We've made it to the final chapter! Thank you everyone who has viewed and reviewed this story! I love you all so much! :D With that said, I'll let you get into it. Enjoy!
Unicron was prepared to attack the two femmes when he paused. Glancing up at the sky, a frown crossed his faceplates, "What? A familiar presence. Pure energy, not unlike Primus. One I have not encountered since ancient days... The AllSpark!"
The Autobots paused as they too saw the ship flying overhead.
With a breath of relief Bulkhead muttered, "Optimus..."
Elita One grinned, letting out a sigh, "You made it."
Even Knock Out was smiling, "I'd never thought I'd be so happy to see that Big Rig."
Overhead Optimus left the ship. His jet-pack lit up, thrusting him toward the group. He wasn't about to let the Chaos Bringer win.
Turning toward him Unicron showed off his pointy denta, "So, the Prime returns."
He no longer cared about the two injured femmes. The AllSpark, the spark giver of all Cybertronians, was his only priority. Creating a spear of dark energon he tossed it at the ship. The engine was hit, smoke and flames streaming from the damage. Unable to keep aloft, the ship started to fall from the sky.
"Jacky!" Bulkhead yelled, concerned for his friend. Transforming he headed for the crash site.
Glancing between Unicron and the ship, Arcee transformed, following the mech.
Smokescreen, Knock Out, Elita Once, Moonracer and Greenlight hurried for the injured femmes now that Optimus had arrived to take on Unicron.
"Thank you, Prime, for delivering the AllSpark, so that I may erase it from existence," Unicron gloated as he slammed a fist into his opponent.
"Not while I stand before you, Unicron," he returned, as they broke apart.
Charging at each other once again, they each punched the other in the face. Yet it was Optimus who came out better. He used this to get the advantage over Unicron, going into to continue to punch the Chaos Bringer speaking in between hits, "Megatron, you and I once united to save a world from Unicron. We must do so again."
"Megatron may hear you, but he cannot help you! For he is enduring eternal suffering."
Conjuring up a hammer on his arm, Unicron knocked the Prime down. "Your efforts to protect Cybertron's most sacred relic are futile. My legion is within reach of Primus, your planet's very core. And we both know that the AllSpark cannot thrive in a poisoned well."
He went to swing the finishing blow at Optimus but was not able to bring his arm down. Behind him Bumblebee was using the polarity gauntlet to hold him back.
Nearby Smokescreen and Knock Out held Violetwind between them, her arms around their shoulders. Beside them were Elita One and Greenlight in a similar position with Coriolis.
"Downside to wearing metal near a polarity gauntlet..." Knock Out smirked.
Coriolis continued in a mocking tone, "...You're subject to the very laws..."
"Of magnetism," finished Violetwind.
"Optimus, go!" Bumblebee yelled at their leader. He struggled to hold Unicron back. "Save the AllSpark!"
With a nod the mech rose to his pedes and opened the wings of his jetpack. Firing it up, he burst off into the sky for the crashed ship.
At the wreck, Arcee and Bulkhead helped Wheeljack out. Flames of the burning fuel flickered around them.
"I've been through worse," the stubborn mech insisted not desiring to be aided.
Optimus landed in front of the trio.
Standing taller, Wheeljack jerked a thumb towards the AllSpark, housed in its indestructible containing. "So, how're we gonna get that thing to safety?"
"By the only means available to us, under these most dire of circumstances," he replied. "The very survival of our species upon this or any world depends upon it."
Over with the others, Bumblebee was struggling to hold Unicron back. With a roar, the possessed mech put all his strength into bringing his hammer down. It worked, bringing the Autobot with it and flinging him off. Now free, he transformed flew after Optimus. After the AllSpark.
The Autobot leader took off onto the air again, hugging the container to his chest. He knew Unicron was coming and though he made an effort to escape, the jet was much faster.
The Chaos Bringer shot at Optimus. He dodged all but the last one. It hit the jetpack, dropping him from the sky.
