Hunting & Talks

Sam and the Autobots watched Barricade take off down the road at an alarming speed, Sam laughing when a small pebble beaned Ratchet right in the head causing the mech to blink a few times.

The medic gave Sam a disgruntled glare, his voice carrying no humor, “What is it you find so funny?”

Sam shook his head as he tried to control his laughter, “Nothing Ratch,” he said before he turned more serious, “I suppose we should chase Barricade down, right?” he asked.

The boy tried to hide a grin as he looked up at the mech. Car chases were awesome. Say it with him, aw-e-some. Plus, there were all those flashing lights. There had been more than one occasion where Sam had considered asking Bumblebee if he wanted to be something a little more … official. Official as in can race across town and no one will have an ill thought towards it. The only reason he held back was because part of his mind kept thinking that Bumblebee would end up looking like Barricade.

The Autobot Commander shook his head, saying gently “Absolutely not, Sam. Let her be,”

Kill joy,’ thought Sam.

“She will be even more dangerous with a Sparkling. We will only provoke her if we chase her down.” added the commander when he noticed the boy’s confusion.

Sam frowned, “If she’s going to be a danger to society, then why not capture her and bring her back to base? At least she won’t kill anyone there.” Besides, it wasn’t like he knew anything about femmes and Sparklings. He was never told in the first place, still wanting a car chase.

“No, I feel that if we were to do that, then who knows what she would do to protect herself and the sparkling. There is no right or wrong in what to do in this situation, we can only wait and see. Barricade will most likely find a place to hide. Femmes are extremely protective over their Sparklings and being on an unknown planet increase that feeling 10 fold.”

Ratchet nodded before he transformed, followed by Optimus. Sam hopped in the medic’s cab as the door slammed with its own power, Sam asked, “Are you guys gonna report this to the other Autobots?”

“Of course, Sam,” Ratchet replied as pulled out into the main road.

When they finally made it back to base, dust following close behind their treads, they found William standing with Ironhide discussing the difference in US and Cybertronian military strategies.

Both stopped however when they spotted the others arriving. “Hey Ratchet, Optimus,” Will waved from the other side of the hangar, which served as a makeshift base until something more had been established. Ratchet stopped and allowed Sam out before he transformed, Optimus having already done so as he was not so impeded.

“So what was so important?” the Captain asked curiously as he shielded his eyes from the afternoon sun, looking upward at the towering figure.

Optimus wandered over to the two, as Bumblebee quickly joined them a few seconds later to find out the scoop. He instantly picked up Sam while watching his commander expectantly. Optimus shifted on his feet, his voice echoing over the expanse as he spoke, “I have new orders for all of you.”

Ironhide looked up from polishing one of his cannons, “New order? And what would those new orders be Optimus?”

“For one, Barricade is to be left alone. Under no circumstance is that bot to be bothered.”

“What?” cried Ironhide as he leaned forward, polishing forgotten. “But Prime, I thought we were supposed to catch the glitch,” Ironhide protested.

“Not anymore. Ratchet has found out some extremely important information concerning Barricade. It turns out that what Sam had come across last night was a spark-birth,” said Optimus, uncertain if he should be happy or worried about that information.

Shock caused air to catch in Ironhide’s vents, and the mech seemed to be frozen for a moment, “A WHAT?!” Ironhide dropped his rag in surprise.

“You… you mean Barricade is a –” Will stopped his train of thought, apparently derailed at the news, “now wait a damned minute. Optimus, I thought Barricade was a mech?” Will asked, surprised as well.

“Affirmative, and apparently so did everyone else, Captain,” Optimus nodded at the Captain, “Ratchet saw the Sparkling earlier while Barricade tried to chase him away.”

“Yes … as it seems, Barricade is, in actuality, a femme,” Ratchet with a wave of his hand, stating that there’d be no more questions on Barricade’s gender.

Ironhide leaned back against the wall, accepting the medic’s glare as an answer, before continuing, “A femme, you say? She’s gonna be a danger to the humans on this planet if what you say is true,” Ironhide groused.

“Bringing her in will only cause her distress, and if she feels threatened by us, she very well may destroy the Sparkling. I’m not sure how Decepticon femmes are.” Ratchet cautioned. He hated to admit it, but he had never, in all his long years, heard of a ‘Con femme giving spark-birth. It was new territory to him.

“Well that’s just stupid,” commented the Weapon Specialist as he snagged his rag off the ground.

“So wait… when I fought with her at that plant, she was double Sparked?” Bumblebee asked, feeling guilt rise in his chest at the realization that he could have done some major damage and not even have known it. His face showed his distress at the idea that he could have caused her Spark to expel the Sparkling before it was fully developed.

Optimus nodded at the scout, “Indeed.”

“You know Optimus, since Barricade is a femme, that means the species won’t be extinct due to the Allspark’s loss. Here we were worried about looking for femmes but one has already made herself known,” Ironhide noted offhandedly, “even if it was inadvertently.”

