I'm really happy to see that this story is getting some feedback. This chapter is considerably longer, but not excruciatingly so. :D
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers
Chapter 2-Forgive Me
Two days had passed since Bumblebee's nightmare incident, but the event stuck with Ratchet like a magnet he couldn't reach; stinging his conscience, and reminding him of what he had done. The medic leaned his head on his hands, and closed his optics for a micron. He hadn't gotten a good recharge cycle, and all because of that name.
"Siren." Ratchet sighed. He hadn't heard her name is so long, he had almost forgotten about her, but almost wasn't enough considering the things he had done to ensure her secrecy. If Bumblebee were ever to find out about the secrets surrounding the femme, Ratchet didn't want to think about what would happen to him then.
The door to the infirmary opened, and Bumblebee limped in followed by Bulkhead.
"I'm sorry little buddy, I guess I don't know my own strength." Bulkhead chuckled, scratching his head.
"Hey docbot, can I get a fix-up here, so I can kick Bulkhead's aft?" Bumblebee jumped onto the repair station, and lay on his back. "Make it quick, too." He said, frowning at Bulkhead.
Ratchet stood up, and grumbled. "Well, kid, do you want fixed, or do you want-" His snide comment was interrupted by the sight of Bumblebee lying on the table, hands under his head.
Ratchet could see it clear as day as if it were happening all over again.
Jazz held Bumblebee's arms above his head despite the yellow mech being in stasis for the procedure. Ratchet could see his hands working, sticking memory magnets to Bumblebee's head.
Bulkhead noted Ratchet's hesitation, and coughed. "You okay, docbot?"
"Get up, kid, yer fine!" Ratchet growled, and walked back to his console. Bumblebee's leg would last until Ratchet could look the yellow mech in the eye. The medic looked over his shoulder at the yellow mech idling on the repair table.
"Uh, docbot? My leg isn't supposed to bend this way." Bumblebee said, squinting one eye.
Ratchet sighed. "Well if you're going to be picky about it, I supposed I could straighten your cervos for you." He picked up a medical laser, and walked toward the youngbot.
Being just Bumblebee's leg, Ratchet could handle most of the repairs without having to look up. Just being close to the yellow mech made his internal circuits twist. He knew if Bumblebee ever found out what had happened, he would never forgive the medic.
"Ratchet, this procedure is necessary." Ultra Magnus had said.
Ratchet looked at the yellow mech lying on the table. It just didn't seem right, this procedure. "Ain't there another way, Magnus?" He rubbed his neck, and sighed. "They're just kids, what could happen?"
Ultra Magnus sighed, and folded his arms. "You know as well as I do that project siren has to remain a secret." He looked at Bumblebee, a certain amount of solemnity in his expression. "We couldn't foresee Bumblebee getting attached."
Jazz stood silently by, arms folded in thought. He looked at Ultra Magnus then at Ratchet, and patted the mech's shoulder. "It won't matter soon, doc." He leaned close to the medic. "Friends aren'tthat important, are they?" There was a tone to the lieutenant's voice that made Ratchet question the statement for a moment.
Ratchet frowned, watching Jazz walk away out of the corner of his eye. Ratchet looked at the sleeping yellow mech. The red and white medic couldn't deny that his superior officers wanted to keep their precious Siren a secret. Personally, Ratchet didn't see the problem with an experimental espionage unit having a friend, but what did Ratchet know, right? He was only a few thousand stellar cycles older, and wiser than either Jazz or Ultra Magnus.
But the medic did as he was told, and attached a memory magnet to either side of Bumblebee's head. He looked at Ultra Magnus then at the control pad in his hand. His orders were to erase Bumblebee's memory, which would mean everything; his name, his function, his personality. He would have to be completely re-loaded, and re-assigned. Ratchet shook his head slightly. All this just to keep a secret? It was slag in Ratchet's opinion.
"I know, friend." Ultra Magnus bowed his head slightly.
"No, Magnus, you don't," Ratchet checked the meter levels once again then a thought struck him. He looked at Magnus, who was staring at the femme lying on the station next to Bumblebee. Ratchet quickly lowered the magnet levels. He risked his rank, and being punished, but at least this way Bumblebee would remember his friend...someday. "You really don't."
