Fire, shouting, and then Skyfire finds nothing. Nothing more then a gamble, desperate and not intended to be serious. But like time and time again. Any plea to his fallen Star of a once friend. It came down to pain.
When he finally comes to, an ache in his frame, the ever familiar ceiling of the Ark greets him. He groans and even that hurt. Everything hurt. Maybe a pain patch had warn off.
The silhouette of Optimus Prime is seen from his corner optic. Pacing as is normal when he's thinking deeply. He stops when he notices the mech on the table had stired awake. "Ratchet. It seems our guest is starting to stir." He sounds concerned but. "Guest?" How odd.
The pain still fogs his mind, and Skyfire struggles to push himself up to squint blearily at Prime. But never makes it, hissing in pain and having to go limp again.
"Easy, big fella." Ratchet comes to Skyfire's side. "You took quite a beating."
"You were incredibly lucky we were on patrol. Can you speak? Can you hear us?" Optimus asks as he walks to them.
Patrol? "Yes. I-is everyone okay?" His thoughts drift to Starscream once more, but. He's sure everyone has grown tired of his mentioning of the Seeker.
Optimus' optics blink. "Our patrol is fine." He looks to Ratchet. "Is it possible he's from another escape vessel?"
"What-? Prime-" Skyfire struggles to get up again. Only to be gently and firmly pushed down by Ratchet.
"Stay down, or I'll weld you to the berth! You're still pretty damaged." He turns to Optimus. "It's possible he crashed here himself, considering he's a shuttle. I don't think he's on the Ark's staff roll though."
"He's clearly an Autobot.." Optimus turns back to the Shuttle. "Do you know if your damage is from your fall or were you attacked?" Ever soft and concerned.
Skyfire just stares at him for a moment. Optics full of confusion. It sort of hurts to talk, but he'll find the words. "Fall? But, sir, the transwarp-"
"Transwarp?" Now its Optimus who looks deeply confused. He looks to Ratchet.
"The transwarp engine. Wheeljack was demonstrating-" Skyfire trails off to the look on their faces. Uncertainty seeping in.
Ratchet frowns. Crossing his arms. "You know Wheeljack?"
"Of course I do!" But its half-hearted, so unsure now.
"Do you have a name?" Optimus asks.
"You don't know... my name?" Primus, so helpless and confused now. Its all over his face.
"I'm very sorry, soldier. I don't reconize you." Optimus feels pity for the mech. "Did we pass on Cybertron during the war?"
Skyfire slowly turns his gaze to the ceiling, mind whirling. To a processor already strained by pain, already dealing with the memory of Starscream still as unreachable as ever, he just couldn’t understand. It was like coming from the ice all over again, with familiar faces unable to recognize the mech that had gone in. “My name is Skyfire. I’m a xenobiologist.”
"Skyfire, who did this to you?" Optimus puts a hand on his shoulder with care.
"I blew up a transwarp drive." Skyfire closes his optics. "To keep the Decepticons from getting their hands on it."
Ratchet jerks alittle. "You what? Of all the stupid, glitch-headed maneuvers-"
"It was that or let Starscream have it," is all he mutters. Not even bothering to open his optics. The look on Starscream's faceplates replaying in his head.
Starscream jetting out of the blast range. Turned to him. Screaming that he's a fool, all the pain in that terrored expression. Before the explosion took away all sight and thought.
Once more there's some form of confusion. "Starscream?" as if that name did not exist here. Optimus sighs. "You were brave but wreckless. You could of blasted yourself into the void."
"I know. I was trying to," pause. "Convince him to back off." Skyfire knows the truth is he wanted Starscream to leave with him. Abandon everything and be there at his side with the Autobots.
"Brave, but stupid! You're lucky you're not missing any parts, either." Ratchet lectures.
"We can save the lecture for later."
Ratchet simply huffs and leans on the wall. "Now who the hell is Starscream?"
Skyfire nearly tries to get up again at that. "Who is Starscream? The Air Commander-"
"Thundercracker is the Air Commander." Optimus corrects, and the looks to Ratchet.
"Thundercracker!?" Skyfire's mouth is partly open, in full bafflement. "Thundercracker... I mean he would make a good Air Commander-"
"He is the current Air Commander," Ratchet refutes. Narrowing his optics in thought. "I've never heard of a Starscream. Not even as a past Decepticon figure."
