Mist, swirled around her, settling on the….floor? What was she laying on. Where am I? I thought I was going to wake up next to Bulkhead….
Clearly her processor had other ideas.
She sat up and the fog swirled, her movement creating eddies in the mist. IT was most dense near the floor, but it permeated the air, making it difficult to see more than a few nanoclicks in front of her.
She could guess where she was by the distinguishable purple tint the fog had. The mist was cold and sticky, clinging to her paint as she tried to swipe it off. It clung like threads of darkness, sinking into her joints and wires.
Unicron or Megatron, though Megatron wasn’t usually this quiet. Which is why she had a gnawing feeling in the pit of her tanks…Unicron was much worse than the dear old Decepticon leader.
A deep rumble of laughter spread, seemingly carried by non-existent currents through the stagnant mist. “You think so little of me, spy.”
Oh so he was here. She rolled her optics.
“What do you want Megatron?” she called back, steeling her nerves against her tremors, determined to not show fear even in her darkest moments. She was just glad she had control over herself this time. Her nightmares weren’t usually so kind.
“To put the matter simply, you,” The voice became eerily close; she whirled around trying to see at least a shadow of his hulking form. “I don’t like to lose. I don’t like to be bested.” She closed her optics, not wanting to show how much his voice disturbed her. “You made me a look a fool when you resigned your cover. I want to repay the favor. You will feel the same.”
Her optics snapped open, “What are you planning?!” she screamed into the mist, servos clenched at her sides. Her chains slipped down from her wrists out of habit, if it was a fight he wanted, a fight he would get. She gripped her bladed chains so tight she almost sliced her servos open.
She saw a shadow materialize out of the mist. She recognized the evil warlord. She couldn’t help the smirk that crossed her faceplate. Revenge, she nearly hissed aloud.
The shadow chuckled, “So eager to take revenge. But tell me, would you take your revenge at the expense of your fellow warriors,” he motioned to the side, where in a clearing stood all the members of her team; Optimus, Arcee, Bee, Ratchet, Miko, Jack, Raf, and Wheeljack standing just behind and to the side of Bulkhead who appeared at the front. A sad look graced the faces of the entire group, save for Bulkhead, on whose face was etched the melancholy and sadness of a thousand worlds.
She lurched forward, chains swinging from her wrists, “Bulkhead…” her response to comfort him so automatic she didn’t realize the tendrils of mist congealing and sneaking around her pedes. Her movement towards her team was stopped, her outreached servo just short of her despairing mate. They began to fade away.
“No!” she screamed struggling against the mist the slowly encased the rest of her frame. She continued struggling, her pulling and pushing against her bonds futile. “Bulkhead! NO!” she screamed into the mist.
“Please…” she whispered, her dampened rage turned inward, “come back.”
She hung her head in shame, loneliness overwhelming her core. Time seemed to pass in the utmost haze as she was left with her tainted memories.
A thought occurred to her; Megatron was using her against her team. She spent her time working on ways to exact revenge for such heinous acts of war. She noted a slowly increasing pain, but ignored it, to intent on her plans.
A dark shadow materialized again, “Why do you struggle in vain?” Megatron asked her, his finger finding her chin to lift her optics to meet his. A venomous glare of such raw hatred and vengeance flowed from the femme’s optics. She spat on his faceplate, “You wouldn’t understand. You’re a heartless scrapheap that even the pits would reject.”
“Quite mouthy for being at my mercy,” his claws dug into her faceplate, she ignored the small daggers of pain, nothing compared to the mist as it slowly turned acidic. Megatron seemed undisturbed by the caustic cloud.
“Like I care what you do to me,” she scoffed.
His servo fell away, “Oh but you should. You can do more damage than you know.” And with that he faded away, his dark laughter haunting her from every direction. She snapped her optics shut in an attempt to block the noise and retain the last shreds of her sanity.
Darker, deeper rumblings became louder and louder, growing in its eerie nature. Unicron seemed entertained with the femme he had in the thralls of agony. The mist swirled violently around her, locking her frame in an ever tighter embrace, encasing even her helm, forcing her to breathe in the toxic fumes as her frame eroded away slowly.
The pain. The laughter. The threat, sure to be followed through. She struggle to keep her thoughts straight. She tried convincing herself it was just a vision, a dream, a nightmare; to no avail. She could believe the shadows and mist weren’t real, but the pain was too much. She could no longer hold her screams of agony inside, she opened her mouth releasing screeches distorted as her vocal processor succumbed to the effects of the acidic mist.
A dark force pulled her downward, and she went willingly, grateful for the abatement of any pain at this point.
With her last conscious though she swore in her spark that Megatron would pay for his cruelty and his threat; she would teach him she wasn’t a femme to be trifled with.
