Welcome to the final chapter everyone! I hope you enjoy the conclusion to our story!
Violetwind was taken back to the police station and placed in an interrogation room to wait. It was a few mega-cycles before Prowl returned to question her. And then some mega-cycles later before they finished, both tired from her repetitive answers. But she didn't know anything else, so his interrogation proved fruitless.
Until he could figure out what to do next, she was placed into a cell.
Across the corridor Knock Out sat in another cell, facing away from her. For some reason he was giving her the cold shoulder.
"Knock Out?" Her voice was soft as she stood by the bars of her own cell.
The mech didn't move.
"Knock Out, is everything alright?"
He grunted in response, again not moving.
Hanging her head, the femme sighed. The only other bot in there to talk to and he was ignoring her.
'Wonder what crawled up his tailpipe.'
Glancing back at him she wondered if it had to do with his arrest. Did he blame her for something?
"Knock Out, if it's any consolation, I don't think those explosives were yours."
"You're fragging right they weren't!" he turned to face her. "I was set up. I've never seen that stuff before in my life. I don't even know how it got in my place."
"And you told Prowl that?"
"Of course I did! But he doesn't believe me." Closing his optics, Knock Out let out an angry sigh.
"I believe you."
He looked up at her. "You do?"
"I do," she repeated. With a sigh of her own, she sat down on the berth. "Not that it does either of us any good. For the time being we're both stuck in here."
The mech grunted in agreement, before tilting his helm. "Why are you in here anyway? I thought it would have been nigh on impossible for miss 'do-gooder' to be locked up."
Staring at the wall opposite her, she didn't reply. Even after all that had happened it didn't seem real.
Slowly she broke the silence. "Bumper... Bumper is dead."
"Your aid? That young kid? What happened?"
"He was murdered... And everything points to me." Lubricant trickled down her cheek as the feeling of loss welled up again. She'd never again see his cheerful face, his bright smile. She'd never spend time in his company as they each sifted through stacks of data pads. At this rate she'd never even get to see the Hall of Records again.
"What?" Knock Out's delayed response jolted her out of her thoughts. "Did his unnatural cheerfulness finally drive someone over the edge?"
"How could you say that? He wasn't like that at all..."
'Seriously, Moon would be slagged by now if bots went around doing that. Never met a bot as excitable as her.'
The femme sighed, curling her legs up to her chest. Everything just seemed so surreal, like she was a part of some horrible nightmare.
"Perhaps, but apparently someone wanted him dead," he leaned back against the far wall. "I'm assuming you weren't one of them?"
"Of course not," she sent him a glare.
Crossing his arms the mech smirked, "Well, seems like Cybertron's new law enforcement is doing wonders. They keep locking up innocents."
"It's not their fault. They're just doing their jobs. Reacting to the evidence..." she hugged her knees tighter, her optics darkening. Both she and Windy stumbled upon the same conclusion.
Do you really think that could be it? But why?
'It sure seems like the best explanation. Someone's certainly gone to a lot of effort for all this to happen.'
"They have..." Looking up, she frowned at the wall, "Knock Out, I think someone, or someones, are trying to take us for patsies."
The medic raised an optic ridge. "You mean framed? On purpose?"
"Why would anyone do that? Are they jealous of my lustrous sheen?" he gestured at his chassis.
'If only you could slap him right now,' grumbled her companion.
The comment brought a slight smile to her face. She could always count on Windy to say something amusing when she was feeling down.
In answer to the mech she said, "I really don't think that would be a reason, Knock Out."
"How would you know?" he pouted, "Anyone would be jealous."
'Not everyone is as obsessed with their finish as you are, slagger.'
"Perhaps, but something tells me if that were the reason, they would have attacked your finish, not stuck you in jail."
The sound of the hallway door opening halted any kind of response Knock Out might have had. Both glanced towards the edge of their cells to see who was strolling up the aisle.
Violetwind could feel a tugging on her spark, like it was trying to reach out to its other half.
"Smoke!" The femme leapt to her pedes and raced to the bars. "Smoke, I'm over here!"
Hurried pedes steps indicated his coming and the mech himself soon came into view. His tension drained as he laid optics on her. Coming to stand by the bars he smiled. "This is some mess you've gotten yourself into."
She frowned. "This isn't the time for jokes."
The mech's smile faded, "Right. I'm sorry."
"Any news? Not really. The others are discussing what to do about, well, everything. I- I wasn't allowed in..."
Violetwind hung her head, "I understand..."
