Thanks to the shared eccentricities of the Autobots and Decepticons' leaders, peace had broken out among Cybertronians.
Peace meant building time, and the Constructicons loved it.
Well, most of them. Long Haul wasn't happy, but Long Haul was never happy. Bonecrusher was okay as long as there were still things to demolish. And as for Devastator--well, they hadn't consulted him in a while.
But Scrapper was happy, all in a frenzy of building plans--what to make first? Hook was happy, no longer bothered by so many wounded Decepticons, able to focus on his masterpiece--as soon as he and Scrapper figured out what it was. Mixmaster was happy, bubbling over with with celebratory substances.
And Scavenger was happy. He had a new hobby: packaging up damaged goods and delivering them to the Autobot medic. Given the nature of the relationship between the two leaders, these 'damaged goods' frequently included Rodimus Prime himself--but for Scavenger, that was an opportunity.
Scavenger's shovel swayed happily as he tucked Autobot Prime into his portable med berth. "I got all the pieces you need and more," he said, comfortingly. "I'm sure First Aid will know what to do with you from here--and with these, too." He rolled up a worn canvas under Rodimus' head, put the Prime's loose arm in a beautifully engraved box that didn't quite latch, and pressed it against his shoulder with ancient navigation device none of the Decepticons had been interested in fixing. "And he'll be nicer than Hook, too."
"Thanks, Scavenger," Rodimus said, dreamily, mind more on the source of his injuries than on the repairs. "Tell Galvatron I'll be back soon."
"Of course," Scavenger said, meaning, of course the Autobot would be back soon, not that he would tell Galvatron anything so obvious.
Sky Lynx' long neck wriggled his impatient face into hallway. "Are you ready yet? Sky Lynx has places to be!"
"Ready now," Scavenger said, humbly, and wheeled Hot Rod into his transport.
First Aid's first priority was, of course, the Prime himself, but the damage was largely cosmetic--as Rodimus said, starry-eyed, Galvatron knew how to detach a arm just right!
The box was beautiful, and useful, when First Aid found the right bit of latch, and the canvas looked like it would be about right for a new apron for Grimlock. He put it aside and stared at the other device. A mystery! He turned it over--there was a little note. "To First Aid. Found this on the planet Dread. I know you like to fix things too, thought you might like it. Scavenger."
Interesting. Very interesting. And it could be so much more interesting, with a bit of repair...
He had it most of the way apart and was starting to polish the pieces before he thought again of the sender. He should thank Scavenger. "Prime," he asked the figure resting on his med berth, "do you think I could send him some scrap metal--or broken machines, or something?"
Prime mumbled happily about Galvatron breaking things. Clearly not a good time to ask. Although it was good to know that the leaders were getting along so well. And perhaps Scavenger was following their example!
In the spirit of peace--and a mutual interest in interesting broken objects--First Aid composed a message. "Scavenger: Thank you very much. You should visit." He hesitated only a moment before adding, "Bring your team, if you would like."
He sent it off before he had time to think too hard about the last invitation. You just didn't invite a gestalt mech without his team. Not until you got to know him better, anyway.
There was a flurry of activity at Constructicon Headquarters when First Aid's invitation arrived.
Hook was about to have some very long words about Scavenger and his Autobot "quacksalver", but then Scrapper interrupted him. "We might see Grapple, while we're there."
"That is a thought," conceded Hook, and then the two of them vanished back into the planning room, where they spent yet more hours trying to find the Perfect Building Plan.
Mixmaster laughed. Bonecrusher shrugged, "Could use a change of scenery--"
Long Haul scoffed, "Right, a bunch of Autobots we can't even shoot at!"
But then Bonecrusher pointed out, "We might see the big guy, while we're at it."
Even Long Haul intrigued at that, but then he snorted and said, "I'm not carrying all the baggage."
"'Course you're not," Mixmaster giggled. "You're gonna have to save room for Devastator's biiiiig spike..."
Long Haul sighed "Right, I'm gonna haul that heavy thing all the way to Cybertron and for all we know the big guy doesn't even have a place to put it anymore." But he still looked intrigued.
Scavenger was back in his junk pile, happily looking for more things First Aid might like.
"Hey Grapple, buddy!" Blaster's voice came over the intercom. "We gotta a huge-aft transmission for ya, and it ain't musical!"
"For me?" Grapple said. "What?"
"It's building plans! From your biggest fans! Ya ready?" Blaster opened up a data channel.
"Oh yes!" Grapple was ready as soon as Blaster mentioned 'building'. "Send 'em right over!"
The datablast was minutes long, and left Grapple delirious. "So many! So beautiful! Hoist, Hoist!" He rushed to find his partner. "Just look at them!" Without further preamble, he sent the data to Hoist that Blaster had sent to him.
Two Autobot processors swam with building plans, minds filled with blueprints and 3D charts annotated by two or three or sometimes four or even six hands. "I don't know what to build first!" Grapple declared.
