Should Have

By: Rainynight

Disclaimer: Beast Wars belong to Hasbro but I’m not telling you whom Silver Dawn belongs to because that would give away too much. :P


I dedicate this whole part of the “Could have” series to anyone who guesses the secret about Silver Dawn before it’s revealed some chapters later!

Politics is a dirty business. It does turn you into an ignorant power-hungry slob most of the time. But every government has its white sheep. It would simply be unrealistic if it didn’t. In the Maximal High Council that was Elder Accolade.


Elder Accolade was an elderly transformer with no distinguishable appearance. His moderate size and dull green-gray colour made him look insignificant. Of course, Accolade had all the means to change the way he looked but he wouldn’t do that for the whole of Cybertron (a big part of which he already owned). That very appearance served perfectly to cover his razor-sharp intelligence which, in turn, often proved to be the only obstacle in the way of his less noble colleagues’ power games. He had already managed to stop some of the Government’s overly foolish and risky ‘top secret’ plans. What was more, he had done that without the other Elders becoming suspicious of him. He was so good at looking insignificant that they never considered him a threat.


Truth be told, they never considered him at all. They only regarded him as an empty-headed old bot who had grown roots in the Council and wouldn’t go away. And that was just fine with him. But the downside of it was that they didn’t feel obliged to tell him about their more shady schemes and he couldn’t always rely on his knowledge of what they were up to.

The frown dominating his features right now showed that he had just been informed of something he hadn’t known. He was sitting behind the desk in his office, hands folded in front of him, absently staring into space, thinking. The only other transformer in the room, a tall slender femme of silver, orange and crimson was leaning on the wall, waiting patiently for the Elder to come to a decision. Her vivid ruby optics were gazing dreamily out the window. She was no looker. In fact, with such a mismatched color scheme, she should have been considered ugly. The cold silver combined with such heated, bright colors created a rather peculiar impression. The battle of ice and fire. And yet somehow the particular shades they took on her body looked oddly suitable together and failed to be unattractive. On the contrary, there was something about her that just wouldn’t let you look away. Maybe it was the fact that she was positively… radiant. Her energy could be practically felt.


The Elder finally sighed and looked at her.


“Well, I’m afraid I simply can’t think of anything else to do so it’s once again up to you, agent Silver Dawn. I have no other choice but to send you to colony Omicron to check it out. I’m afraid that Optimus Primal’s information might be true after all. If even a quarter of what he says is true, something must be done about it now. I found out that the scientists there lost one of their doctors some time ago under mysterious circumstances. You are to take his place.”

“Understood, sir.” Came the serious reply, dreamy lava optics suddenly turning to razor sharp dark rubies.

“It’s a risky assignment even by your standards, agent. Please, make sure you don’t disappear under mysterious circumstances as well.”

“I’ll do my best, sir.”

“You’ll keep safe?”

“I will, sir.”

With a last nod of acknowledgement she headed for the door.


She turned around. Accolade hesitated.

“You know I love, don’t you? And I don’t want you to risk your life. If you decide not to do this… ”

“I know, Dad. I love you too. But you don’t need to be so anxious. Think of it as if I’m only leaving for work just like any other young femme.”

She flashed him a brilliant smile and a wink and she was gone.

“You’re like no other femme, Silver.” He thought out loud after the door closed in her wake.



Chapter One


By the orders of my father, Elder Accolade of the Maximal High Council, I was to depart on a secret mission on Colony Omicron. I was disguised as a doctor coming to replace the formerly deceased Dr. Static. Officially, the Government invited medics for an interview concerning their possible participation in a completely different and far more legal project happening on one of the smaller satellites of Cybertron. After careful questioning they had sent a number of them to the satellite but had not found a single one fulfilling the requirements for the top-secret assignment on Omicron. Until they came across me. The advantage of knowing what they were looking for proved to be enough and I was hired.

Although I made sure not to show it, I was utterly amazed (not for the first time in my career) by the types of robots Cybertron gave birth to. It will not be too much to say that even the gray angular furniture in the room showed and probably had more feelings than Dr. Chillcold. As for Dr. Clearcut, I had never in my life met a more hateful creature, beautiful and polite as she was. Upon meeting her, my firm belief that no bot could be purely evil was seriously shaken. She had the kind of air about her that sent unpleasant chills even down my rather experienced spine.

And now it is time to start working on my task. Finding out everything I can about the secret project labeled ‘Protoform X’.

Silver saved her latest entry, checked if it was password-protected and closed her portable computer.

