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Rated T for generic humor, romance stuff---no porn (I do not write slash), wartime violence, blood, Cybertronian cursing, and an eventual bar fight...

"Woah.  Woah.  Woah!" Bulkhead exclaimed, holding his hands out in front of him as if to physically bar the medic from continuing with his story.  "You were sweet on a 'Con?" He demanded, his expression one of open revulsion.

"A reformed 'Con."Ratchet corrected, haughtily, "One of only a handful to realize there was more to the civil war than just differing 'ideologies'."

Optics still troubled, Bulkhead begrudgingly accepted Ratchet's statement with a slight nod of his head, all the while lowering his arms to rest.

Ratchet considered the larger mech's reaction with a sympathetic optic, and nodded understandingly.  "Before the war, Megatron rose to power because he appealed to those that literally had nothing to lose.  The lower caste:  Gladiators, factory laborers, drones and others that were fed up with the fixed social order; he spoke so compellingly on issues of reform that some followed him without question."  The medic paused briefly; his expression darkened.  "Many believed that the only way to change society was to literally start over…with Megatron at the helm.   Everything else, including the sanctity of life and preservation of our culture, was of secondary importance.  Others followed along only because they were swayed by his charismatic speeches, not because they held his philosophy to spark."

"But…" Rafael interjected, softly.  "From what we've seen, Decepticons don't seem to care about anything other than following Megatron."

Ratchet closed his optics and nodded grimly.  "Even though he claimed to be fighting for others from the start, Megatron's only concern was gaining power for himself….by any means necessary."

"Like Hitler during World War II." Jack commented with a frown.  

Ratchet looked thoughtful for a moment.  Optimus--even far removed from his origins as an Iacon data clerk--still harbored a deep fascination for history, so much so that upon their arrival on Earth, he compiled a data meme of every significant event in human history as a primer for the rest of the group.  

Judging from the subtle looks of questioning on the face-plates of his companions, Ratchet figured he was the only member of the team to have actually read it.

And to say that Jack was "spot on"--as the human saying went--would have been an understatement.

"Exactly." Ratchet confirmed.

Jack's frown deepened.  "So, your girlfriend…was she…?" He hesitated, seemingly not wanting to ask anything untoward.  "Did she join Megatron because she really wanted to or because she was duped?"
"The latter," Ratchet answered, gently.  "Along with millions of others."

"But what does history have to do with girlfriends?" Miko asked, obviously bored.

The red-and-white mech sighed, and shook his head.  It was times like this when he could see just why the young human did so poorly in school.

Deciding not to become exasperated, Ratchet replied with a Cybertronian saying: "'In order to understand someone's actions, you have to understand their infrastructure.'"

Miko mouthed "Oh." and sheepishly sat back down.

For a moment, Ratchet wondered if the human femme actually understood what he meant by his statement as it, and most of his earlier relations, were intended to justify Io's reformation to Bulkhead.  With a shake of his head, he decided that her comprehension was irrelevant.  After all, the young human only seemed interested in the relationship he had with Io, not the history behind her defection.

Suddenly, Ratchet's optics brightened, and the medic had to use every ounce of willpower to restrain the smirk that so desperately wanted to claim his face.  Though not truly vindictive at spark, Ratchet's processors had inadvertently stumbled upon a way that he could enact a passive-aggressive sort of revenge against the young human; payback, in a sense, for her youthful word-probe.  


And lots of it.

Still, actively, suppressing said smirk, Ratchet continued with his narrative…exactly where he left off.

"Let's see, where were we?"  The medic felt a twinge of fierce pleasure in his spark when he saw Miko's shoulders droop just a bit.   "That's right," He added for good measure.  "Megatron's rise to power."  

All internal silliness aside, Ratchet quickly switched gears, slipping back into story mode.  "Megatron, working his clever schemes, padded his ranks faster than we ever could have imagined.  However, some on Cybertron were not so easily committed to his cause…or ours, for that matter.  Though only a small percentage of the population, Megatron felt that these 'neutrals' could very well hamper his aspirations to megalomania, especially should they choose to side against him." He paused and allowed a sly smile to play across his features.  "Which was exactly what happened during the Praxian Stalemate when his army was repelled by the citizens of Praxus.