Crashing to the ground, he protected the container from the fall. Groaning he looked up to see Unicron transforming, landing heavily beside him. The mech approached him, eagerly snatching the AllSpark's container from his arms.
"I shall devour your AllSpark whole," Unicron declared, twisting off the lid to peer inside. But, it was empty. His face fell. "What? A trick!"
Before he had a chance to say another word, the chamber started to tear Unicron's being from his host. He screamed and yelled as he resisted but ultimately his dark presence was sucked was sucked from Megatron's body and sealed within the AllSpark container, breaking his connection with his undead army.
Without his presence, the body he once possessed collapsed, but nobody paid any mind to that. The rest of the Bots had arrived and were more interested in what had happened to Unicron.
Optimus looked over, explaining Unicron's defeat. "As a being comprised of pure energy, Unicron's anti-spark was vulnerable to this reliquary of the Primes."
With Violetwind's arm still around his shoulder, Smokescreen looked at the container with confusion. "But if he's in there, where's-"
Interrupting him was the arrival of Starscream. Evidently the silver mech had escaped from the Nemesis. "Praise the AllSpark," muttered the seeker as he flew in, returned to robot mode and landed beside Megatron. "Master, you're alive!"
With a groan, Megatron raised himself to his pedes, lifting a hand to his aching helm. "Indeed."
Always the kiss up, Starscream said, "Your new battle armour will take things to the next level, my liege. Together we will reunite all Decepticons and will once again grind Cybertron under your mighty heel."
Slagging Starscream. Already trying to get some power.
You think he'd wait at least a minute after Optimus just saved the planet.
However, Megatron was angered by the seeker's proposal. "No!"
Taken aback, Starscream spluttered in confusion, "What? Why?"
Megatron took a few steps forward before noticing Optimus watching him with a firm expression. He paused and they looked at one another. A moment went by, everyone waiting in anticipation. The warlord then surprised those watching on.
"Because I now know the true meaning of oppression, and have thus lost my taste for inflicting it."
Optimus' expression softened; and though he did not outwardly smile, he was pleased. For so long he had been fighting against Megatron, wishing he could see the destruction he was causing, wishing for a time to come where the mech would change his ways; and now he was standing there, observing the change he so longed for in his old friend.
On the other hand, Starscream was not sure what to think. Chuckling nervously, he took a step toward Megatron, "You've clearly been traumatised, master. A good power down and a stroll around the smelting pit wit put you back in touch with your inner warlord."
"Enough!" The mech roared at him, leaning over the seeker, their faces centimetres apart. "The Decepticons are no more and that is final!"
Without another word, Megatron turned and took a few running steps to leap into the air and transform. He flew away, a lot had changed and he required some time to himself.
Venting heavily, Starscream looked at the Autobots and wrung his hands. "Yes, well... We all have plenty to think about, don't we?"
Not about to stick around and possibly be thrown into a cell again, the seeker followed his master's example and assumed his alternate mode, flying off.
With their enemies gone and throwing protocol to the wind, Elita One left Greelight holding Coriolis and raced over to Optimus. Throwing her arms around him, she sobbing gently. "I was so worried."
Initially the Prime was surprised by the action but quickly recovered to reciprocate the gesture. "All will be well, Elita."
"We won! We really won!" cheered Moonracer, throwing her arms in the air.
"Yeah, we sure did," muttered Coriolis. Turning to Violetwind she gave her a grateful look. "Vi, ya know I think I misjudged you." The seeker smirked. "You're not the slagging piece of cowardice I thought you were. You're just a little tactless in the brain department."
"Um, thanks. I think..." she replied.
Greenlight grinned. "That's her way of apologising and saying thanks for recklessly jumping in to save her life."
Same old Cor. Windy gave a mental shake of her head.
"Then, you're welcome, Coriolis," the femme smiled, feeling like the air had cleared between them.
