I woke up to the single most painful migraine in the history of migraines. I didn't understand where it came from I had been fine. I thought back to the last thing I was doing. Surely it wouldn't have caused this big of a headache..
"Scrap!" I yelled, sitting straight up as I remembered what happened. Megatron, the femme, the autobots! "Optimus!" I shouted, opening my eyes.
Immediate pain shot through my abdomen. My hand flew to my stomach where the little one inside of me protested my movements. I groaned when I felt the familiar tug of an IV line in my arm.
"Woa," I heard a deep, calming voice right beside me. I felt his touch on my cuts before I could register who it belonged to. "Bells. Bells, I am right here."
I turned to see the holoform of the great Prime seated right next to me. His eyes were stern, straight forward, his mouth pressed into a thin line. His arms were calmly laid around me in a comforting position, his hair a mess.
"Prime," a different, rougher and older voice said. I turned to my left and saw Ironhide's holoform sitting in much the same matter, only his hands were reaching for the cart the IV bag was on trying to pull it closer to give me a larger range of movement. "She pulled it out of her vein." I watched in awe as the weapon's specialist moved to plug the dripping of the bag. "We need to get it out of her before-"
"Don't you dare pull that needle out of her skin," Ratchet's voice echoed throughout the room. I smiled as I watched the cranky bot walk in, looking down at his data pad. "Her veins are too small, I'll never be able to get it back in."
I swallowed and for the first time realized how dry my throat was. I looked around and tried to meet the bots' eyes. Did they notice my cuts…
"Do you want me to try to put it back in?" Ironhide asked, reaching for the sleeve of my shirt.
"No!" both Ratchet and I said at the same time, reaching out to stop him from raising my sleeve.
Ironhide paused and looked at the two of us. "C'mon, Ratch," Ironhide said. "It's not like I haven't done it before."
"It's not that I don't trust you Ironhide," the bot said, transforming and activating his holoform. "It's that...I, would rather do it so that I can be sure that it gets back into the vein. They're so small."
Ironhide threw his hands up in the air in the universal 'I surrender' sign. "Whatever keeps your processor's from overheating, Hatchet,"
"Unless you want to sit out by that door again, I suggest you stop calling me that," Ratchet grumbled threateningly, grabbing my arm in question elbowing the holoform out of the way.
Ironhide rolled his optics and deactivated his holoform. Ratchet glared at the truck below the table, but continued on looking around my arm, but, mercifully, not pulling my sleeve up.
"Optimus," he said, not looking up. "Get me a bit of alcohol and some more tape,"
Optimus nodded without further argument, deactivating his holoform and transforming. He turned and started rummaging through Ratchet's stuff. Ratchet moved to my sleeve and made to pull it up, my other hand rushing to stop him.
"It's okay, young one," he said softly, quietly, easily brushing my hand away. "I've already seen. It's okay, they won't find out," I nodded quietly, tears returning to my eyes as I watched Ratchet carefully pull my sleeve up. Some of the cuts had pulled open and were bleeding again. The area around the point of the IV were swollen, and reddening by the second. "Double the order of bandages, Optimus," he called out. Ratchet reached for the IV, and started to gently shift it in the direction of the vein. He was right, I was very dehydrated. I watched in awe as Ratchet expertly guided the needle back into the vein. He reached out a hand behind him, and when it returned, it had a piece of tape on it. I looked over his shoulder to see the holoform of Optimus Prime standing. I gently smiled at Prime as Ratchet taped the IV to my arm.
"What, happened?" I asked. My voice was hoarse and dry, and it was a lot quieter than what I intended it to be.
"Megatron and the decepticons stormed the base," Optimus said, eyes void of emotion. "They damaged all of us, but they hurt you the most. ..Do you remember what happened?"
I thought for a moment. "Are there any decepticon femmes?"
"Yes," Ratchet answered. "There were a few. But Elita One took care of all of them early in the war."
"Why do you ask?" Optimus asked, stepping around Ratchet only to be blocked by the hologram again. He shot the doc a look, but then trained his optics on my own again.
"He had one with him," I said. "He called her Nightracer.
The dark Lord debated on looking up to address the femme. Femmes are known to be very sensitive. He needed this one to trust him.
He turned and smiled at the femme in the doorway.
"Nightracer," he addressed her. "What can I do for you sweetspark?" he walked up to her and draped an arm around her shoulders.
"Lord Megatron, please excuse my doubt," she said, looking up into his optics. Hers were a dark red, almost black whereas his was a ruby red. "But, my sisters.."
