Disclaimer: I don't own the rights to Transformers: Prime. All characters are copyright of Hasbro and their respective creators.
The very act of deceiving. To trick, to cheat, to fraud, to ensnare. I saw it then.
The practice of misleading. To be untruthful, untrustworthy, unreliable, unsafe. I see it now.
The power to make fabrications believable. The gravity of disgrace and the revelry of disrespect; the volume of dishonesty and lowness of dishonor. I will always see it.
The faction set on domination at any and all cost. The ones to oppress, the ones who were brutal, the cruelest, vicious, merciless ones. I see it because I lived it; well sort of.
I didn't live by its rule as much as its principle, —I didn't even have a badge for crying out loud! Just my word, for all that was worth— but I had begun to practice this creed for far too long . . . time after time, age into age . . . I began to swear by it; thrive on it; believe in it. I believed it because I became complacent. I failed to recognize what was missing. I failed to see that instead of deception I was seeing cunning; instead of ruthlessness I was seeing relentlessness; instead of devious I was seeing clever. I always saw strong, ingenious, sharp, resourceful and strategic. We were the ones who would save our world; bring it back no matter what. We would triumph; we would be victorious; we would win. I never saw the corruption or the wrong or the evil because how could I? I swallowed the lie. And it endured in me as much as I endured in it.
I live differently; so dramatically unlike me and yet closer to myself than ever. Listen to me, sounding all philosophical and whatnot, but, beside the point. I changed. It didn't happen instantly or painlessly, but there was a difference. What was it that took only one moment, one short period of time, in contrast to alter everything?
The very state of harmony. Reconciliation, tranquility, contentment, amity. Yes, that did have an effect on me. We all wanted it; even if we were sorely inexperienced with it; even if it didn't look the way we imagined. Certainly, I had seen more restriction, penalty and bias in my former mindset. A world of the fittest, the strongest and the mightiest. What hadn't I expected to see?
The quality of being free. The loudness of liberty and the quietness of sovereignty; the jubilance of choice and the somberness of autonomy for all. He wanted it long before anyone else did.
The quality of being just. To have objectivity, integrity, honor, virtue; merits that had diminished for all over the span of war. He wanted it for everyone.
The desire with expectation of fulfillment. A wish; a belief; a reliance; a trust I didn't even know I was capable of. He wanted it for me.
These things, these traits, I saw what it took to establish them. The horrifying onslaught of Unicron's undead army of predacons, the imposing presence of Megatron's possessed body and the insufferable actions of Starscream. Then there was Predaking's last stand, the Autobots' persistence and gall and the disbandment of the Decepticons by the lord of darkness himself. Even my hasty decision to turn had an impact on the outcome, but nothing compared to what he did and had been doing since the beginning.
At the time, I didn't know what to make of Optimus Prime's death. His self-sacrifice flew in the face of everything I had seen and known about leadership. To me, leaders sent others to do the dirty work; to do the dying. And even if they did perish on the battlefield it was almost always the result of selfish ambitions of conquest, fiery rages of impulse or embittered forms of revenge. Big O died not because he wanted his name to be remembered in all of Cybertronian history—though trust me, it most certainly will be—nor did he do it out of spite. He looked us all in the optics and gave us his sincere motive; to ensure new life on Cybertron.
I couldn't comprehend it then, but the unknown feeling I had still burns within my spark. At present, I know what it is, though I would be hard-pressed to admit it. It was a humbling, awe-inspiring sensation rising far above the war and the pain and the mistakes. It was dread and veneration, submission and wonder, shame and devotion all at once.
Now, I could say that I was just caught up in the moment. After all, I had just witnessed a mass of zombiecons trying to rip the very heart of Cybertron out at the direction of my former leader's body playing host to a chaos god of ole. Doesn't exactly scream 'emotionally stable time to make a life-altering decision', but here I am based on the choice I made then.
