Time terms used throughout the story
Groon - hour
Orn – day
Tex – week
Quartex - month
Vorn - year
Violetwind spent the next few orns taking care of Knock Out and making sure the mech didn't try anything too strenuous. It was a full time job keeping him occupied and putting up with his complaining. It was worse than usual too and she could have sworn he was doing it on purpose.
Meltdown visited every orn as well, just to check in on the irritable patient. Whenever he arrived, Knock Out became even grumpier, if that was possible. Thankfully, Meltdown took it all in his stride, commenting that medics usually made for the worst patients.
Once Knock Out was on the mend, Violetwind stopped spending all her time there, and instead made a few visits throughout the orn. Besides allowing her to return to her work at the Hall, it also gave her some time to visit Meltdown and learn about about Cybertronian medicine.
During this time it had been decided that Violetwind would accompany Smokescreen and Coriolis on a trip to Vos. Jazz would be coming too to scope things out and Hubcap wasn't about to be left behind in Iacon without Violetwind. By the sixth orn after the attack they were ready to leave, along with some unplanned guests.
At the outskirts of the city, Smokescreen and Violetwind rolled up to Jazz and Coriolis. Behind them trailed five Dinobots and a Predacon.
Stopping before the pair, Violetwind transformed, door wings folded down as she avoided the seeker's gaze. "I'm really sorry..."
Smokescreen transformed beside her, giving her a playful jab with his elbow. "You really shoulda known you can't invite just one Dinobot anywhere."
Coriolis let out an indignant huff and crossed her arms as Violetwind glanced back at the group. The beasts arrived and surrounded the four bots. Swoop glided down to stand with his brothers.
"What're you all standing around here for?" he asked cheerfully.
"Waiting for your sorry afts," snapped Coriolis.
Before things got ugly, Jazz broke in with his smooth way of speaking, "Hey there, mechs. Looking forward to a trip into the city o' flyers?"
"Oh yeah!" Swoop flapped his wings. "I'm hoping to find seekers up for a race."
"Me glad to get out of city. Be somewhere new for while," Grimlock said.
"I thought there was going to be transport," interjected Sludge, the tall Apatosaurus as he glanced around for a large truck or perhaps a ship.
"We are the transport, idiots," growled Coriolis. "A council sanctioned trip doesn't earn you special transport around here, apparently." Sludge, Snarl and Slug groaned.
Smokescreen grinned, "Where would the fun be if we just got a free ride everywhere?"
The seeker threw back her head with a sigh and moved away.
"I'm sure they would have lent us one, if it was available," Violetwind tried to console them. "Everything's just being used for transporting supplies right now."
"Shame we're not supplies. We could have gotten a free ride," joked Smokescreen.
Jazz clapped him on the back with a grin. "Aye, but we ain't, so we'd best get them wheels on the road. Let's roll out gang!"
It only took two orns to reach Vos—though Coriolis was fond of commenting that she could make it in a quarter of that time—but it seemed like a lifetime. The Dinobots hardly stopped arguing the whole trip. Violetwind was amazed that the five mechs were even friends. However, Windy did point out that only friends could argue the way the Dinobots did.
By the end of the journey everyone was so glad to have berths to sleep in again. For most, it also came as a welcome relief, able to retire to their rooms for the night and enjoy the peace and quiet.
Violetwind was certainly glad to finally not have any more noise scratching at her audios. She was more tired from the two orns of arguing than the trip itself. Finally able to relax, she lay on the couch and brought out a data pad to read.
"You're not studying again, are you?" Smokescreen said as he wandered over.
She curled up her legs, allowing him to sit on the couch with her. "I need to know this stuff if I'm ever going to become a proper medic. I'm vorns behind everyone else."
:: Well, actually, :: Windy broke into the conversation, Violetwind opening a comm link Smokescreen so she could properly participate, :: We're probably a little ahead of the newest generation of medics, since we've had more experience than them. ::
"See, you can put that down for a few cycles," he smiled and tried to take the data pad from her.
"Hey," she snatched it out of his grip. "I want to learn this stuff. The sooner I learn it, the sooner I'll be able to spend more time at the medical centre and leave the Hall of Records like Moscardo wants."
Smokescreen frowned. "You're still worried about him, aren't you?"
Her gaze dropped to her lap. "Well, yeah..." She ran her finger along the edge of the data pad. "I don't want to see anyone hurt because of me. Knock Out and Bazza were already attacked. I don't want that to happen to anyone else..."