“Yeah, I dare you to try to catch her for that,” Sam laughed from Bumblebee’s hand, “That Decepticon is full of piss and vinegar, I know firsthand. Remember, he – she chased me down under that bridge after she caught me in that garage.” Sam wrinkled his nose, “Y’know, its kinda creepy finding out that Decepticon is actually a girl – femme. Because if she would have killed me… man that would have been totally embarrassing.”

Ironhide took a moment to look up the phrase, “Well we might have to,” he insisted. “She’s the last femme, and it’s only natural for us to hunt her down for that reason alone. She would have to accept, being the last of her kind,”

If she’s the last of her kind,” Ratchet said with a frown as he glared at the Weapon Specialist.

“So you guys are saying that he’s a she and she has an infant?” Will asked, still a bit shocked at hearing the news, “Why do you keep saying she may well be ‘the last’ of the females? Are femmes rare or something?”

Optimus turned to the Captain, a saddened look taking on his faceplates and his optics dimmed. There was a moment of haunting silence before the mech decided to speak, “Will, when the war started… Megatron… did something … terrible. He decided to go after all of the Sparkling care centers, ordering a mass femme and sparkling genocide. He even went so far as to kill off the Decepticon femmes.”

“What?! What the hell was wrong with him?” Sam burst out, nearly falling off of perch as a surprised Bumblebee fumbled to catch him.

“He was deranged. Apparently, thinking that killing off all of the sparklings and femmes, there would be no more Autobots for him to have to deal with being that we were the only side gain troops because the Allspark had been hidden at the time,” Ratchet explained.

“That is why we will need Barricade. If she is indeed the last femme, then we will need her to produce more sparklings,” Ironhide said with a huff, “And with any luck, more femmes will be born and we won’t need her… uh… assistance.”

“Dude, she won’t have to do anything. I doubt she would let an Autobot anywhere near her for such an… act,” Sam chuckled after thinking about it, then quickly tried to dismiss the thoughts that ran through his head. For a brief moment he wondered how exactly the Cybertronians did… it, but shook his head furiously to drive away the thoughts. He would have to ask Ratchet or Bumblebee one of these days.

“If she is the last femme, then we need to capture her. Not because she’s a Decepticon, but for the sake of our species! She should know that her job is to keep the species going,” Ironhide growled.

“Ironhide,” Optimus said in a no-nonsense tone, “We are not like the Decepticons. We may need her for our species, but I will not allow any Autobot to force her into mating. It should be her choice and her choice alone.”

“How else do you think we will get more sparklings? Hope and pray that Primus will drop one out of the sky?”

“Wow, is that all you think about, Ironhide?” Ratchet suddenly growled, cuffing the Weapon Specialist upside the head with a snort. Ironhide glared at the medic with one of those ‘I dare you to try that again’ glares. Ratchet only glared back, daring him to try something.

Ironhide suddenly grinned evilly, “It is my wish, dear friend, that you shall be chased down the streets by a bunch of escaped whip-bearing lunatics, you cheap medical harpy!”

Ratchet’s jaw about hit the floor, and yet he hadn’t taken his optics off of Ironhide, “I think on the way here, some alien zapped you with a stupid ray… Twice,”

Ironhide snorted, his cannons coming out and he rolled them a few times in aggravation. If anything, Ratchet grated his nerves more than anything.

The stare-down continued until Optimus broke it with a wave of his hand.

“Ironhide,” he suddenly called out, the Weapon Specialist snapping his attention back to his Commander, “we are not going to force her into anything. Besides, right now she is delicate. Going after her would only make things worse.”

“But Prime-”

Optimus put his hand up, shaking his head, showing that what he said was firm. Ironhide groaned.

“I’m not saying we are not going to ask her, but right now she is high strung and weary. It will be best to wait in asking such a thing of her,” added Optimus, the conversation over.

As the discussion continued at the Autobot’s base, Barricade was busy hunting for another place to hide out and care for her newly sparked infant. She knew she couldn’t go to the Autobots, so her selections were now extremely limited since they seemed to lurk around every corner. How only four of them could pull that off, she didn’t know.

Making her way through towns in her hunt, she decided that being around humans was also out of the question. At least she hoped she could find a place where humans were scarce, because they seemed to be everywhere. So she continued through the towns, hunting for something similar as to what she had claimed before, but as of yet, found nothing. The buildings that looked even remotely possible were either full of people or too many people went near it, which would give her no privacy. She was becoming increasingly annoyed with that fact as well.

She was also becoming tired and had to find her way around these silly towns as such. Why couldn’t things be just a little simple? She revved her engine in frustration at a stoplight, waiting for it to turn green, tempted to slam the car in front of her, but thought better of it. It was best not to bring attention to herself because she was pissed off.

Not that her irritated mood was out of sorts: if she didn’t find a place soon, she felt she would go into recharge on the spot.

Ha, wouldn’t that surprise the humans?

She was becoming sluggish and it showed in the sounds of her engine and how she turned. Her driving became slow and questionable as time went on, and a few times she would swerve. If another cop was behind her, they would swear she was beyond drunk. Finally, after another grueling hour of searching she knew she could no longer go on. Her engine sputtered and wanted to die and she knew she had to park and do it now. Barricade knew her body was acting this way because she was still weak from her spark-birth and her systems were way overtaxed. Warnings had already starting to flash in her HUD.

