Actions

Work Header

Heralds of Primus

Chapter Text

Their world had been one of peace won through daggers in the dark with aide from the humans.

Of energon grown not mined. Fields of glowing golden grains, Orchards full of heavy fruits that glowed, and massive gardens of glowing vegetables. They had the seeds in the hold….. enough to fed all of Cybertron if they found a place to grow it.

Of a world where humans were no longer pure organics and rarer than the crystal birds of the Horsehead nebula. The few left are kept as lavish pets by Cybertronian nobles who paid the priests for the right to be handlers. Many were killed when they’re systems showed strange and wondrous gifts. Everything from being able to charge a mech’s self-repair nanites with enough power to heal even spark threatening wounds in an instant to the gift of being able to shatter a mech’s frame with little more than a scream.

A world threatened by another war. With Grostenions, a monstrous race of brutish anthropomorphic techno-organic giants, and the Grostenions’ handlers the Seraphimus, a winged techno-organic race that acted more like devils than the angels they appearance mimicked.

This was the world a ship and her crew escaped.

The oldest of them, Depthstrike, was acting captain of their tiny crew and the not so little escape ship. Calm and collected, Depthstrike leds from the front no matter the odds. Little escapes his golden gaze. A large helijet his armor was mostly dark gray with copper accents along his wings and rotary blades.

His human partner was the ‘demure’ Tempest. Her raven wing black hair and lavender purple eyes against soft copper tone skin made for a piercing combination. A massive energy bow rested against her back and she rarely smiled until now.

Second in command was, Ironspark. A powerful Praxian war build whose alt mode was a police issued dodge charger. Quick to fight but not to anger, Ironspark is constantly making calculations on how to take anyone down. Against his white and black armor, his playful aqua blue optics just scream for attention.

His human Voltage rarely leaves the niche between Ironspark’s shoulder plates and his neck cabling. A tall mocha skinned male with electric blue dreadlocks, Voltage is a hard person to miss. Bit of a motormouth if given half the chance.

Then there was Hammerpoint, a sturdy shuttle painted in silver and pale aquamarine.  Optics of cautious forest green watched everything waiting for a blow. While not a warrior, little can stop him when he is given a reason to lift his hammer due to his shear mass and strength.

The Herald that stood at his side was none other than his lover Eclipse. Silver skin paired with onyx black eyes and hair. Eclipse has always been willing to risk everything for his handler and nothing will stand in their way. Not the rules, not the priesthood, and not even Primus himself.

The youngest Cybertronian of the group is Heavyfire. A powerful Armata tank. Black and gunmetal grey plates cover his frame. Playful due to his youth but at the same time extremely wise in spite of his age.

Oracle was the final Herald of the group. Her eyes milky white against porcelain skin framed by silver hair, gave her the appearance of a fragile doll or perhaps if one wished to be morbid a ghost. One could easily accuse Oracle of being the tactician of the group. However, when she is constantly shifting through possible futures behind her blind eyes it’s easy to become that which she was named. A seer, an oracle, a person who speaks of the future.

As alarms screamed, Hammerpoint fought to keep the ship level as they came in for a crash landing. Thankfully away from the populated sector over by the lake.

This Earth looked nothing like the one they all had known. Yet here this motley crew had landed, in a universe they had never seen before.

Oracle smiled as her gift showed her that they had in fact succeeded in punching through the metaphysical barrier between universes. She spoke softly, “We are free.”

Depthstrike sent out a scanner drone to see just what this new world was like.  And by Primus and the Allspark the pure organic humans messed with them……

They saw Decepticons still existed. As one they realized they could stop this world from ever becoming like their world. Nodding as one, they agreed this was a fight worth fighting. None would live like they had.

If only they had known what had followed them through the electromagnetic storm.

Splitting up, Depthstrike and Ironspark took the direction towards the city. Depthstrike flew low as he said, “Keep your scanners peeled, I’ve got this feeling I can’t shake.”

Ironspark huffed out, “You two, Captain? I thought I was the only one whose plates were itching like an ambush is waiting.”

Voltage stated as he ran alongside his handler, “Come on Iron don’t go jinxing us on day one! So not cool.”

From where she sat on Depthstrike’s ‘back’ with her bow drawn, Tempest stated, “Volt, I’ve got the same feeling clawing at my spine. Something doesn’t feel right here.”

They made it to the city and Voltage hopped up to sit on Ironspark’s cab. Staring about them in sparkling like wonder, Voltage gasped out, “This is amazing! I’ve never seen so many humans in one place before!”

The Autobots were out on patrol when Optimus spotted something very odd. He froze before asking the others, “Is that normal for humans?”

Sari answered as she stuck her head out of Bumblebee’s window, “That’s downright weird….. You’re supposed to be inside vehicles…. wait! They don’t have drivers! Those are Transformers!”

Standing when she spotted their company, Tempest jumped and casually landed from the thirty foot drop. She hissed out, “Cybertronians! Split up! Lose them quickly! We don’t know what they’ll do!”

Voltage was right with Tempest as they made a break for it.

Depthstrike went north while Ironspark took off to the south hoping to draw the strange mechs away from their heralds.

When the human duo took off at speeds that just shouldn’t be possible, Ratchet stated, “I don’t know about you all but I don’t think the two little ones are actually human.”

Optimus called out, “Autobots, we need to find out who and what they are. Ratchet, you’re with me. Our target is the flyer. Bumblebee, you and Sari have the humans. Prowl, Bulkhead, the sleek cop car.  Everybot, roll out!”

They took off after their targets. Prowl and Bulkhead tailed the police car.

Bulkhead asked, “Do you think they’re Cons?”

Prowl answered, “I'm not sure what they are. However they sure took off like they were up to no good.”

Sighing, Ironspark commed Depthstrike, - How cute…. Autobots trying to follow a Handler... -

Depthstrike chuckled but added -Scrap! I am going to need back up…. We weren't the only ones who came through the storm-

Coming to a screeching halt, Ironspark transformed to robot and then back to car mode so he could spin around even faster. Then he shouted out as he roared past his followers, “Primus damn it! Depthstrike! Tempest is going to offline you for this!”

Bulkhead turned around and stared at the now empty street. Then as Prowl took robot form next to him, Bulkhead asked, “Where’d he go?”

Prowl answered, “I don’t know. However, did you see just how large his root form is? He may not wear Decepticon colors or symbol but he definitely was a war build. Come on, let’s get back to Prime, hopefully the others had better luck than we did.”

For a short while the flyer seemed content to let them follow him. Optimus was not stupid he could tell the helijet was staying in visual range. Then suddenly, Optimus saw the flyer twist to dodge energy fire. The massive war build hit the ground in root form and snarled out, “Seraphimus Victoriaum Maximus!”

A winged being in gold armor bowed in the air before laughing in a way that made Optimus’s plates crawl.

Maximus rumbled out, “Where is your herald pretty breeder?  My Comandante hungers for her techno-organic frame.”

Optimus stopped when he saw the war build draw a massive lance and shield. Then he looked up at the winged techno-organic.This shouldn’t even be possible! If the history texts told the truth that thing should still be in stasis!

Following Optimus’s gaze, Ratchet gasped out, “What in Cybertron is that?!”

Ever the history buff, Optimus stated, “I think….. it might be a Seraphimus. But that doesn’t make sense the race has been in stasis for untold millions of stellar cycles.”

Depthstrike roared out, “You shall never harm another Cybertronian or human if I have any say in the matter!”

Before the two Autobots could do anything the war build led the strange new alien away from the city and soon they lost track of him. Optimus sighed, “We better go see if the others have had any better luck.”

Elsewhere, Bumblebee screeched to a halt when he turned into an alleyway and found himself faced with an energy bow at full draw and an energy pike.

The mocha male with the electric blue hair spat out, “Why do you follow, Handler? We are not your charges.”

Then the female stated, “Fellow herald step out and explain your mech’s actions or I will snuff him out where his tires rest.”

Sari stepped out and muttered, “Alright! Alright! Just don't hurt Bumblebee! Optimus just wanted to know who and what you guys are!”

The bow lowered and the energy dissipated as Tempest stated, “I am Tempest and this is Voltage. We are Heralds of Primus. Two of the nearly extinct techno-organic humans from our dimension. With a lot of luck and the good grace of Primus himself we were able to come to this dimension.” Then she lifted her hand to her ear as static filled her comm lines. Tempest gasped, “DEPTH! What happened?! ANSWER ME FOR FRAG’S SAKE!”

Voltage lowered his weapon and lifted his hand to an ear to ask, “Iron? Ironspark?! Answer the comm! Frag it! We gotta help them, Tempest! Only one thing makes them go dark like this.”

Tempest hissed out, “Frag, you don’t think /they/ followed us?! Going into the storm was nearly suicide for us and we have Oracle…”

Bumblebee offered, “I'm the fastest thing on wheels, hop in and point the way.”

The two heralds looked at eachother with sour looks. Then Tempest answered, “We're fast enough on our feet, riding inside a Cybertronian is just wrong and just plain rude for anyone other than their bondmate.”

Voltage teased, “Keep up if you can short stack.”

Chasing after them once Sari was back inside his cab, Bumblebee snapped, “Who you calling short?! You're both smaller than I am!”

The two heralds laughed in a good natured manner. Then Tempest purred out, “You keep thinking that, Bumblebee. Let’s get moving!” The two bent low and then they were running faster than Nanosec could move!

Bumblebee gasped and Sari squealed in delight as the little speed demon rushed forward after the Heralds.

Sentinel was trying to find Wasp when he spotted a Cybertronian he had never seen before rush past him. He shouted, “Stop in the name of the Elite Guard! Stop and identify yourself!”

Growling, Ironspark answered, “Frag off Civi. I got places to go and a mech’s aft to bail out of the fire.”

Spotting the jet-twins above, Sentinel roared, “Forget Wasp for the moment after that insolent mech! I want his designation and rank! NOW!”

The Jet-Twins went after the strange car-former.

Jetfire managed to dart in front of the car but he yelped when the car turned into a massive war build. How in the allspark did something that big compact down that much?!

Snatching his twin out of danger, Jetstorm gasped out, “What being wrong with you?! Sentinel Prime Sir wants to be knowing your name and rank!”

Baring his denta, Ironspark snarled, “Since when did the Elite Guard stand idle when innocent lives are hanging in the balance?! Get out of my way mechlings! You’re not old enough to understand the danger that stalks this city. Now move!”

The jet twins yelped when the war build barreled through the spot they had been mere nanoclicks before.

Time was not on Ironspark’s side and as much as he felt horrible for treating the two flyers in such a crass manner he didn’t have a choice. Depthstike needed him. NOW!

When Ironspark slid in to help him face the two winged warriors, Depthstrike joked softly, “What did you stop for ener-caf?”

Ironspark brought his no-dachi up and moved to defend his friend’s back as he joked back, “You bet your sweet aft I did, I even got you a triple espresso with extra cobalt shavings.”

Laughing as they danced through the battle not once allowing the other’s back to be exposed, Depthstrike asked playfully, “Get the receipt as well?”

Jetstorm stared at the two. They fought as well together as he and his twin did. They had to be long time friends given how different their frame types were. One a grounder and the other a flyer. How being they friends?

Then suddenly a massive club came flying at them causing the two warriors to jump apart to avoid being squished. A saber toothed cat behemoth snarled at the cybertronians.

The Jet-Twins flinched when Sentinel shouted, “Get those Decepticons now! Or do I have to do everything myself?!” He drew his lance and shield as he attacked the car-former.

Ironspark twisted clear of the attack and glared when the idiot elite guard damaged one of the buildings. Once the big chinned moron looked his way, Ironspark snarled, “Hey! Syk-breath! There are civilians in those buildings!”

Sentinel spat back, “Do I look like I care about some disgusting organics?!”

Blocking a blow, Ironspark was about to snap but suddenly he found himself stuck between two attackers. Both of whom didn’t care if they hurt innocents!

Depthstrike couldn’t help his friend because he had his own servos full as it stood. He shouted, “Iron! We need to get this fight away from civilians!”

Baring his denta, Ironspark darted and dodged trying to use the tight press of quarters to force the other two to attack each other. He both smirked and cringed when the behemoth sent the useless Prime into a building.

The two war builds managed to drive the battle out of the city when suddenly Sentinel Prime shouted, “I’ve had enough of this!” Ironspark gave an oof when that shield collided with his back struts sending him flying and tumbling straight into Depthstrike.

Both war builds groaned as they tried to right themselves. Struggling to get their limbs untangled quickly, they knew if they didn’t get back on their peds quickly they were slagged to the smelting pits and back.

Seeing more fighters arriving, the Seraphimus growled out, “Grab the two downed ones and retreat.”

The Earth crew rolled up just in time to see the behemoth scoop up the two stunned but struggling mechs.

Puffing up, Sentinel smirked while crowing out, “See that Optimus?! I taught those Cons a lesson without your help.”

The two techno-organics stared after their comrades and as one whirled to glared at the one called Sentinel Prime.

The Jettwins shuddered and dove to hide behind Jazz when one of the tiny humans drew back a shot on an energy bow and snarled out, “You fragging scrapheap! Do you have any idea what you’ve done?!”

Sentinel preened, “I won! I taught that decepta-creep a lesson!”

Voltage snarled, “BOLT SLAG! He isn’t a Decepticon! You just sentenced him to a fate worse than death because you can’t tell the difference between a Con and an innocent War Build!”

A bolt of energy whizzed past Sentinel’s audio fin when the mech took a threatening step towards them and Tempest snarled, “Another step and the next one will pin your spike to the back of your housing. Am I clear?”

Flinching away, Sentinel nodded.

Going to tug Tempest’s weapon down, Sari soothed, “Tempest! We’ll get them back, I promise! Optimus wont let anyone hurt an innocent. Just tell me what those things were, why did they take your friends?”

Voltage answered, “The winged one was a Seraphimus, and the big one a behemoth. You don’t need to know what happens in the cells of their ships. It has broken many a civilian and war build alike.”

Optimus frowned and stated, “But the Seraphimus have been in stasis for millennia, while a select few try to find a cure to their race’s steady decline into extinction.”

Chuckling darkly, Voltage answered, “I’m looking at their cure…. They don’t care if you’re willing or not. They call it a blessing. Accept the gift of the Divine….”

Horror sank in as he realized exactly what the techno-organic meant. He stated, “Let’s head back to base and get everybot out of the open. It sounds like we have much to talk about.”

Then Sentinel growled, “You’re not in charge Optimus.”

As they started moving out, Tempest asked, “Do I have to shoot you, Prime Hard Aft?” The earth Autobots snickered as they led the way.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elsewhere, Megatron was out for a peaceful walk to clear his processor when he heard the sounds of battle. Storming towards the sounds, Megatron was ready to give his idiot subordinates a piece of his processor when he saw it was actually two fairly young mechs facing off with a bestial mech who was larger than he was.

A ‘small’ shuttle was locked in a grapple with it and suddenly he shouted, “A little help Fire!”

Several tank shells sent the beast flying, and the tank former huffed, “Oh come on Hammer! It’s just a behemoth….. it’s not like it has its handler around.”

Suddenly Megatron heard a soft voice at shoulder height state, “Hmmm, My Lord if I might suggest, placing a blast to your left at a forty five degree angle. It would be most appreciated.” Due to the young femme’s politeness, Megatron actually decided to humor her and a strange yelp filled the air.

Another bestial mech crashed to the ground.

Eclipse used his gift softly once he had his allies behind him and the smaller Grostenion’s spark failed under the twin assaults of cannon fire and the human’s gift. He had not expected the war build to fire again.

Oh well, no kill like overkill right?

Stepping forward when the behemoth looked his way, Megatron challenged, “Beast! Leave the younglings alone! Face a true warrior!”

The behemoth took one look at the older mech before it snatched up its fellow and fled. The divine powers were not with it today.

Growling in annoyance, Megatron spat out, “Running away like some cowardly Autobot. I had hoped to at least blow off some steam.”

Eying the new mech up, Eclipse tried to decide if he was annoyed enough to teach the big guy some manners or if he was grateful enough to leave the big blowhard alone.

Spotting his mate’s considering gaze, Hammerpoint huffed and snatched up Eclipse as he snapped, “No.”

Glaring, Eclipse hissed out, “Why the fragging pit not?! One blast! Just one! Let me teach him some manners! Warbuilds need the civies if they want to continue!”

Megatron watched the shuttle bare his denta at the tiny almost human. It was amusing to watch the two banter. It was like watching the long time bonded pairs. Then Megatron asked, “What is it talking about?”

Oracle answered, “Since your lordship’s only care is about conquering. There is little future in such actions, ergo you don’t need to understand what Eclipse is speaking of.”

Panicking when the warlord whirled their direction, Heavyfire squeaked out, “Oracle! Just shut up! You’re going to get us all killed.” He shifted to shield his herald from those red calculating optics that his Herald couldn’t see per say. Sure his Herald had a secondary visual sensor array but that would require the fragile human to actually pay attention to it and not the data streaming over her main optics.

Rolling her blind optics, Oracle answered, “Based on current variables, only two out of four hundred and fifty possible futures end with all of us offlining. The probabilities are in our favors. Most likely to be offlined is a toss up between Voltage and myself.”

Seeing Megatron’s confused look, Eclipse teased, “Oracle has a constant stream of the possible futures going across her eyes. Voltage can learn and reveal your thoughts as they happen. Both gifts are fought for and often sought out for destruction. All of us have a gift in some form or another. I can over charge sparks with a scream. While Tempest can heal just about everything shy of offlining”

The big warlord looked straight at the techno-organic and he couldn’t quite fit the thought of such a devastating gift hidden in such a tiny frame. Megatron then asked, “If you are so powerful then why are you listening to the mech with you?”

Eclipse answered, “Because Hammerpoint is more than just my priest ordained handler. He’s my best friend, confidant, and bondmate. I am the war build to his civilian build. I may also be carrying the spark of our first creation….”

Sure enough, Hammerpoint went from standing to flat on his back as his optics rolled back in shock.

The group laughed at their fallen member. Heavyfire muttered, “Frag, I owe Depthstrike a bottle of energon wine. I have to get a vineyard growing it would seem.”

Oracle squealed and pleaded, “Oh! OHHHH! OHHH! Please! Make your black en-berry wine! I miss it so much….. I’ll do that thing you love.”

Megatron asked, “Are all of you bonded to your charges?!” The thought of being bonded to a human was unnerving to him.

Heavyfire answered, “Oracle is referring to helping me win credits. She’s like a sibling. She was my carrier’s prize pet before my carrier was offlined. Thank Primus.”

Before Megatron could ask, Oracle answered the question, “Skystriker was an aft. He was offlined in self defense.” Then she explained, “It is actually very rare for a herald to take a bondmate at all. Even rarer for it to be their handler, the emotions between Herald and handler often mimics that of siblings. Hating a handler is more common than loving them.”

Then Megatron asked, “Eclipse mentioned being the war build to Hammerpoint’s civilian, why is that important?”

Eclipse explained, “Well assuming you want a future for the race, you need an Autobot and a Decepticon to make sparklings. To put it in a perspective you’d understand.”

Now that got Megatron thinking. If his processor conjured up the image of that feisty little prime with a tiny mechling in his arms, Megatron wasn’t going to admit to it or that he might have enjoyed the image more than he should.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, in the Autobot base.

Voltage jabbered on while Tempest just blankly stared at the two Primes. Finally the female techno-organic stated, “What a fragged up alternate dimension. Primes as little more than captains. There is no point in saving them Volt. I’m going to find the Captain.”

Sentinel growled out, “You aren’t going anywhere.”

Shrugging, Voltage stated, “I wouldn’t try to stop Tempest buddy. Besides whatcha thinking, it ain’t gonna work. The Autobot council you know wouldn’t be able to contain us. Oh by the way that thought you just had I’m going to need high grade bleach to erase! That’s just sick you scrapheap. Jazz keep yourself and the jet-twins away from this sick frag.”

Gaping at the strange being, Sentinel snarled, “You glitch! I’ll turn you into scrap!” How dare this thing reveal his thoughts! Suddenly pain surged through him and Sentinel crashed down to his knees.

Ignoring the stares of shock from the Autobots, Tempest lowered her hand and stated, “One would do well to remain on a healer’s good side.” She walked away as if she hadn’t just brought down a mech many times her size with a simple touch. She added, “Do sit still for an hour, or your knee joints will end up glued solid by your own self-repair systems.”

Smirking, Voltage stated, “I warned ya, dude! Tempest is a hardcore glitch, she can heal you or turn your self-repair subroutines against you. Hurts like a son of a glitch don’t it big mech? This is why we don’t piss her off…… the only mech who can calm her without getting zapped is Depth who is…. oh yeah! Missing thanks to your weak useless peacocking bull scrap! Right along with my Ironspark! Be grateful all I can do is read your thoughts………. and share them with others……. let’s see how Jazz likes that mental image you had.”

Jazz yelped when his mind was filled with the image of himself and the twins chained down to Sentinel's berth. He knew that it was Sentinel’s berth because of the gold trimmed Aqua and the red trimmed blue pillows. Jazz could clearly tell the jet-twins had been well fragged and his own legs were around Sentinel’s hips. Gagging silently, Jazz snarled, “Woah, Bro! What’s wrong with you SP?!”

Optimus blinked when Tempest walked over to him. Then all his aches were gone as Tempest soothed, “We will report in on the hour. However, we have to find our handlers.”

Nodding, Optimus answered, “We understand, and if you need help just let us know.” Turning to glare at Sentinel, Optimus asked, “Do I even want to know what you were thinking?”

Jazz protectively shielded the twins and spat out, “Sick man! They’re kids! What kinda Prime thinks about that scrap?!” He actually urged the youngsters towards Optimus as he stated, “I’d report your aft for that shit if I could!”

Voltage sighed and stated, “Sadly, my voice don’t count for much in this dimension. Back home, one word from me and he’d be slagged. But then again I’d have to go through the holy rituals and Tempest would have to purge the results again. Which would mean never hearing the end of it again.”

Glaring, Tempest growled out, “If I have to coax your spark to reabsorb another unwanted sparkling……. I’ll make you carry to term just to prove a fragging point! Even if the Captain has to be the donor sire!”

Gasping in mock horror, Voltage growled out, “You’d sic your uncle on me! Yesh! What crawled up your skid plates and died!”

Glaring as she stormed out the door, Tempest answered, “Perhaps the fact that my Uncle is MISSING! Because of a pompous glitch!”

Giving the Autobots a shrug, Voltage chased after his friend.

They both knew the Seraphimus clearly hadn't landed inside the city. Given the general lack of panic or destruction. So they started ranging outward. Reporting their progress or more apt their lack of progress every hour.

Optimus felt bad for the two strange techno-organics but they clearly didn't want help. Not that he'd know where to start or what he would even be looking for.

After the third hour Voltage started to whine. It was his way of dealing with the anxiety of being separated from his handler and best friend.

An hour of his whining and Tempest was ready to put Voltage into repair induced stasis lock!

As they paused by a mine entrance, Voltage sighed, “Look, Tempest! It’s been four hours! We need to find the others and report in. HEY! Are you even listening to me?!”

Flinging her comrade into the mountainside, Tempest snarled, “I am not leaving Depth or Iron behind! They didn’t leave us! I refuse to give up….!” Falling to her knees, Tempest screamed out all her fear and anger.

From inside, Oracle perked up and Heavyfire gasped out, “That sounds like Tempest!” He raced outside and lifted the suffering techno-organic up.

Hammerpoint joined his comrade as Tempest screamed, “THEY! They took Depth and Iron! We don’t know where they went!”

Megatron came out and asked, “What is all this racket about?!” He saw the two new techno-organics and asked, “Tempest and Voltage?”

Voltage muttered, “Scrap mech, them some messed up thoughts. I get it, blue and red is smoking hot but really? Bondage ain’t that fragging fun. Is it? I never really understood the appeal…… Is it the control or is there more to it? Really?”

Sharing a look, Hammerpoint and Heavyfire as one snapped, “VOLT! HOW MANY TIMES DO WE HAVE TO TELL YOU?!”

Flinching, Voltage yelped, “What?! His thoughts are so loud he is shouting them at me! Also when did you two become Ironspark?! Only Iron can tell me I’m overstepping! Besides there are no priests to /please/ here! Depth and Iron are missing because of blue and orange’s bull scrap peacocking attitude! Those winged pit fragged scrap heaps are here! And they have our Captain and my handler!”

Groaning, Megatron asked, “Is he always this talkative? And what does he mean by handler?”

Tempest pulled herself together and when the two mechs refused to answer the warlord she stated, “We are slaves to the priesthood. Slaves to be bred and paraded around. Our handlers keep us in line. They hold our kill switch codes. We who are forced to fight and defend the priesthood’s right to rule. Because it is fight or be chained to the breeding bench for the rest of our functioning.”

Oracle came out and confirmed, “Tempest speaks the truth, Lord Megatron. In the dimension we come from the Decepticon cause was ended with aide from the humans. Then genocide, down to the last sparkling the war builds were destroyed. Without a thought to the future. Fate is a sick and twisted glitch. Once again humans saved the Autobots, as their interactions with the massive organic energon farms caused them to mutate and become techno-organic.”

Sickened by what he was hearing, Megatron stated, “Best come inside and take a moment to rest then I will help you find these two…. Depth and Iron.” He didn’t need to be a genius to hear what the young techno-organics were not saying. Humans had become the replacement war builds, the unknowing and unwilling replacements.

Voltage stated, “We gotta report back to the Prime soon. Thanks for the offer though. We gotta keep looking. But after we get some recharge and fuel! Lock down the ship and get the holo-emitters going and all that stuff. Be in touch big mech!”

Snorting at the cocky salute the techno-organic shot him, Megatron replied, “Stay out of my processor, and keep your intake shut about what this mine holds. If you follow those two rules then  you are more than welcome to visit.”

Shaking his head as Heavyfire scooped him up, Voltage muttered back, “I’m having to work out a whole new shielding method to deal with how loud your thoughts are big mech but trust me, I’m not willingly going to go skipping through those meadows. No way in Primus’s spike do I wanna.”

Everyone chuckled, even if it was a strained one from some but it was a laugh they all needed.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

Time was difficult to keep track of in a cell, even with an internal chronometer. No blessings came their way which Depthstrike was deeply grateful for. He was not too keen on the idea of being heavy with some techno-organic devil angel’s hellspawn as Tempest called the results of such blessings.

Ironspark spent his time sharpening his claws on the cell bars. It wasn’t like he’d cut through or anything but it passed the time. Since they were not speaking to their fellow prisoners.

Two heralds. A young male with heavily beaded cobalt blue corn row braids that fell to his aft. Skin the color of sakura petals just like the female. Their eyes were also the same gold. Siblings perhaps. The female’s hair though was a dark midnight blue in a single braid that nearly reached the floor.

Looking up when he heard shouting, Depthstrike snarled when he saw one of the Grostenions setting a small green bot into a breeding bench. His chronometer told him it had been a week since they had been captured but this new prisoner was set straight into the breeding bench. A civilian frame, that had to be why.

Wasp screamed, “Wasp good bot! Let Wasp go!”

Trying to save the youngster, Ironspark shouted, “Fragging freak! Pick on somebot your own size!” He wasn’t one to get angry often but these glitches just ground his gears the wrong way. He really didn’t like mechs who went after civilians because they were smaller or easier targets.

Jumping at the sudden defense from the unknown bot, Wasp whimpered and pleaded, “Let Wasp go!” They were big like Decepticons but he couldn’t see any faction symbols on them that he recognized. As his arms were locked into the strange bench thing, Wasp felt helplessness fill him and he started thrashing even harder.

Then the other snarled out in a deep voice that made Wasp shudder, “Would the great divinity approve of you touching a mechling like this. Give the tiny spark to us…. I'll take his place for you willingly.”

The fox mech considered it but then two Seraphimus walked in.

Victorus Decimus wanted to be sick. The breeder mech was little more then a hatching. His blood red wings twitched but there was nothing he could do. The Segmato outranked him and also had permission from the higher level officers to proceed with this blessing.

Segmato Meridus stroked his hands over the dainty struggling frame. Forcing the legs into the proper straps, Meridus rumbled out, “It is rare to find such a ripe breeder all alone…. I am not one to spit in the face of the fortunes. This bot will receive my blessings and you four may witness if you wish.”

Depthstrike stood and pressed his servos to the bars when the young mech’s gaze turned his way. He rumbled out, “Wasp, listen to me! Relax! Do not fight what is going to happen. I’m sorry.”

Optics going wide, Wasp wondered what the unknown mech was talking about, but then a warm servo stroked over his modesty plating. Wasp thrashed in the bonds but it was no use he couldn’t move much except his helm. Whimpering, Wasp begged, “Save Wasp! Let Wasp go!”

Smirking, Meridus rumbled out, “I will, sweet Wasp. After I fill you with my divine blessing.” Flicking the medical release switch, Meridus smirked at the panicked screams as his digits stroked over the pretty little valve. He spotted the hate on the four prisoner’s faces. This was the part he loved the most. Then he noticed Decimus had left.

Too bad….

Sighing, Meridus wished Decimus had stayed to see what he could do with a lover. He had been considering courting the young Victorus for many a stellar cycle. Stroking Wasp’s valve until the port was damp enough to continue without damaging himself, Meridus whispered darkly, “Scream for me, surrender to the divinity of the Seraphimus.”

Whimpering, Wasp bit back the scream that wanted out as a spike he was nowhere near ready for was forced deep into his valve. The protoform beneath his abdominal plates hurt as it was stretched by the glitch’s spike. Looking up, Wasp found comfort in the hate on his fellow captives’ faces.

They watched the ‘blessing’ and planned their vengeances each differently.

Wasp was weak and exhausted when his frame was forced to overload and his assaulter overloaded deep inside him. Lifting his helm, Wasp thought it was over until he realized they were locked together.

Supernova glared. The beads in his cobalt blue braids clicked together as he shook with repressed rage. He could free the young mech but it would doom them all….. Waiting for the perfect moment to escape was now even harder for Supernova.

Now that this Seraphimus might have just figured out the key to breeding mechs not just the techno-organics.

Whining when the winged glitch withdrew, Wasp pleaded, “No more…. let Wasp go… please…” Servos undid his bindings, Wasp was limp as he was lifted. When he was turned over and cradled gently to the techno-organic’s chest Wasp would admit the winged glitch was handsome but he hated the glitch.

Setting the young mech in a cell, Meridus purred out, “May the Divine above answer this blessing with one of their own.” Leaving the cell, Meridus puffed up with pride but then one of the not so docile prisoners decided to speak up.

Ironspark spat out, “If the Divine knows what's good for you, it’ll leave the young mech alone! If you left your spawn behind, I swear by Primus and the Allspark you’ll never see me coming until it’s too late wings.”

Smirking, Depthstrike rumbled out, “The Horsemen cometh, are you prepared lowly Segmato?”

Huffing, Meridus gave a soft growl as he left the brig. There was no way their Commendate was stupid enough to chase after the eight Horsemen of Cybertron…… There was no sense in doing so!

Wasp curled up in a ball but his processor chewed over what he was hearing. If they got out of here, he was going with these two. Even behind bars they spoke up for him, defended him, and even tried to help him.

Moving to the bars that separated her from the young mech, Skysong spoke softly, “Wasp? Can you move? Can you reach the bars?”

Whimpering as pain lanced through his leg struts, Wasp crawled towards that soft soothing voice. He couldn’t stop himself from wondering if this was what a carrier would sound like? Reaching up, Wasp whined and his servos found the soft flowing cloth that covered the femme.

As the young mech curled into her, Skysong slide her arms through the bars and hummed softly. Activating her gift just enough to make Wasp’s frame believe the pain was less. While she couldn’t heal him, Skysong could at least give him something for the pain as it were.

Then Wasp realized he was small enough to slip through the bars. Shifting just a little, Wasp popped through and the femme yelped in shock but she shifted to fit him in her lap. He noticed something, when the humming stopped the pain was back with full force. Wasp whimpered out, “Wasp hurt, please… femmebot not stop?”

Lifting Wasp up, Skysong moved to her berth and soothed in a sing song manner, “I’ve got you Wasp. My name is Skysong. Rest and recover.” As the young mech drifted off, Skysong kept humming and gently petting his frame. This was sadly a very common happenstance in the war with the Seraphimus.

It was the dead of the night when Wasp heard something. He lifted his helm from the softness of the femme techno-organic’s chest. At least his self-repair systems had managed to fix enough of the damage that he wasn’t in agony any more.

Feeling the young mech move, Skysong whispered softly, “Lay back down Wasp, keep your optics shut but your audio receptors open. Until Supernova or I tell you otherwise.” Turning to look, Skysong asked softly, “Victorus Decimus, what brings you here at such an hour?”

Looking at the shivering young mech, Decimus answered, “I can not condone what happened… I am here to help you, Skysong, and the young mech.”

Getting up, Supernova approached the bars slowly and stated, “You’ll have better odds if you have all of us backing you up, Seraphimus.”

Giving Supernova a look, Decimus stated, “My name is Decimus. Please, I have enough manners to use your designations. Is it too much to request the same in return?”

Tilting his head, Supernova answered, “Alright Decimus. But it remains, you’re throwing away everything and you are going to need more muscle than just Skysong.”

The other two mechs were well awake now and Depthstrike stated, “You will not get far without a place to hide your energy signatures or food. I'm Depthstrike and he is Ironspark. Since we have withheld our designations.”

Opening the cells casually, Decimus answered, “I would appreciate a safe harbor to vanish into if you would welcome me among you in spite of the Segmato’s actions.” Going into the cell, Decimus offered his hand to the young mech who blinked up at him. Then he noticed the energon on Wasp’s thighs as he helped the small bot up. Decimus asked gently, “Can you walk, Wasp?’

Wobbling badly as he stood there for a moment, Wasp was about to say he was alright but his first step sent him stumbling right into the techno-organic’s waiting arms. The warmth was soothing and Wasp leaned into the hold as he asked softly, “Why Wing-bot help Wasp?”

Shifting his hold a little, Decimus answered, “Because of the way you looked at me.”

Blinking, Wasp asked, “How Wasp looked at Wing-bot?”

Nodding as he led the way out, Decimus explained, “Yes, you looked to me for protection and comfort. As if in spite of my race, I had earned the right to hold you and give you such things.”

Nestling further under the strong arm that was supporting him, Wasp Mumbled as he leaned into the other’s side, “Wing-bot warm. Warm and Comfy.”

Smiling softly, Decimus gently mantled his wing around Wasp to give the young mech the warmth that Wasp seemed to enjoy so much. For a moment he wished this to never end. Then the need to get Wasp and the others off the ship came back to the forefront. As he led the way out,  Decimus kept his head on a swivel and managed to keep his charges out of sight. Until he turned a corner and found himself face to face with none other than Vitoriaum Aristophontes.

His own brother.

Tucking Wasp behind him quickly, Decimus bared his fangs at his brother.

Wasp pressed closer to the tall Seraphimus as the other blue winged one eyed him like candy. He gratefully accepted the shielding wings that blocked him from view.

Aristophontes sighed and rumbled out, “Deci…. Deci, Deci. I knew you were always going to be a disappointment but a traitor as well? Sire will be most put out by this.”

Flaring his wings out definitely, Decimus countered viciously, “You assume much, Vitoriaum. I place very little value in that male’s opinion, even less than I put in yours.”

Roaring out in rage, Aristophontes charged Decimus.

Pushing Wasp back into the other mechs’ waiting arms, Decimus moved to met the charge head on. He managed to halt Aristophontes’s forward movement with a powerful left hook.

Ironspark held Wasp back as the two Seraphimus clashed in the hallway.

The brothers traded punches, kicks, and throws. Both collided harshly with the walls of the hallway several times. Then Aristophontes sneered, “The breeder’s valve must be exquisitely tight if it is a good enough reason for you to turn on your own family! For you to throw away your career!”

Finally having enough, Decimus snarled, “The only family that ever mattered to me died when Carrier offlined at your tender mercies!” He smashed Aristophontes into the wall hard enough to knock his elder brother out cold and as he dropped the limp body to the floor spat out, “You should never have killed my mother.”

Supernova placed a hand on Decimus’s arm and stated, “Focus big guy, you need to grab whatever belongings you have. We’ll meet you outside.”

As Supernova spoke, Wasp rushed over to reassure himself that Decimus was alright. His servos innocently touching the tall Seraphimus.

Looking down at tiny Wasp, Decimus could see how the young mech clung to him and hesitated. Those purple optics begged him to stay and Decimus was about to speak when Skysong spoke up, “Go, get your armor and weapons. Wasp needs you armed and ready to defend him. The four of us will protect him until you return.”

Wasp blinked and turned his helm to gaze at the others. To massive Depthstrike with his lance and shield who was like a more honorable and wiser Sarge, then Ironspark who smiled easily, Supernova who while a hothead was kind and strong, then finally to Skysong with her soft carrier like tendencies. They would protect him? Wasp finally felt safe after all these stellar cycles.

Gently patting Wasp’s helm, Decimus stated, “I will return quickly, Wasp. Go with them. Find somewhere safe to hide.” He turned and hurried to his quarters. He barely bothered settling his armor properly as he threw it onto his frame. Sure it would pinch in places but he didn’t have time to fix it. Into a carryall he tossed the few items that he couldn’t bare to lose and as he ran out of his room his free hand snatched up his massive war hammer.

Keeping Wasp tucked against his side, Depthstrike kept his shield defensively raised and led the way clear of the ship. He rumbled out softly, “Double time, we need to make it to the tree line without being seen.”

Wasp gasped when he was lifted like he weighed nothing and the massive war build ran for the treeline. He saw the techno-organics easily keeping pace with the two Cybertronians. It was actually fascinating to watch.

As they slid into cover, Ironspark muttered, “Fly boy has ten cycles to get here…..”

Shushing the younger mech, Depthstrike stated, “We wait, he’ll show. Now everyone sensors on maximum, try to catch a nap if you can. I’ll take first watch.”

When Depthstrike put him down, Wasp went to Skysong and snuggled into her soft chest again. What could he say those mounds were warm and soft.

The last turn before the hallway to the hatch was in view when Decimus found himself faced by his fellow Victorus Labrax. Gritting his teeth, Decimus tried to be casual as he asked, “What brings you here old friend?”

Arching an eyebrow at Decimus, Labrax sighed and asked, “What did you do this time, Deci?”

Smirking, Decimus answered, “Family dispute, you know how me and Aristo butt heads. Need some time to get the ruffle out of my feathers…..”

Crossing his arms, Labrax sighed again before saying, “Your Sire will only protect you for so long and given that he is not here…. Deci, if Tyrannis sets his mind to forcing you to be his concubine, no one can save you.”

Smiling, Decimus gently patted Labrax’s shoulder before saying, “Do not worry so about me, old friend. You know me better than that, it would not be me who needs saving if the Commandate tries that. Moreover, he knows it as well. Which is why he hasn’t tried force.”

Once Labrax was gone, Decimus moved towards the exit only to hear Tyrannis call out his name. Stopping, Decimus took a soft breath to steady his nerves before turning to face the Commandate with a polite, “Sir?”

Eying his Victorus, Tyrannis gently resettled the younger Seraphimus’s armor as he teased, “Why must you insist on fighting when you can have an easy life of comfort at my side?”

Smiling softly, Decimus countered politely, “I am bonded to saving our people, and I can not place one being’s comfort above the comfort of our people.”

Frowning slightly, Tyrannis brushed a lock of hair from Decimus’s face and stated, “You can’t hide behind that excuse forever, Deci. I will wait, for you will see it my way soon enough my sweet Victorus.”

Bristling at the touch, Decimus firmly stated, “Any permission my brother gives will never hold weight with me. So do not go asking him to grant you what you desire Commandate. I am heading out on a long patrol, have a nice day Sir.”

Escaping the ship, Decimus made sure he wasn’t followed before he turned his attention to catching up with his charges. Finding the group, Decimus wasn’t expecting Wasp to race to him and hug him so tightly.

Wasp whimpered, “Wasp scared. Scared Wingbot not come back.”

Depthstrike gently teased, “Now now Wasp, it takes a lot to kick those winged techno-organics. Also a mech doesn’t make it to Victorus without being tougher than average. Now let’s move out.”

Nodding, Ironspark moved to wake the other two heralds. When they groaned, Ironspark soothed, “Sorry but it’s time to move out. Lover mech caught up with us.”

Supernova nodded and Skysong yawned before saying, “When we get someplace safe, I’m going to recharge for like a week straight.”

Smirking as he got up, Supernova helped his twin to her feet before saying, “I’m right there with you, sister. But let's focus on keeping up.”

Leading the way, Depthstrike smirked when he noticed Decimus falling in right behind him walking next to Ironspark. The positioning of Wasp in the center of the group was not lost on the older mech. So the little civilian had found himself a strong protector.

Leaning into the warmth the techno-organic radiated, Wasp felt safe. Even if the shear size of the hammer that was casually set over Decimus’s other shoulder should scare him. There was just something soothing about Decimus. Wasp smiled softly as he turned his gaze back to the ground to keep from tripping.

Noticing the first few stumbles, Decimus asked softly, “Wasp, are your injuries causing you grief?” He hated Meridus more and more with every stumble Wasp made even when Wasp shook his helm. When the tiny mech nearly fell, Decimus just bent and hooked his arm under Wasp’s thighs.

Giving a yelp as he was lifted, Wasp blushed at the casual ease Decimus lifted him with. He however looked to the others but nobot made any sort of sign that this was unacceptable. In fact Skysong just gave him a soft smile. Well if Decimus was going to carry him, Wasp wiggled a little to get comfortable and laid his helm on a strong shoulder to catch a stasis nap.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During the past week, Tempest had taken command as best she could. She missed her uncle and juggling the two factions of Cybertronians here was starting to piss her off something fierce. So she shouted out as she grabbed her bow, “Heading out on patrol!”

That had become rule one, say something when you were heading out.

Rule two report in regularly.

Rule three, never go alone.

Eclipse came over with his axes on his hips and joked, “Trying to break rule three already?”

Smiling, Tempest answered, “I figured someone would jump at the chance to get out for a bit.”

For about three hours, Tempest and Eclipse searched. Then Tempest finally sick of silence smirked and asked, “So have you told Hammer yet?”

Chuckling, Eclipse answered, “Yes, when I informed the Decepticon warlord, Hammer was holding me. He fainted dead away just like Depth said he would. Apparently your Uncle will be receiving a cask of Fire’s first batch of wine.”

Then they heard Depthstrike rumble out, “Good to know, these old joints could use a pick me up. Hammerpoint hasn’t locked you up in an ivory tower yet it would seem.” When he noticed Tempest drawing her bow, Depthstrike huffed darkly, “Down child. Red is with us. You can thank him for getting us out. Now let’s head back to the ship and you two can report in.”

