Disclaimer: Usual stuff. I don’t own Beast Wars and I make no profit.

A/N: It’s aliiiive! MWAHAHAHA! Yes, this fic is still alive. Is anyone out there reading this? I’m afraid all the BW fans that used to comment have moved on to another mania and left me all alone. This took so long that some of them might even have babies now or something. Not my fault! This is honestly one of the most stubborn things I’ve written in my life. It just doesn’t want to play along and I never seem to like it. After a gazillion re-writes and re-posts I still feel like polishing the first two parts or changing them. So it’s something of a miracle that this part is here. So this is dedicated to the old crowd from BWint and whoever else I know in the fandom. Please, guys let me know if you’re still kicking ;).


Would Have

 By: Rainynight

“You say we’re not responsible but we are, we are!”

-“We are”, Ana Johnson, Spiderman 2 soundtrack




The room was light and beautifully decorated. The large windows let in rays of sunshine, the walls were white, lined with samples of Cybertron’s finest art. There was even an organic plant in a large pot in one of the corners.

Disgusting, Dr. Starlet thought to herself while she was taking her seat opposite a large, remarkably tidy desk. People’s hypocrisy is simply disgusting. How can you plan crimes against life itself in an office like this?

Well, she had learned long ago that the world was full of blacks that pretended to be whites.

Elder Proteus, the large grey and purple transformer behind the desk, was still checking her out like he always did at the beginning of their meetings. It happened so regularly that the dirty old bastard’s looks or comments didn’t make her uncomfortable anymore, just vaguely annoyed.

Proteus’ behavior did however have an effect on the only other person in the room. Dr. Clearcut who sat in the chair next to Starlet was positively fuming. The older femme was as beautiful as always, her crimson and gold colors shimmering in the afternoon sun, rivaling Starlet’s silver and blue pattern. But somehow she obviously lacked the charm of the younger one because the Elder seemed preoccupied with Starlet.

For once, that was actually a good thing. There was, of course, a hidden agenda behind this little beauty and charisma contest.

Over the years the relationship between the two femmes had progressed from that of a celebrated doctor and her miracle patient trough teacher and pupil until they had eventually become rival doctors.

Clearcut dearly regretted letting that happen. She hadn’t seen it coming. She thought she was creating an obedient little helper when she agreed to teach Starlet Transformers Medicine. Then the no-longer-little femme had left for one of the top Cybertronian universities, graduated with honors, completed a few rather successful projects for the Government and here she was now, trying to take her place.    

“Shall we get to it?” Clearcut finally snapped after getting tired of waiting for Proteus to stop staring at her younger colleague.

“Oh, right.” Proteus gave Starlet one last suggestive smile before putting on a more business-like expression and consulting an open folder on the desk. “First, I’d like to emphasize that you’re both valuable assets to our Government.”

Both femmes resisted the urge to roll their optics. When your boss begins a conversation with a phrase like this, someone’s bound to be unhappy at the end of it.  

“My, hmm, associates and I have discussed the matter and have reached a decision.” Proteus continued. “The Protoform X project hasn’t made much progress lately. While we realize that time is needed for a project like that to have the desired results, we think that it might be time for a different approach. We’ve decided to give Dr. Starlet permission to take over. Dr. Clearcut, you will be moved to one of the moons to supervise another important experiment.”

Clearcut’s optics flashed in contained anger but when she spoke her tone was calm and professional.

“Elder Proteus, I have been in charge of Protoform X since his creation and I have achieved results no other doctor could. X is now a controllable battle machine. Not long ago that seemed impossible. The Government had given up hope.”

“Yes. It’s controllable. A little too controllable. It doesn’t even recharge without you telling it to. It’s not even a drone, it’s more like a really huge gun. I’m afraid you went a bit too far there.”

“Still! I can fix the glitches given enough time. And let’s not forget that this youngling here that you want to give my job to would not have even survived without me.”

“I haven’t forgotten and neither has she, I’m sure.”

Starlet forced herself to nod and smile thinly at Clearcut.

“However this changes nothing.” Proteus continued. “As I said, the project needs a new approach. Some... fresh fluid.” He winked at Starlet, the suggestive smirk back on his lips.

“Don’t you think it’s kind of dangerous putting such a young doctor in charge of a project like this one?” Clearcut gritted out trough the crispy smile she was now directing at Starlet.

Proteus only shrugged.

“She has excellent achievements and besides, it’s not a top secret project anymore. And it’s not ranked that dangerous. You said it yourself, it’s under control now. It’s just not moving further.”

“But she has his spark!”