In the end, Barricade found a garage that was in an alleyway, where she decided to turn in. It seemed somewhat abandoned and she didn’t care who owned the building or whatnot as she pulled forward and backed in.

For the first time since the birthing, she didn’t care who was in or around the garage. Right now, all that mattered right now was the time it would take for her to recharge and gain her strength and alloy back, which was slowly being replaced. Obviously another reason she was becoming so tired. She rested down on her tires and shut off her lights, content to recharge right where she was. She took a long look at the Sparkling curled up in her interior, studying it for the first time now that she was relaxed.

She had to admit the little thing was cute. And coming from her that was saying a lot.

She noted that it had a small pointy chevron on its head, which was silver but had a black streak through it like a lightning bolt out each side. Its arms and legs were nimble yet had the strong piston like grip that Barricade had, giving it deadly strength like its mother and the agility that was apparently taken after its father. The legs were a dead giveaway, because they were digigrade, unlike her own and more like it was meant to be a flier. Its little back was barely developed and shone mostly sliver with black highlights along the edges. Though there were currently only metal points protruding out as it had no alt mode as of right now, Barricade figured that they might become door wings later on. Its little chest was broad with black coloring containing minute detail and silver markings. The bits of armor over its arms and legs were black but were adorned with silver in various places. Its little hands had 4 finger like appendages, all the ‘knuckles’ adorned with sharp edges and the ends were adorned with claws like both parents boasted.

Decepticon indeed. She smiled internally at how it was curled there, protected by her armor. Nothing would get to it – nothing would harm it. She would make sure of that. Even if it were at the cost of her own spark.

After admiring her little one like a dotting hen, Barricade sat and began powering down immediately after another quick check once again on her little one in the front seat to make sure it was comfortable. It didn’t take her long to go into a light recharge. Her sensors stayed active on the Sparkling as she slept, watching to make sure the critter was all right.

She kept a few sensors active on her surroundings as well. Primus help the idiot that got too close to her. It wasn’t because she was a Decepticon and hated mankind to begin with, it was protecting her young one that mattered now, and she wouldn’t let any human anywhere near it.

After a few hours, Barricade finally booted out of her recharge cycle and into full wakefulness. The Sparkling was still out cold and she watched it for a few moments. Clearly, it hadn’t been a dream. It was fascinating to her how she watched it almost all the time now. How her feelings towards it became so strong. Decepticons weren’t supposed to be so close to others. But it didn’t matter to her. All she cared about was the well being of the sparkling.

The Sparkling was currently curled into a little ball now on the floor of her alt mode. How it had gotten there was anyone’s guess. She figured it may have woken up and crawled down there to hide itself out of instinct.

Seeing her Sparkling secure, her thoughts wandered aimlessly as to how she had become double-sparked in the first place. It was well known throughout Decepticon history that Decepticon femmes did not procreate.

And that’s when it hit her. She couldn’t believe it, but sure enough, now that she thought about it, it made complete sense. She had only been in close proximity with a mech for such an extraordinary occurrence to happen and come to think of it, it had been with none other than the Air Commander of the Decepticons himself when they first landed. It also explained the digigrade legs on the Sparkling.

So he was the reason she now had a Sparkling. Ha! Wouldn’t he be surprised? It was on the heels of this thought that she decided that she wasn’t going to tell him. She had no idea what Seekers did to their young, and knew damned well that Starscream may end up doing something to it in his own crazed way. So to protect the Sparkling and herself, she would keep the information quiet, and avoid the Seeker like the plague.

On the other side of things, she had no idea that the male creator could also feel the sparkling they helped to produce. And this would probably make itself known later.

While she sat in the garage, content to stay here as her new temporary nest, she took note of the few humans who did go by, some looking at her curiously but not curious enough to stop and question her presence. Obviously they didn’t expect to see a police car sitting in this garage and that was fine to her. As long as they stayed away from her, she was perfectly happy to stay parked here.

Her optics stayed trained on whoever happened to walk by. Then, one of them, stupid as they were, must have taken a liking to her alt mode and approached her. They got within a couple of feet of her and her engine burst to life with a loud un-carlike roar and her tires squealed as she charged at them, the hooks from her headlights coming out to try to impale the human, but it didn’t work.

The sight of a car suddenly coming to life and sprouting things from its front end had the person reeling back out of her reach.

She grunted as they fumbled and fell, wide eyed at seeing a car move on its own and high tailed it out of there, running for their lives.

No one would believe them even if they did try to say that a cop car drove itself and nearly ran them over anyway, she figured she was safe.

Stupid and oblivious humans, the more oblivious the better.

The Sparkling woke up a little while after, uncurling from its soft bed and perked up, clicking and beeping madly. Apparently it had no idea where it was. Barricade immediately rumbled softly in reply, letting it know where it was and the young one soothed immediately. Curious about its surroundings, it crawled to the seat and peeked out the windows, it’s little red optics glancing at everything as it twittered and warbled to its creator, eager to learn about its new life. Barricade continued to click at it, telling it things as it asked a barrage of questions; its little processors were like a sponge.