Some will see it as shallow or cowardly, calling me a sucker for flattery or a turncoat to save my own mesh and I won't refute them; partly because both points aren't wholly accurate or fully untrue, mostly because I don't care. All I know is when that Big Rig said we had each acted as a Prime, I was shocked. He didn't say what I expected him to. You know, something along the lines of 'good job guys, you acted like a real team out there'. No, he said we acted like equals, to himself! And on top of that, he had included me. Me!
I couldn't accept that out right. I didn't even understand it let alone deserve it. It was a moment of intense self-consciousness for me. I had to do something, I had to qualify his statement somehow, soften its impact on me. It meant saying something. Seriously, I dropped a one-liner in the middle of Optimus Prime's Farwell speech. It was effective in relieving my sheepishness but, for Primus' sake, why couldn't I have at least said something a little more . . . worth stating.
Well, anyway, I was both mortified and astonished by his words and couldn't help but be excruciatingly distracted as all he asked in return was for the Autobots to keep fighting the noblest of fights; to keep Cybertron's second chance secure. He was going to leave us. It twisted my spark.
At a point when the future was so uncertain and the leadership of a Prime was most needed, there would be nothing but us. And that's exactly how it was.
I'll be honest, I didn't think we stood a chance. My first decacycle was spent coming up with appropriate escape plans in case this whole deal went south for any number of reasons. I mean, an eons long war couldn't dissolve that quickly and there had still been Predaking's vague statements between tolerance and a threat along with Starscream and Shockwave's unaccounted whereabouts and my own status as an ex-Decepticon. Actually, that last one is still a source of anxiety for me, but it was even more so then. In fact, one point still boggles me; once that Big Rig accepted me, the original seven never brought my allegiance up for discussion again, ever. I can't recall one time anyone saying anything.
Sure, I could tell they didn't trust me, but there were never any accusations or interrogations or contentions. I was waiting for it, truly expecting it, because, seriously, who could resist rubbing it in, right? Dredging up past injustices and battles and conduct. But it never came. Their silence on the issue seemed to burrow deeper into my psyche than any other thing they could have done. They were taking me at my word. Me?! My word?! Like what I gave to the Decepticons when being 'target practice' no longer suited me and . . . Breakdown.
Anyway, I still don't understand it.
Granted, I didn't say anything either; I certainly never apologized . . . though I may have thought about it once or twice. What would I be apologizing for?
A state of open and declared armed hostile conflict between . . . us. A Cybertronian civil war. As if there's anything civil about warfare. Look where eternities of fighting got us! Another subject for another day.
The time of light between one night and the next. It seems old Earth lingo dies hard. Now that I think about it, a lot of Earth customs seemed to have rubbed off on us without notice. Even the new arrivals appear to share a keen interest in the little blue planet's link to us. But, I digress.
Sometimes the atmosphere, the tension, back then was too much. And other times, the process was so effortless, it was second nature. The results were confusing for me, but I stayed; another result of the Big O's speech it seems.
Nowadays, the contact is still disconcertingly different, but consoling too. It isn't what I predicted. Take joking around with Smokey for example or sharing expertise and exasperation with Ratchet. Then there's enduring Wheeljack's leery gaze after enjoying Arcee's refreshing wit. From barely tolerating Ultra Magnus' management style —again I say barely— to painstakingly avoiding Bulkhead's enthusiasm. These interactions were strange and fulfilling and awkward and intriguing and frustrating all at the same time. Then there were the newcomers, Decepticon and Autobot alike. These on their own were confusing puzzles enough for me, but throw in the dealings with Bumblebee and it was a downright enigma. He's changed too . . . well, theoretically, we've all changed, but his is more noticeable. He's not the same scout and warrior I encountered on the battlefield.
Having or showing a confident and dynamic personality. Check.
Having or showing sensitive insight. Check.
Having or showing a modest or low estimate of one's own importance. Double Check.
Textbook leader. Really; he is literally behaving like the select few you read about in history and aspire to, I guess. Not like Megatron,—history uses tyrant in place of the word leader there—but not unlike Optimus Prime. In fact, the resemblance is uncanny; kind of . . . eerie. What am I saying?! It's irritating! I'm used to slighting the bug not respecting him. He gives out orders and everyone listens even though no leadership was designated to him officially that I can see. He never seems to notice my growls of indignation when he assigns me a task either and he always responds to my objections with the same reasonable empathy one would give a sparkling and yet, I find myself heeding his every word! I can't stand it! I mean, who died and made him boss anyway . . . oh yeah, right. Sorry, moving along . . .