“All the more appropriate. Maybe she’ll find a way to communicate with it and wake it from its stupor so it stops sitting and drooling whenever you haven’t ordered it to do anything.”

Despite her experience with Proteus’ idiocy, Starlet was secretly amazed when he laughed at his own miserable attempt at a joke. She struggled to hide her grimace of disgust and thanked Primus she had been allowed to stay silent during the whole conversation. Had she been asked to talk, she might have let her true emotions shine trough her words and that would have been the end of everything.

She wasn’t usually that easy to read. As a matter of fact after years upon years of hiding her true agenda she had developed outstanding acting skills. But this time it was different. Being so close to her goal made her too nervous.

Finally Clearcut nodded her head acknowledging defeat. But there was something in her optics saying this would not be the end of it. She flashed another frozen smile and shook her younger colleague’s hand, looking her straight in the optics. Intimidating. Starlet took the threat for what it was and silently resolved to keep her eyes open for the older femme’s schemes.

When she exited the building Proteus’ office was in, she felt like a human who had been holding her breath under water for too long and was just now coming to the surface. She drove her cybercar to her apartment in a dreamlike state. Once she was home, she sat at her dressing table, removed the extra polish she had put on for that sickening old scum Proteus and stared at her reflection.   

“Oh, Primus... Oh, Primus, this is it.”

She exhaled slowly and shut her optics.

“Please let there still be a chance to fix things. Please, let me get this right. Please don’t let me screw it up. For mom. For Depth Charge. For Silver Dawn. And...”

She touched her chest. The double spark in it clenched.

“And for him.”


Chapter one

Back to Omicron


Omicron had changed a lot over the years. Starlet was glad to see that the colony was now thriving. The science institute had grown a lot and was now home to projects of intergalactic significance. There were no more shady experiments and government secrets. The Maximal Elders involved in anything illegal had managed to sweep the garbage under the carpet or at least dress it up and present it as something else. The Protoform X experiment had been revealed to the public or at least enough dust had been thrown in their optics. They had been told that the immortal war machine the scientists had designed was a mindless drone, not really a transformer. Cybertronians were under the vague impression that it didn’t even have a spark.

The horrible part was, if you looked at what they called Protoform X now, this explanation would seem completely believable. 

She walked into the cell dreading what she would see.

The huge robot sat on the floor in one corner, staring into nothingness. Had his optics not been powered he could have been mistaken for a corpse.

“Rampage?” she said quietly. There was no response. She hesitated. “Uh… X?”

This time his head turned towards her. The movement was rigid and unnatural.

She sighed. So it was true. He didn’t even recognize his name anymore. Only the label they had given him.

She had known what it would be like, had seen the reports on the project, had heard the guards complain that they even had to tell him to consume his energon or he wouldn’t do it on his own... And still it hadn’t really sunk in until now. If she hadn’t resolved before even stepping inside the cell that she would threat him as a person, she would have found it a lot easier to think of him as a piece of equipment. She shivered at her own thoughts and took a step forward.

Restraints had remained a thing of the past. The experiment didn’t do anything unless it was specifically ordered to by someone authorized. Now that Clearcut was gone the only one authorized was Captain Stunner. Starlet herself was not yet allowed to control what everyone thought to be a weapon. But that was fine with her. She had no wish to give orders. 

“I’m back.” She declared, searching the dark green optics for something, anything that would tell her there was someone behind them. “I came back for you. Rampage, I know you remember me. Your spark remembers me; they could not have changed that. We share the same spark.” She knelt and touched her chest. Then she hesitantly reached forward and let her fingers hover inches away from his chest plate, a little scared to really touch him. He didn’t even blink.

She sat there and stared at him, feeling her grip on herself slipping.

The whole scene was horrifying and his vacant look was just too much to bear. And if she couldn’t get him to remember, her plan would never work… Slag it. SLAGGIT, SLAGGIT, SLAGGIT!

And slaggit, I’m losing my self-control as well. I never thought I would turn into a slagging emotional wreck as soon as it actually came to the mission itself! What the…? Am I crying?

She was genuinely surprised to find that she was, that she even remembered how to.

She had tried very hard not to grow cold trough the years, not to trade her understanding of right and wrong and LIFE for a mask of cynicism and yet there had been a mask in place.

So how come I suddenly start crying when I didn’t even do it that often as a child?

Maybe it was just that for the first time in a long while she was with someone she felt a connection to. Over the last few years she had felt strangely disconnected from the rest of the world, only focusing on her mission. She had convinced herself that this world wasn’t real, that it would disappear as soon as her plan succeeded.

