The jagged silver of the trunk of the trees shone bright in the sun, shimmering in a cascade of colors down the towering bole, it’s copper fronts, thin and brittle with curvature along its length and intricate, beautifully natural, designs originating from the middle of the metal sheet and spreading across, thinning out until stopping along the edges. The trees took up nearly all of the area, fighting for dominance over one another to be the closest to the sun, selfishly taking up all of the sunlight they could get, leaving the ones that couldn’t keep up to die, and in turn, providing shade to the whole of the ground, keeping the equally metallic verdure and crystal flowers from overheating in the overbearing beating of heat and light from the sun, the variety of species fighting one another for space to grow among the overcrowded land, some more successful than others.
The tall trees and various plants each had their own type of energon based fruit. From gelatin like energon encased in spherical shells of thin metal, to soft solid energon with sweet and sour liquid inside that squirted when you bit into it, all giving their surroundings a soft purple hue with their dim glow. These fruits gave life to the various creatures who dared to live in the untamed wilderness of the forest, and attracted ones that shouldn’t of been there to begin with. A small red and white sparkling, barely old enough to walk without falling over every other step, stumbled along, his paint scratched from the stray branches that ran across his soft armor plating as he walked, determined to get what he came for. There was a low-hanging fruit just feet in front of him, it’s weight drooping it’s thin branch down to where he could just barely reach if he stood on the tips of his pedes. It was nearly the size of both his servos put together, its dim glow and soft, plump, appearance attracting the hungry sparkling. He gingerly put his leg over a large tree root sprouted from the ground, about half his own height, before swinging his over leg over, getting over the silver barrier between him and his prize before he toddled over. The sparkling grabbed the fruit with both servos, tugging on it several times before giving one final yank, falling onto his aft as the fruit broke off from it’s delicate iron stem. He let out a surprised chirp as he made contact with the earth beneath him, his prize still clutched in his servos like his life depended on it, holding it close to his frame.
He was deathly still for a moment, more than likely just out of shock, before he sneezed, the dust that came up when he fell irritating his nose. The mechling once again chirped as he rubbed his face, lubricant pricking at the edges of his optics from the fall. Even if it didn’t hurt that much, he was just a sparkling, and even that little bit of pain was something he wasn’t used to. Still, this seemed to quiet down as he looked down at his prize. He sniffled, rubbing his face just a few more times before carefully bringing the fruit up to his mouth. It was a bit heavy for him, his arms trembling slightly after holding it up for more than a few seconds, but he smiled, the pain and sadness he felt just a moment ago dispersing, eagerness and excitement taking its place as he bit down into the succulent treat. He chirped happily as the sweet juice inside filled his mouth, giggling to himself as he chewed on the piece in his mouth, swallowing it before going it for another bite. He had barely put a dent in the thing with his tiny bites, and he was more than happy to take his time chowing down on the thing, unknowingly being the cause of two ‘bots great fear as they frantically searched for their creation, as well as a single ‘bots curiosity.
A set of pale blue optics glowed in the dark forest, casting a pale light around where he hid in a tall tree, the strong metal of the branch bending, barely able to hold his weight as he looked down at the sparkling, easily hidden by the many leaves. His head was tilted slightly as he looked down at him. The small sparkling looked both familiar and foreign, too much of the former for the large dinobot to have considered him prey on first glances, and too much of the latter to swoop down and take him back to the sparkling nests, where any sparkling of their tribe, or neighboring ones, should of been right now. His wings twitched, unsure of what to do. Perhaps this was a runt? It was awfully tiny for a sparkling, and was obviously not newly-emerged. It would have been perfectly understandable if a lone carrier without a tribe had left him by himself in the middle of the forests in favor of putting all of their resources into caring for the other sparklings in their clutch. Still, that didn’t seem right. The little one just didn’t have the right kibble. Where were its claws? Why did it have such bright coloring? That would surely attract any predators, whether he had been out of the nest or not. It was too strange. He couldn’t recall seeing such a sparkling, or full grown ‘bot for that matter, in any tribes he had come across, or from any carrier-sparkling groups for that matter. Still, even if the little thing looked weird, from what he was used to at least, his spark ached at the thought of leaving it here. A predator would surely find this little thing eventually, and he couldn’t bare the thought of even such a strange sparkling being ripped to shreds and eaten. He didn’t have to keep it, after all.
It had been a while since he had nest guarding duty, or the less pleasant nest cleaning duty, so perhaps he had just not heard about a missing sparkling yet? That sounded plausible. He could just take it back and hand it off to the grieving carrier before going on with his life. Yes, that sounded like a good idea. And besides, even if it didn’t belong to his tribe, whoever it belonged to would probably be more than grateful for its safe return, for a trade of course. In the event that they couldn’t find its home, he supposed they could just dump it back in the words of give it to a willing carrier that had lost a few of their own clutch, or perhaps just didn’t have as many as the others. No matter how it turned out, Swoop would feel better at least seeing if it was anyones. Plus, it spared him the guilt if it had actually turned out to be a sparkling from his tribe and he had just left it here to die.