"Knockout is doing all that he can to heal your sisters back to health," Megatron smiled. "We cannot predict how much longer it should take, though." He watched and suppressed a grin as Nightracer's whole body slumped forward. "Don't be discouraged, for you have my word as a war lord that your sister's will be in perfect operating condition in no time at all,"
"Thank you, Lord Megatron," the femme smiled slightly. "By the way, the procedure you asked to be done on Earth," she met his eyes again. "It is fully completed."
"Good," Megatron grinned.
"Elita," Prime called.
Elita One turned from her sisters and looked at the massive mech approaching him.
"What can I do for you, Optimus?" she smiled.
"What can you tell me about a femme designated "Nightracer'?"
Her sisters turned to look at the mech in disbelief. They joined their older in the conversation as Elita's face darkened. Optimus watched in shock as the two femmes laid a hand on Elita's shoulder in a comforting manner.
"Nightracer," Elita began carefully. "Is one of three sisters."
"Like you three?" Sideswipe asked, looking up from cleaning up the tile on the floor. Bumblebee hurried to hush the other mech, but Optimus noticed that they stayed close by to listen.
"Her sister's names are Thunderblast and Crasher," Arcee continued for her sister. "They were the most dangerous of the decepticon femmes, and they led accordingly in the beginning days of the femme's war,"
"They gave the three of us the hardest time," Chromia continued. "Crasher killed, Moonracer and Firestar," she hesitated telling Optimus more. She looked at Elita.
"They were offlined by the rest of the decepticon forces later on," Elita continued. "They were becoming powerful, and Megatron sent out an order." She met the Prime's eyes. "Why do you ask?"
"Nightracer was accompanying Megatron when they raided our base."
Ratchet looked at me confused.
"I don't know what you're asking," Ratchet said, deactivating his holoform and transforming.
"Why didn't you tell them?"
Ratchet sighed, turning away from me. "You need to drink," he turned back around with a glass of water in his hand. Such a small object looked so small in those giant hands…
"Why didn't you tell them?" I repeated again.
He watched my take the glass and made sure I got at least one plentiful drink before answering. "You're going to tell them."
I almost spewed out the water that I was drinking.
"Real funny, Ratch," I forced out a laugh. "Now, what's the real reason."
He shot me a glare before he turned his back to me, continuing his work on something I couldn't see.
"Wait," I said, taking another drink of water. "You're serious."
I leaned back in the bed again, staring at the wall in front of me.
"You can and you will," Ratchet said sternly. "I'm not going to push when. Frankly, I don't care when. But you are going to tell the others that you've started the only thing that we can't protect you from!" Ratchet shouted at me. He paused, looking to the side, then looked at me again. "Why'd you start again?"
I sighed, dropping the glass to my lap. "Dreams," I said flatly.
"I thought Ironh-"
"It doesn't work anymore," I interrupted. "Nothing works anymore Ratchet!" Tears started streaming down my face. Ratchet looked up at me and his usual mask over his expressions dropped. He stood and walked over to me and leaned in very closely. "I'm broken, Ratch…" I murmured. "There's nothing more in life for me…"
The mech stood straighter. "Bells," he said softly, but sternly. "Bells, look at me." He lifted my face with a single finger. "There's a life depending on you," he reminded me.
"I know that Ratch, but-"
"Let me finish," he stated in a tone that immediately got me to close my mouth. "Not only is that life depending on you, but there are so many more that do. Like mine for example." I shot him a look. "Don't look at me like that, youngling. You've grown on me. Just like you have every other mech and femme on this base. You mean the world to us, and we will not stand by and watch you throw your life away." he sighed, looking like he was having a battle with himself. "Optimus told me not to tell you yet, but Bells… the decepticons did something to that baby inside of you,"
"I remember that," I said running a hand over my stomach. "They didn't hurt him, did they?"
"No, Bells." he sighed. "The baby is perfectly healthy. I haven't seen such a healthy youngling in a very long time."
"Then what's wrong?"
"Your baby," Ratchet sighed. "Is a Cybertronian youngling."
Megatron turned to face the femme kneeling on one knee before him.
"Nightracer," he acknowledged. "What can I do for you this time?"
"Not to show any disgrace, m'Lord," she said softly. "But I feel that Knockout could use-"
Both the mech and the femme turned to face the mech that the voice belonged to. Striding forward, not a single beat missed in his steps.
"Shockwave," Megatron addressed him. "Do you and Knockout require more hands?"
"My hands are proven useful, Lord Megatron, but I feel that Knockout needs a pair with more experience in the medical field. My suggestion would be the capture of the autobot medic; designation Ratchet."
"Very well," Megatron said, turning. "Nightracer, you and Starscream will retrieve the bot."
"Yes my Lord," Nightracer stood, turning to walk out the door.
"Lord Megatron, you can't be serious." Starscream protested, looking at the femme as she left.
"You may be wise to accept this new companionship," Megatron said, not looking away from his work.