Rampage was real however. He was one of her own. Him, her mother, Silver Dawn and Depth Charge. She had started thinking of them as some separate group of people, a different tribe. To finally meet one of them after so much time and see him in this state was spark-wrenching.

Then let me cry!

He fed on emotions, didn’t he? Let him feel her fear, her desperation, her hope, her determination… Let it drag him out of wherever he was hiding within his mind and out into the light!

She sat there for a long time.

She left him just as she had found him.



Chapter two

Awakening the monster


Starlet felt extremely uneasy. She was standing on a small balcony above a large circular room with captain Stunner and a few high-ranking Maximal generals. They were all here for a demonstration of the qualities of the Protoform X project and Starlet was quite convinced she would see something sickening.    

Beside her the generals chattered excitedly about what they had heard of the project and how useful it would be if all the little glitches could be fixed. They asked her several times if she was getting anywhere with that task and she had had to smile and babble vaguely about rewiring neurocircuitry and complicated reprogramming until they were confused enough to ask no more.

Finally two transformers entered the circle below. One was Rampage, the other was a rather large member of the Security. The guard nodded towards the robots on the balcony with a confident smile. Rampage, of course, just stood there like a statue. Starlet noticed he was carrying a large missile launcher. She didn’t like the looks of this at all. Some of the generals seemed a little worried as well.

“Don’t worry; my guy is a trained professional.” Stunner said smirking and acknowledging his employee with a small nod. “X!” he barked.

The robot in question turned his head, his optics as oddly blank as Starlet had gotten used to seeing them.

“Shoot your launcher!” Stunner ordered.

Rampage did as he was told. The other robot got easily out of the way. He had after all heard the order just as clearly and was warned.

“You see, that’s the problem with Protoform X.” Stunner commented. “It never acts on its own. Which makes it kind of pointless. The enemies have too much time to react after they hear the commands. But it’s very strong. X, lift him up!”

Rampage stepped towards the guard who didn’t resist being lifted in one hand. Several spectators gasped at the demonstration of strength. Stunner smirked.

“Good. Put him down. And now… tear him apart. Limb from limb. With your hands.” He said.  

Numerous protests erupted in a storm around him. He raised his hand.

“Don’t worry; I’ll stop it before…”

And then something happened that really shouldn’t have.

The fist of one of the generals connected with Stunner’s jaw with a tremendous force. There was a crack and the Captain went offline.

Oh, no! Starlet thought. Oh, Primus, no!

She was well aware of the fact that if Stunner didn’t order Rampage to stop, nothing else could stop him.

There was a scream from below. The guard had seen what had happened on the balcony and was suddenly terrified of the monster that had been unleashed upon him. Rampage lifted one huge hand. The other bot ran to the other side of the room towards one of the exits. As expected, they were sealed. While Starlet watched in terror, the generals all filtered out trough the door, calling for help. Alarms sounded seconds later but she knew there would not be enough time for a rescue. And who would dare stand in the way of this killing machine anyway? She had to do something, there had to be a way to stop him! He had caught the guard and was about to tear him apart when an idea struck her. She ordered her internal computer to part her chest plates and as soon as it did so, she gripped her own spark and squeezed it. The pain sent her to her knees but she had enough time to notice that Rampage had also released his victim and had dropped to the floor screaming. Her mind barely registered her own screams and she felt her consciousness slipping. She blacked out.

When she powered her optics again, afraid of what she would see, she realized she could not have been out for more than a minute.

The guard was cowering near the door of the circular room, as far away from Rampage as possible. Rampage himself was still kneeling on the floor, clutching his chest but his optics were focused on her… Wait! They were actually FOCUSED on her!

And there was certainly someone behind them this time.

He knows who I am! She realized with a flutter of her spark. He remembers!



Chapter three

You’ve changed


It was an early morning, about a week after the incident. To Starlet’s relief the fact that nothing fatal had come out of it and she had been able to handle the situation had worked in her favor. She was now given full authority over the project. She used that authority to spend as much time with Rampage as possible. Unfortunately, those visits usually turned out to be tiring and frustrating. He was different than she remembered. And not in a good way. How weird did that sound for someone who had been a psychotic killer to begin with?

“You are telling me I have to more or less kill myself so this nightmare could be over?” Rampage clarified, leaning to rest his back on the wall of the cell. “Uh…” Starlet bit her lip.

He erupted in a fit of muffled chuckles. She frowned.

“What’s so funny?”