"Frustrated by his failure, he resolved that anyone claiming neutrality had to either submit to his will or be pacified.  

"And Nova Cronum--the cradle of Cybertronian intellect--was the first to bear the brunt of this new form of warfare."

"I always wondered why Megatron chose Nova Cronum, of all cities." Arcee mused.  "The citizens were scientists more than they were warriors."

"While that may have been true," Ratchet replied, darkly.  "Megatron knew that millions more would rally to his cause if it were supported by world-renowned scientists and philosophers."

"So, what happened next?" Miko wondered, suddenly showing renewed interest.  "Did they join the 'Cons?"

Ratchet shook his head.  "No.  The residents of the city held fast to their position of neutrality…and were slaughtered as a result."

"An entire city?" Rafael exclaimed.

The old medic nodded, slowly, his aquamarine gaze distant and unfocused.  His not so verbose response to Rafael's question was all he could manage as a flood of memory data inundated his processors.  Though he was not an active participant in that battle, he had been part of a medical task force that had the gruesome task of cataloging all of the casualties.

Eons later, it still pained him to remember.

"Ratchet?" Rafael's voice carried a note of concern.

The medic shook his head to clear his thoughts; his gaze however, remained distant.  "Io…defected to our side shortly after Nova Cronum was destroyed."

There was a moment of silent contemplation among the listeners.  Jack was the first to break the saturninity. "Why did she defect?" he asked, his voice soft and respectful.

"Nova Cronum was her hometown."

All of the listeners, 'Bots and humans alike, exchanged looks of surprise.  

"Though she had originally sided with the Decepticons," The medic continued solemnly.   "Her formers-- I guess you would consider them parents," he added to the humans. "Were notable scholars in the city.  In the aftermath of the battle, she…" he paused, searching for how to continue and still be tactful. "…began to question the ideology that she had sided with.  If Megatron was willing to inflict such terrible suffering on neutrals, what was to stop him from doing the same to his own followers?"

"Scrap."  Bulkhead swore, drawing the word out, slowly, as a wave of realization swept over him.  "I'm sorry Ratchet, I didn't mean…"

"It's quite alright, Bulkhead." The medic replied with a light chuckle.  "Ironically enough, I felt the same way when I first found out that I'd be serving alongside a former 'Con."  

"So, how did you two meet?"  Miko asked, unable to contain herself.  "Ooooo!" The young human folded her arms up to her chest, her hands all but clenched under her chin. Her eyes were rapturous. After previous iterations of this particularly expressive gesticulation, Ratchet had been forced to ask; Raf had called this pose 'the fan-girl squeal.'  "I bet you worked together!  Was it love at first sight?"

"Dude, Miko.  Let him tell his story." Jack insisted with a chuckle.

"But the suspense is killing me." She whined, quickly returning to her cross-legged sitting position, all the while dramatically allowing her arms to flop down into her lap.  

Jack looked up at Ratchet and smiled, as if to say "please continue."

Though Ratchet returned the expression, a slightly more responsible section of his processor realized that he should probably cease belaboring the point--no matter how amusing it was to watch Miko fidget--and actually get on with the story that he had agreed to divulge.

Resolved, he turned his head and focused his intense aquamarine stare on the female human.  "Io and I met in Iacon where I was stationed as a field medic." he began, his expression softening as he spoke.  "She transferred to my unit as a shield."

At this pronouncement, all of the Autobots nodded in understanding; their human charges, however, seemed clueless.

Rafael voiced their collective ignorance by asking.  "What's a shield?"

Optics widening, the red-and-white medic sat back, alarmed.  "What are they teaching children nowadays," He started to say and then thought better of it.  An integral part of Cybertronian culture-- at least after the start of the war-- it was something he loftily assumed to be common practice throughout the galaxy.    

Apparently, he was mistaken.

"A shield is both apprentice and guardian."  He explained.   "During the war, non-combat field professions such as construction, mining, and/or medicine bore high mortality rates.  It was difficult, after all, to focus the entirety of one's attention on a single, important task due to the constant need to be mindful of one's surroundings.  Attacks could come from any direction at any time, and even a single moment of distraction could very well prove lethal."  