She realized just then that she was becoming soft, but she didn’t mind as much as she thought she would. She had a new life to watch after and help grow and learn. She just hoped that she could protect the bubbly sparkling despite what challenges there would most assuredly be in the future.

New Life

And if you hold on tight
To what you think is your thing
You may find you're missing all the rest...

About 4 days later of sheer boredom and absolute confusion, when night had just begun to fall, Barricade finally relaxed. She relished this time of day, because humans were not as active, which meant she could be more herself, even if she did not leave her impromptu nest. She wondered to herself why she didn’t leave the small building with a frown. She very well could have, but something told her not to. And that something became very apparent when a dull, throbbing pain in her chest hit her. It was nothing like the pain she had been suffering before. The pain was enough to make her stumble on her feet, catching herself on the wall beside her with a gasp through her vents. Her spark also began to feel weighted, as if it wanted to drop right through her body.

What a strange sensation.

At first she only thought it was the strange anomaly that had been plaguing her, so she ignored it, but the pain increase with each beat of her Spark and every ‘breath’ into her intake valves became even more difficult as time went on, sometimes going away, only to return a few minutes more with more intensity. She groaned. With the intensity and pain, her sparkbeat became irregular and harder and she pressed her hand to her chest, hoping it would help to subside the annoyance, but it didn’t.

She began to panic when the pain became unbearable. Unable to actually cope with the pain and the confusion of what was going on, Barricade thrashed her arms angrily, knocking over various things that sat in the warehouse and sent items flying to the other end, her senses seeming to leave her completely. Her body rattled as it shivered uncontrollably. She instinctively did checks on her systems to find the source of the odd thing going on. Her spark was acting as if it was preparing for something and something big. For what, she had no clue. Otherwise it said all systems were go.

Something was wrong, even as her HUD clearly lied to her and told her everything was fine. She was obviously NOT fine! Small moans and screeches made their way from her vocal processors without her even trying to stop them as she tried to gain her bearings. In a fury to relieve the pain, she began scratching at her chest plate, even digging at it with her claws at one point. The tips of her metal claws screeching in the empty warehouse as they carved out deep gouges down her front as she desperately tried to get to the source of the pain and just make it stop! , totally prepared to pry her chest open and pull out her spark, wishing she could at least look at the damn thing to find out what was wrong with it. She wasn’t sure how long the pain would last, but right now it had become so severe that she wanted to die.

It was the bolts of Spark energy starting flying out of her chest were what alerted her to the even more frightening possibilities of what could be happening. At first they were small and harmless, zapping the ground and whatnot in close vicinity to her, but then they began to get larger and started streaming everywhere, shooting bolts toward any metal that was near her. She tried holding her hands over her chest to try to divert the bolts, but they seemed to go right around her hand.

Her panic went to a whole new level when her chest plates suddenly began to part without her control. Creaking as they ever so slowly began to break apart at the seams and the light of her very spark began to illuminate the small warehouse around her. Barricade cried out as she realized what was happening.

What the slag was going on?!

She pressed her hands to the sides of the parting plates, pressing against them firmly, trying desperately to keep them closed, but to no avail. They seemed to be parting at a strength beyond her own that she could not fight as the panels took on a life of their own.

Not only would she be vulnerable like this, but untold things could happen while her Spark chamber was completely exposed like this. She looked around frantically for something, anything, to help her, but nothing was available and she grunted with a hiss of pain as the panels spread apart even further until they could bend back no more as another shudder overcame her.

So now she stood with her chest plates wide open, her spark chamber exposed for all to see, looking around almost stupidly while her Spark discharged energy and sent bolts all over the place.

Lovely. Just Lovely.

After a few minutes, another wrench of pain hit her and it was enough to drop her to her knees and she went forward, catching herself on her hands. Her cooling system kicked in as well to cool down her quickly heating chest, her fan’s whirling at an alarming rate to sooth her burning frame. She started bringing in large amounts of air into her vents to help compensate for her overheating, the Earth equivalent of panting. With another grunt, the pain seemed to ease up a bit for a moment and she relaxed a bit. Slag it all if there wasn’t any coolant around, or even water would probably help at this point.

Suddenly, she let out a very Cybertronian cry like never before, feeling like she was dying as the pain began again. Her body continued to quiver, feeling as though it would collapse right there on the spot. And in all honesty, she believed that she really was dying. She had never felt this before. The pain seemed as if someone was ripping out her spark chamber from it’s place and twisting her chest apart in the process. Her body began contorting to impossible positions as she tried desperately to relive the pain.

She lifted to her knee while her Spark erratically discharged to various places and another scream emitted from her. Along with the discharge from her spark, was another type of discharge. This discharge didn’t come as bolts, but it dropped to the ground with a strange almost wet plopping sound. Barricade just stared at the strange… seepage.. It was blue and glowing. Immediately it registered to her that it was Energon, and all she could feel at this point was annoyance mingled with a faint curiosity. Why was she suddenly leaking Energon? Somewhere deep down in all of the confusion, she swore she was going to get the attention of someone with all the noise she was making, but the pain being as it was, she couldn’t help it, nor could she really care. All she really cared about was what was going on.