“You think I haven’t thought of that? I off myself and the pain goes away, it’s pretty logical, isn’t it? I know I’m supposed to burn in the Pit but that could hardly be worse than this place. Actually, I’m betting it’s better. There’s only one small problem. I can’t be killed. I can’t even kill myself. The only one who’s ever managed is… ah, poor old Depth charge, he deserved a more exciting end than what he got last time. After surviving me for so long to just get killed off by Stunner…”

Starlet waved a hand.

“But that’s just it, isn’t it? Depth Charge actually did manage to kill you once upon a time. So it’s not impossible. How did he do it?”

Something at the back of her mind insisted that she shouldn’t be so eager to learn how to kill someone. But life and death were just words once you started playing with time portals. There was always life or if there wasn’t, you weren’t really aware of that, right? It was the kind of life that mattered.

“Raw energon trough the spark.” Rampage said thoughtfully, his optics half-shut in remembrance. “Yes, that’s what did it.”

“We can’t get raw energon here though.” Starlet observed. “The explosion is sure to kill someone innocent. I can’t allow it.”

His smile became mocking.

“But I though none of this would matter because we would fix the past and live happily ever after?”

She gave him a look that was half-angry and half-desperate.

“Yes. We will. But… just in case… Gah! You don’t believe this will work, do you?”

He shrugged.

“No. I don’t”

“Then why are you even agreeing to cooperate?”

“Can’t you guess?”

“You want to die? That’s a very wrong reason to do it! This whole plan… should be about hope!” she finished lamely.

That provoked another fit of restrained chuckles.

“Hope? Starlet, you have not changed at all.”

“But you have.” She said quietly and a little sadly. “You never used to give up. Why surrender now?”

“Now? Oh, I gave up on the delusion that anything could work out for the better long ago.” He said with a dry chuckle. “You all just left me here.”

He said it almost off-handedly but the effort on nonchalance was futile. She opened her mouth and closed it again She wanted to shout at him that Depth Charge and Silver Dawn hadn’t chosen to die, that she herself could not have done anything even if she had been here. But did any of this matter?

“I came back.” She said.

“And now everything’s right with the world.” He said mockingly. “Look, if you find the way to destroy me, fine, I’ll help. But I don’t have much enthusiasm for anything else. Go back in time and change my fate? I don’t think so. That’s why it’s called fate, it doesn’t change. And it’s a good thing I don’t believe we can go back again because I’m not even sure I want to go through another lifetime of hell. It doesn’t matter how the details change, Depth Charge’s little stunts proved that. It always ends badly. And, personally, I liked the first variation of the story better. Apart from that, I just don’t care. I don’t even get the same rush when I think about killing someone. How bad is that?”

“It’s good!” she stressed.

“Only from where you stand…”

“And what about Silver Dawn?”

“Transmutate.” Rampage whispered and for a fraction of a nano something lit up in his optics but was gone just as soon. “What about her? Do I have to watch her die in my arms for a third time, only in different circumstances? If Primus exists, he is laughing upon us every time.”

Starlet stared at her feet. He had managed to successfully depress her. But even if he was right, what was there to do? Her whole life revolved around this plan. She had to continue.


“I must say I’m a little confused.” The image of Elder Proteus on the screen drummed his fingers on the plot of his desk. “Why is this expedition needed at all?”

“Elder, there is simply not enough room here on Omicron to test our new weapon.” Starlet explained again patiently. “You are not completely aware of the scope of the destruction h- it can cause. On a barren planet we’ll have the ideal opportunity to observe its full capacity.”

Elder Proteus looked thoughtful for a moment, and uncharacteristically formal. He hadn’t made even one dirty joke about her during the whole conversation. She supposed this time he was lost in visions of power as opposed to sexual fantasies. 

“It’s true that you are the first who have managed to bring this project close to the desirable end we’ve been trying to achieve for years.” He said finally. “I suppose I should trust your judgment. However, I wouldn’t want things to get out of control. I will only allow the transfer if it’s supervised by Captain Stunner. He is a veteran on the project and has always managed to prevent undesired accidents.”

As well as be the cost for some desired accidents on your behalf, Starlet thought behind her carefully composed mask of cool professionalism.

“Of course,” she said with a slight nod. “I have always found the captain very efficient in dealing with the Protoform.”

Efficiently evil. But if Rampage could be a good enough actor to hide his hatred behind a blank stare, so could she.

“Very well then.” Elder Proteus concluded. “I will sign the documents and send them to you.”

She nodded curtly, paid her respects and cut the connection.

As soon as the screen went blank, she exhaled slowly. Her plan was moving forward frighteningly fast. And she was so scared of reaching the end of it… Still, it had to be done. Both her and Rampage had agreed that there was no way either of them could bear staying in this reality much longer.