"I wish there was more I could do. Prowl only let me in here cause we're bonded."
"You're what? When did this happen?" Knock Out interrupted.
"Uh, the night before you were arrested," she answered, leaning over to peer around her sparkmate.
"Were you ever going to tell me?"
"Of course. It's just that... With everything that happened, it didn't exactly seem like the most important thing to mention..."
Smokescreen stepped aside so she could straighten up and allow him to talk to them both. He raised a hand to his chest in a gesture of mock offence. "I'm not important enough to mention?"
"You are," she sent love through their bond. "I just did not think such happy news belonged here, not after Bumper's death."
"It's ok, I get it."
"I really wish I could hug you right now..."
The two bots gazed through the bars longingly at one another.
"Has everybody forgotten about me?" Knock Out interrupted.
Smokescreen rolled his optics, "Of course not, Knock Out. How could we ever forget about you?"
"Smoke, we have to do something. Somebody set us up." Violetwind interrupted before they could start an argument.
"You could start by getting me out of here."
The white, red and blue mech shot Knock Out a look of annoyance. "I think she meant something helpful."
"It is helpful! My paint needs to be buffed," he whined.
Violetwind shook her head, at the vain medic. Of all the things to think about at a time like this.
'Slagging Knock Out. Always thinking about his fragging looks.'
"Actually, I think what we need is a way to trap the real killer. But I don't have any ideas how to do that."
'Fortunately I do. Listen carefully...'
"You sure this will work?" Coriolis whispered from her hiding place.
'What! You dare doubt my plan? How could you!'
Sorry, Windy. But right now I'm not really sure of anything.
She huffed but agreed. 'Yeah, I know.'
But I really hope it works.
'Me too. Otherwise it's back to a cell for us.
Sending love through the bond, Smokescreen whispered, "I believe in your plan."
"Shh," scolded Prowl. "Stop talking. If the plan is to succeed, we must catch whoever triggers our trap. Something they will not do, if they hear you talking."
"Sorry, Prowl. We'll be quiet," promised Violetwind.
The group settled into an uneasy silence. All they could do now was wait.
The plan was simple. Leak word that they would be searching Knock Out's quarters for further evidence before releasing him. They hoped this would draw out the real culprit, as they would be unable to resist planting more evidence on the medic.
Outside Firestar kept watch. Bumblebee and Arcee hid themselves in the med bay, ready to cut off the intruder's escape route.
In the main part of Knock Out's living quarters hid the others. Prowl was in the kitchen and Bluestreak was in the spare berth room. Smokescreen and Violetwind hid together behind the couch. Meanwhile, Coriolis was perched on a bookshelf, in case they needed extra support or if the intruder was a flier.
By the door, Hubcap lay in anticipation. He'd be happy to see this guy go down for killing Bumper. Even better if he put up a fight. At least then he could attack the bot without getting into trouble with Prowl.
Time ticked by as they waited in the darkness.
Violetwind could feel her partner's restlessness through their bond. Mega-cycles had gone by and it would soon be morning, yet there was no sign of anyone. Perhaps the plan was not as good as she'd hoped.
"Maybe they're not coming. What if they didn't take the bait?"
"Don't give up," encouraged Bluestreak. "The night's not over yet."
"There is the possibility they didn't get the news. Or that they do not care. Or that Knock Out is the culprit who made those bombs," Prowl suggested. "However, there is still time, so quiet down."
The femme vented, glanced over at Smokescreen. He gave her a smile, though he was ready for action over this waiting nonsense.
Just then Firestar's voice came through the comm link in a hoarse whisper. ::Sir. We've got movement. Someone just entered the building.::
"Right. Everyone, be on the alert," ordered Prowl.
It wasn't long before they heard from Arcee. ::The intruder is heading your way. We're cutting him off now.::
"About time," muttered Smokescreen rubbing his hands together.
Windy grunted in agreement. 'Alright, let's do this.'
Primus, please let this go well. Violetwind silently pleaded.
They waited in silence. After a few nano-kliks they heard pede-steps coming their way. Everyone made sure to keep their heads down and optics dimmed, as the intruder entered the room.
The unknown intruder walked in and immediately began rummaging around.
Prowl gave the signal and the bots moved in for the capture. Leaving his hiding place, he raised his blaster, "Lift your servos above your head. You're under arrest."
The figure tuned around, red optics wide with surprise. "I'm not doing anything, officer."
"Yeah right," Smokescreen rolled his optics, guns also pointed at the intruder.
Violetwind activated the lights and as she did there was a sigh from the policemech.