And to top it off, if things couldn’t get any more freaky and scary, her Spark chamber suddenly opened even further, and she looked down in surprise as she felt it. The Energon leaking from her core itself increasing in volume as it hit the ground and spattered about, even landing on her. This in itself got her even more terrified. She never randomly leaked fluids. Now she knew she was dying… for sure!

No! Nononono!’ She thought to herself as she cried out verbally with an animalistic cry mixed with a metallic sound at the intense pain. She’d never in her life heard about a Spark leaving its body, and she swore that it is what was happening to her for whatever reason. She barely even registered that her spark was larger than it was supposed to be as she bordered on panic.

Again, pain seared through her chest, causing her to arch back, with a roar like thunder, the Energon spurting on the wall on front in her. She screamed and she could only watch helplessly while panting like some kind of earth pet between the Cybertronian screams, ‘Well, this is it. It sucked knowing you, world.’

She had sensed someone coming around in close proximity of her hide out, but in her position, she couldn’t do anything about it. She didn’t know who it was, and personally, she really didn’t care. She was dying for all she knew; hell couldn’t she even die in peace? She vaguely sensed the being walk from the side to the front of the building, but she was in far too much pain to do anything about it. She just hoped that the creature wouldn’t come in. The sight of a giant robot dying would probably not be kept quiet and she would prefer her shell wasn’t dissected by the Earth fleshlings.

As her Spark discharged bolts once again not only was it also expelling the blue liquid, this time her Spark was discharging in an odd array of different colors. She looked back down at it and the puddle forming beneath her. Her optics widened when she saw that her Spark was… splitting? It soon looked like it was splitting into a pair of binary stars. What in Primus’ name was going on? She dropped to her hands again as the pain became too much.

She barely registered that the being who was roaming around finally had gone. She randomly hoped he fell down a pothole as he left.

Well into the night, what seemed to be hours, her Spark continued to split until her chest now held not one but two complete, whole sparks. There was a tiny spark right beside hers and hers reduced back to its normal size. Her blood red optics were glued under her large body in fascination and awe. Her HUD relayed tidbits of information that she didn’t even pay attention to while her body continued to run its cooling system in overdrive to cool down her chest compartment, which was severely overheating and in the first starts of a Stasis lock. She saw how her Spark was still slightly connected to the smaller one by a small energy thread. She also noticed how the thread seemed to pulse, going from her Spark to this other new one, and stared in wonder at the thin stream of light.

Whatever was happening, she would soon find out, that’s for sure.

Her Spark discharged painfully again as Barricade’s body jerked again and this time the Spark that had separated itself started to grow metal around itself, pulling at her own alloy from different places within her body. If the femme’s optics could go any wider, they would pop out of her head. When she went to move, she also found that her body was locked in this position, as if every part of her froze as it was. Well this was sure different, but being she couldn’t do anything about it, she only watched in horrified silence. The pain seemed to dwindle slightly, but not enough to warrant relief as she watched, afraid for her life.

Then something miraculous happened. As it grew, it started to take on a form. Bolts of energy danced over it as it began to build into a small metal ball and then more details started to form around it until it looked like a perfect Cybertronian pod. She now was watching with morbid curiosity as it continued to form. She felt her body loosen up once again, and she almost collapsed from her own weight bearing down on either on her arms.

She barely registered that the sun was starting to come up as she watched the form under her. Having lost near ninety percent of all of her strength in the mayhem, she couldn’t even push herself up to a kneeling position. She just continued to watch as the form twisted and wriggled within her body in fascination. When it was done forming, it dropped to the ground unceremoniously with another splatter of Energon that was all over it, completely separating from her own Spark as her Spark slowly moved back to her chest and back into its own chamber and the chamber closed.

To her relief, the pain was finally gone, which allowed her processors to wonder what was lying there in pod form. She used what strength she had and forced herself to lean up on her knees once again to stare down at the pod.

What in Primus’ name was that thing? Was she invaded by some unknown alien species that implanted itself in her Spark? Barricade frowned as this thought rooted itself in her processor and she became worried. She didn’t know any better! This situation was something she was clearly not familiar with! Never had she heard any of the other Decepticons, mechs or femmes ever mention something like this happening! Not that she ever really conversed with them but still; she should have heard something about this. No, this cranky Decepticon was on her own and she preferred to keep it that way.

Her chest plate closed slowly with a soft click as as she watched the thing on the ground curiously, wondering what it was. Her optics never left it as she slowly went to touch it, poking it, seeing what it was. When she did poke it, it twitched and she quickly withdrew her claw cautiously.

What was that thing?!

She warily reached out and poked it again, and it moved again, but this time, its movements were more fluid than just a twitch. It began to unfold. She reeled back from it, landing on her aft in an ungraceful heap,, watching with slight alarm and apprehension as it continued to unfold. Energon dripped from it’s little body in rivers and the fluid quickly merged with the large puddle already coating the floor. . Tiny legs began to form and arms began to poke from it. Then, to make matters even more confusing, a head appeared with tiny red optics. It didn’t even try to get up, looking curiously up at her. She leaned forward and brought her face closer to examine it and it reached out and touched her face with tiny hands, smearing her face with Energon. Again she reeled backwards, glaring at its black and silver form. As she examined it from afar, she noticed its little arms were mostly black with silver decoration and its chest was black, along with its spindly legs – Legs like Starscream’s. Was it a flyer? It was fascinating, no matter what it was.