Optimus hums confused. "Perhaps we should grab Wheeljack."
"I'll do that. Make sure he doesn't get up while I'm gone! He still needs to rest."
Optimus only nods and takes a seat where Ratchet usually sits.
And Ratchet isn't gone for too long. And Skyfire is silent the whole time. When Ratchet returns he's practically dragging Wheeljack behind him. "Alright, I've got him."
Wheeljack presses on the bridge of where a nose would of been. "Alright. Can you please explain why I was dragged from my work? Usually it's exploding first."
“Our guest Skyfire here has recently been the victim of a self-made transwarp engine explosion. Idiocy aside... He’s making some weird statements that don’t seem to be the result of just pain delirium. You’re the one building one of the damn things, so here we are.” He crosses his arms again and urges Skyfire, “Tell Wheeljack what you just told me and Prime.”
For a moment, Skyfire just looks lost and kind of defeated. But then, finally, “The current Air Commander is Starscream, not Thundercracker. They and Skywarp form the command trine.”
“The command trine? Completed?”
Wheeljack crosses his arms. And then undoes so as his thinking is cleared. He snaps his fingers. "I believe I have an explanation. Its a very simple one at that."
Optimus raises and opens his hand. "Go on?"
"We are either witnessing someone from the Future. Or we have a trans dimensional guest."
"Trans... Dimensional." Skyfire thunks his head back on the berth. The concept settling so uncomfortably. He repeats it so much more distressed. "Trans dimensional."
Optimus pats Skyfire's shoulder. Unable to think of a comforting thing to say to that.
Wheeljack however keeps chatting. "Its abit of a stretch. But likely the transwarp this Shuttle here messed with is from an alternate reality. I would have to ask him things on it to figure out the nature of his dimension."
“You can bother my patient later, Wheeljack. He still needs to rest and recover, and you talking at him won’t help!” Ratchet, sharp-eyed Ratchet. Of course he’d seen the distress on Skyfire’s face and moved to ward away his over-enthusiastic datemate. “Maybe while you wait you can come up with a few concrete tests that don’t just involve interrogating my patient!”
Wheeljack is ecstatic. "Right. And since we know the trans warp might be dangerous. I'll.. maybe set that aside for now." Wheeljack presses again at where his nose bridge would be. He then realizes he's abit too excited to tinker. "Right right."
“I’ll let you know - both of you know - when he’s a bit more ready to talk.”
Optimus stands. Instantly understanding it includes him as well. He takes a hand on Wheeljack and they start heading to the exit. While Wheeljack keeps beeping his lights on his head, indicating he's mumbling to himself. Likely thinking of ideas outloud.
Ratchet shakes his head fondly, then rounds on Skyfire. “I can practically see your processor firing from here. Rest. We’ll all get our answers in time. I’ll administer a new pain patch and let you recharge.”
Skyfire nods, numbly, and just does as he’s told. Maybe if he does, he’ll wake up and this will have all been a dream.
But in reality, every universe has its troublemakers, and every universe they seem to drag Bee into it. Who can fault a pair of energetic Seekers for wanting to know about their guest and sending a minibot to do the dirty work?
Bumblebee flicks his door wings in annoyance at them. A very firm fuck you if he's caught by Ratchet. But Bee will oblige. Bee leans over on the medbay bed. Staring at the pretty Shuttle. "Hey, you awake?"
There’s a soft groan from Skyfire, but yes, he is awake. Always been a light sleeper. At least he’s no longer so much in pain, blinking blue optics at Bumblebee blearily. “...Bee?”
Bee looks different. His optics are a bright light purple. Contrasting with all the yellow on him. The old scrubbed of purple of his chest covered barely by the Autobot symbol. "You know me?"
There's a journey of emotions that flit their way across Skyfire's face at that, as he takes Bee's appearance in: confusion, then briefly some sort of desperation - is that a flash of something like denial with it and finally, a defeated sort of despaired sigh. "...No. I guess I don't."
"Oh. Hey its okay! I'm sure there's lots of bots named Bee!" Bumblebee says raises his hands up reassuringly. "You're Skyfire right?"
"Yes, I'm Skyfire." Poor dear, sounding so defeated and alone. "I suppose word gets around fast."
"It happens when you got two very conniving little Seekers who like to eaves drop. But can't do it all themselves."