Her first day as a scientist on Omicron had just ended and she was rethinking her strategy. She hadn’t encountered anything even remotely interesting during that day. Well, save the fact that a mini tracking device had been installed in her by Dr. Clearcut who was evidently determined not to take any chances. But that was completely futile. Tracking devices and the likes had never worked on her. When she had been very young she had had such a thing installed to inform her father where she was and keep her from getting lost. It never could fulfill its purpose. She had been born like that. There was something strange about her spark. That was probably half the reason she had become a secret agent. When she wanted to, she could be untraceable.

Which was a good thing, considering what she was planning on doing that night.

Her father had advised her to be patient and earn the scientists’ trust, coax information from them piece by piece. And normally, that was what she would have done. But this time something told her she didn’t have time for this. Optimus Primal’s claims included a child being locked up somewhere in the facility.

Midnight found her at the entrance of Dr. Clearcut’s office, spreading some special dust on the panel on the door. A nano-cycle later little marks on the most often used buttons were clearly visible. After trying a few combinations with these buttons, the door slid open.

Guessing the password of classified files was a bit harder. Fortunately, it was an Orange Mac computer. Orange Mac only had high-ranking clients like the government or some of Cybertron’s billionaires. Since there were vitally important files on most of these computers, in case the owner suddenly died without revealing his or her own password, the information was still accessible. They all had a special emergency password known only to the directors of Orange Mac and the Elders.

‘And me, thanks to my father.’ Silver thought gleefully.

Moments later she was downloading top-secret information about the Protoform X project in her own database. She would look trough it back in her room. Now, she had to get out quickly, especially since cleaning the colored dust from all the panels she had passed took ages.

On the way out she was almost spotted by a guard at the end of a corridor. Not for the fist time she considered changing her color scheme. The silver was all right but crimson and orange were not good colors for a secret agent.

She exhaled a sigh of relief when she was finally back in her room. She sat on the bad, dimmed her optics and let information run trough her mind.

Almost right away her optics flashed bright crimson again with shocked disbelief.


The three occupied cells in the lower levels of the research labs were exceptionally quiet and not because their occupants were asleep. For close to a fortnight now not a word had been uttered trough the gap in the wall between the first two of the cells.

In the third cell Starlet was reading, diving into the imaginary world with the faith and ease only childhood can provide in a time of trials. She had been given data pads with Cybertronian children’s classics to keep her busy. According to Dr. Clearcut’s plan, after her mother was out of the way she would be displayed to the general public as a huge achievement in the Cybertronian spark medicine. That was why she was getting special treatment. She shouldn’t be able to say anything bad about the doctors that healed her.

In the second cell Rampage was this time sitting, his back to the wall and chained to the floor. Considering all, this was an improvement. Though wedges were still used at the lab table just in case, they were obviously unnecessary in his cell. And since they were a lot of trouble anyway, the security team had replaced them with simple but very strong chains. He was weak enough that they kept him easily in place.

The experiments strictly concerning his physical endurance were over but that meant nothing. It was quite obvious that he could survive almost anything. The problem was, how was the government supposed to use their new super soldier when he tended to be so stubborn? So now the scientists were racking their brains about how to make him more controllable. The spark box wasn’t enough if they wanted to be sure he’d accomplish the tasks he’d be given. And since a robot’s personality came from the spark, Dr. Clearcut and Dr. Chillcold were now inventing various ways to alter his in order to turn him into their faithful servant. They were shooting in the dark without the vaguest clue of what they were supposed to be doing. And it was a stupid idea to begin with. He could have told them that if it would have been any use. And, on top of all, it seemed his senses were playing tricks on him. He felt a presence, other than Starlet’s and Depth Charge’s sparks. It seemed familiar but he couldn’t place it. It was irritating the slag out of him and he wasn’t even sure he didn’t imagine it.

In his own cell, Depth Charge was calmly staring into nothingness. He had been very calm ever since that faithful night when Rampage had not escaped.

Where were you when you were supposed to protect me?

Where indeed? But did such questions mean anything to him anymore? For once X’s manipulations failed to have an effect on the Guardian. And he was for once pleased that the bot in question knew it. He was content that the murderer was under control. He was calm. He felt no guilt or pity for the monster. He simply didn’t care, he kept reminding himself.

And he had kept on not caring for more than a week now. He consumed his energon, he passed about the small cell to stretch his legs, he thought of various things, even possible ways to escape. There was a whole living colony outside waiting for him and Starlet to rejoin it. If he could only find a way to get himself and the child out of here! He spent hours imagining Mind Game’s reaction when he handed her daughter back. And then he would make sure these bastards here went straight behind bars.

He didn’t pay attention when the bot next door was being dragged away and back. Thankfully, there were no more screams from that cell to disturb him…

This however turned out to be disturbing in its own way.