"RATCHET!" Bumblebee shouted.
Ratchet started. In front of him, Bumblebee's leg was repaired. "All finished, kid."
Bulkhead scratched his head, frowning slightly.
"Yeah, you were finished about six microns ago!" Bumblebee jumped off the table, and felt a sense of...what did humans call it? ... Deja vu? He looked back at the table then at the floor. Déjà vu again, right down to Ratchet walking away slowly.
Bumblebee vaguely remembered being in a medical bay sometime back just before being assigned to gate asteroids. He thought for a minute then it popped like a balloon. System test just make sure he was in top function.
"All set, Bumblebee?" Bulkhead asked curiously, but his curiosity did not spawn from Bumblebee's readiness. The large mech wondered what it was that had Ratchet and Bumblebee so distracted.
"Yeah, let's go big guy!" Bumblebee jogged out of the infirmary. "Sari should be done with lessons now, let's go see her!" He exclaimed, exiting the med bay.
Bulkhead stood by the repair station, staring at Ratchet's back, wondering if the docbot's weird behavior had anything to do with what he had said the night before. Took her away... Bulkhead thought. Who did "her" refer to? Bulkhead wondered, and why would Ratchet take her away from Bumblebee?
Ratchet turned, and stared a moment at Bulkhead. "Can I help you with something 'cause I'm real busy here, Bulkhead, I think you can see that."
Bulkhead shook his head to clear his thoughts. "Uh-what?" He looked around, but saw nothing obvious that would keep the docbot busy, but nodded despite himself. "Sh-sure, docbot." He turned to see Bumblebee gone, and gasped. "Heeey! Little buddy, wait up!" He shouted through his comm. link, and ran out of the infirmary.
Too slow! Bumblebee laughed, but Bulkhead could read the yellow mech's signal stop for once just outside the base, and was even more surprised to see his friend actually waiting.
Something was definitely up with Bumblebee, Bulkhead was sure of it now; The yellow mech never waited-for anything, or anyone. It was one of the reasons he liked Bumblebee so much as a friend; they balanced each other out. Bulkhead was patient, and slow, but very strong. Everything about Bumblebee was fast, his fuse was short, and if everything didn't get done right that second, he started to go stir crazy. Besides, Bulkhead always caught up to the yellow mech, so why wait? The large green mech pushed it aside, and sped past Bumblebee.
Now who's the slow one? Bulkhead teased.
"Huh?" Bumblebee sat in alt mode in front of the base. He looked back at the entrance, getting that Déjà vu feeling again. He had been waiting...but waiting for what?
Ratchet sighed, still sitting at his console. He would give anything to give back purpose to Bumblebee's smile, to see him as happy as was being with Siren, but knew the Autobot council would have his aft if he even mentioned her name to the yellow mech.
Bumblebee zoomed down the street toward Sumdac Labs, having already arranged to meet Sari outside the building then they would go off to the amusement park.
The yellow mech was suddenly reminded of running through alleyways on Cybertron, chasing something, but what? He was running to meet someone, or was he racing someone? He could remember following...her.
The femme from his dream, lying on the tarmac of the sparring ground flashed through the yellow mech's mind. He could see her vividly, and felt the same fear of losing the femme.
"NO!" Bumblebee slammed on the brakes, tires screeching, stopping inches from a crosswalk where an oblivious old lady toddled across humming absently. "I don't want to lose you!" He exclaimed.
The old lady turned, and smiled. "Why thank you." She continued on. "That was very sweet." She chuckled, stepping up onto the desired sidewalk.
Bumblebee! Bulkhead shouted over their commlinks. Hey buddy, you okay? He asked, driving up to Bumblebee.
Bumblebee could still see the femme lying on the medical station in the academy infirmary, and kept telling himself she wasn't gone. She wasn't offline, she would never leave, she promised she would never leave.
It was all coming back to him now. He was at the Autobot academy back on Cybertron. Before he was assigned to breaking up asteroids.
Bumblebee shuddered, and turned hurriedly around. Tell Sari I'm sorry, okay? he sped away back toward the base at light speed.