"Vi..." he scooted closer, "You don't have to be worried. Prowl will catch them and then it'll all be fine. You won't even have to think about him ever again."
:: But what if he doesn't? :: Windy went on for her. :: What if he can't catch them in time? Or what if he does and someone else carries through on his wishes anyway? He's already proven that he has influence over others. The mechs that attacked the medbay weren't him or those we know that associate with him. His numbers are growing."
Smokescreen sighed and dropped his head. He could feel the turmoil in the femme's spark. "Vi, you can't blame yourself for what Moscardo did. And those mechs under him? They chose to follow him. They chose to carry out that brutal attack, and they will receive justice for it. It had nothing to do with you. It-"
"But it did!" She shouted, tears springing to her optics. "Moscardo wants to get to me! He's got a personal vendetta against me. What am I supposed to think when he attacks my friends in order to get to me?"
Scooping her into a hug, Smokescreen was about to reply when a knock at the door interrupted him. He glanced at Violetwind, fully prepared to tell whoever it was to leave, but she just nodded. Getting up, he wandered over to open the door. A seeker stood before him, bringing a smile to the white mech's faceplates.
"Hey, Silverbolt. What're you doing here?"
"I just came round to bring you some energon," he smiled and held up two glowing blue cubes.
Smokescreen invited him in. "Thanks, but how did you get roped into doing all the grunt work? Surely you could've found someone else to bring it."
Silverbolt grinned as he stepped through the doorway. "I know, but it gives me a chance to come see everyone."
"Then I'd love to introduce you to my sparkmate. I mentioned her to you last time I was here, only she wasn't my sparkmate back then."
As he led the seeker over, Violetwind slipped the data pad into her subspace, wiped away her tears and put on a welcoming smile.
"Vi, this is Silverbolt," Smokescreen introduced. "He's the leader of the Aerialbots and unofficial leader of Vos when Cor isn't here. Silverbolt, this is my lovely femme, Violetwind."
The seeker placed the energon cubes down and they exchanged greetings.
"I hope you'll enjoy your stay in Vos. It isn't much but it's home." Silverbolt's smile faded and his wings dropped. "I certainly hope things go better than your last stay with us, Smokescreen. I heard they caught the bot responsible?"
Violetwind and Smokescreen shared a glance, remembering the details of that whole adventure. He turned to grin at the seeker. "We heard that too. Should go better this time."
"Indeed, it should," Silverbolt perked up. "And if there's anything you need, the Aerial bots or myself will be only too happy to help you out."
"That's very kind of you," said Violetwind. "We'll be sure to let you know if there's anything we need."
"Well then, I suppose my job here is done. I'd better get back to seeing that the others get their energon as well. I'll see you both at the gathering tomorrow." Silverbolt excused himself and headed off to continue his self assigned duties.
Once they were alone again, Smokescreen drew close to his mate. "Do we need to pick up where we left off or are you going to study some more."
Resting her head against his chest plates, Violetwind mumbled, "Let's just get some recharge. Right now I'd just like some rest."
:: I second that. ::
The next morning they gathered outside Vos' city hall for the informal announcements. Violetwind, Hubcap, Jazz and the Dinobots let Coriolis and Smokescreen take centre stage as they were the ones to organise the event to help boost moral and promote Vos as a growing city.
It started off well, with everyone being enthusiastic about the plans to continue the city's development. More supplies were being brought in and more homes would be built.
It wasn't long before it was over and it turned into a social gathering, with seekers milling about and chatting to one another. Many also wanted to speak with Coriolis and Smokescreen about hopes and ideas, along with complaints.
Violetwind and Hubcap kept out of the way, feeling a little out of place, unlike Jazz. He was right at home socialising with anyone and everyone who was willing to listen. Meanwhile, the Dinobots mulled about near the energon stand. They were quite happy doing whatever as long as they were fed.
She smiled in thanks at Hubcap as he handed her a glass of energon. He remained in robot mode to sip at his own, yellow optics glancing warily at the crowd as he did.
'Wonder how long we're going to have to stand here for?' grumbled Windy, already bored and itching for something to do.
We could always study, Violetwind suggested, hiding a slight grin behind her glass.
'Ugh, please. Don't you think we've had enough of spark chambers and energy conversions?'
Not till we know everything it back to front. Meltdown said we need to know everything we possibly can to be able to deal with any situation that might come our way.
'Fine,' she huffed, 'but just not today. Maybe we could-'
She broke off as Hubcap elbowed Violetwind. He pointed towards an argument breaking out.