Indeed, all was surprisingly quiet.

Unnervingly quiet.

Maddeningly even.

The silence left Depth Charge with nothing else to do but dissect his own thoughts until he was finally forced to admit he could only pretend not to care for so long. The problem with Rampage was that he always managed to provoke him in some way, making him question every decision he made. And on top of all the whole thing had evolved from the simple hatred between them and his need for revenge/justice/wthattheslagever into something a lot more complicated.  


The quiet voice carried trough the silence of both cells.


A moment’s silence.

“What do you want?”

The reply was frosty but then again, Depth Charge hadn’t exactly expected a friendly greeting and an invitation for oil and cookies.

What do I want?

Depth Charge smirked desperately at that question.

What did he want?

I want to be drinking energon in a bar light years away from here. That aside, I’d like to know why I’m trying to talk to him. So what if he wasn’t always a monster? That doesn’t justify all the lives he took… Took?  

“How do you think I should have protected you?” he asked finally in order to distract himself from a rather disturbing thought that was beginning to form.

In the other cell Rampage rolled his optics tiredly.

“Stuff it up your garbage disposal unit, Fish Face,” he growled. “I’m not your counselor.”

Instead of being offended, the former ray actually felt encouraged. An insult round with Rampage was an improvement to the deadly quiet.

“I’m just giving you an opportunity to speak! You’re the one who claims to be the victim.” he pointed out.

“Nothing of the sort! I…”

Rampage growled again. He wasn’t sure he wanted to get dragged into this. Not a word between them for so much time and now this. He didn’t have the energy for an argument but the damned Guardian was provoking him. He certainly didn’t want to be viewed as a “victim” but in the end that was what he had meant.

Not really knowing what to do, he tried to shrug the annoying manta-to-be off.

“I’m too tired for this conversation right now. I might answer you later. If I feel like it.”

Depth Charge frowned.

“You’ll answer later?”

“Maybe! Why? Are you in a hurry? Planning on leaving soon?”

Depth Charge didn’t appreciate being cut off like that. Especially since it had taken him a while to make up his mind to begin the conversation in the first place.

“How hard can it be answering a simple question? One you yourself provoked at that!”

“Leave. Me. Alone.”


Rampage growled in frustration.

“I always thought you were a pest.”

The Guardian on the other side of the wall almost smirked.

The killer considered simply staying silent but the question was tugging on his already fried nerves.

“Well, it’s fairly simple, Fish Face.” He started sarcastically. “You never checked what was going on here. You, the Chief of Security, didn’t know what was happening on your own colony and you didn’t care enough to find out. I’m sure there were rumors flying around and then there was this doctor… What was his name, I was there when they killed him… He tried to tell you about me but you ignored him. If you hadn’t been such a good little Maximal who preferred to close his optics to what the government did in the shadows and to whom they did it, you could have listened! You could have known! You could have done something! You could have gone to Cybertron. And then you could have found the right people and you could have ended all of this! You claim that your duty is to protect transformers on this colony. Well, some ‘bots were trying to tell you that there was something wrong with the Elders, that there was something shady about their secret project, that there was one transformer right under your feet SCREAMING HIS VOICEBOX OUT! AND YOU DIDN’T GIVE A SLAG YOU HYPOCRITIC BASTARD! You-you…”

Ringing silence followed. Rampage was breathing heavily and silently berating himself for losing control yet again. Had he become that weak? Some of the things he had said… He was outright disgusted with himself. Since when did he ask for people to save him?

Depth Charge gaped in shock. Not for the first time he had heard his own fears voiced by his archenemy, he had always felt guilty for not being more prepared and preventing what happened on Omicron. But now he was being accused of a completely new crime.

He was just about to find his voice again when Rampage suddenly inhaled sharply. The sound was clearly heard in the absolute silence.

“She’s coming,” he whispered. There was no fear in his voice but it was filled with venomous hatred and dread.




Chapter Two


“You said whenever I needed a favor,” Mind Game said staring at the robot’s optics. “You promised. A Predacon’s word means something, despite what the Maximals might say.”

He avoided her look.

“Y-yeah… I suppose I did promise. And I want to help, really!” he looked back at her pleadingly. “I know how much I owe you. But I’m not sure if I… I’m not sure if it…” he stammered like that for a little while wishing that the femme or, better still, he could just disappear. But she continued to look at him expectantly. He sighed nervously.

“There’s this ‘bot, you see. He’s my leader. He’ll be the leader of all Predacons some day. He’s working to free us from the Maximals. Right now he’s planning something big. But it’s very secret. And I really have to be there to help! And I can’t just go and do things without him knowing. And if he knows he’ll never allow it.”