Hoist stared, too, nearly as beside himself as his partner. "I'm sure I don't know, Grapple, but I can guess we're about to have some help with that!"
"Yes--" Grapple said. "Company! And our own plans are hardly ready! Quick, Hoist! We can't be unprepared!"
Hoist nodded, and pulled out his favorite of Grapple's old plans for when they had the chance to rebuild. "What about these?"
"No, no, not good enough--!"
The Constructicons arrived as part of a special diplomatic mission, on Astrotrain, and they met the 'big guy' right away. Omega Supreme stood, deadly and dispassionate, in front of the launch pad, his weapons systems ready and waiting.
They could see the Autobot Magnus, frantically trying to talk to the old Guardian--probably trying to remind him that they were at peace.
Bonecrusher grinned. "Hey, maybe we'll get a fight!"
Scrapper sighed. "We don't have time for this!"
"'Course we do. We're not just here to see your ex--" Bonecrusher said.
"Omega Supreme isn't your 'ex'," Hook declared. "And we don't even have any common interests anymore."
"Speak for yourself," said Bonecrusher. "I don't complain when you go all gaga over Grapple--"
"Shut up and get out," said Astrotrain over the intercom. "I don't give a frag who you're romancing."
"Sounds like someone's impatient to see Blitzwing and Octane--" Mixmaster giggled, but they all exited the shuttle in orderly fashion.
"CONSTRUCTICONS." Omega Supreme greeted them. "WE HAVE BUSINESS."
"No, we don't," said Scrapper. "We're at peace."
"--so how about we skip the business and go right onto pleasure?" Bonecrusher elevated himself to look him in the optics--or the helmet, anyway.
"DEMOLITION. IS YOUR PLEASURE." Omega Supreme's weapons lifted.
"It's my function." Bonecrusher said. "And parta the cycle of life. Ya used to get that. I'd think after a war you'd understand it even better."
"CRYSTAL CITY." He said, implacable, but he didn't fire.
"A rough draft," Hook joined Bonecrusher. "Can make ya another one. Here--" he sent a databurst. "Take a look."
"In the meanwhile..." Bonecrusher said. "A lotta war stuff to tear down...and play in the ruins..."
"And Devastator has got some things to show you," Long Haul joined them up there and pelvic-trusted lewdly as Omega's optics flashed bright under his helmet.
"WE WILL SPEAK. LATER." Omega responded, backing away as best he could at his size. "PERHAPS."
Both he and Hook pretended not to see Bonecrusher and Long Haul's midair high-five.
"So where's your team?" First Aid asked, when Scavenger arrived in med bay. A row of ancient-but-recently-inhabited Cybertronian houses had collapsed that day, filling up First Aid's schedule with a host of fortunately minor injuries.
"Probably building a city by now," Scavenger said, dreamily. "Thanks for inviting us."
"A city?" First Aid said, alarmed. "Does Prime know?"
Scavenger's shovel flipped up nervously. "Do you think he'd object?"
"I don't know! I mean, where are they building it?" First Aid said. "I'm sure Rodimus would be happy for the help, but what if someone's already living there?"
Scavenger paused for a moment, clearly consulting with his team. "It's cleared. Magnus is okay with it anyway."
"Oh good," First Aid said. "Pass me an octagonal screw--one of the smaller ones, please." Scavenger handed him one and First Aid screwed it in. "Do they need you?"
"Not yet," Scavenger said, "It's just the planning and the demolition. They'll call me over for materials soon."
"Oh." First Aid said, "Are you going to need anything?"
"No, I'm fine, I mean, probably--unless you have some scraps I can look through?" Scavenger looked down at Aid hopefully.
"Third closet from the left," First Aid said, cheerfully.
Omega Supreme glowering down at them did not reduce the exuberance of Bonecrusher and Mixmaster one bit, as they set to work demolishing the old military base that had replaced Crystal City. Even Long Haul rolled happily about, hauling off debris.
Soon, Scrapper and Hook, Grapple and Hoist showed up to rush around the demolition site, arguing about what to put in where. Omega Supreme leaned over them, watching them, then suddenly pointed. "No. Over there. And bigger."
"Okay," Scrapper said, and put in the markers before Hook or Grapple could explain all the reasons why it should be somewhere else.
Omega's second piece of input did not go unchallenged, however--they respected their old friend's opinion, but a crystal obelisk in the middle of the city's (projected) biggest intersection was just not a good idea.
"Thank you so much," Scavenger said, tucking some more bits and pieces into his subspace.
"My pleasure," said First Aid. It had been; Scavenger was good company, and even interacted well with his Paradronian colleages--a rare trait, in a Decepticon. "You should rejoin your team."
"Yes," Scavenger said, shovel twitching in the way Aid had learned it did when he wanted to ask something. "Do you want to come along? It'll be, um. Break time. Soon. I mean. I really like you and the others are happy you asked us here and, um, you won't be the only Autobot there or anything so if you're worried--"
"I'd be happy to come along," First Aid said, not sure why inviting him to see a building site was cause for such anxiety. "Just let me finish up here."