That fact didn’t help the heaviness in her spark. Neither of them was exactly afraid to die but there was something desperate and hopeless in what they were about to do. For the first time she wondered if she was really doing this in the name of hope or if it was just a very extravagant and carefully prepared suicide.



Chapter four



Trying to shake off the bitter feeling her last conversation with Rampage had left her with, Starlet found her usual table at the cafeteria of the central building of the institute. The silly everyday conversations around her helped calm her down a bit. That’s what she needed. Normal. Nothing in here could be more dramatic than a wrong order or a badly prepared sandwich.

Also… There was something else she was hoping to find here, though she didn’t want to admit it. She looked down and there it was. At the corner of the square table, written in pencil probably borrowed from a human colonist, was a note:

Don’t eat the cookies today, they taste like someone accidentally dropped a squirk in them. (You know, those foul-smelling local rodents with three legs?) Anyway, this morning was pretty dull. Patrol, patrol, getting shouted at by Stunner for some random reason, patrol again. So how was your day? I was thinking about seeing a movie tonight, they’re playing ‘Galactic Monsters’. I know it’s a silly boyish thing but if you want to come…


She chuckled to herself and almost felt better.

Throttle was one of the few who had remembered her when she had come back to Omicron. When she was little and he was really young, back in Depth Charge’s days as Captain, he had always spared a few minutes of his shift to play warriors with her. She loved him because he never reminded her she was sick. After she had arrived back to the colony, he had approached her and they had spent a pleasant evening catching up. And then another pleasant evening catching up. And by the time they had run out of things to catch up on, they had already worked out a million other topics to discuss.

They worked different shifts in the research center, not to mention he was a guard and she was a scientist, so they didn’t see each other very often during the day. But they did get together often in the evenings.

One of the curious discoveries they had made was that they unknowingly tended to sit on the same table in the café. Thus, the little note passing game had begun. They would write something small in the corner of the table, just as a way of saying ‘hi, I’m thinking of you’. Seeing the note was something to look forward to when any of them had had a tough day.

“So how was your day?” she heard behind her.

She spun around and there he was, grin in place and yellow optics sparkling, his mostly black armor polished so his liquid motions made her think of flowing petrol.

Was she actually mooning over a boy? Oh, only if she could… It would have been so nice to worry about whether some crush of hers liked her or not. 

“What are you doing here? Aren’t you at work?” she asked, before it became too obvious she had spaced out.

“Eh, I got away for a few minutes. Stunner is in top ‘harassing the employees’ shape today. My audios hurt.” He grimaced and sat opposite her. “So how did it go with the Elders?”

“Well, they agreed.”

“Yes!” he punched the air “Hurray for Starlet! I know you really wanted this.”

Starlet did her best to grin back at him. If he had any idea what the expedition she was planning was all about, she doubted he would be hurraying.

“I’ll sign up for the mission tomorrow.” He declared with a smile.

She almost jumped.

“No! I mean… I don’t think you’ll like it. It’s a pretty ugly planet and you’ll miss the chance to get away from Stunner for a while because he’s coming and…”

He blinked at her a little surprised at her reaction.

“Hey, I hope you’re not trying to get rid of me, because I’m coming anyway.”

“No, I’m not trying to get rid of you but…”

She couldn’t figure out what came after the ‘but’. The truth was, she wanted him to come and badly. She wanted to use every moment she could with him, do everything that she wouldn’t have another chance to do. There wasn’t much time left. Why didn’t she ever have time?

“Hey, I’ve gotta go before Stunner comes after me with a cannon.” He said cheerfully, standing up. “So, how about that movie?”

“Eh, sure.” She smiled and it was genuine but for some reason he was unable to determine it looked sad.




Chapter five

My life in one night


I’m being selfish, so selfish… I shouldn’t be doing this.

Despite repeating that in her head over and over, Starlet couldn’t stop her feet from carrying her trough the freezing corridors of the ship, all the way to the other side where the rooms of the guards were.

They had landed late in the afternoon and the next day they would do the first test on Protoform X against a bigger opponent. She was the only one besides Rampage himself who knew it would also be the last. And now she was desperate because there was so little time left…

The closer this day came the more she had distanced herself from Throttle. She wanted to be with him and yet she couldn’t stand it. She would walk into a room just to get a quick glance of him and then promptly exit and run away as far as possible. That had gotten him fairly confused and she was surprised he wasn’t absolutely mad at her by now.