The Decepticon smirked. "It's so nice to be known by name. I don't suppose I could interest you in some merchandise? A cheap blaster perhaps? A grappling hook? It's only slightly used. I'll let you have it half price. Come on, you won't get a better deal than that."
The femme was surprised by Swindle's calm demeanour and smooth talking. He stood there surrounded by four bots, a Predacon and a seeker–though he didn't know about the last one yet–and he talked to them like they had just met out on the street for a friendly chat.
"Swindle, we're not here to buy anything from you. You're under arrest for the murder of the young bot, designation: Bumper," Prowl growled.
"Surrender peacefully," added Bluestreak, glancing between him and Swindle.
"What? I never murdered anybot! Why would I do that? I don't even know the guy. I've go no reason to kill him," he protested.
"We shall see about that," the officer approached him retrieving the stasis cuffs from his subspace.
"Please. I swear it wasn't me," he protested as Prowl slipped the cuffs on.
"Yes. And I am certain you were just invited in here." Lifting a hand to his helmet he opened a comm link. "Firestar, we've captured the intruder. Return to me, then we shall escort him to prison."
::Yes, sir. I'll be right there,:: she replied.
"Just stop trying to deny it, Con. We know why you're here," Coriolis called down from above.
"I don't know what you're talking about. I didn't kill anyone. I deal in goods not bodies."
Smokescreen growled, "Things like bombs."
"Bombs? No, I don't do those. Those are dangerous. Only a crazy mech would carry those around."
'What's he slagging doing here then? He sure isn't having a party.'
Wondering about that herself, Violetwind edged a little closer. "Then why are you going through Knock Out's things?"
The mech sighed. "I got a tip that there was a good stash here. That there would be some items I could... Acquire."
'Well, he is known as a thief.'
"Yeah, sure," muttered Smokescreen, glancing at his sparkmate with a look of disbelief.
Yet, the femme did not share his distrust. "So you were here to steal stuff?"
"I prefer the term liberate."
Rubbing her head, Violetwind turned to the mech, "Prowl, I don't think it was him."
The officer frowned. "Miss Violetwind, I suggest against believing Swindle. He is not to be trusted."
"I realise that but I still don't think he did it. Swindle's a thief but I don't think he'd have a reason to kill Bumper."
"What about a deal gone wrong?" suggested Bluestreak earning a shrug from Smokescreen.
Violetwind shook her head before asking, "Swindle, who told you there was a good stash here?"
"I dunno. Some bot I meet up with occasionally. Sometimes he sells me stuff, sometimes he gives me tips."
Firestar stepped in, bringing the current discussion to a close. The two officers took him down to the station for questioning. While everyone else filed along after them, hoping for answers.
Firestar groaned as she leaned back on her chair in the break room. "Nothing. All we've got him on is breaking and entering and possession of stolen goods."
She and Prowl had spent the past few mega-cycles interrogating Swindle without getting anywhere.
The mech hummed in agreement, staring down at his energon coffee. "He even has an alibi for the time of the murder."
"Scrap," cursed Smokescreen. "So the set up was for nothing. Vi's back to being your top suspect..."
The femme bit her lip, not looking up from the table where she sat beside Firestar. Things weren't looking good.
"Maybe it was Violetwind."
Bluestreak received some angry glares for his statement. A rumbling growl leaving Hubcap as he stood. Violetwind quickly rested a hand on his back, calming the Predacon.
The mech lifted his hands defensively. "I'm just saying, it was her who set this up, and someone had to have tipped off Swindle. And all the evidence does point to her. She knew I was taking Wildstrike out that night, plus she did send Bumper out to the other side of town. Maybe that was just how she planned it. I'm just saying it's possible."
"As possible as me not kicking your aft for saying that," Smokescreen bumped his fists together, stepping towards the mech.
Bumblebee stretched a hand out to stop him. "That won't help anything."
"Bee's right. But," Arcee glanced at the mech. "Bluestreak, making accusations doesn't help either."
"I'm just saying," he retorted.
"Bluestreak is merely going by the evidence," Prowl sided with his friend. "Everything certainly points to Miss Violetwind."
"She even matches the witnesses' description perfectly. A femme frame with purple colouring and silver Autobot symbols that glinted in the moonlight."
Firestar frowned. "That was a rather accurate account of the witness' statement..."
"I- uh, read the report. Prowl left it open on his desk..." Bluestreak replied.
"Funny cause I know I wasn't that detailed in the report."