“But this will help the Predacons! Your boss will want such a powerful weapon!”

“I can’t decide that! I want to help you, doctor, really, I-I-I…” he faltered.

Mind Game didn’t allow her frustration to get her. She thought for a moment.

“All right, Vapid. Then I want you to arrange a meeting with your leader. And don’t you dare tell me you can’t do that either because I’ll start thinking I made a mistake helping you get out of that hospital and ruining my life and career.”

The male in front of her looked down.

“I know. I know. I know what you did for me. I’ll always be grateful. And I’ll do my best for you, doctor.”

It must have been the oddest picture – Dr. Clearcut sneaking trough the corridors in the dead of night, dragging a heavy weird-looking device. The guards she passed asked no questions and only nodded when they were strongly advised to keep their mouths shut. The guards liked her and disliked Chillcold who was simply too boring. With her fresh ideas of what to do with the experiment, she provided them with a show.

They were no trouble but still she was sneaking, careful not to be noticed by any of her colleagues. Ironic. One would have thought she was the ruler of this pit.

Well, in many ways she was. But she always had to consult Dr. Chillcold and that frustrated her to no end. The male was unbearably conservative and had no imagination! He was slowing her down, restricting her revolutionary ideas. Well, she could tolerate no more of this. She would get what she wanted without anyone else knowing.

She stopped in front of the cell where Protoform X was kept. A small smile appeared on her lips as she turned on the lights in the cell, typed the code and entered cautiously. She knew she was putting herself in some amount of danger. But doctor Clearcut knew to appreciate the thrill. Tonight she would do things her way.


Once upon a time Rampage would have said something to the femme who was carefully stepping around him to set her equipment. Now he considered that a foolish waste of energy. Not that he wouldn’t be answered. Unlike Dr. Chillcold, Dr. Clearcut didn’t completely ignore the existence of his mind. She acknowledged it all right.  And she liked to play games with it. She was the only ‘bot Rampage had met who was better at this than he was. Come to think of it, he had probably learned mind games from her. He would probably stand a chance if he could make her fear him but heavily sedated as he was now he had no way of proving just how dangerous he was. As much as he liked to believe his mere presence was horrifying, the truth was that bad reputation and appropriate atmosphere did half of the job when he wanted to scare someone to death. His smile that made your fluids freeze was mostly a myth. As even Starlet had reasoned during their encounter, smiles couldn’t kill. And here he hadn’t yet created a reputation to rely on. He chose to stay silent because if he talked the femme would effectively use his own words against him. He was starting to lose control far too often during conversations lately. First with Starlet and then with Depth Charge. He wouldn’t risk that with Clearcut.

Meanwhile she was humming to herself as she started connecting various cables to him.


  What was going on? Starlet had been locked in her room for days now. No tests, no procedures, nothing. The cell next to her had been silent for some time too. Not that it wasn’t comforting not to hear screams all the time but it was not nice not to know what was going on. Had they moved him somewhere? Or… Would she still be alive if he was dead?

No, she was sure he was still there.

Suddenly her vision clouded. Images she couldn’t recognize burst behind her optics and she quickly sat on the bed in order not to fall.

Finally! Finally she had gotten some time alone! Silver used the opportunity to quickly slip out of the facility and to the living area of the city to find a helpful person with a communication system separated from the one in the center. She could finally get through to her father!

Yet she was worried. The reason why she had been left unsupervised was that Dr. Clearcut seemed too preoccupied today to care about her at all. She was stuck in front of her computer reading file after file, a small smile playing on her lips. At one point she ordered for no one to disturb her and locked the door. Silver couldn’t help but wonder what that crazy femme could have done to her prisoners to make her that excited. Whatever it was it had to be something she hadn’t consulted Dr. Chillcold about because he was looking at her suspiciously as much as his face ever showed any expression. The prospect that she had done something even he wouldn’t have allowed set a heavy weight on the secret agent’s spark and she increased her speed. She finally stopped in front of a large house with a pretty mosaic covering its front yard. Cybertronians liked arranging those the same way humans liked arranging their gardens. Her ringing was answered by a young mech who took one look at her and grinned.

“You’re looking for me, right?”

She suppressed the instinct to roll her optics and put on her most charming smile instead.

“Could I please use your communicator?”

  That’s the infamous “boss” Vapid keeps going on and on about? But this guy is ridiculous!

Mind Game kept repeating that in her head throughout the conversation which was taking place in an overly dramatic-looking, dimly lit underground hall. A relatively large robot was sitting on something that was perhaps the cheapest equivalent of a throne he had managed to find and was regularly squeezing a rubber toy the noise from which was getting on her nerves.