She thought distancing herself from him was the best thing to do under the circumstances but tonight she just couldn’t do it. She was scared out of her mind and Throttle was the only other person besides Rampage she could talk to. And Rampage was becoming more and more unbearable, mocking both her and himself in a tired and resigned way which made her want to bawl and hit him repeatedly until he showed some more emotion. Of course, that wouldn’t work. Not for the first time, she felt an irrational pang of guilt at how badly they had managed to damage him in the time she had been away. Feeling guilty was stupid and pointless. It wasn’t her fault, she couldn’t have prevented it and it was done now anyway. What worried her though was that even if their plan succeeded and they went back, he would still have the same memories he had now. He would be the same. And she didn’t know if anyone could fix that. Her hope was Depth Charge. She felt like even a good old fight between them might be a good start.

It was ridiculous to worry about that now but it distracted her from the fact that she was terrified the plan wouldn’t work to begin with.

Suddenly she stopped, realizing she had passed her destination. She went a few steps back and with a deep breath knocked quietly on a plain metal door. Throttle answered a few seconds later, a confused expression on his face.

“Star? It’s the middle of the night, has anything…”

She had been thinking all afternoon what she should say at that moment and hadn’t been able to come up with a suitable scenario so she just skipped talking altogether and kissed him. Her biggest fear was that he would look at her shocked and say something along the lines of ‘but I love you like a little sister’. It only took a second to confirm that was clearly not the case.

“Whoa, not that I complain but with the way you’ve been acting lately I thought…”

“You thought wrong.”

“But still, is everything all right because…”

“Because I was weird. I know. And I’m weird now. But… Can we just…”

He studied her optics.

“You’d really rather not talk. All right then. No talking. I’m great at being the silent hero as you well know.”

She giggled involuntarily and then giggled even harder when he swept her up to carry her into the room, allowing herself to forget about the rest of the world.


She did remember later in the night though. There was no way to stop it just like there was now way to get rid of the strange guilty feeling that had settled upon her spark. Probably because she knew she would hurt Throttle but somehow that wasn’t all of it.

She had woken up before even morning had come yet. She slipped quietly out of the room and walked trough the corridors once again, taking lifts and going lower and deeper into the ship, finally entering Rampage’s cell. As she had expected, he was awake.

My life summed up in one night, she thought with a touch of dry humour. Rampage and Throttle. Everything that’s ever important has to do with one of these two. 

“Hi.” She said and sunk down next to him with her back to the wall. “Couldn’t sleep.”

“Oh, I know. But you found a good use for the extra time.”

She froze and stared at him horrified. Well, of course. They still shared a spark and he was a strong empath in any case. She should have known better.

“H-how much did you-“

“Not everything, don’t worry. But I did know what was going on.”

“Oh… Well…” she definitely felt blushing even if her robotic body couldn’t really do that. “And when I was back on Cybertron did you-“

“It was too far even when I was still sane enough to try and connect to you.”

That provoked a questioning look from her.

“You tried?”


It looked like he wanted to add something more as an explanation but he didn’t. She could guess anyway. He had been lonely. He was lonely. This was the one thing that was certain about Rampage. You could debate whether he was evil or crazy or simply misunderstood but that he was lonely was for sure. The fact he had left Depth Charge alive for so long proved that if nothing else.

Rampage himself was thinking along those lines too. After so much time in isolation it had taken him a while to allow himself to believe he had a companion in the face of Starlet. And after tonight he knew she wouldn’t follow trough with it. It wasn’t her fault just like it hadn’t been her fault when the scientists had treated her so much better than they did him. He had been furious at her then but he wasn’t now. She had done more than what everyone else had. She had done her best to convince him they were both victims of the same people, that they both wanted the same thing, that they were alike, and she wasn’t disgusted by the comparison. But it wasn’t true. She would always be a dozen steps higher up the ladder, there would always be something more for her than there would be for him and that was why today he would eventually be alone again. It would only be for a little while and then hopefully everything would be over so he couldn’t understand why it mattered to him. He shouldn’t care if some child wanted to carry trough to the end with him. He just shouldn’t. But he did.

“There’s a little time left before dawn. Go back to your room, we should both try to sleep. Busy day ahead.” He gave her half a smirk.

Starlet knew there was something wrong and felt she had to say something but didn’t really know what. She hovered at the door for a second grasping for words that never quite left the tip of her tongue.

“One more day.” She said in the end with an attempt at a smile. “One more day and everything will go to its rightful place.”

“Yes, it will.” Rampage whispered after her.


Chapter six



Once again Starlet felt she had run out of time far too fast.

They were here. They were as ready as they would get. And it would happen today.

