Shrieks of terror rang out, melting with the sounds of explosions. Energon was everywhere, a sickening purple hue painted the frames that decorated the neutral colony. Buildings crumpled under the massive fire attack from the multitude of Seekers. A blue and white colored minibot scrambled out from under a collapsing building clutching a bundle close to his chassis. The minibot quickly ran through the burning streets trying to find a safe place for himself and his small bundle. This was bad, really bad, they chose this colony because of its remoteness from the war but it would seem like that didn't matter. Decepticons were raining pit fire on everything in sight.
The minibot's optics darted around desperately looking for a place to hid, he couldn't let it end like this. His creation was only sparked twelve cycles ago, he wouldn't let his spark be extinguished here. The small bot was fast but it wouldn't be enough to escape the collapsing buildings that were quickly increasing in number around him. He knew he couldn't use his frame to protect the small sparkling, he would just end up doing more harm than good. He surveyed the surrounding areas for somewhere he could hide his sparkling and hopefully divert attention from that area with his bright armor. He sprinted over to one of the many collapsed buildings and cleared out a small alcove for the sparkling and placed the small bot inside.
The minibot leaned down and whispered to the sparkling "Stay safe Yellowjacket, I'll come find you when this is over. I love you sweet spark." The mech covered the entrance with a large slab of metal to protect the little bot. The minibot proceeded to peer around while he got up to make sure no other bot was watching him. He quickly saved his coordinates, transformed into his vehicle mode and speed off. The constant sound of gun fire somehow picked up in frequency. He prayed to Primus that his sparkling would be safe. He stopped to take cover under one of the few standing buildings. He had been separated from Cyclonus and Whirl shortly after the attack began. He had no idea if they were still online or not. Suddenly the sound of metal bending and cement cracking brought him out of his worrying. He now had a whole new situation to be concerned with.
"Slag" was all Tailgate was able to mutter before being knock into a forced stasis.
The sound of rubble being tossed and muffled talking is what greeted Tailgate as he slowly onlined his optics. Warning signs fluttered across his hud, flashing angrily at him. He was low on Energon, oil, and his frame was dented and bent in more ways than he could count. Finally, the large slate of metal that was covering most his chassis was thrown off of him and he was greeted with blinding bright light and the faceplates of multiple autobots.
"Oh good, you're online!" exclaimed a large blue mech. Tailgate assumed he was the one who threw the metal scrap off of his frame. He looked to be a very energetic and optimistic bot.
Tailgate groaned at the bot, normally he wouldn't be bother by that personality, that would be hypocritical of him, but he just survived a being smashed by rubble and wasn't in the mood.
Tailgate made his was to get up "How long have I been-"
"Don't you dare try and get up, bot! You are in critical condition and I don't want you heading to the well of sparks on my watch!" chastised, what he assumed was, a medicbot. Their faceplates changed from a stern expression to that of softer variety. "You just made it through a Decepticon raid, just rest up and we'll get you fixed up and back on Cybertron, ok?"
At this point, Tailgate was in too much pain to care as his processor was about to overload with pain. He fell into a state of recharging with drifting thoughts of Cyclonus, Whirl, and Yellowjacket.
Bumblebee woke up with a start. Strange images of a white and blue mech had filled his processor during the whole sequence and it wasn't the first time. It was a weird occurrence that happened every couple solar cycles for as long as he has functioned. It always brought questions that would never be answered so he learned to always push it down and out of his main thought process. As he jumped off of his berth, he remembered that today Ninja Gladiator 2 was being released! Struggling to contain his excitement about the continuation of his favorite game he made his way out of his room and into the main area of the plant.
