Disclaimer: I don't own the Transformers. They officially belong to Hasbro and Takara. I'm taking them for a short spin.
Rumors of an Autobot outpost on a remote planet populated with sentient organics? Ultra Magnus considered it worth checking out considering his recent luck. The current stellar cycle wasn't one of the best in recent memory. A brush with death on Antilla, and getting saved at the last minute. Dying would've been a relief. His luck, so far, was holding.
The ship getting stolen was another highlight. Getting it back topped his list of memorable recent events. Slagging Decepticons, anyway.
Oh, yes, the ship. The Steelhaven. His ship and home since leaving Cybertron. His poor ship. The transmitter was damaged beyond repair, actually the crew's ability to repair it. No medic or engineer. Just a bunch of outcasts, misfits and tagalongs. But, for good or ill, they were his crew, and he would not trade them for anything.
Except Springer and Hot Rod were arguing about onlining the weapons or turning and running. They hadn’t come halfway across the galaxy just for a flyby. They’d paid dearly for the coordinates to the planet whose atmosphere they were now entering, and the location of the Autobot outpost.
Magnus prayed it wasn’t abandoned, as so many were before. They were running out of places to run, and he was tired of running. Although they weren’t going to anger the organics currently escorting them to a landing pad. Which was part of what appeared to be an Autobot city teeming with activity.
Magnus stood as the ship touched down on the landing pad.
“Kup, Arcee, you’re with me. Springer, you’re in charge,” he said, Kup and Arcee falling into step behind him.
And as they stepped off the loading ramp, Magnus was surprised by the sight greeting them. A pair of black and white mechs, each bearing the Autobot symbol, and brandishing weapons. But they put lowered them, once they recognized him.
The form was a different than what Magnus remembered, but the voice was the same. A voice from the past, long-dead and once mourned.
“Prowl, it’s good to see you,” Magnus managed.
“I can’t believe it,” Prowl said. “And Kup, you too?”
“It ain’t a ghost,” Kup said, embracing the other mech. “Although I think I might be seeing things. You and Jazz were on the Ark. It was destroyed, wasn’t it?”
A glance passed between the two black and whites.
“You’ll get an explanation,” Jazz said. “But first, who’s the femme hidin’ behind you, Mags?”
“Arcee, this is Jazz and Prowl,” Magnus said. “Jazz was the head of special operations and third in command of the Autobot forces. Prowl was second in command to Optimus Prime himself and head of the tactical division.”
“It’s nice to meet you,” Arcee said, moving closer to Kup, who put an arm around the femme.
“I trained ‘em both,” Kup explained. “You don’t have anything to fear from these two.”
Prowl frowned, ready to inquire further.
“We have much to discuss,” Magnus said. “Who’s in charge?”
“Optimus, of course,” Jazz said. “Already commed him. He should be here any minute. If he can get away from the meeting he’s in.”
Magnus stepped back, and Kup put a hand on the other mech’s shoulder.
“Steady, lad,” he murmured.
Magnus reached up, giving the ancient mech’s fingers a quick squeeze.
“Frag,” Jazz muttered. “Boss bot can’t get away, but I think this is important enough to interrupt. He hates meeting with politicians anyway. C’mon. Follow me.”
“Jazz. . .” Prowl said.
Jazz ignored him, and Magnus and the others followed. He considered how Jazz ignored a direct superior, but it wasn’t important. A few moments of winding corridors, curious bots and they were finally outside conference room.
Jazz hit the comm button on the control panel.
“Prime, you need to come out. Now,” Jazz said.
“Jazz, I’m in the middle of a meeting,” came the reply over the speaker.
“Yeah. The humans can wait a few minutes. If this wasn’t important, Prowl wouldn’t be here with me, too.”
“Give me a few minutes.”
Magnus glowered at Arcee when she slipped her hand into his, keeping him from balling and unballing his fists. A nervous habit.
Ultra Magnus offlined his optics a moment, taking time to collect himself before facing the mech he hadn’t seen in half a lifetime. Four million fragging years. Almost half his life given over to fighting, fleeing, protecting. Forgetting. Hurting. Grieving.
Another emotion as the door slid open, and Magnus was sure he was seeing a ghost. Unbelief. Numbness. He felt faint. And strong arms encircling him, crushing him in an embrace. Then hands on his shoulders, blue optics staring at him with their familiar mixture of amusement, affection and mirth. Optimus looking him over as if they’d never been apart.
“I thought you were dead,” Magnus said.
“I could say the same about you,” Optimus replied, hands falling away from the other mech.
“How?” Magnus asked.
“Later,” Optimus said. “I need to alert Ratchet of your arrival, and call off the humans. They’re sure your ship is full of Decepticons as you didn’t answer their hails.”
“I wanted to, but we couldn’t,” Magnus said. “The communications array is damaged, and there wasn’t any way to fix it. The Decepticons who stole it weren’t very careful with it.”
“A story for another time,” Optimus said. “Magnus, I’m sorry, but I have to finish this meeting. We’ll talk later. Prowl, will you see to Magnus and his crew?”
The SIC nodded, motioning, once again, for Magnus and the others to follow.
“Later” was indeed later. After introductions, being assigned quarters, a quick tour of the relevant facilities and avoiding the med bay. Magnus wandered the city, marveling at its beauty. Not home, like Iacon, but an enduring piece of their culture, a testament to Autobot perseverance.
But he finally grew tired, returning to his assigned quarters. Spartan, but functional. He’d received assurances it was only temporary, and because he was an officer, better accommodations were promised. If that was the case, sleeping on the Steelhaven was a more suitable option. It was his home, had been for millennia. Planetfall and fellow Autobots wouldn’t change that over night.
And the berth wasn’t comfortable, the room was unfamiliar, and he could come up with more excuses, Magnus rolled off the berth, heading for the door and his ship. But as the door slid open, he stopped. Optimus was standing in the doorway, hand on the comm button.
“I hope it’s not too late to talk for a while,” he said.
“It’s not,” Magnus said, reaching out, putting a hand on the Prime’s shoulder, pulling him close, until their helms were touching. “How are you alive?”
“How are either of us here, after everything?” Optimus said. “Does it matter? Oh, how I’ve missed you, brother.”
Once again, he wrapped his arms around the other mech, and Magnus reciprocated. For the moment, it did not matter how or why they were alive, only that they were together again.