"Oh no..." Violetwind hurried forward.
"You want try that again?" Grimlock towered over a lanky seeker.
"I most certainly do, you bucket of bolts! We don't need such primitive beasts in our presence. You've already consumed half the energon on site and we don't need your kind here in Vos. You bring nothing but trouble!" yelled the orange seeker.
"Shut your trap!" shouted Coriolis as she forced her way between Grimlock and the seeker. "This may be the city of seekers but that doesn't mean other bots aren't allowed here. Especially if one of those bots is on the council."
"They don't belong here," the bot hissed. "They're nothing but useless scraps of slag."
"That it!" Grimlock pushed Coriolis aside and grabbed the rude seeker. "You gonna regret that."
"Grimlock! No!" shouted Smokescreen but it was in vain.
The large Dinobot punched them in the stomachplates. The seeker coughed up energon before Grimlock tossed them into the nearest building. Angered at seeing one of their own treated this way the seekers lunged forward. The closest ones slashed out at the Dinobots.
The seekers' thirst for energon wasn't restricted to the Dinobots either. Shots rang out at the rest of the grounded Cybertronians. Violetwind shrieked as blaster fire flew over her head. Dropping his energon, Hubcap grabbed her arm and pulled her behind cover. Smokescreen met them there, firing back only enough to keep the seekers at bay.
Coriolis fought through the crowd to join them behind the overturned tables. The mech turned to her with a smirk, "I don't think this was in the plan."
She snorted, firing a few shots at the pedes of their attackers. "You don't say. I thought we loved to put surprise fights in our parties."
'And here I thought this trip was going to be boring.'
Right now I wish it was, Violetwind whined.
Biting her lip, she peeked over the table to see the battle just as Jazz slipped in beside her. The Dinobots had transformed into their beast modes but it hardly slowed down the seekers as they took to the sky. The aerial assault slowly started overwhelmed the group. However, despite their attacks from the air, many seekers also lay wounded on the ground.
It reminded Violetwind of a battlefield. Something she hoped she'd never see again.
A jet flew towards the outsiders hiding behind cover. Spotting him, Smokescreen took aim and fired a few warning shots.
"Hey, quit it! I'm tryna help," it yelled.
"Jetfire!" Coriolis yelled. "Smokey, stop shooting him."
The jet transformed to land amongst the group. He spoke with an accent that resembled that of a outback Australian. "There doesn't seem ta be any way of slowin' 'em down. We've gotta git you lot outta here."
"How'd ya plan on doing that?" she asked.
"Silverbolt said there's an entrance to some tunnels jus' outside tha city. He was thinkin you could go there so ya arent' followed."
"Ain't a bad plan. What about shifting those lugs?" she nodded towards the Dinobots. "Got an idea about that?"
Jetfire grinned. "We were thinkin the silver whirlwind would have no trouble movin 'em."
"Great. Thanks," she grunted, wings flaring at the old nickname.
"Ya welcome," he chuckled. "'Now git along. Me an' tha rest of of the Aerialbots are gonna try an' keep the crowd off ya backs. Jus' head straight for the tunnels."
Smokescreen butted in, "Cor, you can go fetch the Dinobots, while I take Vi, Jazz and HC and head for the tunnel."
Coriolis muttered something under her breath as Jetfire pointed it out. "Down that way. Jus' keep headin east till you hit the outskirts then swing a left. Should be right in front of ya. Don't fall in."
Having been prompted by Windy, Violetwind pulled out a few small bombs from her subspace and handed them to Jetfire. "These should help."
"What are they?" he asked, rolling them around in his fingers.
"Immobiliser bombs. Don't worry, they're non-lethal and wear off after a few Groons."
"Ah, nice! This'll be mighty handy."
Smokescreen rested a hand on her shoulder. "You ready for this?"
She wanted to say no. She wanted to tell him that this all had to be a dream. That this was crazy. That they weren't really being attacked by their own people during a time of peace.
But she didn't.
Instead she kept silent for a moment to let the feelings in her spark settle before finally responding, "I am."
"We're ready too, aren't we, mech?" Jazz nudged Hubcap with his elbow, earning a grunt from the Predacon.
"Alright, let's roll out," said Smokescreen as he led the way.
"Good luck, Cor," Violetwind whispered as she slipped past.
"I'm gonna need it," she grumbled back.
AN: If you want to see how Violetwind accidentally invited the Dinobots along you can check out my 'story' TVW Shorts