Another short story in the “Daily Lives” series for our bots.
The sun shined bright in the afternoon sky. The sands of the Nevada dessert gleamed under the intense sunlight as it stretched over a vast open terrain adorned with stones, brush and cacti. As the winds began to blow, they soon swept over an open road. The sound of an engine echoed in the air as a blue and yellow sports car came down the road at top speed. Not far behind followed in the air a pink and grey hover scooter piloted by a young female.
-How are you holding up back there?- Came Smokescreens voice through the scooters com link.
“I’m okay.” The winds blew again and some sand caused the scooter to tilt slightly. “I’m not as fast you,
I know that.” The scooter recovered and straightened out and began to pick up speed slightly.
“I can’t believe I’m gonna say this but-this isn’t about speed kid. It’s about endurance. This dusty road is the perfect place to test it. If you’re gonna fight for team Prime, you need plenty of it.”
Brightshine sputtered with the sand in her gears. But she managed to stay on course. “Don’t worry Uncle Smoke, I plan on doing everything I can to help my team.”
Smokescreen smiled inwardly. “Funny, your Dad once helped train me, now I’m helping his daughter. Things really do go around in a circle.”
The sound of giggles and laughter filled the room. Jack stood there with his sleeves rolled up, hair tied back; trying his best to keep his son still.
“Vector, you need to stay still so I can wipe you clean.” Jack stood back a moment seeing the small orange-reddish male bot smiling from ear to ear as he splashed the warm oil about.
Oil baths were good for keeping bots gears working smoothly but needed a lot of work to clean.
“This is fun Daddy.” The small bot chirped.
Jack smiled at him with his arms crossed. “Fun for you, work for me.” Jack leaned forward again and continued his best to get Vector clean.
Jack grabbed a towel and wrapped Vector in it before lifting him out of the tub of oil. He wiped the boy off and soon Vector was clean, his orange-red plating shining in the over head lights. Jack smiled as he took one last moment to wipe off Vector little pointy ears causing the eight year old to laugh.
“There. All done. Now when Mommy gets back you can show her how clean you are.” Vector hugged Jack who held the boy close. “Oh, one last thing.” Jack reached over to the stool where Vectors green and red scarf lay folded.
Vector smiled and reached for the soft scarf Jack had given him so long ago. “My scarf.” Jack wrapped it gently around the boys neck. “Now I’m done.” Vector smiled.
“Sure are. Ok, go play and stay out of trouble. Mommy should be back soon. I have to make a few phone calls.” Jack ran a hand through his dark hair then stood up. “After I change my wet clothes.”
Vector smiled. “I will Daddy.”
Jack watched the tiny bot scamper out of the room. He didn’t get too many days off from the agency, but he didn’t mind spending his day off with his family. He wanted every moment with them. He wished he could get more time with his dear Arcee. But both their schedules were here and there. Between work at the agency and Team Prime, and Arcee splitting her time between Team Prime and her family; Jack and Arcee didn’t have as much time together like they use to. But Jack smiled to himself as he rubbed his shoulder. If he didn’t join Team Prime, he never would have fallen in love with Arcee.
Brightshine could see through her sensor the base within the mile. Smokescreen started to slow down and came to a stop. Brightshine landed beside him. Smokescreen scanned the area, no humans in sight. He transformed and stretched his arms and legs.
“Feel free to stretch your legs kids. We could even walk the rest of the way.”
Brightshine transformed and stretched. “Sounds nice Uncle Smoke, but I think I’ll stay out here for a while.”
Smokescreen eyed her a moment. “Why? I told your Dad we’d be back in two hours.” He checked his internal clock. “It’s nearly time.” He saw the girl looking about. He lowered a brow at her. “Are you by any chance waiting for some one?”
Brightshine put her hands behind her back, an impish smile on her face. “Why would you think that?”
“Listen kid, I didn’t come out of the All Spark yesterday. You’re meeting with a bot, don’t tell me-that Hard-Wire.”
Brightshine put a hand to his arm. “Oh Uncle Smoke, he is a wonderful person. You would like him. And I known Daddy would too if he just gave him a chance.”
“Your Dad made it clear he wasn’t thrilled about that kid. Especially since he’s a decepticon.” Smokescreen turned a moment.
“Come on, please. It’s just a little while. He needs time away from his team. Well they’re not really his team, he just happens to live with them. One hour, is all I ask.”
Smokescreen breathed out. “Okay, one hour. But if Arcee finds out I was a part of this, she’ll scrap me for sure.”
Brightshine smiled. “I’ll take the blame, I promise.”
Smokescreen rubbed her head. “See you later kid.” Then he transformed and continued to the base.
Brightshine ran off towards a large set of stones and climbed until she sat overlooking a vast expanse of the Nevada desert. She soon heard the pounding of wings beating the air and smiled as she looked up and saw none other then her beloved Hard-Wire starting to descent near her.
He smiled a toothy grin as she ran to him and they held each other close. “I missed you.” She said softly as she lay her head against his chest plating. Hard-Wires back spikes waved as a soft grumbling sound came from him. “And I you my dear.” He stood back to look at her sweet face. Brightshine smiled and leaned in to give her beloved a kiss but he turned pointing to the sky. “It’s still day time for once. Usually we can barely get time together until after nightfall. I must admit, I miss the stars.”
Brightshine looked at him. Such a gentle spirit he had. She put a hand to his cheek, just over his outer tooth. "They’ll be out soon enough. You want to sit?”
Hard-Wire took a step back, looking up at the sky. She heard him sigh deeply. “I know the Doctor cares for me a great deal. As I do for him. And I know deep down he doesn’t like this whole war, and I feel the same way.”