At this the medic seemed to roll his large shoulder caps, as if unnerved by something that only he could descry.   When he continued, he did so in a voice that was--at least to a seasoned observer--crestfallen. "It didn't take long for our commanders to realize that they were burning through specialists faster than they could be educated, and so they began pairing them with soldiers.  

"Though originally only assigned to protect, many soldiers took it upon themselves to learn the occupation of their charge so they could be of more use, especially in whatever down-time they experienced between field excursions.  Thus, the concept of a shield was born."  

"So," Rafael mused, thoughtfully.  "Io protected you while you helped wounded soldiers on the battlefield, and she learned more about medicine?"  He turned his large, expressive eyes toward the red-and-white mech.  "It's just like a school, except with a really steep learning curve."

"That's correct." Ratchet replied with a nod and a soft smile.  "As our world was consumed by war, the more gentle pursuits of getting an education free from distraction-"  He cast a sidelong glance at Miko--the human femme was more easily distracted than a Praxian Vitose--and corrected himself.  "Free from risk of death… was no longer possible, and so the battlefield became the means by which we could train our successors."  

"Cool!"  Miko exclaimed.  "School with action!" She pumped her fist into the air with excitement.

Everyone stared at her, but Jack took it a step further and decided to say something. "So, Miko will get As if someone threatens to kill her daily. Got it."

"Hey, I'm just saying it would be more interesting."  The Asian youth added in her own defense, eliciting a din of laughter from her human companions as well as from Bulkhead and Bumblebee.  Arcee, on the other hand, seemed distracted.  While she did smile at her friend's jocularity, the expression was short-lived, and before long, the entirety of her attention was focused on Ratchet.  

At first, the femme seemed thoughtful.  As the laughter began to die out, however, a modest smirk began to tug at the corners of her mouth.  Stepping forward, still smirking, she asked.  "So… was it love at first sight?"

Ratchet and the others all turned their eyes and optics toward the two-wheeler.  

"Not you too, Arcee." Jack admonished with a disapproving frown.

"I'm curious," She replied, shrugging her shoulder bearings. "He never answered Miko's question."

"That's right, Doc 'Bot."  Miko purred, wagging her finger in his direction.  "Give us the goods."

Ratchet sighed and shook his head; it was something he had been doing a lot as of lately. In fact, he was amazed he hadn't worn out the servos in his neck.
He couldn't deny the validity of Arcee's point--it was true that he had yet to answer Miko's question--but who could really hold him at fault?  What, with all of Miko's jibes and his having to explain certain aspects of their culture to the humans, he was surprised to have gotten at least this far.  

And considering Arcee's expression--he could see an underlying seriousness in her glowing gaze--the seasoned medic found himself more at ease answering her and not Miko, even though they had both asked the same question.

In his optics, her curiosity carried more weight because for her, Ratchet's answer served no childish purpose.

Suppressing a smile, the medic answered.  "No, not in the slightest.  In fact, Io hated me at first."  He paused, his gaze distant, thoughtful. "Though, in retrospect, I can honestly say that the rocky start to our relationship was mostly my doing...."

"Well, you are a bit of a grouch," Miko offered, tactlessly.

Ratchet rolled his optics. This was turning out to be a long afternoon, indeed.
And unfortunately for him, it wasn't over yet.  There was still a story to be told, and for Ratchet, it was a bittersweet remembrance.

The red-white-mech's optics flickered briefly with emotion, though his countenance was unperturbed.

His story…

Io's story…

Like thousands of other wartime accounts…

Chapter 3 of my TFP fanfiction War and Wings.

I am taking certain liberties with this fic. For starters, I'm trying my best to stay within the Aligned continuity. However, due to a few GAPING information holes, I had to tweak a few things. So, yes, some of Ratchet's recollections are not, 100% cannon derived.

Now you know why.

I'm currently working on some art to go along with Chapter two and a comic to supplement chapter 4. Chapter 4 is nearly complete except for the portion that I wish to depict in graphic form.

Also, from next chapter on, all of "preview" images to start off the chapter will be original pieces done by me, and not screen captures as I've been using.