Mind made up, the dinobot got in position to swoop down, the branch creaking under the shifted weight. The sparkling stopped mid-bite, optics looking up where the sound came from, leaves falling down from his perch. After a few more adjustments, he leapt off the branch, going down. The sparkling didn’t even have time to react before it was picked up and carried into the air, the fruit dropping from his servo and rolling across the ground before the now dirtied treat came to a stop a few inches away. He chirped madly out of fear and confusion, the mysterious ‘bot holding him tighter the more he tried to squirm out of its grasp. He was beyond scared, and the larger ‘bot was more than annoyed at the squirming baggage. He understood the thing was in shock, but it should of been smart enough to know its own kind after a few moments of smelling the scent all dinobots let off. Whatever. He had no problem carrying this thing around. After all, he had flown off with still live prey much larger than this puny sparkling, they had also fought him off a lot harder too. He still had plenty of marks to prove it. Swoop was more than pleased when the sparkling had stopped struggling, only to feel a mix of concern and annoyance as it started bawling, ugly tears falling down its face plate. Both emotions were caused by the fact the loud crying would surely draw something unsavory towards them.
“Hush, little one!” He ushered the sparkling to get quiet. The sparkling only got louder, frightened by the harsh and foreign words that spewed forth from his mouth. That was the exact opposite of what he wanted. It was as though he didn’t understand what the mech was saying! He couldn’t help but grown a bit in annoyance, and cringed when this only served to frighten the thing even more, the sparkling once again trying to get away. He cursed himself before slowing down his flying. It wouldn’t do any good to lead something to his home because they caught the sound of the blubbering sparkling. So, he decided the best thing to do would be to perch somewhere and attempt to soothe the thing. He doubted he was any good at it. The last time he had watched a pathetic creature, he had done little good getting it to calm down after it had been frightened by something, in fact, he had probably made the whole thing a lot worse. Still, it was worth a shot. Swoop found a good, tall, tree to land it, and safely landed on the thing. This one held him up a lot better than the last one did, not even so much as creaking under his weight.
It took a few moments to settle down and get comfortable. The last thing he wanted was to fall out of a tree, especially with his small bundle, which looked around frantically, optics bright in panic. Swoop sighed, thinking about what he should do. He attempted to snuggle it closer, but was only met with weak punches and kicks. Maybe it didn’t like being held like that? What about this way? Nope! Nope, nope, nope. The sparkling just screamed louder, and Swoop was forced to re-position it again. Perhaps it was hungry? No, no. He had seen it eating just right before he picked it up. Maybe it had never seen a flying one before? Possibly, but there was nothing he could do about that. Well, there was a little. He positioned his wings further back, so that the little one could barely see them. The dinobot sighed in relief when this seemed to help the thing’s mood, but it was more likely just because it made him look not-as-large, and therefore a lot less scary, to the sparkling. Still, the thing kept crying, and Swoop could feel a processor ache building up.
“I’m just trying to help you!” He pleased, the sparkling screeching in response to him talking again. He could feel his anger build up, and he couldn’t help but shout what he said next. “Why do you keep-” Swoop was unable to finish as a hard and large energon fruit fell from above him and onto his head, causing a moment of significant pain, yelling out as it fell below him and hit the ground. A string of curses came out of his mouth, and he only stopped when he noticed the crying had stopped. He looked down at the thing. Had it been hit too? Its armor was much softer than his, and it would have been terrible if it had been hit too. No. The sparkling looked fine. Its cheeks were still wet from tears, but he was silent as he looked up at him, then all of a sudden the thing burst out laughing. What the? He found himself becoming angrier when the thing found pleasure from his obvious pain, but forced it back down. Getting mad would only make it cry again. Instead he forced a toothy smile. The sparkling stopped laughing, and for a moment he worried it would start crying again, but it didn’t. Instead, it reached up towards him, sticking curious digits into his mouth, and rubbing his teeth and gums. Swoop pulled back, but stopped once he heard a cry of protest. Worried it would freak out again, he sighed in defeat, and put his head back. The sparkling giggled and went back to its exploring of the larger creature’s mouth.
He had never seen such sharp teeth before. Why would anyone need ones so sharp and big? It made no sense to his little processor. They were as sharp as the teeth the creatures had in the little story books his sire would read to him. Perhaps even as sharp as a turbo-fox! Was this thing a turbo-fox? It had to be. How else could it have such sharp teeth? He remembered the story his sire had told him, about how turbo-foxes brought luck and fortune to anyone that saw them. Whatever those were. He was sure they were good, because his sire had seemed so happy talking about it. That meant this thing, no, this turbo-fox was good. Maybe he’d get fortune and luck? Then he could see what those actually were, his sire had only laughed when he chirped to question it, and he really wanted to know what made his sire so happy so he could give it to him as well. Where was sire and carrier anyway? Maybe the turbo-fox was bringing him back to them? Yeah, that seemed about right. He didn’t think he had been gone that long, but maybe he had? He was missing them a bit, and his brothers and sisters too, so maybe it was a good thing he had gotten picked up? Yes, a very good thing.
He smiled up ever brighter at this so-called turbo-fox, giggling as the thing’s smile got bigger in response. He didn’t realize the smile was more genuine as well.