Brightshine realized he needed the time to talk, air out his thoughts and feelings. She sat on the ground and simply listened with an open heart.
“But to say anything against it would mean death. I know my existence was not planned, but I rather like my life as hard as it may be and don’t wish to lose it any time soon. Oh Brightshine, I feel like at times the only good in my life at the moment are the Doctor and you.”
Brightshine was amazed. She knew his life was hard, but she never really considered how hard. She stood up and slid her arms around his waist. “Hard-Wire, I love you and hate to see you so worried. I wish you would take my consideration and speak to Optimus. My leader is a good soul. If you truly want to part from the deceptions, he will take you in. You have to believe it.”
Hard-Wire saw her loving eyes. But he parted from her. “I have said before. I cannot leave the Doctor. He is the only family I have. My mother and father did not want me, the other Insecticons could not except me, but the doctor-he did everything he could at the risk of himself, to keep me safe. The Doctors more of a father to me then Hard-Shell or Megatron could have ever been.” He turned from her staring up at the darkening sky. “Why did my mother not want me?”
Brightshine could feel the pain and sadness in his voice. She could tell that Hard-Wire was crying. She felt bad for him. She had two loving parents, and a team that cared for her. He had a team that treated him harshly. His only consolation was the doctor and her. All the more for him to join Team Prime. But it seemed difficult for him despite everything.
She stood up and put her head to the back of his shoulder, eyes closed. “Hard-Wire. I want you to know no matter what happens, I’ll always be here for you. I will try my very best to help you anyway I can. I know the Doctor means a lot to you, but you mean a lot to me, and I know if you ever decide to join us, we will be here waiting for you.”
Hard-Wire turned and looked at her. He ran a clawed hand along her helmet. “I love you. Thanks for listening to me.”
“Aw, everyone needs time to air out their feelings.” Then she smiled. “Your mother didn’t know what she gave up. A wonderful, intelligent, kind hearted, strong young bot who means a great deal to me. I won’t let anything hurt you anymore. Let me help you and together we can find a way to make things better.”
He stared at her, realizing she indeed loved him. A lucky bot he was. He ran a hand along her cheek.
“We can help each other.” Then leaned close and they kissed.
At the base, Jack could not stand to wonder where his daughter was any longer. He climbed the stairs and turned on the main computer and brought up the map. He typed in the code and the map pin pointed two familiar bio readings. He lowered his brow then smiled. “At least she’s not far.” He typed a bit more then pressed a button. “Hey Sweetheart.”
Brightshine and Hard-Wire jumped apart. “Daddy? How did you-”
“You should get home now. Your mother will be home soon.” Jack answered calmly.
Brightshine and Hard-Wire looked at each other surprised. Her father was a lot more technologically inclined then she realized. But then, he did work with Fowler and the US government. “Ok, Daddy. I’m on my way.”
Brightshine waved silently at Hard-Wire. “Goodnight Hard-Wire.” She heard her father say.
Hard-Wire almost fell over. How did he know? “Eh, Goodnight Mr. Darby.”
Brightshine smiled then transformed and headed for the base. Hard-Wire watched her go, then transformed into his beetle form and flew off.
Jack stood there by the computer and crossed his arms. He shook his head but soon smiled. “At least he’s a descent kid.” Then he heard a noise and he saw Ratchet standing by a pile of tools.
“Vector! You must be more careful, I nearly stepped on you.” Ratchet said a bit loudly.
Jack saw Vector ducking near the large Medic. The human descended the stairs. “Ratchet’s right Vector. How many times have I told you not to get under foot.” Jack came to his son and picked him up in his arms.
“My apologies Jack. I did not mean to shout at the boy.” Ratchet said as he began picking up the large cybertronian tools.
“Don’t worry. Vector should know better. Right?”
“Sorry Daddy.” Vector squeaked.
“Ok. Go to your room and play until Mommy get home.” Jack said then let him go.
“Yes, Daddy.” And with that, Vector ran off.
Suddenly Jack heard an engine pull into the main room. He turned to see Arcee pull up and transform. Jack looked slightly worried but then he saw Brightshine in her vehicle form pull up soon after.
“You beat me Momma.” The girl transformed before Arcee petted the girls head. “Your speed will improve.”
“Arcee, my love, you’re home.” He smiled warmly seeing no sign of recognition on her face at the situation. He went to her and she knelt down and embraced him. “I missed you.”
“Same here. I saw Brightshine outside on my way in and thought we’d race in.” She smiled.
“But Momma always beats me.” Brightshine said staring at her father.
Jacks ran a hand through his dark hair. “I bet. Well It’s been a long day-”
“It sure has. Where’s Vector?” Arcee spoke quickly.
Jack yawned slightly. “In his room.”
Arcee looked to her spark mate with a smile. She knew they hadn’t seen each other all day but now it seemed Jack was tired. “I’ll go check on him.” Then she kissed Jack on the check. “We’ll catch up in a while.” Jack felt a shiver up his spine. A good one. He smiled and decided to let Brightshine off the hook for tonight.
“Brightshine-” Jack started. “Go and get some rest. We’ll talk tomorrow.”
Brightshine lowered her head politely. “Yes Daddy.”
Just as Jack was about to head down the long to his living quarters, he spotted Optimus drive in. The leader’s large vehicle form never ceased to amaze him.
Jack stepped to the side as Optimus transformed and soon towered over the human.
Optimus looked down at Jack and smiled then knelt down. “Long day.” They both said at the same time.
“Optimus-” Started Jack. “Our team has room for a few more members doesn’t it?”
“Of course. Anyone willing to fight for the cause of good is welcome among us.” The Leader spoke plainly.
“I figured that. Well, good night Optimus.”
“Good night Jackson.”