Giving the Seraphimus a glare, Tempest darted forward and hugged Depthstrike’s leg with a gasped out, “Thank Primus you're alright.”

Eclipse asked, “So besides Red, who is the new crew?”

Smirking as he scooped up the two micronized heralds, Depthstrike answered, “We've got Heralds Supernova and Skysong. We've got the Cybertronian Wasp and Red is Victorus Decimus.”

Shaking his head, Decimus answered, “Just Decimus. I never wanted the rank anyways. Blessings just aren't my thing, but the Commendate wanted to show me favor.”

Having gone out to the Decepticon base to spend time with their fellow techno-organic, Oracle was sitting there talking to Blackarachnia when she lifted a hand to her ear.

Leaning in at the gesture, Blackarachnia asked, “News about your missing crew mates?” She noticed the other Decepticons started perking up in interest. What shocked her the most was even Megatron turned his gaze towards the small female.

Smiling, Oracle informed the Decepticons in the room, “They have been found. It would seem our Captain found a helping hand among the enemy crew. Hmmm, who could have predicted that.” Not wanting to even bother turned her attention away the changing equations, Oracle asked, “Voltage, catch please?”

Darting over, Voltage caught Oracle easily when she jumped down from her perch. He asked, “We heading back to the ship then? Is Ironspark alright?! Did those winged glitches bless him?! If they did! I’ll rip their feathers out one by one! Or set them on fire! Fire is good two.”

Hammerpoint bowed to Megatron and stated, “You are always welcome aboard our ship. We will continue to remain neutral but I think you understand why we are not picking sides. If you have need of us even as a diplomatic go between with the Autobots feel free to inform us.”

The Heralds as the third faction was now titled left the mine and headed back to their ship hidden deep in the woods.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

Megatron realized he could use the Autobots’ fondness of the humans to his advantage and he turned his gaze to Professor Sumdac. For a moment he weighed the advantage against his desire for revenge. Then he sighed and called out, “Professor.”

Professor Sumdac flinched but looked towards his captor. While Megatron hadn’t been kind to him, Professor Sumdac could also say the mech was not unnecessarily cruel to him. He had food and was allowed rest when he truly needed it.

Offering the organic his servo once he deactivated the forcefield, Megatron asked, “Ready to go home?”

Staring at the servo, Professor Sumdac asked, “Why the sudden change of heart?! I thought you were planning on making me repay you for all the technology I reverse engineered from you.”

Smirking, Megatron answered, “I have my reasons. Simply put, I benefit more from releasing you then by forcing you to work for me.” When Professor Sumdac stepped into his servo, Megatron transformed and carried the human back to his tower.

Professor Sumdac stepped out onto his daughter’s balcony and Megatron rumbled out, “If I find out you’ve reveal my base’s location to the Autobots, I will level your tower and the city. Do we have an understanding, Professor Sumdac?”

Nodding, Professor Sumdac answered, “I understand. Even if you are doing this for your own gain, thank you for releasing me. I am sorry that I used you to create my automatons without your permission.”

Megatron didn’t bother to grace the statement with any sort of reply. He simply left the city as quickly as he could. His imprisonment at the hands of an organic still rankled but he had more important matters than petty revenge on his plate.

He needed to focus on his alliance with the Heralds and protecting his Autobots.

For deca cycles Megatron worked with the Heralds trying to find the Seraphimus’ ship. He kept his mechs in the dark aside from ordering them to leave the Autobots alone. Even after visiting for weeks, Megatron was still impressed by the level of tech in the Heralds’ ship and then one of screens flashed.

Reading the warnings, Eclipse hissed out, “Frag it all to the Pit! The Autobots are in trouble. A Seraphimus scouting party has found them.”

Then Megatron remembered why he had been watching the screens and flying late night patrols. For their race to have a future, Decepticons needed the Autobots to carry their offspring. He got on the coms, “Lugnut! My most faithful servant. We must move to protect the Autobots from this new menace. If our race is to survive we need them intact.”

Lugnut asked, “But grand and glorious Megatron, of what do you speak of? Are we not to crush the worthless Autobots and free Cybertron of Autobot tyranny?”

Groaning softly, Megatron rushed to get airborne as he firmly ordered, “Lugnut. Do as I command. Take Blitzwing and secure our future. We need those Autobots functioning and in one piece. Preferably without Seraphimus blessings inside their carrying chambers. Do I make myself clear?”

There was grumbling on the other end of the coms but Lugnut affirmed, “As you wish, Lord Megatron.”

Meanwhile, Optimus was fending of an attack from a one of the smaller beastial mechs that kept licking its intake plates. The way the thing was looking at him was creeping him out!

Bumblebee was working with Bulkhead against another of the strange bots when he asked, “Is it just me or are these things even creepier in person?!” Suddenly he yelped as a servo grabbed his aft. Leaping away from the beastial mech, Bumblebee yammered a bit incoherently.

Diving down to more or less pile drive the offending mech into the ground for touching the cute little yellow mech’s aft, Random Blitzwing snarled out, “Servos off, ze bug! Ze only one who should make him yelp like zat is me!” He slammed the mech’s helm into the ground repeatedly for attacking the annoying but cute tiny Autobot.

Then Icy spun forward and stated, “Such actions are completely uncalled for. Ze young bot is delicate.”

Shaking free of his shock, Bumblebee snapped, “Who you calling delicate?!”

Seeing a larger bestial mech moving to attack Bulkhead’s back, Lugnut charged it and bellowed out, “You will not touch Lord Megatron’s Autobots.”

As his attacker was sent reeling, Bulkhead slammed his wrecking ball into the beast’s helm as he demanded, “Who are you calling Megatron’s Autobots?!” He got right up in Lugnut’s personal space but the larger war build was unfazed.

The mech Optimus was facing suddenly slammed him into the dirt only to be blasted away. Blinking, Optimus looked up as Megatron landed next to him and he couldn’t keep the shock off his faceplates. Sure he had seen Megatron flying what seemed like patrols around the city but coming to their rescue?!

Primus below?! Had the universe been turned on its helm?!

Smirking at the Prime, Megatron leveled his cannon at the behemoth that turned his way. Canine like features contorted into rage as it charged. Megatron fired several shots into its chest as he rumbled his engine.

Optics going wide at the display of power, Optimus felt a tiny surge of fear when the Decepticon leader looked his way. Only for fear to segway into shock as Megatron offered him a servo up. Like a civilized mech.

Megatron smirked at the owlish blinks and leaned down farther. The Prime finally took his servo and Megatron gently helped the other mech to his peds. Even with the shear difference of their heights, Megatron felt his spark warm as the Prime showed so little fear of him.

Optimus asked sharply, “Why did you save us?!”

Smirking, Megatron countered, “Why indeed? I will leave you to figure that out on your own Optimus Prime.” Turning to his mechs, Megatron stated, “Decepticons, return to base.”

Spinning forward, Random yanked Bumblebee into a hug and purred out, “Stay alive sweet Bee.”

Wobbling as he was set back down, Bumblebee stared at the Con in shock and once the Decepticons left he asked, “Is anybot else as confused as I am about this?!”

Bulkhead stated, “You and me both, little buddy. What was Lugnut going on about Lord Megatron’s Autobots? Like we belong to them or something.”

Frowning as he looked after the Decepticons who had come to their aide against the strange aliens, Optimus answered, “I’m not sure but I think I know a way to find out. Lets head back to base and see if the Heralds can shed some light on this mystery.”

Getting back to the warehouse, the three autobots went to the communications terminal and Optimus called the Heralds.

Voltage appeared on the view screen and chirped, “Good to see you bots are okay! When Eclipse said he sent the Cons to help you guys out I feared the worst! I know the Seraphimus are bad and what not, but sending the CONS?! I smacked him for that!”

Blinking, Optimus asked, “Eclipse sent the Decepticons to help us? Why would they do anything to help us?!”

Smirking, Voltage answered, “What? Don’t tell me you all don’t know basic mechabiology… well in that case I ain’t saying nothing. I am going to leave it at they have their reasons and that’s it. Anything else, you’ll have to call Megatron and ask him.”

Bumblebee whined, “Oh come on! They showed up, saved our skid plates, and Lugnut was calling us Lord Megatron’s Autobots! Then you aren’t telling us anything?!”

Shaking his helm, Optimus asked, “Is this reason the same one for why they haven’t tried to attack us recently? And why Megatron returned Professor Sumdac to us?”

Nodding, Voltage stated, “You catch on quick Optimus. It’s part of what makes you such a good leader.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Megatron called Strika.

When she answered the call, Strika rumbled out, “Lord Megatron? What orders do you have for us?”

Smirking, Megatron answered, “Orders, I do not doubt you will dislike. However, I will explain why. I want all of our ships pulled back to a single point. If you can manage it, bring the fleet to this planet.” With a few keystrokes, Megatron set her the coordinates to Earth and then he dropped a bomb on her by saying, “There is to be no more attacks against the Autobots.”

Sure enough, Strika demanded, “Have you lost your PROCESSOR?! Even if I can convince the mechs to listen to that stupid order, why?!”

Smirking, Megatron answered, “For the same reason you and Lugnut have never been able to conceive a bitling. You are both war builds. It takes a civilian and a war build to make a bitling. We need the Autobots to carry our offspring.” He was well aware of how long his two most loyal followers had desired to have the pitter patter of little peds filling the hallways.

Then he gently added, “Imagine having all the sparklings you ever wanted, an Autobot tending to your home, never feeling the pinch of hunger in your tanks again, and having a homeworld to protect at your beloved consort’s side. Think of it Strika, does it not sound like a paradise?”

Strika considered what her Lord was saying. She wanted a sparkling so badly but neither she nor Lugnut had quickened. No matter how they had fragged over the many stellar cycles. There must be some merit to what Lord Megatron said about needing a civilian build. Finally coming to her decision, Strika rumbled out, “As you wish Lord Megatron, I will see it done. Remind Lugnut to keep an optic out for candidates in return, since the others will take more effort to convince.”

Smiling, Megatron answered, “Very well, Strika. My ever faithful General of destruction.”

Strika laughed and teased, “It has been too many stellar cycles since you have had enough joy to joke and tease. It does my spark good to hear it once more you scraplet.”

Once the call was over, Megatron pondered it for a moment. When was the last time Strika had called him by that nickname? Not since the earliest days of the war. It wasn’t until now that he had heard it once again that Megatron realized just how much he had missed that comradery.

When had he allowed the war to consume him so much that Strika became distant? A spark breaking sound escaped him as he realized that he had pushed away a femme who had always been there for him, the femme who had nearly been an older sibling.

The pain he finally allowed himself to feel nearly overwhelmed him. For that moment he felt weaker than when he was nothing but a disembodied helm but at the same time he felt stronger than he had in millennium. As if allowing himself that moment of pain had strengthened him in ways he could not describe.

Standing up, Megatron bellowed out, “LUGNUT! We are going on patrol!”

Rushing to his Lord’s side, Lugnut gasped out, “Of course, my glorious Lord! May our foes tremble in……”

Cutting in, Megatron stated, “Enough, Lugnut. I have a message from your consort. Strika wishes for you to keep an optic out for a proper candidate for your shared Autobot. She seems quite determined to have the pitter patter of tiny peds inflicted upon us.” Then he turned his audio receptors off so he wouldn’t have to listen to Lugnut gush over Strika.

For deca cycles the city was mostly quiet, with only the occasional scuffle with the bestial mechs that were trying to get ahold of the Autobots.

Only to have the routine upended by having to rescue Starscream……. from what appeared to be a pack of anthropomorphic fox mechs.

Megatron was already irritated from not seeing the Autobots for several solar cycles and then he had to save his once second in command from a group of mechs with fox like traits.

Looking up at the very angry warlord, Starscream pleaded, “I’m sorry Lord Megatron! Please don’t leave me out here to these things?! Nowhere is safe! I can’t get more than a few cycles of recharge before they are on me! They are using the sewers to get through the city!”

Pity found its way into Megatron’s spark. He had seen the shear weakness in Starscream’s fighting. The seeker wouldn’t last much longer on his own. While Megatron didn’t want to save the traitor, Megatron didn’t want to see what might be spawned if the Serphimus captured the seeker in front of him.

Shaking his helm, Icy asked, “We are taking him back? Are you sure about dis Lord Megatron?”

Sighing, Megatron answered, “I do this because it is the lesser of two evils. The last thing we need is to discover what happens when Starscream of all mechs is forced to carry bitlings.”

Looking up at the two in relief, Starscream gasped out, “Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!”

Returning to their base, Megatron shook his helm when he spotted Lugnut working on what could only be considered a courting gift and promptly decided he didn't want to know which poor Autobot was about to receive it. He only hoped to be able to resist the  humor of whatever fallout Lugnut would no doubt return to complain about.

Starscream found the first flat spot that was out of everybot's way and wasn't the floor to pass out into recharge.

Once his gift was finished, Lugnut left the mine to find Bulkhead. Spotting the Autobot, Lugnut landed in a dramatic fashion.

Staring in shock and slightly disturbed, Bulkhead readied his weapons as Sari landed on his shoulder.

Blinking, Sari asked softly, “What’s he doing this time?”

Going down on a knee, Lugnut rumbled out, “It pleases me to find you whole and ample still amidst this fracus…..”

Sari asked, “Did he just call you fat?”

Lugnut panicked, “No no of course not! Ample is a perfectly fine shape to sport! The sturdiness of frame allows for proper support of affections and the desired results.” Offering up his gift, Lugnut asked, “Might I trouble you for a moment of time to sip on oil and discuss….”

A wrecking ball to the faceplates cut off Lugnut’s practiced speech.

Bulkhead was out of there in two sparkbeats all while Sari laughed her ass off at the poor attempt on the Decepticon’s part to flirt.

Lifting his helm at the sound of Bulkhead returning, Optimus took one look at Bulkhead’s disgruntled expression as well as Sari dying of laughter and asked, “Do I even want to know?”

Huffing, Bulkhead answered, “I’m not sure what happened myself! Lugnut showed up and suddenly was trying to say something about having oil……”

Cracking up even more, Sari reeled it in just long enough to gasp out, “Lugnut tried to flirt with Bulkhead…. it was bad!”

For a sparkbeat, Optimus held it in but the horror on Bulkhead’s face plates as the situation sunk in was too much. Clapping a servo over his intake, Optimus tried to stop the laughter but it exploded from him as his frame curled inwards. It was starting to make some sense. The reason the Decepticons didn’t want them damaged or taken by the Serphimus was because the Decepticons wanted them in the family making sort of way.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elsewhere, Megatron looked away from his work when he heard Lugnut’s grumbling. Spotting the dent in the big lug’s helm, Megatron sighed and asked, “Let me guess the Autobot did not accept your proposal?”

Giving his lord a kicked cyber-puppy look, Lugnut sobbed, “He would not even listen to my request. His human friend caused a misunderstanding and he walloped me for it!”

Dying of laughter on the inside, Megatron turned off his audio receptors and just randomly nodded to make his subordinate think he was listening. Megatron wondered once more what Strike ever saw in the big idiot. Once he was sure Lugnut was done, Megatron turned his audios back on and soothed, “You will find the proper Autobot for yourself and Strika, do not focus on one that is uninterested in what you are offering.”

When Lugnut moved on, Icy sighed, “You know he did not litzen to a zing you just zaid.”

Smirking, Megatron answered, “Just accept the entertainment he will provide as he hopelessly chases the Autobot that put that dent in his helm. I have a feeling we will be seeing even more such dents in him in the future.”

On their way to talk to Megatron, Mixmaster and Scrapper looked at the fuming large flyer leaving the main room of the base. They decided to not bother the big mech, their curiosity could wait a little longer.

Deciding to stop in to see what the heralds were up to, Megatron went to the hidden ship and announced himself at the door.

Opening the door, Hammerpoint greeted, “Hello Megatron, you’re just in time to catch the tail end of dinner.” However at the sound of a panicked scream, Hammerpoint amended, “Ummm, I’ll bring you a plate. You can hang out on the observation deck.” Rushing to the mess hall, Hammerpoint grumbled, “Frag, Decimus you’ve got to take Wasp back to your room…. we’ve got an unexpected guest…..”

Scooping up the panicked minibot, Decimus soothed, “We will remain hidden, I take it you haven’t told your allies about our presence here?”

Rubbing the back of his helm, Hammerpoint grumbled, “Depth said not to…. So I need you two to hide until he leaves.”

Nodding, Decimus carried Wasp back to the room they shared and asked the sobbing mech, “What is bothering you so?”

Wasp sobbed, “Wasp thinks it stuck! Fuel make Wasp tank churn! Wasp no know what to do!”

Sitting down on the berth, Decimus soothed, “First, slow deep intakes and find your center. Being this distressed will only hurt any bitling you could be carrying. If you are with bitling then I am willing to help you through internally forging if you wish to carry to term, or Tempest can get your spark to reabsorb the new spark which will end the carrying cycle without a result.”

Leaning into the Seraphimus, Wasp let the warmth sink in as the techno-organic held him close. The fear of being sparked up was still there but as those big red wings moved the shield him from the world it felt less important.

Within a few moments Tempest appeared and clambered up to place a hand on Wasp’s belly plates. She glowed softly for a moment then soothed, “It’s okay Wasp. All it is is stress build up. You aren’t carrying any hellspawn. I’ve healed the weakened sensors that were causing the tank purging. You’ll feel better.”

Meanwhile just as Hammerpoint was about to hand over a plate to Megatron a com cut through every mech and techno-organic’s systems like a knife. The voice rumbled out, “To all Cybertronians on this planet. I seek the traitor Decimus. Return him and all techno-organics to me and I will not declare war upon you. Refuse and I will bring down the might of the Seraphimus Empire on your helms.”

Megatron was on the coms with his mechs, “Locate the Autobots and prepare to defend them. We will not bow to the demands of this moron.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

The Autobots all turned to the Herald mech that was visiting when Depthstrike muttered, “Well, I guess the Toxicougar is out of the bag now.”

Blinking, Optimus asked, “Are you saying what I think you are?”

Smirking, Depthstrike answered, “Decimus risked his wings to get Heavyfire and myself out of that ship and he wasn’t going to abandon Wasp or the two heralds that were in the hold with us. Nor was I. You can bet your fragging T-cogs I wasn’t about to turn around and frag him over.”

Bumblebee snapped, “Well why didn’t you just tell us in the first place?! Did the Cons know about this?! What makes them so special?!”
Whirling on the microbot, Depthstrike coldly countered, “One of my new charges has reasons not to trust Autobots and is in a delicate state right now! I was not about to betray the trust placed in me to keep him safe. Also, the Decepticons are as much in the dark about them as you were. Think before you open your intake mechling.”

Optimus couldn’t help but feel disappointed in Depthstrike’s lack of trust but he also understood why the big war build withheld the information. Putting a servo on Bumblebee’s shoulder, Optimus cut in and diplomatically asked, “Well, now that the cards are on the table, might I meet this Decimus and discuss our future course of action?”

Sighing, Depthstrike answered, “I will set up a meeting but I have to insist that it be a private meeting. Too many mechs in one spot will draw attention. Even with Professor Sumdac's work on a signal dampener the Seraphimus are too good at sniffing us out.”

Nodding, Optimus stated, “I've been noticing the same thing. Their patrols keep getting closer and closer to the base.”

Sighing, Depthstrike answered, “Your signal dampeners at least are portable. Ours only work on an area. So we run the risk of getting caught everytime we leave the ship. At least the Decepticons have earned their reprieve by simply being too tough to tangle with in the Seraphimus’s books.”

Looking to the sky, Optimus sighed out, “At least the Decepticons aren't against us on top of the Seraphimus.”

Nodding, Depthstrike stated, “I’ll be in contact once I let Decimus know you want to meet him.” Heading back to the ship, Depthstrike sighed before muttering, “This is going to fly about as well as a lead balloon.”

Once on the ship, Depthstrike went looking for Decimus. He found the winged techno-organic tending to the greenhouse bay. What he didn’t expect was to see Decimus’s gift in action.

Singing softly, Decimus coaxed the plants to grow and bloom. Jumping when he hear an intake being cleared, Decimus turned and saw Depthstrike. He asked, “Yes Captain?”

Chuckling softly, Depthstrike answered, “We needed a green thumb around here.” Then his voice turned serious, “The Commendate has demanded your return and I was forced to admit that you are hiding amongst us.”

Dusting the potting soil of his hands, Decimus asked, “One of the factions wish to meet.”

Wasp was just walking inside when Depthstrike answered, “Optimus Prime is willing to meet you one on one. I wasn't going to let them gang up on you.” His optics went wide with fear when Decimus answered, “I will meet with the Prime.”

A sharp cry of distress caused Decimus to turn and then Wasp was clinging to him.

Twisting his servos into the cloth that Decimus wore, Waso pleaded, “Decimus no go! Autobots can’t be trusted! Autobots will send Decimus to Stockades! Autobots send Wasp back to Stockades!” Sobbing, Wasp tried to think of a way to keep Decimus from leaving for this meeting.

Gently stroking Wasp’s helm, Decimus soothed, “Nobot is going to the Stockades, I promise.”

Still crying, Wasp looked up at Decimus and hiccupped, “Decimus…. hic… gonna leave… hic Wasp!”

Smiling, Decimus leaned down and gently kissed Wasp.

Moving his servos to grasp at those powerful shoulders, Wasp whimpered into the kiss. This was what he wanted! He wanted Decimus to forget those mean Autobots and stay with him!

Pulling away slowly, Decimus smiled softly as he stroked Wasp’s cheek plates and soothed, “I promise you, Wasp. I will return to you. No matter the trail. I do not go alone. Depthstrike will be right there to make sure nobot tries anything underservoed.”

Nodding weakly, Wasp muttered, “Wasp no like but Wasp understand.”

Pressing another soft kiss to the minibot’s lip plates, Decimus promised, “If I can I will push for them to pardon you of your crime. I must go now.”

While the two were distracted with each other, Tempest climbed up to her Uncle's shoulder and whispered, “So derpy daw. Also I'm coming with you. No ifs, buts, or coconuts.”

As they moved out, Depthstrike pinged Optimus with the location of the meeting. He asked softly, “Are you sure you want to risk this?”

Eying the older mech, Decimus asked back, “Why do you care? I do what I must to protect the one who holds my spark. Whom could do else and call themselves a true mech?”

Tempest chuckled and soothed, “Optimus is a good mech there is no risk talking with him. Sentinel is aft.”

As they walked, Decimus keep an eye on the sky. While Seraphimus and techno-organics by nature do not have a very obvious energy signatures, he knew the Blades his people used as shock troops were extremely sensitive to energy signatures.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Optimus beat them to the meeting place. However even with his energy signal dampener, Optimus was worried. It was becoming more and more apparent that the device was only partial masking him. Pacing quietly, Optimus realized he was also nervous about meeting a Seraphimus.

Suddenly, a voice called out, “Be at ease. I am not interested in fighting you.”

Spinning around, Optimus found his optics drawn to the beautiful crimson wings that framed the techno-organic. Then his optics were drawn to those bright gold eyes.

Bowing politely, Decimus stated, “It is an honor to meet you, Optimus Prime.”

Blinking, Optimus was shocked almost stupid for a moment before he returned the bow and scrambled to answer, “Likewise Decimus.”

Chuckling softly at the wide optic confusion on the Prime’s faceplates, Decimus teased gently, “Cyberkittens got your glossa?”

Shaking his helm, Optimus answered, “I wasn’t expecting you to be so……” Oh scrap how does he say this without offending the larger than him techno-organic?!

Decimus asked, “Polite?”

Flinching, Optimus answered, “I didn’t mean to offend……”

Waving the apology away, Decimus soothed, “It is quite alright. I know you have only the fleeting encounters in battle and Depthstrike’s tales to go off of. Thank my Carrier, he didn’t allow my Sire to turn me into a toxic slug like my brother.”

Smiling softly, Optimus chuckled and answered, “True enough.

As they settled in to talk and relax, Decimus could tell this version of the Great Prime was far younger than the one that had chased the armada from Cybertron’s surface. This one had an innocence that Decimus couldn’t help but wish to see linger. An innocence that could show mercy still.

Only for their peaceful talks to be interrupted by Sentinel of all mechs! Sentinel snarled, “Consorting with the enemy now Optimus old pal? You were supposed to be helping me find Wasp!”

Decimus stood slowly and narrowed his eyes at the new mech and growled out, “My Charge is none of your concern.”

Sentinel snarled back, “Wasp is a traitor and should be captured and thrown into the Stockades!”

Trying to defuse the situation, Optimus cut in, “Sentinel please! Now isn’t……”

Getting in Optimus’s faceplates, Sentinel snapped, “Anybot that is helping Wasp deserves to share the traitor’s fate! I’ll drag him and the winged thing in myself!”

Then Decimus growled out, “This is your only warning, Sentinel Prime. Any more threats against my charge and myself, will be met with lethal force.”

Turning to look back at the Seraphimus, Optimus went slack jawed at the obvious mechanical seems in the techno-organic that was now towering at a height that put Lugnut to shame.

In shear panic, Sentinel sent a distress beacon to Ultra Magnus.

When Ultra Magnus arrived and saw the fight Optimus was trying to keep from escalating into physical blows he was not pleased with Sentinel. However, His audio receptors perked up when Decimus spat out, “I will not hand over Wasp!”

Optimus spotted Ultra Magnus approaching and saluted.

Nodding to Optimus, Ultra Magnus offered, “The Autobot commonwealth can see to your safety from your peers if you would consider changing that opinion. I can offer you asylum in exchange for returning our escaped prisoner.”

Shaking his head, Decimus declined sincerely, “I am quite content with the deal I have worked out with the Heralds. Also, I am not blind enough to not see through the hollow charade that is your offer of safety. Nothing you have to offer is enough for me to give up one of my charges.  Least of all Wasp.”

Seeing he wasn’t going to get anything from the Seraphimus, Ultra Magnus sighed and stated, “Wasp is an escaped Decepticon spy. I really must insist that you return him to me.”

Crossing his arms, Decimus answered, “I can share his memories with you. All male Seraphimus can experience and store memories of those close to them or those willing to share. I can share them unaltered and in their rawest state. I can honestly speak true that he was never a spy.”

Huffing, Sentinel spat out, “What would that prove?”

Sighing, Optimus stated, “Sentinel. Decimus is offering to give Ultra Magnus direct access to Wasp’s memories. Memories that prove his innocence. Memories that prove you falsely imprisoned a young bot.”

Sentinel growled out, “Are you calling me a liar, Optimus?”

Ruffling his wings, Decimus cut in, “No, he is not. However, my people have a name for your kind of parading. Foolishness. Or Stupidity.”

Seeing Sentinel puffing up, Ultra Magnus snapped, “Enough. Show me these memories, Seraphimus.”

Narrowing his eyes at the Cybertronian, Decimus answered, “As you wish Cybertronian.” He mentally smirked at the returned narrowed gaze. Lifting his hands up to touch Ultra Magnus’s temples, Decimus brought forth the archive in his memory banks and took Ultra Manus through that day in Wasp’s life.

Ultra Magnus watched the memories closely and noticed the fact that when Wasp locked his foot locker the transmitter was not inside it. The young mech was innocent.

Sentinel paced as he demanded, “How long is this going to take? You don't really believe there's any evidence that Wasp was innocent.”

Then Ultra Magnus spoke, “Wasp is hereby cleared of all charges. Due to evidence of being set up to take the fall for somebot else.”

Slowly removing his hands, Decimus stated, “Wasp is my charge and I will inform him of the change. He and the other two will remain with me aiding the Heralds in their ship. I will do what I can to discover more of the Commandate plans but as a traitor my access is quite limited.”

Nodding, Ultra Magnus sighed, “I understand. Do not put yourself at risk if it can be avoided. It will not be the first war we have faced without inside Intel, Decimus.”

Smiling softly, Decimus stated, “It is because it is not expected of me, that I am willing to dance the tune, Lord Ultra Magnus.” Bowing once more, Decimus turned and walked away towards the Herald’s ship to inform Wasp of his cleared record.

Falling into step next to the techno-organic, Depthstrike stated, “You should tell Wasp what your spark holds, Decimus. I’m sure the kid would like to hear it.”

Looking to the mech, Decimus answered, “My spark can wait, Wasp needs a chance to heal before faced with the horror that is my spark.”

Shaking his helm, Depthstrike asked softly, “Is that you or your Sire Tiberius speaking?”

Freezing, Decimus blinked and then the older mech truly ripped the rug out from under him by asking, “Do you think I wouldn’t have kept my optics on the creations of Irondefender? When I never gave up trying to free my youngest brother?”

Patting the youngster’s shoulder, Depthstrike jibed, “At least you got your carrier’s need to protect those weaker than yourself.” Smiling softly as he ruffled the techno-organic’s hair, Depthstrike stated, “One out of three saved, I must be getting rusty in my old age.”

Once the Herald Mech and the Seraphimus were gone, Ultra Magnus began the march to return to the ship with Sentinel in tow. As usual he was ignoring the Prime’s excuses and whining.

Until a distress beacon blared on the com channels. The two Autobots rushed through their transformations and floored it back to their ship to find the three mechs they left behind under siege by the strangest things they had ever seen.

Even as Ultra Magnus moved to save the poor mechs, Frostblitz was snatched up and carried off by a Seraphimus with white wings and a nasty smirk.

Frostblitz screamed, “Mangus! Sir! Save me!”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was an almost comforting thing to have Hammerpoint flying at his side with Eclipse babbling on the coms. He also knew that Ironspark was with the Autobots and Voltage was with his handler.

Then a squawk filled the coms. Voltage was babbling on at a million miles an hour.

Megatron and Hammerpoint immediately changed course to save the Autobot patrol.

Optimus was kicking himself as he fought with his team. The attack had hit them shortly after he had met up them. Even with Ironspark’s help, they were getting thrown about like they were toys by the two behemoths.

Then Depthstike and Heavyfire appeared. the balance seemed to in their favor for a moment until a small pack of lion mechs appeared.

The situation was starting to feel hopeless until Megatron landed behind Optimus with a playful rumble of, “We need to work on your combat skills, little Prime.”

Unable to resist the smile, Optimus asked, “Are you going to teach me once we’re all out of this mess?”

As he blasted away one of the smaller attackers, Megatron teased, “Are you ready for the implications of my training you?”

Rolling his optics, Optimus muttered as he brought his ax down on another one of the small attackers, “Decepticons are weird.”

The battle raged on around the three faction team, and in the midst of the chaos Lugnut landed and joined in.

Feeling a warmth fill his spark, Optimus almost felt invincible with Megatron at his back. The way the War build just knew how he was going to shift. Until suddenly Optimus was faced by the massive shoulder mounted cannons of the ox behemoth.

Yanking the prime against his chassis as he spun, Megatron had no idea why he had moved but as the blast splashed over his thicker armor he realized the one prime he could respect was unharmed. Those beautiful blue optics looked up at him and Megatron swore he could see desire in them as well.

Suddenly both of them heard a voice in their processors, “Turn your audio receptors off! Do it now!” Optimus scrambled forward to support Megatron as they both shut off their audio intakes.

The massive anthropomorphic ox mech attacking them suddenly grasped at his chest and light exploded from him before the greying frame hit the ground to shatter into dust.

Spotting Voltage giving them a thumbs up, Megatron tapped Optimus’s audio fins and turned his own back on before saying, “Fragging Pit, Eclipse. How is it you aren’t the one everything is gunning after?”

Eclipse answered as he leaned against Hammerpoint’s leg, “Because only friends know of my gift. My enemies don’t last long enough to be a threat.”

Optimus joked, “Remind me to never get on your bad side, or Tempest’s…..”

Tempest slid down Depthstrike’s chassis and jogged over to Megatron. She climbed up to the wound causing the mech to jump a little. She hummed softly as her hands glowed.

Megatron groaned as his plates regenerated in a matter of moments. He twisted to look at where the wound had been and muttered, “Well… scrap. Neat trick, little one.”

Nodding, Tempest slid down and returned to her handler.

Depthstrike offered a servo and stood once Tempest was seated in his palm. He rumbled out, “We are often referred to as the Archangels or the Horsemen. All depends on how the high command wants us to act. If we’re on a rescue op, it’s Archangels……… if it is an assault, Horsemen.”

Sari hissed and spat out, “Horsemen!?! Like the four horsemen of the apocalypse! That’s cruel!” When she saw the looks of confusion, Sari explained, “First is Pestilence on a white horse, second War on a red horse, third is Famine on a black horse, and last Death on a pale horse. They bring the apocalypse or the death of the world in their wake. To be referred to as them! That’s cruel and wrong.”

Then Oracle stated, “Some texts refer to the first rider as the Christ or Anti-Christ. However, Tempest’s call sign is Plague,  Voltage is War, I am Famine, and Eclipse is Death. We are well aware of the context, and have embraced it. Besides where we’re from, we have no choice in how or when we can fall in love or when we must fight. We are but pawns for Primus, who is as always a cruel god and ignorant of his creation’s needs. Every word of prayer falls on deaf ears.”

Optimus blinked when all three of the other heralds nodded in agreement. He finally asked, “How can you all feel that way? With the gifts he has given you?!”

Tempest stated, “Optimus… don’t you get it? We are not allowed to truly live because of what he gave us. Eclipse and Hammerpoint would have been torn apart for falling in love. Their sparkling purged, if the priests had discovered them. We are here only because we ran to protect them.”

Even Megatron felt like he had been struck. He wouldn’t kill an unborn innocent like that, for simply being created! Megatron engine growled out his rage and then he stated, “No priest will touch them, Tempest. I promise you that. Even if I must take the earth Autobots and my Decepticons to another world and start a new colony free of the previous prejudices.”

Chuckling, Voltage leaned against Ironspark’s leg and jibed, “You’re more focused on how to coax the pretty prime into your berth, but I have to admit you are one of the first to actually jump to doing something instead of just feeling pity.”

Nudging his partner, Ironspark hissed out, “Volt, how many times do I have to remind you to stay inside your own proc?”

Grinning madly as he was scooped up, Voltage answered, “As many times as you feel like until we both offline.”

Allowing Voltage to slide back to his usual spot, Ironspark sighed out, “Imp. I shouldn’t have to remind you to leave others alone.”

Leaning into Iron’s neck, Voltage answered, “We wouldn’t have known to run if I hadn't been peeking.”

Before Optimus could ask what Voltage meant, the mixed group looked up at the sound of massive engines and saw one of the enemy ships passing over.

Realizing they had a new war on their servos, Megatron took the initiative and asked, “Oracle which base has the higher rate of survival?”

Oracle closed her optics and answered, “Given current variables, both have equal survival rates. The mine will hide you better but it has worse access to resources. Unless you have a device to hide your energy signatures which would give us access to better resources and better location at the Autobot base. Getting off earth has highest rate of success at the moment. Too many paths to sort properly. My apologizes.”

Oddly welcoming Megatron’s willingness to help command, Optimus stated, “Let’s head for the mine, it should hide our life signatures at least until Professor Sumdac can help us develop a better signal dampener. Even though I am worried about leaving Ratchet alone on the Ark.”

Putting several filters on her probabilities stream, Oracle stated, “Send Bumblebee and Sari, with Jazz and Depthstrike. Mobilizing the guardian bot will increase our chances of success. I also suggest sending a strike team to the Magnus’s aide, the odds of the enemy finding his ship are very high.”

Tempest looked up at Depthstrike and asked, “Should Depth and I go with the strike force instead?”

Oracle hummed before saying, “You go with Jazz, Depth should go with the strike force. Quickly.”

Optimus stated, “Prowl, I want you to go with Bumblebee and try to keep him out of trouble. Depthstrike, you’re with me. We’ll go help the Magnus.”

Huffing, Megatron stated, “I will join you, Prime. Lugnut see that the rest find their way to the mine. Make sure no one is harmed in the process.”

Depthstrike stepped over to Jazz and Tempest jumped down from the taller mech’s shoulder. He looked to his herald before saying, “Tempest is very special to me, Jazz. Do nothing to put her at risk.”

Nodding, Jazz answered, “No worries my mech, I’ll protect her.”

Smiling, Oracle just knew for Depthstrike to take the first step towards the ninja Tempest needed to be bonded first. If the medic was exposed to Tempest enough the two had a high chance of mating. Also the probable offspring were adorable! Although there was a high chance of Depth toying with the Magnus. However Heavyfire would be better suited for the Magnus.

Hammerpoint stated, “I’ll get our ship moved to a place near the mine once everybot is there, just in case we decide to cut our losses here and run. We will need the cargo our ship holds.”

Nodding, Voltage added, “Even if we don’t, we’re still gonna need the seeds and the datapads on how to farm.”

Icy asked, “Why would that be important?”

Hammerpoint opened his subspace and pulled out a Cybertronian sized apple that glowed brightly from within. Tossing it casually to the triple changer, Hammerpoint purred out, “Take a bite and you tell me.”

Biting into the apple, Blitzwing moaned softly as the sweet juice hit his glossa and his fuel gauge actually lifted a little. Random spun forward and turned to Bumblebee after cutting a slice out of the apple with a gasp, “TRY! TRY!”

The tiny scout laughed and took the the fruit piece. Now that Blitzwing wasn’t shooting at him, the three faces weren’t so scary. In fact two of them were actually kind of adorable to him. He moaned as the fruit hit his glossa. Oh Primus, that thing was amazing.

Megatron caught the fruit chunk that was tossed his way and bit off half of it before offering the rest to Optimus. He managed to keep his moan down barely. Sweet Allspark, that was delicious.

Optimus ate the offered fruit cautiously but a moan slipped free at the sweetness of the fruit. His shock increased when he noticed his fuel gauge going up the tiniest amount.  

Looking at the neutral mechs, Bumblebee muttered, “Not cool! You guys get fuel like that and you only now share with us?!”

Hammerpoint explained, “We don't have the physical might required to defend our food from you and we didn’t trust you. Now we do, because we must. The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

Tempest teased, “Hammer, play nice. They've proven trustworthy so settle the Sire to be paranoia.”

Sighing, Hammerpoint huffed, “I’m more than allowed to fuss!”

Depthstrike shook his helm and stated, “Let’s be about our missions.”

Transforming and taking off towards the Magnus’s ship at reckless speeds, Optimus felt a strange shudder dance through him when he noticed Megatron flying over him in a way he could only call protective.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Fighting to defend their ship from the strange mechs that had appeared out of seemingly nowhere, Ultra Magnus and Sentinel were nearly overwhelmed when suddenly they could breathe again. Blinking at the two massive war builds, Ultra Magnus couldn’t believe he was seeing Megatron, of all mechs, coming to his aide!

Sneering, Sentinel snapped at Optimus, “What took you so long?! Still as useless as ever!”

Slamming into the large bipedal sabertooth cat, Optimus spat out, “Less talking more fighting you glitch!” He dodged massive claws. He added, “You don't want to be on the receiving end of what these things like to do to Cybertronians.”

The giant roared out, “Maggots! Vermin!” It went berserk as it roared, “Praise the Seraphimus and bow to the yoke of divinity! Breeders are made for one thing and one thing only!”

Gasping as he dodged those claws, Sentinel demanded, “They talk?! The pit! Optimus what did you bring down on our helms?!”

Charging with a bellow of a roar, Depthstrike punched through the one attacking Ultra Magnus with his lance. He rumbled out, “Place the blame on the right shoulder struts youngling!”

Megatron focused on the one he faced off with. The giant spider hissed and lashed out. Megatron jumped when a grappling hook wrapped around the spider’s bladed limb stopping the attack. Driving his sword through the giant’s spark, Megatron turned and watched in horror as massive claws slashed across Optimus’s back struts.

Gasping out in pain, Optimus crashed to the ground when the cat kicked his legs out from under him. Looking up at his attacker, Optimus felt his spark seize as the cat purred at him with an almost starvation like hunger.

Throwing the spider’s weight off, Megatron raced forward and slammed in under the cat’s reach. Crashing into its frame like a wrecking ball, Megatron sent the beast toppling. Tossing his sword to the side, Megatron slammed his fists over and over into the saber toothed helm. Until he caved that monstrous helm in.

Rushing to Optimus’s side, Sentinel asked in a cracking voice, “Optimus? Oh Primus please be alright! I can’t lose you two!”

Groaning as he sat up, Optimus answered, “You lost me when you abandoned me to my fate for your mistake.” Finally letting lose, Optimus slugged Sentinel and spat out, “You wanted to explore! You wanted the fame of finding a Con stash! You wanted to be rich! You insisted on breaking protocol! Then you pinned it all on me! In my grief I let you do it to me!”

Moving to Optimus’s side, Megatron knelt and rumbled his engine softly to get the younger mech’s attention. In an uncharacteristically affectionate gesture, He offered his arms to the Autobot and smirked when Optimus dove for him. As those arms hooked around his waist, Megatron stroked Optimus’s audio fin and soothed, “I’ve got you, Optimus. Let’s get you to Tempest and Ratchet quickly.”

Optimus was upset enough and hurting enough to not really notice or care about the Decepticon’s affectionate actions. For once some mech was willing to just fragging hold him and Optimus was going to take it!

Ultra Magnus demanded, “What is going on?! Why would you come to the aid of Autobots? Answer me Megatron!”

Depthstrike placed a servo on the civilian frame’s shoulder and stated, “I can explain, allow them to see to the young Prime’s injuries. My herald can repair such damage quickly if he is taken to her. I have the answers I am fairly certain the High Lord Protector would give.” He gave Megatron a nod and the warlord took off towards the autobot base.

Blinking, Ultra Magnus stated, “That title has not been used since the matrix of leadership was lost and the title of prime was regulated to that of a unit commander.”

Nodding, Depthstrike stated, “The Matrix was never lost, it has returned to Primus and awaits for one worthy to be led to it. Optimus is the one worthy of it, but without a powerful Lord Protector we will not hold Cybertron. To continue as a race, you need us. The war builds. Without us, there are no viable ways to procreate for the long term. Megatron has become focused on Optimus and I must agree some of the thoughts Voltage has shared during his delving into that processor are quite devious and delightful.”

Smirking at the deer caught in the headlights look on the Magnus’s faceplates, Depthstrike purred out, “I am a War build, do you fear me? Do you fear the strength I hold? Or do you hold a secret desire for a war build to prove their strength to you?”

Sentinel gasped out, “Sir! You aren’t actually listening to this scrap?!”

Hooking a servo around Ultra Magnus’s waist, Depthstrike pulled him close and rumbled out, “I don’t need Volt’s ability to see into processors or Oracle’s gift of prophecy to know I am right. I can feel it in the rumble of your engines. It takes both builds to create new sparks, the old fashion way. Two Civilians or two War builds, just doesn’t work does it?”