"Please, after sticking your neck out for me like that you can call me Cor."
"Ok, Cor." Violetwind smiled. She had just won over a friend.
"So, anyone gonna tell us what Doc Knock's doing here?" Wheeljack jerking a thumb at the red mech.
"I'm joining the winning team!" he whined. "How many times do I have to tell you this?"
Violetwind chuckled, wrapping her arm a little tighter over his shoulder. "Enough for now."
"He did help us take back the ship when Starscream tried to steal it," Elita One looked up hopefully at Optimus.
And he slagging broke my immobiliser while he was at it!
Now's not the time, Windy.
I'll protest as much as I like thank you very much!
"Knock Out," Optimus spoke, capturing the vain mech's attention, "Perhaps you have earned your place with us."
A broad grin lit up his face. "Finally!"
"Just don't go messing it up," warned Bulkhead.
"Yeah," Arcee smirked, "would be a shame to have to send you back to the brig."
"Or maybe into a wall," teased Smokescreen.
"Oh, no. Not that again, anything but that. How do you expect me to keep buffed like that?" Knock Out rubbed a hand over the smooth finish on his chest.
"We don't," Coriolis called out with a snicker.
Letting go of Optimus, Elita One places her hands on her hips. "Alright, enough of that. I think it's time we got these two some medical attention and told Ratchet that Unicron's been defeated."
"Hey, what happened to those big nasty looking beasties anyway?" wondered Moonracer, looking about.
Bumblebee pointed behind them. "I think they're just fine."
Flying off into the distance was Predaking with his two followers, Darksteel and Skylynx. The terracons had been defeated with Unicron's capture, leaving the Predacons intact.
"Aww, and we hardly got to meet them," the young femme whined.
"Our dealing with them will not be over. Of this I am certain," Optimus said, staring after the small group.
All of a sudden Violetwind let out a shriek and went limp in her holders' arms.
"Vi!" Smokescreen shouted in alarm.
Weak and barely conscious she tried to open her optics but the ground beneath her was blurry and unfocused. The Bots around her were shouting and trying to get her to respond but it was like a thick fog was separating her from them.
Slag. It's... The mind thing... Windy muttered weakly. It's reaching the final stages sooner... than I thought... Must be the energon loss... I'm... Sorry Vi...
We need Ratchet to get that code...
By the AllSpark I hope it works.
Mustering up all the strength strength she had, Violetwind whispered, "Ratchet... The code..."
"Code? What slagging code?" growled Coriolis.
"In... The ship..." she continued with her cryptic message, "W- we... finished it... Should... Make better..."
"Guys, get her to the ship," ordered Greenlight.
"Do you know what she's talking about?" Elita One looked at the femme.
She nodded. "And I sure hope the ground bridge still works."
While the others rushed about around her, Violetwind closed her optics. Pain throbbed at the back of her helm. Overwhelming her senses it beat against her consciousness, the fight proving too much for her. With the shouts blurring around her, her word faded away.
"Mmmgh..." groaned Violetwind, slowly rolling her head from side to side as she woke. She felt so tired and just wanted to go back to sleep. But the land of the living was calling.
"Violetwind? How're you doing in there?"
Letting out another groan she peeked open her optics only to shut them again from the bright light. Lifting a hand to shield her face she tried again with better results. Noticing a orange and white form next to where she lay she muttered, "Ratchet?"
The mech nodded. "Yes, that would be me. Now tell me, what can you remember?"
"Can't I just go back to sleep?" she whined, briefly closing her optics again.
"No. Now what do you remember? Who's in charge? What are the names of your team members? Where are you from?"
"Tell me," he demanded.
With a sigh she responded. "Optimus is in charge cause he's the Prime and leader of Team Prime. The members are Bumblebee, Arcee, Bulkhead, Ultra Magnus and Smokescreen. And we just defeated Unicron. Optimus put him in a large jar. Can I go back to sleep now?"
