say we’re not responsible but we are, we are!”
are”, Ana Johnson, Spiderman 2 soundtrack
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.
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?
she had learned long ago that the world was full of blacks that pretended to
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.
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.
once, that was actually a good thing. There was, of course, a hidden agenda
behind this little beauty and charisma contest.
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.
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
we get to it?” Clearcut finally snapped after getting tired of waiting for
Proteus to stop staring at her younger colleague.
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
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.
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
optics flashed in contained anger but when she spoke her tone was calm and
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
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.”
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
haven’t forgotten and neither has she, I’m sure.”
forced herself to nod and smile thinly at Clearcut.
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.
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.
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.”
she has his spark!”
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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
Primus... Oh, Primus, this is it.”
exhaled slowly and shut her optics.
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...”
touched her chest. The double spark in it clenched.
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.
horrible part was, if you looked at what they called Protoform X now, this
explanation would seem completely believable.
walked into the cell dreading what she would see.
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.
she said quietly. There was no response. She hesitated. “Uh… X?”
time his head turned towards her. The movement was rigid and unnatural.
sighed. So it was true. He didn’t even recognize his name anymore. Only the
label they had given him.
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.
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.
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.
sat there and stared at him, feeling her grip on herself slipping.
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!
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?
was genuinely surprised to find that she was, that she even remembered how to.
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.
how come I suddenly start crying when I didn’t even do it that
often as a child?
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.
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.
let me cry!
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!
sat there for a long time.
left him just as she had found him.
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.
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.
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.
worry; my guy is a trained professional.” Stunner said smirking and
acknowledging his employee with a small nod. “X!” he barked.
robot in question turned his head, his optics as oddly blank as Starlet had
gotten used to seeing them.
your launcher!” Stunner ordered.
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.
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
stepped towards the guard who didn’t resist being lifted in one hand.
Several spectators gasped at the demonstration of strength. Stunner smirked.
Put him down. And now… tear him apart. Limb from limb. With your hands.”
protests erupted in a storm around him. He raised his hand.
worry; I’ll stop it before…”
then something happened that really shouldn’t have.
fist of one of the generals connected with Stunner’s jaw with a tremendous
force. There was a crack and the Captain went offline.
no! Starlet thought. Oh, Primus, no!
was well aware of the fact that if Stunner didn’t order Rampage to stop,
nothing else could stop him.
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.
she powered her optics again, afraid of what she would see, she realized she
could not have been out for more than a minute.
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!
there was certainly someone behind them this time.
knows who I am! She realized with a flutter of her spark. He remembers!
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
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.
erupted in a fit of muffled chuckles. She frowned.
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…”
waved a hand.
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?”
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.
energon trough the spark.” Rampage said thoughtfully, his optics half-shut
in remembrance. “Yes, that’s what did it.”
can’t get raw energon here though.” Starlet observed. “The explosion is
sure to kill someone innocent. I can’t allow it.”
smile became mocking.
I though none of this would matter because we would fix the past and live
happily ever after?”
gave him a look that was half-angry and half-desperate.
We will. But… just in case… Gah! You don’t believe this will work, do
why are you even agreeing to cooperate?”
want to die? That’s a very wrong reason to do it! This whole plan… should
be about hope!” she finished lamely.
provoked another fit of restrained chuckles.
Starlet, you have not changed at all.”
you have.” She said quietly and a little sadly. “You never used to give
up. Why surrender 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.”
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?
came back.” She said.
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?”
good!” she stressed.
from where you stand…”
what about Silver Dawn?”
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.”
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.
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
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.”
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
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.”
well as be the cost for some desired accidents on your behalf, Starlet thought
behind her carefully composed mask of cool professionalism.
course,” she said with a slight nod. “I have always found the captain very
efficient in dealing with the Protoform.”
evil. But if Rampage could be a good enough actor to hide his hatred behind a
blank stare, so could she.
well then.” Elder Proteus concluded. “I will sign the documents and send
them to you.”
nodded curtly, paid her respects and cut the connection.
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.
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
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.
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:
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…
chuckled to herself and almost felt better.
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.
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.
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.
how was your
day?” she heard behind her.
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
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.
are you doing here? Aren’t you at work?” she asked, before it became too
obvious she had spaced out.
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?”
he punched the air “Hurray for Starlet! I know you really wanted this.”
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.
sign up for the mission tomorrow.” He declared with a smile.
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
blinked at her a little surprised at her reaction.
I hope you’re not trying to get rid of me, because I’m coming anyway.”
I’m not trying to get rid of you but…”
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?
I’ve gotta go before Stunner comes after me with a cannon.” He said
cheerfully, standing up. “So, how about that movie?”
sure.” She smiled and it was genuine but for some reason he was unable to
determine it looked sad.
life in one night
being selfish, so selfish… I shouldn’t be doing this.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
It’s the middle of the night, has anything…”
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
not that I complain but with the way you’ve been acting lately I
still, is everything all right because…”
I was weird. I know. And I’m weird now. But… Can we just…”
studied her optics.
really rather not talk. All right then. No talking. I’m great at being the
silent hero as you well know.”
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
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.
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.
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
She said and sunk down next to him with her back to the wall. “Couldn’t
I know. But you found a good use for the extra time.”
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.
much did you-“
everything, don’t worry. But I did know what was going on.”
Well…” she definitely felt blushing even if her robotic body couldn’t
really do that. “And when I was back on Cybertron did you-“
was too far even when I was still sane enough to try and connect to you.”
provoked a questioning look from her.
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.
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.
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.
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.
more day.” She said in the end with an attempt at a smile. “One more day
and everything will go to its rightful place.”
it will.” Rampage whispered after her.
again Starlet felt she had run out of time far too fast.
were here. They were as ready as they would get. And it would happen today.
– 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.
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.
right, you!” she commanded the scientists “Start setting up the recording
devices. Where’s that battleship? They should have been here.”
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.
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.
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.
climbed the narrow path that led up to the top of the rocks where her
scientists were setting up recording devices.
when you are, Dr. Starlet.” One of them said when she reached them.
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 of that.
tried to smile and waved at the young guard, and then she said “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.
ship fired its first missile and the fight began.
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.
fought to turn around and found herself staring into the wild-looking face of
the slag do you think you’re doing?!”
a moment she could only gape.
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.
me go!” she managed. “I’m the head of this team!”
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
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.
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.
froze for a second fixing his optics on her.
don’t have to. You can stay here.”
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
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.
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.
it hurt more often than not.
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
Throttle shouted into the hole.
hand left her shoulder.
she whispered. “If I’m not with you I won’t remember.”
doesn’t matter. It won’t work anyway. Deep down you know that.”
felt tears forming in the corners of her optics.
are you all right?” Throttle’s desperate voice called her again from the
top of the pile.
thought you didn’t care about anyone.” She gritted out stubbornly.
sighed and in the dim light she saw him kneel down to get to her level. He
sounded very calm as he spoke.
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.”
felt like she should be crying but she was paralyzed.
have half of your spark.” She said finally. “I’ll die anyway if you
shook his head with a small smile.
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.”
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.
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.
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
heard Throttle gasp on the other side.
Is that you? Are you all right.”
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 are you talking about? Listen, we’re working on these rocks here…”
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…”
you hit your head somewhere?” Throttle stammered but before he could say
anything more the world started trembling again.
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.
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.
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.
foolish child…” he whispered finally.
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…”
was silence for a while as they stared at each other in the dancing light.
believe in you.” He said softly.
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.
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!