Hey! Bumblebee! Bulkhead called after the yellow mech. His sensors glanced at Sumdac labs then at the yellow mech speeding away in car form. The large green swat truck turned, and drove up to the steps of the screw-shaped building, and transformed.
"Hey," Sari waved at Bulkhead. "What's with Bumblebee?" She asked, sticking a thumb out where the yellow mech had been.
Bulkhead shrugged. "I dunno, some bad dream he had last night I guess."
"Bad dream?" Sari asked, tilting her head to the side as if it would give her a different perspective on Bumblebee's bad dream. She grinned mischievously, and trotted up to Bulkhead. "Let's follow him." She said enthusiastically.
"But what about the amusement park?" Bulkhead asked.
"Come on." Sari jeered. "It'll be like a top-secret spy mission. Besides, I know you want to know as much as I do."
Bulkhead gulped. He did want to know, but would he still want to know once he found out? He felt a processor short coming on, and shook his head. "Well, okay," He transformed into his alt mode. "But if we get caught, or in get in trouble-"
"It's all my idea." Sari grinned, climbing into the front seat. "Now come on before we lose him!" She exclaimed.
He had been there that day. The academy, the femme, the infirmary, it wasn't just a dream, Bumblebee had really been there, he could feel it deep in his spark. The femme, what was her name? Bumblebee's engine growled as the yellow police cruiser sped down the street toward the renovated building the Autobots used as a base. The frustration was enough to make Bumblebee pull out his own memory diodes if it would make the name come back to him. Her face appeared to him as if through fogged glass. Except her smile, he could see that clear as day; a smile no face.
Beneath the frustration of not being able to remember, he could feel a deep-seeded sorrow surrounding the memory of the femme, and beneath that his spark wanted to burst with jubilation just from the notion of speaking the femme's name.
Bumblebee could feel the dream he had was more than just that, and he wanted more than anything else to find out the femme's name, and why Bumblebee dreamed of her. He could feel it deep inside; she wasn't fake. She could be online somewhere in the galaxy, and Bumblebee wouldnve, world's" / 't stop until he found out what happened to her.
If he couldn't remember...If he couldn't find her...Bumblebee's spark sank, and he came to a slow stop inside the base, and transformed. He placed a hand to his chassis. He felt empty suddenly from the thought of not being able to find out about the femme. He didn't understand it, but he knew the feeling was real.
Ratchet knew Bumblebee was coming even before the door opened, and the yellow mech stormed up to him with more conviction in his optics than the medic had ever seen in the youngbot's entire structure ever before.
I don't know who you are, femme, but I can't stay online without knowing who you are. I don't care if it offlines me to know. Bumblebee thought then opened his mouth to speak.
"If you wanna know about her then sit down, kid, this is gonna take a while." Ratchet interrupted.
Bumblebee started, staring at the docbot with one of those same confused expressions he usually had. "Are you reading my thought processors, docbot?" He gasped.
"No!" Ratchet growled. "I just know you're gonna ask about Siren, so I-" The doc stopped.
"Siren!" Bumblebee exclaimed. "That's her!" He grabbed Ratchet's arms, and pulled him down. "Who is she, doc? Tell me! I have to know, or my servos are gonna explode!" He shouted.
Ratchet sighed as he often did when he was about to give very bad news that he couldn't avoid. "I mean it, Bumblebee, sit don before you fall down." He jerked his arms out of the yellow mech's grasp, and folded them.
Bumblebee climbed onto the repair station, and sat cross-legged. "Okay, now I'm sitting, so tell me who she is already!"
Ratchet's optics narrowed. "What made you think I knew anything in the first place?" He frowned.
Bumblebee stood up, his patience ended, and shouted. "Because you were there! In my dream, you were there, and she was dead, but she couldn't have been dead, andIhavetoknowwhosheis,orI'mgonna-!"
Ratchet shocked Bumblebee.
Bumblebee fell onto the repair station with a thud, and rubbed his head.
"Alright, kid, you want the truth about her? Here it is, but you're not gonna like it." Ratchet sat down in his chair, and leaned back slightly. "Siren was in the academy with you about fifteen hundred stellar cycles ago."
Bumblebee wanted to laugh, he wanted to tell the doc he was wrong, and that he wasn't that old, but he didn't. For once, he kept his mouth plate shut, and listened.