The mech shrugged. "Just a guess then. They do glint after all."
'Something ain't right here.'
Pushing back her chair Violetwind rose to her pedes. "You certainly seem to have it out for me, Bluestreak."
"Maybe cause I think you did it. You and that buddy of yours, Knock Out, were probably behind the whole thing together. Planted the bombs, stole your own data pads. Bet you even faked that kidnapping with Shockwave."
"Now see here, Bluestreak. That's enough," scolded Arcee.
"How dare you accuse my sparkmate!" Smokescreen tried to attack the mech but Bumblebee blocked his way.
'Slag that mech! I say let him get whatever Smokescreen gives him!'
Slowly making her way over to the silver mech, Violetwind's optics narrowed. "How do you know so much?"
"What do you mean?"
"About what the witness said. About the stuff found at Knock Out's. About the data pads. About everything. It's like you've just been dying to say it."
He huffed. "Well, of course I have. Everything points to you and yet you're standing in front of me and not in a cell."
"Bluestreak, that's no way to talk to her," chided Prowl.
"You were eager to pin this on Swindle too," the femme continued, taking a step closer, "Almost like you want somebody to take the punishment for this already. Bluestreak, what do know about Bumper's death?"
"What? You're accusing me now?" He glanced at his old friend, "Prowl, do something, she's gone mad."
Placing his energon coffee down, the mech turned to him with concern in his optics. "It is a simple answer. Is it not?"
"I... well..." His faceplates twisted into a snarl. Quicker than anyone could react he had Violetwind pinned against his chest, arm around her neck. With his free hand he held a blaster against her head. "I guess my charade is up. Oh, well. It was fun while it lasted."
The bots stared at him in shock, no one able to move.
Smokescreen snapped out of it first, pointing his own weapons at the mech and growling, "Let her go, Bluestreak."
"Ah ah ah," he warned, giving his captive a squeeze, "Don't come any closer if you want her to live."
Fear throbbed through Violetwind's spark as she looked back at Smokescreen with wide optics. Their gazes met, a flurry of emotions passing between them. She warned him not to do anything stupid.
"Now lower your weapons and back away."
Tearing his gaze from the femme, Smokescreen sent him a glare before complying.
"Bluestreak... What's going on? What did you do?" pain filled Prowl's voice.
The mech chuckled. "First, I'm not Bluestreak. Not the real one anyway."
"Then who are you?" growled Coriolis, wings flared.
"Let's just say that I'm not always who I appear to be."
The mech chuckled in apparent amusement. "Close, Arcee. But, no. I am not Makeshift. Though I am one like him."
"So then where's the real Bluestreak?" growled the officer.
"Back on Archon I believe. I have no knowledge of his current status, however." He smirked at Prowl, "I suspect he died eons ago from the Rust Plague."
Prowl stared back at him with neither shock nor anger. His optics were blank and dimmed as he grit his denta. The mech had lost his friend for the second time.
The shifter took a step towards the door, dragging Violetwind with him. "How about I just leave you to chew on that one? I think dear Violet and I should get to know each other a little better."
The femme whimpered as he took another step, increasing the pressure of his blaster against her helm.
'Slag. We have to do something. I don't like being used as a fragging hostage.'
I'm totally with you on that one. I've had enough of this.
"Let her go, Shifter," Smokescreen lifted his weapons again.
"Ah-uh. You won't do anything. Not unless you want to risk her life," he warned, moving towards the door.
The mech grunted, slowly lowering his arms. Violetwind's gaze met his and his spark was lifted. The tiniest flicker of a smile crossed his features before his faceplates returned to their dark look.
The shifter was beside the door now, the panels automatically sliding open. "Well, it's been fun hanging with you Bots but I've gotta run. But don't fear, we'll meet again. You probably just won't know it's me."
As he stepped over the threshold Hubcap let out an audio shattering howl. Everyone flinched back, lifting their hands to their helms, including the shifter. Violetwind took the opportunity to remove herself from his grasp. Before he had a chance to grab her again she delivered a quick punch to his stomach.
Doubling over in pain, he suddenly found himself surrounded by the business ends of five pairs of blasters.
"You're under arrest, imposter," Firestar smirked.
While Prowl cuffed the shifter, Smokescreen checked on his sparkmate. "Vi, are you alright?"
"I'm fine," she assured him with a grin, taking his arm in her own.
Hubcap trotted up, bumping her leg with his nose. He looked up at her with his large yellow optics, happy to see she was alright and unharmed.