Heh. Move along. Parting company. Escape. Adios, Au Revoir, Arrivederci, Auf Wiedersehen, Goodbye. Still not a bad idea. That's what it had been up until recently; up until I made that first mistake. Ugh! I should have never answered the call to the Nemesis. Breakdown and I would still be cruising Earth's roads looking for fresh energon deposits completely unaware of and, more accurately, indifferent to the war's outcome. But no, I got the call 'Megatron needs assistance' and really I heard 'opportunity' like any good opportunist does. I figured if I helped the head honcho out, easy street would open up and I would travel down its famous boulevard. So, I rolled the dice, as they say. What I should have done was hedge my bets more carefully, as they also say.
I hadn't counted on my assistance to mean intense medical care for a leader barely holding on to his spark. After all, I was a scientist way before I was a medic and the term medic would need to be applied in its freest setting anyway. Not saying I'm terrible or anything; in fact, I'm quite good, but I never had any formal medical training. Just what I picked up here and there for the sake of both necessity and curiosity. But of course, Starscream knew that. Bring in an expert indeed. Ah, thus my second dilemma; the second-in-command's not so hidden agenda. At least, I knew how to play that game close to the old chestplate. No one had a clue I was involved in that little conspiracy plot, that is, until Screamer had to replay the whole incident in his half-baked brain pan. Argh! I hated being on that ship.
Forced to be on call around the clock to perform menial repair jobs on Vehicons and any other schmuck who got injured just because Megatron wanted to keep us on board. We were made to fetch this and that from here and there at the risk of life, limb or finish. I had really been hoping Megs would allow Breakdown and I to resume our former work, but with some added benefits. No such luck. He just had to come back online like he wasn't supposed to, didn't he?
Then, I had to constantly fight everyone else for brownie points to get on Gruesome's good side because that was the only way to ensure certain privileges like living. Does anyone know how hard it is for a slightly lenient medic to earn the respect of an absolutely ruthless warmonger?!
And the lies . . . the continuous, unashamed lies. First Starsream, then Megatron and even Dreadwing; everyone on that ship employed falsehoods; everyone. I would be asked to figure things out or retrieve items for some great plan only to be left in the dark by the end of it. Or, I would be forced to participate in some cockamamie scheme and then blamed for it when it was unsuccessful. They failed to communicate the circumstances surrounding Breakdown's fate and Breakdown himself hadn't clued me into the whole picture that day. Why did we stay?
Oh sure, there were some perks; plenty of energon, protection from Autobot ambushes, facilities for proper maintenance and a laboratory at my disposal. There was also a certain excitement in having direct involvement with the big players; seeing firsthand the progress of restoring Cybertron. The ole 'roof over the head, fuel in the tank' bit. But, was it worth it?
Let's see, hmm; left glorious freedom for abject servitude, let my brand of valor fall to cowardice and leased the only conviction I had left to a bunch of back-stabbing manipulators. No! It wasn't worth it. Pit, I wanted to leave when Starscream used the Harvester to suck the life blood right out of one of our own doing his job! Yup, should have commandeered an escape pod, deactivated the homing signal and never looked back. But Breakdown convinced me to stick around; stay with my original plan. After all, he trusted my intellect over my instincts and he also trusted Megatron as a leader; for all the good it did him . . . I hated that place! I hated that war! Winning team; I hated both sides! I hated what it all did to me; what it took from me.
I used to be confidant, spirited and adventurous. Well, I'm still adventurous which reminds me; I have to secure another outlet for my thrill-seeking needs since I was informed the space bridge is only for 'official' business now. Anyway, words to describe me presently would fit under cautious, melancholy and reserved.