Bumblebee's silence was a little disturbing to the medic, but he continued nonetheless. "Ya weren't much different back then, but you had a lot of promise. Then she came along. Special Forces lieutenant Jazz introduced Siren to the academy. He was kind of her bodyguard, always standin' around watching after her. Frankly, it creeped-out a lot of bots, including you."
Bumblebee nodded slowly. He wanted to ask questions, but made like his mouth plate was soldered shut, and leaned forward with intense interest.
Ratchet pretended Bumblebee's silence didn't bother him, and continued still. "I don't think I need to tell you that you liked the femme. She was the exact opposite of you. Softspoken, polite, and a little naïve, but she wasn't afraid to admit it. You two stuck like glue, but the high council didn't like that very much. Anyway, to make a long story short-"
"Why?" Bumblebee asked, his expression unchanged.
Ratchet scratched his head. "Why make it short? I dunno, just-"
Bumblebee slammed his hands down on the table. "Why would the council care so much if she and I were friends?"
Ratchet let his hand hang for a moment. He had known what Bumblebee had meant, but he was avoiding some of the truth just because even the medic didn't understand some of it.
"It's need-to-know, kid, forget it." Ratchet leaned forward frowning, his hands on his knees.
Bumblebee leaned forward until he as sitting on his haunches, and glared something fierce that Ratchet had never seen in the bot before. "Ineed to know." He growled uncharacteristically.
If the council ever found out about what Ratchet was going to say next, he would be melted down into scrap. He chuckled slightly. Maybe then he could get rid of this fragging guilt. Then again, they might erase everyone's memory, and start the whole slagging experiment over again.
"Ratchet!" Bumblebee exclaimed, staring the medic in the optics. He could see the medic's guilt, which led the yellow mech to believe Ratchet was not planning on telling him, and it was killing the medic inside-out. "Fine." He growled, and jumped off the table.
Ratchet would normally just let the youngbot walk out, but in truth, he couldn't stand to see Bumblebee tear himself up over her again. Not again.
"It was classified above top secret! Only three bots beneath the council knew." Ratchet called out.
Bumblebee stood in the doorway, his head hanging angrily. "Let me guess," He paused. "Lieutenant Jazz, Ultra Magnus," He looked over his shoulder. "And you." His optics met Ratchet's again.
The medic nodded.
The yellow mech turned, and walked toward Ratchet again. He felt his dream become more and more a part of reality he had long forgotten as if he had fallen asleep and never woken up until now.
Ratchet kept talking as Bumblebee approached him. "They didn't figure friendship into the equation, and decided training her undercover at the academy was too dangerous, so they made it look like her core processor shorted out, and offlined her."
Bumblebee walked back to the table, and sat on the edge. There was a short silence between them. "How do you fake something like that?" He asked idly, not really interested how you pretend to make it look like someone had a Cybertronian stroke, and died.
"It's easy, but it doesn't matter right now." Ratchet waved a hand at the subject as if wiping it away from the conversation. "The point is, you were meant to be there when it happened, and meant to come to the infirmary."
Bumblebee nodded. "You were all standing around the table...she wasn't moving." His voice became low, and solemn. "I didn't want to believe it, and my logic circuits had an error."
Ratchet was only slightly surprised to hear Bumblebee say that. He knew this day would come, when Bumblebee remembered. He looked at the EMP emitter recently re-attached to his arm, and contemplated making all of this go away, but pushed the thought aside; it wasn't his job anymore.
Another silence ensued, this time filled by a loud thud in the hallway.
"What in the pit...?" Ratchet growled, and stood up. He walked over to the door, and pressed the release button. The door opened with a hermetic hiss, and both Bulkhead and Sari tumbled in.
Bumblebee chuckled slightly. The amusement park, he had almost forgotten, but he had one more question.
"So why the asteroids?" Bumblebee asked.
Ratchet turned. "Come again?" He squinted one eye skeptically.
Bumblebee rubbed his head with one hand. "I remember being assigned to clearing space gates, but why that job, why were you conveniently there?" He asked, his tone slightly demanding.
Bulkhead and Sari looked up at Ratchet, having heard most of the conversation through the door using Sari's key.