"No. Violetwind, where are you from?"
"Ugh, fine. I'm from-"
Her optics widened. A flood of memories about earth filled her mind. Only they were not just of as her time as a robot. Memories of her past life as a human were among them. She remembered her parents and friends, her childhood mistakes and highschool years.
When she did not respond the medic looked concerned. "Violet?"
"Ratchet," she uttered breathlessly, "I remember everything. My past!" Sitting up she grabbed the mech's arm. "Ratchet, I remember my life as a human!"
He was a little shocked but quickly recovered to smile. "An unexpected side effect of the stabilisation."
"I've got my memories back, Windy!" When she got no response, Violetwind's smile faded. "Windy? Not even a smug remark?"
Ratchet's optics looked on in concern as the femme sat quietly hoping for a response from her inner partner.
Yet there was none.
"Ratchet..." The femme sobbed. Throwing her arms around him, she wept into his chest plates. "She's gone..."
Patting her back, being careful to avoid her reattached door wing, he tried to sooth her. "It's alright. She's... She's still a part of you. She always will be."
"I wish there had been another way... I'd do anything to keep her. None of my old memories are worth enough to replace her. I'd give them all up to hear her again... She was... She was my best friend..." Violetwind could do no more that sit there holding onto Ratchet crying out her sorrows.
The mech sighed, letting her do just that. He was also grieved by the loss of Windy. He might not have known her that well but he knew she was behind a lot of the femme's success. She had been the reason Violetwind had been such a help to him and had been the reason she hadn't been offlined in a fight. Windy would be missed.
Slag. What's with all the crying?
Violetwind sniffled, blinking her optics in surprise. "Windy?"
Yeah, who else would it fragging be? Ugh, why does it feel like Omega Supreme sat on me...?
The femme let out a breath and smiled pulling back from Ratchet. "Windy! You're alive!"
Yes, I slagging am, she grumbled.
Relief shone from the mech's optics. Pointing to her head fin he told her, "Your comm link has been repaired."
With a nod, she opened a call with Ratchet so he could hear Windy as well. "You had me worried!"
Windy's voice dripped with sarcasm. ::You do care.::
The femme smiled and shook her head. "Of course."
::So I guess I didn't get cut out during the cleaning process. Are we going to be alright?::
"According to your latest processor scan you're much more stable and have been getting more so all the time. There is hardly a distinction between what I assume is your two consciousnesses, which I believe was the problem you have before," he glanced at the scan he had up on the monitor. "With a little more rest you should be better than new."
"No more random outbursts of violence?"
"Not unless you desire it."
::Slag, we made it.::
"When can we tell the others?" Violetwind looked eagerly at the medic.
"I shall inform them. But for now, get some more rest. Your processor still has a bit to work through and your body to recover from the loss of energon thanks to your reckless actions," he gently pushed on her shoulders to get her to lie down.
Not resisting she lay back against the berth, feeling sleepy again. "Ok, Ratchet."
The mech paused to look at her as the femme closed her optics.
"Thanks for saving us..."
He grinned, "No need to thank me. It was the code you came up with that saved you two. Now get some rest."
"Yes, Ratchet..." Violetwind mumbled.
Hey, Vi, Windy's voice held the excitement of a child.
The femme did not open her optics. What?
Within moments an image appeared in her mind. Elita One, Coriolis, Greenlight and Moonracer were smiling and waving. The femme herself was standing on the walkway into a small spacecraft.
The vision faded and Violetwind asked, So what was that.
A cheeky feeling came from her inner companion. A memory of when I left the girls on that planet.
So you can share them? That's cool!
Slag, yeah. But I don't recall anything about arriving on earth... What's the first thing you remember about being a Bot.
Um, being in a cell with Smokescreen.
Nope. And the last thing I remember about being a human was going to bed.
Then it fragging deleted our memories of that day.