…Wait a minute, did that thing just click at her? Clearly it was Cybertronian as well. She instinctively clicked back at it with a few other chirrups. She jerked in surprise at her instant reaction to the thing’s clicking. Where had that come from? The small creature seemed completely unfazed by her sudden internal confusion as it t clicked and beeped at her even more and she responded to it as if it was second nature. Why was this happening? It was as if she could understand what the little creature was saying!

It was almost like… Wait a minute. Barricade paused to process the information. Her optics grew wide as she stared down at the little black and silver critter in realization. She then gasped, air hiccupping through her systems.

Was… was this a Sparkling? Her Sparkling? Had she just Spark-birthed and not even known it?!

That was it! That had to be it! She lightly shifted her weight as she reached out tenderly this time and the Sparkling grasped her clawed finger in its tiny hand and held on, beeping and chirping happily. Without even thinking, she cupped the Sparkling into her hand and lifted it to herself not even caring about the now drying Energon that was being transferred onto her. Her other hand lightly came across it and she touched it and it seemed to lean into her touch. When she brought it close to her chest, her Spark responded to the Sparkling when it touched her chest lightly. The Sparkling twittered with a few more beeps, and she clicked back to it.

“So you’re the reason for all that agony.” She said to him in English. He only looked up at her with innocent optics.

Just then, her senses went on high alert and Barricade was instantly tense as she moved her observations from the sparkling to her surroundings. She sensed other Cybertronians near.

Great. Just slagging great. This was all she needed.

She stayed huddled in the corner, knowing well that these were Autobots. The other Decepticons were not smart enough or even organized to find her this quickly. Deep in her chest, she snarled, angry that they had come around her claimed territory. Hopefully they would just leave her alone, but knowing Autobots, they would get nosy. Couldn’t they just leave her alone as she bonded with her new little one? She heard the doors open, but didn’t turn around, still mumbling to the Sparkling gently as she bonded with it. She read the signature and found it to be the Autobot’s medic. Quickly she turned her head and snarled at him. Warning him to leave her be.

The thought that Barricade was very much alive was amazing enough, but to try to show that he no longer wanted war, Optimus had wanted to try to defect any remaining Decepticons or ones that came to Earth to the Autobots. Barricade personally thought this to be a bit of a crackpot idea but the softhearted Autobot leader seemed so adamant on the subject. So of course he sent in Ratchet to speak with the Decepticon that had taken refuge in this run down building. Sending the medic was a wise idea. Not only was he calm enough and important enough that it ensured that Barricade would at least listen to his words, it also would allow the Autobots to know what Sam had witnessed and to make sure everything was all right.

When Barricade heard Ratchet come closer she lightly set the Sparkling down, telling it to stay silent and she quickly turned around and knelt down in place to protect the little one and without even thinking about it, brought out her flail to use if necessary. No matter how weak she was, she would still protect her Sparkling from any danger or intruder. In this case, to her, it was both. If anything, the medic would get the hint that she was not playing around and would use the flail if he did not heed her warnings. She growled, furious at being interrupted and intruded upon, “Back off Autobot!”

Ever nosy, and more likely by orders, the Autobot stepped forward again. He seemed curious and she knew she was scanning, something she could not help, “What are you hiding?” he wondered aloud, trying to peer around her bulky body at what was in the corner that he could see clearly moving, trying to figure out what he had stumbled upon. Perhaps it had been that Barricade was trying to repair Frenzy? If anything, he could offer his assistance.

“Nothing! Leave!” Barricade demanded darkly, spinning the blades of the flail dangerously and lifting the flail to strike.

Ratchet scanned the area and to his surprise, it was not Frenzy that she was hiding. It was something far more shocking. Ratchet backed away and left the building as abruptly as he had entered. Believing she had scared him off, Barricade smiled inwardly. However that was not the case. She did realize that the he medic had just found some alarming news and went to report to the others. She just wanted them gone, no matter the reason.

Finding that the Autobot must have gotten her message, she turned back around to the Sparkling, who was watching curiously. It still had not gotten up. She assumed that its programming was far too new for it to know how to walk. Lightly she cupped it in her hand and offered it to it’s small legs, but it went right forward. She caught it before it hit the ground. Personally, she didn’t know the first thing about Sparklings, but she knew she would find out first hand.

Then, if life couldn’t get any more complicated than it already had, a new development had her panic once more. Her already tired and aching spark raced as she looked down at her chest to find that she was leaking energon from between her places.

What in Primus’ name is going on now?’ She thought to herself as she ran a finger over it and lifted it to her face to examine it. She thought she was done with the leaking of Energon. Now, after all of this, she really had to be dying. Femmes didn’t just randomly leak Energon! She did notice how the Sparkling was eyeing it however, and she quickly wiped it away. A few seconds later it dripped again. She growled, however the Sparkling was now moving towards its creator, still eyeing the leaking Energon as if it was the best thing it had ever seen.