No wonder our faction lost the war. – she thought humorlessly while they were going through the oh-so-boring routine of “What’s in it for me”.

“For the hundredth time, that ‘Protoform X’ robot is undestroyable. With him fighting for you, you can lead your rebellion or whatever your top-secret plan is and you’ll have a chance of success at least slightly higher than zero. That’s what you can gain from helping me. “

“Hmm, after all, I would not miss an opportunity to help a fellow Predacon in need, noo.” The ‘boss’ said finally after much consideration. “Perhaps we could come to an agreement, yesss.”

I don’t know how Vapid bears to listen to this guy all the time, noo.

  It was all a big mistake. Someone would soon find out and they would free him.

Optimus was pacing the length of his cell.

But it was all so unclear! Was Mind Game really just a criminal? Was she working for the Predacon rebels as the media claimed? Did she even really have a daughter? But what if all she had said was true? What if the government was corrupt? What if…

A guard stopped in front of the bars.

“You have a visitor.”

Optimus followed the ‘bot to a small windowless room where another transformer awaited him. He recognized him as one of the Elders.

Well, that’s either good news or a lot of trouble for me.



Chapter Three



As Silver Dawn was hurriedly making her way back to the center, her mind raced. Would her father be on time to save Optimus Primal? Would he be able to send someone here to help her?

She needed a lot of someones, actually. What would Clearcut manage to do with her
prisoners in the meantime? And Silver had been very insistantly ordered to stay put by her boss. What was worse, she had been very insistantly and desparately begged to stay put by her father. It was much harder to ingnore that and deep down she knew he was right. There wasn't much she could do at the moment. She could try to tip someone off that Dr. Clearcut had been planning something of her own but that was insanely dangerous. She'd probably be dead before even finishing her sentence. ______________________________________________________________________
Optimus rubbed tiredly at his optics.
"But I'm telling you, I came straight to the Council as soon as I met her!"
"Why didn't you bring her to us? She was talking against the government and she has a criminal record!"
"I didn't know about her criminal record. And I never said she was talking against the government, I don't know where you heard that."
The Elder in front of him seemed taken aback for a second. To Optimus it was starting to seem more and more like Ming Game had been completely honest. There really seemed to be a conspiracy here because this questioning was going on for hours now and the Elder didn't seem remotely interested in what he was saying. They were practically going in circles.
"Well, she must have talked against the government, she was a Predacon!"
Optimus' optic ridges shot up but he thought it wiser not say anything. Not that wisdom seemed to be helping him much.
"Why did she come to you of all people?"
"I don't really know. Someone told her I might believe and help her."
"Well, I think that clarifies all! You've commited treachery!"
"You will be returned to your cell now."
He stopped himself. No words could help him now. How could that have happened? He sincerely thought Maximals DIDN'T DO such things!
He quietly got up and followed the guard back to his cell.

Unbelievable. What Dr. Clearcut had found in Protoform X’s memory banks was unbelievable! Time loops were not unheard of but she had never given them that much thought until she actually saw the effects of one. She had gotten a chance to see what was to become of her creation in the future. And in this case, learned how to prevent a few rather unfortunate events. But there was something more that interested her. In between the scraps of memories of distorted corpses there were two faces that stood out the most. One was the Guardian who was already in her grasp. The other was harder to recognize as it belonged to a mutant, freak-like creature but replaying the images for a hundredth time she couldn’t help being reminded of someone she had only recently met. Even if she was wrong… it wouldn’t be an irreplaceable loss. And if her suspicions were true and someone who was on friendly terms with the Protoform was strutting around, she would do best to get rid of them right away.


"Optimus Primal, by orders of the High Council you are to be transferred to the CCC." the guard announced formally. "What? The CCC? But..."
Optimus gaped at the guard's retreating back.
The Crime Control Centre was the toughest prison on Cybertron and had a reputation for being relatively hard to enter and virtually impossible to exit. You had to be very dangerous indeed to end up there... or very inconvenient as Optimus was beginning to realize. His situation was getting from bad trough worse to disastrous. 
Less than two megacycles later three guards came for him. As they walked him down the corridor, Optimus felt the last traces of control slipping away. He was a calm and collected 'bot but somehow he had found himself in circumstances he had thought simply impossible. The whole Maximal High Council - corrupt? No. He had been born and he had lived on this planet, it couldn't be so different from what he knew of it! This was just some wicked dream, some surreal fantasy! Or if it was true, it was probably someone's evil plot to unbalance the government. 
But whatever it was, his current problem remained. He was to be taken to a place no on ever returned from. And his mind couldn't come up with anything to prevent that. Pleading his innocence with the guards was, of course, pointless but he was desperate enough to concider even that option for a moment. 
They were just stepping trough the back entrance of Cybertron Central Prison now. Why the back entrance? Like it mattered.
A black cyber-car was waiting next to it. An expensive looking black vehicle instead of a regular prison car? Something was wrong here...