Feeling tiny and a bit breathless, Ultra Magnus looked up into those gold optics and breathed out, “Are you offering to be my war build? To give me sparklings? That peace will just fall into place between Bots and Cons?!”

Smirking, Depthstrike answered, “No, I’m offering a fighting chance at survival. The Grostenions, and their handlers the Seraphimus will not stop coming at our people. Where my crew came from was a dimension where humans filled the gaping hole left behind by the eradication of the war builds of old. They were accepted by Primus and become techno-organic and then their gifts appeared. They were culled and slaughtered in droves, for gifts they couldn’t control. It was only after they were driven to near extinction that the priests realized some of them could commune with Primus and they were labeled Heralds. Handlers were chosen to keep them in line. But if you want sparklings that badly, I can give them to you. No strings attached.”

Crossing his arms, Sentinel huffed, “What a load of scrap. No way would any Cybertronian in their right processor would accept an organic let alone interface with them!”

Chuckling darkly, Depthstrike stated bluntly, “There are fetish clubs dedicated purely to the interracial congress with organics.” He laughed as the ‘prime’ flinched away. Then he supplied, “Look chin-mech, my ship holds a cargo that could end the energon shortage and increase the standard of living for all. But that only becomes available to the Autobot commonwealth when peace talks are concluded to my satisfaction.”

Glaring, Sentinel spat out, “You war builds are all the same! You have no right to withhold such a thing!” How dare this war build withhold such a thing?! Withholding something that could benefit all, if placed in the right servos.

Releasing the Magnus, Depthstrike stated plainly, “Leash your subordinate before his mouth removes the offer from the table completely. I may just give into my nature and toss you over my shoulder to seduce later.” The helijet started walking away as he stated, “Have a care and hide your ship or have fun with the giants when they return. Oh and if you see the ones with wings you may want to run, they tend to be a servo full of trouble even for us war builds.”

Sentinel growled out, “Just like that? You’re going to walk away?! I thought you wanted Ultra Magnus to carry your sparklings. You giving up this easy, Coward?”

Looking back, Depthstrike answered, “I’ve heard better from worse, Pup. I’ve seen more years of combat than you have functioned.  Allies and mates are not won in a single encounter. My offer is on the table and Ultra Magnus knows how to get a hold of me. Although in all honesty pup, Heavyfire would be a better match for him than I. My preferences lean more towards playful.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Megatron carried Optimus as the Prime gave him directions. When Jazz let him into the ship, Megatron snapped, “Where are the medics?!”

Jazz chuckled and answered, “Cool yer jets, m’mech. Der this way.”

Tempest snarled, “Look you aft! I can’t heal all of this damage in one sitting! It would knock my on my aft for a year! I don’t feel like being a fraggin Rip Van Winkle!”

Storming into the room and the argument,  Megatron grumbled, “You will be if it fixes our Prime.”

Optimus blushed a little at how forceful the warlord was being, for him!

Pointing at the work table, Tempest stated, “Put him down, Megatron. I need to have access to his wounds.”

Setting Optimus down gently, Megatron noticed the calculating look the older medic was giving him and mentally groaned. He prayed to Primus that the medic wasn’t old enough to know the old tells of a War build’s interest.

Sadly for the ‘young’ Warlord, Ratchet knew exactly what was going on now. The old medic kept his humor at the situation hidden behind his frown as he joined Tempest in eyeing Optimus’s wounds. Ratchet asked, “Can you localize your gift and repair the interior components? I can easily do the welding patch work if you handle the tiny detail work.”

Nodding, Tempest went to work. She was starting to feel drained but at least Ratchet was going to do the ‘heavy lifting’ as it were. Plating injuries were the hardest for her to accelerate.

Once the Herald was done, Ratchet went to work welding patches and lecturing, “Now Optimus I don’t know how you ended up like this but I will say don’t do it again! We can not afford to use up Tempest's abilities on injuries that could be avoided!” He subtly watched Megatron’s reaction and sure enough the war build didn’t disappoint.

Crossing his arms, Megatron nodded in agreement before he even realized what he was doing but he caught himself when Optimus looked his way. He growled out gruffly, “My armor is thicker than yours, Prime. Also we need you to remain fully functional to help counterbalance my leadership. I do not do well commanding civilian builds.”

Curling in on himself, Optimus nodded in acceptance without seeing the worry that flashed in Megatron’s optics at the reaction, but Ratchet saw it. The old medic planned to use it for Optimus’s own good. He just had too much on his plate with fixing Omega Supreme before he could play matchmaker for two unruly mechs.

Megatron offered, “I can take you to the mine if you would prefer to get out from under ped.”

Nodding quickly, Optimus gladly took the offered servo to get back up on his peds. He followed Megatron silently as his processor chewed on memories he wished had never resurfaced.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Following the directions from his herald, Depthstrike easily found the dormant guardian mech in ship form. Entering quietly, Depthstrike found the two medics fairly easily and he smiled at the playful banter between them.

Tempest teased, “And I’m telling you that if you reroute those power cables it’ll make it easier to bring the ship back online fully.” Then she noticed that her supplements were finally wearing off.

Ready to let the smidget have a piece of his processor, Ratchet turned as he heard a sound of contentment and found himself staring at a Cybertronian sized human. A very naked Cybertronian sized human. Primus, those curves were very nice.

Tempest smirked as she slowly walked towards Ratchet and purred out, “See something you like?”

Blinking, Ratchet blushed when the young techno-organic hooked her arms around his shoulders and his servos came up to touch those soft curves. Then he heard some of the other mechs coming. With a snarl he wrapped a warming sheet around Tempest who just giggled.

Walking in with Bumblebee and Prowl, Depthstrike chuckled when Tempest smiled at him and asked, “Decided to stop taking your supplements?”

Rolling her eyes Tempest answered, “I can do more damage in my natural state instead of micronized. We both know my gift is just as powerful at this size as it is when I'm tiny.”

Staring slack jawed, Bumblebee asked, “How are you so big? Why are you wrapped in a sheet?”

Pulling out Tempest’s garb from his subspace, Depthstrike chuckled and stated, “I take it your medic doesn't want to share.”

Tempest answered, “Stop trying to get a rise out of him, Uncle. We both know you'd sooner castrate yourself than mate with me.” Shaking out the dress that was little more than two long rectangles of cloth sewn together at the shoulders and along the sides, Tempest stated, “So going to have to make better clothing.”

Holding the sheet, Depthstrike shielded Tempest from the gazes of the others until she was dressed. Although he bit back his defensive response at seeing that white gown. He had lucked out and no priest had managed to sire a sparkling inside his herald but he knew they touched her.

Nudging her uncle’s chin with her knuckles, Tempest soothed, “Come on, enough of the scary face. They can’t get me any more. The others and I are safe, you saved us. Now we’re going to save our friends and teach those winged scum who they shouldn’t mess with.”

Sighing, Depthstrike leaned down and pressed his forehead to Tempest’s forehead as he sighed out, “You remind me of your sire when you talk like that…. it’s like….”

Tearing up, Tempest finished, “Like we never lost him? I miss him two, Uncle. However he is with Carrier in the Allspark. Let them rest. And quit fussing so much, I’m full size now I can handle myself.”

Snorting, Depthstrike joked, “You’ll always be the youngling begging for berth time stories in my optics.”

Sighing, Tempest went to Ratchet’s side and started helping with cleaning up the damage to the ship.

Ratchet found his optics drifting downwards and he huffed, “That dress barely covers you! Whose idea was it that that is proper covering?!” The side seams only went from the middle of her rib cage to just above her hip. He could still easily see the swell of her chest and hips!

Looking down at her dress, Tempest answered, “The priests. Less to get in their way, when they examine us.”

Prowl snapped out of his shock and asked, “Examine you?”

Depthstrike crossed his arms and spat out, “Like cattle. Livestock to use as they saw fit.”

Rolling her optics, Tempest shrugged and went back to work as she explained, “The priests make us take supplements that force us into a compacted state so our organic nature doesn’t led us into folly. It actually really hurts being forced to remain small when they have no other use for us.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

In the mine, Bulkhead hid behind the herald mechs as he warily eyed the Decepticons. Lugnut to be specific. Shuddering, Bulkhead hadn’t forgotten the mech’s bad attempt at flirting.

The big con felt the hope fading from his spark when he saw how wary of him the sturdy Autobot was. Strika will never forgive him if he failed to win over an Autobot. However his tentative step towards the Autobot faltered when Blitzwing returned with the annoying tiny yellow one and the strange human the Autobots kept.

Bumblebee tried to ignore his hulking shadow!

Resisting the urge to get angered, Icy sighed and tried again, “Do Autobots not talk to zere alliez?” He needed to break the ice somehow without resorting to letting Random out. As much as Bumblebee’s reaction to Random had been positive, Blitzwing was more than just his crazy brother-personality.

Pouting, Bumblebee huffed, “Naw, we talk to them when we have something to talk about. I don’t want to talk.” He had to put distance between himself and the big lug. It was like the triple changer had done a one eighty after getting a little smile. Bumblebee didn’t want Blitzwing thinking there was going to be something between them. Just no! How would it even fit?! Blitzwing was nearly twice his size!

A few more attempts to talk to the yellow menace and Blitzwing was ready to snarl. However he forced Hothead back before turning to the human who was darting around with a jetpack. He asked as he moved towards the human, “Find zomething interesting?”

Landing on a spot she hoped wasn’t a button, Sari answered, “This set-up is awesome, I’m surprised you guys managed to set it up in a mine of all places.” Using her jetpack, Sari move to hover to stare at the screen.

Smiling softly, Icy stated softly, “We have our wayz. Jour jetpack iz quite imprezive. Jou handle it well, like a true flyer.”

Quirking her head at the big mech, Sari asked, “Why are you being so… nice? Not that I mind, it’s just kind of weird.”

Trying to hide his interest, Bumblebee listened when Blitzwing answered, “Itz simple. Jou are not the enemy anymore, but fellowz in war.”

As the two started talking shop about Sari’s jet pack, Sari noticed the way Bumblebee tried to creep over but act innocent whenever Blitzwing looked his way. It was kind of cute.

When Megatron and Optimus came walking in, Bumblebee jumped to the side avoid nearly colliding with Blitzwing’s elbow when Random spun forward to crow, “Ohhh?!  Look at ze love botz!”

Megatron growled, “Blitzwing, don’t you have a supply run to make….”

Sari squeaked, “Can I go two?!”

Baring his denta, Bumblebee cut the Con’s answer off by snapping, “Not happening, Blitzbrain!”

Random pouted and whined, “Zat’s not fair, Hummel-chan…… I vant to play with Zari two, Icy gets to have all ze fun.”

Once the triple changer left, Megatron actually showed the Autobots to where they could find the spare berth mats and a cavern they could call their own.

The jettwins insisted on their mats being next to Jazz however they refused to say why when Bumblebee tried to demand an answer.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Jerking out of recharge, Prowl felt suffocated from the heat from so many engines in such close proximity.  He needed some fresh air.

Sneaking out of the mine, Prowl took a slow deep intake of cool night air. He couldn’t resist, and took off into the woods. One tiny patrol alone wouldn’t hurt anything right?

The moonlight glistened in soft patches scattered across the ground.

Prowl came to a screeching halt when he saw a Serphimus standing on the edge of a cliff. Mint green wings rustled softly before soft gold eyes turned to pin him where he stood. A powerfully built but lean body turning with a unnatural grace, a shiver stole down Prowl’s spinal struts. He felt like a rabbit trapped within the wolf's gaze.

The alien techno-organic soothed, “You have nothing to fear from me, little one. I did not seek out this place to invoke blessings for fallen gods upon your kind.”

Resetting his optics, Prowl took a slow step out of the tree line and asked, “Well if you aren’t here to bless anybot, why are you here?”

The Serphimus purred out, “This world has one of the most beautiful view of the stars.” Smiling at the small Cybertronian, he added, “My name is Sophoclidiscus.”

Watching the Serphimus, Prowl asked, “Why would you care about nature?”

Smiling, Sophoclidiscus crossed his arms and answered, “Just because my commanding officers are glitching scrapheaps and only see this planet for the gems hiding amongst your number, does not mean that I am the same. Yes, you are attractive but I have no desire to enslave you.”

Tilting his helm at those words, Prowl opened his intake but Sophoclidiscus continued, “I have found the songbird’s beautiful voice fades quickly when inside a cage. Beauty must be wild and free to flourish.”

Lifting his gaze to the sky again, Sophoclidiscus stated firmly, “You should return to where you hide, Victoriam Maximus is near. He does not share my opinions. I will distract him but you should return to your people quickly and silently.” Unfurling his massive wings, Sophoclidiscus took to the air with deceptive ease.

Prowl gasped at the sudden malstrom those wings caused but gently caught a feather that floated down as the Seraphimus took off to distract another officer.

Perhaps they weren’t all evil…..

Even more so than they had been given credit.

Taking off quickly, Prowl returned to the mine and returned to his recharge mat. Those soft golden eyes so full of knowledge haunted his recharge and when he was awoken Prowl felt like he hadn’t recharged at all.

Optimus noticed Prowl’s sluggishness and gently pulled the ninja down an unused tunnel. He gently asked, “Is something wrong Prowl? You look like you’re going to crash into stasis.”

Prowl muttered, “It’s nothing, just didn’t recharge very well. I’ll perk right back up once I’ve gotten a chance to move around.”

Frowning, Optimus sighed, “I hope you know you can come to me with anything, Prowl.”

Nodding weakly, Prowl answered, “Hopefully, I’ll recharge better once we’re back at the warehouse.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With Prowl’s exhausted expression tearing at his spark, Optimus called Professor Sumdac. When the eccentric human answered the call, Optimus greeted the human politely before launching into his request, “The energy signal dampeners need more work the Seraphimus can still pick us up. The dampeners work wonderfully against other Cybertronians but…..”

Professor Sumdac sighed out, “I see. I’ll see what I can whip up but it would be better if I had a friendly Seraphimus willing to be our test tracker.”

Perking up, Optimus supplied, “I will ask Decimus if he will be willing to assist. Just let me know when you’ve made any progress.”

Chuckling softly, Professor Sumdac replied, “Of course. Also please let Sari know I expect her back home before sunset.”

Nodding as his gaze drift to the tiny techno-organic, Optimus smiled as he watched Sari and Bumblebee play under the oddly gentle gaze of Blitzwing before supplying, “I will try but I’m not sure if I can promise anything.”

Sari darted over to the triple changer and asked, “Want to join us Blitzwing?”

The big Con shook his head and stated, “It’z more fun just watching.”

It was oddly normal, and even a little peaceful.

Trying to approach Bulkhead again, Lugnut started, “You are looking lush…..”

CLANG!

Everybot turned to look and saw Lugnut once again sporting a new dent.

Groaning as he rubbed the new dent, Lugnut pouted as he slunk off to sulk again…. This wasn’t fair! Blitzwing seemed to be getting somewhere and Lord Megatron would no doubt have no troubles claiming the Prime. Why was Bulkhead fighting against his claim so hard?! What would his glorious Goddess of destruction do?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Prowl resisted for two days but as he laid there during the second night his curiosity clawed at him. Getting up silently, Prowl slipped out one of the smaller unused tunnels.

Sitting on the edge of his cliff meditating, Sophoclidiscus received a call from his Banshee commander Demonette Vile, “Master, I have a breeder in my sights. Shall we capture it for you?”

Sighing, Sophoclidiscus asked, “Is it the tiny gold and black one?”

Vile replied, “Yes, what are our orders my lord and master?”

Rubbing his forehead, Sophoclidiscus answered, “Keep him safe. I desire him untouched and free. You know I enjoy the challenge of seduction.” Why must these ‘servants’ be so dense?! Then again if Vile was any smarter the Demonette would figure out that he was not worthy of his position as Victorus.

Stopping in nearly the exact same spot as before, Prowl spotted those mint green wings and called out softly, “Sophoclidiscus?”

Turning his gaze, Sophoclidiscus chuckled softly and asked, “Out alone again little one?”

Blushing, Prowl answered, “I wanted to know more about your people and Wasp gives me this hateful glare anytime I try to approach Decimus.”

Chuckling as he motioned to the spot next to him, Sophoclidiscus stated, “That does not surprise me. Decimus has always been very honest with his emotions, so it would make logical sense that any harem bot or lover he takes would become possessive of his affections.”

Sitting down next to the Seraphimus, Prowl asked, “But why was the commander from your ship so Pit set on getting Decimus back?”

Sighing, Sophoclidiscus explained, “Commandete Tyrannis wished to claim Decimus for himself. Given Decimus’s wings he was hounded by many.”

Blinking, Prowl asked, “His wings?”

Sophoclidiscus explained, “Our race is dying, little one. No one knows why but our race was once twin gendered like the original humans. However with every generation less and less females emerged. Then in our stupidity, we made it worse as families fought to keep what females they had. Sisters became brides to their brothers. The inbreeding made what females that emerged ever weaker.”

Prowl stared in horror at the tale and then Sophoclidiscus explained, “Then our scouts found Cybertron. At first we tried to steal the humans from you but they were to well guarded by their handlers. Some were frightening enough in their own right, I’ve seen one that brought an entire Banshee Howl to their knees with a single scream.”

Sophoclidiscus sighed, “My people gave up until one of the scouts seduced one of guard mechs at a far flung outpost and discovered purely on accident that our races were compatible and the union favored Seraphimus offspring. It was seen as a blessing from the Star gods.”

Nodding, Prowl asked, “But what does that have to do with Decimus’s wings?”

Smirking, Sophoclidiscus answered, “Everything. The offspring of such unions are far more fertile and they bare even stronger offspring. Also they favor their Cybertronian carrier's bigender nature. The easiest way to identify them is by their wings. Bright colors are common in first generation mixed breeds. Colors fade as more Seraphimus genetics are mixed in.”

It didn't take long for the reason to sink in. Prowl gasped under his intake. Tyrannis only wanted Decimus for what the Seraphimus’s frame could give. Looking up at the sky, Prowl sighed, “That's…. horrible.”

Giving a wistful sigh, Sophoclidiscus stated, “First generation mixed breeds are always hounded until they give in or take a breeder of their own.”

Hoping to change the subject, Prowl asked, “What about the anthropomorphic techno-organics that seem to serve you?”

Leaning back, Sophoclidiscus explained, “The Grostenion. We found their race on a remote planet and our leaders convinced them to serve us. There are the Behemoths, the Brutes, the Blades, and the Banshees.”

Prowl asked, “I can figure out which ones are the Behemoths but what’s the difference between the others?”

Sophoclidiscus’s reply was cut off by a com from Vile, “Master, Victoriam Aristophontes is approaching.”

Growling softly, Sophoclidiscus stated, “Once more our time is cut short little one. Flee while you can. Vitoriam Aristophontes is his brother’s mirror foil in all ways.”

Realizing what that threat meant, Prowl transformed and peeled out at max speed.

Walking up slowly shortly after Prowl left, Vitoriam Aristophontes rumbled out darkly, “Victorus Sophoclidiscus, you’d do well to remember that I have very good hearing. Also that you do not know me.”

Bowing quickly, Sophoclidiscus answered, “My apologies Victoriam. I will remember to hold my tongue.”

Aristophontes chuckled and purred out, “See that you do.”

Once he returned to base, Prowl realized one again he had forgotten to share his designation with the mint winged Seraphimus.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After a few days of being cooped up in the mine, Optimus felt himself starting to go stir crazy. He hadn’t even realized he was pacing in the corridor until Megatron rumbled out, “Everything alright, Prime?”

Leaning casually on the wall, Megatron smirked when Optimus jumped with a cute little yelp.

Blinking up at the war lord, Optimus felt his valve clench at the casually sexiness in Megatron’s pose. One shoulder strut to the wall, a ped crossed over an ankle joint, and those powerful arms crossed.

Smirking at the undivided attention he was getting, Megatron offered, “Would you like to join me on a patrol? Perhaps with me there the Seraphimus will leave you alone.”

Nodding quickly to try to hide his odd reaction to the Decepticon leader, Optimus choked out, “Yes! Please! I’m going crazy.”

Chuckling softly, Megatron led the way out of the mine and took to the air as soon as Optimus was ready to roll out.

Their patrol was oddly peaceful and calming to Optimus. Optimus could sense Megatron’s bulk so high above him and it made him feel safe. They both silent as they wandered the streets of Detroit.

Megatron noticed a small pack of wolf mechs started to creep towards Optimus but they scattered quickly when they caught wind of him above the unaware firetruck. Over coms, Megatron asked, “So where were you Autobots hiding?”

Revving his engine, Optimus answered, “Our base.”

Chuckling, Megatron dipped lower as he rumbled out over the coms, “I would like to see this base that Oracle called a better location. We are on the same side now little Prime.”

Sighing, Optimus answered, “I know. Just this is taking some getting used to.”

Megatron soothed, “We both want what is best for our mechs. Trust is a two way street is it not?”

Blushing, Optimus sighed out, “True…. alright follow me.” He led the way to the warehouse and felt a shiver dance through his frame as he transformed at the door. Then Megatron landed in bipedal form next to him causing his spark to thud heavily in his chassis.

Looking over the building intensely, Megatron followed just one step behind Optimus as the Prime led the way inside.

Optimus was showing Megatron through the warehouse base when he felt the urge to ask, “Do you think we will all fit in here?” He watched as Megatron considered the building and then Megatron gave a hum.

Looking at that worried pout on Optimus’s faceplates, Megatron stated, “If we all double up, we should be able to fit, otherwise we’ll have start reinforcing the lower floor to support our weights on the upper floors. We might want to do so anyways so we can have a proper place to land up top.”

Then Optimus asked, “But wouldn’t that paint a big target on the building? A landing pad for Cybertronians would be a bit out of place in Detroit.”

Giving a frustrated rumble of his engines, Megatron realized it wasn’t Optimus telling him no that was irking him but the fact that given their enemy had optics in the sky Optimus was right. It would paint a target on the Autobot base. He stated, “You’re right. I am… not used to fighting an enemy who has just as many optics in the sky as we do.”

Patting Megatron’s elbow absentmindedly, Optimus stated, “That’s why we’re working together. United we can stand against the Seraphimus, when divided they would pick us apart with almost comical ease.”

While Optimus may not have noticed what he had done, Megatron was hyper aware of the casual touch. Such actions were uncommon among Decepticons, often such casualness was reserved for lovers and sparkmates or consorts. While he knew Autobots were far more casual about touch Megatron couldn’t stop himself from warming up to the idea of being around the Prime and feeling those servos on his plates.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It had been two weeks since the Autobots had moved in with the Decepticons at the mine and Sari had finally twisted her dad’s arm metaphorically speaking hard enough to be allowed to stay with them.

With her bag tossed over her shoulder, Sari darted off through town. She nearly made it across town when she heard a heart stopping scream of pain.

Clutching the leaking joint where his arm had been attached, Wreck-gar screamed, “HELP ME!”

Gasping in horror, Sari’s eyes became like dinner plates as she looked on at the pack of wolf mechs toying with Wreck-gar. They had already smashed the trash mech’s knees and four were holding him down while three more circled.

One hissed out when it spotted Sari, “What’z it?! What’z it?” Another of the pack rumbled out, “Smeelz good. Better than thiz one.”

Without even a second thought, the pack ripped Wreck-gar limb from limb and one crushed the poor mech’s spark chamber.

Even with her key, Sari knew there was no bringing the confuzed trash-bot back from that. Realizing the pack was now after her, Sari spun and ran for it. She screamed as she darted around objects to stay out of the pack’s servos.

Worried about Sari, Bumblebee left the base to look for his friend but he was unaware of Blitzwing choosing to follow after him. Running in helm first to save Sari, Bumblebee tried to use his stingers but when he aimed for one mech another one of the pack circled around behind him.

The wolves as one growled out, “Tazty! Tazty! Breedz it! Breedz it!”

Blitzwing landed heavily on the pack leader and Hothead spun forward to roar out, “Jou will not touch mine Autobug!” With some well placed fiery rounds the triple changer sent the pack running before turning his attention to Bumblebee.

Rushing from her hiding place, Sari hugged Blitzwing’s shin as she babbled, “I thought they were going to do what they did to Wreck-gar to Bumblebee!” Tears rolled down her face as she sobbed out, “They tore him apart! They crushed his spark!”

Bumblebee was coming to slowly and wondered why Blitzwing was kneeling at his side. However he remembered getting his skid plates kicked.

Icy spun forward and he gently lifted the tiny techno-organic in his servo. Rumbling his engines softly as he brought the distraught ‘mechling’ to his chassis, Blitzwing soothed, “Nien, I vill protect jou and Bumblebee. They can not touch jou when I can hear jour cries.”

Melting on the inside in a strange new way, Bumblebee wondered what was this stupid mushy and warm feeling that seeing the big Con treating Sari with such gentleness was causing. Groaning as he sat up, Bumblebee muttered, “Nuts and bolts. That hurt.”

Scooping up the yellow mech in the arm not holding Sari, Blitzwing stated, “Lats get ju back to base.”

Leaning into the war build’s shoulder, Bumblebee muttered, “I don’t look forward to the lecture Ratchet and Optimus will no doubt have in store for me.”

As he carried Bumblebee back to the mine, Icy snapped, “Zey can vait until I am done with jou! Vhat vere jou zinking?! Leaving ze mine alone?!”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

During those two weeks, Frostblitz had been left in a cell. Even after the winged male had mentioned looking forward to blessing him. He shuddered in his cell and whimpered whenever those freaky animalistic mechs came by to purr or pant at him.

Then suddenly a delicate pure white femme techno-organic huffed at the mechs, “Be gone little blades, he is not for the likes of you.” Her smile a dark twist of thin lips and she purred out at him, “You’ve remained untouched little breeder because the Victorium fight over you. Victorium Maximus may have caught you but my Master desires you enough to challenge him. The duel is set to happen soon. I suggest you pick my master.”

An hour passed once the femme left before another Cybertronian appeared. The civilian build was an arctic truck done up in beautiful silver and crimson.

The next thing Frostblitz noticed was the heavy roundness of the other cybertronian’s abdominal plates. Frostblitz asked, “Are you okay? Why do you look so…?”

Lowering the bars, Lunarshine soothed, “My designation is Lunarshine, as for why I’m so round. My sparkling is close to emerging. When you carry a sparkling to term you get a little out of shape.”

Blinking, Frostblitz tilted his helm and asked, “Sparklings can come from inside a mech? I thought they only came from the Well of Sparks?”

Laughing as he offered a servo, Lunarshine soothed, “Come along innocent little mechling. There is a duel over you and it would be in poor taste if you do not know the strength of your suitors.”

Taking the offered servo, Frostblitz noticed that the strange mechs suddenly were keeping to the shadows. As if they were afraid of this carrying mech.

When Lunarshine led the young mech into the arena he suggested softly, “Favor the male with blue wings. You’ll make it out of all this with only minor dents that way.”

Nodding weakly, Frostblitz shuddered at the gaze from the two combatants. Then they walked over to him and the friendly mech was gone from his side. Panicking, Frostblitz darted to the blue winged one and clung to him. Even if it was only the lesser of two evils, Frostblitz wanted to be safe or at least safer.

His free arm came up and held the mech on reflex, Aristophontes felt the twisting in his spark of guilt. This young mech had rushed to him for protection without a hesitation. Just like his younger brothers both had at one point….

Maximus snarled, “I caught it! I should be allowed my given right to have it!”

Smirking at his fellow Victorium, Aristophontes challenged, “Oh? Why? When the young mech runs so eagerly into my arms, why should I let go of my challenge for him?”

Snarling, Maximus drew his sword and spat, “Let’s get this over with than, half-breed.”

Gently stroking the mech’s back, Aristophontes purred out, “Go join Lunar, I will finish this soon.” He watched the young mech move off and lifted his massive hammer from its place casually over his shoulder. He once again tested its comforting weight in his hand as he watched his opponent carefully.

Fearfully watching as the two techno-organics circled, Frostblitz wondered how the one with the hammer could win. Sure it was bigger than the Magnus hammer and if it hit it would do damage but a sword was a faster weapon right?

Shaking his helm, Lunarshine soothed, “Don’t worry, Aristophontes will win. Maximus made the worst mistake possible by opening his intake.”

Jumping at the first explosion of powerful swings, Frostblitz gasped at the shear speed Aristophontes was able to move at.

Growling as he was put on the defensive, Maximus tried to get his footing only for the next blow to not only glance off his forearm but smash into the joint of his wing. Roaring out in pain, Maximus was sent tumbling from the ring with not only a broken wing but forearm to match. He had forgotten how abnormally strong the half-breed was.

Holding up a hand to silence the cheers, Commandate Tyrannis growled out, “This matter is settled, Aristophontes take your newest harem mech and enjoy them thoroughly. I pray the Divine blesses you once more. Oh and Maximus, get your injuries tended to and mind your tongue from now on.”

Bowing deeply, Aristophontes scooped up his prize with one arm and Lunarshine moved to walk demurely at his side. Aristophontes knew what that well wish meant, Tyrannis was getting suspicious of the lack of offspring from his harem.

Frostblitz whispered, “Thank you…. even if you did it for your own gain….”

Sighing, Aristophontes answered, “Do not thank me just yet. I may have saved you from Maximus but not from the breeder role.”

Blinking up at Aristophontes, Frostblitz asked, “What do you mean?”

As he walked into his quarters, Aristophontes called out, “I have returned, my pets.”

Three of the four mechs lounging around on the soft features of the room answered as one, “Welcome home, Master.” The lean tank in black and silver rose to walk to Aristophontes’s side. The other three were a sleek jet, a shuttle, and the last a sexy sports car.

Moving to Lunarshine’s side, the tank asked once the door was solidly shut, “Are you doing alright, Lunar?”

Rubbing his backstruts, Lunarshine answered, “I’m too close to emergance for these antics, Ironstrike…. Standing there for the duel was agony.”

Setting Frostblitz down, Aristophontes sighed as he set down his hammer and stated, “Tyrannis has expressed his suspicions at only one of you carrying.”

Ironstrike sighed and answered, “You know why that is, brother. I would carry but you stand by Carrier’s wishes. Not that I wish otherwise, but your rank may be in jeopardy…”

Turning to Frostblitz, Aristophontes asked, “Do you understand what I meant now?”

Blushing, Frostblitz asked, “You meant you have to breed me to protect everybot here….”

The sexy sports car asked, “Why not one of us? Even if Ironstrike is out, why not one of the rest of us? Starfall, Meteorhammer, or myself could.”

Aristophontes sighed and answered, “Because Tyrannis is focused on Frostblitz. He is testing me to see if I try to shelter the young mech. I don't wish to see his reaction if I step out of the line he has set. I did not do all I have done to keep you all safe to watch it unravel in my hands, Fireblight.”

Gulping, Frostblitz stepped forward and answered, “I’ll do it…. I know you don’t need my permission but you’ve got it.”

Looking deeply in the young mech’s pale blue optics, Aristophontes gently stroked Frostblitz’s cheek and promised softly, “I will find a way to get you back to your own kind but know this if you carry my child to term before I see this promise through, I will fight to have the child remain with you and send them with you. No matter the race it emerges as.”

Starfall rose from the chaise and stated, “Come with me, Frostblitz. You look like you could use a proper bath before you welcome our master.”

Ironstrike purred out, “Come Brother, you need a bath yourself.”

Frostblitz’s optics went wide at the extravagance of the bath. The bathing pool, full of warmed solvent. He wobbled a little as Starfall helped him into the pool. Clinging to the taller flyer, Frostblitz whimpered, “Why is it so big?”

Chuckling softly, Starfall soothed, “Just extend your legs, you’ll find the bottom. Besides you expect less for the Commendate’s favored Victorium?”

Extending his legs, Frostblitz relaxed when he found the solvent only came up to his chest. Flinching when the taller mech brought some up to wet his helm, Frostblitz shivered as a washcloth stroked over his back to help wash off the grime of the cell.

Meteorhammer rumbled his engine softly when Frostblitz looked back at him. He had lost his ability to speak a long time ago, during his own nightmarish tour of duty in the breeding stocks.

Starfall explained, “Meteorhammer is mute, but he intends that to mean you are safe with us. Nothing bad will happen.”

Nodding in acceptance, Frostblitz felt his optics drawn to Aristophontes and the soft planes of the techno-organic’s frame.

Smiling at his brother's fussing, Aristophontes soothed, “Leave my wings be, little imp. Help me wash the rest of my frame if you insist on assisting.”

Ironstrike huffed, “You're lucky I love you.” Helping his brother wash, Ironstrike asked softly, “Any word on Decimus?”

Giving an agitated ruffle of his wings, Aristophontes answered, “So far, there has been nothing and while that is a good sign. It also worries me.”

Tilting his helm, Frostblitz bit his lower lip plate before asking, “Did he…? Did he take a mech named Wasp with him when he left?” Blushing brightly when the two turned towards him, Frostblitz tried to hide behind Meteorhammer.

Then Aristophontes answered, “Yes he did.”

Giving a soft rumble, Meteorhammer gently nudged Frostblitz out into the open. He knew Aristophontes could be more than a little scary at times but the male Seraphimus was a good mech under the mask.

Gulping, Frostblitz answered, “Ummm. I only took a really quick peek at the report.I’m not supposed to look at em but I did. The Magnus met a Seraphimus and the male had evidence of Wasp’s innocence… enough to clear Wasp of the charges of being a Decepticon spy.”

Giving a rustle of his wings, Aristophontes thought over that information for a moment before a smile crossed his face. He rumbled out, “It is good to know he has found someone to care for. I had worried he would never find a match and Tyrannis would wear down his resistance.”

Ironstrike smiled brightly and sighed out, “At least he is alive and free.”

Nodding, Aristophontes stated, “Yes. That will be all. Tend to Lunarshine, he is ready to go into labor at any moment I feel. Have Fireblight ready to find Blaze. I will attend to Frostblitz now. Leave us.”

Starfall soothed, “He gets like that when he has to do something he doesn’t want to do.”

Aristophontes growled softly, “Starfall.”

Yelping softly, Starfall scrambled out as Meteorhammer chuckled and the two left quickly.

Frowning, Ironstrike sighed, “Play nice big brother. No need to scare off the new favorite as it were.”

Shaking his head, Aristophontes waited for his brother to leave and shut the door before going towards the pool. Offering up a hand, Aristophontes teased softly, “Come now, I am not that scary now am I?”

Blinking, Frostblitz finally realized he was shaking when he reached out to take the offered hand. Shaking his helm, Frostblitz answered, “It’s not that…. I…. ummm…. seal?”

Chuckling softly, Aristophontes asked, “Are you trying to inform me that you are still sealed at your age?”

Blushing, Frostblitz answered, “Regulations for application to the Elite Guard Training requires….”

Shaking his head as he gently coaxed the young mech from the bath, Aristophontes soothed, “Do not worry, I‘ve got you, little treasure. There is nothing to fear here.”

Processor blanking for the moment, Frostblitz moaned as those warm hands coaxed him over to a drying lounge. As Aristophontes explored his frame, Frostblitz blushed brightly. He had never done this before and even if his unit mates had offered he had always wanted to wait for the right mech…..

Noticing the fluid gathering in the young mech’s optics, Aristophontes soothed, “Little treasure, please forgive this trespass I make to protect you.” He gently stroked the heated plates between Frostblitz’s thighs and let his own spike extend.

Allowing the plates open, Frostblitz tried to explain, “I wanted… to…”

Smiling softly and a bit sadly, Aristophontes answered, “I understand, my sweet treasure. I wish I could spare you this torment.” Slowly stroking the sensor arrays that would bring pleasure, Aristophontes promised silently to make up for having to steal the seal Frostblitz had wished to save.

Gasping, Frostblitz tried to stop it but his hips bucked up into the touch and it felt good. Shaking his helm, Frostblitz firmly reminded himself that he agreed to this and to stop weeping.

Kissing the mech softly, Aristophontes purred out softly, “Be still young spark, you are cherished. For a moment, for time unending.”

The words wove an odd sense of comfort around Frostblitz’s spark. Then the techno-organic’s hand traced down to his spike. Arching up into the warmth of that hand, Frostblitz gasped.

Sliding down, Aristophontes pressed his fingertip past the soft valve ring as he lowered his head. Flicking his tongue to taste, Aristophontes flattened his tongue over the juncture between Frostblitz's valve rim and spike.

Arching, Frostblitz whimpered as sparks of pleasure zinged through his circuits. Every stroke against his node caused his legs to twitch and his frame relaxed in pleasure.

Once he felt those legs go limp against his shoulders, Aristophontes purred and licked Frostblitz's spike from base to tip.

Crying out, Frostblitz shuddered and quaked as his systems sparked from near overload.

Surging up, Aristophontes covered Frostblitz's frame with his own. Removing his hand, Aristophontes pressed his spike into Frostblitz before the young mech could realize what was coming.

Gasping as his seal gave, Frostblitz clamped his armor tight against his protoform as his limbs curled around his partner's frame.

Stroking Frostblitz's helm softly, Aristophontes purred out, “Easy, little treasure. Slow intakes. The pain will fade.” As his treasure relaxed, Aristophontes slowly pressed deeper.

The stretch almost burned but it did strange things to his circuits. Frostblitz shifted as something deep in his code awakened under Aristophontes’s touch.

Feeling the calipers fluttering around him, Aristophontes waited for it and soon enough Frostblitz started to tentatively move against him. Smiling, Aristophontes leaned down to kiss his little lover as he drew back slowly.

Slow withdrawal paired with a smooth deep thrust back in.

Whimpering, Frostblitz felt his frame move in time with Aristophontes. Then the soft encouragement started to fall from the techno-organic's intake. Frostblitz felt like he was floating in an ocean of pleasure. Buoyed by Aristophontes's affection and the safety woven in the sheltering mantle of wings the color of the night sky.

The pleasure echoed between them as they followed a dance as old as time.

Then Frostblitz arched as overload swept over his frame. He screamed out some sort of shortened version of Aristophontes's designation.

Feeling those calipers clamp down on his spike, Aristophontes growled as he pressed his spike deeper and felt himself lock in as his own overload swept through him. His nanites poured deep into Frostblitz's inner forge and unbeknownst to them a tiny spark started to form.

Clinging to Aristophontes, Frostblitz rebooted his optics but found he lacked the energy to move.

Mantling his wings around them as his frame shuddered from the aftershocks, Aristophontes gently nuzzled the young mech’s jaw line. Just soaking in the moment.

Panting as his frame shuddered from the fading pleasure of his overload, Frostblitz felt safe hidden beneath the midnight blue wings that hid him from the universe. The gentleness the Seraphimus had showed tugged at Frostblitz’s spark. Frostblitz wanted this to be real. He knew better than to grow attached but his spark thrummed with soft affection nonetheless.

Aristophontes pressed gentle kisses across the brow of Frostblitz’s helm. Never before had he felt such a connection with any partner he had bedded. This one he would keep for himself as long as he could.

Frostblitz shifted only for Aristophontes to soothe, “Give our systems a moment, little treasure. We are locked together.”

Once he could withdraw, Aristophontes gently closed Frostblitz's modesty plates as the young mech slipped off into recharge. He carried his treasure to his own berth and cuddled close. For once Aristophanes planned to enjoy the freedom of holding a breeder like a lover. Even if he know this could never be truly his, Aristophontes could picture a future of peace with a young lover. With Frostblitz.

A future that could never be, so long as beings like Tyrannis were in command.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Elsewhere even Sari wasn’t exempted from the dressing down.

Random let the other two of his brother personalities unload all the worry they jointly felt.

The others could hear the ranting long before the triple-former was inside the mine. Looking up from his work, Professor Sumdac asked, “Sari?! Why didn't you just tell me you wanted to visit today? Optimus and Megatron could have brought you with me.”

Crossing her arms, Sari stated, “You’ve been here overnight, Dad. I thought you were in the lab when you grumbled about being busy.”

Professor Sumdac sighed and stated, “I have? Oh dear….. Well, we are ready for another test run Optimus if Decimus is willing to assist.”

Wasp perked up and darted off to find his mech friend.

Looking up for the design plans when he heard Wasp’s dainty pedsteps, Decimus asked softly, “The Professor believes his prototype is up for testing, sweet treasure?” Then Wasp tripped and Decimus caught the young mech with ease as he teased, “You must watch where your peds are going my sweet Wasp, I will not always be there to catch you.”

Smiling as he looped his arms around Decimus’s middle, Wasp teased back, “Wasp likes having excuse to cling to Decimus.”

Scrapper asked, “So you mechs together-together?”

Decimus was about to say no but Wasp chirpped up, “Wasp with Decimus!”

Then Wasp looked up and stated, “Yes Professor wants to run Decimus test.”

Chapter Text

After several hours of playing effectively hide and seek, Optimus grinned when Decimus stated, “Unless I am on top of you I can not sense your signature. I would say Professor Sumdac’s energy dampeners are as perfect as they are going to get.”

Inside, Bumblebee squirmed impatiently for his perch on the war table. As soon as Optimus walked in, he pleaded, “Tell me it works!?! Please! Can we go back to civilization already?! I’m going insane out here with no tv!”

Chuckling softly, Icy leaned against the war table as the others started to come into the main room of the base.

Decimus smiled and welcomed Wasp into his embrace as he explained, “We tested it extensively and it is holding up fine. I still strongly suggest taking backup whenever you leave the base but we don’t have to hide as much any more.”

Jumping to his peds, Bumblebee cheered, “Civilization here we come! Time to get out of all this dirt and nature!”

Icy chuckled and shook his helm before Random spun forward to swoop Bumblebee into a hug. Nuzzling the smaller mech’s neck, Random purred out, “Oh! We can goes to the drive-in togezher then, Hummel-chan!”

Chuckling at the triplechanger’s enthusiasm, Ratchet stated, “Alright, youngster put him down so I can start installing these dampeners.” As soon as Bumblebee was set on the medical berth, Ratchet got to work.

Professor Sumdac offered, “I can install your dampener if you wish, Blitzwing?”

Nodding quickly, Random laid down and let the professor get to work.

Optimus watched as the two tag teamed the work quickly but he resisted the urge to laugh when Megatron of all mechs reluctantly insisted on Ratchet installing his dampener. He understood that the big Warlord had had more than a lifetime’s worth of being helpless under Professor Sumdac’s hands but it was still kind of amusing to see the big mech baulk at something.

With the last of the dampeners installed and verified to be in working order the entire group returned to the city. The Decepticons hovered protectively. They had all fully come to terms with the value of the Autobots.

Arachnid lingered near Optimus and Megatron. She felt some worry for her once friend but at the same time she felt so betrayed and angry.

As they rolled up, Jazz stated, “Da twins and Aye are going to do a circuit patrol real quick to make sure we weren’t followed.”

Nodding, Optimus stated, “Good idea Jazz.”

The twins followed their surrogate Sire on patrol happy to stretch their wings again.