She clicked a few times to it and put her hand out for it. Quickly it scrambled into her hand once again and she brought her hand to her chest. The Sparkling leaned on her chest and began… trying to put its face into the leaking Energon? Barricade was baffled but the Sparkling seemed content. She allowed herself to smile as she held it close, even though she was confused as to why the sparkling was apparently trying to eat the Energon.

For the first time in all her long years of being, not only had she Spark-birthed, but now felt the need to protect this little one, with her own life if she had to. It went beyond her Decepticon programming to help and protect this life – any life in fact. That was fine with her. She didn’t even know if she could still call herself a Decepticon now that her programming had derailed and been severely altered like this. However nothing could change her mind as she held the Sparkling close to herself, now ignoring its strange behavior. Seeming happy, the Sparkling sat back and looked up at her, clicking merrily at her even as Energon leaked from its tiny jaws. Barricade instinctively parted the compartment where Frenzy used to hide and gently placed the Sparkling there and closed it.

There, she felt the weirdest thing! Air hiccupped in her vents for a quick second at the surprise. She felt her Energon lines being tapped. When she scanned inside of herself to find out what was going on, she found the sparkling latched onto an Energon feed. One she hadn’t even known she had! The strange thing about it was she was happy that the Sparkling was siphoning off her own Energon supply. Clearly not a Decepticon feeling.

She felt such comfort with it so close to her Spark chamber, however. She clicked gently to it as it fed, and soon found it unresponsive. Instantly thinking something might be wrong, she did a scan and she found it had gone into recharge. Apparently the birth had taken a lot out of it. Hell, it had taken a lot out of them both, including her own armor. She smiled again when she felt it snuggle up to her Spark chamber.

She knew she was weak and tired and needed to leave this place. She also knew that she would need the time for her body to replace the missing metal from her own body. It would only be a matter of time before this entire place was swarming with Autobot scum, something she surely did not want. Slowly she transformed, careful not to hurt the precious being within her subspace. She made sure the Sparkling was moved to her interior as she did so where it would be safe. She then positioned herself towards the front of the building and spun her tires hard. Gaining speed, she suddenly broke through the wall and sped off, throwing dirt and stones everywhere. She barely saw the Autobots standing around and with any luck a large rock would hit the Autobots, not that it would slow them down. Barricade prayed that they would not chase her down as she decided to find another place to hide and now… now raise her new Sparkling.

Well she ran up into the light surprised
Her arms are open
Her mind's eye is
Seeing things from a
Better side than most can dream

Not So Nimble Seekers

It might be of little wonder what brought on the events that followed after Sam had stumbled upon in the warehouse. It could be blamed on the yellow car that had abandoned the boy at his girlfriends. It could be the girlfriend for keeping the boy longer than she should have. It could be the boys fault for choosing that particular path home. But one thing was for certain, to truly understand the future occurrences that promised to follow, one would have to understand all that is Barricade.

First of all, Barricade is a Decepticon. A Shock Trooper, to be exact, sworn in under the Decepticon oath. Perhaps it was in mocking ire that the enforcer did so, being that that oath could never amount to much since Decepticons deceived each other with as much demented passion as they did to their own enemy. It could make one wonder what was really going on in that army though. Make one wonder, indeed, what secrets lay just within the shadows embrace.

So it should be no surprise that this deception is exactly what Barricade took advantage of. For he had something to hide. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a ‘dog eat dog’ world in particular for this Decepticon, it was ‘dog is gonna kill you or worse if they find out’ world. So, Barricade gave no hints about his current unorthodox situation. In fact, he avoided the idea completely. After all, it had been a complete accident in the first place.

Apparently, it was a really important accident, though.

This ‘accident’ took place when all of the Decepticons first arrived on planet Earth, and Starscream had gotten just a little too close to Shock Trooper when they were still in Proto-form. So, as luck would have it, the Seeker was not too nimble on his legs, giving way to Barricade’s rather unwanted and unexpected situation. Starscream, personally, blamed it on the smaller mech for being a klutz when he landed on him. Apparently, it hadn’t even registered in the Seeker’s mind what had truly transpired for those few seconds that they were in such close proximity.

And they say Starscream was a scientist? As if…!

But, Barricade felt it. At least he knew he felt something. Whatever that something was, he wasn’t entirely sure. In all actuality, it never even crossed his processors that something might be up when his Spark output rate suddenly increased, being that he was crushed at that particular moment. Yet, in the end, he just blamed it on the planet itself. It had to be the planet and its scummy atmosphere, after all.

Then, some time later after the Starscream incident, Barricade was presumed ‘dead’ during the war for the Allspark after he mysteriously disappeared. Some said that he and a bridge pillar had close encounters of the third kind, resulting in his most unfortunate demise. Others would say that one of the Autobots killed him while no one was looking.

… The Autobots must really think highly of themselves to be in two places at once. Barricade had to laugh at that one. And who had done him in, supposedly? The yellow brat? Now that was laughable.