Optimus swallowed dryly a very bad suspicion creeping its way trough his core processor as he was pushed inside.

Moments after the car door closed there was a short blaze of light that the dark windows rendered almost invisible and a muffled shot. After that the black cyber-car drove away. The prisoner who was supposed to be delivered to the CCC that day never arrived but for some reason no one asked any questions. Optimus Primal was simply… deleted. 

Rampage was experiencing something he never thought would happen to him. He was on the verge of panic. What Cleracut had done had completely shattered any illusions about how fully she could control him. He was repulsed by the idea but he needed help.

“Depth Charge? Depth Charge!”

“I’m here.”

Rampage rolled his optics.

“Duh, I know you’re THERE, you might wanna try being AWAKE more often.”

“What the slag for?”

“Eh, well… All right, point taken.”

“So, what do you want?”

“Would you by chance have any brilliant plan how to get out of here. Because I’d be willing to help.”

It was Depth Charge’s turn to roll his optics.

“Huh. Like I’d drag you with me!”

Would I?

“Aren’t you afraid I might escape without you being around to watch me?”

The Guardian narrowed his optics in suspicion.

“What the Pit brought this on? I mean besides the obvious fact that me and you both want to be out of here.”

Rampage sighed.

“Clearcut is trying some new experiment on me.”

“I thought they were finished with the experiments.”

“This one isn’t authorized. She’s messing with my memory banks. I think she’s trying to find a way to control my mind.”

Depth Charge was silent for a few moments, considering this information.

“And you’re telling me this because…?

“I don’t know, Fish Face! Maybe I was hoping this time you’d do your job better and actually stop the violation of your own laws!”

“I DID do my job better, you haven’t killed anyone! And I’ll make sure you don’t harm any innocents!”

“No indeed!” Rampage burst. “Has it crossed your mind that the only harm done in here, you dim-witted tuna, has been done to ME!”

Before the Guardian could answer, the door to Rampage’s cell slid open and Dr. Clearcut stepped in, holding up the spark box. Captain Stunner followed her into the room carrying something that looked remarkably like Dr. Chillcold. Except the last time Rampage had seen him, Chillcold had been alive and had had his mech fluid running INSIDE his body. Rampage blinked in astonishment as Stunner dropped the metal corpse on the floor and flashed him a tight-lipped nasty little grin. Clearcut took a tiny step forward, making sure she was not crossing the line of safety.

“Now, I’ve spent a lot of time and effort on you. I think it’s about time you start paying off. Dr. Chillcold here could have studied you forever, wasting the government’s money and my own time. I however have no interest in a creation that doesn’t fulfill its purpose. I can tell from what I could extract from your memory banks that you have the potential to be quite troublesome.”

Rampage’s optics widened. What had she seen? How much did she know?

“Now, I can’t allow that.” The femme continued. “You are designed to be an obedient soldier and a controlled killer. By a turn of events, it seems that this here – she nudged the body with her foot – will have to serve as your first kill. Well, it was actually Captain Stunner’s job, but he doesn’t mind letting you take the credit for it. I’m sure you’ll make up for it soon enough.

Rampage was too taken by surprise by all that was happening to come up with a response. Before he could gather his wits, the doctor turned on her hills and exited, followed by the chief of the special security. The cell door slid closed behind them. A moment later he heard the door next to his open and Depth Charge’s protests as he was being dragged away.





Chapter Four


The news spread among the scientists early the next morning. Dr. Chillcold had been found dead in the cell of Protoform X. By the looks of it, he had decided to check on his experiment but had been reckless enough to go alone and unarmed and cross the line of safety within the cell. Silver Dawn didn’t know weather to believe that explanation. It was possible but unconvincing. She wondered weather her suspicion that Clearcut had something to do with the accident was only because she hated the femme doctor with a passion. One way or the other, she had to find out. Promise to her father or not, there were obviously lives on the line here and in her book that required immediate action.

As it turned out only ten minutes later, her action wasn’t immediate enough.  

Slag it. Next time I’ll listen to my father.