The femme smiled, leaning down to hug the Predacon. "And you. Thank you, Hubcap. You're timing was perfect."
"Yeah. Good work, HC. I'm glad we kept you around, after all."
He humbly dipped his head from the praise. He'd just been doing his job, and helping his friend.
Their attention was turned back to the fake Bluestreak as Arcee asked for Prowl to keep him there a moment longer.
"I want answers, Shifter. What are you doing here? Why did you cause so much trouble?"
He smirked, looking like he might not reply but he did. "It all started out when I received a message from the oh so loyal Con, Starscream.
"He wanted me to come cause trouble. Something about it helping him 'get power' and 'taking over Cybertron.' I don't know. I didn't really care about that. So anyway, I snuck back to Cybertron as one of your own. Then, after the first explosion, he dumped me! Said I could have given myself away and that he wanted nothing more to do with my 'reckless schemes.' Ha! As if. I know how to handle myself. Whatever though. I don't care. I continued on regardless. It was great. I had you running around, chasing your tailpipes, and you were none the wiser."
"Why did you kill Bumper?" questioned Violetwind.
"He was in the wrong place at the wrong time. I was headed down that end of town and he must have spotted me. I guess he followed out of curiosity. Curiosity really did kill the cyber-cat didn't it?" He chucked at his own joke before continuing. "Well, anyway, the kid found out what I was, so I couldn't have that. Shifted into your shape and killed him with those little swords of yours."
'Slagging mongrel,' growled Windy, wanting nothing more than to see a sword sticking out of his chest.
Tears threatened to burst from Violetwind's optics, her fists clenched tightly at her sides. "How could you do that?"
"Wasn't exactly hard, he was only a little fella," he shrugged.
"How could you kill Bumper? He was one of the nicest mechs I've ever met," lubricant rolled down her cheeks as Smokescreen rested an arm around her shoulders.
The imposter sneered. "Coz I couldn't let him go back to you and blab out my secret. And because seeing the light die from his optics was so satisfying..."
"Alright, that is enough from you," barked Prowl, "I imagine your stay in prison will be very long."
He and Firestar led the mech away.
As soon as he was out of sight, the purple femme turned to Smokescreen, burying her face in his chest as she mourned for the unnecessary loss of her friend.
Tears filled the femme's optics as she leaned down to place the metal sculpted flowers at the base of the fallen mech's grave. With a soft sob she stood. "Goodbye, Bumper... You will be missed my friend..."
At the entrance of the crypt, Smokescreen and Coriolis shared a glance. The seeker nodded at Violetwind, letting the mech go in first.
Walking up, he came to stand beside her, wrapping and arm around her shoulders. Looking down at the grave he sent love through their bond.
They stood like this for a little while, before he spoke, "Bumper was a good bot... he was taken from us far too soon. But, we did not let his death pass in vain. He helped us catch the saboteur. And that shifter will remain in prison for the rest of his life. He won't hurt anyone again."
"He deserves worse," Coriolis grumbled as she walked over to stand by her other side.
The mech shot her a glare. Such a comment wasn't really helpful.
She rolled her optics but her expression softened. "Bumper did good. He wouldn't want you to forget that, Vi. Don't let your memory of him be tainted by that slagging poser."
The soft sound of shifting metal came from behind them as Hubcap took a place beside Coriolis. "Bumper friend. He good. We- do more. More good in memory. For Bumper. For Cyber-tron."
Violetwind glanced at each of them with a sad smile. "Thanks guys. You're right. We'll keep going, keep doing good in his memory. We'll keep up the fight for a better Cybertron with all that we are. For him, and Optimus, and everyone who ever shed energon for Cybertron's peace. We'll do all that we can. Until that day..."
'Till all are one...'
And that's it folks! Did anyone suspect 'Bluestreak'? Who did you think was causing all the trouble? I hope the reveal wasn't too disappointing or anything. I've not really done something like this before so it was a bit new to me but I had fun. :)
This does mean we've come to the end of another story. But fear not, for it is not the end of our beloved Transformers! They'll be back again in Till All Are One. The sequel shall be continuing some plot points that didn't get to be followed through in this story, like the initial attack on Violetwind by that group of mechs and a few other things.
However, it might be a few months till it comes out. I've almost finished writing it but to take a short break before going back and editing it. In the meantime you can keep an optic on TVW Shorts as I hope to be posting some short stories and stuff on there.
Thanks for reading everyone!
P.S. I did a nice pic of Vi and Hubcap which I put on my dA. Go look up horseg27 on there and you should be able to find it :)