He and Sari planned on buying it today, he just needed to wait for her to wake up and then they could go. Bumblebee quickly checked his internal storage and noticed he was a little low on fuel. Walking over to their fuel storage, Bumblebee grabbed himself something to drink, he didn't want to be on empty when they got to the store. His level of excitement had died down a bit as he sat down on the stone couch in front of the tv. 'Well as long as I'm waiting for Sari, it wouldn't hurt to watch some tv' Bumblebee thought to himself as he grabbed the remote and turned it on. The screen Illuminated with a scene that surprised the youngling. In the corner in bright red and white text read 'Breaking News.' The camera was currently focused on a large space ship that had crashed in a forest outside of Detroit. Bumblebee suddenly got nervous, that looked like a ship from Cybertron. Were there Autobots on board. If so, were they ok? What if it was actually Decepticons? They were already having a hard-enough time as it was with the current 'Cons here on Earth. He should probably let Optimus know about this.
"Hey uh Bossbot, we have a situation." Bumblebee commed.
"What is it Bumblebee?" Optimus replied, making his way into the main room.
Bumblebee turned around from his position on the couch and pointed to the tv, "Does this happen to look familiar to you?"
Optimus shutter his optics in surprise, that was definitely a Cybertronian ship, but what was it doing here on Earth and on fire? He quickly commed the other Autobots "Autobots, we have a situation in the forest near Detroit, prepare to roll out and for a possible battle."
Looks like that game will have to wait
The next time Tailgate onlined his systems he was in a medic room on Cybertron. How long had he been offline? What hit him- Cyclonus, Whirl, and Yellowjacket! He had to go find them! Tailgate struggled to get off of the berth but his systems were still filled with static from the incident. He didn't care if he fell though, he needed to find his family, they were more important right now. Hearing the commotion that was emanating from the room, a medic femme barged in.
"Hey, it took me twelve cycles to get you back in functioning order, don't you dare mess up my hard work! Get back on that berth!" she shouted. The stood up to her full height and reset her vocalizer into her servo, "Sorry but it was very touch and go for a while with you, your systems were horribly damaged. Anyway, my designation is RedAlert, from the data we collected, it is safe to assume you are Tailgate correct?"
Tailgate nodded, slightly nervous around this femme. Not that she had scary features, it was because of she said "data we collected." How they found out his designation was concerning; did they go through his data banks? No, if they did, he would be under arrest by now, or not even online. Fraternizing with the enemy wasn't usually taken very well.
Tailgate reset his vocalizer, "How did you find out my designation if I may ask?"
The femme smiled, "Don't worry, we didn't go through your data banks, you had an I.D. card on your frame." She continued softly while shaking her helm, "mechs and their constant fear of probing."
Tailgate's intakes stuttered and spirted. Of course they crashed, how could they not have? That minor miscalculation of the planet's atmosphere cost them their ship and probably a lot of supplies. Well no time for moping, he needed to get Cyclonus and Whirl off of this ship so they could start their search! Whirl started to stir next to him, muttering a string of curses and complaining about his aching processor. Well that's one half of what he was looking for. Tailgate scanned the area until his optics landed on Cyclonus' frame. Tailgate jumped up and ran over to his mate and began to shake his frame.
"Cyclonus get up! We're here!" Tailgate exclaimed. He was excited to finally find their creation.
It had been so many stellar cycles and now they were here, almost a complete family again! Tailgate was struggling to contain his excitement.
Cyclonus onlined his optics and spoke, "I realize your excited but we just crashed, give me a few nanokliks to get up."
Tailgate nearly shouted, "I can't help that I'm excited, we're so close Cy! Just think, we'll be a family with our creation in a matter of solar cycles!"
"I know, you said that multiple times before we arrived." Cyclonus replied as he got up. "Well, in any case, we should get off of this ship and grab some supplies while we are at it."
Whirl darted up, "I think we should grab as much energon as we can, who knows if there is any on this planet!"
"We should also grab some of the medical supplies, never know when we'll need it." Tailgate chimed.
"Tailgate, you grab the medical supplies, Whirl and I will grab as much energon as we can carry. We'll meet you outside the ship, just ping your coordinates when your pedes touch the dirt."
