The Nevada desert seemed endless, the high temperatures and inhospitable soil held nothing for most people so the few roads that crossed it were deserted. Going further in there were only rock formations and sand for miles… at least for those who did not look closely.
The terrain was sunken in, the large crater filled with large crystals that jutted out towards the sky in all directions looking very out of place. The small bot looked around the energon deposit, an equally small datapad on his servos as he walked around happily. The sun was harsh against his orange and yellow scheme but he paid no mind to it, his visits to his carrier at her forge had since long numbed him to higher temperatures.
“I told you it would be fine.” He boasted into his comm cheerfully. “They still think I´m working on the console? Yes? Good, I just need to get some samples then I´ll comm you for a groundbridge. No. No. Yes, I´ll be fine. Yes, I´m sure. Yes. Please stop, you´re sounding like my carrier. ”
After severing the call with an exasperated sigh he looked around once more before running up to what he deemed the best crystal just at one of the edges. Opening his subspace he took out an odd tool, akin to what a futuristic glass cutter merged with a gun could look like, pressed the end against the energon crystal and pulled the trigger. He pulled back the cutter and reached out to catch the disc-shaped blue shard and with a grin stored both.
Just as the small bot was about to comm his friend for a way back to their base he heard the rumble of an engine. A cybertronian engine.
“Scrap!” A squeal slipped out as he hid behind the crystal just in time so the red car that had just came into view at the top missed his small frame. He never thanked so much for his stature in his lifetime. Well, there had been that time in the vents but his wings had still gotten their paint scratched at the ends.
Then the worst happened. The Nemesis came into view, soaring too close for comfort to the ground. Close to his hiding spot. Pressing himself against the energon, almost as if to melt away into it, he slid to the ground and shrunk into a ball.
“Mayhem!” He yelled in a hushed tone into his comm. “I´m in trouble!”
“Radical, I told you it was a bad idea!” On the other side of the call a femme with a grey and pink coloring scheme tried her best not to panic. “Why am I seeing the Nemesis signal right on top of you?!”
“What do you think?! Add an Autobot to the mix just for ´fun´ and do the math. I need to get out of here now!”
“Alright, I´m opening a groundbridge next to your coordinates.”
Just as Mayhem let out her final words the giant ship shot at the Autobot, making the ground shake, and the force of the impact launched him into a crystal. The small bot pressed his servos against his faceplate to swallow a scream and when he heard thumps not far from them he knew Vehicons had just landed.
“Stop! The red Bot and a couple of Cons are right behind me.” His tone bordered on soundless. “I´ll hide out here and when it´s over you can bridge me.”
“But Rad-!” He cut her off before the end of her sentence. She knew to stick to the plan as usual and he trusted her to do so.
"Arcee, about that backup…”
Radical tried not to groan and focused on remaining completely still. Autobot reinforcements could mean a shorter battle but also a higher chance of getting spotted. When he kept hearing landing sounds of even more Vehicons he started praying to the higher power he knew. Doomsday.
“Fair warning boys, I´ll put a few dings in ya.” The Autobot said before transforming and accelerating towards the purple mechs.
The fight went on for what seemed joors, sounds of battle filling the bot´s audio receptors. He heard Vehicon fall after Vehicon, a good sign, but the red mech also took his fair share of blows by the sound of his pained grunts. Radical heard something about horns and the sound of blasters filled the air. His spark suddenly filled with dread. Were they insane?! Firepower near energon never ended well for either side. Gathering up all his courage he tried to convince himself nothing would go wrong and that he´d live to see his family once more.
Then there was an explosion.
Blue flames engulfed the rich energon deposit in nanokliks, throwing the small bot over the edge. He couldn´t hold in his screams at the force of the impact, his wings taking the blunt of the damage from the explosion, the sensitive appendages burning hot and sending in pained signals all over his frame. He cried harder at the thought of his wings becoming too damaged to ever lift him into the sky, although he knew he´d never be able to experience the feeling of freedom seekers liked to boast about.
"M-May-Mayhem…” Radical wasn´t sure if he´d even activated his comm link but when he heard the sound of a groundbridge opening he let out a pained laugh. He was about to get lectured on the dangers of going out by himself but he´d deal with it later. He heard voices but in his state couldn´t differentiate them from one another and when neither Mayhem nor anyone else showed up he got impatient. “I know I´m small but frag me flying if you can´t spot the only orange thing in this mess!” It hurt to yell but the talking stopped and footsteps came in his direction. Finally! But when he felt himself being picked up and turned over what he saw froze his spark.
“Optimus, tell me I´m seeing things from being grief-stricken.” Five pairs of blue optics stared at the damaged sparkling in Arcee´s arms, its small helm shifting from one side to another rapidly. “Is this a…”
“Sparkling.” The larger red and blue mech finished before gently kneeling down.
The others took the same action before Radical started contorting to let himself free, his actions appearing as those of a frightened lost sparkling as opposed to those of someone very well aware of their situation.