Below are links to the rest of the story as it stands:
Chapter 1, part one: [link]
The Mop King: [link]
Chapter 1, part two:[link]
Chapter 2:[link]
Chapter 4: [link]

Chapter artwork:

Transformers is owned by Hasbro.
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Ellie-Chandler Featured By Owner Sep 4, 2012
Biohazard-Mummy Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012
EEEEP! Epicness is epic, Prax!!! ^^ Though this story is gonna make me cry, isn't it? :c

praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 27, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
If you can listen to this song [link] without crying--it was the inspiration for the story--then no. If you start to tear up, even just a bit, then yes.

As much as I feel like a total d**k for ending the story as I have it planned, I couldn't see it ending any other way. As positive an outlook as I try to have on life, the feeling rarely translates.

I depress myself sometimes, lol.
Biohazard-Mummy Featured By Owner Jun 28, 2012
I'll have to listen to it later. I'm watching a movie with a kid right now.

And I don't think you're a d**k for ending it sadly. I mean, sometimes it's just the way something needs to end, and I suspect this has to end sadly, especially since this is a war. :c

primenatorgirl217 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay!! This made my day, reading it. :D Don't worry about the canon issue. There's a ton of blank areas in Cybertron's history.
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 12, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I'm very glad! X3

I couldn't agree with you more...especially in regards to the Prime/Aligned Continuity.
dragal996 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Student Traditional Artist
*gasp* *flops around like dying fish* Epicness- is- epic. xAx <3
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 11, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww, thanks! I really appreciate it! :D
Whozawhatcha Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist Writer
Wow! I really like the concept of a shield :eager:
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 10, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I makes sense in a wartime environment. Field medics have to reach their patients in order to save them.
ClothesHamper Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
That last bit... made me want to cry. Ok, I read that bit again, I'm crying.
*sniffs* I'm so garsh darn emotional, I can start crying for no reason.

I love your story, just wondering, is this story gonna have a sad ending? I'll need to stock up on my sad supplies. Though, if you can't tell that's otay.
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Awww, I'm sorry that I made you cry. I mean, not that crying is can be a good thing, actually. *takes foot out of mouth*

My goal is to make my readers feel as I feel--and, by extension, how the characters feel--as I write.

While I do, personally, believe in happy endings...I feel that they're a rarity (kind of the opposite of Disney where everything ends happily). In that reality seems to be more defined by bittersweet endings...which is how my stories often turn out.

Furthermore, I'm really trying to lay out the base for Ratchet's personality. Just by watching the series, it's clear that he seems to go out of his way not to care for people. It's not that he doesn't care, it seems more as though he's afraid to if by caring, he has more to lose than if he were to avoid all manner of involvement.

He only seems to acknowledge his feelings when it seems as though the object of his affection will be taken from him. A theme which will be reprized in this story.

Wow...I'm really philosophical, tonight. Must've been all the G1 I watched earlier...

Ne-who, I'm glad you're enjoying the story.

But to answer your question, no, it will not end on a happy note. I won't say anything more to that end.

Ummmm....on a happy note:

ClothesHamper Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012
Lol, *sniff*
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Actually, if you want...this song is basically sums up Ratchet and Io's relationship. If ever I'm working on a piece involving them, written or not, it captures the mood exquisitely. [link]
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 9, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Truth be told, it was one of the things that really inspired the story.
NuclearRaBBit23 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Ratchet, please tell me more. I like listening to your sexy voice stories :iconiloveitplz:
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
:icontfpratchetplz: :iconsaysplz: I...ummm...thanks, I think.

NuclearRaBBit23 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
:blushes: Heh heh... *cheesily grins* You're welcome~
whiteirislady Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist
HAHAHA!! I CAN'T wait for the next chapter! :D
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
I shall do my best to have it up soon, perhaps in a week or so, depending on how long the graphic portion of chapter 4 takes.
bubblestx Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad you like. :D
Harajukuterasu Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist
Good so far
praxcrown5 Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
Yay! I can has wordz. X3
Harajukuterasu Featured By Owner Jun 7, 2012  Hobbyist
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