Tailgate did a little salute and replied "Alright, I'm on it!" He raced down to the small medbay to grab the supplies.
As Tailgate was collecting the med kits and other important items, he thought back to how they managed to get here. Within an orbital cycle, they managed to discover that they all made it out of that Decepticon attack, meet up, hijack a ship, fake their deaths with that ship by crashing in the outskirts of New Kaon, hijack another ship to fly across the galaxy, and then crash that ship as well. They also managed to change Cyclonus' armor back to how it was before he joined the Decepticons! They might not be able to go back to Cybertron but they now had the chance for something greater, reconnecting with their creation!
Checking over the supplies he grabbed one last time, Tailgate made his way out of the burning ship. Just as Cyclonus asked, as soon as Tailgate's pedes hit the ground, he pinged his location to Cyclonus and Whirl. Shortly after, Cyclonus and Whirl appeared out of the ship with servos full of energon cubes. A slowly encroaching sound of sirens was picking up from west of their location.
"What's that noise?" Whirl blurted out.
Cyclonus swiveled his helm in the direction of the sirens "I have no idea, but I don't think I would like to find out. We should move on out."
Whirl and Tailgate nodded. The three began to run south of the ship so they could avoid their potential pursuers. They didn't want to go in the complete opposite of the sirens though. Whatever was producing the sound may have come from a populated area, which would be a good place to start their search.
"I believe I see the populated sector on the horizon, we should stop here." Cyclonus spoke out.
Breaking suddenly, Tailgate cried out, "Stop here? Why is that, if we're close then we should keep going! The faster we get there the faster we can find-"
"I know you are excited to find our creation but we need to think rationally." interrupted Cyclonus as he and Whirl transformed into their robot modes. "Whirl and I are both flyers, do you not think it will be suspicious if we are in our alt modes flying about?"
Whirl cocked his head to the side, "So if we can't go in, why are we heading in that direction?"
Cyclonus turned himself to look at Whirl, " We might not be able to go into the sector, but Tailgate can ."
Tailgate finally transformed out of his alt mode, "Ok so I'll go in and scout it out, see if I can find any other bots. We know that there are Autobots on this planet. Maybe if I can find them, they might be able to help find Yellowjacket!"
Whirl shifted on his pedes, "You know I’d like to not carry this energon anymore. How about Cy and I go find a place to set up a temporary home while you go find your lost sparkling."
Cyclonus nodded, "We should have someplace to recharge and call home for the time being. Tailgate, give me the supplies you are carrying and keep heading towards that populated area. Whirl and I will set up a home base and ping you the location when we are done.”
Tailgate nodded his helm and gave Cyclonus the medical supplies he was carrying. Quickly transforming Tailgate yelled “I’ll comm you if I find anything!” and sped off.
Whirl shifted closer to Cyclonus, “So uh, do you think we’ll find him, the sparkling I mean?”
Cyclonus vented out his inteakes, “I hope so, not just for my sake, but for Tailgates.” Cyclonus and Whirl stood there in silence for a couple nanokliks, watching as Tailgate’s alt mode receded into the trees. Finally Cyclonus broke the silence, “Standing around will get us nowhere, we should scout out a place to set up.” Whirl stood straight up and gave a fake salute, dropping a couple energon cubes in the process, and then scrambled to pick them back up. Cyclonus shook his helm and groaned out, “Let’s just go already.” He and Whirl transformed into their altmodes to begin their search for a temporary base.
Tailgate sped towards the city, trying desperately to not hit any of the large stationary organics. Suddenly a deafening rumble resonated through the air. “Well that ship’s gone.” the minibot muttered to himself. Not like they needed it anymore, but it would have been nice to have, even with how damaged it was.
“So, this flaming pile of scrap used to be a ship right?” a young voice rang out over the sounds of sirens and small humans scrambling to contain the smaller fires that still burned around the ship.
“Used to, is the key phrase here,” muttered the gruff old medic, “There isn’t much left of it now. Maybe just enough to identify where it was made, but not much else.”