Once the rest of them were inside the base, Optimus sighed in relief until he heard a familiar voice snarl, “Where in the Allspark have you been?! Ultra Magnus and I have been trying to reach you for two weeks! Even a useless wash out like you should know to respond to higher ranking bots!”

Shifting to defend his Autobot, Megatron rumbled his engine in a clear threat.

Eying the big Decepticon, Sentinel shouted, “I WILL SEE YOU COURTMARSHALED FOR THIS OPTIMUS! CONSORTING WITH THE ENEMY?! I DIDN’T THINK YOU COULD SINK ANY LOWER!”

Trying to cut in, Bumblebee stated, “Sentinel, Sir? The only reason any of us are free is because of the Decepticons saving our skid plates from the Seraphimus. So no offense and with all due respect, shut up Sir.”

Backhanding the yellow mech, Sentinel puffed up and spat, “No true Autobot would have needed help from the enemy!”

Pulling into the base, Jazz spotted the way Sentinel was puffing up as Blitzwing surged forward to defensively cover Bumblebee’s frame and Megatron drew Optimus back into a protective embrace. He could also see his ex-commanding officer was blind to the danger the huge chinned mech was barreling forward into.

Oblivious to the danger, Sentinel continued, “You should all be thrown into the Stockades!”

Sighing, Jazz reported in, “No sign of the Serphs, O P.”

Sentinel grinned and ordered, “Jazz! Take these low lifes into custody!”

Shaking his helm, Jazz answered, “No can do, S P. Transfer paperwork has already gone through. The twins and Aye don’t answer to ya anymore.”

Seeing the way Sentinel was turning purple with anger, Optimus was about to cave until he felt Megatron’s engine rumble protectively and he stated, “I will report in to Ultra Magnus once this joint force has been settled and we have communications back up and running. However, if you push our allies I will not hold them responsible for their answering reactions. Choose your next words carefully, old friend.”

Feeling Optimus stand a little straighter, Megatron eased back a little and allowed the Prime to escape his grasp. He stated firmly, “We have come to a tentative peace to face the Seraphimus. However, you are pushing my tolerance. I suggest you return to your Magnus.”

Once Sentinel stormed out, Optimus turned to the rest of their ragtag group and stated, “We’ll need to double up until we can reinforce some of the other rooms. You are welcome to be my roommate Megatron. If for nothing else than to show my faith in our alliance.”

Feeling a delightful shudder dance along his spinal struts, Megatron grinned and answered, “For our alliance then, I accept.”

Spotting how Lugnut was gazing at him again, Bulkhead stated, “I’ll bunk up with Bumblebee, Optimus.”

Icy patted Lugnut’s arm as he offered, “Jou can bunk with me, Lugnut.”

Then Random spun forward and teased, “For ol times zake! Ja?!”

Despair took root in his spark as Lugnut sighed out, “Very well, Blitzwing.”

Turning to Prowl, Jazz joked, “We ninja bots should stick together, right m’mech?”

Mixmaster sighed, “Scapper and I will take a room together. If you all don’t mind we’re going to get started on reinforcing the walls and supports. Sooner done the sooner we all can get out of each other's circuitry.”

Nodding, Optimus stated, “Good idea, Mixmaster.”

Then Starscream spoke up, “I’ll take the room with Blackarachnia. If that is agreeable?” Seeing Blackarachnia opening her intake to complain, Starscream coldly stated, “It’s me or the medic, your pick Arachnia.”

Sighing, Blackarachnia hissed out, “Fine.”

Giving his once close friend a soft look, Optimus was about to say something when Ratchet cut in, “Blackarachnia can have my room, I can squeeze into the medbay.”

Looking at the old mech, Blackarachnia whispered as the medic moved past her, “Thank you.”

Realizing there wouldn’t be any space for the Heralds, Sari spoke up, “The building next door is for sale! It’s big enough to hide the Herald’s ship.”

Professor Sumdac smiled and stated, “Very well Sari. I’ll see what can be done about acquiring it.”

Noticing the time, Megatron offered, “I will ask the Heralds in the morning what they think however it is late. We all have much to do before we can fall into recharge for the evening.”

There was a lot of grumbles as furniture was moved and spaces were carved out for every bot. At one point Hothead and Lugnut got into a shouting match which had Megatron covering his faceplates with a groan.

Optimus managed to ignore most of it all as he quickly made plenty of room for the Decepticon Warlord in what had been just his bunk. Thankfully the Prime didn’t have much in the way of junk items unlike Bulkhead and Bumblebee.

Megatron was actually a little taken aback by the lack of personal items in the Prime’s possession and asked softly, “Were your things destroyed or confiscated? I have always been told Autobots kept more personal effects than this….”

Blinking, Optimus answered, “I never really collected things like the others did…. I was just a dockworker before I got accepted into the Elite Guard Academy.”

Tilting his helm, Megatron asked, “An academy mech? Here? On a nearly abandoned repair crew?”

Blushing, Optimus answered, “I made a mistake and Blackacracnia paid for it. Being kicked out was the least I deserved.”

Stepping towards the Prime, Megatron rumbled out, “You don’t truly believe that do you, Prime. I can hear it in your voice. You’re claiming blame that shouldn’t rest on your shoulder struts…..” When the Prime gave him a stubborn look, Megatron chuckled and stated, “Your optics also tell me that you weren’t the one to blame.”

Suddenly unable to hold the warlord’s gaze any longer, Optimus muttered, “Just get  some recharge and leave me alone.” He laid down and pointedly turned his back struts to his new roommate.

The action was quite telling to the older mech. Megatron smiled at his Autobot as he laid down to recharge.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During the night, the jettwins launch out recharge both clutching at their chassis.

Looking to his twin, Jetfire whimpered, “Be thinking, nesting in common area no be good thinking.”

Nodding, Jetstorm whimpered back, “May haps Jazz Sir being willing to let us bunk with ninja bots?”

They crept quietly to the door they knew was the ninjabot room but Jetfire froze before he could find the courage to knock on the door. He was afraid the other one, Prowl, would tell them no and they’d be left to their night terrors. The fluxes of being crushed under a building and pain lots of pain…..

Prowl sensed the twins and went to the door with a soft chuckle. He opened the door and asked, “Yes?”

Gulping, Jetstorm asked, “Mayhap, be staying with you? Prowl Sir? Can not being recharge alone…..”

Hearing the twins, Jazz got up and explained, “They have some nasty recharge fluxes m’mech. Ya mind if they crash with me?”

Shaking his helm, Prowl answered, “There is plenty of room and perhaps being able to see the sky might help them recharge better.”

The jettwins were shocked at how easy that was. Sentinel would have berated them for needing Jazz like this.

Prowl laid back down and slipped into recharge with ease. He knew with the twins in the room escaping to see if the Seraphimus was at the usual spot was now completely out of the question.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When morning arrived, Megatron forced himself from the warm comfort of his new berth. Even slap patched together it was far more comfortable than the slab he called his berth back at the mine. He left the room to find the Autobots were all awake and refueling together peacefully.

Blitzwing wobbled in and Icy sighed, “Bezt recharge I had in agez.”

Lugnut tried to approach Bulkhead but backed down at the glare the green Autobot was giving him. He truly would fail Strika at this rate…..

Handing Blitzwing a serving of oil, Bumblebee teased, “Well that’s what happens when you have the right kind of berth pad in place. You sleep like a baby.”

Random spun forward and joked, “Oh! Babyz sleep like dat?! Good to know.”

Shaking his helm, Optimus handed Megatron a morning ration and asked, “When were you planning on heading out to talk to the Heralds?”

Smiling as he accepted the ration, Megatron knew the Prime still had yet to figure out what these little acts of comradery was causing but at the same time Megatron had no desire to give them up. The other Decepticons knew his claim on the Prime just like they respected Blitzwing’s claim on the yellow motor intake. Megatron answered, “As soon as I’m done with this. However, I was going to go alone so I could move faster.”

Blushing as he realized he had hoped to go along, Optimus nodded and stated, “Sound logic.” He tried to hide his disappointment as his…. roommate? Co-Commander? ….. finished of his breakfast and left the base.

The flight to the ship was a peaceful one, and Megatron made good time. He landed with ease and let himself in. As he searched for the crew of the ship, Megatron heard the sound of two voices. However, Megatron blinked as he looked towards the sound of Eclipse’s voice in the hallway. It sounded off. Like the human was bigger…..

Then Eclipse walked around the corner with Hammerpoint’s arm looped around his waist as the two youngsters talked softly. He looked up and smiled as he greeted, “Oh good morning, Lord Megatron.”

Hammerpoint’s engine rumbled contently as his lover leaned into his side and he explained, “Eclipse and I decided that he shouldn’t hide what he is with supplements even more so with the bitling growing larger than his micronized frame can handle safely.”

Nodding, Megatron mentally kicked himself as he remembered Bumblebee babbling on and on about the heralds were actually supposed to be their size. Also the youngsters had mentioned that they were expecting before and it had completely slipped his processor. Covering up his reaction with a sage like nod, Megatron asked, “Do you plan to internally forge the bitling’s protoform or extract the spark?”

Eclipse explained, “We techno-organics don’t get the choice. Due to our organic half we have to carry the bitling to term and stuffing a shuttle’s bitling inside a micronized human womb is just asking for troubles. However, the trade off is that our bitlings develop faster even if they are born purely Cybertronian.”

Smirking, Megatron stated, “I see. Congratulations on the bitling you two.” It felt strange to be invited into something as private as knowing about a bitling, but it was a good kind of strange.

Then Eclipse asked, “Would you like to feel? The little rascal is being active today.”

Hammerpoint tilted his helm towards Eclipse when Megatron glanced his way. He got to hog Eclipse and the bitling usually so he didn’t mind sharing the feelings with others when Eclipse felt safe enough to offer.

Reaching out carefully, Megatron let his digits touch Eclipse’s middle. The first thing he noticed was just how warm the techno-organic was and then he noticed the fluttering movements against his palm. It struck a chord inside him and Megatron couldn’t help but feel a surge of protectiveness. Innocents like this bitling were why he had stepped up to fight the Autobots who oppressed his people all those years ago.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

Of course the Heralds agreed to moving closer to the joint factioned base. It was just logical to gather their strength in one place instead of being spread out. 

The purchase of the building and the hollowing it out took nearly a week. However, both Autobots and Decepticons welcomed the introduction of the organic energon to supplement their diets.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During the past three weeks, Prowl felt so suffocated with three roommates. He made an excuse to meditate in the mainroom until everybot else had drifted away.  Taking the opening, Prowl slipped away into the night.

Sophoclidiscus heard the soft ped steps during his nightly meditations and called out softly, “It has been quite a few solar cycles, little songbird. I had worried you had been discovered and imprisoned for seeking the company of a seraphimus.”

Shaking his helm as he moved to sit near the mint winged seraphimus, Prowl answered, “Optimus wouldn’t do that…. Decimus is a welcomed ally and we have nothing against your race in general just what some of you have done.”

Laughing softly, Sophoclidiscus stated, “It is hard for honor to grow and bloom in a garden of strange vines and weeds.”

Smiling at that, Prowl stated, “Also, I’m Prowl. Since I kept forgetting to introduce myself.”

Shaking his head, Sophoclidiscus soothed, “I have distracted you, there is no need to worry sweet Prowl.”

Arching an optic’s ridge at the endearment, Prowl asked, “Do you by any chance know where they are keeping Frostblitz? The young mech was bot-napped by one of your kind with pure white wings.”

Sophoclidiscus explained, “Yes, there was a duel over him….” His head swung up and he snapped a wing around the tiny Cybertronian until he saw who was landing. Releasing Prowl, Sophoclidiscus sighed out, “You nearly gave me a spark attack, brother.”

Gasping as the wing was withdrawn, Prowl looked up at another mint winged seraphimus. The connection was obvious between them. He also realized that he had been pulled nearly flush against Sophoclidiscus…..

Bowing to the pretty gold and black Cybertronian, Toxilus purred out, “A pleasure, I am Segmato Toxilus. Sadly I must cut your time short with my younger brother for his gift is required. Blazie has done what he can, the bitling still refuses to turn. The Victorium demands your attention.”

Frowning, Sophoclidiscus asked, “The concubine?”

Nodding, Toxilus answered, “They have been laboring for over a full solar cycle….. the Victorium is beside himself with worry. Even going so far as to keep the rest of his harem close by and his newest favorite at his side within arms reach.”

Prowl asked, “What can you do?”

Smiling down at his curious little Prowl, Sophoclidiscus answered, “I have a gift for healing, I may be able to coax the bitling to turn or at least minimize the damage done to the carrier. Lunarshine is a sweet mech and the universe would be poorer without him in it.”

Huffing darkly, Toxilus explained, “Lunarshine has been struggling for nearly a full solar cycle and only now Aristophontes seeks aid for the struggling civilian build.”

Blinking, Prowl asked, “If you are repulsed by this higher ranking officer’s actions, why you stay?”

Blinking, Toxilus answered, “My brother and I have nowhere else to go if we tried to leave. Also we are wasting time that the carrier does not have.”

Sighing once more, Sophoclidiscus stood slowly and gently stroked Prowl’s cheek before turning to join his brother in launching into the sky. They had a carrier’s life hanging in the balance.

After the two were long gone, Prowl stood slowly to head back to base. On the ride his processor whirled and turned over the problem. Perhaps most of the Seraphimus were simply as trapped as the enslaved Cybertronians? Perhaps if they simply had another option they would abandon the evils of their higher ranking officers.

Even when he returned to the warehouse, Prowl couldn’t recharge.

Sensing Prowl’s restlessness, Jazz awoke and went to find his fellow ninja bot and teased, “Keep it down, m’mech, or you’ll wake the jettwins.”

Forcing himself to stop pacing, Prowl grabbed them both some warmed oil and asked, “Jazz, what would you do if an innocent sparkling was in trouble but you can’t do anything to help?”

Looking at his fellow ninja bot, Jazz answered, “I’d probably be doing whatcher doing and pacing a hole in the floor. But we gotta focus on what we can do, you dig mech?” 

Taking a slow drink of his oil, Prowl considered his options before saying, “Jazz, I can’t help the feeling that I should do something. It isn’t right. Others of our kind are being held captive and a carrier was allowed to struggle with a difficult emergence for a full solar cycle before help was sought out. A sparkling and their carrier may not last the night. And here I am sitting on my aft!”

Patting Prowl’s shoulder, Jazz soothed, “Ya can’t do anything but sit on yer aft, Prowlie. It ain’t our fight yet, you dig. When ya can fight it, my mech, I’m right here to help. Now get some recharge before ya fall over.”

Prowl couldn’t fight it anymore and headed to his pallet to get some recharge. Hopefully tomorrow night Sophoclidiscus will be there to meet him and would have good news.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Frostblitz lingered close to Aristophontes as the seraphimus held Lunarshine’s servo through the contractions. While he knew nothing about labor or bringing mechlings into the universe, he did know that the look on Aristophontes’s face was a bad sign. 

Purring softly, Blazie kept trying and whimpered, “I’m not sure what to do any more…. Aristo……”

With his free servo, Aristophontes gently rubbed those worried tiger ears and soothed, “It’s alright Blazie. I know.” 

Seeing the Victorus coming in, Aristophontes withdrew his hand and school his face into the usual haughty mask he wore around the others as he demanded, “What took you so long Victorus?”

Moving to the stool that the little tiger blade vacated, Sophoclidiscus answered, “I came as quickly as I could Victorium. If I may be so bold, perhaps you should have sent for me sooner?” Reaching out with his gift, Sophoclidiscus quickly had the mechling turned properly and stated, “I have finished, do you wish for me to remain in case….”

Glaring, Aristophontes spat out, “Get out! This is a family affair.”

The mint winged Victorus didn’t need another word as he stood and left quickly. He was lucky to escape without a reprimand for his careless words. He had seen the Victorium kill for less….

Soon, Blazie caught the tiny mechling as they finally emerged from their carrier. The tiger mech purred as bright aqua optics blinked at him and handed over the tiny truck mechling to the seraphimus. 

This was the most important moment….. if the seraphimus denied the mechling the little cybertronian would go to the nursery and be just one more of the unclaimed slaves.

Aristophontes smiled at Blazie and soothed, “This one is mine. Be at ease Blazie. Phasestrike will never be separated from their carrier.”

Extending his arms weakly, Lunarshine smiled as his mechling was set in his arms. Drawing the little one close, Lunarshine shifted his plating so the mechling could nurse and teased, “Come closer Frostblitz. I can sense your curiosity.”

Blushing, Frostblitz came over to watch and yelped softly when Aristophontes gathered him into strong arms. This moment was different but Frostblitz liked it. He leaned back into Aristophontes and soaked in the warmth the seraphimus radiated.

As the others of his harem came closer, Aristophontes knew he would be hounded to promise the mechling to another seraphimus as soon as it was discovered that the mechling was cybertronian. Deciding it was time to reach out, Aristophontes knew what he had to do. Unconsciously his arms tightened around Frostblitz, the unconscious desire to keep the young mech surfacing for a spark beat.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Come morning though, Prowl approached Optimus at morning refuel and asked, “Would you be willing to give shelter to a Serphimus if one was willing to switch sides?”

Blinking for a moment, Optimus answered, “If you think the being in question is trustworthy than yes I would, Prowl. Why do you ask?”

Biting his lower lip plate, Prowl stated, “My hypothetical friend may need a rescue and he may not leave without others…”

Giving Prowl a look, Optimus sighed and stated, “I’m not against the idea, Prowl, but we’re going to need more firepower than just the two of us. You may need to ask the Decepticons for help.”

Nodding, Prowl answered, “I will need to speak to my friend first. Tonight if he is at our meeting spot.”

Frowning a little, Optimus cautioned, “Be careful Prowl, we don’t need to be rescuing you as well.”

Bowing a little, Prowl answered, “If Sophoclidiscus was planning on stealing me away, I believe he would have done so already but I promise I’ll be careful.”

Then from the main room came shouting. Bumblebee screeched, “NO FAIR! HOW’D YOU BEAT MY HIGH SCORE?!”

The two mechs stepped out to see Bumblebee and Blitzwing sitting on the sofa together. With the big Decepticon smiling and Icy replied, “It’z quite zimple once jou learn da pattern.”

Giggling from her perch on Blitzwing’s shoulder, Sari kicked her feet before saying, “Why don’t you guys do a tag team game?”

Bumblebee whined, “But I want to beat Blitzbrain’s score!”

Sari needled, “But think how much better of a challenge it would be to make an even higher score to beat?”

The yellow minibot cheered, “Let’s do it! We got to make an even better score to beat later!”

Chuckling softly as he stepped up behind his slack jawed co-commander, Megatron leaned down and whispered, “They are being quite silly and adorable in their own way, wouldn’t you agree Optimus?”

Gulping as the heat of Megatron’s ex-vent played over his audio fin, Optimus shivered before replying back, “I will agree with the first half of that statement but I would have chosen loud for the second half.”

Lugnut’s main optic cycled as he watched the Prime shift to put some space between Megatron and himself. Shaking his helm, Lugnut went back to watching Blitzwing playing the strange war game Bumblebee seemed to love so much. He noticed the way Bumblebee shifted closer to the triple changer over the course of their game. At least his friend was getting somewhere.

Optimus sited reports needing finishing as his excuse to escape those red optics that kept returning to him as they watched the progress the two gamers were making.

The sun was sinking when Prowl moved to slip away to meet with Sophoclidiscus and heard Bumblebee whine, “But you’ve got the best angle to play!” 

Smirking as he watched the yellow minibot crawl into his subordinate’s lap, Megatron smirked in approval. If one Autobot caved to Decepticon affectations that would surely show the others it was safe to seek out cross-faction relationships.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The air of Detroit was oddly pleasant given the season. The internet says Autumn is supposed to be cool, but this night was warm. Prowl made his way through the city being careful to not be spotted.

Sophoclidiscus landed at his favorite meditation spot and closed his eyes to take in the warm clear night. He noted the soft teasing scent of rain on the air. He lost track of how late it was as he let his worries fade away. Then his ears picked up Prowl’s approach and Sophoclidiscus opened his eyes to watch the lean gold and black frame come his way.

Spotting Sophoclidiscus, Prowl raced forward but before he could speak the Seraphimus was yanking him into a defensive hold. His gaze turned and an icy fear filled his lines as another Seraphimus landed with midnight blue wings.

Hiding Prowl as best he could, Sophoclidiscus watched Aristophontes in fear. The higher ranking officer could demand that he turn over his little civilian and he would have no choice but to follow orders.

Arching an eyebrow, Aristophontes stated plainly, “I wish to speak with the breeder, Sophoclidiscus. I wish to know if they wish to rescue their recently stolen companion.”

Peeking his helm out past a mint colored wing, Prowl asked, “Do you mean Frostblitz?”

Nodding slowly, Aristophontes stated, “If you believe you can manage it. I will see to it that the western approach is empty of guards, in four Solar cycles.”

Nodding weakly as he shifted closer to Sophoclidiscus, Prowl didn’t say anything as fear constricted his vocalizer. This seraphimus was one of the monsters but the midnight blue winged monster was going to help?! 

Bowing slightly, Aristophontes took to the sky without another word. The plan was in motion and his little favorite would soon be back with the ones he belonged with. No matter how his spark might long for a different dance on fate's loom.

When he felt Prowl start to pull away from him, Sophoclidiscus asked softly, “Must you escape my clutches once more sweet Prowl? Can we not enjoy the star together at least for a moment? You have four solar cycles to build a plan, can’t we savor a night together?”

For a moment, Prowl considered just leaving but when a mint green wing hooked around him. Shielding him from the world and entrapping him with those pleading eyes, Prowl answered, “I guess one night of meditation under the stars won’t hurt…..”

By morning, Prowl was recharging against Sophoclidiscus’s side and the seraphimus gently shook him out of it. Blinking his optics, Prowl looked up at his companion and was a little shocked to find they were still sitting on the ridge. He asked, “You didn’t…. just run off with me?”

Smiling softly, Sophoclidiscus answered, “My brother actually beat some manners into my thick skull.”

Nodding, Prowl yawned and answered, “I better report back before Optimus sends a search party for me.”

Letting Prowl escape him, Sophoclidiscus stated, “Stay safe. I will see you in four solar cycles.” Just for assurance purposes, Sophoclidiscus pinged Prowl with the ship’s location. No point in making them work too hard for an easy mission…. right?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inspecting the war table Megatron had built, Optimus was sharing a morning cup of energon with Megatron when Prowl dropped down from the skylight. He asked, “So how did it go, Prowl?”

Turning to look at ninja bot, Megatron noticed a mint green feather trapped in the Autobot’s shoulder joint but said nothing as he sipped his stim laced energon.

Prowl answered, “We will have an opening in four solar cycles to enter the ship. I have the location.” He pointed to the location on the map and jumped a little when a holographic marker appeared. Then he explained, “In four solar cycles we will have an opening on the western approach.”

Megatron hummed and noted the landscape of the approach mentioned before saying, “Could be a trap but if it is, they’ve left their flank open…. it’ll be near impossible for Autobots to get inside on that approach but if paired with Decepticon flyers we could manage.”

Starscream offered, “I will….”

Megatron cut him off, “You will remain here, I need some mech who can follow orders and has the firepower required to blast a hole in their ship if this turns into a trap. Lugnut will accompany me.”

As the jettwins raced in with a Cybertronian sized Voltage, Optimus stated, “I’m coming as well, I fit into areas too small for a Decepticon and we can use that to our advantage.”

Prowl stated, “My friend, my mission, I’m coming as well.”

Jetfire stated, "We's being Autobot flyers. We's being the helping as well?"

While Jetstorm looked up to the two command mechs hopefully, he had a feeling Megatron was going to tell them no.

The No came but not from Megatron, who actually seemed to consider it. It came in the form of Voltage growling out, "Don't even think it. They may be in upgraded frames but they are still mechlings."

Looking at the young mechs, Megatron sighed, "Very well, but I will counter that mechlings need to stretch their wings to learn how to fly."

Optimus was slightly surprised at the almost creator like tone Megatron used but wasn't surprised when Voltage answered, "Let them stretch their wings on patrol, not on a rescue mission that can turn sideways at the drop of a hat."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Frostblitz was pacing in the main room of Aristophontes’s chambers and Fireblight soothed, “Everything is going to be fine, Frosty. The master goes out all the time. It’s his job to patrol and search out new additions to the breeding pool. He may not like ...”

Metorhammer gave a sharp rumble of his engine and Fireblight gulped, “Oh right ... walls have audio receptors.”

However as Aristophontes was reaching his door Tyrannis called out his name. Hiding his shock quickly, Aristophontes answered, “Yes, Commandate?”

Smirking, Tyrannis asked, “How is you new favorite settling in?”

Opening the door, Aristophontes answered, “Just fine, Commandate.” Then as the others greeted him, Aristophontes jumped a little as two arms snaked around his middle and Frostblitz was right there to whisper, “Welcome home.”

Chuckling, Tyrannis teased, “Affectionate little thing isn’t he?”

Resisting the urge to glare, Aristophontes instead smirked and countered, “You now know why I was so vicious and willing to fight for him. If you don’t mind I have a mechling as well to tend to. Not to mention the rest of my harem.”

The Commandate nodded and stated, “Divinity bless you with bountiful offspring.”

Once Tyrannis was gone, Aristophontes growled under his breath, “May they not while you still draw breath.” Leading Frostblitz back inside, Aristophontes soothed, “You are safe my treasure.” Once the door was shut behind them, he continued, “In four solar cycles, you will be returned to your people. I will miss you but it is for the best.”

Frostblitz’s engine whined softly as he bit back his protest. In his time with the Seraphimus, Frostblitz had come to enjoy and crave the affection he received from the techno-organic.

Seeing the way the younger mech was clinging to Aristophontes, Lunarshine smiled and suggested, “Why don’t you spend some quiet time with Frostblitz, m’lord? Phase and I will be fine.”

Nodding as he watched the mechling nestle deeper into Lunarshine’s arms, Aristophontes took Frostblitz to his berth and proceeded to slowly memorize every little moan the young mech could make. If he was to give his treasure up in four solar cycles then he was going to enjoy the time he had with Frostblitz.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Four solar cycles passed slowly to Prowl, with the highlights being an incident on patrol that had Blitzwing fussing over a dented but smug as bolts Bumblebee and the two aforementioned mechs bonding over video game marathon. Which turned into a two on two marathon match between the Jet twins and them.

Trying to meditate, Prowl felt on edge as the sun sank lower.

Plopping down next to his fellow ninja bot, Jazz soothed, "Pump the brakes, m'mech. Aye can hear the gears whinin' to roll from here."

Sighing, Prowl answered, “Tonight is the rescue. My circuits are all buzzing. I can’t help but worry that this may be a trap. However, we have no other option to rescue Frostblitz.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Optimus and Megatron were sharpening their weapons. Megatron felt his optics drawn to the tiny Prime. This act of maintaining weapons together may not hold the same value to an Autobot…

To a Civilian build. 

As it did to a War build. 

However when those optics met his, Megatron didn’t care. Somehow, he was sure Optimus was beginning to understand.

Chapter Text

The journey to the location provided wasn’t difficult or a burden in fact it was quite pleasant.

Megatron decided he could grow to enjoy the weight of his little Prime inside his vehicle mode all too easily. Where before he would have scoffed at the mere suggestion that a flyer carry a grounder, the idea now held a small amount of appeal. As long as it was his grounder.

As one the two flyers landed and let the grounders out, Lugnut looked to his lord when nothing jumped out to snap the jaws of a trap shut on them.

Nodding in acceptance, Megatron stated, “Seems our mysterious informant has come through on his word to Prowl. Let us make the most of this opening. Lugnut, stay close to your ninjabot. If anything happens to Prowl it will be your plating I will take it out on.”

Bowing, Lugnut answered, “Of course, oh great Megatron.”

Glaring at the big lug, Megatron stated firmly, “Listen to Prowl and by Unicron’s unholy spike do not use the Punch! Or so help me! I will inform Strika of your failure to follow orders.”

Panicking, Lugnut swore, “No! I will do as you command oh great and powerful Megatron! Please don’t turn my goddess of destruction on me like that!”

Leaning in, Optimus asked, “Is he always like that if Strika is brought up?”

Grinning at his prime, Megatron answered, “Works like a charm every time.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

A single banshee paced before the entrance, she knew her master was displeased with her to leave here on this inglorious guard duty.

Jazz and Prowl shared a look. They split off and each came at the technorganic from opposite sides.

The banshee hit the ground before she could scream. Out cold.

Once everybot was inside they discovered yet another problem. Two possible directions.

Megatron stated, “Jazz, you’re with me and Optimus. Prowl, Lugnut is yours to command.”

Nodding, Prowl lead the way down the right path with Lugnut right behind him. It was oddly comforting to have such brute force behind him this deep in enemy territory. However when Prowl turned the corner to find two Seraphimus the ninja bot motioned for Lugnut to freeze.

Freezing, Lugnut wanted to launch into attack but he didn’t wish to disappoint his lady. Lord Megatron insisted that he follow the ninjabot’s lead.

Watching his fellow, Sophoclidiscus waited for Victorus Cnaeus to step towards Prowl before cold cocking the gold winged Victorus. Then he sighed, “Prowl. You should never have come here.”

Stepping around to show support of the tiny ninjabot, Lugnut demanded in a low voice, “Who are you to tell Lord Megatron’s Ninjabot where he should not go?!”

Holding up a servo, Prowl soothed, “This is my friend, Sophoclidiscus. Please show him the same respect you do me, Lugnut.” The warbuild was clearly not happy about the request but seemed inclined to let it be.

Shaking his head, Sophoclidiscus asked, “Why are you here, Little Prowl?”

Prowl answered, “We’re here for Frostblitz.”

Nodding, Sophoclidiscus sighed, “This way my little ghost. Else you’ll be wondering all rest cycle.”

Prowl followed the Seraphimus.  The thought that it might be a trap flickered through his processor again. However, Sophoclidiscus lead them to the doors to Aristophontes’s chambers before saying, “Take what you came for and leave quickly sweet treasure. I can only protect you so much if you are discovered.”

Lugnut stood guard as Prowl slipped inside and found himself locked in a staring contest with the technorganic.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The harem jumped when the gold and black mech entered.

Shifting to defend his fellow harem members, Metorhammer rumbled his engine darkly as he glared at the intruder. He didn’t know this mech and he didn’t trust him.

Lifting his servos to show his lack of harmful intent, Prowl stated, “I’m here to rescue Frostblitz.”

Lifting his helm from where he laid resting, Lunarshine soothed, “Calm down, Metorhammer. This mech can be trusted. Our master said somemech would be coming at his request.”

Lowering his facemask, Prowl countered, “It wasn’t much of a request. More like a demand.”

Looking down at the mechling recharging in his arms, Frostblitz refused firmly, "I'm  not leaving without Phasestrike and Lunarshine." The peace he had found in caring for this little mechling made Frostblitz want to remain. Even though he knew this kind of a functioning would eventually destroy his spark.

Seeing the way the young mech’s optics filled with a hunger, Prowl answered, “Then we’ll get the other two out as well. Please, Frostblitz, we need to move out.”

Seeing the gaze Frostblitz turned his way, Metorhammer rumbled a soft negative as he leaned down and kissed Frostblitz’s helm. They would be remaining behind.

Washer fluid filled his optics, Frostblitz pleaded, “But you could be free. It wouldn’t be ...”

Shushing the young mech with a gentle brush of lip plates, Metorhammer gently nudged Frostblitz towards the ninjabot. He gave the ninjabot a warning growl of his engine.

Bowing, Prowl swore, “I promise no harm will come to them.”

Moving to hug Frostblitz, Fireblight soothed, “We need to stay here. Somebot has to. Aristophontes will be returning soon. There is only enough time for you three to escape. Go, we’ll catch up one cycle.”

Lunarshine weakly wobbled out of the quarters right into the waiting arms of a huge purple warmech.

Prowl explained as he came out with Frostblitz who was carrying the mechling, “We’re saving more than just Frostblitz, Lugnut. If you could carry the carrier out of the ship.”

Nodding, Lugnut scooped up the sturdy civilian mech and started heading the wrong way which caused Sophoclidiscus to say, “The exit is this way big mech.”

As they headed for the rendezvous point, Prowl sighed out, “I hope the others are able to get out without any trouble.”

Famous last words.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Looking around, Optimus realized he had become separated from Megatron and Jazz with a sinking feeling in his fuel tanks. Then he heard a voice purr out, “Well hello there beautiful.” The words crawled over his plates like sludge. It left him feeling violated as he turned to see a white winged Seraphimus.

Licking his lips at the pretty breeder he had found, Tyrannis asked as he walked forward, “Now tell me sweet thing, what golden cage did you escape from? Which of my officers has hidden such a gem from me?”

When those warm hands captured him, Optimus tried to struggle but the Seraphimus made mech-handling him look easy.  He yelped when those warm hands grabbed his aft and teased at the base of his modesty plating.

Pressing the Cybertronian up against the wall, Tyrannis growled out, “You’ve tasted freedom. Breaking you will be too sweet to rush. I will tear down your walls and strip your processor until you know nothing but pleasurable pain. Resculpt you into the perfect pet and carrier for……” Jerking his head away as a cannon shot whiz past, Tyrannis turned his gaze to the angry warmech and sighed out, “Temper, temper…..”

Glaring, Megatron stated, “The Prime is not yours to have. I suggest you unhand the civilian before I lose my temper.”

Snapping out of his fear induced shock, Optimus pulled out his axe and slammed it into the Seraphimus’s wing.

Burning agony shot through him, Tyrannis roared in rage and pain as he chucked the Prime away from him and at the warmech.

Catching Optimus, Megatron bolted through the ship. Taking turns at seemingly random, Megatron demanded, “Why are you such a danger magnet?!”

Curling deeper into Megatron’s hold, Optimus spat back, “I wasn't trying to get separated from you! I sure as the Pit didn’t want to be…… groped by some crazed Seraphimus!”

Stopping dead in his tracks, Megatron snarled, “He did what?!”

Curling in on himself as Megatron’s ire filled gaze turned his way, Optimus pouted, “I’m not saying it again. Let’s just get out of here!”

Even though he wanted to press, Megatron knew he had to let it go for now. He would make Optimus tell him what the Seraphimus had done ... and he would erase the memory of it from his Prime’s processor.

One way or another.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As the rest of the rescue team finally appeared, Prowl smiled up at Sophoclidiscus and stated, “Thank you, Sophoclidiscus. This rescue could have gone far worse without your help.

Sophoclidiscus leaned down and gently brushed a kiss across Prowl’s intake. He soothed, “My brother still needs me here. Go sweet Prowl. We will meet again.”

Nodding in shock, Prowl turned and raced to catch up with the others. The sensation of those lip plates on his own still tingled through his sensor arrays and his spark gave a confused but happy clench at the thought of meeting the Seraphimus again.

Keeping Optimus held against his side, Megatron stated, “Let’s get back to base. This night cycle has been long enough already.”

Optimus clung to the freely offered safety. For the moment he needed Megatron to be the stronger mech and needed to feel protected. The big Warmech gave Optimus everything the Prime needed without needing to be asked. Optimus couldn’t help it as he thought.

Perhaps Primus had known exactly what he was doing when the creator had made the two types of Cybertronians.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Deciding to try to walk under his own power, Lunarshine walked at the big purple Decepticon’s side. His focus on his mechling that he had reclaimed from Frostblitz as the big flyer helped him to remain standing.

Lugnut couldn’t take his optics of the mechling or the pretty truckformer. He asked softly, “Was he…?”

Seeming to understand the glossa tied big guy, Lunarshine explained, “Phasestrike is all I have left of my offlined sparkmate, Solarblade. Aristophontes claimed me to protect me and my mechling. He could sense that I was carrying and stepped in to prevent anybot from hurting me.”

Cycling his main optic, Lugnut countered, “But Decimus told us that Aristophontes was one of the worst of the commanding Serphimus.”

Sighing softly, Lunarshine explained, “That is because to protect his younger brother Aristophontes had to distance himself. As first generation half-breeds they are both highly sought after by others of their race. If they were close, then higher ranking Serphimus would turn to Aristophontes to pressure Decimus into accepting a place in the harems.”

Nodding, Lugnut could understand that. To protect, the older brother had to hurt the younger. Just like Strika refusing to openly claim him as her consort.  The distance was a ragged hole in his spark but at the same time, Lugnut didn’t want to be used against his glorious goddess.

Stumbling, Lunarshine nearly went to his knees. He would have if not for the surprisingly gentle catch from the big purple war mech. Lunershine looked up at those multiple optics and smiled when he saw a worried blush cover those plain faceplates. The big flyer was actually cute in an odd way.

Lifting the carrier into his arms, Lugnut stated, “You need to be more careful, beautiful carrier. Seeing harm befall you would sadden the greatest of warmechs to shattering.”

Chuckling, Lunarshine laid his helm against Lugnut’s chassis as he asked softly, “Do you always have such a way with words? Or do I just bring it out in you?”

Smiling in his awkward way, Lugnut stated, “Most find my way with words ... unpleasant? Except my wanderous Goddess of Destruction. My beautiful Strika is Glorious Megatron’s greatest general. She has woven swaths of destruction at his command and I humbly follow in her wake.”

Lunarshine chuckled as he drifted off to recharge as Lugnut carried on talking about a battle where he had the honor of fighting alongside both his goddess and his leader. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the team arrived at base, Sari blasted up to look at the recharging mech in Lugnut’s arms and covered her mouth to keep from squee-ing at the adorable ‘baby’ who blinked up at her curiously.

Heavyfire came out of the herald’s part of the base to see what was going on and asked, “I take it the rescue went well?”

Blushing brightly Optimus tried to escape once more but Megatron hung on to him firmly.

Sighing, Megatron stated, “Aside from a few trip ups, it went fine.” He was sure the meeting with the Commandate had removed millennium from his functioning. He wasn’t going to let his Prime out of his sight any time soon.

Smiling at the comradery he saw as others came out of the base to check on the team, Frostblitz felt a little empty. The only mech he’d ever been close to was the technorganic he had left. His fuel tank felt like it was going to purge itself.

Heavyfire noticed the way the young mech was acting and went to Frostblitz’s side. He asked softly, “You okay? I can go get Tempest if you’re not feeling well.”

Shaking his helm, Frostblitz stated, “Stress catching up, fuel tank isn’t happy.” Suddenly a glowing blue cybertronian sized peach was in front of him and Frostblitz looked up at the warbuild.

Smiling softly, Heavyfire stated, “I’ll walk you back to the Common Wealth ship once you finish that.”

Nodding, Frostblitz nibbled away under Heavyfire’s gentle but watchful gaze.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Walking Frostblitz to the Magnus’s ship, Heavyfire braced for the confrontation the idiot Prime would no doubt start.

Sure enough Sentinel did not disappoint as he spat out, “What are you some worthless oil stain?! Get on the ship, double time, Frostblitz! Or so help me I’ll have you dropped down to trainee for needing some war build to escort you.”

Ultra Magnus watched unamused. It would seem Sentinel was growing far too arrogant. He however also found his optics drawn to the strong lines of the young war build’s powerful frame.

Then Heavyfire answered, “Tough talk out of a mech that has hidden behind a force shield since he got his skid plates singed. If I find out you have done anything to Frostblitz, I will make your functioning a living smelting pit.”

Moving to intervene, Ultra Magnus was walking down the ramp as Frostblitz darted past him. Before he could even decide why he was even there, Ultra Magnus rumbled out, “Enough Sentinel. Heavyfire if you would kindly join me for a cube of oil.”

Nodding meekly, Heavyfire felt his interface array warming up but he managed to keep his cooling fans off. He didn’t need to have the awkward moment of this big civilian figuring out his kink for authoritative voices.

Once they settled inside Ultra Magnus’s quarters, the two quietly shared a drink.

One drink became two.

Two drinks became three.

Then warmed oil turned into high grade.

In a less than sober state, Ultra Magnus offered to walk Heavyfire back. At some point servos started wandering, playful flirting touches.

Once they reached the Herald’s ship, Heavyfire wasn’t sure who started the first kiss but as he melted into the way Ultra Magnus commanded his frame Heavyfire decided it didn’t matter.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sun hadn’t even started to rise when Ultra Magnus awoke to Heavyfire nestled in his arms. Not even the content look on the young mech’s faceplates eased the sudden surge of guilt that hit Ultra Magnus.

Once again in drunken stupidity, Ultra Magnus had taken advantage of a war build. An attractive young war build with their whole functioning ahead of them. Extracting himself from the warm embrace, Ultra Magnus felt his spark lurch and plead with him to remain.

That this time, there could be more.

Whimpering, Heavyfire reached out after his berth partner in his sleep but his servo found nothing. Nothing but an empty space on the berth.

Forcing himself to leave, Ultra Magnus touched the door controls to leave the room when he glanced back to the peacefully recharging young mech. If only he could be allowed a happy ending.

Oracle watched the older mech walk past her on his way out of the ship and stated to herself, “You are being a fool. However, I know you will not listen to me.”

Glancing back over his shoulder, Ultra Magnus wondered why he felt like somebot was watching him.

The walk back to his own ship was thankfully silent. Aside from his own thoughts. His guilt only grew as he thought of Heavyfire awakening to an empty berth.

However there was a message waiting for him. It demanded his return to Cybertron. Apparently these accursed Seraphimus had awoken their brethren from their millions of stellar cycles recharge and were now making a move on Cybertronian space. So far the Commonwealth was holding its own against the invaders but Ultra Magnus could no longer remain on the backwater planet.

The rest of the team was still deep in recharge except for Frostblitz who sat silently at his console working. Looking up from his console, Frostblitz asked when Ultra Magnus walked in, “Somethin’ wrong Sir?”

Ultra Magnus asked, “Is all of our team aboard?”

Nodding, Frostblitz answered, “Aside from Jazz and the Jettwins, whom I assume aren’t joining us despite what Sentinel said, you were the only bot out last night.”

Settling into his chair, Ultra Magnus sighed out, “Chart a course back to Cybertron. And Frostblitz please do not mention my absence last dark cycle to anybot.”

Smiling, Frostblitz supplied, “What absence?”

With that settled, Ultra Magnus went to the wash racks to remove the evidence of his tryst with the sweet war build that his processor couldn’t escape. Groaning as he lowered his helm under the water, Ultra Magnus muttered, “This is going to be a long trip home.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Chapter Text

Waking to an empty berth shouldn’t have hurt…

It shouldn’t have felt so cold….

Heavyfire knew the risks when he started drinking. He knew the odds of the Magnus staying were non-existent. He knew this was coming even as he had let the Magnus’s servos stroke over his plates.