Zita – 3967 was a horrible little planet. It was mostly dark and extremely cold. Starlet’s scientific team and Stunner’s guards all muttered discontentedly while she was leading them towards something resembling a rocky beach. The sea was frozen with crystals of ice sticking out from it, looking deadly sharp. Gloomy grey rocks surrounded the place. A few caves dotted the rocks, their entrances dark as tunnels to the Pit. Starlet shivered but turned around to face the group.

Rampage stood in a circle of guards, seemingly completely unaware of his surroundings but when she looked straight into his optics she thought she saw the faintest spark in there.

“All right, you!” she commanded the scientists “Start setting up the recording devices. Where’s that battleship? They should have been here.”

“Get your skidplates in here, Team Sigma!” Stunner shouted into his radio. He was the only one who looked quite happy. As if he was anticipating a great show.

The faint whine of engines filled the air and the two-person operated battle ship came into view in the sky and positioned itself above the frozen sea, facing them and ready for a fight. It looked quite threatening.

The scientists and guards knew they were supposed to be testing how X would do against a bigger opponent. What they didn’t know was that Starlet had spent weeks studying the geography of the planet and more specifically the places with unstable energon. They were now standing on top of one of them. She had put an equally big effort into carefully editing and replacing Captain Stunner’s maps so he wouldn’t realize that fact. The energon was deep into the caves so the missiles from the battle ship wouldn’t set off an explosion. Even in the middle of such a desperate plan, Starlet was doing what she could to make sure no innocents got hurt. And most of the guards and scientist here weren’t guilty of anything as far as she knew.

She climbed the narrow path that led up to the top of the rocks where her scientists were setting up recording devices.

“Ready when you are, Dr. Starlet.” One of them said when she reached them.

Ready? She wasn’t ready. She had prepared for this her whole life but she would never be ready. As a child she had accepted death because she had known she would never live to grow up. Now though, after she had had a taste of life, a healthy life, unrestrained by her own body… she didn’t want to let go. She wasn’t exactly afraid. She just dreaded loosing what she had now. She squinted to see Throttle’s face. He was looking up at her, uncharacteristic seriousness and worry written on his face. Did he sense something? She wished again she had had more time with him. Her time wasn’t enough, never enough! She had been too busy and focused on her goal to leave much room for romance and now she realized she would never have another chance. Even if this worked, she would come back as a child and probably die as one too…

Enough. Enough of that.

She tried to smile and waved at the young guard, and then she said “Ready.”

“Ready!” Stunner’s voice echoed trough the radio and the battle ship powered up its engines. “Fight!” The Captain shouted in Rampage’s radio as the ring of guards dissipated and they ran for the rocks, a safe distance away.

The ship fired its first missile and the fight began.

She barely paid any attention. She knew Rampage was holding his own but gradually retreating towards one of the caves. While everyone’s eyes were fixed on the sole transformer fighting off the ship, unnoticed, Starlet quietly slipped away and back down the narrow path. When she was almost at Rampage’s level and the explosions were making her audios ring, someone caught her around the waist and dragged her behind a boulder.

She fought to turn around and found herself staring into the wild-looking face of Throttle.

“What the slag do you think you’re doing?!”

For a moment she could only gape.

He was panting. He had run here, risking his own life. While everyone had been fixed on Rampage, he had been watching her. Her spark pulsed madly and she felt like crying but there wasn’t time for this.

“Let me go!” she managed. “I’m the head of this team!”

“Starlet!” He shook her lightly. “I don’t care what your rank is here, I’m not letting you do stuff like that! You could have been killed! What were you trying to do? See better? You scientists are crazy! Not every experiment is worth it!”

“No, not every.” she murmured. She had to get rid of him. Rampage was almost at the entrance of the cave. She did the only thing that came to her mind.

I’ve watched too many movies, she thought before she flung herself on his neck and kissed him and used the distraction to kick him hard in the stomach and run for the cave Rampage was already backing into. She heard Throttle shout after her but she was already there.

Rampage froze for a second fixing his optics on her.

“You don’t have to. You can stay here.”

“I have to.” She shouted, dragging him further into the tunnel. “I can’t stay…” She looked him straight in the face. “Rampage, I’m not staying.”

He blinked several times then shrugged with a sad little smile, one of the oddest expressions she had seen on his face, and fired his cannon. There was a deep deafening sound that made her teeth chatter. Large rocks rolled as if in slow motion and blocked the way out leaving them in complete darkness as the world around continued to shake. She unconsciously stepped closer to him, resisting the urge to grab his hand. It would just be really silly but she suddenly felt as young as she was.