"I don't even have a word for it," I say in a murmur just to hear my hollow voice echo off emptiness. Why am I feeling so low? Maybe it's the extra shifts as 'assistant' medic I've had to pull thanks to a slew of new arrivals or the constant jeers I have to endure from those, mainly Decepticons, who won't cooperate. Pugh, the Autobots' pet con; at least I'm not in prison, idiots. Well, it could be I've actually grown back my conscience; Primus knows I'm in the right environment for it.
Uh, I suppose I said all that to say this:
I feel guilty.
Justifiably chargeable and responsible for my past conduct and actions that led up to this point. Why? Because I didn't just hear about Optimus Prime's sacrifice, I saw it. Because even with less resources, less numbers and less armed might, the Autobots persevered and restored our world. And instead of reinforcing grudges or setting up a new world order in their favor they held to their word of peace wanting to make everyone Cybertronians instead of factions once again. I couldn't say that about myself. I once stood directly in their path, fighting against them. I stuck to selfish ideals and have very little to show for it.
I feel shame.
A painful sensation caused by the consciousness of my shortcomings and disgraces. Why? Because I still find myself angry and bitter, sad and mournful, scared and alarmed. I offer biting sarcasm, unhappy cynicism and tentative commitment to those around me. But, I receive forgiveness, compassion and esteem from a surprising number of others and it bothers me. I can't give anything back. I'm not kindly or virtuous or even sociable at times. I'm just me and, every so often, I hate that.
I feel torn.
Pulled by past actions into one direction and future prospects into another. Why? Because half of me wants to scream in defiance at the whole universe while the other wants acceptance so badly it frightens me. Part of me itches to run and never look back. Another part hungers to stay and never leave again. My need for independence versus my longing for reassurance; my natural tendency towards disregard versus my new impulse towards dedication. I want to fight and surrender all in the same moment. I feel as if I'm slowly coming undone due to the war still raging inside.
I feel worthless. I feel anxious. I feel lost . . .
I couldn't help but jump at the sudden disturbance of quiet and solitude. And did I just shriek? No, it was more of a yelp. Either way, I look up sharply to whomever caused my brief scare and embarrassment. Unfortunately, I can't make out anyone because it's darker than I thought. I must have been gone for quite a while; lost track of time. Well, watching sunsets and reflecting on regrets can have that effect. Anyway, it doesn't matter if I can't see them, I recognize the voice.
"We need to tie a bell around your neck or something. You nearly gave me spark failure, Arcee," I say, dragging the last part of her name out in exasperation. She decides to step out into what remaining sunlight there is and I'm . . . irritated to find she is in the opposite direction I'm facing. She probably moved over in spite. I turn and she stares at me, helm tilted to one side. Even in my seated position, she isn't much taller than me, indicating her stance is more out of perplexity than observation.
"What are you doing here?" she says in a voice that I want to take as accusatory, but can't. Obviously, I'm not going to answer that question, but shouldn't I say something?
I don't respond and simply stare at her, not sure what to do actually. Instead of frowning or narrowing her optics or whatever one did when concerned or angry, she smirks. "I thought I was the only one who knew about the brooding spot."
I blink and then, blink again. Finally, I smirk. She really is wit personified. It's reassuring.
"Who says I'm brooding?" I say smoothly.
"Well, I'm sure you didn't come out here to take in the view," she quips, gesturing to the barren landscape. Though we have done a lot of rebuilding—the dozen or so labor related injuries I treat a day evidence that—it doesn't take a long drive out here to see we still have a whole lot more work ahead of us.
"Point taken," I say simply. There is a moment of silence between us. Need to break it. "So was it your turn to track down the escapee this time or did they double book reservations for the brooding spot again?"
She quirks an optic ridge at that and I slowly turn to face back out at the fading light. Why did I say that? I practically admitted I was sulking out here. Bah, I can't even keep a poker face anymore. I allow all my previous contemplations to quickly back themselves up as less serious thoughts take the forefront; a defense mechanism I can't shake and don't know if I want to. I am about to stand and offer to return to base when she sits next to me on the abandoned . . . well, I don't know what it is, but it was the cleanest thing I could find in this sector to use as a seat. Our vantage point is rather high. I decided to swing lofty heights instead of ground level this go around. The nest of ruins surrounding us and the resonating drop off before us gave the right ambiance for my disposition anyway.