As Ultra had gently laid him down on the berth with their lip plates locked in a desperate kiss. Heavyfire knew it was only for the sleep cycle. His servos had clutched at those white and blue plates as if he could hold Ultra to him despite knowing it couldn’t last.

Washer fluid rolled down his face plates as he tried to hide behind his forearm. As sobs ripped free of his vocalizer, Heavyfire told himself that he knew it would end like this.

No matter how Ultra treated him in berth during the sleep cycle.

No matter the gentle caresses.

No matter how full of a stretch that spike made him feel.

No matter how wild his arching into the thrusts made Ultra act.

No matter that they just barely kept from merging sparks….

Ultra Mangus was going to leave.

However, Heavyfire wasn’t expecting Ultra to slink away in the dark and leave him to this icy pain of an empty berth.

Perhaps he was a fool?

Heavyfire had expected the Magnus to ‘let him down easy’.....

To be told it could never work out given their different frames. 

To be told it was fun but there was no more to it.

Perhaps even be fragged into the berth one last time before the Magnus told him that Ultra’s duties would never allow them to continue….

The silence tore at his spark as he silently begged for the gentle platitudes! ANYTHING but the silence of an empty berth after the sleep cycle activities that were still streaked and transferred across his plates.

With her supplements finally worn off, Oracle found her handler curled up in a ball of misery and silently sat at the head of the berth by his helm. With gently fingers she stroked his helm as she softly sang a lullaby. It tore at her that Heavyfire had to suffer like this but all the statistics she ran told her this was the most likely path to happiness for him. 

As Heavyfire clung to his herald and sobbed into her lap he pleaded, “Why does it hurt so much Oracle?”

Oracle soothed, “He’ll be back for you. He just needs time to realize what he may never have if he doesn’t come around. The pain will pass Fire. I promise.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the main base, Optimus woke from recharge when he heard a mechling fussing. He had fallen into recharge on the sofa. That wasn’t the odd part though. The odd part was Megatron’s frame was under him and Optimus had been recharging peacefully with his audio fin pressed to the center of that big chassis.

Deep in recharge, Megatron tightened his grip as his processor brought up the image of losing his Prime to that winged glitch.

Wiggling like mad, Optimus finally slipped free of Megatron’s grasp and headed to the kitchen. He made himself a glass of warmed energon. 

Balancing his mechling on his shoulder, Lunarshine asked, “You alright? You’re shaking and blushing your faceplates off.”

Jumping, Optimus turned his gaze to the carrier and his spark thumped with an odd desire. His frame gave a strange clench as the mechling looked at him with wide innocent red optics.

Smiling at the lost but wanting look that filled the Prime's optics, Lunarshine asked as he stepped forward, "Do you want to hold him?"

At first Optimus wanted to say no but then the mechling extended tiny servos towards him and Optimus melted at the innocence of the act. He gently gathered the mechling into his arms.

Lurching out of recharge to empty arms, Megatron felt his spark thunder in his chassis as his optics scanned for any sign of his Prime then he heard Optimus’s soft chuckle coming from the kitchen. Walking to the doorway on silent peds, Megatron peeked through the door and his spark went wild at the smile on Optimus’s faceplates. 

Phasestrike squealed happily as his servos explored Optimus’s faceplates. Giggles of joy escaped the mechling as he pawed at Optimus’s chin.

Megatron smiled as he watched Optimus with the mechling. It was amazing to watch.

Chuckling as he quickly refueled, Lunarshine teased, “You’re a natural Optimus Prime. Whichever warbuild manages to ensnare you will be a very lucky mech.”

Blushing brightly, Optimus gulped and sputtered, "I… I'm a Prime…. I … I can't… it wouldn't be… appropriate. The Commonwealth…." His processor may have brought one mech's image forward but Optimus quickly squashed the thought.

Meanwhile, Megatron was silently agreeing from where he was leaning on the doorframe. He was truly a lucky mech to have claimed Optimus as his own. Though the close call during the rescue was still very much on his processor.

Spotting the warbuild at the doorway, Lunarshine smiled at the look in the mech’s optics. He gently scooped up his mechling.

Megatron rumbled out, “It’s good to see you and the little one are well, Lunarshine.” He came over and offered a digit to the mechling. 

Giggling loudly, Phasestrike drew the digit in and chewed on the tip.

Lunarshine smiled and stated, “Your warrior Lugnut was kind enough to give up his berth to us.”

Chuckling when the mechling yawned, Megatron stated, “Be careful with Lugnut  He has a habit of getting obsessive. So don’t encourage him unless you truly want the attention.”

Lunarshine laughed and answered, “We shall see what happens.”

Hiding his reaction to Megatron’s softness, Optimus quickly whipped up a serving of morning energon for Megatron. If only Optimus knew what was coming after the close call and what Megatron’s reaction was going to be like.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For several solar cycles things were quiet in Detroit. However the wheels of war were starting to move. Several teams of Autobots just disappeared before the council was able to issue an edict for tighter security protocols.

Smirking darkly as he leaned back in his command chair, Tyrannis asked, “Do you still doubt my words oh great elders?” His wing ached under the bandages and he mentally still seethed at the damage the little red and blue breeder did to him when the war build distracted him. Tyrannis silently swore once again he would make that breeder pay for this.

One of the elders answered, “The few we have managed to capture are fertile as you said. Although the violence required to break them to the yoke of being breeders ...”

Another answered, “Our people are the blessed ones! It is our right to take what we desire.”

A third purred out, “We should focus on the breeder’s planet. Cybertron should belong to the Seraphimus. None will deny us our right to fresh breed stock.”

Grinning in hunger, Tyrannis answered, “They will try. They will try with all their little sparks, but the Seraphimus will endure.” As long as the great Prime didn’t rise to power, the Seraphimus would be able to hold the planet with ease.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

While Megatron’s closeness was making him feel safe, Optimus was starting to chafe under the constantness of Megatron’s presence. It had been a deca cycle since the rescue and Optimus’s unfortunate run in with the Seraphimus. All the while Optimus couldn't even get a fourth of a megacycle alone.

When Optimus finally managed to give Megatron the slip to have some time alone, Optimus sought solace in the greenhouse portion of the Herald's ship. Only for him to stumble on Lunarshine. His optics went wide at the sight of Lunarshine’s chassis plates shifted to allow the mechling access to a bright blue energon line. Little Phasestrike blinked half lit optics at Optimus without a care in the world.

Looking up when he heard stalling fans, Lunarshine teased, “Come now, Optimus. It’s not something to shy away from. Line feeding is perfectly natural and in fact better for mechlings then low grade bottle feeding.”

Blushing, Optimus answered, "But…. Isn't it a private moment for you….."

Once Phasestrike was finished, Lunarshine shifted his mechling to his shoulder strut as his chassis slid shut. He soothed, “Avoiding your shadow?”

Optimus nodded and answered, “I feel like I’m suffocating. He’s always right there ever since the run in with the Seraphimus.” 

Laughing softly as he lead the way out of the greenhouse, Lunarshine teased, “You don’t see the look in his optics when they dance your way.”

Blinking his optics, Optimus asked, “What do you mean?”

They were just walking into the main living room when they heard Lugnut declare, “Beautiful Bulkhead, I wish to declare my intentions to……”

CLANG!

Phasestrike giggled and laughed at the sight of Lugnut taking Blukhead’s demolition ball to the abdominal struts.

Shaking his helm, Lunarshine went to the whimpering warbuild and Phasestrike reached out to Lugnut with an inquisitive squeak. Lunarshine asked, “Did he damage anything?”

Cycling his optics as if seeing the two truly for the first time, Lugnut offered the mechling a digit and answered, “My glorious goddess of destruction will truly be displeased that I have failed in my duty to find us an Autobot to honor with our mechlings.”

Arching an optics ridge, Optimus left that one alone and slunk off towards the kitchen in hopes of remaining out from under Megatron’s gaze.

Chuckling softly, Lunarshine teased, “Lugnut, sometimes affections are unwelcomed and Bulkhead is clearly telling you to drop it. The idea doesn’t appeal to the construction bot.”

Looking down at the tiny mechling clinging to his digit, Lugnut gave a soft rumble of his engine as his processor slowly started to turn. He rumbled out, “Perhaps my optics have been following the wrong beauty.”

Chapter Text

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The solar cycles of an empty berth have taken their toll. Ultra Magnus could hardly find the solace he needed to recharge as his processor kept returning to the feeling of the young warmech in his arms.

Letting his helm to rest in his servos, Ultra Magnus felt memories he had pushed from his data banks resurfaced. 

The two sleep cycles that he gave into weakness. The way both of his war mechs had felt in his arms. The way they had both snuggled against his chassis as their powerful engines purred in contentment. The peace both had given him for just a moment.

Would there be consequences this time?

Would another mechling be dropped off at his doorstep to be raised?

Would he fail another like he had failed the last two?

Shaking his helm, Ultra Magnus pushed the thoughts from his processor and forced the memories back to the darkest corners of his memory banks. He had to pull himself back together before they landed on Cybertron.

He had made his choice, no matter how it felt like ash in his spark. He had a duty to his people.

Then the warning claxons blared.

Heading to the bridge, Ultra Magnus asked as he entered, “Status report, Frostblitz.”

Servos dancing over the console, Frostblitz answered, “Two unknown model ships, we managed to dodge the warning shot. If it had hit our engines would have been history.” Blinking at the console, Frostblitz gasped, “They’re hailing us, Sir….”

Sitting down in the Captain's chair, Ultra Magnus stated, “We do not negotiate with terrorists. On my mark open fire all batteries.”

Then the com channel was forced open and a pure white winged Seraphimus chuckled, “Pardon my over enthusiastic crew. We have no intentions of harming you or your crew. I politely suggest that you surrender.”

Glancing to Frostblitz, Ultra Magnus saw the young mech signal for a few more nanoclicks. Turning his optics once more to the Seraphimus, Ultra Magnus stated, “With all due respect, I have no desire to surrender my crew to you.”

The Seraphimus chuckled again before purring out in a far too sweet tone, “Sweet summer mechling, it will be far easier on your crew if you surrender to your new lives. The Seraphimus will not be denied.”

Standing slowly, Ultra Magnus countered, “You will find that we will deny you every step of the way. If you attempt to threaten the Autobot Commonwealth’s sovereignty then be prepared to fight for every micron of territory. Frostblitz show these techno-organics what I mean if you would be so kind.”

Smirking, Frostblitz answered, “Sir yes Sir!” His digits flew over the keys and open fired with all batteries. The blasts sent the two ships carrenning of into space as the Seraphimus snarled, “This is not the end.”

Dropping back into his seat, Ultra Magnus stated, “Get us down to Cybertron on the double, Frostblitz. Sentinel! Get on the com and alert the council that we need an emergency meeting as of last orbit cycle.”

When they landed and disembarked, Frostblitz noticed how scared every mech looked and inched closer to the Magnus’s side as his fuel tanks twisted strangely.

Sentinel sneered, “Stop hiding behind better mechs than yourself, Frostblitz.”

Cutting in, Ultra Magnus corrected, “Unless you wish to find yourself dropped back to Minor and training green recruits again, leave him alone. If that wasn’t clear enough, let me say this.” He pinned Sentinel with unamused optics and finished, “Frostblitz is under my protection until further notice.”

Cowering under the stern glare, Sentinel yelped, “Yes, Sir.”

Blinking up at the Magnus, Frostblitz froze mid step. The Magnus himself was taking him under the wing so to speak and protecting him?! Him?! The mech who was captured by the Seraphimus and had to be rescued almost completely against his will. The mech who lo…. came to care for his captor. The mech who allowed his seal to be taken by a Seraphimus Victorium.

Turning back to the walkway, Ultra Magnus stated, “Keep up both of you. We have a council meeting to attend.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Even before they entered the council chambers the argument could be heard through the door.

Voices demanding that they go on the offensive at war with the voices calling for stronger defenses.

Motioning Frostblitz to take a seat by the door, Ultra Magnus went to his seat and tried to get some sort of order in the chamber.

The panic was fuelled when a report came in that one of the youngest Primes and his whole team had been lost to the Seraphimus.

Eventually the shouting and arguing caused a certain mech to snap…...

Sneering at the others of the council, Sentinel spat out, “So what? What’s a few low ranking Autobots in the grand scheme of things? We can just harvest more sparks and put them through basic training to replace them.”

Rubbing his forehelm, Longarm Prime stated, “Those words prove how woefully ignorant you are.” Why did he have to deal with this when he should be finding a way to Earth to seduce his little yellow menace?

When Sentinel puffed up, Alpha Trion cut in and stated, “Stand down Sentinel Prime, Longarm has the right of it. There are no more sparks to harvest. The well has gone dark.”

Wheeljack added, “That means there are no more freshly protoformed Autobots to train. The mech power we have now is all we are going to have unless our people discover another way of procreating.”

Sentinel sneered, “Wasn’t Frostblitz babbling on about a mechling? Why don’t we just ask him?!”

Slamming the pommel of his hammer on the floor, Ultra Magnus ordered, “Enough Sentinel Prime. The answer is not one Wheeljack nor the council wish to admit as viable. You will leave the young mech alone.” Standing slowly, Ultra Magnus stated, “This meeting is over.”

Clearing his intake, Perceptor countered, “The method you refer to Ultra Magnus has been used a few times. To highly disappointing results wouldn’t you agree?”

Stiffening at the dig at his own mechlings, Ultra Magnus answered, “I would say the jettwins have managed fairly well. Might I also remind you that Rodimus Prime is also a spawned mech.” Turning the slur right back onto Preceptor's own abandoned progeny, Ultra Magnus waited for the science bot to say more.

The problem wasn’t the fact spawning as the science bots called it was impossible. It was impractical due to the separation in their race. So few war builds would tolerate an Autobot long enough to breed, and even fewer still would agree to be on the receiving end.

Ultra Magnus had to squash his reaction as his processor pulled up Heavyfire’s face plates as if torment him with what he left behind. He could have had more mechlings if he dared to take a risk. Mentally shaking his helm, Ultra Magnus reaffirmed toi himself it was better this way. If he had brought the young war build with him, who knows what the science bots might have done to his innocent berth partner.

Chasing after Ultra Magnus, Frostblitz asked with more courage than he thought he had, “What did Preceptor mean by disappointing results?”

Cycling his vents, Ultra Magnus answered, “He is referring to the two spawned mechlings I raised. They are not quite as strong as I know they can be. However, I know our people have no future if we don’t start spawning mechlings properly.” He wasn't lying but he also wasn't telling the whole truth. One of those 'disappointments' was a mechling he sired himself. That was a secret he planned to never reveal. 

Frostblitz shifted and felt he should admit a secret as well. He spoke softly, "Ultra Magnus, sir, I may…. I may be carrying…. The Commandate was suspicious of Aristophontes's lack of mechlings and to protect his harem and me….. I let him ..."

Shame burning in his circuits, Frostblitz looked at the ground and hung his helm. He deserved whatever came next.

Placing a gentle servo on Frostblitz's shoulder, Ultra Magnus soothed, "You did what you had to, to survive. No mech has the right to judge you for that. Come you will stay with me and if your mechling needs nanite donations we will work something out."

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile back on Earth, Decimus was fighting to keep a straight face behind his mug of coffee laced energon. The sight of Megatron hovering over the Prime now that he had once again found Optimus, was just too funny. Decimus finally gave in and teased, “Lord Megatron, perhaps you should give the Prime some room to cycle his vents. Even I can see you are smothering him with the attention.”

Looking up from his place leaning against his Seraphimus’s side, Wasp asked, “Wasp no understand. Why Megs hover over boss-bot? Like Decimus hovered over Wasp after escape.”

Both warriors flinched at once.

Megatron glanced at Optimus to see if the Prime had caught the implications of him having feelings for the young mech. Thankfully and regrettably the Prime was apparently clueless about it all.

Ruffling his wings, Decimus grumbled, “That was an entirely different situation, Wasp. You welcomed the wing to hide beneath after the trauma…. Optimus escaped a far lesser trauma and hasn’t encouraged the protection offered.”

Wasp was cut off by Sari as she burst in with a panicked, “Something’s gone wrong at my dad’s factory! You gotta help! The assembly line has gone berserk!"

Walking in with Prowl just in time to hear that, Jazz looked to Prime and asked, "We rollin' out, O.P.?"

Optimus nodded and stated, "Prowl, Jazz, grab the others and lets roll out." When Megatron gave a dark look, Optimus got right up in the Decepticon's personal space and huffed, "Help us with getting the plant under control or give me room to work!"

The impact is a bit lost due to Megatron being half again Optimus's height but Megatron felt his spark finally truly calm. His Prime's fire was back. He chuckled and stated, "Which would you prefer? The prices are quite different."

Finishing his mug, Decimus threw the item at Megatron and when the warlord caught it teased, “Just help without demanding any sort of favor in return. It’ll strengthen your alliance with the young Prime.”

A crash echoed through the room and Wasp dove for cover under Decimus’s wing when tutorbot’s chassis flew into the kitchen.

Hothead stormed in and snarled, “I vill pound jou into zheet metal! Jou malfunctionin scrappile!”

Spotting something in the robot’s chassis, Megatron knelt down and pulled out a glowing shard and held it up to his prime while asking, “Is this…?” He knew what it was but he knew if he encouraged Optimus into an equal partnership instead of leading the younger mech in this dance. 

The end result would be far more rewarding. A true equal. A partner for all eternity if Megatron had anything to say about it.

Going slack jawed, Optimus answered, “A piece of the Allspark! So we didn’t destroy it but shattered it.”

Growling as his wing tightened defensively around Wasp, Decimus stated, “We need to get to that plant now, if Tyrannis gets his servos on even one shard….”

Getting up quickly as he pressed the shard in Optimus’s servo, Megatron finished, “The results will be catastrophic.”

The team moved out. 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arriving at the plant, Megaton waded in with Optimus right at his side.

Getting up on Blitzwing's shoulders, Bumblebee took pot shots with his stingers as Icy used his cannons to freeze the target for his little Hummelchan.

As the police bots rolled off the production line faster then the team could destroy them even with the war builds to help. Prowl growled out, “We have to stem the flood at the source.”

In a deadly dance in their section of the battle, Decimus's hammer paired with Wasp's stingers kept them mostly untouched but their energy wouldn't hold forever.

The two ninja bots were showing off different Metallikato techniques but Prowl nearly got blasted when he got a little too cocky. Thankfully Jazz was right there to cut in and give Prowl some breathing space as the humans called it.

Creating a plan on the fly, Optimus shouted, “Prowl, Jazz, help me get Sari in through the back we’re shutting down the production line.” Scooping Sari up out of danger, Optimus dodged the shots from the police bots and left them to Megatron’s swords.

Getting in was easy, but then the police bots started to fill the hallways.

Jazz stated, “We’ll hold da line, O.P.  Get Sari to the controls.”

Nodding as the ninja bots held the choke point, Optimus ran for the controls and lowered Sari to the ground.

Racing to the console, Sari inserted her key and turned it off then she cheered, “And that is why the company’s name is Sumdac!” Only for her to try and fail to remove her key, she yelped, “Optimus! It’s stuck!”

Grabbing Sari at the sight of the sparking console, Optimus chopped it open with his ax and the key and a shard of the allspark clattered to the ground. He scooped up the two items and gave the key back to Sari as he said, “Let’s head home, it’s been a solar cycle.”

With the battle over, Megatron was watching how Wasp fussed over Decimus’s minor injuries. He wondered if Optimus would ever act like that with him. Looking over when Optimus came walking out, Megatron smirked and asked, “The mechling managed to shut the production line down?”

Beaming, Sari answered, “You bet your aft I did!”

Icy looked up to Bumblebee sitting on his shoulders and asked, “I vonder vhere zhe learned dat word?”

Blushing brightly, Bumblebee looked away and grumbled, “I’m not the only one who curses around her…..”

Chapter Text

Solar cycles turned into deca cycles, and before Optimus realized it Sari’s favorite holiday, Halloween had passed.

In fact, Autumn had turned into winter in Detroit.

Heavyfire though had noticed every solar cycle that passed in the last two lunar cycles. The emptiness in his berth still digging a hole in his spark. It was getting bad enough he had begged Oracle to recharge with him just to have the space filled.

Snow was falling, and the Decepticons were grounded for the time until the snow stopped falling. It had been falling seemingly nonstop for the last two deca cycles. Starscream was the first to truly feel the pressure of not being able to fly. He took to pacing the yard hoping for even the smallest break in the storm.

Watching the seeker, Voltage sighed, “Look wings, you’re driving me nuts with those thoughts. How about you spar with Ironspark. It’ll help trust me. It will also give me a chance to nap without your thoughts clawing my mind apart.”

Staring at the mocha skinned herald, Starscream huffed, “As if a seeker of Vos would lower themselves to sparring with a Praxian!”

Smirking, Voltage slowly stepped forward and countered, “Afraid? Or does the mighty Starscream harbor a secret desire to ...” Reaching out just a little, Voltage took a good peek inside Starscream’s processor and chuckled, “Ironspark might just agree to that if you win.”

Lunging at the herald, Starscream shrieked, “Stay out of my processor! My thoughts are not for you to know!”

Laughing as he easily stayed out of the way of those talons, Voltage teased, “Ask me nicely and I just might give you your fantasy. Ironspark likes your wings enough he might let you do it if he can watch.”

The next shriek had Megatron storming over to grab the seeker by the throat and growling out, “You will wake the sparkling if you keep this up.” Really must he do all the thinking for his mechs?! 

Scrambling out into the snow, Starscream hissed out, “Stupid Voltage this is all his fault!” Stuck on the ground as the ice and snow made flying too dangerous for his systems. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hours passed as Starscream wondered only for him to stumble straight into a gang of lion helmed Grostenions. He yelped and bolted! Running, Starscream grumbled, “Curse you, Voltage!”

Sirens rang out and a massive police charger drove right between Starscream’s peds as he called out, “Don’t mind if I do pretty wings! I got your backstruts!”

Stumbling as he turned to liook in time to see the Praxian transform, Starscream was a little in awe as the grounder took out two of his attackers on the first pounce. Seeing the odds evened a bit, Starscream leveled his nullrays and joined in.

Once the battle was finished, Ironspark made sure nothing was left of the Grostenions’s processors or hard drives were left before he turned to the Vosian and growled out, “Have you lost your Unicron be cursed processor?! Do you realize what they do to flyers?! Do you have any idea what would have happened if Voltage hadn’t told me which direction you had slunk off in?!”

Shock danced through his circuits as it struck Starscream, that some mech actually cared enough to save him and yell at him out of concern for his welfare. Also he hadn’t realized that the praxian was huge for a grounder.

Poking the Vosian in the chassis, Ironspark snarled, “Are you even listening to a word coming out of my intake?! Do you realize the loss of your wings is the least of your worries if they get their slimy mitts on you?!”

Striking the offending servo away, Starscream glared at the Praxian who was nearly the same height as he was and snarled back, “They would never gotten me. I was more than capable of escaping them without your help, Praxian!”

Using a bit of information he knew well about Vosian builds, Ironspark reached out and stroked a tangle of sensors at the edge of Starscream’s cockpit. As the Vosian crashed to his knees with a startled gasp of offended pleasure, Ironspark stated, “Don’t forget little Vos Princeling, I know your weak spots already and I can have you at my peds mewling for the next touch. Use your audio receptors before you fire off that pretty intake or I’ll find something to fill it for you.”

Blushing bright blue, Starscream realized what Ironspark was implying but at the same time his array surged with interest at the idea. Being brought to his knees like that was a new experience, but Starscream growled in embarrassment, “You cheated! Voltage…”

Cutting in, Ironspark stated, “We’ve had Vosian seekers before. The princelings paid good credits for the right to breed Voltage, the priests didn’t turn them away very often.”

Freezing as his spark shuddered in sympathy, Starscream asked in a cracking voice, “They sold breeding rights to the heralds?”

Nodding as the horror started to show in Starscream’s optics, Ironspark added softly, “Handlers as well.”

Feeling shame as the actions of his fellow Vosians really sank in, Starscream’s gaze fell to the ground and as the pleasure he had felt suddenly took on a shameful hue he stated weakly, “You should never had to endure that.” To be sold like that, it was like how Vosians were forced to sell themselves just to refuel because they weren’t allowed to seek even an education to better themselves. He had earned his scholarships and his entrance to the Academy of Science, but only because his trinemates helped him.

Offering a servo up, Ironspark soothed, “It wasn’t all bad, we got used to it. Our mechlings have good lives and that is was all we could ask for. Voltage was lucky. Due to a genetic quirk, he has the lowest chance of carrying a human child. Not that the odds are good to begin with.”

Taking the servo, Starscream found his way to his peds as his inner scientist came out in the form of a gently asked, “How low are the odds?”

Smiling as he steadied the still wobbly seeker, Ironspark explained, “The usual is one birth in every twenty, but Voltage’s odds are effectively one in a thousand. The priests tested him and were not pleased by the results.” Then he added, “But it also makes him a treasure for Vos. Because of the same quirk, he has a higher than normal chance of having a seeker.”

That got Starscream’s attention. A higher than normal chance at a seeker? The odds were about thirty percent in a pure Cybertroian coupling of flyers if one was a seeker. He asked almost breathlessly, “How much higher?” His processor was warming up to the idea of claiming these two….

Smirking, Ironspark answered, “Out of our six Seeker sired Vosian mechlings, only one wasn’t a seeker.”

Blinking, Starscream gave a hum before saying, “Five out of six, that’s downright impressive.” That was about an eighty percent success rate. 

Then the weather took a turn for the worse and Ironspark stated, “We better head back to base, the storm is getting worse. We don’t need you icing over.”

Accepting that as ice was already forming on his sensitive wings, Starscream walked quickly after Ironspark. As they walked, Starscream found his optics drawn to those finely forged doorwings and the Praxian’s powerful build. He couldn’t stop himself before asking, “How many mechlings do you have?”

Sighing, Ironspark answered, “I have sixteen confirmed that I sparked. I have never carried. Voltage though... “ Looking to the clouds for a moment, Ironspark stated weakly, “He’s carried twelve times.”

Blinking as the base came into view, Starscream couldn’t wrap his processor around the idea of letting go of one creation, let alone the twenty eight that Ironspark and Voltage had. He wanted to say something but Ironspark disappeared into the base before he could find the courage to open his intake.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inside the base, Megatron nearly shouted when Strika commed him. She stated, “I’m in orbit. Where do I go from here, my lord?”

Gritting his denta as he saw Optimus and Lunarshine sitting on the sofa with Phasestrike in Optimus’s arms, Megatron tore his gaze from that unique torture and answered, “I’m sending the coordinates now, do keep a low profile when you get to the city. I will have the Autobot medic fit you with a signal dampener before you get to run off to spend time with your consort.”

Seeing Lunarshine, Lugnut went to the sofa and optic smiled as the mechling squeaked at him. As little arms reached out to him, Lugnut asked, “May I.. hold him? Oh beautiful and sweet Lunarshine?”

Snorting at the description, Optimus gazed at the young carrier as Lunarshine laughed in such an easy and open way. It was good to hear such joy in the young mech.

Smiling at the big warbuild, Lunarshine stated, “Just mind his helm, Lugnut. He seems to have taken a liking to you.”

As Phasestrike squeaked happily in Lugnut’s arms, Megatron felt a little sour since Optimus’s attention was on Lugnut and the happy mechling. He went to the war table and switched it to galaxy mode. 

Studying the movements of the reports of Seraphimus ships, Megatron hated it but was partly thankful for it. The Seraphimus were focused on Cybertron, not that it surprised him.

Several megacycles passed and Megatron felt his anger ease when Optimus came over to study the map as well. Optimus asked, “What do you think? Do you think the Commonwealth is going to be able to hold Cybertron?”

Ex-venting harshly, Megatron answered, “With the well of sparks, they can keep their numbers high enough to hold, but the colonies will start to fall soon.”

Looking down, Optimus decided to trust the Decepticon leader and said, “The well… may affect that assessment.”

Tilting his helm at his prime, Megatron was about to ask when Lugnut shouted, “MY GLORIOUS GODDESS! YOU DID NOT INFORM ME THAT YOU WERE ARRIVING!”

Walking into the base, Strika answered, “Be still my consort, you have a mechling in your arms. Let me see.” She moved and cooed at the tiny red optic-ed mechling. When Phasestrike grabbed her offered digit without fear, she purred, “Brave little thing. He will grow strong in coming stellar cycles.”

Laughing, Lunarshine stated, “I am pleased to hear you say so Lady Strika. Lugnut has told me of your strength on the battlefield. It is quite the compliment to hear you say my mechling will be strong.”

As her gaze danced over the young civilian mech, Strika stated, “It takes a powerful Carrier to carry such a gift. Lugnut.”

Smiling brightly, Lugnut stated, “This is the truly sweet gift of a mech, Lunarshine. The adorable and brave mechling is Phasestrike, my beloved goddess of destruction.”

Cutting in, Megatron stated as his optics remained on the war table, “Go to the medbay Strika, or you will bring those blast Seraphimus right to the mechling.”

As the big war build femme went to the medbay, Lunarshine felt his array take interest in the big frame. She wasn’t a stereotypical beauty but she had a grace and power that drew the optics.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ratchet nearly had a spark attack when Strika came into his medbay and demanded, “I have need of a signal dampener….” 

Chuckling when she saw who was the medic, Strika asked, “Do you have time for that highgrade we said we would share if the Decepticons and Autobots worked together?”

Groaning at the reminder of his youth when he repaired the Decepticon because his oath was to help any mech or femme, Ratchet answered, “If you are supplying I might. Although Tempest might insist on joining us.”

Settling in on the med-berth, Strika laughed and teased, "It is good to hear you have a femme for interest… you were bonded to your work last we talked it was sad to see such gifts not shared. Lord Megatron insists I be fitted with a signal dampener."

Getting to work, Ratchet explained, "The Seraphimus and their pets are good at tracking Cybertronian energy signals. They're tough but not invincible.”

Leaning on the door frame, Tempest added, “While they seem to respect you Decepticons a bit more than the Autobots, the Behemoths the Seraphimus use on the battlefield are no small force to be reckoned with.”

Blinking at the huge seemingly organic being, Strika asked, “Tempest perhaps?”

Placing a claiming hand on Ratchet’s lower back struts, Tempest used a little of her gift to ease his stiff back before answering, “Yes, Tempest, herald of the Mercury Waves Temple. Charge of Depthstrike. Call sign Plague.”

Seeing that Tempest was distracting Strika, Ratchet smiled at his fellow medic as Strika and Tempest started discussing old battles and missions.The process went smoothly and Ratchet stated as he closed up Strika’s side, “You’re done, Strika. Come find me later if you have that high grade you spoke of.”

Coming out of the medbay, Strika went to Megatron’s side by the war table and stated, “My team is going to need a source of fuel...”

Shifting away from where he was leaning on the wall, Depthstrike supplied, “Heavyfire has a knack at finding ways to make fuel stretch past well beyond normal limits. I’ll see what he can come up with.” He left the other two leaders to their discussion to find his team mate.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Out back, Jazz was just coming back in from patrol when he noticed something out of the ordinary.  Heavyfire and Ironspark sitting together, looking like they both just wanted to give up and rust in peace. He moved closer silently to see if he could overhear some sort of clue to what had caused this shift in temperaments.

Patting Ironspark’s shoulder strut, Heavyfire reminded gently, “You always say, the pain will pass. They are in places where they can thrive without ever facing the same pain we have.” His spark ached for his friend. With Voltage’s linage, the pair were in higher demand than him and Oracle. In fact Oracle’s gift made most demanders back away as she told them how things were going to happen. It had spared him the same abuses but he knew the tears that Ironspark had wept everytime it was confirmed he had sparked another.

Ex-venting slowly to calm himself, Ironspark gave Heavyfire a weak smile as he teased, “Don’t ever change, Fire. No matter who you bond with or when. Don’t you ever change mechling.”

Laughing softly, Heavyfire stated, “I don’t plan on it.”

Seeing Depthstrike stepping out of the warehouse, Jazz was about to move when his frame froze as his optics met Depthstrike’s gaze. Those optics pinned him with an ease that sent a shudder through Jazz’s spark. 

Moving to his mechs, Depthstrike saw the way Ironspark’s optics darted away from him and he pulled the younger mech into one of those hugs. The kind only an Uncle can give. He soothed, “It’ll be alright, Spark. Let it out, you’re safe.”

Trying to stay strong, Ironspark held it in for a moment before the true magnitude of his loss came crashing down on him. He sobbed his spark out as he clung to his captain, friend, and mentor. Ever last mechling that he would never get to know. 

Once Ironspark was all cried out, Depthstrike soothed, “It’s alright, Spark. No mech will ever take another one from you or Volt. I promise, the pain will never happen again. You are free.”

Nodding as he slowly withdrew, Ironspark regained his composure and left without a word. He went to spend time with Voltage to sooth the lingering pain.

Depthstrike turned to Heavyfire and stated, “Strika and her team has made a surprise visit.”

Chuckling, Heavyfire stated, “I’ll see if I can’t make the fuel supply stretch to cover them as well.”

Once Heavyfire was gone, Depthstrike turned to the ninjabot and stated, “Come on out Jazz. I am sure you have questions.”

Rubbing the back of his helm, Jazz asked as he came out of hiding, “So ya did notice me?”

Chuckling as he shifted towards the adorable civilian ninja, Depthstrike purred out, “I would have to be offlined to not notice you, Jazz. But that’s not what’s chewing at your processor. Your optics are filled with worried curiosity.”

Nodding, Jazz just couldn’t voice the question. His spark was worried that the answer was going to be something he can’t unlearn.

Ex-venting deeply, Depthstrike explained, “Some like Ironspark have had a rough go at functioning as a handler. Voltage hides his pain behind his verbal barbs. They both miss their offspring deeply but they cope as best they can. Spark by being strong for everyone else, Volt by picking on everyone around him.”

Blinking, Jazz asked, “Offspring? They are creators?”

Smiling at the ninjabot’s intelligence, Depthstrike reached out and stroked his thumb against Jazz’s cheek guard as he said, “The priests of the temple they were a part of sold the breeding rights to them on more than one occasion in hopes of spawning more humans. It failed but then on a fluke it was discovered that Voltage and Ironspark have higher odds of spawning seekers.”

The realization of what wasn’t being said hit Jazz like a mountain. The huge Praxian and his herald had been sold ... and with nobot here resembling them it was safe to assume they never were given a chance to raise their mechlings. Looking up at the helijet, Jazz asked, “Were you …?”

Nodding, Depthstrike answered, “Tempest lucked out when none of the attempts stuck. The Priests stopped trying.” His own luck spawned from his own spark. His spark was so dense that most were afraid to risk brushing sparks or merging with him. The sheer risk of forming an accidental sparkbond with him was was sky high.

Touching the helijet’s arm, Jazz whispered, “Aye’m sorry, m’mech. That scrap ain’t right. It ain’t ever right ta subject an’mech to that scrap.”

Pulling Jazz into his arms, Depthstrike hugged the ninjabot close for a moment. Those words ensnared his spark. More than Jazz’s sleek beauty or the carrier like way he cared for the jet twins. In that moment, Depthstrike wanted Jazz as his own. Realizing where his processor was going, Depthstrike shook himself and released the ninjabot and quickly retreated back inside the base.

Wobbling for a moment, Jazz stared after those copper edged wings and his spark decided that the war mech meant something to him. It had started out so small but now. Now that he knew how those arms felt around his frame, Jazz wanted it more! Jazz wanted to see Depthstrike’s Sire like nature turned towards raising the Jet twins. 

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Inside, Strika watched how Megatron lingered near the pretty little Prime. It was funny to watch the scraplet trying to be subtle about his interest.

Noticing a report hit the table, Optimus grumbled and stated, “There’s a scouting raid near the Zeta Yonvari Colony. Looks like they may run into some of your units nearby. If your mechs’ presence is revealed though, they may have a fight on two fronts. I’m getting blocked by the council on any sort of official ceasefire.”

Placing a servo on Optimus’s shoulder struts, Megatron rumbled out, “It will happen one way or another. Even if it takes stellar cycles, peace between Autobots and Decepticons must happen if Cybertronians are to survive.”

Nodding, Strika stated, “Our teams could intercept the raid before it hits Autobot space and be gone before those weak civilians can muster their garrison.”

Feeling Optimus stiffen at the dismissive tone, Megatron rumbled his engine softly in reprimand of his general and stated, “Strika, We are not going to risk a confrontation. Cometblast’s team is known for their dislike for Autobots. She would go out of her way to linger.”

Huffing as she crossed her arms, Strika stated, “If we allow them to take the Autobots, then we lose more resources in the long run. A small confrontation to vent stress is the  lesser of two evils.”

Narrowing his optics at Strika, Megatron rumbled out, “My orders remain. There is to be no conflicts with the Autobots. No venting stress. No attacking them. No attacking their supply depots.”

Baring her denta, Strika snapped, “Then we’ll starve! We don’t have the energon farms that the Autobots have! I am doing what I can, stealth operations handled by mechs I know listen to the orders to only incapacitate the weak little civilians.”

Looking between the two bristling war builds, Optimus wasn’t sure what to do. He wasn’t sure what could stop them from coming to blows. He glanced to Depthstrike when the helijet returned for advice or guidance….

Thankfully, Optimus didn’t have to do anything.

Bursting in with a box of decorations, Sari called out, “Hey guys! I brought the decorations!” Seeing the tension between Megatron and the newcomer, Sari asked, “Is this a bad time?” 

Smiling at the tiny technorganic, Depthstrike soothed, “No, you’re good Sari. Got some Winterfeast decorations in there?”

Blinking, Sari said, “Christmas actually ... we've only got a week to get ready!”

Shrugging as she moved to help, Depthstrike explained, “In our universe, humans stopped calling it that after the attack on Earth, that sparked the union of humanity and the Autobots. The Cybertronians adopted the core concept, the winter holiday for reflection on family and friends. Showing how much those around you mean to you through food and gifts. It got called Winterfeast.”

Hearing the magic words, Oracle appear in a flutter of white cloth and joined in helping decorate. She smiled as the Autobots showed interest in the decorations and the holiday. 

Coming in once he was able to transform to bot mode without dropping all the lights, Bumblebee asked, “Sari is this really necessary?” He was teasing her playfully.

Pointing at the walls, Sari stated, “Come on, Grinch. This place needs some holiday cheer.”

Eventually, the Decepticons started to join in. Blitzwing moved to help Sari and Bumblebee hang the strings of lights. Random spun forward and gasped, “Jah! It look so tasty! All ze colors on jour paint, Hummel-chan!”

Blushing at the attention, Bumblebee huffed, “Yesh! That nickname isn’t funny, Blitzbrain!”

Random just laughed it off.

A subdued Heavyfire showed Mixmaster how to craft an oilnog to help their supplies stretch to cover Strika and her team up in orbit. Then he gave Strika the recipe with a soft, “Heard you say that supplies are getting tight.”

Scrapper helped Bulkhead put together a Cybertronian sized fake christmas tree.

Strika took over minding the mechling as Lunarshine showed Lugnut how to help. It was a funny picture. Then her optics noticed the one called Heavyfire lose balance out of the corner of her vision. Odd…

As the next deca cycle passed, Strika had noticed other little tells. Nothing big, nothing too telling, if you didn’t know what to look for. Split nanoklik losses of balance and the faintly brighter glow to his optics and the slightly warmer ex-vents.

Sari was so excited as she bounced in Bumblebee’s lap as Bumblebee leaned into Blitzwing’s side. The three of them were watching some old classic Christmas movie, with Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye. The two Cybertronians more confused than anything but they enjoyed it because of how happy Sari was watching it with them.

The triple changer couldn’t help but wonder if this might just be what having a sparkmate and mechling would be like.

When the movie ended, Sari noticed the teams were starting to yawn and she asked, “You guys aren’t going to stay up and keep me company while waiting for Santa Clause?”

Shaking his tired helm as he yawned, Optimus stated, “There’s always tomorrow. Oh and merry Christmas, Sari.”

As she watched Megatron gently guide the tired Prime, Sari smiled as she answered, “Merry Christmas, Big guy, and pleasant dreams.”

As Optimus smiled at their tiny technorganic, Megatron said softly, “Merry Christmas. Little imp.”

Smiling, Sari laughed and went to head home but changed her mind. She went and found Bumblebee in Blitzwing’s room. She found a spot on the pillow and nested in to sleep.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once all the others had drifted away to recharge, Strika got a chance to get Heavyfire alone and she asked, “Have you told the sire?”

Freezing faster than a voltacat in front of a cyberwolf, Heavyfire stated, “What… I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Smiling with her optics, Strika stated, “You’re carrying are you not? You’re already showing the earliest signs. Tell your Autobot. Recharge well, I must return to my ship.”

Turning his faceplates away, Heavyfire whispered, “He’s on Cybertron now. But one sleep cycle isn’t enough to stick.” He was lying to himself and a tiny part of him knew it. However, if he admitted that he was sparked then he had to admit his spark belonged to the Magnus. The one mech he could never have….

Hearing the whisper, Strika knew she had to do something to help the young war build. She sent Megatron a message saying she was going to meet with Stellarblast to discuss a possible counter attack to draw the Seraphimus away from the Autobots. When in truth she was going to meet with Stellarblast’s second in command, to see if Oceancry had finished that project he had told her about.

Hopefully, it was ready because the bitling wouldn’t wait.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

Sitting at the com station, Jazz was listening in to Autobot channels as suddenly a flood of requests for help hit. It was like the Seraphimus were hitting every last colony and outpost on the periphery! 

Then Rodimus came on over the coms, “Rodimus to Elite Guard command we are under attack! Repeat, requesting back up, we are under attack.”

Hearing the Elite Guard response, Jazz answered under his intakes even though his friend couldn’t hear him, “Stay cool, Rodimus and hold out a little longer. I’ll get you back up.”

Walking over to the war table, Jazz looked up at the two leaders and demanded, "Is there anyway, you can help a mech out?!" He pointed out the tiny colony and explained, “Rodimus is requesting back up and ain’t no mech from da Guard can help him.”

Looking at the map, Optimus cringed when he saw it was just to far away and stated, "We'd never be able to reinforce Rodimus's position even with our ship back online."

Noticing a small chance, Megatron stated, "Jazz contact your friend and let him know help is coming from unlikely allies." Then he went to the long range communications array and dialed up Strika. 

The femme asked, "What now?"

Shaking his helm as Strika came on screen, Megatron answered, “The Autobot Elite guard is stretched too thin, they’re running the risk of losing a spacebridge to the Seraphimus. Your team is the only one close enough to possibly rescue the silly civilians.”

Seeing the coordinates appear on the screen, Strika sighed, “I will see to it that the Seraphimus do not get their filthy technorganic servos on that spacebridge or the Autobots.”