And with that, the black encased her, erased her.
A bang and a grumbled curse woke the green mech from his troubled recharge, leaned against the wall near the medical berth where his mate lay, still locked in the throes of her nightmares.
“Jeezze Doc, could you let a mech catch some recharge?” he groaned rubbing his helm and sitting up, knowing he would be unable to rest again for a while.
“You could recharge in your own berth,” the grouchy medic muttered towards him.
Bulkhead gave him a incredulous look, “Really doc. Do you expect me to be away from Chains for any length of time?”
Ratchet paused in his work on the medical computer, “No, I suppose I don’t….and my name isn’t doc.”
Wheeljack rolled into the silo proper from the tunnel, grains of sand tinkling onto the floor as the white and green mech transformed into his bipedal mode.
“How’s the patient doc?”
Ratchet’s shoulders tensed, and he hissed in irritation, “My name is not DOC!!’
Wheeljack leaned back away from his anger, though he was some distance from the fuming medic. At least he wasn’t brandishing his wrench; yet…
“Who shoved an electromagnetic up your tailpipe?” Wheeljack held his hands up in mock surrender, holding in his light chuckle.
The old medic growled, mumbled something under his breath about ‘hooligans’ and then turned toward the screen again, tapping and bringing up a live feed of a processor. “Her processor shows activity, though at this point I’m not sure if that is a good or bad thing. Her systems are otherwise stable save for the periods where her nightmares border on reality and her systems react as she was truly in danger.”
Bulkhead looked down at his mate, once again fighting back the lubricant that he had forced away when he had called Ratchet about Chainbreak earlier in their berthroom. His servos clenched on the berth where he leaned over his mate protectively by instinct. She was so vulnerable and breakable, he should’ve protected her, he should’ve done more, he had faile—
A grey servo on his shoulder distracted him from his thoughts. “Don’t blame yourself Bulk. She’s a big girl; she knew what she was doing with the ‘Cons. She’s strong enough to take anything they can dish out.” He patted his friend’s shoulder gently, a stray though occurred to him that the big green mech was now his brother-in-law, but he dismissed it.
Bulkhead released the berth, stretching his aching servos. He turned towards Wheeljack, “What if it’s not Chains that comes back?” he voiced his greatest fear quietly, echoed by the steady beeping of the spark monitor.
Wheeljack’s optics grew wide at the thought and he glanced down at his younger sister. What would she be like after she emerged from this stasis? He shook his helm of such thoughts, she could Wreck with the best, she’d be fine, “She’s got wrecking in her energon Bulk. Just give her time.”
Bulkhead sighed, his spark aching at the sight of his mate, so still and cold on the medical berth, at least there was only a few cables and tubes yet, nothing more than a spark monitor, processor activity monitor, and an energon IV.
He leaned down to place his helm on hers, gently brushing a stray chain from her shoulder. He whispered earnestly, “You come back to me, Chains. I can’t function without you. Please Chains.” He once again fought back against the lubricant that pooled at the edges of his optics. Wheeljack placed a comforting servo on his arm, and the other gently grasped the servo of his comatose sister. The white mech also appeared to be fighting back the onslaught of lubricant welling behind his optics.
Having been watching the scene quietly, Ratchet turned away. The older medic surprised and awed that the tough Wreckers had such a soft spot for this feisty femme. He was pulling for his patient, but was unsure at what kind of mental state she would be in once she emerged from this recent set of horrors. She had tried to explain her nightmares to him before, and he was repulsed at their dark and cruel nature; but he knew she likely held the worst back, keeping her darkest secrets to herself.
Bulkhead stood back up to his full height, rolling his shoulders in attempt to ease the spark ache that had permeated his frame. He had faith in Chainbreak’s ability to fight death, he knew she was determined. By Primus it had taken him vorns to convince her to bond with him. He knew she loved him, but he was concerned that her past devotion to her duty would come back to haunt them. She had always said that only the future was worth worrying about, not the past, though that didn’t mean that you forgot about it, no. He would aways remember their past. He settled himself on the bench near the wall again, as fond memories followed into his processor.
“So Bulk,” A younger Chainbreak called from above as she slid down some rubble, hopping over pieces in her way, lifting herself onto some fallen, rusted bare building supports that had since given up the fight to continue their duty. “What to do to kill some time until Wheeljack and the others finish up.” He plopped down onto a flat bench like rock and leaned against an upright support beam that had been jammed into the ground during a raging battle. The femme tilted her helm at him curiously, as if emphasizing her question.
“We do what Wreckers do best during downtime.” She flipped down from her perch landing on a piece of road that had been angled slightly upward. “We tell stories,” he finished, surveying the ruins they took shelter in to be sure they wouldn’t be seen.