"Technically, the first one, but I wouldn't call it tracking down an escapee," she says in all seriousness, "It's getting dark and you weren't answering any of the comm. channels. As hard as it is for you to believe this, we were worried about you this time."
"Worried I'll run off for good this time, am I right? Well, relax, Cee," I say flippantly, knowing the sentiment gets under her plating, "You guys are the only ones around with a means of processing raw energon so I believe I'll stay. After all, I do need a means of charging my rotary buffer."
The trick works every time. Not too offensive, but just enough to get them off my case. She remains facing forward, but I can just see the anger boiling in her blue optics. No more 'worry' now, huh? She'll storm off and I can come back in my own . . . sweet . . . time, why is she laughing?
"What's so funny?" I ask, my voice betraying my surprise and, unfortunately, my insecurity. This wasn't the intended result and she is still sniggering, bringing a servo up to her forehead (eh, human term again).
"He's right; you really are a piece of work," she says pliably, standing to her pedes. My former uncertainty is forgotten upon the arrival of my pride.
"Who's right?! And what's that supposed to mean?!" I say defensively, standing as well to tower over her. She doesn't even blink; how infuriating.
"Seriously? You have to ask that?" she says dismissively, folding her arms. I continue to glare down at her.
"Humor me?" I say darkly. Honestly, I don't know why I'm so angry. Of course, they talk about me behind my back; Primus knows I talk about them behind theirs. She glances over at the dying sun rays and then back to me with a small smile.
"Follow me back and I will."
I watch as she turns and begins walking down the narrow path leading down from here. That part of me that wanted to scream in frustration earlier . . . yeah, it's still there. Instead, I kick a piece of rubble over the edge, listening to its troubled decent as it pings off siding, breaking off more debris to freefall before crashing into the ground, hard. I grumble as her presence gets farther and farther away because it aches. I hate it. It's easier to be the one walking away than the one left behind. That's why I like leaving to begin with; why I detest being found. Regardless, the silence and darkness that was so consoling moments ago are only for a moment more as the atmosphere becomes crushing; suffocating. The further she gets the stronger my isolation pushes me to follow.
I do so, begrudgingly, and I'm not running to catch up either. I'll just trail behind for a few more . . . oh no. Please don't stop, please don't stop; don't turn!
I quickly look up at the sky just as she stops and turns to look at me. I want to embody the attitude of indifference, as if I were strolling nonchalantly through a park instead of seeking freedom from answerless questions I couldn't even bring myself to ask. When I reach where she stopped, she turns to match pace with me and we walk in silence for a cycle or two. It would be quicker in our vehicular modes, but if she's not changing neither am I. Besides, I'm in no hurry to get back anyhow.
"You're quiet," she finally says. I give a small shrug.
"I'm waiting on that explanation," I say dryly. I almost forgot about that; almost. She makes a noncommittal noise before looking up at me.
"Sorry, I didn't mean for it to come out as an insult."
"I didn't know there was any other way to take it," I sneered, but with no true malice behind it. Honestly, I didn't really care how she meant it just as long as it wasn't true. I didn't need any more self-doubts than I already had.
"I know, hence the apology," she reiterated.
"Right, forgiven. Now, who said it? Let me guess: Ratchet? Magnus? Wheeljack? He should talk. He takes off more than I do. He's there what, twenty, maybe thirty, percent of the time?!"
"Knock Out, not my point. And it's more like forty-five. Anyway," she says before I can cut in with a comment, "What I should have said was you're difficult to read sometimes."
"Like that's any better. No offense, but you're not the easiest bot to peg down either," I say. She sighs; out of irritation or disappointment, I don't know. I hope it's the former.
"Let's just drop it then," she says, lowering her sights to face onward. It had been the latter. It's my turn to sigh. I don't do this often, because I hate to, but right now, I can't stand causing more grief.