Smirking, Megatron added, “Oh and Strika, make sure Oilslick knows to keep his cosmic rust vials away from the civilians.”

Stunned silent, Jazz blinked at the big Decepticon before rushing to ping Rodimus. When his friend growled, “Jazz! Not now!” 

Jazz cut in, “Stay cool, Aye got ya some help on da way. Just don’t shoot them when dey get there, you dig?”

Dodging a blast, Rodimus huffed as he returned fire, “I’d welcome help from the Cons if it means my team survives this!”

Chuckling, Jazz teased, “Hold that dial, m’mech, and don’t shoot em.” Then the connection went silent.

As the Seraphimus tried to overwhelm Brawn, Rodimus provided covering fire as he called out, “Ironhide! Brawn! Fall back!”

As she tried to work, Firstaid called out, “Rodimus! I need a servo with…” Then two of the winged technorganics yanked the medic away from her patient.

One leered, “So pretty, think we have time to have a go before they notice we have it?”

The other took one of Rodimus’s arrows to the face and Firstaid kicked free of the first’s grasp. 

Rushing to his teammates, Ironhide scooped up Hotshot and shouted, “Run for it!”

Then suddenly huge purple blasts started raining down on their attackers. A black and green motorcycle cut off the few on foot with an oil slick. 

Rodimus couldn’t believe his optics! Jazz had actually sent Decepticons to help them?! Or was this an attack of opportunity.

Then as Rodimus held off the Seraphimus and his team scrambled to hide in the shadow of the space bridge, huge shadow covered them and a Decpticon hit the ground.

A blast of energy washed over everything. The Autobots and the Seraphimus were knocked over. The Spacebridge shorted out and was rendered useless.

Glaring, Strika huffed, “Blackout you fool! We need the Spacebridge operational.”

Blinking, Blackout answered, “Oh.. Sorry..” He slammed a ped again and another blast brought the Spacebridge back online.

Strika stated, “Spitter, Cyclonus, secure the perimeter. Oilslick go help the injured Autobot. Blackout, with me we’re getting this Spacebridge pointed the right direction.”

A ice blue winged Seraphimus snarled out, “You shalt not have them, Warbuild! The breeders are ours!”

Turning lazily towards the technorganic, Oilslick answered, “You say that like getting past you is a difficult thing, fleshie.” He tossed a vial and the Seraphimus screamed in agony as the cosmic rust killed him quickly. 

Staring in shock, Rodimus gasped out, “Cosmic rust?! Not another step Decepticreep! Stay away from my team!”

Rolling his optics, Oilslick batted the bow away and gently tapped the Autobt’s forehelm with a knuckle.

Rodimus shuddered as his systems locked up and his knees gave out for no reason. He stared up at the Decepticon.

Snorting playfully, Oilslick asked, “Is that any way to speak to those who came to save you, little Autobot?”

Now that the battle was mostly over, Firstaid stated, “The damage is too severe, Hotshot. I told you, you’ll get a replacement.”

Squirming, Hotshot yelped, “And I want a second opinion!”

Gently moving the Autobot medic out of the way, Oilslick scanned the injury with his optics and stated, “It’s repairable. You Autobots are too used to having replacements that you don’t try to salvage limbs. Lay him down, I need room to work.” When the Autobot femme tried to cut in, Oilslick stated, “Get me some spare medical replacement plates if you want to help.”

Huffing, Firstaid left to get the supplies. How dare some Decepticon washed up medical mech say she was being wasteful??! The leg was too badly damaged!

Watching the Decepticon taking such painfully tedious strut breaking efforts to save his teammate’s leg, Ironhide asked, “Why are you so set on saving his leg?”

Continuing his work of cutting the damaged areas away, Oilslick answered, “The damage while severe is repairable, Decepticons can’t afford to just lop off limbs. We don’t have the resources to just replace them. Lady Strika ordered that I help this mech, so I’m doing it. Lord Megatron himself ordered that no harm come to you Autobots at our servos, so you can relax.”

Crossing his arms, Brawn huffed, “What about what you did to the mechling?!”

Smirking, Oilslick countered, “Pressure points, he’s free to move if he so wishes. I simply kept him from continuing a fight that was already over.” He easily got the misaligned gears back into place. A few twists and he had the tiny pistons straightened.

Blushing as he watched the Decepticon work on his leg, Hotshot whispered, “How can a Con be so gentle?”

Lifting his gaze to the pretty little Autobot, Oilslick tilted his helm to the side and answered, “I’m a medic, what did you expect? My commanding officer ordered that I repair you.” He took his time to actually look at the young mech. Brightly colored and pleasingly forged. He knew what Megatron had said about spawning. A Decepticon and an Autobot, the concept had been so strange to him until now. Those bold but also shy optics of pale blue were drawing him in.

Ducking his helm as he blushed more, Hotshot twisted his servos together as he mumbled, “I didn’t mean it like that. Firstaid was all for amputating my leg but you… you crashed into that plan like a wrecking ball and told her off like the very suggestion offended you to the spark… Like you actually care about a mech like me.”

Getting back up to his peds slowly, Rodimus watched the Decepticon named Oilslick place a comforting servo on his youngest teammate’s helm and his spark felt funny.  He went to the one called Strika and demanded, “What do you plan to do to my team?! I can not hand over the spacebridge to you!”

Ex-venting hard, Strika answered, "The Spacebridge is to get your team to safety. Then we will dismantle it or destroy it. To prevent the Seraphimus from using it."

Crossing his arms, Rodimus countered, "I can't let you take the spacebridge parts. But it would be a waste to just destroy it."

Arching an optics ridge, Strika asked, "What do you propose, little archer?"

Thinking about it, Rodimus stated, "My team can't return to the Commonwealth after being saved by your team. Prime Chin-for-brains would have us all stripped of rank and disavowed from the guard. We need a place to stay and fuel."

Smirking, Strika stated,"You come with us. As guests. You may have to share bunks for a bit. With each other or one of us…." She glanced at the youngster and her medic before finishing, "If there is a connection."

Nodding, Rodimus huffed and sighed out, “Let’s get this thing dismantled then and get the pit out of here before those things come back.” Then he called out, "Ironhide, Brawn, we're taking this spacebridge apart."

The two looked at each other than back to Rodimus before shrugging and doing as they were ordered.

Firstaid returned with the medical replacement plates and was shocked at the difference in Hotshot’s leg. The sheer amount of repairs the Decepticon had done in the time she was gone was simply amazing to her. She was sure that the mech would agree with her statement by the time she got back but this….

Perhaps she had been too hasty to throw away something that could be saved.

Taking the plates, Oilslick stated, “Thank you.” He worked quickly to patch the cosmetic damage before helping Hotshot to his peds.

Wobbling a little, Hotshot blushed when Oilslick’s servos came up to steady him. His spark fluttered at the gentle touch. Was there something more to this than just orders?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When they all stepped onto the Decepticon war ship, Ironhide noticed something. The only one of them that the Cons didn’t look ready to pounce on was Hotshot. It was like the mechling had some sort of protective barrier around him or something….

Tapping Ironhide’s arm, Brawn pointed out the servo at the small of Hotshot’s spinal struts.The two shared a knowing smile and Brawn just shook his helm.

Ironhide shrugged and stated, “Cons are weird, Brawn.”

For the first Decacycle, everything was more or less quiet as the Decepticons seemed to stay away from the Autobots as if not sure what to make of willing Autobot ‘guests’....

Hotshot spent every waking megacycle he could with Oilslick. The Con was so gentle with him and willing to answer questions that Hotshot hadn’t realized how hard he’d fallen for him.

The second Decacycle, was marked with odd gifts left at their doors. Some were just weird, like some sort of green goo or some gawdy colored plastamesh lengths. Others…. were downright creepy. Like an interfacing aide and a detached servo.

WHAT THE FRAG!?!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Spitter finally cornered Oilslick’s pretty Autobot. He offered up his gift. A length of silken plastamesh in a sheer burgundy. It would look beautiful draped over the colorful Hotshot and make Oilslick regret crossing him. A young Autobot like Hotshot would spark quickly once coaxed into berth.

Seeing his teammate looking so afraid, Rodimus moved to intervene but Cyclonus stopped him. He glared up at the purple swordsmech and demanded, “Do you mind?!”

Pulling Rodimus into his arms, Cyclonus leaned down and explained, “Spitter is challenging Oilslick’s claim on Hotshot. If anymech other than Oilslick steps in than it will make our medic look weak and this will happen more and more until some mech puts a bitling in Hotshot. Possibly against his will.”

Optics going wide, Rodimus asked, “Bitling?”

Then Oilslick appeared and shoved Spitter away from his frightened Autobot, Oislick growled out, “Trying to court a claimed mech? Even you know better, Spitter.” When Hotshot’s trembling arms hooked around his waist, Oilslick turned to comfort the young mech as he firmly stated, “Your gift has been rejected, Spitter. Stay away from my Hotshot or you’ll find the consequences unworth the effort.”

As he watched Oilslick comfort Hotshot, Rodimus huffed, “You Decepticons are strange.”

Giving a soft chuckle, Cyclonus started to walk away but smiled mentally when the little Prime chased after him. Hook.

Walking next to Cyclonus, Rodimus noticed that the hungry optics that had been hounding him for the past Decacycle were now quickly being averted. He asked Cyclonus, “So what is a bitling?! Does it have something to do with the strange gifts that keep appearing at our doorways?”

Reaching his bunk that he usually shared with Oilslick, Cyclonus sent the medic a short message that the Autobot’s quarters were empty as he said, “Come inside and I’ll explain it over a cube of highgrade.” Line.

Thinking about it for a moment, Rodimus gave the stoic mech a nod and slid past the Decepticon to step inside. 

Smirking for a nanoklik, Cyclonus locked the door on his way in. Success. He was willing to play dirty to claim his Prime. After a Decacycle of watching the others frag the little archer with their optics, Cyclonus was finding his legendary patience may actually have a limit.

As Cyclonus grabbed the high grade, Rodimus sat down on the lower berth. Unknowingly choosing Cyclonus’s berth, Rodimus asked, “But seriously, what’s up with the weird gifts? Firstaid nearly gave us all spark attacks with the scream when she found the severed servo at her door.”

Handing a cube over to Rodimus, Cyclonus explained as he sat at the foot of his berth, “The servo, I had wondered where Octave’s servo had gone. Sunburst took offense when Octave touched the femme’s aft. He made a gift of the offending servo…. It was not well received, I see.”

Sipping the high grade, Rodimus gasped at the lightness and asked, “How’d you find high grade that doesn’t taste like sludge and cling to your tubes on the way down?”

Cyclonus chuckled as the Autobot drank more eagerly and explained, “Our brewmasters filter it properly. We believe that high grade is for enjoyment, not just to overcharge the systems.”

Leaning back on a servo, Rodimus swirled the liquid and asked, “How come you spoke of Oilslick claiming Hotshot? Hotshot’s his own mech and Oilslick can’t own him!” The high grade was loosening his glossa and Rodimus had no idea the rabbit hole he was about to jump into.

Waiting for another glup of high grade, Cyclonus explained, “Much like the gifts, it has to do with courtship and protection.”

Tilting his helm, Rodimus asked, “But nomech has claimed the rest of us?”

Nodding, Cyclonus asked back, “Have you been watched with hungry optics? Hounded with gifts that you don’t understand or know where they come from?”

Biting his lower lipplate, Rodimus countered, “Well, I did like one of the gifts… it was small tub of polish wrapped in a purple plastamesh rag….” Then his processor caught up to what shade of purple the rag was and he gasped, “That was you!”

Smirking, Cyclonus shifted a little closer to test the young mech’s reaction and rumbled out, “You liked my gift?”

Looking at those red optics, Rodimus couldn’t force a lie out and answered slightly breathlessly, “Yeah... “ One of those big servos moved and Rodimus shuddered at the featherlight touch of talons on his cheek plate. He just knew Cyclonus meant him no harm but the fact the mech was at least half again his size still made him nervous.

His smirk slowly morphed to a gentle smile and Cyclonus soothed, “That is good news. It would be bad form to continue if you had favored another’s gift.”

Blinking at those deep red optics, Rodimus asked, “It would?” His systems were warming under the Decepticon’s touch.

Nodding slowly, Cyclonus explained, “Warbuilds are highly aggressive and territorial by nature. As such we have a very strict set of rules when courting that we follow. Challenging another's claim must be done in a certain manner, with the approval of the one being courted. That is why Spitter was trying so desperately to get Hotshot to take the gift. If your teammate had accepted the gift then Spitter would be free to challenge Oilslick for rights to claim Hotshot.”

Shuddering as Cyclonus shifted closer still, Rodimus drained the cube before asking, “At what point is a claim finally unchallengeable?”

Tilting his helm as their ex-vents mingled, Cyclonus answered, “Once a bond is formed. Or once the courted accepts their suitor into their berth. Then they are Consorts.”

Stopping Cyclonus with a servo to his chassis, Rodimus asked, “So if a mech is being courted, what if they only want their suitor for one night? You know, to find out if their suitor is to their tastes in berth?’

Frowning as he recoiled from the question, Cyclonus answered sharply, “We talk to our partners, Full interfacing can wait until both parties agree to the relationship and the depth to which they wish to take it.”

Grabbing Cyclonus’s arm when the Decepticon moved to leave, Rodimus gasped out, “Don’t!” When Cyclonus looked at him, Rodimus pleaded, “Please Don’t leave.” He let his servo fall to the berth with a rattling ex-vent. Of course he fragged it all up.

Settling back down, Cyclonus put distance between them again but he noticed the slight panic filling the younger mech’s optics. He gently touched the servo that rested on the berth to let Rodimus know he was there.

Squirming for a moment before he looked into those searching red optics, Rodimus fumbled, “I’m… I’m sorry. I didn’t… mean to offend… you.” Looking down to their servos, Rodimus turned his servo to cling to the offered servo and muttered, “I always frag it up. I always run my intake without thinking and end up saying the wrong things.”

Cyclonus waited and Rodimus rewarded him with a scared, “I want to get to know you but I’m… not sure…”

Relaxing as it all clicked into place, Cyclonus soothed, “You’re worried that if you give in that something will go wrong.” Gently stroking Rodimus’s cheek plate, Cyclonus asked softly, “Who hurt you and put this fear into your spark?”

Shaking his helm, Rodimus explained, “Not me, another mech. In my first stellar cycle at the academy, I overheard some of the upper classmechs talking about… hurting some mech, but in my rush to report it I didn’t linger long enough to hear who it was they planned to attack. They were never caught in the act nor did their victim step forward and say anything. I got the charge of falsely accusing fellow cadets of a crime on my record.”

Nodding in understanding, Cyclonus said, "You jumped the gun a little but your spark was in the right place."

Ex-venting softly, Rodimus stated, "Didn't stop the name calling or the harassment…. Stupid spawn and Hotrod snitch were their favorites."

Giving a soft rumble of his engine, Cyclonus asked, "You're a spawned mech?" It wasn't a harsh or demeaning question…

However, Rodimus snapped, "Yeah, I am! Got a problem with it?!"

Placing a talon on those pretty lip plates, Cyclonus said, "No, I like it. Spawned mechs are rare but far hardier than their fellows. They can withstand far more and achieve greater goals. From what I hear, spawned mechs will become more commonplace soon enough. It also explains your height."

All of his rage evaporated at those words and Rodimus asked, “Really?” That was new, back among the Autobots being a spawned mech seemed to be something to be ashamed of.

They spent several megacycles just talking. Rodimus found his nervousness fading under Cyclonus’s patience. 

In the end they didn’t interface even though Cyclonus could tell Rodimus had more than warmed up to the idea. He wanted to make sure his Autobot was sure. He wanted a sparkbond with the little fluff helmed prime and he wouldn’t settle for less. 

Rodimus drifted off to recharge cradled in Cyclonus’s arms and silently admitted that this was a feeling he just might like to get used to.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Back on Earth, Heavyfire was sitting with the others for morning rations when his fueltank twisted harshly and he had to bolt outside as his tank purged itself. Dropping to his knees and servos, Heavyfire stared at the half digested energon and a servo went to his chassis plates.

As Ratchet rushed outside to check on the young mech he heard Heavyfire plead, “Oh Primus! Please don’t do this to me… not like this…. please just let me forget ....”

Tempest came running with Oracle right behind her. She asked, "Fire? You okay?" Seeing the purged fuel, Tempest gently pulled the mech into a hug and soothed, "Oh you poor thing… was it one of the Magnus's team?"

Rolling his optics, Ratchet ran his scans and was shocked when Heavyfire nodded. Then he saw the results and ex-vented harshly before saying, "Heavyfire, you're carrying… your systems are already showing stress and if you keep going without nanite donations your systems may not be repairable. Sadly the best course for you would be to terminate it."

Tempest put her hands over Heavyfire's plates and her eyes filled with sorrow as she said, "Ratchet's right, Fire. At this rate even my gift may not fix you if this goes sideways ...."

Shaking his helm, Heavyfire insisted, "Even if they are a torment, I want them. If I must remember and feel my spark crumble then let something good come of it."

Closing her eyes, Oracle smiled and stated, "This path leads to light."

Frowning, Tempest snarled, "Oracle if you're wrong…. I will offline you. If this hurts Fire…"

Baring her teeth, Oracle stated, "Have I ever been wrong?!" She understood Tempest’s worries but her calculations said this was the path they were meant to take. That everything would work out. There were still several ways this path branched but none lead to an unhappy Heavyfire. That was all that mattered to her.

Cutting in before the femmes could get into a full blown argument, Ratchet asked, “Tempest, can you help Heavyfire to the medbay? I think we should do some more in depth scans.”

Nodding, Tempest helped the warbuild to his peds and teased, “I got chu, big guy. Come on let’s go sooth Ratchet’s worries. I’m sure you’re going to be fine.”

As they walked through the common area, Heavyfire asked, “Tempest? How can I forget Ultra Magnus if the mechling ends up looking like him?”

Ignoring the way Optimus had frozen after his helm snapped around to look at Heavyfire, Tempest soothed, “It’ll work out. You heard Oracle. She’s never been wrong before. If she’s sure your mechling is going to be fine and so are you then it’ll be so.”

Clutching his chassis, Heavyfire asked, “How long do you think I have?”

Helping her friend onto the medical berth, Tempest asked, “Have you brought your inner forge online yet?”

Shaking his helm as Ratchet came in, Heavyfire answered, “I didn’t know I was sparked…. I hoped it wouldn’t happen…. I just wanted to forget how it felt in the end.”

Bringing over a portable scanner, Ratchet stated, “Open it up, and let’s see how far along the spark is.” He had noted the fact that Heavyfire’s inner forge was not active which meant the sparkling was still forming in the war build’s spark chamber. That combined with tank purging was not a good sign.

Letting his chassis open, Heavyfire resisted the urge to cover his spark and the smaller one in orbit with his servo. However, even he could tell it was getting to be a tight fit.

Frowning harshly at the power readings he was getting, Ratchet stated bluntly, “If you are set on keeping this mechling, then turn on your forge and get nanite donations or get a protoform within a decacycle. If you wait any longer than that and you’ll risk damaging your spark.”

Nodding weakly as he shut his chassis, Heavyfire curl protectively around the spark he now knew was inside him….

But Heavyfire wasn’t sure what to do. He didn’t want to be touched by any other mech. The night with Ultra Magnus was too fresh in his processor.

The pain of the empty berth afterwards was still a molten scar across his spark.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Even though he had known better.

Even though everything he knew said to not pry.

Optimus had followed after to listen in. 

As he walked back to the war table, Optimus couldn’t get the situation out of his processor. Ultra Magnus was the Sire?! Poor Heavyfire had to internally forge the mechling which required nanites, Optimus knew that much, or have the spark pulled to be placed in a protoform.

Seeing the way Optimus was pacing slightly, Megatron moved over and asked, “What has you processor chasing itself, Optimus?”

Jumping as the question startled him out of his thoughts, Optimus turned to his Co-commander and explained, “Heavyfire is carrying…. Ratchet said he has a Decacycle to online his forge or get a protoform. Where would we even get him something like that?”

Stepping slowly forward, Megatron offered, “The Decepticons have a few, I can see about getting one for him if Heavyfire wishes to use a protoform.”

Nodding, Optimus stated, “If that is his choice I’ll let you know. Thank you, Megatron. It means a lot to me to know there’s a safety net ready for him.”

As if this Solar cycle couldn’t get worse! Optimus heard the chime of Ultra Magnus hailing them. Going over to the communication terminal, Optimus answered, “Earth Base reading you loud and clear Ultra Magnus.”

Ultra magnus asked, “What news do you have on the Seraphimus? Or perhaps on the missing Team Athenia under the command of Rodimus Prime?”

Wanting to groan, Optimus answered, “We’ve stopped the Seraphimus here from collecting any Allspark fragments and kept ourselves out of their servos. As for Rodimus Prime and his team, I know nothing of their whereabouts.”

Frowning, Ultra Magnus demanded, “Did you enlist your… allies to aid his team?”

Seeing the tension in his Prime’s frame, Megatron stepped up and placed a servo on Optimus’s shoulder strut to calm him. Then he answered, “I sent Strika and her team to aid them since your mechs were stretched too thin on this last push. Strika has yet to answer any hails, which could be for several reasons. If she has your Team Athenia then I will inform you of such.”

Glaring at the Decepticon Warlord, Ultra Magnus asked, “Is there anything else you want to report Optimus Prime?”

Realizing he had an opening, Optimus reported, “The Heralds have asked for more space to grow their Energon crops.”  

Optimus twitched at the blank stare Ultra Magnus was giving him and finally stated the request he’d been formulating in his processor since Christmas, “Sir, there is a satellite base up for decommissioning over one of the uncolonized moons. You wouldn't even have to talk with the council to sign it over to us! Sir, the moon is useless to the Commonwealth but that can change. Or the Decepticons will take the base and moon for their allies and the Commonwealth will only get the scraps.”

Ultra Magnus sighed and stated, “Optimus, do you truly think the council wouldn't notice me releasing one of our military bases into the servos of an unknown force? When they demand answers, and they will, there is no explanation that would save anybot involved.”

Gritting his denta, Optimus answered, “Tell them it was to keep from being sold only the scrap energon crops after the Decepticons have first pick. Our new allies could in the course of a few stellar cycles fed our entire race along with the Decepticons twice over with just that base and moon. The Decepticons have already promised protection in exchange for a percentage of the crops.”

Sighing, Ultra Magnus stated, “They would have to petition the council for the rights to it. You knew how the laws work Optimus Prime. If there is nothing else, have a good cycle.”

Feeling disgusted, Optimus snapped, “You aren’t even going to ask about Heavyfire?”

Freezing, Ultra Magnus remembered just how he had slunk off after spiking the young war build. He had taken the coward’s way out once again. Closing his optics for a moment, Ultra Magnus firmly stated, “The war build is none of my concern.” He could taste the ash of regret before the words were fully out of his intake.

Then Optimus ripped the rug out from under his Magnus by asking, “So you don’t care that he is suffering because he chose to not terminate your creation? That your bitling is leeching energy so fiercely from him that Ratchet and Tempest have both suggested termination. That your bitling might be placed in a Decepticon provided protoform within the deca cycle.”

That had Ultra Magnus’s attention and he growled out, “Over my cold grey frame!” However, before he could say anything else the connection was cut.

Rubbing his face, Optimus muttered, “Primus ... that was low of me. Why did I do that?”

Megatron gently stroked his co-commander’s shoulders and soothed, “Because you were so close and it was snatched from your servos like a candy you’ve been good for. Don’t worry, We’ll have the station one way or another, Optimus. Our people will never know the pinch of hunger or the sting of a rejection they can’t understand.”

Optimus leaned into Megatron’s warm presence. How was it that in taking the time to know this big war build had changed him so much? To know there was such a thing as safety and that he had a protector for once.

From the shadows, Heavyfire felt his spark clench. Ultra Magnus knew! The mech had sounded angry at the mere thought of being cut out of the sparkling’s functioning….

Perhaps there was still hope?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Waking when his com crackled to life, Cyclonus asked, “Yes, Lady Strika?”

Strika stated, “I need you on the bridge, I have to leave the ship. Was your little archer sweet?”

Growling his engine, Cyclonus stated, “I still court him. Not happened between us. He is still unmarked. Please keep your curiosity out of my affairs, my Lady.”

As he moved to leave, Cyclonus gently kissed Rodimus’s audio fin before he left the berth. He soothed to the recharging mech, “I will return, sweet Prime.” 

When Cyclonus arrived on deck, Strika stated, “I am here to see if Oceancry has delivered on his promises.”

Tilting his helm, Cyclonus asked, “What do growing protoforms have to do with us?”

Smiling with her optics, Strika explained, “One of Megatron’s little Prime’s team is carrying but the sire knows not and is not available. A protoform is needed no doubt.”

Nodding, Cyclonus stated, “I have the bridge then, Lady Strika. Our Allies have a need that must be filled.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Strika barged into his base Stellarblast snarled and then he planted himself right in the femme’s path with a sharp, “What in the fragging pit are you doing in my base, Strika!?! Megatron gave this place to my team. I rule here.”

Strika went ped-tip to ped-tip with the upstart. She answered, “I have need of your second’s pet project. The cause needs it. Our newest allies can fill our tanks if given a chance but they need to focus on that not inner forging a bitling.”

Tilting his helm, Stellarblast asked, “How? Energon is running dry even on Cybertron! The Autobots are fighting a losing battle with those winged vermin that have tried to assault this base.”

Strika answered, “Perhaps they will share their secret, but I need that protoform.”

Coming out of his lab, Oceancry screamed, “HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO WORK WITH ALL OF THIS RACKET!?!”

Seeing his beloved second on the verge of a breakdown, Stellarblast moved to pull the scientist into a gentle hold and soothed, “Hush my sweetspark, Lady Strika is making unreasonable demands.”

Sobbing into Stellarblast’s chassis, Oceancry answered, “I’m hungry! I’m tired! I’m so close! Just a few more tweaks… but I’m so hungry ....”

Pulling out two portions of sliced energon apples from her subspace, Strika stated, “Here. Eat, little mechling. Take your time.”

Curling protectively around Oceancry, Stellarblast demanded, “What are those?!”

Strika soothed, “They’re fuel. Eat both of you. I can hear your tanks from here.”

Reaching out, Oceancry shoved a slice in his intake and when it melted on his glossa as he chewed he moaned softly. As his fuel gauge raised, Oceancry took the rest from Strika and held a slice up for Stellarblast.

Smiling with her optics at the two, Strika now had the confirmation that they were sparkbonded. Once they finished refueling, Strika asked, “How long before the protoforms are ready?”

Thinking, Oceancry answered, “Two solar cycles. For the ones who make such as those slices, two solar cycles.” He rushed back to his lab. He had to finish this project.

Strika asked, “Do you need anything else?”

Stellarblast admitted weakly, “My whole team is underfueled and we’re barely holding this base together. Prayers and rusted bolts are all that’s holding us together.”

Ex-venting, Strika stated, “I’ll give you some supplies but I want you to pack up this base. I will return to collect you all. One of the other dreadnaughts will have space for you. We are gathering at Megatron’s command. No  more actions are to be taken against the Autobots, but I’m sure you will understand once you’ve joined the gathering.”

Nodding, Stellarblast stated, “As much as it galls me, I am in your debt for the supplies. Ever since the Autobots moved their patrols closer to Cybertron, we’ve been struggling.” 

Nodding, Strika answered, “There is fuel, not plenty, but enough to go around at the gathering point. Megatron is working on getting us access to more of the energon the Heralds can grow. Be ready in case we get called on to… annex territory from the Autobots. You may be a pain in my aft but you are still one of my best students.”

Smirking, Stellarblast answered, “I will be awaiting your call, mentor.”

Giving a soft rumble of her engines, Strika turned away and returned to her ship. She saw to it that supplies were given to the base. Sure it meant her crew was going to have tighter rations, but they would be heading to Earth and could resupply as it were.

Two solar cycles later a strange egg shaped protoform was delivered to the ship by an exhausted but proud Oceancry. He stated, “It will take the form of a mechling when the spark is placed in the chamber. I go recharge now, bye…”

As her crew looked at her funny, Strika stated, “Recharge well you crazy little glitch.” Then as the scientist left she turned to her crew and barked out, “Get us to Earth! Double time!”

Chapter Text

Staring at the screen, Ultra Magnus was silent.

Once again he was a Sire. 

Once again he’d failed.

Washer fluid ran down his faceplates and Ultra Magnus hid his faceplates in his servos.

As the greatest war hero and supreme commander of the Autobot Commonwealth…

Sobbed his spark out.

This was Arcticblast all over again. 

But this time, Ultra Magnus knew. He knew where his mechling was. However, Ultra Magnus also knew his servos were tied all the tighter this time. The edicts of tighter security meant he couldn’t leave Cybertron without a full council granted permission.

If Perceptor or Wheeljack learned of his mechling…

No!

Raising his helm, Ultra Magnus snarled, “Never! I’ll never let them have Heavyfire or our mechling.” 

That left him in a catch twenty two, he couldn’t leave and go to Heavyfire or bring Heavyfire to him without arousing suspicion from the medical bots. On the flipside though, Ultra Magnus needed to support his mechling. He needed to be there for Heavyfire….

Then his processor brought up Optimus’s request.

Of course! If the Heralds have room to grow energon crops then his mechling will be fed and happy even if some Decepticon took his place in Heavyfire’s berth and spark.

Primus! The mere thought of losing his warbuild…. it burned straight through Ultra Magnus’s spark! He'd been forced to give up his first one and his sparked raged at the thought of losing Heavyfire as well.

However, he had to plan his proposal…. 

This had to air tight and it had to go through on the first try. 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was late when Heavyfire managed to get a chance to get Optimus alone and he opened the conversation with, “I overheard what you told Ultra Magnus earlier.” He wasn’t angry or anything like that but the exhaustion was making it hard for him to convey anything with his tone.

Lowering his helm, Optimus apologized, “I’m sorry, Heavyfire. I was way out of line and I shouldn’t have said anything. It was your secret to tell and I went and spat it out like an unruly mechling denied a toy.”

Shaking his helm, Heavyfire soothed, “No, I’m glad you told him. I was too hurt to even try. I needed you to be my voice. Thank you, Optimus.”

Snapping his helm back up, Optimus blinked and answered, “Oh.. I.. You’re welcome.”

Nodding, Heavyfire requested, “Keep me in the loop if Ultra Magnus does or says anything about.. the mechling? I’m going to try to hold out as long as I can for him before I give in to having the sparkling transferred to a protoform.”

Smiling at Heavyfire, Optimus stated, “If you don’t mind, I’ll let Megatron know your decision. I don’t mind keeping you in the loop.”

Chuckling, Heavyfire teased, “Megatron is lucky to have you, Optimus. Thank you again.”

Blinking, Optimus tilted his helm before saying defensively, “We make a good co-commander team don’t we.”

Shaking his helm with a snort, Heavyfire teased, “Don’t play stupid with me Prime. You know what I mean.”

Shuddering, Optimus answered, “Yes, but it doesn’t change the fact it scares me sparkless.” He had his reasons for staying as far away from interfacing as possible.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The next morning, Bumblebee and Blitzwing were out patrolling when they spotted a blue racer being chased by technorganic hounds. 

Once his attackers were dealt with, Blurr transformed and gasped out, “Thank-you! Thank-you! Thank-you!” 

Waving his servos in front of the strange bot, Bumblebee yelped, “Slow down Zippy! I can barely understand you!”

Frowning, Blurr huffed, “The-name’s-not-Zippy! As-a-matter-of-fact. I-don’t-believe-I’ve-ever-meet-another-bot-named-Zippy. So-one-can-only-assume-you-came-up-with-Zippy-in-reference-to-my-speed. Which-may-be-technically-accurate-but-lacks-a-certain-creativity.”

Looking up at Blitzwing, Bumblebee was just shy of horrified at how fast the bot could talk and from the look Icy gave him the Decepticon was just as confused about what was going on.

Putting a finger up in the yellow bot’s faceplates, Blurr added, “More-to-the-point-the-name’s-Blurr! I’m-an-Autobot-intelligence-officer! Sent-to-this-planet-by-the-Elite-Guard-to-keep-an-optic-on-Optimus-Prime-and-his-crew-as-well-as-monitor-Decepticon-activity!”

Blinking, Bumblebee asked, “Could you repeat the last part?”

Chuckling, Icy patted Bumblebee’s shoulder when Blurr asked, “Which-last-part?”

Ex-venting as he leaned back into Bliztwing’s side, Bumblebee answered, “Everything after the name’s not Zippy.”

Holding up a servo, Icy cut in, “Letz get jou to baze and get jou a zignal suprezer. Zen jou explain to ze commanders.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blurr felt oddly comforted by the big tripleformer when they walked into the base and the medic tried to yank him into the medbay but Blitzwing cut him off.

After explaining his mission to Optimus and Megatron, Blurr was completely terrified. Not that Megatron hadn’t been polite and listened to him. However, Blurr couldn’t help but remember all the evil rumors about the Warlord. 

Bumblebee and Blitzwing were once again settled in on the couch playing their video games.

Going over, Blurr leaned over the sofa and nearly toppled when his balance gave out. 

But a big servo caught the dainty spybot.

Setting Blurr next to him on the couch, Random spun forward and joked, “Careful zere, jou don’t want ze Hatchet to have more reazonz to have zervoz on jou.”

Seeing how Blurr was shifting closer to Blitzwing, Bumblebee snapped, “Blurr, shouldn’t you be seeing Ratchet about a signal whatzit thingy.” A dark unhappy feeling twisted in his spark at the way Blurr had been treated so tenderly by his Decepticon! The shock that crossed his faceplates went unnoticed but Bumblebee wasn’t sure what to make of his thoughts and feelings.

Blurr ex-vented and went to get a dampener. He would be safe here but he saw the way Bumblebee was allowed to climb into Blitzwing’s lap. The way those big servos moved to stroke the yellow mech’s frame for a moment.

Looking up from the reports, Ratchet saw Blurr walk into his medbay with down cast optics. Great! Another young mech bit by the romance bug that was going around! Giving a huff, Ratchet got to work and soon Blurr was free to escape the medbay.

Passing Blurr in the doorway, Tempest moved silently to wrap her arms around Ratchet and nuzzled his neck struts with a softly whispered, "Play nice with the newsparks."

Soaking in the technorganic's warmth, Ratchet reluctantly admitted to himself that it wasn't just the young bots the love bug was biting. He could also get used to having Tempest there to ease his moods…

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

At dinnertime, Blurr’s reaction to organic energon was priceless. Not a single being in the room could understand him but everyone.

Autobot.

Decepticon.

Herald.

Seraphimus.

Even Blurr himself.

Ended up roaring with laughter.

The joy was a sorely needed break from the darkness that had been lingering around the base.

Depthstrike chuckled out, “Score one for the Heralds and their fuel stocks.” He rolled his gaze towards Optimus and teased, “Any luck getting us more land or a moon to terraform?”

Then Oracle spoke up, “Given the variables I know and the situation of Ultra Magnus’s dressing down. We should see results within the week.”

Giving a low whistle, Depthstrike stated, “Good work, Optimus. I knew we could count on you. You always pull through for the team.”

Blushing as he ate, Optimus didn’t know how to handle positive praise from the other team leader. Sure, Megatron praised him from time to time but Depthstrike’s praise seemed to just hit him all the harder this time. Perhaps because of the older mech’s doting Uncle vibe?

The jettwins noticed the look Jazz was giving the big warbuild and as one they nodded. They scrambled up into Depthstrike’s lap and Jetfire asked, “Yous being going out tonight?”

Jetstorm asked, “Can wez being going with you Sir?”

Laughing at the two youngsters, Depthstrike gently rubbed the top of Jetfire’s helm and answered, “Alright you two rugrats. But you better keep up, you wouldn’t want to upset your carrier.”

Choking on his energon when he saw those gold optics looking straight at him, Jazz found himself stuck between embarrassment at being called out on adopting the two and the warmth that settled deep in his pelvic span at Depthstrike’s sudden interest in keeping him happy.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once the patrol left, Blurr approached Optimus and requested, "Might-I-use-the-communications-hub-to-report-in-to-Longarm-Prime?"

Taking a moment to parse out the question, Optimus answered, "Feel free Blurr. Do be aware that the peace here may not be approved by the other Primes."

Nodding quickly, Blurr answered, "I-understand-Optimus-Prime. I-will-only-report-mission-critical-information. Thank-you-again."

Watching the young mech dart off, Megatron huffed before saying, "There's a mech that needs an outlet for too much energy."

Nodding in agreement as he settled in on the couch near the war table, Optimus chuckled out, “I wonder if he even pauses to take ex-vent.” When Megatron sat down next to him, Optimus glanced up into those red optics and quickly hid his reaction by asking, “Any word from Strika yet?”

Pulling up a communications channel on the table, Megatron asked, “Strika? Come in Strika.”

Suddenly the gruff femme answered, “Do you mind, you Scraplet?! I vas busy composing a courting gift. What do you want that can’t wait for the three solar cycles before I get there!?”

Laughing softly, Megatron asked playfully, “Poetry again Strika? You know Lugnut has the talent for it. While you my sweet General of Destruction have always been better at speaking through actions.”

Huffing, Strika stated, “The sweet little carrier deserves the best attempts that my sparkmate and I can put forth.” Then she realized the Prime was sitting next to Megatron and she asked slyly, “How goes your own attempts, my Lord?”

Playing innocent, Optimus answered, “We’re managing our little three way peace quite well. The Heralds are growing energon fruits at an astounding rate. If Oracle’s predictions are correct within the Decacycle we should have news on if we have been granted custody of a decommissioned satellite base which will allow for increased production.”

Chuckling, Megatron stated, “We’ve gathered close to half of the shards of the Allspark and managed to keep our Autobots out of Seraphimus servos. However, I must ask.”

Knowing where this was going, Strika answered before he could ask, “The silly archer Prime and his team are in my care, two of them have been claimed in courtship. The other three are free to join you when we land.”

Nodding, Megatron stated, “Those being courted should remain with their Suitors lest the wrong message be sent and some mech damages the Autobots.”

Optimus stated, “Keep the team together, it’ll lessen the stress for the others. Autobots don’t like when their teams get split up.”

Then Megatron requested, “If it is possible, I need you to snatch up one of the few protoforms left. Heavyfire may have need of it.”

Laughing, Strika answered, “One step ahead of you, Megatron. Remember Oceancry’s project. I have one of those in my cargo hold. We shall arrive in three solar cycles.”

Once the channel was severed, Optimus turned curious optics towards Megatron and the warlord explained, “Oceancry was experimenting with creating a protoform that acted like a spawned mechling. Starting small and growing. In hopes of tapping into the increased potential that spawned mechs have.”

Optics going wide, Optimus asked, “Wait, being a spawned mech… is actually a good thing?”

Tilting his helm to give Optimus a purely shocked look, Megatron stated, “Spawns are larger and stronger than their counterparts of the same frame type. They have far larger reserves and internal strengths that sparked protoforms just can’t compete with. Megazark and myself are both spawned mechs, we have both ruled the Decepticons because of our overclocked in comparison abilities.”

Optimus hugged Megatron! He hugged the bigger mech like his world was shattering. For once somemech defended his creation as a good thing! Optimus couldn’t stop the joy that filled his spark any more than he could stop his frame from pressing closer to his co-commander’s comforting warmth.

Encircling Optimus in his arms, Megatron stated, “You’re so perfect, little Prime.” A spawned mech like himself. Their union would be all the stronger and their creations will be magnificent.

Eventually they broke apart, when Blurr came through to babble something at them.

Megatron ex-vented and chuckled once the spy left, “I have no idea.”

Getting up to head to his berth, Optimus joked, “Does anymech?”

Grinning at his Prime, Megatron stood and moved gracefully to follow. Even if they recharged in separate berths, Optimus was already his.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

During those two solar cycles, Ultra Magnus barely even recharged as he worked on his proposal around his other duties.

Finally he was walking in with his helm held high, Ultra Magnus was going to make the council see things his way. He would provide for both of his mechlings, one way or another.

Once all the other items on the docket were finished.Staring down the council, Ultra Magnus stood up and stated, “I put forward the motion to give the Dadilous station to new allies. These allies are willing to take the station and the moon it orbits with the force of their allies but have asked that we consider selling it to them first. I propose we give it as a gift a token of our good will.”

Longarm Prime rumbled out, “My Agent Blurr has had much to say about the Heralds and their allies.”

For a moment Ultra Magnus felt his spark freeze. He feared that the prime would ruin any chance he had at getting to the mech carrying his bitling in time to keep the spark from imprinting on whatever Decepticon that decided to take his place in Heavyfire’s functioning.

However, Longarm rumbled out, “We don’t have the resources to stop them if they put a concentrated effort on taking the station and the moon. Also, we'd lose any chance of having access to what Blurr has called the best energon he’s ever tasted. Which would mean their allies will simply out endure us as our stores of energon are depleted.”

Senator Ratbat spat out, “I noticed you both avoided naming these mysterious allies of these Heralds.”

Longarm stated, “That is because this reconciliation project needs to happen with or without your approval.” Smirking at Ultra Magnus, Longarm asked, “Isn’t that right Lord Magnus?”

Nodding, Ultra Magnus stated, “The council can back this effort or I can turn it over through a military directive. How do you wish to be remembered?”

Even though Ratbat had support in many corners of the council, the directive passed by one vote. A vote from a young senator, a young noble named Thundermatch. The young mech surprised Ultra Magnus when every mech in the council chamber turned to Thundermatch when he was the last mech to vote.

Thundermatch looked about and stated, “Well it looks like I can’t abstain, sorry Ratbat. However I don’t agree with your short sighted vision. Ultra Magnus, you have my vote in favor of your directive.”

Ratbat glared at the young mech as his closest supporters pulled him into a conversation and he made a mental note of the relief on the Magnus’s face. Something more was going on and Ratbat was going to find out.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Leaving to find himself some peace, Ultra Magnus was thankful he had managed that small miracle.  As he sat in a bar nursing a glass of triple filtered Rubicanion oil, Ultra Magnus tried to figure out how he would get to Heavyfire when suddenly a cold glass of oil clinked down on his table and a soft voice asked, “Mind if I join you?”

Thundermatch sat down when the Magnus nodded. He studied the mech for a moment before saying, “Something is weighing your processor down, Magnus. There’s more behind giving the moon away than just a chance at reconciliation with the Cons and energon.”

Eyeing the young mech, Ultra Magnus asked, “Have you ever been taught how sparklings were made before vector sigma?” To his surprise, Thundermatch answered, “A war build and civilian build in sacred congress. Or you do as my sire and kidnap a war build.”

At the shocked gaze, Thundermatch soothed, “I may not be as clueless as I appear but you have nothing to fear from me. I simply wish to see our people as one whole once more. I am no Con.”