"Step back!” The white and red Autobot extended an arm in front of his comrades presenting them from leaning over their teammate. “They´re clearly afraid and we have no idea where they came from. From all we know they could have escaped the Nemesis.”
“You really think so doc?” It was the turn of the large green one to talk. “I know Decepticons are the worst but keeping a sparkling prisoner?”
A few beeps came from the yellow mech as he looked between Radical and where the Nemesis had appeared up in the sky.
“Bumblebee´s right, with Startscream commanding the Decepticon army everything´s possible.” Ratchet nodded at the young scout and looked at Optimus. “Seekers are protective of their young but he´s always been one for backstabbing his own kind.”
Small digits pressed against the sparkling´s faceplates in a comforting attempt from the femme´s part but only served to increase his fidgeting. “Don´t worry, you´re safe now.”
Fans going into overdrive Radical threw out the window any remaining logic he might have held. Kicking the one holding him the action made Arcee drop him and let out a scream. “MAYHEM!” In a last ditch effort to put distance between him and the Autobots he crawled back on his aft, a childish maneuver but at the moment his processor couldn´t come up with a better strategy.
While Arcee cradled her bruised faceplates the others could only stare at the orange sparkling.
“Is that your carrier, little one?” Optimus leaned forward but being mindful of Ratchet´s advice didn´t attempt to reach for them. “Was she with you on that ship?”
“You wish, monkey wrench!” A new voice was heard along with the sound of an opening groundbridge. An orange and black femme with blue accents came rushing out of the portal and firing shots in their direction with a very clear intent of offlining them. Most didn´t hit their mark but she bought enough time to take out a whip and lasso the sparkling into her arms.
Radical´s first reaction was to crawl up his carrier´s frame and hide behind her back among the long and numerous luminescent blue and grey ´dreads´ that came from underneath her helm. “I slagged up, I´m so sorry!”
“I know, Mayhem told me most of it.” The femme didn´t spare a glance at her son, keeping her optics focused on the five Autobots who had their weapons trained on her. “I´m not mad, just disappointed.”
"Don´t patronize me as if I didn´t know what I was doing. I´m not a fragging sparking.”
“And yet you still did it and I´m well aware what you are.” She slowly backed up towards the groundbridge, her blasters ready to shoot the first bot stupid enough to follow her in or even shoot her. Autobots may have liked to look like justice was their end goal but she´d dealt with enough bots to know factions were merely pretty labels to some individuals. “This is your only and final warning. Stay back before I tear those empty buckets you call helms from your frames.”
“Please, we meant your sparkling no harm.” Optimus retreated his weapons and help up his servos. “Are you Mayhem? He called out that designation.”
“Erm, boss? Look at her faction.” Bulkhead nodded towards the femme´s chestplates. Instead of a red or purple symbol a black stylized hammer was brandished on her orange armor.
“Solus.” Ratchet let out a whisper. Quickly coming to his realization he turned to the bigger mech. “Optimus, she´s a-”
“I know. They supposedly left Cybertron just before the war began and were never seen again. Many consider them a myth at this point.”
“Well they´re clearly very real, considering the sparking I just held.” Arcee kept her blasters aimed at her enemy´s helm but didn´t dare to shoot in fear of harming the small mech.
“Oh, you recognize this symbol?” A dangerous grin formed on the femme´s faceplates. “Then you know what I´m capable of.” With renewed confidence she backed up further to the entrance of her way home. “This never happened, gentlebots. Forget what you´ve seen before I send sparkeaters to devour you.” With those final words both her and Radical went into the groundbridge and disappeared along with it.
Silence reined on the desert once more, none of the Autobots sure what to do next. They´d seen something supposedly extinct during the war and it promised to haunt them with another Cybertronian legend.
Their leader was the first to turn away. “Ratchet, open us a groundbridge back to base.”
“You´re not serious, are you? What we saw just now needs to be investigated before the Decepticons try and take advantage of them.”
“What we saw takes second place to our mission.” Looking at Arcee the large mech shook his helm. “Today we lost one of our own and we need to prepare for our next attack. The sparkling should be with his own kind now, so we have no need to hurry.”
Bumblebee offered his take on the subject, gesturing to where the sparkling and who they assumed was his carrier had disappeared. He wanted to try and find the little one again. He knew what being small and scared was like and didn´t wish it on anyone else, especially someone that looked to be innocent to the war´s evils.
“Bee´s right, we need to track those two down, sparkeaters or not.” The wrecker banged his wrecking ball against his servo with determination. “I´d fight hordes of those things to save an innocent bot. ´Cee, you´re with us on this, right?”
Looking up at her leader the femme sighed and lowered her gaze. Cliffjumper was… She´d forgotten about him in the heat of finding the sparking but the emotions were settling in. “He´s our leader, it´s our job to obey.” She clutched the only thing left of her partner, his horn, and started walking towards Optimus. “We´ll find them later.”
Resigning to his superior´s orders the medic called for a groundbridge. As they left to their base he couldn´t help but think about the sparkling´s injuries but soon remembered who´d taken them away.
“Who knew we´d find Makers hiding away all this way on Earth.”