She had been discovered. Simple as that. Captain Stunner himself had burst into her room with a few others and dragged her out on orders by Dr. Clearcut. What exactly had given her away remained a mystery but at least she would probably have the chance to check on the prisoners herself pretty soon. The fact that she would be joining them, however, was a bit of a downer.  ___________________________________________________________________________



Rampage was drumming nervously on the floor. He would have paced if he could. That presence again! It was not his imagination. Someone was here, someone he remembered. And the mysterious spark was getting closer. Very, very close…

He stood up as much as the chains would allow him when the door to his cell slid open and two bodies were dumped on the floor.

For a few moments Rampage could only stare vacantly. 

One of the bodies belonged to Depth Charge. Or at least used to. He could have guessed right away the Guardian was dead by the state he was in even if that wasn’t confirmed by the fact that he couldn’t feel his spark. He only sensed one. The one he couldn’t remember and it was barely alive. 

He looked down at her. And in a flash of realization his spark suddenly recognized her, just as the door slid closed behind Captain Stunner.

Rampage found himself staring into the dimming ruby optics of Transmutate.

“No, it can’t be you…” He whispered in disbelief kneeling beside her.

She blinked confusedly.

“Do I know you?”

“Yes… A lifetime away…” he whispered almost inaudibly, his optics fixed on hers.

He fervently hoped this was one of Clearcut’s mind game experiments and he would wake up. He couldn’t possibly be reunited with her just to feel her spark fade once again.


Something clicked behind her optics and they cleared for a moment.

“Oh… you… Slag, it didn’t work. How could I forget?...”

And she was gone.




“So these are the coordinates of the research facility. And this” Megatron indicated a data pad on the table next to him “is all the information you can give me about this robot and his spark.”

Mind Game nodded curtly.

“I gave you everything you wanted so when are we leaving for Omicron?” she asked impatiently.

“Oh, that will have to wait I’m afraid. I have a more important plan to fulfill at the moment, yess.”

“What?!” the femme slammed her hand on the table in anger. “My daughter cannot wait for your stupid games! You said you would help.”

“I’ve been known to lie. I’m sure I’ll have a good use of all this information at some point. But for now, I’m on my way to stealing the Universe back from the Maximals. Too bad you won’t be with us to appreciate the great Predacon society I intend to build. You’re far too maximalish… And trusting.”

She saw him looking at something behind her and spun around but before she could see anything a shot trough her spark sent her plummeting into darkness. Her last thought was about Starlet and, strangely, about Depth Charge.

Things just might have worked between us… Pity.




Starlet dreamed far too often these days. She dreamed of things she didn’t understand, of people she didn’t know and many voices constantly telling her she shouldn’t be where she was.

“It’s not right! You should be here with us! The other one has mixed up everything!”

And Starlet would try to escape the voices and she would eventually wake up feeling really alone and confused. This time seemed to be no different but just as she was about to light her optics and try to forget about the dream something stabbed at her spark and she felt vicious anger and pain flow trough her whole being.

“No, this is not me, I’m not the one feeling this!” She thought fervently but she couldn’t stop the boiling rage.

“It’s not right! You should be here with us! The other one has mixed up everything!” the voices whispered again.

“Who ARE you? Who IS the other one?”

“No… no… you aren’t meant to know.”

“Tell me, NOW!”

And then there was another voice, a single voice, trying to get to her trough the noise the rest were making.

“It’s me, Starlet, it’s me! I’m the other one.”

“Who are you?”

“My name is Silver Dawn.”

And a figure appeared before her, tall, slim, in silver, red and orange, ruby optics fixed on her.

“What did you do to make them so angry at you?”

“They’re not angry. They don’t feel anger. They’re just trying to set things right as they understand them. And I’m doing just the same.”

A sudden suspicion crept its way into Starlet’s mind.

“Are you dead?”

“Yes.” Silver Dawn chuckled at her bluntness. “Only since a few moments ago. But I’ve been dead before too.”

Starlet decided not to try figuring out the logic of that statement.

“Is this really the Matrix?” she asked incredulously.

“Yes. Where all are one.”

“Then why aren’t you part of them too? Or I for that matter?”

“I don’t know about me. My spark has always been strange. Too individual I suppose. Or maybe I’m just not ready to join them. As for you, you’re not part of them because you’re not dead but you’re here because you should be.”

As Starlet listened intently to Silver Dawn the other voices had begun to quiet and she was just beginning to hope they would go away when suddenly a single piercing scream reached her.


“Mom?” She turned around in the darkness but the voice just faded slowly away and joined the unintelligible whispering of the countless other voices around her. Panic and sorrow gripped her. She longed to see her mother. But the only solid thing around seemed to be Silver Dawn and the child turned to her.

“Where is my mother? What happened to her?”

“I’m afraid she’s dead.”

