value to him fit into a small pitiful box. With a war spanning millions of years, how was one suppose to acquire many items of personal or sentimental value. Looking up he scanned the room. Around him were a large number of both Autobots and Decepticons, each separated into groups of their own fractions. Half of those assembled appeared to have their own box of things, some had somehow managed more than one box. From what he knew of the situation these bots were carriers, like himself, being moved into shared quarters with a potential bond-mate. They had probably had been 'volunteered' as well. The goal was to rebuild trust and community between the once warring fractions, for both the sake of the NAILs and for the sake of Cybertron herself.

Bots from both sides were asked to enlist for coupling with a member of the opposing faction. There had been a physical and psychological examination of each mech to determine the best compatibility matches. Match-making. He felt his face pull a frown. The whole thing was ridiculous. He remembered the night, just a few cycles ago, when Megatron had come to the seekers quarters requesting one of the trine to make himself available for this charade. Immediately, all optics had fallen upon him. Everyone assumed it was he who had a relationship with Skywarp, but it was actually Starscream, their obnoxious leader who had claimed the dark jet as his mate. But since Starscream enjoyed the attention of "being available", and the attention didn't bother Skywarp, no one had ever felt the need to correct the rumor. Thundercracker simply didn't care what those outside his trine thought they did together. The thing that had always bothered him was how easily his trine, especially Skywarp, often bumped him out of or, in this case, into activities that would strengthen his bond with another mech.

A heavy silence feel over the room, pulling Thundercracker out of his thoughts of his trine. Optimus Prime and Megatron entered, neither one of them looked too happy to be there anymore than the rest of the bots. They marched to the other end of the room and Prime stepped up onto a small stage that elevated him slightly above everyone else.

"Let's get right to this, then," the Prime started, his blue optics catching everyone's attention. "First, I want to thank all of you for offering yourself to this cause. The future of Cybertron and our relations with each other begins here. This task will push several of us, (us? surely Optimus isn't apart of this nonsense) outside our comfort zones, but I want no one to feel pressured to do anything. If you do feel pressure from anyone around you, please do not be afraid to speak to myself, Megatron, or Rung." He motioned towards a small orange bot that gave a small wave. The mech had been the one who had done the psychological exams. "This process, if we want it to succeed cannot be rushed. A lot of bots were involved in matching each one of you with who we consider to be the best mech compatible for you. We ask that you try to live with the mech we chose for you for at least six decacycles. If, after that time, you feel it is a poor match and are unwilling to form a bond with them, then you may be separated and, if you are still willing, another match will be made. The end goal is to have a new community of Cybertronians, whom fractions mean nothing to. To show the NAILs, and each other, that we can, in fact, coexist, now that we have our home planet restored to us. Megatron," he turned toward the former warlord and extended his hand as he stepped off the stage, "will you do the honor."

The bulky mech frowned slightly at the phrasing but took the Prime's place on stage. "I will be announcing the pairings, carrier, then sire. Stand when called. You can sit when you note your partner." He turned his attention to a data pad in his hand. He grudgingly called each name, pausing between each, and making sure both mechs saw each other before allowing them to sit back down. Thundercracker had not been impressed with the pairings called before his. He may have been a bit bias since he didn't actually know much about the Autobot halves, but from what he did know, made him question some. Sure a shared profession could lead to a harmonious relationship, but really, the Autobot medic, Ratchet, and the narcissistic Decepticon medic (and that was using the term loosely) Knockout? The ginormous Combaticon leader, Onslaught and the little Praxian Bluestreak? Prime and Breakdown? The best being the Praxian Autobot second in command Prowl and Lord Megatron himself! Ha! He rubbed at his optics in frustration, this whole thing was absurd.

"Thundercracker." He shot out of his chair, trying to prevent a frown from pulling at his face as he felt his shoulders curl in on himself immediately upon standing. "Ultra Magnus." A large blue, red, and white mech stood near the front of the room and turned in his direction. He could feel the blue optics slide up and down his frame before settling on his own red optics. The corner of the mech mouth pulled a bit, like the mech was trying to smile, but it was short and unsure, the mech gave a nod before sitting back down. Thundercracker hunched in some more, crossing his arms across his chassis as he sat back down. He knew this mech, the rule-abiding commander who was a monster on the battlefield. Trying to keep his war-prejudice out of mind, he pondered what he could have in common with this mech.

The pairing went on for a while longer. Thundercracker kept his optics on his partner. The other mech looked in his direction several times, always dropping optic contact as soon as it was made. The large mech had something on his mind. Thundercracker could see the thought process going on in the blue optics, even when they didn't have contact. Was the bot pondering the same things Thundercracker was? Things like, 'Why me? Why him? How is this going to work? ' Thundercracker smirked, dropping his gaze to the box in front of him. This wasn't going to work. No way in the Pits was it going to work.