They had perimeter sensors set up outside the few remaining walls of the structure, Iacon’s glittering spires clear in the distance through the crumbling walls. Looking up encountered a web of crisscrossing beams and pieces of rubble that still managed to cling to what once held them aloft. They had found a good refuge for the time being, and the new Wrecker was grateful for the company of his best friend’s younger sister. He was sweet on the femme, many realized it, but no one acted on it, not even himself. War was no time for love.
The femme had settled on the uprooted piece of road, splaying out comfortably, she shifted another piece of rock, wedging into a crack on the one she sat on, much so it formed somewhat of an upward angled lounge. She threaded her servos behind her helm, relaxing against the rock comfortably. It was rare they got such a chance for rest, most times of recharge or rest spent in cycles of watches to protect the group of mechs from ambush. Chainbreak, their only femme companion, had joined as their mechanic, keeping their ships and weapons up to par. Not one of the Wreckers worried about this sass-filled femme, mouthy she might be, she would best any of them in battle. Nearly as strong as her brother, and three times as agile and lightning quick to boot; she was hard to catch. They often made use of her skills during rescue or ambush missions. Her only downfall was that she had little to no physical resilience compared to the other wreckers, and could easily be terminated if caught, or bested in battle. They all watched out for her.
“As long as you don’t mention the High Council,” she motioned towards the shinning spires where they sat heavily guarded. “They finally heard word of me and now there’s talk I am to be recruited into the elite guard as a covert operative.” He smirked, knowing she would flourish with such training, but also knowing her spark was with her brother, himself, and the remaining Wreckers.
“What’s that look for?” she quipped.
“Nothing,” he lied, chuckling to himself. He tried to think of a story, but was unable to come up with one that had yet to cross Chainbreak’s audio receptors, but if they existed, they eluded him. He shrugged his massive shoulders, “I can’t think of a story.” She grinned.
“I have an idea for one,” she settled down pulling a piece of rebar to fiddle with out of the ruins. “Did Jackie ever tell you about when we were sparklings?”
He shook his head, “You mean to tell me you grew to be this small.” He grinned.
She growled playfully and threw the piece of rebar at him; it rebounded harmlessly against his chest plates. She had deadly accurate aim too. He knew it was from her early time during the war as a sharpshooter, protection for the small remaining band of scientists, which had at that time, included her brother, Wheeljack.
“I’m stronger than I look Bulkhead.” She repositioned her slight frame for better comfort on the unforgiving rocks.
He rolled his optics, “Suuurrre. And Wheeljack is the new Prime.” She gave him a venomous glare and then stuck her glossa out at him playfully.
“Anyway, interruptions aside,” she began.
“Interruptions? You haven’t even started.”
She growled, “Ahem! Story telling here.”
He chuckled and motioned for her to continue, falling silent as he listened to her fanciful tales of when Wheeljack and she were younger. He laughed as she told him of times they snuck away from their parents and ransacked an entire energon sweets store. The owner had chased them through the streets in frustration.
They had also been quite the pair during their academy days, creating mischief without being caught by the teachers. Pranking the other students…
Explosions, wherever the two went there were explosions.
“Now that’s not my fault.” She countered at his questioning, “Its Jackie’s fault and all of his silly inventions that blow up in his face.” She gave a wistful smile then, such a innocent look rare for even her. “He is brilliant though, you know he invented my chains and the mini-subspace compartment that houses them. He also helped me upgrade my weapons systems after we graduated.”
She was about to continue, but their silent proximity sensor went off inside their helms, alerting them someone or something’s presence. She held a slender finger to her lips. Then using her practiced skills of lifesaving stealth, she slunk forward and moved into position, hiding under an outcropping of rubble and support beams for cover.
Just before an explosive was to rocket off behind their alcove, the world began to shake strangely. He heard far away voices.
“Bulkhead you stubborn piece of scrap, wake up!” Wheeljack shook the green Wrecker.
Bulkhead finally woke, his optics fluttering in the bright light. “Yeah, yeah. What’s it this time?” He groaned, rubbing his servos against his helm again.
“Well hi there sleepyhead,” came a faint feminine voice, just barely above a whisper.
“Now will you tell us what you wanted to say Chainbreak?” Ratchet demanded impatiently from the other side of her berth.
She sat up stretching, seeming to be rejuvenated. Bulkhead tilted his helm in confusion.
“Megatron is going to be terminated,” she said flatly. Though energy seemed to spread throughout her frame.
“What kind of premonition is that?” Ratchet countered, growling.
“It wasn’t a premonition, Doc,” Jackie mumbled with a knowing look at his sister.
“It was a promise,” she nearly smirked, lust for the Decepticon warlord spiking to an all time high. Kill him and end the nightmares. Life goes back to normal. It was that simple.
And she had a plan so crazy it just might work.