The large green mech shifted on his pedes, “Do you think any bot survived that explosion?”
“I don’t think they had to worry about the explosion.” voiced a lilith framed ninja bot, “There are tracks over near where I assume the exit doors were. Looks like they made it out before the explosion happened”
A blue and red mech walked towards the group, “I only see one set of tracks leading out. So either this bot was alone, or there are flyers with them.”
“Well if the bot was alone, it would make sense why the ship crashed. It’s kinda hard to pilot a big ship by yourself.” surmised Bulkhead.
Prowl face turned pensive, “That is possible, but we don’t have any proof.”
“Well they’re probably not Decepticons.” said Ratchet, “I don’t know many Decepticons, but I do know they wouldn’t be this careless with a ship, especially if they knew Megatron was here. These probably weren’t Autobots either, this doesn't look like an Autobot ship. If I had to bet, these were probably Neutrals.”
“Neutrals? There are still Neutrals around?” Questioned Bumblebee. Shortly after he leaned forward as he received a smack to the back of the helm.
“Of course there are still Neutrals, not every bot wants to be apart of war.” Ratchet scolded. “ To take up the faction of Autobot means they lost their ability to distance themselves from the war. They become a part of it and some bots can’t handle that.”
“I think that’s enough for now, we’ve got as much as we can from this and the fires are gone now. Let’s head back to base. Autobots, transform and roll out.” Called out Optimus.
Quickly the Earth bound Autobots transformed and drove towards Detroit, not sparing the charred ship a second glance.
How he was able to blend in with these organics and their technology was beyond Tailgate. From the datapads he ‘collected’ about this planet informed him that the organics have vehicles that resemble Cybertronians but are non sentient. Really saved himself from looking like a total idiot. That was besides the point. These organics really seemed to love his creation and his teammate. They called them heros on those small information screens. Tailgate’s spark swelled with pride. His creation was doing everything he could to help others, what bot wouldn’t be proud? He only got to see small snip bits of him, but he at least got to hear his voice, even if it was only his battle cries. He had hoped his creation had taken on more of Cy’s characteristics instead of his own but that didn’t make his love any less. Stopping his train of thought, Tailgate idly sat in his vehicle mode near the main park of Detroit. He hadn’t even thought about how he would approach his creation.
“It’s not like I could just walk up to him and say ‘hey I know you don’t know me, but surprise, I’m your sire! Sorry for not being there for you!” he uttered, semi annoyed with himself.
Cyclonus was always better than him in the area of foresight. That was why Tailgate was chosen to be the forerunner for their introductions back into their creation’s life. Cyclonus doubted a mech who was raised following the Autobot way would ever listen to a Decepticon claiming to be his carrier. Tailgate agreed because he wasn’t sure if Cyclonus could take that rejection from his creation. Even so, he now was in a tough spot trying and failing to think of a plan. Just then a familiar voice rang out.
“Excuse me but you wouldn’t happen to be a Cybertronian would you?”
He knew that voice, how could he forget. He may have only heard him say a few things from a distance but a creator doesn’t forget their creation.
Standing there, yellow armor slightly shaded by large trees, was Bumblebee. He had a slightly perplexed expression on his faceplates as he spoke.
“You know it’s really obvious you’re not a human, ‘cause Cybertronian vehicle modes aren’t really common here.”
Cyclonus maybe good at thinking ahead, Tailgate was always the better of the two at improvisation. It was finally time to put that skill to work.
“Oh, uh yes I am!” Tailgate spoke as he quickly transformed out of his vehicle mode. He was desperately trying not to lose his cool in front of Bumblebee. He couldn’t help being nervous though, this was probably his only shot. He couldn’t afford to mess this up.
“Hello! My designation is Tailgate! I just arrived on this planet a few cycles ago!” He said struggling to keep his voice calm.