To her utter surprise she felt a hand on her shoulder. Of course, he had sensed her emotions. He knew she was scared. She didn’t spend any time marveling over the fact that he seemed to care. She had always known it had to happen to him at some point like it happened to every other person in the universe. In the end, there always came a time when you couldn’t escape caring.

And it hurt more often than not.

The ground beneath her feet hadn’t stopped trembling yet when a few rocks from the top of the pile shifted and a bright ray of light appeared along with someone’s hand.

“Starlet!” Throttle shouted into the hole.

Rampage’s hand left her shoulder.


“No.” she whispered. “If I’m not with you I won’t remember.”

“It doesn’t matter. It won’t work anyway. Deep down you know that.”

She felt tears forming in the corners of her optics.

“Starlet, are you all right?” Throttle’s desperate voice called her again from the top of the pile.

“I thought you didn’t care about anyone.” She gritted out stubbornly.

Rampage sighed and in the dim light she saw him kneel down to get to her level. He sounded very calm as he spoke.

“Now you listen. What you did for me no one has ever even considered doing. You came back for me, you dragged me out of my own mind, you made sure I knew you considered me equal and kin. You spent your whole life trying to fix something that wasn’t even your fault. Not seek power or glory or even revenge but fix things. And that goes against everything I ever knew about transformer nature. Yes, I care. I don’t know how or why. But if you die today it won’t matter. And I want it to matter.”

Starlet felt like she should be crying but she was paralyzed.

“I have half of your spark.” She said finally. “I’ll die anyway if you do.”

He shook his head with a small smile.

“Ah, but we don’t know that, do we? There’s the hope you keep talking about. Forget the dead, Starlet. You’ve done your bit and more. You came to free me and you did. Now it’s time for all of this to end.” He nodded towards the light where, from the sound of it, someone was trying to shift the heavy rocks. “Your place is there. I’ll give you enough time.”

He stood up and melted into the darkness, further into the tunnel. At the end of that tunnel there was a cavern filled with raw energon.

Starlet stood there between the tiny ray of dirty light and the all-consuming darkness, trying to figure out which one held the hope she was looking for.

The answer was less obvious than it seemed but it didn’t take long to decide. She climbed the pile of rocks to the small hole and grabbed the hand that came trough it.

She heard Throttle gasp on the other side.

“Starlet? Is that you? Are you all right.”

“I’m all right.” She said. “Everything else is not. But it will be. I want you to remember this. Everything will be all right in the end.”

“What? What are you talking about? Listen, we’re working on these rocks here…”

“No. You’ll only cause another rock slide. I can’t explain why I’m doing what I’m doing but it’s for the better. Having hope for myself is not enough. There has to be hope for everyone…”

“H-have you hit your head somewhere?” Throttle stammered but before he could say anything more the world started trembling again.

“I hope you’ll remember me some day.” Starlet whispered before he lost his grip on her and a large rock fell where the hole had been.

With a final glance, Starlet forcefully turned her back on the pile of rocks and taking out a flashlight ventured deeper into the cave at a run.

She caught up with Rampage just as he entered the large cavern filled with energon crystals. It was oddly beautiful as the light from her flashlight was reflected and colorful sparks danced across the walls in stark contrast to the grayness of the whole planet they were on. He had stopped at the threshold and was staring at her with utter astonishment in his optics.

“You foolish child…” he whispered finally.

“Shut up and listen! I am not foolish. I am here because I believe this will work! I know this will work.” She shouted, all doubt gone from her voice. “And you should too. You, me, my mother, Depth Charge, Silver Dawn… we’ve all done so much… we’ve changed so much… we’ve learned so much… The more we know, the better we can be next time. And as long as I can do anything about it, there will always be a next time until we get it right! And I believe that we can! I believe we were meant to get it right! We’re not here to give up and die. We’re here to try again. And I can’t let you do this if you don’t believe! I’ve tried so hard to make you believe in me and you still think I’m just a naïve child, you thought I would leave you alone in here! How can you be connected to my spark for so long and still not know me? You tell me, who else can I ask for this but you? Because the rest of the world just doesn’t feel like home…”

There was silence for a while as they stared at each other in the dancing light.

“I believe in you.” He said softly.


The explosion shook the ground and the sky above the rocks burst into flame with colorful sparks of energy, pushing away the grayness, disturbing the frozen stillness of Zita – 3967. As Throttle watched trough tear-filled optics, for the first time the planet seemed oddly alive.


A/N: Whoa. I started this thing because I didn’t want certain bots to die and the last two parts are mostly about people dying. I’m officially evil… Anyway, please read and review. A reviewed author is a happy author and a happy author is a productive author. Love ya all!