Ratchet smirked. "Had to keep you busy. I thought about sending you back to the academy, but the council thought that might jog your memory, so we put you to work on the condition that I keep both optics on ya." He chuckled.
Bumblebee felt a little better in a twisted sort of way, but something still nagged at him, and there would always be something, he knew, but now wasn't the time. The conversation could go on forever, he knew, but there more important things to do then sit around wondering why he had two lives, and how he was going to deal with them.
Sari caught Bumblebee looking at her, and grinned. "So, we still goin' to the amusement park?" she clasped her hands together. "Please come, I promise I won't make the rides go faster again."
Ratchet scoffed. "HA! Ya nearly took down the whole park last time!" He laughed condescendingly.
Bumblebee and Bulkhead laughed.
Sari pouted in such a way that she thought she was cute. "You can trust this face, can't you?"
Ratchet snorted sarcastically. "Not a chance, kid." He winked.
Optimus pressed a button to mute the infirmary sound output. He folded his arms, and turned to the black and gold mech standing next to him.
Prowl sat on a table, thinking about the conversation between Ratchet and Bumblebee.
A small red light blinked, pulling Optimus's attention. He pressed the blinking button, and gasped.
"What is it?" Prowl jumped off the table, and was at the console in one fluid movement.
"Hm, odd." Optimus hummed thoughtfully. "I could've sworn the computer picked up a Cybertronian signal."
Prowl rubbed his chin with one hand. "Perhaps the Decepticons?" He asked.
"Even so, they're not drawing attention to themselves." Optimus said.
"Could be bad." Prowl glanced at his leader.
"Could be nothing." Optimus said, though he wasn't sure he believed it.
The blue light on the console stopped blinking, and the white mech steering the ship shook his head. "Slagging shuttle."
"You asked for inconspicuous."
The white mech turned, and frowned slightly. "Yeah, inconspicuous, not a piece of Cybertron junk." He said to the femme leaning against the wall behind him.
"What's more inconspicuous that a junk ship?" She stepped forward, her body all black with light blue accents. She smiled, clasping her hands behind her back.
The white mech squinted one eye, frowning slightly.
The femme bowed her head slightly. "Thank you very much for all you have done, Jazz." She said with almost an apologetic tone. "I admit I could not have gotten this far without you."
Jazz sighed, and rubbed his neck. "My core processor must be fragged to let you talk me into this, Siren." He waved a hand.
Siren stepped up to the pilot's seat. "Then I guess we have something in common."
Jazz chuckled slightly. "Yeah, okay, you're welcome, but now we're in the middle of nowhere with no sign of the Ark." He said, his tone changing. "What are we doing out here anyway?"
Siren balled her hands on her hips. "Excuse me, didn't they tell you to stay by me?"
Jazz nodded reluctantly.
"Thenwe aren't doing anything out here. You are following me, if anything you have protested my search from the beginning." Siren smiled then glanced at the scanner screen as she started to drift off in thought, but a small blue sphere caught her eye. "There!" She gasped.
As her finger touched the screen, the area magnified, and showed a planet made up primarily of water with a few large land masses, teaming with life forms of an unknown type. "What is this planet?" she asked.
Jazz stared at his reading. "I dunno," He looked at the black femme. "But I'm picking up Cybertronian signatures all concentrated in one primary area of the globe." He punched in a few keys, and the screen magnified until a large, heavily populated city filled the screen.
Siren shrugged, almost speechless. "What is it?" She asked.
The computer scanned the world.
"I'm picking up...information." Jazz said, a bit startled.
Siren started. "I don't understand." She shook her head slightly, at a loss.
Page after of page of information blinked across the screen almost on fast-forward, the computers downloading all the miscellaneous data into the two Autobots' processors.
After it was done, Jazz was unimpressed. "That's it?"
Siren stared thoughtfully at the screen now displaying the city once again. "If that information is in correlation to the Cybertronian signals then I think our search has ended here." She touched the screen. "In Detroit, Michigan, on this-as you say-middle of nowhere planet called Earth."
Jazz sighed. "I hope this is worth the court-martial I'm gonna be seein'."
Siren squeezed her hands together over her chassis. "So do I." She said worriedly.
Good? Bad? Feedback, people, come on! .