“Oh cool! Name’s Bumblebee, I’m an Autobot, looks like you’re one too. Did you get stationed here? You don’t have an elite guard symbol so you’re not here with that aft Sentinel.” Bumblebee rang out excitedly. It has been a while since he had seen another Cybertronian besides his teammates that wasn’t in the elite guard or an enemy. Another plus was Tailgate was a minibot, so there was now a bot of the same stature who wouldn’t look down on him.
“It’s nice to meet you Bumblebee!” Tailgate chirped. It seemed like his creation really took after his personality more than Cyclonus’. 'This should be easy. I can ask him about this planet to start off. That should get him talking. Eventually, we can bond over our similarities and then I can introduce him to Cyclonus and Whirl!' Tailgate thought happily.
“So, what brought you to Earth?” Bumblebee asked.
Tailgate felt his engine stutter. What could he say? He didn’t want to come off as creepy or weird, or give off a bad impression. Oh slag, he was wrong, Cyclonus was always better at these situations. Primus, he had to think of something fast.
“I uh, ha ha, came looking for my creation actually.” Tailgate uttered nervously.
Bumblebee’s face immediately twisted into an expression of confusion mixed with surprise. “Your, creation?” he inquired.
“Ah yes, I was separated from him a long time ago and I’ve been looking for him since. I heard that he was on this planet so I came here to find him.” Tailgate replied quickly.
“Do, do you know his designation?” Bumblebee asked quietly.
Tailgate noticed his change in demeanor and slowly started becoming anxious again, “I believe so, but I’m afraid he won’t accept me or his carrier.”
Bumblebee immediately recoiled, as if he had been slapped, “Why would you be nervous, what bot wouldn’t want to reconnect with their creators? Most bots who are orphaned don’t get that chance ‘cause their creators are offline or don’t want them at all.”
Now it was Tailgate’s turn to be surprised. He was sure Bumblebee wouldn’t accept them this easily. It had been so many stellar cycles, there had to be some animosity somewhere in him. “Are you sure?” Tailgate whispered afraid that this was too good to be real.
Bumblebee smiled “Yeah, if my creators came back for me, I would definitely try and reconnect with them, they have to had a reason for leaving me. Just them coming back would mean that they never truly hated me or didn’t want me. It would mean I meant something to them, whether some other bot was keeping them from me or it was their own issues. I would give them a chance and see where it went from there.”
Sometime while he was speaking, Tailgate stopped intaking air. He didn’t hate them. They had a chance. They could finally be a family like they should have been all along. Tailgate was trying not to break down there and then.
After a quick reset of his intakes Tailgate began to speak, “Bumblebee I have something to tell you, I-“
“Hold up” Bumblebee interrupted, lifting on servo to the side of his helm, “yeah Bossbot, what do you need?”
“Bumblebee you need to get here quickly, the Decepticons are raiding a construction site down near 43rd street!” Optimus’ voice rang out.
“On it!” was Bumblebee’s short reply, “Sorry, we’ll have to continue this conversation later, there’s a ‘Con attack happening right now!” He quickly transformed but right before he sped off, an idea formed in his processor. “Hey, why don’t you come with! We could always use another bot to help defend against the Decepticreeps!”
Tailgate was a bit apprehensive about agreeing, he shouldn’t be revealing himself to the Decepticons. Even though Cyclonus staged a fake crash with imitations of their frames galaxies away, there was still a chance some bot might notice. He didn’t want to put Cyclonus in danger, but this would definitely be a bonding experience between himself and Bumblebee. Oh slag it, when would he get a chance like this again if he denied?
“Definitely, it’s been a while since I’ve kicked some skid plates!” Tailgate exclaimed and transformed into his vehicle mode.
“Sweet! I’ll lead the way, try and keep up!” Bumblebee beamed.
Uh howdy, so it's been, what, five months? Sorry about that. I kinda forgot about this for a while and I lost some of my notes for the plot. To make up for it, this chapter is longer than the previous ones! Hopefully I can update at least once a month now!