Ultra Magnus gave a heavy exvent before saying, “Your sire’s actions and my own are merely different shades of the same crime. At least my war build was a willing partner but it doesn’t change that I took advantage of him. Now he is carrying and I have no idea how to step up to support him or if he’d  even accept me doing so.”

Taking a long swig of his drink, Thundermatch stated, “War builds are much simpler than most think. Just walk up to him and apologize. See what happens, I'd bet on him slugging you once or twice then kissing the living daylights out of you. If you are planning on meeting them as a diplomatic envoy, might I request being included in that envoy mission?”

Nodding, Ultra Magnus stated, “Perhaps Heavyfire will at least warm up to you if he refuses to have anything to do with me.” Patting the young mech on the shoulder, Ultra Magnus left and returned to his apartment. He felt empty as he walked into the sprawling penthouse. He went to his office and proceeded to write out the message for Optimus.

Spark warming to the thought of finally doing something for his first mechling.

Ultra Magnus wondered if just apologizing was all it took? 

What would Arcticblast do if they met again and Ultra Magnus admitted to the scrap poor job he had done raising the gift the warbuild had entrusted to him?

Shuddering as his processor supplied the beatdown the combat shuttle would gift him with, Ultra Magnus muttered, “Thank Primus our mechling never inherited Arcticblast’s temper.” Shaking his helm, Ultra Magnus finished the message.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Waking when his console chimed, Optimus reached over and with blurry optics started reading the message. He smiled as he sifted through the legal lingo and realized the Magnus had given them not only the station but the moon with it. 

The next morning, Optimus was in the mess hall eating as the others came in. Something just didn't feel right about the base.

Sari was darting about trying to break the heavy feeling atmosphere. 

Leaning heavily on the wall, Heavyfire groaned and Sari kicked her jetpack off to go to her friend with a soft, “Fire…. you know you need to rest. Come on, let’s get you back to your room.”

Waving off Sari’s worry, Heavyfire asked, “Optimus, has there been any word?” He wanted to hope, to believe, but his spark was aching so badly.

Optimus answered, “Fire, come on let’s go see Ratchet. Ultra Magnus has contacted me. He’s letting us have the station and the moon.” Helping the weak war build, Optimus walked with Heavyfire to Ratchet’s medical bay.

Ratchet took one look at Heavyfire and sighed, “Heavyfire, you need to find somebot to donate transfluid so your systems can internally forge the bitling’s protoform or agree to have the bitling’s spark extinguished. Since we have no protoforms.”

Biting his lip, Heavyfire sighed, “I can’t ask that of anymech. I guess I have no choice but to let you extinguish the spark.” His spark was breaking at the mere thought.

Cutting in, Optimus asked, “Ratchet can you stasis lock the spark for two more solar cycles?”

Frowning, Ratchet answered, “I can put Heavyfire in stasis for one but two and his spark will risk irreparable damage. The bitling is growing far too rapidly. It may even split soon.”

Looking to Megatron in the doorway, Optimus felt his vocalizer freeze up with fear. Did he dare hope that the Decepticon General could get here in time?

Nodding solemnly, Megatron turned on a heel strut and went to get Strika motivated. If this went bad his Prime would suffer and he would do everything he could to prevent it. 

Optimus stated, “Do what you can Ratchet, we’ll get a protoform one way or another.”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rodimus was on the bridge to spend time with Cyclonus when the com came in.

The Decepticons on the bridge all stood up when Megatron stated, “A fellow War build’s functioning hangs in the balance as does a sparkling, I need you here by next solar cycle. Rise up my Decepticons! Rise to the challenge I give you.”

War cries echoed around them and Rodimus asked, “Cyclonus? Is this how Decepticons usually act?”

Smirking, Cyclonus answered, “We have our bonds just like Autobots do. Our kind has been pushed to dangerously close to extinction. We’re not letting our lord down and allowing one of our own to perish.” 

Turning to Strika, Cyclonus asked, “Permission to nudge the engines, Lady General?”

Giving a dark rumble of her engines, Strika answered, “Granted, Cyclonus. Do what you must to get us there. A round of high grade to the crew if we make it in less than a solar cycle.”

A cheer answered that and the crew scattered to stations and alarms blared.

Cyclonus teased, “Hang on, my little archer.” As Rodimus’s arms wrapped around his middle, Cyclonus bellowed, “Engines to full, you know our heading! Brace for speed increase!”

When the ship lurched to the new speed, Rodimus skidded and nearly lost his grip if not for Cyclonus’s arm moving to hold him in place.

Some of the other Decepticons cat called the two of them but a dark glare from Cyclonus sent them scrambling back to their tasks.

When moving at this speed, the crew had to work extra hard to keep the ship from running into something or drifting off course.

Eventually, Rodimus curled up in one of the few empty seats and drift off to recharge as Cyclonus remained nearby. A protective presence to keep the other Decepticons from trying anything.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The sun was rising once more in Detroit when the base’s door flew open and Strika’s voice called out, “You owe me some high grade for this, you Scraplet!”

Racing out to hug his sparkmate, Lugnut cheered, “That’s my perfect goddess! Bringing our magnificent lord’s will to being!”

When the shouting woke his mechling, Lunarshine stormed out with the screaming mechling and smacked Lugnut’s arm. When the warbuild turned to him, Lunarshine deposited the mechling into those frightened servos with a harsh, “You woke him! Now you get him back to recharge!”

Megatron came out and tried to keep from laughing as Lugnut tried to soothe the crying mechling. Primus and Unicron combined he just couldn’t take it.

Seeing Megatron trying and failing to keep his laughter in, Strika went over with a chuckle and tried to hand over the egg shaped protoform. She stated, “I will record this. Get this to the young carrier quickly. I owe my crew a round of high grade for the miracle they pulled off for our allies.”

Appearing from seemingly nowhere, Oracle stated, “We have some energon whiskey. For saving one of ours, Depthstrike will part with it. Enough for a mech sized shot for each member of your crew.”

Nodding in acceptance, Strika turned when a grumpy Wasp appeared and demaned, “Give Phase to Wasp! Lugnut useless with Phase! Wasp better with mechlings!”

A tired looking Decimus came back from patrol just in time to see Wasp deftly snatch the screaming mechling up and sing Phasestrike down from screaming before the mechling could wake the entire base.

Once Phasestrike was calmed and back in Lugnut’s arms, Wasp hissed out, “Lugnut take Phase back to Lunar and beg forgiveness. In. Whisper! Promise Lunar whatever it takes to make up for this. Learn better!”

Smiling as Wasp came over to him, Decimus asked, “Lugnut woke up the mechling?”

Nodding as he hugged his technorganic, Wasp purred out, “Wasp want Decimus’s mechling. Phasestrike making Wasp want one.”

Jerking at the bluntness of the ‘request’, Decimus answered, “We’ll talk about it when we’ve both gotten some recharge and fuel in our tanks. I’m not saying no but let’s recharge on it first okay?”

Strika laughed at the two and went straight to the medical bay when she realized the show was over. Walking in to find Ratchet waking up, Strika stated firmly, “I want this back if the young mech choses to get a donator.” 

Ratchet huffed, “Oh just give it here, this young bot needs it now.”

Having seen Strika in the hallway, Optimus hovered in the doorway and asked, “Is there anything I can do Ratchet?”

Strika took that as her cue to go help her sparkmate soothe the temper of their chosen civilian. 

As he studied the strange protoform, Ratchet answered, “Get in here and hold Heavyfire’s servo if you feel the need. Ah! There’s the spark hatch.”

As Ratchet opened Heavyfire’s chassis to access the sparkling, Optimus moved to hold the stassis locked mech’s servo.

Then the tiny spark was removed. 

Placing it into the egg, Ratchet stated, “This looks like a spawned mechling pod when they are removed early so…. here hold this, while I find some polishing oil and a rag.”

Jumping, Optimus scrambled to hang onto the egg and then Ratchet put the items on the medberth next to him. Getting the look, Optimus realized Ratchet intended for him to polish the egg protoform. Grabbing a rag, Optimus went to work.

First a tiny servo, then a ped, escaped the pod. Then another ped….

Then a third?

As Ratchet made sure Heavyfire was medically stable enough to come out of stasis, two little mechlings took shape out of the egg-pod. They yawned as one and stretched. Clearly a bit more advanced then normal newly emerged spawned mechling.

They squeaked playfully as they heard their Carrier coming back online. 

Closing his plates, Heavyfire turned and pulled his little blue eyed mechlings into his arms.

Optimus smiled at the sight of the little mech. in his friend’s arms. His own arms suddenly felt so empty. He wanted one himself but at the same time…… The only mech he had warm and fuzzy feelings for right now was, Megatron. Surely the warlord wouldn’t…..

Then Heavyfire asked, “Do you want to hold one of them?”

Reaching out without a second thought, Optimus just couldn’t resist.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Walking down the hallway, Megatron spotted Strika staring softly into the medical bay. He walked to the door to see his co-commander gently rocking the sparkling like a natural created carrier.

Gently patting her lord’s shoulder, Strika stated, “I will return to my post and continue rounding up our people, Lord Megatron. However, even I can see you have a soft spot for the Autobot. Don’t forget to function outside of leading our people.”

Nodding, Megatron had long since decided Optimus would be his. He could see the desire in the Prime’s optics. The Prime wanted his own sparkling it would seem….. good. This he could use to his advantage.

However, Megatron found getting Optimus alone was quite difficult. 

With Heavyfire’s twins, Sureshot and Starblitz, developing a bit quicker given their slight age boost on Phasestrike they were on their peds within three solar cycles. They even started stringing syllables together into half words. 

For the first deca cycle it seemed even the very allspark was against him! 

By the smelting pits, half the time he found Optimus around their joint base the Prime had a mechling in his arms. It was the most unique type of torture Megatron had ever endured. So Megatron took to leaving Optimus gelled energon so his Prime could refuel even with the mechlings demanding attention.

Finally Eclipse stepped in to help and he walked over to Optimus. Smiling as he gently took the recharging mechling from Optimus, Eclipse whispered, “Thank you, for getting him to recharge. Now I think someone would like to talk to you, Megatron’s been trying for a week to get you alone. Also he’s the one who's been leaving those treats for you.”

Blushing, Optimus nodded and said, “I better go find him then.” Getting up, Optimus went looking for Megatron. When he found the big warlord, Megatron was hunched over a holo-projected map of the area. Optimus didn’t walk in just yet but instead went to the kitchen. To get the big handsome workaholic a cup of ener-caf.

Megatron was so absorbed with trying to figure out where their enemy might be hiding now that he didn’t realize Optimus was there until a mug of ener-caf was right in his line of sight. Turning to look at the prime, Megatron asked as he accepted the mug, “Is Sureshot finally recharging?”

Nodding as the warlord took the cup from him, Optimus explained, “I don’t know what it is about me that soothes the little rascal but he screams for everybot else. Aside from Fire of course.”

Smirking as he sipped his drink, Megatron answered, “You are a natural with him. He also seems to just know when somebot else wants your attention and like any mechling refuses to share.”

Shaking his helm, Optimus countered, “He just wants attention, Sureshot is just a mechling. It’s not some jealousy spurred attempt to prevent you from talking to me. Surely, just his presence alone wouldn’t stop you if you really wanted to talk to me.”

Laughing softly around his drink, Megatron hooked his servo around Optimus’s back and pulled his Autobot close before saying, “It would depend on the subject matter of which I wish to speak of, now wouldn’t it?” Slowly, Megatron traced the curves of Optimus’s lower back struts and aft.

Blushing as a yelp escaped him, Optimus squirmed free and gasped out, “I….. I ... gotta go!” He raced out of the war room and out into the night. His spark hammering away in his chassis like a frightened petrorabbit!

It wasn’t possible! Was it?!

Growling his engines, Megatron returned to what he was doing. If he even wanted a chance at eventually seducing the Autobot then he had to keep them all alive. The loss of a friend would cause Optimus to shut down emotionally and Megatron wasn’t going to lose that loving loyal spark to something so easily prevented.

With three young mechlings, and a sparked carrier, Megatron needed to plan the escape from this planet properly. With so many of the mechs here having soft spots for humans, he also had to find a way to draw the other aliens away from this dirt ball.

Besides, Optimus would be in their shared room when he was done for the night. Or so Megatron thought. When he dragged his tired frame to room, Megatron found it empty. There was a lingering indent from where Optimus had been but the Prime clearly left a while ago as the indent was slowly fading.

Laying down, Megatron muttered, “I’ll find him in the morning….”

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chapter Text

Perhaps it was his distraction with planning the escape?

Perhaps it was how closely the Prime had observed his habits?

Perhaps the Autobots taught their Primes stealth?!

However it was starting to annoy Megatron! That was for sure!

How was his Prime managing to evade him in a shared base?! Sharing a berthroom?! 

HOW?!

Then he heard a call for help. Apparently three behemoths had decided to try their servos at catching the ninjabot duo. What a helmache!

Jazz and Prowl were out with Sari to hunt down an Allspark fragment.

At least the fight with the behemoths gave Megatron something to vent his anger and frustration on.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once back at base, Jazz sought out Optimus and smiled when he saw the Prime minding the twins while helping Oracle tend to the greenhouse bay.  Once the door was shut behind him, Jazz joked, “Hey O. P. do you really gotta keep up the cat an’ mouse game with the big mech? Cuz he’s getting nasty, you dig me m’mech?”

Blushing Optimus gulped and answered, “I have no idea…”

Oracle huffed, “Enough! You’re anything but stupid Optimus Prime. This is getting ridiculous! It was cute the first few days but it’s been two weeks! It stopped being funny when it stopped being cute. Talk to him! Tell him why! Give him a chance to soothe your fears!”

Looking between the two, Jazz asked, “Um hold that dail! Whatcha mean fear? Did the big mech hurt O P? Cuz if he did his aft is grass!”

Suddenly Starblitz squeaked, “Af! Af!”

Blanching, Jazz gulped and squeaked a little as he asked, “Uhhh… Donna tell Fire they learned dat from me please?”

Smirking as she leaned down, Oracle asked Starblitz, “Who taught you that word?”

The mechling squealed happily, “Ja-ja! Af!”

Jazz groaned, “Aye’m offlined! So offlined.”

Seeing the look Oracle was giving him, Optimus sighed and stated, “Alright, I’ll think about it. Just give me a little more time. Please?”

Sighing, Oracle shook her head but said nothing. This was something Optimus had to face himself.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Megatron stormed in sporting several injuries but he just grabbed his ration and went straight to the room he shared with Optimus. 

Optimus just remained hidden. He had wanted to approach Megatron. He really did. He had finally talked himself into talking with the big Decepticon but the sight of Megatron’s anger had sent him scrambling right back into the shadows.

Refueling slowly, Megatron looked at Optimus’s berth and wondered out loud, “How are you managing this? Any other mech would have made a misstep by now. Where are you hiding?”

The silence weighed on his spark uncomfortably. 

Megatron was never one to accept discomfort quietly. It made him angry.

He swore to himself. Come sunrise. He would hunt down his Prime and get answers. 

One way or another!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Out in the main room, Bumblebee was wrestling with Blitzwing for the last energon peach. 

The Decepticon was clearly playing along and just giving half an effort to keep it away from his yellow menace but then Blurr zoomed through and stole the peach.

Then Blurr split the peach and dug out the pit. Stuffing half into his own intake, Blurr came over and offered the other half up to Icy on his digit tips.

Arching an optics ridge, Icy opened his intake and mentally smirked at the way Bumblebee’s optics narrowed. Then the little blue racer gently fed him the peach and his little yellow Hummel-chan shook. 

Random didn’t like how Blurr was upsetting their Hummel-chan but Hothead was with Icy. This could push the little motor intake right into position for the taking.

Feeling Blitzwing’s servo settle on his back struts, Bumblebee settled down and the weight comforted him. Even if Blurr was trying to steal his Decepticon, Bumblebee suddenly felt safe in his place. He settled more firmly in Blitzwing’s lap and grinned at the soft smile Icy gave him.

Sari scrambled up into Bumblebee’s lap to discourage Blurr from trying to displace her best friend.

Random spun forward and cooed, “Hummel-chan! Our zweet sparkling iz here! Zhe’z zo cute!”

The rest of the team chuckled at the antics.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It was still oh dark and stupid when Optimus finally sent the message to Ultra Magnus letting him know about Sureshot and Starblitz. He laughed when just as he sent the message the little mechlings in question were right there hugging his leg and Starblitz asked, “Ba-ba pwez?!”

Laughing as he scooped up the mechling, Optimus soothed even as Sureshot dodged his grasp, “Sure, let’s go to the kitchen and get you a bottle.” He headed to the kitchen with Sureshot scampering along right behind him and was in the middle of making the mixed berry energon Heavyfire had shown him when he noticed Eclipse walk in.

Watching Sureshot climb up onto the counter, Eclipse asked, “So how’d it go with Megatron?”

Sureshot squeaked out, “Meh-mehg?”

Blushing, Optimus answered, “He frightened me too much, I just hid in the shadows…. I’m…… I’m not ready…… to let somebot in like that. I’m used to being what humans call the third wheel.” The last part was a cover up and Optimus knew it.

Watching Optimus easily cap each bottle with one servo, Eclipse smiled as Sureshot snatched up one and Starblitz pulled the bottle to his intake as soon as Optimus offered it. Then Eclipse waited for Optimus to relax into the act of feeding the twins before saying, “You’ll never know if you don’t try right?”

Looking down at the twins who both gave him happy content optic smiles, Optimus sighed out, “But Megatron is so…. big... and there’s all the fighting in our past. I don’t know, Eclipse. I trust him to fight for us and to help but trusting him with my spark?”

Smiling softly, Eclipse stated, “Sometimes, not knowing it is safe makes the leap of faith all the more rewarding.” Rubbing the bump of his belly, Eclipse sighed out, “However this carrying Momma needs some recharge. Try to think about it, and think about giving him a chance.” 

As he left, Eclipse tossed over his shoulder strut, “Make sure you give the twins back soonish.”

Once Eclipse left, Optimus shook his helm and went to find something to do. He just wasn’t ready to face his co-commander just yet. Sureshot just happily babbled as he followed after Optimus while Starblitz was content to be held for once.

Seeing Optimus settle in to do paperwork while watching the twins, Heavyfire chuckled and took the peace and quiet to catch up on some recharge while he could.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Receiving word that he had twins, Ultra Magnus went out and got absolutely hammered. Twins! One named Sureshot and the other Starblitz.

Staring down into the cube of the strongest highgrade he could find, Ultra Magnus could barely believe it. Once again, he was cut out of his creation’s functioning until after their spark was in a protoform. 

As he staggered home in a drunken haze, Ultra Magnus started examining his actions. 

How he had thrown away his own son to not be accused of favoring his own creation. Even though none knew the mechling was his!

How instead he had shown favoritism towards the creation of his rival. 

Where had he gone wrong?! 

Oh yeah, when he had let Solarstorm belittle him into interfacing with one of their two captives. However, he must have done something right since the two cons had only killed Solarstorm when he freed them to ease his conscience.

Then one of the Decepticons had found him and given him the two sparklings then left without a word.

Perhaps it was time Ultra Magnus did right by his own creation. In drunken courage, Ultra Magnus sent Optimus a private message and explained everything. He apologized for being such a failure of a sire and asked for forgiveness. However he also made it clear he never expected forgiveness.

Sneaking into his shared room, Optimus settled into his berth and hoped that his internal alarm would go off well before his co-commander awoke. It was hard forcing himself to avoid his co-commander and roommate.

Then his private inbox chimed. 

Optimus opened up the message on his datapad...

By the time he finished the letter, Optimus was sobbing into his servos. His spark was breaking.

All this time!

It wasn’t fair!

Megatron opened a blurry optic and asked, “Optimus? What’s wrong?” His roommate and co-commander was crying?! 

When had Optimus learned to cry?! 

There would be war for this infraction! 

Then Optimus crawled into the berth with Megatron and pleaded, “Just…. hold me…. it’s not fair! I won’t say anything about this I just…..”

Rumbling his engine, Megatron saw the letter on the datapad Optimus had clearly dropped on the floor. Reading it as quickly as he could from where he was, Megatron held Optimus close.

Then the realization hit him hard.

Oh….. scrap. He was in for it. 

This sweet loving Autobot of his was the creation of Arcticblast?!

 No wonder Optimus was so talented with a jump pack, since his carrier was a fragging combat shuttle. Also explains the Prime’s knack for finding solutions against supposedly impossible odds.

Megatron stroked his servos over Optimus’s frame and ignored the HUD pings from his interface array. As much as he had enjoyed his flights of fancy of having Optimus in his arms here in his berth, the Autobot wasn’t in any state to give consent for interface.

Crying into the Decepticon’s warm chassis, Optimus felt himself relaxing into Megatron. Why was he fighting the pull between them? What did he have left to lose? His own sire denied him and lied to him. Only now admitting to their bond, and only now ever even remotely implying any pride in him.

Optimus had nothing left to lose if he reached out for what Megatron was offering him. This something offered so freely. It was something sweet it seemed given the tiny gifts left for him to find. Optimus pressed closer and clung to the massive war build. He asked softly past his pain and tears, “Megatron?”

Humming softly, Megatron replied, “Rest, Optimus. I’ll be here in the morning.” His arms tightened around Optimus’s smaller frame. Megatron wasn’t going to wake to find Optimus was elsewhere.

Optimus couldn’t resist the seductive lure of Megatron’s engine hum. His optics drifted shut as his spark felt lighter for once, all from being held in the Decepticon Warlord’s arms.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Come morning, Megatron smirked as he noticed Optimus still cuddled up in his arms. Finally! For weeks now, Optimus had managed to avoid being alone with him and Megatron had been tempted more than once to just toss his co-commander over a shoulder strut before that.

Waking to servos exploring his frame, Optimus blushed as he opened his optics to find himself in Megatron’s berth. Then the night before rushed to the forefront of his processor but just when he was ready to start crying again Megatron rumbled out, “None of that Optimus. We have much to discuss.”

Rolling so his frame acted as a cage around the Prime, Megatron rumbled his turbines as he pressed his narrow waist between Optimus’s thighs and purred seductively, “You have proven quite talented at escaping me.”

Gasping as Megatron’s weight pressed against his modesty plates, Optimus gasped out, “I…. I…. I don’t know… I’m… I’m… I’m scared. I was the third wheel, I don’t know what ....” A part of his spark wanted to never admit to that night and how terrorfied it still made him feel.

Nipping at those lips, Megatron pressed in and tasted Optimus. His glossa stroking over Optimus’s shock still glossa and after a few teasing strokes it joined in. Servos gripped his shoulders as Megatron pressed closer. When his Prime whimpered in delight, Megatron pulled back and smirked at the strand of oral lubricant that connected their lips. He rumbled out, “Stop thinking, Optimus, and just feel.”

Blushing, Optimus squeaked out, “But! You’re bigger than I am?! Can we even…. will it even ....” 

The answering smirk didn’t make Optimus feel any more comfortable about this even when Megatron soothed, “I won't hurt you Optimus. If it hasn’t quite clicked in your processor, I am playing for keeps. It will take some time and patience, but I assure you. My spike will fit, in spite of our size difference.”

Smirking at the adorable look of desire and disbelief, Megatron rumbled out, “Now how about you pop open your panel and let me get to work?”

Optimus squirmed for a moment as he considered pushing the war build away but then those exploring servos found a sensitive spot and Optimus’s frame arched against Megatron’s frame as a moan escaped him. He saw the HUD ping from his interface array and with a groan he sent the permission. His panel shifted away to expose his wet valve and his half hard spike.

Smirking when he felt Optimus’s wet valve against his belly, Megatron shifted downwards. He knew this would take time and he planned to enjoy every second of it until they were once again required to fix their idiot subordinates’ mistakes. He wasn’t expecting to find a seal with his glossa.

Seeing Megatron looking up at him, Optimus covered his face and groaned out, “Third wheel……” Also being too fragging stubborn to just give in when those glitches, Optimus pushed the thought from his processor and focused on Megatron but it wasn’t working. He gave a breathy ex-vent before he tried to speak, “I need to tell you…”

Smirking, Megatron gently licked the metal mesh seal before pulling away to say, “It can wait. Everymech that ever ignored you was a fool.” 

Megatron could barely contain his glee at this discovery. He would be Optimus’s first and only lover. Optimus’s untouched valve would be calibrated for his spike alone, that would actually make this first time much smoother. As his processor turned over how best to set off Optimus’s calibration unit, Megatron applied his glossa to the sensor rich mesh of Optimus’s valve ring but he did notice something.

A small rupture in the metal mesh...

As that wet and talented glossa stroked over his valve’s opening, Optimus clamped his servos over his intake to keep from screaming in pleasure. The last thing he wanted to have happen was one of his team bursting in and finding him with Megatron’s helm between his unresisting thighs.

Not that Optimus was embarrassed of being with Megatron…. He wanted this, this time.

Optimus just didn’t want to be caught in the middle of ‘sacred congress’ by his team.

Megatron allowed Optimus to muffle his voice. Simply because the walls in the wearhouse were fairly thin.

Optimus moaned loudly behind his servos as Megatron’s glossa pressed teasingly against the soft seal and his hips bucked against Megatron’s face. A big heavy black servo settled on his pelvis and held him still. Optimus whined as his legs started to twitch as the charge built inside him.

Wrapping his lip plates around Optimus’s anterior node, Megatron gently nipped the sensor rich node and smirked when Optimus screamed his designation behind those servos. It was muffled but Megatron listened for any sound that indicated any mech had heard that. As he listened for the sounds of approaching mechs, Megatron rumbled out, “Relax.”

Panting behind his servos, Optimus blinked owlishly at the warlord until a digit entered his valve and his seal gave under the onslaught of the intruder with a tiny sting like feeling. He yelped out of reflex more than anything else. However his frame tensed hard and his valve clamped down on Megatron’s finger as if trying to force the intruder out!

Noting the reaction of Optimus’s frame, Megatron wondered if perhaps he should press Optimus for that talk the young Prime had wanted. He took a moment to just stroke Optimus’s frame and, as patiently as he could, waited for Optimus to relax again.

As the jolt of fear faded under his mental tirad that he wanted this! He wanted to have this connection with Megatron. Optimus looked up at his Decepticon and whimpered softly. At least those optics were red and not teal or gold. He focused on Megatron’s optics.

Popping the ring free easily as Optimus finally relaxed, Megatron showed Optimus what was left of his seal. It was like a silly wire ring on his digit and Megatron teased, “Should I add it to the collection?”

Growling his engine at the thought of Megatron being with any other mech, Optimus growled out, “Don’t you dare?! Wait you have a collection of those?!”

Smirking, Megatron soothed, “I was teasing, sweet spark. Now slow intakes, stay relaxed for me.” Tossing the ring off to the side, Megatron pressed close and kissed Optimus to distract the younger mech...

Then some mech pounded on their door.

Megatron snarled out, “You have to be fragging joking! This had better be an emergency or I’m fragging offlining the glitch on the other side of the door.”

Gently closing Optimus’s panel, Megatron went to answer the door.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When Megatron answered the door, Ratchet gave him a blank look at the enraged frown. Then the medic stated, “Officer Fanzone just reported that they found the Seraphimus massing on the shore of the lake.”

Then Optimus came to Megatron’s side on shaky peds and explained, “They’re trying to go after the dinobots.”

Realizing what he might have interrupted, Ratchet chuckled under his intakes. The big mech’s anger made far more sense now. Then Ratchet stated, “If that is so, perhaps we should wait and see if they can manage?”

As one of the ones who helped to design the beastial mechs, Megatron suddenly realized that he had a responsibility to at least try to help them. If only to prove he could be a proper sire to his sweet little prime. He stated, “As soon as Tempest and you get me repaired medic, I’ll rally the others and retrieve the Dinobots.”

As soon as Megatron disappeared down the hallway, Ratchet gently patted Optimus’s arm before saying, “About time you two sorted things out, but truly? At this hour?”

Blushing, Optimus yelped, “We just woke from recharge! He pounced and ....” His faceplates burned. He didn’t know how Ratchet knew but he was so embarrassed.

Laughing softly, Ratchet soothed, “It’s alright kid, I’ve seen your medical record. You’re well past the point where most others your age would have already found a regular berthmate. Just don’t let him walk all over you.”

Nodding, Optimus actually felt a little reassured and then Ratchet teased, “With your love for history, it was only a matter of time.” Optimus couldn’t stop his laughter. It was true, Megatron could tell him of the ancient battles and of times so long ago that most Autobots didn’t care about them.

Ratchet moved to meet up with Megatron in the medical bay.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

In the kitchen, Bumblebee was sitting on the counter as Hothead snarled at the blender. He couldn’t help but laugh at the big mech’s anger. He reached out and put a soothing servo on Blitzwing’s elbow joint and Icy spun forward as the anger melted away.

Coming to the doorway just in time to see the tender way Blitzwing touched the unfaithful yellow menace’s cheek guard, Blurr felt his spark crack and then his optics saw the distance between the two shrink. His spark screamed for Blitzwing to stop! Don’t! The Menace wasn’t faithful! 

DON’T!

As washer fluid built in his optics, Blurr saw Bumblebee’s arms move to hook around Blitzwing’s neck cables and then their intakes pressed…. Blurr fled from the sight and the pain that lanced through him as it shattered his spark.

Not again! 

What did that reject have that he didn’t?!

Blurr just dashed through the hallways and didn’t see where he was going until he tripped. Landing on the floor of the shared wash racks, Blurr just buried his faceplates in his arms as he tried to get the sobs under control.

Hearing a soft voice call out to him, Blurr lifted his helm and yelped when he spotted Eclipse soaking in the bath.

Eclipse sighed, “Look it’s big enough to share so get in and tell me what's got you all huffy. Your EM field is riling up my bitling something fierce.”

Getting in, Blurr finally spat out, “It’snotfair! BumblebrainsgetseverythingIwant! WhatisitthathehasthatIdon’t?!”

Blinking, Eclipse took a moment to parse out the words and stated, “First off, calm your aft Blurr. Second, don’t compare yourself to Bumblebee. The only bot you’re hurting is yourself. Somebot will see you for you and love you for it. You just have to keep an open processor. Bumblebee’s appeal is his innocence and openness. Also his simpleness oddly enough. Things you could try to mimic but you’d feel hollow if you did.”

Blurr shifted a little but before he could say a thing Eclipse added, “One day you’ll find your warbuild and what you feel for him will outshine any thing you felt for the mechs you’ve desired before him.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Meanwhile, Bumblebee was blissfully unaware that they had had an audience as he melted into Icy’s kiss. His circuits zinging with a feeling he’d only ever felt once before. Remembering his time in training, Bumblebee felt the desire die out and he withdrew slowly.

Letting the Autobot escape him, Icy asked, “Hummel-chan? Iz sumzing wrong?”

Hiccuping as he tried to keep his self-hate in, Bumblebee answered, “No… Yes.. I don’t know... “

Stroking Bumblebee’s cheek guard, Icy soothed, “Tell me. Hummel-chan, I vill lizten. Talk it out? For me, ja?”

Curling into the triplechanger’s chassis, Bumblebee explained, “In training… His name was Longarm… He supported me. He showed me that Wasp was a spy. We… Before Bulk and I got shipped off for dropping a tower on Sentinel… He and I…”

Rumbling his engine, Icy soothed, “Jou are mine, Hummel-chan. Ze pazt doezn’t matter. Jou accept zat jou are mine, Ja?”

Blushing as he looked up at the Decepticon, Bumblebee answered in a whisper, “Ja. I’m yours Blitzbrain. But that means you’re mine! I don’t share! So Blurr better not get that idea.”

Smirking, Icy captured Bumblebee in another kiss and was about to carry his little yellow menace off when Megatron came in with a sharp, “Put your Autobot down, Blitzwing. We have to deny the Seraphimus access to the Dinobots.”

Coming up for fresh intakes, Bumblebee grumbled, “What crawled up his exhaust pipe and offlined? Did somebot spike block him and drive him to pass the favor along?!”

Laughing at Bumblebee’s disappointment at not being carried off, Icy soothed, “Ja, ve’ll attend zis vhen I return.” A quick kiss to Bumblebee’s cheek guard and Icy went to join up with Megatron.

Ironspark walked up as well with Starscream and smirked when Megatron growled at him. Licking his lip plates, Ironspark answered, “I’m coming with wings here and if you don’t like it, suck a Grost spike.”

The Decepticons were shocked that anymech had the ball bearings to insult Megatron like that but Megatron couldn’t stop himself as he laughed at the fire.

Perhaps saving the Dinobots wouldn’t be so bad?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The battle quickly turned against the Seraphimus when the war builds arrived. Taking a blast to his side, Sophoclidiscus looked to his brother who was turning to come back for him and hissed out, “Run you fool!”

As a rocket ruffled his mint green feathers, Toxilus shouted, “Brother!” He was caught around the middle by one of the others. As Toxilus screamed for his brother amidst the rockets and explosions the distraught Seraphimus was carried off the battlefield by Aristophontes.

As the Segmato pushed and punched him, Aristophontes felt his spark go out to the lower ranking officer. He knew what it was like to lose a younger brother.

While on the battlefield, Sophoclidiscus clutched his side and looked up at silver and black Warlord. He gasped out, “Just do it. I am just a pawn, a lowly Victorus. “

Looking to Lugnut, Megatron was about to give the command but Ironspark moved forward.

Leveling his shotgun, Ironspark snarled out, “Victorus Sophoclidiscus, I only have one question.” Staring into those organic optics, Ironspark demanded, “Was the power dying at the battle of the Sigma Trench truly an unexpected malfunction or are the rumors true?”

Closing his eyes, Sophoclidiscus answered, “My brother and I sabotaged our own side’s systems …. at the Victorium’s command.”

Optics going wide, Ironspark demanded, “Which Victorium?!”

Starscream reached out when he saw how Ironspark was shaking and put a servo on the big civilian’s shoulder strut.

Then the Seraphimus stated, “Aristophontes.”

Snarling in rage, Ironspark stated as he cuffed the technorganic, “The only reason I’m not killing you, Seraphimus, is because those actions saved my Herald while he was struggling through an emergance. One wrong intake and I will rip your spark out and eat it in front of you.”

When Megatron tried to speak Starscream cut in, “It’s clear there’s a debt here. A functioning for a functioning. Besides I’m sure the Victorus will gladly give us information in exchange for not suffering.”

Nodding slowly, Megatron commed the base, “Optimus, have the Constructicons build a cell out of one of the spare rooms. We have a captive.”

Then Grimlock stepped forward. Battered and leaking but still defiant.

It wasn't until his usually silent brother Snarl collapsed with a whimper and Swoop dropped as well with pained moan that Grimlock gave in. Grimlock asked, "Me Grimlock need them brothers safe. We Dinobots come with… please?"

Struggling to his peds, Swoop tried to help Snarl but there was no moving the shorter but stocky mech.

Moving forward, Lugnut scooped up Snarl and started back towards base.

Starscream helped Ironspark to carry the captured Seraphimus.

While Grimlock walked next to Megatron as he half carried his winged brothers. Grimlock asked, “Why you Decepticon help us Dinobots? Who them winged bots be?“

Megatron stated, “They are the Seraphimus and you don’t want to know why they wanted to capture you. I named you Grimlock, so I feel some responsibility towards you.”

The exhausted Dinobot leader nodded and accepted it at face value. If it means his little brothers were safe then Grimlock would live with it. He would even accept putting up with the tiny Prime or the big chinned one at this point if it meant the attacks on his brothers stopped.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When the team returned to base, Tempest gasped from where they sat in the sun minding the mechlings, “Eclipse! Do you see….?” Eclipse and Prowl looked up from the mechlings.

Awe filled him and Eclipse whispered out, “Dinobots? They still live?”

Then Prowl spotted those battered mint green wings. He surged to his peds with a gasped, “Sophoclidiscus!” Rushing forward, Prowl touched the technorganic’s face and asked, “Are you alright?”

Smiling weakly, Sophoclidiscus answered, “A little roughed up but I’ll manage, sweet treasure.”

Looking to Megatron, Prowl pleaded, “Please release him. Sophoclidiscus was our inside mech, when we rescued Frostblitz.”

When Optimus stepped out to see what was going on, Megatron noticed the way the Seraphimus was staring and felt a surge of protectiveness rise in him. That was his little Prime and he wasn’t about to let some Seraphimus interfere.

Prowl heard Sophoclidiscus whisper out in awe, “It can not be… The Great Prime? Here?”

Sinking to his knees, Sophoclidiscus bent his head as low as he could without toppling on his face before saying, “I throw myself at your mercy, Prime of Cybertron. I only request that if my crimes are too great to forgive, you end my life quickly.”

Blinking, Megatron wasn’t expecting this response. He asked, “What do you think Optimus?”

Hearing that name confirmed it, Sophoclidiscus knew he was kneeling before the unmerciful great and true Prime of Cybertron. He only prayed that his help during the rescue was enough to earn him a mercifully quick death.

Prowl pleaded, “Optimus! Please! You said that if I trusted a Seraphimus you would welcome them. Please, Sophoclidiscus is my… friend.”

Jerking his head up, Sophoclidiscus couldn’t believe the faith Prowl put in him or the fact that his treasure was willing to plead for him. He wanted to tell the little ninjabot to shush, to save himself. The rumors about the Great Prime made him worry for Prowl’s safety now that the request had been issued.

Looking to Prowl, Optimus answered, “Then he’s yours, Prowl. You trust him then he will be your responsibility.”

As the stasis cuffs were removed, Sophoclidiscus asked, “Prowl?” His mind was blank and he had no idea what was going on.

Helping the injured Seraphimus to his feet, Prowl soothed, “It’s okay, Sophoclidiscus. You’re safe now.”

Depthstrike sighed out, “Jazz? How about you and the jettwins join me in the Captain's quarters on the ship. Five in one room is a bit much.”

Nodding, Jazz stated, “Aye dig it m’mech. The Jettwins be gettin’ in his wings and that ain’t cool.”

Chapter Text

Grimlock brought Swoop inside the base as he followed the mech carrying his other brother.

Lifting his helm, Swoop groaned, "Me Swoop so tired…. Grimmy let me Swoop recharge?"

Looking down at his brother, Grimlock sighed, “Me Grimlock not sure where you Swoop can recharge. We Dinobots very far from cave.”

A soft voice soothed, “I’ll take Swoop to a berth. I can see you want to check on the other Dinobot.” 

Blinking, Swoop looked at the being that spoke. Soft. Fragile. Technorganic. Dressed in white flowing robes. Swoop whispered, “So pretty.”

Laughing as she easily took the Dinobot’s weight, Oracle soothed, “I’m Oracle. Let’s get you to berth so you can recharge Swoop. I’ve got a shift in the greenhouse bay so you can use my berth to recharge.”

Shuddering, Swoop invented slowly and memorized this giant human’s scent. Light and airy. Exotic and  graceful. By the time his helm hit the berth Swoop was fully enchanted by the technorganic’s scent and warmth.

Tucking the warming sheet around the recharging Dinobot, Oracle purred out, “Recharge well, ancient one. None will take your strength from our people this time. There will never be such a waste in this world.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Sitting out back, Blurr was still hurting. He couldn’t believe Eclipse’s words. Then he saw a pair of boots. He huffed, “Goaway!”

Kneeling down, Voltage put a hand on Blurr’s shoulder and stated, “Eclipse was just trying to be polite about Bumblebee’s charming traits. He meant Bumblebee is childish and more or less stupid. You’ve got a completely different personality. You’re almost too smart for your own good. Being a dumb blonde works for Bumblebee but it ain’t who you are. Does that make more sense, speed demon?”

Nodding, Blurr realized that the two technorganics were saying the same thing but Voltage said it in a way that hurt less. Where Eclipse had tried to say it politely when Blurr’s pain made him want to see Bumblebee dragged down a little.

Sitting next to Blurr, Voltage wrapped an arm around the upset speedster and soothed, "Your big Daddy Decepticon will be amazing when you find him. I bet he'll be strong, broody, and one hundred percent focused on keeping you safe. The weapons platform that shields you from everything!"

Unable to resist, Blurr felt a tiny laugh escape him. He focused and answered, "Bigger than Blitzwing? Cunning and smart ...."

Smiling at Blurr, Voltage teased, "No faceplate swapping like Blitzwing. Random would drive you crazy, Bumblebrains can put up with him but trust me that aspect of Blitzwing would have ground your bolts."

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once everything was settled, Megatron went to the war table and tried to focus on planning their escape. 

Because Megatron did not want to turn his processor to the task of figuring out how to tell that combat shuttle he was courting said shuttle's mechling. A shuttle who has on more than one occasion found a way to kick his aft while sparring. However, his processor turned towards that issue and he honestly wondered how to get through that confession without getting slagged. 

Groaning, Megatron let his helm fall forward as he muttered, “Arcticblast is going to lose his processor at this mess.”

Walking up, Optimus put a comforting servo on Megatron’s elbow and asked, “Can I help?” He didn’t ask about the designation Megatron had mumbled under his intakes. Not that he wasn’t curious

Covering the servo with his own, Megatron stated, “It isn’t a pretty picture, Optimus. We’ve got two more Seraphimus battleships in orbit and only two viable transports that have only so much fire power. My forces are too spread out to do more than harass the battleships in orbit.”

Nodding, Optimus asked, “Is it possible to draw their attention away from say the polar cap? If we fly low then brech atmosphere from one of the poles they shouldn’t be watching such an uninhabited area too closely. That would only leave the one ship that followed the Heralds, and harassment would slow them down enough for us to hit the spacebridge.”

Smirking at Optimus, Megatron stated, “I will order Strika to destroy the spacebridge once all other vessels are through. She will rejoin us as soon as possible.” He couldn’t help but think ‘like Carrier like creation’.

Nodding, Optimus stated, “That’s for the best, who knows what the Seraphimus might do with a spacebridge if they can crack it.”

Leaning down slowly, Megatron captured Optimus in a slow kiss. He noticed that giving Optimus a moment to realize what was coming meant Optimus melted into it willingly. As their lip plates pressed together, Megatron rumbled his engine and Optimus pressed closer. 

If only the war table wasn’t so easily spotted from the main area of the base…. because it would have been perfect height to lay his Prime on to enjoy.

Once they seperated, Megatron stated, “I’ll keep an optic open for an opportunity to set our plan in motion. It will take at least a deca cycle. Once Sixshot is in orbit then we’ll have a far better chance.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once they were in his room, Prowl asked, “Sophoclidiscus? What did you….?”

Cutting the ninjabot off with a desperate hug, Sophoclidiscus gasped out, “I thought you had thrown your functioning away with that stunt. Do you have any idea what the great Prime has done for lesser requests?! You scared half of my life right out of my spark.”