Don't worry. It's not like we needed them. We shall have more memoires to share in the future. We don't need the day that all this happened to us.
You're slagging right. We don't need it. We've got the bots and each other.
Exactly, she grinned slipping into quiet sleep.
The femme found she was being lightly jostled from her sleep. As her sensors woke, Violetwind realised she was being carried. One arm was under her legs while the other was around her shoulders, each supporting her weight.
Opening her optics she peered curiously as the blue chest plate her helm rested against. Lifting her head she turned her gaze to her carrier's face. With a look of confusion she mumbled, "Smokescreen?"
He flashed her a grin. "Glad to see you're awake."
Looking around she noticed that they had just left the Nemesis. "Where are we going?"
"Optimus called everyone together. He didn't say why, though. He's been waiting until you were well enough to join us," the mech replied.
How's Cor? Is she alright? Would ya ask him, Vi?
"And Coriolis? How is she?"
"Doing fine," he assured her. "Ultra Magnus has woken too."
"That's good," the femme smiled relaxing into Smokescreen's hold. All of a sudden her face plates scrunched up, "How long have I been out?"
"Hmm, about a solar cycle."
Slag. That was a long nap.
"A whole day! I've been sleeping for a whole day!"
"Calm down," he chuckled, "Ratchet said you needed the rest. All your circuits adjusting and all."
By now they were approaching the rest of the group. The Autobots turned to greet the femme with warm smiles. Lifting a hand, Violetwind shyly waved back. She could see Ultra Magnus, the mech lying on a beth beside Ratchet. Coriolis was there too, putting on a brave face, Greenlight next to her. Optimus stood at the head if the group, Elita One near him, making Violetwind smile just a little bit knowing how they cared for one another. Bulkhead and Wheeljack had taken up positions near the back, both being tall mechs. Arcee was in front of them, standing beside Bumblebee, Knock Out on the other side of him.
"Violet!" Moonracer bounced over. "We're so glad you're ok! Ratchet told us you were just in recharge this whole time but you were sleeping for sooo long!"
"Moon, how about we give, Violet some space," Elita One said as she guided the young femme away.
Carefully, Smokescreen let the femme down. She was a little unstable on her pedes but he kept hold of her until she could stand on her own. Violetwind felt a little silly not being able to stand on her own but would rather have help than end up with her face on the ground.
Glancing around the femme could feel anticipation in the air. Everyone had been waiting for her arrival so they could begin. But begin what? She didn't know.
With a calm gaze over his team, Optimus spoke, "In order to both protect the AllSpark and secure Unicron's defeat, it was necessary for me to empty the vessel's contents."
"Into where?" Bumblebee tilted his head.
"The Matrix of Leadership," he replied, looking down at his chest where the artifact was kept. "As such, my own spark may no longer be separated from the multitude of others with me."
Ratchet looked up at him with disbelief, "Are you telling us that you are now, one with the AllSpark?"
"That's what you say when someone kicks the..." what started out as a joke trailed off as Smokescreen realised its seriousness.
Optimus lifted his head, "To not return the AllSpark to the Well, would be to prevent future generations of new life from existing on Cybertron. My quest must be completed."
"Optimus, I didn't return to save a life, only to lose the one I care most about," Ratchet protested, his spark-ach shining from his optics.
Bulkhead rested a hand on the medic's shoulder. "Ratchet's restored planets, he'll find a way to save you."
"We'll turn to Vector Sigma, just like we did before," added Arcee.
Elita One stepped forward, tears springing up in her optics. "Optimus, you can't... We've only just been reunited. You can't leave me again."
The mech embraced the love of his life. With all his spark he wished it could have been different. But there was no other way, not one that would not take years to find. He could not hold back the new generation of Cybertrons just to save his own spark. "I am sorry, Elita. I realise I cannot deliver on what I promised you. But know that I will always love you..."
Tears streamed down the femme's cheeks, "And I'll always love you too, Optimus."
