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Metamorphosis: Beyond Transformation

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A Megatron-Free Evening

Orion Pax and Ariel sat on the roof of New Iacon's tallest tower, swinging their legs over its side. Of course, few bots knew them by those names; and out of those who did, fewer still dared to call them by those long-lost monikers. But tonight it was as if the passing of millions of Earth-years had left them somehow still unscathed, still reveling in dreams and plans and wishing on the brightest star.

...Or, as Optimus was doing now, wishing on the star just to the left of the brightest celestial luminary. "Why give all the work to one lone star?" he winked to Elita-One.

The pink femme followed her bondmate's line of sight, till she found the star now carrying his wish. "I've been there," she remarked in sudden recollection. "Intarras-5 was uninhabited, and rich with iron and magnesium..." She settled against him. "That was in the early days, before we shut down all the space bridges. I wonder what it's like now..."

"Want to go back and find out?" Prime inquired.

"Not just yet," said Elita. She leaned in against his side, under the shelter of his arm. "I'm content right here, for now."

"I wonder if there's anyone out there looking back at us?" Prime mused.

Elita looked out at the slice of cosmos before them. "Someone on Praum might be. Or maybe on Chokoneon..."

"I wonder what they call their constellations?" Optimus stared up at the silvered sky, out at the tiny whorls of spiral galaxies, bright clouds of nebulae, and enigmatic swaths of dark matter. He felt unusually small. He curled up in the feeling, for it came to him so seldom. Orion liked to feel that he was just a tiny cog in some massive universal machine. Sometimes he wished he could have stayed an unknown, unexamined cog, instead of becoming a linchpin.

"There's the Chronarchitect," he said, pointing at a circle of bright stars almost directly above them.

"That's right. I'd almost forgotten," Elita murmured. It had been a few eons since either of them had given a thought to the old stories told and retold about half-imagined figures in the stars. "That's the Singer." She gestured to a ladder-like lineup of stars – a pattern that musicians used to say was a clue to the ultimate melody... if they could only decipher it.

"I like the Builder's Tools," said Prime, indicating a cluster of small stars that lay near the horizon. He snorted, suddenly. "We must have traveled a long way since I was first forged. Remember how the Square and Compass used to be so far apart? They're almost overlapping, now."

Elita sighed. "Yes, we have come a long way, Optimus." She reached up to her shoulder, and threaded her fingers through her bondmate's. Her gaze shifted from the spattered stars, down to the twinkling lights of the expanding city far below them. New-Iacon was still under construction. (There was hardly any place that wasn't.) But someday, she thought, We'll drop the prefix from the names, and newling mechs and femmes will think their planet's always been like this. She pursed her lips. I hope they take good care of it. We've worked hard to rebuild it for them.

Almost as if he knew her thoughts, Optimus gave her shoulders a quick squeeze. "Someday, all of this will be forgotten," he murmured. "Someday there will be no memory of all our wars, of all our follies, or even of us, my love. But I'd like to think that after we are gone, this mysterious planet of ours might become a star in its own right... It's nice to imagine some future being looking out into the night, and wishing on Cybertron..." He smiled, lost in reverie.

"I wonder if the wish would be granted?" Elita mused.

"I hope so," Prime replied. He ran a soft thumb down her cheek. "I hope so, dearest one."