Skyfire blinks, confusion again creeping back onto his face. "...'Seekers'?"
"They're Safe! They're Autobots, not prisoners."
"...I thought there weren't any Autobot Seekers."
"There's not alot of em. Currently its just the twins and that don't make for a Trine."
He sits up a little with a start. "The twins? Sideswipe and Sunstreaker???"
"Crosswind and Dawnrunner." Bee states. " You really aren't from this place are you."
He deflates again, just like that. "...No. No, I guess I'm not."
"Wheeljacks' gonna figure this out. You'll be fine."
"And Wheeljack apparently blabbed to the entire ship about me," Skyfire mutters. "Well, at least that's consistent."
"Nah. I did say. The twins like to eaves drop and send me in for intel."
Skyfire just groans again. "And you're chancing Ratchet for this?"
"I've chanced a lot worse for a lot less." Bee smirks.
Skyfire eyes him a bit. "...Somehow, I don't doubt that."
Bee pulls up a seat and plucks himself in it. Losing some sight but meh, it happens to minibots when they steal someone elses chair. "I'm guessing you know a Bumblebee from where ever you're at huh?"
"Yes. Though I don't think mine ever wore the Decepticon symbol." He gives Bee a cautious look- Not cautious of Bee, but more of Bee's reaction to him saying that.
"Pft. Didn't think so." He almost sounds disappointed. Bee then waves his hand dismissively. "Well I'm sure he's in a better place then I was first starting out."
"Maybe. I don't know." He looks back up at the ceiling. "I was in stasis for... A very long time. Since before the war."
"Frag? Seriously? So waking up twice in a new place.. I'm sorry."
"I crashed here a long time ago, up at the northern polar region. Got dug up out of the ice, manipulated into being a Decepticon for a cycle or three, had Autobot existence smacked into my face and realized I was on the wrong side. It's... Been an interesting few Earth years."
"Hey! We got something in common at least!" Bee says reassuringly. "Ex 'Cons stick together."
Skyfire chuckles. "I wasn't a Decepticon that long. But thank you. It's... Reassuring."
Bee smiles wide. "So I did manage to catch you saying something about a Deceptacon, Starscream. You sounded rather Sparkbroken over him.. Bondmate at one point?" A beat. "Wait the smile isn't for that... " Bee tries to correct his face. Bee starts stuttering with his car door wings.
Skyfire shoots up, sputtering - and wincing at the pain that causes in response. "I- No! We- We were partners. We studied together at the University of Iacon." But they had been dating. Maybe bondmates, maybe one day, except- Except. "...He's a Seeker." And really, with the Decepticon monopoly on them, that says everything.
Bee tenses and has a empathy ping of pain. "I see.. So that's what's that was. I'm sorry.. He must of gotten swiped up while you were gone in the ice." Bee then sinks realizing if they have no notes on this Deceptacon. Then he's likely dead. "I'm really sorry. I shouldn't of pried like that."
"...It's strange to me, that Thundercracker is Air Commander here," Skyfire quietly admits. Even if this isn't his Bumblebee, it's... Easy to talk to him regardless. Perhaps it's his processor just not catching up with his reality. "I mean, I suppose it makes sense. He has a level head."
"Meh. Thundercracker might be a good Air Commander but he and Skywarp are constantly looking for a third that no one in their company want to fill. Too much risk buddying up with the Commander trine. Still don't know how Skywarp ended up with Thundercracker like that. Constantly at eachothers throats as they are." Bee sighs. "Skywarp's too much of a trouble maker and Thundercracker is third in the line of Command. No one wants to touch that mess."
"...I guess Starscream did." Maybe he should have learned more about the command trine while at home, mapped out how they worked together. Thundercracker with his level head, Skywarp with his mischief but occasional surprising flashes of brilliance, and... Starscream. Beautiful, vain Starscream. He wonders, quietly, what happened to him here. What happened to Skyfire.
"Starscream must of been a risk taker." Bee snorts. "Wonder if we ever had him in this reality." Bee flutters his door wings. "You know. We don't have a you here. Maybe without you as a level head he crashed instead. I don't know. Wheeljacks is the one with the smarts in this stuff."
"He is. And one of the smartest mechs I've ever met." He pauses a little at Bumblebee's words, processing with a soft intake of air. Could Starscream have done that? Maybe. He always was trying to prove himself. "...If he even exists at all. We don't even know if I exist at all here."