"Okay," said Scavenger. Scavenger, and his shovel, stood disturbingly still for a moment. "I guess I should mention since I don't know if Autobots do this differently but there's going to be an orgy, hopefully, at least if things go well and I think things are going well..."
"...oh." First Aid said. He stopped and looked at Scavenger. "I've never been to a Decepticon orgy before." But he'd fixed up Autobots who had, and although Rodimus certainly seemed to enjoy it, well, he was the bot who needed to be there to do the patching up, not the one who should be needing to be patched up.
"Oh, it's not a Decepticon orgy!" Scavenger said. "Just us Constructicons. And the Autobots. And we like you so we won't tear you apart. Unless you want."
"Oh." First Aid said, not entirely reassured, but he didn't want to say no to Scavenger like this either. "I don't know about the orgy, but...I'd like to come and see what you're building at least."
"All right," said Scavenger. "C'mon, we don't want to be late!" He launched himself into the air with his thrusters, leading the way; First Aid transformed and followed.
Omega Supreme didn't want to forgive. After what they'd done, it should take more than a new city to build back the trust they'd lost.
This construction site wasn't even a city yet. It had been so, so long since Omega Supreme could look on something and see, not what it was, or what it had been, but what it could be--he'd thought his imagination lost to the Robo-smasher. Lost to the Constructicon's betrayal.
Why, then, did he see the city the Constructicons were building, see the buildings that didn't exist, that had never existed, so clearly he was arguing about their location?
There was peace now. Rodimus Prime had made it. He had promised Ultra Magnus, just today, that he would try to make peace with his old enemies, his old friends. Right there beneath him, Grapple and Hoist were working with the Constructicons as if there had been no war between them, as if they'd completely forgotten that the Constructicons had betrayed them, too.
And speaking of Grapple, down by his foot, the Autobot was pulling Scrapper to him. "You have to see!" he said, "Here!" He extended a cable, and without any hesitation Omega could detect, Scrapper took it, and plugged it into his interface panel.
Suddenly, surprisingly, Omega was jealous. If the Constructicons were going to plug into an Autobot, it ought to be him, their Guardian, their friend--as they had so long ago, the only bots who had bothered to pay enough attention to the Guardian robot to notice he even had interface hardware.
He was too focused on his feet to notice the Constructicon by his shoulder until Bonecrusher landed. "Break time, wanna frag?" the Constructicon said, short and to the point--and Omega didn't know what to say.
Gentle hands pressed against the seems of Omega's leg, the opposite side from Grapple and Scrapper. Familiar hands, hands familiar enough with Omega Supreme's body to touch where he could feel it but not where it would threaten--familiar from years of regular maintenance. "Hoist."
"Yes," Hoist said, looking up at Omega's optics. "I'm here. It'll be okay."
"Yes," said Omega, and opened his interface panel for Bonecrusher, opened in a way he hadn't since the day Crystal City was destroyed.
He could feel again. He could feel the whole gestalt, plus the faint echoes of Grapple and Hoist, and it was too much.
It was good that there was nothing behind him to break when he fell.
"They started without us," Scavenger said, before First Aid could see anything at all. "Hurry!"
The first thing First Aid saw was the massive clearing--one of Cybertron's old military instillations, torn down in a day and ready for new development. The next thing he saw was Omega Supreme, seemingly fallen down on his back. He accelerated, fearing the worst. The ground was shaking, he noticed--was there an earthquake?
He was almost on top of Omega Supreme himself before he realized what was happening--Omega Supreme had five Constructicons and two Autobots on top of him, interfacing enthusiastically, and he was moaning. "Uh," he said.
"Come on!" Scavenger said, hovering just above Omega Supreme's chest and reaching down for First Aid's hand.
"Um." First Aid said. He really ought to be doing something responsible. On the other hand, here they were, Autobots and Decepticons, making peace--clearly he should join in! "Omega?"
"Yes!" said Omega Supreme, loudly, lifting a large hand to join Scavenger's and First Aid's.
First Aid wasn't going to argue with Omega Supreme in that mood.
"Defensor doesn't have one of those," First Aid said, watching in awe as the Constructicons combined into Devastator to give Omega Supreme a full-sized round two.
"We could make him one," Hoist said, petting Grapple contentedly as the architect lay across his lap.
First Aid giggled embarrassedly. "Probably shouldn't. Defensor has enough problems scaring humans as it is. And it's not as though he'd have anywhere to put it."
"Well," Hoist said, "I suppose we could build Superion parts to match...or who knows, maybe Bruticus or Menasor has them already."
First Aid shuddered. "I think with New Crystal City and the Constructicons, we've got enough building to do for a good long time."
"Indeed," said Hoist. "I haven't even introduced them to the concept of regular maintenance schedules, yet."