“No!” Starlet backed away from the femme shaking her head. “No, you see, this is all wrong! I’m the one who’s supposed to be dead! I was ready! I’m not ready for her to die! What am I gonna do without her? She can’t be dead!”

“I’m afraid she can, but I agree that she shouldn’t be. If you help me, maybe we can try to fix all of this. Will you let me tell you the whole story?”

Starlet hesitated but nodded, sitting down cross legged on something that wasn’t ground but looked more like solid darkness. Silver copied her movement.

“I guess I could start at the point where the Maxiamls decided to create a super soldier who was, at that, practically immortal. As such experiments usually turn out, they ended up with a twisted, tormented creature who longed to release his own pain on the world. And he did, taking thousands of lives while he was loose. When he was finally captured, the Government couldn’t think of a way to kill him so it was decided he’d be locked in a stasis pod and dumped on a barren planet. My father who is one of the elders felt uneasy with that decision so he sent his best agent to make sure no disaster came out of it. That agent was me, I was also locked in a pod in stasis but things went wrong. The Maximal ship I was on engaged in a battle with a Predacon one, they both crashed to a primitive planet and began a war. When my pod crashed too it was very heavily damaged and it damaged me too. I came out as an ugly and distorted creature whose mind was barely at the stage of a drone’s. On top of that I was powerful. So everyone wanted to destroy me except for two ‘bots. One of them was Rampage, the very ‘bot I was sent to make sure didn’t escape, though my mind couldn’t remember or comprehend that at the time. The very ‘bot whose spark is inside you now, keeping you alive. He tried to protect me, he was my friend and I think I was the only one he ever had. Anyway, I died accidentally and when my spark reached the Matrix my mind healed and I could finally remember and understand everything that had happened. I guess I wasn’t ready to join the crowd because I kept my personality and decided to watch over him. Watching didn’t do him much good however because things ended up pretty much as bad as they had begun for him. So I decided to do something. When you’re in the Matrix, even if you’re not exactly part of it, you can see or do pretty much everything so I took him back in time, along with Depth Charge, the ‘bot who’d killed him and died in the process, who had also suffered more than enough in a lifetime.”

“I know Depth Charge. He’s Mom’s boss.”

“He tried very hard to save you this time, you know. That’s what I was hoping for – that they would remember where they came from and do things differently the second time. I can see now they did remember but when I was transported back to life I forgot everything. There was just nothing to prompt the memories to surface.”

“Why didn’t you remember Rampage when you came here, didn’t you read his name somewhere?”

“Because every file about him was labeled with another name. I remembered when I saw him but it was too late. The story played out differently but… things went wrong again.”

“Is that why my Mom died?”

“I guess it is.”

“I hate you.”

“I can understand that but it’s not gonna help.”

“Can’t we all go back in time again and fix it?”

“We could try. But it’s not that easy. First of all, only dead souls can travel trough the Matrix and keep their memories. For this to work, Rampage has to die. Without the knowledge he has now, he would just be a tortured animal and we could cause a whole massacre to happen all over again. Besides, we have to find Depth Charge and your mother before we take them back. Right now they’re lost in the flow of sparks and locating them borders impossible.”

Starlet just looked at her desperately for several seconds, then abruptly stood up.

“Then you’d better start looking, lady. I want my mother back.”

Silver Dawn smiled.

“You’ll need to work on it too, you know. Changing destiny is not exactly meant to happen so it’s very hard to accomplish. You saw what happened when I tried. And you’re so little…”

“I’ll make it happen! I will! I will…”

I will…

Her own voice whispered in her head as the dream melted away and she woke up.

I will… some day.

Starlet sat up in her bed, suddenly fully alert. She didn’t doubt the reality of what she had dreamed. She felt it in her spark it was all true. But she was having a hard time grasping the concept of killing someone, even if it was Rampage and even if it was only to revive him back in time.

And anyway, how was she supposed to come up with a plan to kill a ‘bot who was supposedly immortal and she couldn’t even see him in person. She could only feel him trough their shared spark but her own desperation and pain at loosing her mother mingled with his and she couldn’t tell which was what anymore.

She hugged her knees, suddenly remembering she was just a child and shut her optics.

I wish, I really, really wish for everything to be all right… for everyone.

Some day soon.


It’s a sad fact of life that sometimes no amount of wishing can make a wish come true.

Only a few days after her encounter with Silver Dawn, Dr. Clearcut had come to lead her out of her cell and into the world, to be displayed as an astonishing achievement of modern medicine. Starlet had no choice but to pretend obedience if she wanted to survive.

She left colony Omicron carrying someone else’s pain along with her own, a constant reminder that something was very wrong with the world. It would be years before she returned.


End of part two