Bee stands suddenly. "Ah Scrap. I gotta roll. Ratchet should be getting back here any cycle now. But I can.. keep a optic out for intell if you like." Even here Bee is everyone's buddy.
"...That would be appreciated. Thank you." He thinks a moment, then calls, "Bee? Did you ever go to the north pole to stop Decepticon activity?" Because he knows it was Starscream's idea. He knows it was. But if no one's been up there...
"Hm? No, never on our radar." Bee turns briefly and then he disappears down the corner.
No one's been there. No one's even been around to find anyone who crashed. He shouldn't- He's been here only two days, according to his internal chronometers. There's a lot of his systems still throwing up warnings, though no longer as severe as when he first came back online. He shouldn't. Maybe neither of them had existed. Maybe Starscream died in a different way; in a war, there's a hundred different ignoble ways to do it. But something tugs at his spark. Maybe... Maybe if there's a chance...
Skyfire shuts off some of the warnings, and unsteadily gets to pushing himself to his feet.
Of course, the Seeker twins are waiting for Bumblebee practically outside the main door. "So??" Crosswind's blue optics are bright with curiosity. "What's he like? Is he really from another dimension?"
Bumblebee holds his hands up palms open . "First of all you both owe me for all of what I had to put that shuttle through." Bee smirks. "I say frag all till I get what you promised me. For the emotional troubles I caused and am now suffering through."
Dawnrunner rolls his optics aggressively, and drops a whole and entire cube in Bee's hand. "You hang around Jetfire too much," he accuses. "He's rubbing off on you."
"I am an growing mech. I learn from everyone around me. Can't help if my influences are you two, a mercenary killer and Decepticons." He sends his cube to subspace.
"You're a lying bastard and you know it."
Crosswind shoves him for that. "Don't listen to D. C'mon, give us the deets."
"Well he's an ex 'Con from another dimension. Lost a partner, don't know if romantic or strictly platonic meaning or other wise to the 'Cons." Bee crosses his arms. "So frankly we gotta make sure he's not bullied. He is WAY too soft and gentle. Skyfire is gonna get himself hurt. He wasn't even in the WAR. He crashed in the other dimension here on Earth before it started."
"Frag, that's... Man, that's a lot." Crosswind winces. "I don't think I've seen a civvie for years."
"How can he be an ex-'Con if he's not been in the war?" Dawnrunner demands.
"Oh that? He got dug up in the ice by the Con's and tricked him I'm assuming. Something something, Partner was a Seeker so likely he just saw a familiar face and believed what ever he was told."
"Oh. Ouch. Poor guy." Crosswind winces. "Probably thought they were still the same assholes as when we first joined."
"Yeah.. I may of opened up some pretty deep wounds." Bee hides his head in his hands.
Crosswind slings an arm around Bee, hugging him to his side. "Aww, y'didn't mean it. I'm sure you can make it up to him later."
"Yeah!" Bee lowers his hand and balls them into fists. "I gotta."
Ratchet approaches the doors, side-eyeing the huddle of them as he passes. "You three haven't been bothering my patient, have you?"
"No sir. We never would, sir." Crosswind, your innocence is a facade and Ratchet knows it.
Bee rolls on his heels. "I know the rules. And I know the consequence."
"Alright. But I've got my optic on you." Ratchet eyes them, moving inside. Then not even a full five seconds later he's coming back out again. "Okay, I know one of you little glitches went in there! Did you help him out of medbay, you two!?"
Crosswind, incredulous, "No. We didn't go in, promise!"
Bee tenses. He certainly fragged this up bad. "I... was in there.. I was making friendly chat!"
Ratchet rounds on him. "What did you do!"
"He didn't do anything! All we wanted was to know some things!" Crosswind states.
"Oh fuck you," Dawn snaps, "Drop me in it with you, huh."
"He might be.. headed for the Northern polar regions..." Bee presses his fingers together nervously.
"What!? What in the Primus-forsaken world inspired him to do that?"
"Because he might think that Starscream mech fell there instead of himself this dimension..."
"He-" Ratchet pinches the bridge of his nose. "He's going to get himself killed. Crosswind, Dawnrunner, you're the fastest of us, you're going to have to catch him. Take Bee with you, since you're the cause of this mess. We'll follow up as fast as we can, but it'll be a while."