"I'm . . . sorry," I say discreetly. She looks back up at me with searching optics and for a fleeting moment, I want her to understand why I am the way I am. The words begin leaving my vocalizer on that impulse. "I know I don't fit in. I don't always play nice or look like I care, but I do care and I try not to . . ."
I stop. What am I doing?! I can't endanger defenses I've worked so hard to build up just because of some runaway emotion. Trust is too precious and fragile at present.
"Forget it," I say curtly, picking up my pace to avoid her gaze. The temporary release of anger is satisfying for the whole of a nanoclick, because that's how quick Arcee is in front of me, blocking my path.
"Is that what you think we consider you? Just some . . . irritant in our midst?" she says with equal bluntness. I narrow my own optics. So much for apologizing.
"Let's just drop it," I say harshly, employing her previous words. She does narrow her optics this time.
"No, I think we should talk about this."
I try to step around her, but she doesn't allow me to pass. I don't want to talk anymore. Quickly, I transform into my alt mode, landing a few yards back from her pedes. I allow my wheels to spin, creating an angry cloud of acrid smoke before peeling out around her in a wide-arching circle. I expect her to follow suit and she does.
We race across the more desolate parts of Cybertron, engines screaming, debris flying, sparks pounding and neither of us making progress. I could have furthered the gap between us; really poured on the horsepower and she could have closed the gap; taken advantage of her speed to size acceleration. But we don't. No stunts pulled, no tricks played, just driving away. It's remarkably soothing.
I can feel my resentments ebbing away as my tires eat up more distance, leaving me with a not so unpleasant numbness; a blissful emptying of emotion. Nothing, but the journey.
I don't know when she pulls even with me, but I realize her presence as we switch our headlights on; evening twilight giving way to dusk. I appreciate her holding the silence as we travel in the direction of New Kaon. It seems to nurture a mutual respect out of me for her; that is until she inches just a little bit ahead. I don't quite figure Arcee being the racing type —too serious— but, as petty as it may sound, I correct the incongruity by pulling slightly ahead myself. True in my assumption of just a discrepancy in speed, we continue on a beat before . . . she pushes forward again.
It is so on!
My engine roars as I slam down the accelerator and pull away. She's quick to respond, however, gaining on me quickly and passing me with ease—that power to mass thing earlier—but I know she is approaching her limits and I'm just getting warmed up. Within moments, I'm back in the lead, excitement hammering through my lines as hard and fast as the ground beneath my treads. I haven't had this much fun in forever! No boundaries, no restrictions; who says we have to go back to base just yet.
I veer left, intending to visit some very old stomping grounds. Arcee follows, both of us sending up a spray of metallic dust in our wake.
"Where are you going?" she asks over our shared channel. She sounds worried. I smile inwardly.
"Just a short detour through the old Neutral Territories."
"Detour? It's several sectors out of the way," she says disparagingly, but makes no move to stop me. We keep up our exhilarating pace, weaving in and out of obstacles in our way; remnants of the past. We blaze across straightaways, dip over peaks and punch around curves all while trying to avoid colliding with each other; maintaining a certain flare is also an objective of mine. At some point, I use my mirrors to pinpoint my opponent's exact position in second place. I interiorly grin again.
"Admit it, this is fun," I say roguishly. I can almost hear her helm shake.
"Sometimes I wonder why . . . Knock Out! Stop!" she yells with such urgency I slam on my brakes, facing my attentions forward. Where my sensors should have indicated ground there is nothing.
"Scrap," I hiss as my frame quickly approaches, no, scratch that, goes over the brink of a drop-off. My tires spin in midair for only a fraction of time before I transform and reach back. I can't see the bottom of this void but I don't focus down, only over as my digits narrowly dig into the ledge. My momentum is still too dangerously fast and I can't find my voice as the sound of me sliding off steals it away. I swiftly find it again when the sensation of falling registers. I yell as everything seems to disappear, then hush when it emerges back; my decent abruptly halt by a vice like grip on my lower arm; Arcee.