Giving the Seraphimus a moment, Prowl relaxed as those mint wings encircled him protectively. He returned the hug softly and asked, “What do you mean the great Prime?”

Finally relaxing, Sophoclidiscus let his wings fold back and he explained, “After the Seraphimus conquered Cybertron a resistance began from the rement of the Elite Guard. At first it was a joke, so the Divinus allowed it to remain. Then from its ranks rose a Prime chosen by the matrix of leadership. The Great Prime he was called. He and his harem of war mechs turned the tide of the battle of the Broken Gears Trench.”

Feeling Sophoclidiscus shudder, Prowl nodded and asked, “That’s not all he did…”

Shaking his head, Sophoclidiscus explained, “The Great Prime drove the Seraphimus from Cybertron. He stopped at nothing to do it. Purging even newly emerged Seraphimus, the Carrier as well if they dared to ask for mercy. Willing partners torn apart as the Seraphimus partner fled to save the Cybertronian or sent to the Divine in each other’s arms. Optimus Prime had no mercy left in his spark. It was said he even offlined one of his own harem for speaking out against him. However, I never saw any of his harem warmechs vanish.”

Shaking his helm, Prowl soothed, “You’ll see, Optimus isn’t like that. He’s still dancing around Megatron and he’d never take a full harem.”

Looking down at Prowl, Sophoclidiscus asked, “You’re sure? That he will not become the Great Prime my people know.”

Prowl nodded and explained, “Oracle told us that their ship and yours came through a trans dimensional rift caused by an electromagnetic storm.”

Letting his hands to shift to Prowl’s sides, Sophoclidiscus stated, “So this world is a different universe. One that followed a different path. Thank the Divine ....” Dropping to his knees, Sophoclidiscus swore, “I will not let Tyrannis poison this world. I swear on my spark, my blades are yours to command my sweet treasure.”

Blushing brightly, Prowl felt a lump form in his vocalizer for a moment before he said, “Sophoclidiscus. Please … I …”

Looking up at Prowl, Sophoclidiscus answered, “Prowl, my treasure. I desire this. To belong to you in any form or function you want from me. I have done great evils at the orders of my commanding officers and what little redemption I have struggled to earn at Aristophontes’s command will never wash the energon from my hands…”

Pulling the Seraphimus up to his feet, Prowl stated, “Alright, Sophoclidiscus. I accept your vow…”

Then warm technorganic lips pressed to Prowl’s lip plates and Prowl blinked before his frame arched into the touch. His optics slid half closed as his servos moved to grasp at his Seraphimus. Prowl couldn’t help but think he could get used to this.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pulling Starscream to the side, Ironspark hissed out, “Follow me.”

Hoping the Praxian might just understand what a seeker needs after a battle, Starscream followed after and couldn’t help but lick his lip plates when Voltage darted up to walk next to Ironspark.

Ever since Ironspark had let it slip that Voltage had a high rate of seeker creations, Starscream had started to find his processor more than just warming up to the idea of claiming the technorganic but actively desiring it.

The two disappeared into their room but Starscream found himself cut off by Oracle.

Oracle purred out, “Four paths, Starscream. Step away, and let them be together. Choice of one, leaving the other bereft. Choice of both, a trine like the one you once had.”

Starscream answered, “I only see one path, Oracle. However, I think you knew what my choice would be long before I did.” He saw her smile and he moved around her to enter the room. 

Seeing Voltage’s grin and Ironspark peacefully waiting for him, Starscream stepped forward to gracefully pull both close to his spark and his wings fluttered protectively. They were his.

Wiggling free, Voltage teased, “Come on wings! I can hear everything you want, so get the show on the road!”

Nudging his partner, Ironspark sighed, “Volt, how many times do I have to remind you to stay inside your own proc?”

Grinning, Voltage teased back, “But it gets so quiet in there, I enjoy the mental images you mechs have….. some of you can get really creative with your fantasies. Might I use that dirty thought you had of……” He was yanked off his feet and burst into laughter at Ironspark’s panic as he curled into his handler’s chassis.

Ironspark huffed, “IMP! Knock that scrap off already! Leave mechs their secrets.”

Laughing, Starscream purred out, “Let him look, that way he knows just how I want him on the berth.”

Tilting his head, Voltage gasped, “Oh! That’s a good one! Are you sure you want Ironspark in your valve though? He’s… kinda big.”

Swatting Voltage’s aft, Starscream stated, “Berth, Imp.”

Scrambling out of his clothing, Voltage smirked as he sensed Starscream’s interest and the running commentary in the seeker’s processor.  Laying back on the berth, Voltage spread his legs and let his modesty plating pull back. 

Watching the seeker, Ironspark smirked as he watched Starscream settle in between his herald’s legs. Ironspark watched as that wicked glossa flicked out to tease Voltage’s anterior node. Then he moved behind Starscream. His servos stroking over that beautiful aft presented so perfectly for him.

Yelping into Voltage's valve as his modesty plating withdrew under Ironspark's servos, Starscream purred out a moan as a digit circled his anterior node before slowly sinking into his valve. As his glossa worked Voltage’s valve, Ironspark’s digits sent pleasure surging through his systems. 

What a perfect way to work off the post combat high!

Knowing his handler was wanting to get this show on the road, Voltage pinged the image to Ironspark to let him handle getting them rearranged into a more comfortable position…. 

Starscream shrieked softly when suddenly Ironspark’s spike was there inside him. Stretching him nearly past his design limits. Then he was pulled up and the Praxian rumbled out into his audio receptor, “Let Volt flip over, I promise it’ll be worth it.”

Grinning, Voltage purred out, “I got it! Aft up, chassis down. Then plow him hard, Iron.” Flipping over, Voltage easily got himself lined up and slid back onto Starscream’s spike with a moaned out, “Been too long since I’ve had a seeker spike in me.” Then he braced himself. 

As the Praxian laid him down over Voltage, Starscream put his arms out to keep from crushing the technorganic that was beneath him.

Then Ironspark growled his engine and started to move. His servos gripping the seeker’s pelvic plates as he proceeded with punishing thrusts.

Living up to his name, Starscream shouted his lover’s designations to the heavens as the two seemed to find a perfect rhythm to tear his walls down. 

As Ironspark slammed home, Voltage rocked back. 

Voltage heard the thoughts in both of his lovers’ processors and purred out, “Harder! Iron! Star! So close!”

Starscream added his own strength into the mix and soon Voltage was screaming. Then Starscream heard it in his processor, Voltage’s voice begging pleading for more..

To be filled …

To be breed … 

Ironspark growled out as he fragged Starscream harded into the herald, “He’s perfect ain’t he? Do it. Give him what he wants.”

Unable to resist as Voltage overloaded as his spike slid in deep, Starscream screamed as his overload was ripped right out of his frame. His optics whited out as pleasure crashed over his frame like he’d never felt before. As if he felt also felt the echo of Voltage’s pleasure right alongside his own.

Two more thrusts and Ironspark grunted as well. His nanites rushing deep inside the seeker. While he knew there was no risk given that they were both warmechs, Ironspark felt the hunger to have a mechling that he was allowed to actually hold.

Quivering as he crawled free, Voltage gasped out, “That was.. amazing…”

 Gently pulling out of Starscream, Ironspark shifted so the worn out seek could recharge on top of him and smiled as Voltage snuggled in against their sides.

Draping an arm around Voltage, Starscream purred out as his optics reset, “Mine, all mine.”

This was peace.

If only he knew how short life could be.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The jettwins were over the moon when they spotted a lofted berth in Depthstrike’s quarters. 

As the twins scampered up to explore the loft, Jazz looked up at the big mech and asked, “Didcha plan this m’mech?” 

Smirking, Depthstrike answered, “Me, plan to get you and the twins all alone with me so I can start bonding with them and seduce you?” As he sat down on their berth Depthstrike pulled Jazz into his lap as he rumbled out, “Whatever gave me away?”

Gasping as his modesty plates brushed against Depthstrike’s thigh, Jazz gulped and answered, “Not much seducin’ required m’mech. Jus’ not in front of da mechlin’s.”

Leaning in, Depthstrike nibbled on those cute headphone-like audio receptors Jazz had and whispered, “The newsparks need us focused on them and not making younger siblings. But when they’ve settled, I promise you Jazz, it will be worth the wait.”

When the jettwins came tumbling out of their nest, Jazz wondered how he was the only one blushing and feeling embarrassed.

Smiling as he accepted the jettwins into his lap, Depthstrike asked, “Approve of your nest, my little ones?”

Being accepted so easily had the jettwins snuggling in closer.

Jetfire answered, “We’s being happy. It being perfect. We thanking you.”

Nodding in agreement, Jetstorm wiggled as the big warmech’s arms came up and held them gently. This was what they had been missing. Some mech to protect them all. Mr. Jazz was good but Depthstrike was a flyer and a warrior. A war mech.

Just like they were.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After a week of bliss the three of them were out for a walk. Starscream, Ironspark, and Voltage chose to wait on sparkbonding. While the lust was still running in their lines, they wanted to make sure their sparks were meant for the long haul.

Looking for someplace private to indulge in his loves, Starscream should have been paying more attention to his scanners.

Voltage turned just in time to watch a blast crash into Starscream’s back. Screaming, Voltage saw the Seraphimus landing. Sigmato Nero! It couldn’t be……..

Nero purred out, “Of all the places to find you, fallen Aquillia. The Divinity smiles upon me.” His gaze landed on the allspark fragment in the flyer’s forehead and Nero darkly stated, “The divinity accepts your gift.”

Struggling as the winged freak started pulling the allspark fragment from him, Starscream lashed out with his claws.

Ironspark and Voltage attacked in defense of their jet. Voltage tackled Nero with a shouted, “DON’T TOUCH STAR!”

Ironspark came in under Nero’s chest and lifted with a snarl that required no translation.

However the fragment came free as Nero was thrown off Starscream. 

Seeing Starscream go gray, Voltage sobbed and dropped to his knees. 

Ironspark snarled as he pummeled the Seraphimus, “Give me that shard! OR so help me! I WILL TAKE IT FROM YOU COLD OFFLINE SERVOS!” 

The delicate Seraphimus couldn’t take it as his mind was assaulted with grief and wailing worse than the banshees he commanded. With his mind in such turmoil he couldn’t focus on defending himself. His neck snapped under the endless barrage of punches. 

Taking the fragment from the wreck of scrap metal and organic mush, Ironspark brought it over to Starscream and tried to reinsert it into the flyer but nothing happened.

Voltage sobbed and pleaded, “Don’t leave him here! Not like this! This is all my fault! If I hadn’t been distracting him! Nero would never have gotten the drop on us!” 

Giving Voltage the fragment, Ironspark lifted Starscream into his arms and stated, “It wasn’t your fault Voltage. All fault lies with Nero. Let’s go home…..” He ached. His spark felt like lead inside him and Voltage was right there with him.

When the bereft duo returned to the warehouse, Sari was outside playing with Bumblebee, Blurr, Bulkhead, and Blitzwing. Rushing over, Sari yelped when Voltage lifted her up to hug her tightly but then she saw the tears rolling down her fellow techno-organic’s face. Hugging him tightly, Sari asked, “What happened?”

Voltage sobbed out, “Nero….. that fragging scrap heap of a Seraphimus Sigmato! He found us! He took Starscream’s fragment before we could stop him! The fragment wouldn’t go back in….. Starscream…. Star is….” Collapsing to his knees, Voltage screamed out his sorrow. 

That brought everyone else rushing to the courtyard. 

Megatron saw the offline frame of his once second in command and gently took Starscream’s frame from Ironspark so the mech could hold Voltage. 

Optimus soothed, “We are all here for you both, if you need us.”

Sari hugged Voltage a little tighter as she said, “Star’s never going to fully leave you. He’ll always be in your heart errrr…… spark. No matter what no one can take him from your memories or take away the love he had for you.”

Finally cracking, Ironspark’s tears joined the ones that fell from Voltage’s eyes. They didn’t even have a bitling to show for the love the three of them had shared for such a sweet short moment. 

Because just interfacing didn’t always…… 

Oh scrap, it was a long shot but he had to check! Scooping up Voltage, Ironspark yanked himself back together quickly and asked, “Ratchet can you scan Voltage….. I think Sari might have been more truthful then she thought.”

Ratchet led the way into the med bay and scanned Voltage for a new spark. He smiled softly before telling the finally quieted techno-organic, “You’ve got twins on the way.”

Covering his middle, Voltage held the tears back as he said, “At least he left something behind. That jerk bird.”

Wrapping his arms around Voltage, Ironspark said nothing but let his herald cling to him as they both mourned the bond they would never have. Even as part of them rejoiced at the gift their lover left behind.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Blurr lingered at the doorway as Voltage’s sobs echoed from the medbay. After Voltage had made him feel better, Blurr had grown kind of attached to the technorganic.

Then Bumblebee stepped up and asked, “Think he’s going to pull through? I know they weren’t official or anything but the jerk bird made them really happy…”

Blinking, Blurr realized that for ‘a dumb blonde’ Bumblebee was fairly observant.  He answered, “They’ll-hurt-and-heal. But-only-Primus-knows-how-long-it’ll-take. All-we-can-do-is-be-there-for-them.”

Nodding, Bumblebee said, “Yeah. Also sorry if I was being a crankcase… about you getting attention from Blitzbrain.”

Patting Bumblebee’s arm, Blurr answered, “Don’t-worry-about-it. It’s-already-forgotten.”

Bumblebee said, “Do you think Voltage would be upset if we went in and hugged him? I mean Ironspark’s his handler and all but we’re his friends…”

Blurr answered, “That-sounds-like-it-is-worth-a-shot. Come-on-let’s-go.”

The two slowly entered the medbay and inched towards the berth. Bumblebee muttered, “Hey, Volt.. We’re here for you…”

Climbing into the berth, Blurr wiggled his way in and cuddled the technorganic. He hoped it would feel even half as comforting as the arm around him had felt before.

Following Blurr’s example, Bumblebee pleaded, “Volt? Say something? It’s freaky to see you so silent!”

Chuckling, Ironspark shifted to hold all three and sensed his Herald’s presence in his processor. It was how Voltage found comfort. 

Weakly wrapping his arms around the two, Voltage smarted off, “Something.” Then he laid his cheek on Blurr’s helm before saying, “Give me time. I will… heal. But I’ll need you mechs to.. help me do it.”

Blurr soothed, “We’re-here. We’re-a-team.”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Megatron contacted Strika to send some mech for Starscream’s frame. He would see his once second in command received a proper Decepticon send off, for his unforged mechling’s sake. Once those preparations were finished, Megatron went looking for Optimus.

Looking up from where he sat on the couch, Optimus asked, “Did you..?” He wasn’t sure what he was asking.

Megatron answered, “Strika will be sending Tarn down to retrieve Starscream’s frame. We’ll see that he is given full honors. For his mechling’s sake, if there is one.”

Shifting over so Megatron could sit down next to him, Optimus leaned into Megatron’s side and the hum of that powerful war engine soothed him. Soon Optimus was half in recharge and he asked, “Do you still desire me? After what happened… the risk of one or both of us being offlined…”

Lifting Optimus into his arms, Megatron carried his Prime to their berth and locked the door on his way through. Laying Optimus down, Megatron vowed softly, “No matter the war. No matter the risks. You are mine and I am yours. Until the very stars all die and beyond.”

Drawing Megatron down into a kiss, Optimus whimpered as Megatron’s servos traced his frame. As if trying to memorize every micron of him. 

Shifting to lay beside Optimus, Megatron let the kiss last and didn’t push his little Prime. For once Optimus had reached out for him and Megatron didn’t want to risk spooking Optimus back into his shell.

Eventually Optimus withdrew from the kiss and asked, “How are you being so patient with me?”

Tucking Optimus closer against his frame, Megatron soothed, “You make it easy. When you aren’t hiding from me.” Chuckling, Megatron teased, “I still want to know how you managed it.”

Then Optimus answered, “I had practice…. during academy. There… was an incident.” He fought to find his courage to admit what happened. He explained, “Three other rookies… forced my roommate to unlock the door for them. I was alone when two of them barged in and the third remained at the door on watch.”

Holding Optimus tightly, Megatron realized where the tear in Optimus’s seal came from and soothed, “Hush, it doesn’t matter…” He didn’t want his Prime to go through the pain of admitting what happened.

To possibly relive the attack. 

Shaking his helm, Optimus stated, “Keeping it in hasn’t done me a lick of good. Just hold me until I get it all out.” Taking a shuddering intake, Optimus continued, “They told me a spawn was only good for one thing. I would never be an Elite Guardsmech. The one with gold optics held my chassis down while teal tried to get my legs under control. I fought them, with everything I had… but if something hadn’t spooked the one on watch detail… they would have...”

Rumbling his engine, Megatron stated, “Optimus, no matter what. You are stronger than they are. I will hunt them down and destroy them for touching you if you but say the word. But the better vengeance is to live your functioning to the fullest extent. They tried to cripple you the best way to fight back is to break those chains.”

Smiling up at Megatron, Optimus answered, “Once we’re through the spacebridge and on our way to the station… How about celebrating our people's escape? You, me, two cubes of high grade, and a berth in a soundproof room with a very good lock?” He wasn't sure where the courage came from but it was like finally admitting to the attack had taken a weight from around his spark.

Chuckling softly, Megatron teased, “I’ll wait until then only if you promise to sparkbond with me.”

A tingle of enchantment danced through his spark and a surge of desire danced through his frame.

Optimus pressed closer and ex-vented as he leaned in for another kiss, “Yes.”

Chapter Text

Arriving on the organic planet, Tarn huffed, “What a disturbingly organic planet. What could Lord Megatron possibly see in this place?”

Com-ing Lord Megatron, Tarn purred out, “I have landed, my Lord. Where am I to proceed from here?”

Megatron’s voice answered, “A delicate blue racer shall be there shortly with your portable signal dampener and he will bring you here. Do be mindful to not harm him, Blurr’s value to our cause is unfathomable. All Autobots are of use, do you understand me Tarn?”

Biting his scarred lower lip plate in annoyance, Tarn answered, “I understand, my Lord. The cause comes first before all else.”

The growled out, “Tarn….” was all the warning he needed to hear. 

Tarn knew there was something Lord Megatron and Lady Strika had yet to inform him of. He did so dislike being uninformed. 

Then a tiny blue Autobot ran right up to only run right past him effectively. Tarn was mildly impressed that the little Autobot had managed to drop into a slide, slid between his legs to avoid colliding with him, and come to a stop several yards away from him.

Looking up, Blurr yelped, “Theydidn’tsayyouweresohuge! Notthatit’sbadoranythinglikethat! Ijustwasn’texpectingyoutobesoimpressive.”

Blinking slowly behind his mask, Tarn wasn’t sure what to make of this tiny Autobot. The mild feeling of impression was now firmly replaced with annoyance. How was he supposed to understand a word in the garbled mess?!

Tilting his helm at the silent Decepticon, Blurr asked, "YouareTarnright?"

Catching his designation in the mix of that, Tarn answered softly, "Even with the risks of your arrival it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. Although, be it under less than auspicious  circumstances. Do you perhaps possess an item or trinket intended for my use?"

Handing over the portable device, Blurr asked, "Soisittrue? TherumorsabouttheDJD? Areyoureallyallenergonthristybrutes?" Oh! Scrap! He realized he shouldn't have asked that any of that, and he might want to get ready to run!

Resisting the urge to do something drastic to silence the Autobot, Tarn asked softly, "In interest of speed, shall we forgo the formalities. You are far too quick for me to follow. If you would allow, I shall carry you as you indicate our direction of heading."

Taking a step backwards, Blurr would have started to run if not for tripping over a trashbot. Jumping when a large servo caught him, Blurr looked up at his intimidating rescuer and yelped in shock as he was lifted into the Decepticon's grasp.

Tucking the little motor intake into the crook of his elbow joint, Tarn felt the Autobot start squirming and he ex-vented harshly before saying, "Might I respectfully request that you cease that pointless resistance. Tis not my mission to harm you. We have elsewhere to be and I would much appreciate arriving there post haste."

Blushing brightly, Blurr just gave up saying anything and just pointed the way. His big intake was going to get him in trouble with this mech if he didn't start thinking before speaking.

Finally, Tarn had silence and a direction to go in. Perhaps he might just be able to escape without a processorache larger than Overlord…

Hoping to not end up maimed or disfigured, Blurr kept quiet and pointing the directions out for the big strong….

Brooding….

Handsome ….

Decepticon.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Going over the reports once more, Megatron saw a window of opportunity. With Sixshot arriving within a few more solar cycles they would have the fire power to escape.

Sensing more than hearing the arrival of the enforcer, Megatron greeted without looking up from the holographic projections, “Welcome to Earth, Tarn.”

Bowing as he gracefully knelt, Tarn tightened his grip but the racer still escaped him. Glacing after the lean little frame, Tarn rumbled out, “My presence as requested, my Lord Megatron. I am here for your command.”

Looking up, Megatron ex-vented slowly before saying, “Thank you, Tarn.”

Jerking his helm up, Tarn felt his spark shudder at being given gratitude and he stated, “My pleasure is to serve you my Lord Megatron and the Decepticon cause. Such duty nar requires such words from you my Lord.”

Nodding, Megatron stated, “With Starscream’s less than stellar record of remaining offline. I must know for sure and with a bitling involved I wish him to be given an honorable Decepticon funeral.”

Bowing his helm again, Tarn answered, “It shall be done, my Lord Megatron.”

Seeing the way Tarn’s digits clenched, Megatron stated, “You have questions, speak freely.”

Jerking his helm back up, Tarn replied, “It is not my place, my Lord, to question the Decepticon cause.”

Motioning for the enforcer to stand, Megatron stated, “Join me, Tarn. There is something I wish to show you. Perhaps it will help you understand my orders.”

Standing and moving to follow Megatron, Tarn  wondered what could possibly be the reason Megatron ordered that they withdraw from battle with the Autobots. Then his lord led him into a strange ship and then into a massive bay that resembled an organic farm. However his optics became riveted on the mechs inside.

A pretty prime with a pair of twin mechlings in his lap. A green minibot with a mechling warmech in his arms. A Cybertronian sized technorganic rubbing a hand over their heavy with bitling abdominals.

Tarn couldn’t stop the question and he honestly didn’t want to, “My Lord? You have discovered the secret behind spawning?!”

Smirking, Megatron explained, “The secret is the little blue racer you carried. Paired with a mech like yourself. A civilian and a warrior. Two halves to a whole. “

Flinching, Tarn replied, “Perhaps a different mech than I, my Lord. Truly I could hardly make any sort of understanding out of the garbled mess that was his words. The youth is terrified of my presence and sought to escape my servos before a single cycle hath passed.”

Laughing, Megatron stated, “You get used to Blurr’s motor intake after a while. Perhaps if some mech was putting all of his excessive energy to a more… productive use…. we could understand him better.”

Giving Megatron a blank look from behind his mask, Tarn refused to grace that hint with an answer and instead asked, “Shall I be about the task you summoned me for, my Lord?”

Taking Tarn to Starscream’s frame, Megatron noted the seeker was still gray and showed no signs of rising from the grave again.

Reaching out, Tarn touched Starscream’s chassis to sense if there was any spark left and all he found was the gaping void of death. He answered the unspoken question with a slow shake of his helm. Then he stated, “With your leave, my Lord Megatron. I shall see to a proper farewell to our comrade in arms.”

Nodding, Megatron stated, “Once you have finished that task, I have another request.”

Tilting his helm as he gathered up the corpse, Tarn stated, “It shall be my pleasure to be of use to you my Lord.”

Knowing just what would be coming, Megatron steeled himself and stated, “Seek out Megazark and inform him that I have need of him and his two protectors. I need to speak with them all, preferably in person.”

Bowing once more, Tarn answered, “Thy will shall be done, my Lord Megatron. I shall attend to my missions with your leave.”

Nodding to dismiss the enforcer, Megatron shuddered and once again wondered what could possibly have made that mech like that. Then his processor turned to how to prevent Arcticblast from kicking his aft. Primus and Unicron willing the presence of Megazark would help temper Arcticblast’s meltdown.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As he was heading out of the base, Tarn was nearly ran over by the blue racer once more. Blurr, his processor supplied. He arched an optics ridge behind his mask but politely asked, “Might I be of assistance little speed demon?”

Blushing brightly, Blurr put a bag of Cybertronian peaches on Starscream’s belly and bit his lower lip plate before saying, “For-you. They’re-good. Really-good. Just-don’t-eat-the-hard-center. The-Heralds-need-the-centers-to-grow-more. Save-them-if-you-remember.”

Without moving his helm, Tarn looked from the bag to the dainty Autobot. Now that Megatron had put the idea into his processor, perhaps his Lord was right and the speedster just needed to have his energy turned towards more productive means. He would have to discuss it with his Conjux. Perhaps it would ease the aching void left behind in his beloved's spark. He purred out, "This generosity is much appreciated, little one. I shall not forget it. Attend to your health and safety, for if it pleases you, I shall endeavor to call upon you when the dust of the coming conflict abate."

As the big Decepticon left, Blurr ex-vented softly and his spark spun in delight. Did that mean? Did that mean this Decepticon wanted to see him again? Even after he opened his intake and shoved his ped in? He watched how Tarn moved and found the grace mesmerizing. 

Who would have thought the supposed leader of the DJD could be so graceful? Or so gentle?

Then Bumblebee popped up and asked, “So who’s the big Con you’re going goo-goo optics over?”

Smacking her friend, Sari huffed, “Bee! Play nice! Blurr’s more than earned a chance at his own big mech, especially after that stunt Blitzwing pulled.”

The two mechs both asked as one, “Hunh?”

Crossing her arms as she hoovered there, Sari explained, “Blitzbrain was using Blurr to make you jealous, Bee. I can’t believe you didn’t figure that out.”

Blurr felt his spark shudder but he answered, “I-figured-that-much. He-was-too-quick-capitalize-on-Bumblebee's-defensive-claim. Tarn-seems-to-have-better-manners.”

Blinking, Bumblebee ex-vented but answered, “I’m sorry, Blurr. You didn’t deserve that. I’m going to kick that processor-less Decepticon in the modesty plates for that underservoed move!”

Shaking her head, Sari answered, “No, you won't. Leave it alone, Bee. We both know even if he hadn’t pulled that stunt he still had you wrapped around his digit. So just let it go.”

Laughing, Blurr added, “Comeonit’sdinnertimeanyways!”

Darting towards the kitchen, Sari shouted once she had a head start, “RACE YA THERE!”

The two mechs jumped and Bumblebee shouted back, “No fair! That’s cheating, Sari!”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dinner was a lively affair as always. For once Professor Sumdac was visiting and joined them.

Megatron laughed as Optimus nestled in against his side. The antics of Wasp, Bumblebee, and Blurr once again providing a show. The three were arguing over who was the best at the newest videogame Sari had brought over for them.

Laying his helm on Megatron’s chassis, Optimus asked, “Any luck on finding an opening?”

Smirking, Megatron answered, “We should tell the young bots to start packing. Sixshot confirmed that he will be arriving within three solar cycles and Overlord is going to be only a few megacycles behind him.”

Darting over to the two, Sari landed on Megatron’s thigh and asked, “Does that mean you guys are actually leaving? But I..!”

When Sari started to cry, Optimus tried to sooth, “As long as we remain here the Seraphimus will keep coming. It’s putting you in danger Sari.”

Gently curling his servo around the upset technorganic, Megatron supplied, “Try to understand, Sari. We have to go for our peoples’ sakes.”

Then Professor Sumdac spoke up, “Might I make a request of you both?”

Looking at the human, Optimus asked, “What’s on your mind Professor?”

Truly feeling his age, Professor Sumdac asked, “Could you take Sari with you? I am not getting any younger and I fear what might happen to her when my time comes.”

Looking up from his meal, Depthstrike continued lightly bouncing Jetstorm on his knee as he stated, “The Seraphimus will try to take her if they discover her. Sari would be safer with us than if we left her behind.”

Nodding, Megatron stated, “Very well, we’ll take your daughter with us, Professor. Make sure she is packed and ready to go in three solar cycles.”

Dinner settled down again and most were thinking about what they had to pack. It was time to go and leave Earth behind. There were good memories and bad memories here. It was home.

Drinking slowly, Jazz was trying to not let the easy way Depthstrike handled the twins completely melt his processor but then Jetfire snuggled up to the big warmech. Jazz’s cooling fans tried to click on. So not fair! No mech had the right to seem to fit into the role of a Sire that easily….

Smiling at the cute scene, Prowl was sitting in Sophoclidiscus’s lap to keep the Seraphimus from having a full on panic attack. He couldn’t help but chuckle every time Sophoclidiscus flinched when Optimus glanced their direction.

Pouting at the Cybertronian in his lap, Sophoclidiscus whispered, “It’s not funny. I’m still waiting for him to change his processor and ask his beloved to incinerate us…..”

Feeling a warm hand moving to hold his middle, Prowl patted it gently and soothed out, “I promise, Sophoclidiscus. You’re safe. Relax and enjoy your fuel.”

Nuzzling Prowl’s neck struts, Sophoclidiscus grumbled, “I’m trying but he’s… also you’re not exactly sitting perfectly still.”

Blushing as he realized what the Seraphimus was implying, Prowl squirmed unintentionally and hissed back, “If I didn’t think you’d try to bolt back to our room, I’d move. You can’t see how Optimus is different than the one you knew if you hide from him.”

As Sophoclidiscus grumbled, Decimus started to laugh at his fellow’s discomfort and then teased, “Trust me, I understand Sophoclidiscus. Imagine my shock when the great prime himself was worried about offending my feelings by calling me polite?”

Then Depthstrike teased, “You handled the shock well, nephew.”

Blinking as the whole room went silent, Decimus stated, "I had forgotten you admitted you're my Carrier's elder brother."

Laughing, Depthstrike teased, "Why don't you see about making me a grand uncle already? Your microbot has been happily sparksitting for days now so do something about the hunger in his optics."

From where she was seated next to Ratchet, Tempest snarled, “Are you fragging kidding me?! Red wings in my cousin?! And you never bothered to mention this, Depthstrike?!”

Smirking at Jazz, Depthstrike pretend whispered, “Oh noes, looks like I’m in trouble. We better flee while we can.”

Blinking behind his visor, Jazz yelped when Depthstrike scooped him up and carried him off with the Jettwins run next to him.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Once they were well away from the base, Depthstrike set Jazz down at the edge of lake Errie and rumbled out, “Finally an excuse to escape. Alright you two rugrats go play.”

Nodding as one, the jettwins darted towards the lake and Jetstorm purred out, “Thanks be giving for freedom from base.”

Laughing as the two young mechs darted about in the water, Depthstrike shifted to wrap an arm around Jazz and soothed, “Relax, my sweetspark. There is none to see us acting like fools in love here.”

Leaning into the warmech’s side, Jazz ex-vented slowly and stared up at the stars before saying, “Da Twins are right here…. Aye don’t know m’mech.”

Stroking his thumb digit over Jazz’s plating, Depthstrike soothed, “Let them play and be mechlings for a while and we can enjoy the stars.”

Chuckling, Jazz asked, “What if dey wear deemselves out?”

Rumbling his engine softly, Depthstrike soothed, “The day I can’t carry two mechlings to their nest and my lover to berth. Is the day you smelt my frame down for spare parts.” Settling in to lay on the lakeshore, Depthstrike rumbled out, “Join me, Jazz, and stop thinking so hard about it. They’re happy and safe, sweetspark.”

Laying down next to the bigger mech, Jazz shifted to get comfortable and eventually his helm was tuck in the crook of Depthstrike’s shoulder strut as they both stared up at the night sky. Jazz felt at peace. Like no matter what happened as long as his warmech was here then everything would work out.

Sounds of the night and the Jettwins playing were calming. 

Smiling as he felt Jazz snuggle in closer, Depthstrike knew his little ninjabot was fighting recharge. Then Jetfire came over and snuggled to Jazz’s side. 

Cradled in those two electromagnetic fields had Jazz tumbling into the arms of recharge without a second chance.

When Jetstorm settled in against Depthstrike’s free side he asked, “Be asking why? Sparks calm near you Sir?”

Giving a soft soothing rumble of his engine, Depthstrike explained, “If I am not mistaken, Jazz fills a Carrier like role for you.”

Lifting his helm, Jetfire stated, “You’z being correct Sir.”

Shifting to gently rub the back of Jetfire’s helm, Depthstrike explained, “I’m guessing that, your sparks were pulled and placed in a reformatted protoform. Your sparks are still too young for the sheer mass of your protoform. Spawned sparks need time to grow and they need the electromagnetic fields of their Carrier and Sire to help them grow. Jazz is one being and he’s supplying one type of energy for you. I’m guessing there was another mech you tried to latch onto…”

Pouting, Jetstorm stated, “Sentinel Prime.” It still hurt how the mech treated them. Also that it took living with the Earth team to teach them that it wasn’t normal.

Frowning softly, Depthstrike rubbed Jetstorm’s back struts and soothed, “Let him be forgotten, you have my energy now and it will compliment Jazz’s better. Perhaps we’ll have you growing a bit as well soon enough.”

Blinking, Jetstorm asked, “You’s being okay with being our Sire?”

Perking up again, Jetfire asked, “You’s being okay with us?”

Chuckling softly, Depthstrike teased, “Naw you little scraplets. I’m not just okay with it, I’m proud to call you two mine.” When he saw them yawn in unison, Depthstrike stated, “Alright you two, let’s head back and you get cleaned up before you climb into your nest.”

As one they answered, “Yes, Sir.”

Even though the twins got up and walked to base on their own power, in the end Depthstrike had to tuck them into their nest after helping them rinse the lake off themselves.

If Jazz happened to crack open an optic in time to see the gentle way Depthstrike handled the twins, the ninjabot wasn’t about to admit it. But he did snuggle deeper into his berth when he saw Depthstrike stretch before finding the other berth in the room.

A sense of safety and security wrapped around his spark.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

When they headed to their room, Optimus snuck his arm around Megatron’s waist and asked, “Do you think we’ll still be like this when we leave Earth? Or are we going to drift apart?”

Hooking his arm around Optimus’s shoulders, Megatron soothed, “I doubt a change of scenery will change our base’s dynamic, Optimus.”

Looking up at his Decepticon, Optimus supplied, “But the station will have far more space then we need. Primus help us if we lose Sari in it. It will take deca cycles to find her again.”

Chuckling, Megatron answered as he opened their door, “Our mechs will be out each other’s gears and any tensions between them will have a chance to settle. Hopefully your team is used to warbuilds being around because I have a feeling, Decepticons are going to outnumber Autobots fairly quickly when we settle in on the station.”

Smiling, Optimus tugged Megatron over to his berth and purred out, “I recharge better in your arms.”

Smirking in victory, Megatron rumbled out, “Once we’re on the way to our new home, I will teach you just how little recharge you’ll get when I have my way with you.”

Laughing as they flopped on the berth, Optimus stated As Megatron’s weight settled next to him, “I look forward to it, Megatron. I want to be able to scream your designation without bringing all of our strange family running.”

Leaning in, Megatron stated, “If your medic interrupts us again… I will have more than a few words for him.”

Pulling Megatron into his arms, Optimus soothed, “Locked soundproof berthroom. Get some recharge, Megatron. We’ll need our strength to wrangle our teams and to get every mech off the planet safely.”

As Optimus snuggled into his chassis, Megatron smiled while his spark settled at the sight of his Prime so peacefully content in his arms. He gently stroked Optimus’s cheek guard as his Autobot slipped into a peaceful recharge. Kissing Optimus’s forehelm, Megatron closed his optics and let himself drift off to a recharge flux of those glowing energon wheat fields and the mechlings running wild. If his processor brought to life a tiny mechling with his frame but Optimus’s colors, could any mech blame him?

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As they sat on the roof staring at the stars, Voltage just limply laid in Ironspark’s arms. This time they had lost their Seeker. They had their mechlings but at the cost of a lover…. Curling his head into Ironspark’s chassis, Voltage fought the wave of agony that threatened to drown him. 

Spotting the blue racer, Ironspark softly encouraged, “Come on over, Blurr. Voltage could use a friend right now.”

Coming over, Blurr just tapped Voltage’s shoulder and pointed at his own helm. He pictured Tarn and grinned. 

That got Voltage out of his funk a little and he teased, “Told. You. So! Big and broody!”

Nodding, Blurr focused, “Yeah. He said he would call on me when the dust settled.”

Smiling when Voltage gave a sound of joy, Ironspark allowed his herald to escape his arms to tackle hug and he teased, “Sounds like you have found a gentlemech. Just remember if he hurts you just let us know and we’ll teach him some manners.”

Hugging Voltage back, Blurr babbled, “Iknewyouwereright! Ineverdoubtedthat! YouweretherewhenIwashurtingandpickedmeup. IwishIknewwhattosaytohelpyouthesameway. Idon’tlikeseeingyoulikethis.”

Placing a finger on those lip plates, Voltage purred out, “Hush, hush, little one. You are doing just fine. The pain will pass eventually. I forgot the first rule. Do not become attached. Only Ironspark is always in my functioning. But I would welcome having your help with the mechlings in about nine months.”

Tilting his helm, Blurr asked past the finger, “Ninemonths?”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Arriving on Strika's vessel, Tarn proceeded to the smelting chamber. Chanting the Decepticon funerary rights over wideband coms.

Noticing Cyclonus pausing their game to place a servo over his spark, Rodimus tilted his helm to listen and felt his spark shudder as a voice chanted out, "May our comrade in arms finally lay down the burden of his weapons. May Starscream go to a place where warriors are no longer needed. May his spark be at peace. Let none say that his sacrifice was in vain, for he fought as we all do for the cause."

Cyclonus stated, "Amen."

Feeling the fluctuations in Cyclonus's electromagnetic field, Rodimus got up out of his seat went to sit in Cyclonus's lap. As those strong arms curled around him, Rodimus asked, "Was that?"

Nodding, Cyclonus answered, "The tail end of a Decepticon funeral." Then he looked to the window and ex-vented softly before saying, "Full honors for Starscream… who would have guessed that would come to pass?"

Tilting his helm, Rodimus asked, "So about our game? Do you just want to pack it in?"

Tightening his grip on his little archer, Cyclonus answered, "Death comes to all, but the reminder is… is unpleasant. Please just let me hold you for a moment longer."

Shifting to a comfortable position, Rodimus stated, "Take all the moments you need big mech. I'm not going anywhere."

Laying his cheek guard against Rodimus’s helm, Cyclonus whispered something in ancient Vosian and translated when he felt Rodimus trying to shift in his arms, “May the wind never abandon you and may your spark have its fill of the sky when you return to Primus’s side in the allspark.”

Rodimus curled into Cyclonus a little tighter and he asked, “Were you close to Starscream?”

Cyclonus laughed at that before saying, “No mech is close to Starscream, but at a time we were close. I grew up in the Vosian palace spire with him. Our Carriers were good friends but we eventually went separate ways.”

Hugging Cyclonus softly, Rodimus let it be. If his big flyer wanted to talk more than he would just listen.

Cyclonus simply stared out at the stars and held Rodimus to his spark. Death eventually comes for all beings. No matter how skilled or lucky, Lady Death eventually gets her way.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

With that task finished, Tarn went to his quarters and tuned his communications array to a frequency only he truly had access to.

When Megazark’s image appeared on the screen Tarn removed his mask and purred out, “My Lord Megazark, I have news of the cause and of Lord Megatron.”

Smiling softly, Megazark asked, “How do you fare sweet Tarn? How fares my protege?”

Tarn drank in the sight of Megazark with his armor the almost mirror image of Megatron. Inverted in color, black where gray was on Megatron. Though more accurate would be Megatron had mimicked Megazark.

Tarn answered, “Lord Megatron demands your presence and your guards.” His irritation flickered in his optics. How Dare Lord Megatron believe he was allowed to order Lord Megazark around.

Chuckling, Megazark rumbled out, “Calm yourself, sweet Tarn. Remember what Strika said if you fried another communications array with your temper.”

Forcing himself to calm, Tarn stated, “My deepest apologies, my Liege. It shall not happen again.” Then letting out a slow ex-vent, Tarn stated, “Lord Megatron has discovered the secret to spawning it seems….”

Tarn was cut off by Megazark’s spark broken laughter. It was a sound that tore at his spark. A sound that Tarn never wanted to hear.

Megazark stated in that voice that Tarn hated, “I could have told you that secret, sweet Tarn. A warrior and a civilian in, as the priests call it, sacred congress. For us more simple mechs, a warmech interfacing with a civilian build.”

Frowning, Tarn hissed out, “My liege, I beg of you. Speak not in that broken tone, it tears my spark apart to hear it.”

Chuckling softly, Megazark softly admitted, “I am truly cruel to you, my sweet Tarn. If I was truly worthy of you, I would never have bound you to me.”

Shaking his helm, Tarn stated, “I chose this, my liege. Thou shalt always be first in my spark. It pains me to hear you in pain.”

Smiling softly, Megazark soothed, “You were young Tarn. You still are. You knew nothing of why I crumpled to the ground begging to be offlined but you surged forward and sacrificed your spark to stabilize mine. You have sacrificed the most personal part of yourself for a broken shell of a mech.” 

Ex-venting, Tarn stated, “It was a sacrifice I would make again, my liege.”

Giving Tarn a look, Megazark asked, “Tell me what has your spark fluttering with curiosity and annoyance, sweet Tarn?”

Rubbing his forehelm, Tarn explained, “Lord Megatron may have made a suggestion. That I put an Autobot’s excessive energy towards a more productive…” He finally pulled out one of the strange spheres Blurr had given him and looked at it blankly. This was different.

Soft and a little squishy.

Glowing bright blue behind its peach colored skin.

Megazark looked at the item in Tarn’s servo and asked, “What is that?”

Tarn opened the bond up as much as he could before saying, “Fuel of some sort… Try it with me?” Once he sensed Megazark’s presence in his spark, Tarn took a small bite to avoid the hard center and moaned.

Chuckling as he felt Tarn’s delight and could taste just a hint through their bond, Megazark teased, “Save me one of those, sweet Tarn. If you can.”

As he nibbled away, Tarn nodded. He would try to save one for Megazark if he could.

Then Megazark asked, “So this Autobot, that Megatron suggested that you breed my sweet Tarn.”

Tarn answered, “Lean, dainty, fast on his peds, even faster intake. Primus and Unicron be merciful, I could not make helm or peds out of the garbled mess that tumbled out of his intake.” Then he looked down at the organic energon before he admitted, “The little speed demon gave me these, my love. What does your spark say?”

Wishing he could hold his young conjunx, Megazark soothed, “I will answer that when I meet your little speed demon. However, that will wait until after I remind you how much you mean to me. My beloved Tarn.”