Unconsciously clinging tighter to Smokescreen, Violetwind choked back her own tears. "Why did it have to end like this?"
Also grieved Windy growled, Slag it, Optimus. Just when things were starting to look bright.
Leaning down, Optimus ignored the fact that everyone was watching and planted a kiss on his love's lips. Elita One's tears momentarily ebbed as he lifted her spark with the caring gesture. Pulling back he stared into her optics and in his soft deep voice said, "I'm sorry..."
"I don't blame you, Optimus. I just... I just wish there was another way..."
"I know." Turing his gaze back to the rest of the Autobots he addressed them. "Because the Matrix must now be relinquished with the AllSpark, it cannot be restored or passed down to another. But, while this may very well make the end of the Age of Primes, leadership can be earned, with or without the Matrix. And in my view, you have each acted as a Prime."
"Well, I never really had the best role models," Knock Out muttered in a rare moment of humility.
Optimus went on, "As even Megatron has demonstrated, every sentient possesses the capacity for change."
He reluctantly relinquished his hold of Elita One and turned from them, taking a few steps towards the Well. As he left Moonracer came up to place her arms around the weeping femme.
The Prime opened his jet pack wings, before turning to face his Autobots again. "I only ask this of you, fellow Autobots, keep fighting the noblest of fights."
Bumblebee nodded, "You can count on us to keep the peace."
Smiling Optimus delivered the final part of his speech. "Above all, do not lament my absence, for in my spark, I know that this is not the end, but merely the beginning. Simply put, another transformation."
Without another word from anyone, Optimus took off. He flew upward and made a gentle arc to fall into the Well of AllSparks, disappearing from view.
All of them stood, waiting and watching. But for what, they knew not. They all knew they could not leave just yet. The moment weighed heavily on each of their sparks, though none more that Elita One's.
Despite feeling saddened, Violetwind knew that what Optimus said was true. It was a new transformation and it involved everyone. The Autobots, Cybertron, even her and Windy were a part of it. She had the memories of her human life back and Windy could share memories of her own past if she wanted.
But the femme realised there was something missing. Neither of them could remember the day of the merge, when Windy crashed to Earth and almost killed her human self. In order to fix their mind it had been erased and with it any hope of replicating it. This suited them both just fine. Such knowledge was too dangerous in the wrong hands. At least now it was safe.
Glancing at each of the bots present she smiled. Together they would build a bright future for themselves. For Cybertron.
Moonracer's shout drew her attention and her own optics widened at the sight.
A rainbow of lights shot out from the well like fireworks. The rainbow of sparks that sprang from the Well was a sight to behold. The colourful light show filled each of the Bots with a feeling of hope for the new future of Cybertron.
A single red spark even hovered close to them. Each of them grinned, recognising the familiar calming presence the spark held.
"Goodbye, Optimus," Elita One whispered.
The spark hovered there for a moment longer before flying off after the others.
"It truly is a new beginning," uttered Violetwind.
Grinning down at her, Smokescreen agreed, "It is."
Pulling her in front of him, he leant down, helm tilted. Closing his optics he brought their lips together in a kiss. At first Violetwind was surprised by the action but her spark soon melted and she drew closer to his embrace. Leaning into him, they let the kiss draw on as they let the love flow between them.
Slowly they let go, staring into one another's optics.
"Guess this means we're more that friends now," Smokescreen said with a coy grin.
Violetwind's face plates flushed, "I guess it does..."
Slag. The feeling of a smile came from Windy. I guess I could live with this.
Hope you've enjoyed our journey, I sure have! But it's not all over here. In a few weeks (not sure how long exactly) I'll be posting the first chapter of the next story, 'Until that Day...' woot! Join Vi, Windy and the bots as they attempt to rebuild Cybertron.
In the break time until it's posted, I should hopefully be starting a collection of short stories and perhaps even share a few alternative scenes to what ended up in the story, for those who are interested.