She is holding on with everything she's got; lying level with the ground, her optics screwed shut, jaw set, neck strained, arms rigid and frame trembling from exertion. In shock, I stare for a while, lost in a world of fear and hope.
"Hurry and climb up. I can't hold you much longer!" she grunts through clenched teeth. It's all the encouragement I need to quickly wake from my stupor and swing my free arm up to grip the ledge. Together, with a few petrifying moments of imbalance, we manage to pull my chassis back up on solid ground. We let out large vents of heat as relief washes over us.
For me, the reality of the situation begins to set in by way of a heaviness creeping into my limbs. I can't even move from my position which is currently flat on my back. Possible fates begin to bombard me. She could have missed; I could have slipped; we could've both gone over. It sends a chill to my core. Arcee, however, seems to recover from the incident more readily.
"If that was supposed to be fun, I'd hate to see what your definition of dangerous is," she says with considerable strain in her voice. I allow her words to sink in and . . . chuckle. I must be drained to consider that quip funny, but I can't help but laugh, literally; I can't stop the sound from coming out. In fact, the laugh is full out now; growing anxious and louder. I can see Arcee looking down at me from her kneeling position, concern on her features. It doesn't curve the nervous laughter; makes it worse. I sit up, trying to wave off her sentiment and this uneasy fit taking over my whole body, but I'm powerless to stop it.
There's nothing funny about this, I tell myself but it doesn't quit. We almost died; she's going to think you're crazy; maybe you already are! Nothing works, because the feeling's starting to reach deeper now and it hurts; it throbs. If I stop laughing now it will turn into something else and I can't allow that; I won't. As if to mock my resolve on this point, my mind begins to haul up everything I recoil from; everything I dread to consider.
My uselessness. Restlessness. Defenselessness.
My striving. Failing. Fading.
I'm outraged. Downcast. Inconsolable.
How unsettling. Unsympathetic. Unbearable.
The thoughts keep coming and my laugh is struggling; teetering between a howl and whimper; hurting my tank, my helm, my spark. I want it to stop. Stop! I can't believe I'm doing this! I . . . I can't even stand up. Why does it hurt so much?
I slam my fists into the ground as silence finally comes to my vocalizer, but the action is accompanied by a few drops of moisture. I pin my optic lids shut, but the vicinity of sorrow is too close to swallow down this time.
Why is this happening now? It didn't when the war ended? Not when my only friend through the whole accursed thing passed?
A small, mournful noise escapes me.
Not when we lost our planet? Our home?
It didn't when the war started? Not at the sight of destruction and demise?
I pull my servos up to the sides of my helm as if trying to physically contain what mentally I could not. The guilt, the shame, the ambivalence.
I didn't even know the bottle of vile emotions existed, but it's not until now I realize that bottle isn't big enough and never was.
I break, lubricant spilling from my optics, trailing my face and landing softly on the ground.
I startle, optics shooting open at Arcee's sudden presence in front of me, because honestly, I forgot she was there. Angry thoughts of appearing weak and wounding pride try to fire to the surface, but they are extinguished in the turmoil of my pain and anguish. She kneels down and I don't know what to expect, because this has never happened to me before. She's not a Decepticon. She's an Autobot. And she looks just as confused as I am troubled, but she manages to administer something real; something tangible; something I have missed. Enveloping arms.
I hesitate, rigid from well-practiced attitudes, but, like recalling a dear memory long thought lost, I lean into the embrace, trusting it to do what nothing else can and I cry.
I cry for everything.
And then, I cry for me.
"For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted . . ." 2 Corinthians 7: 10
Current Residence: The Sunshine State
Favorite genre of music: Any music not necessarily all lyrics.
Favorite style of art: Animation/Cartoon
MP3 player of choice: Sony Walkman
Coffee of choice: Folgers
Wallpaper of choice: Cars
Favorite cartoon character: Character!? More like Characters: Sonic, Amy, Shadow, Rouge, Lightning, Basil, Dr. Doppler, Kuzco, Knock Out, Kitt, Sherlock Holmes
Personal Quote: "Right."