But, on the other hand, Barricade could go along with that. If he was thought dead by both factions, he wouldn’t have to participate in a now meaningless war. He had done his job by finding LadiesMan217. Besides, if this is what others wanted to believe, which would mean they would leave him the frag alone, it was fine with him. Especially with that last close encounter he had to Mr.-I-can’t-stand-on-my-own-two-feet.

Primus knows what would have happened if the flier had been a little more intelligent about the situation. All Barricade could do was silently thank Primus that his secret hadn’t been found out, a rather big secret at that. A secret he wouldn’t even admit to his fellow Decepticons. The only one who even suspected it was Frenzy, although the spindly little mech didn’t bother to ask about it. Perhaps Primus was smiling down on him when Frenzy killed himself over his own stupidity, because now, no one would know.

No one knew that behind their prized Shock Trooper, one of the best Hunters in the Decepticon forces, a secret shivered like a mocking mass. But Barricade really wasn’t as disguised as one might think. He wasn’t dressed to hide his secret at all, for he had nothing to hide from. He had chosen the particular armor during his days in Vos. Such armor served him well, and apparently hid his gender a little too well. Besides, Decepticons were far too busy for sparkling rearing, so it never even crossed his mind as to what it meant to be of his particular gender. If anything, it was considered taboo. Decepticons weren’t meant to have hearts.

So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that when the Mission City battle took place, Barricade had made himself scarce. It wasn’t because he didn’t want to fight by the others’ sides or his need to keep his particular secret a secret; it was more of an overlying protocol within his processors. He figured he needed a virus scan, and besides, he wouldn’t be much use to the Decepticon cause if he was infected and couldn’t fight. The Decepticons could shove it up their tailpipes if they really expected him to put himself in that sort of danger for them. True, the Decepticons would probably have his head for deserting them like that, but he really couldn’t find it in his spark to care.

He did slightly worry though when he finally did hear about Megatron, Brawl, Blackout and Bonecrusher’s demise. The Shock Trooper knew damned well that he was unaccounted for and the insects of this planet would certainly be hunting for him, and probably try to dissect him as well. He could only imagine what the Autobots would do should they get their greasy hands on him! The guise of a cop car was rather helpful now, not just to blend in but to make sure that if he had to run, the puny fleshlings on the road would pull over and give him the right of way so he could escape. The bad thing was, one of the Autobots were also under the disguise of an emergency vehicle. Primus help him if that one was on his tail.

But, for now, however, he would remain as unseen as possible. His first thought was to find some place that he could hide from the others, from humanity and from the dangers of Earth itself. It was in his nature to hide, but this hiding was a bit different than his usual mode of hiding, as he had searched for days for a place he considered worthy of a nest... wait, a nest? Since when did Decepticons nest? Perhaps it was in their programming for when they became the sole survivor? Who knew?

Strangely, during his searching, he still couldn’t figure out, for the life of him why his Spark output had increased yet again to almost one and a half its normal capacity; plus, he was also going through Energon like nobody’s business. Where it was going, was anyone’s guess. The sensors around his spark chamber also started to either fail or register an unknown anomaly; however, no danger warnings came to him. This in itself, he found frightening.

He had also found the need to find a place that humans didn’t go. The less they were around, the better. He wanted to be left alone, to the Pit with mankind. To him, humans were no better than the mad scientists of Kaon and Kalis, who had done some very horrible things that he wished he could erase from his never ending memory.

Finally, for all his searching, he had finally found a hole in the wall of a city not far from Mission City. He came to the outskirts of Tranquility and a sudden thought occurred to him. Why not hide here? It isn’t like they would suspect that he would be right in the middle where the Autobots frequented. It was perfect as far as he was concerned. He knew that the Autobot sympathizer, LadiesMan217, lived here as well. What better way to keep an eye on the Autobots then in their very own territory? But, for now, all he cared about was getting some place safe so that he could be left alone. What he found was an old run down warehouse. The sheet metal on the walls was falling off and some of the windows were busted out. It didn’t look like anyone had been in it for a very long time.


Barricade listened in on different police channels once settled in his nest, bored out of his mind. For days he sat, waiting to see if any fleshling would come into the building that he had claimed as his own, and given enough time, he would claim at least a five mile radius as his own. It wasn’t a known fact that Cybertronians claimed territory – but only certain kinds of Cybertronians. It isn’t that he would kill anything that stepped into his territory, allowing humans the live their oblivious and meaningless lives, but he would get quite peeved if an Autobot or another Decepticon did.

But that begged another question. Why would he want to claim territory in the first place? It just made no sense.

As he sat, he realized that his processors had taken on a violent change in the past days as well, which grated on his nerves. The sudden changes were also indicated in his spark chamber as well. He felt the need to be very protective. But why? He didn’t know. It wasn’t as if he had anything to protect in the first place. He had only himself.

Then there was the new development where recharging was almost out of the question. He could not power down enough because some of the stupidest sounds would bring him on full alert. He even found that his spark would not rest. He cursed the issue in four different languages as he tried to resolve the problem, but the protocol stubbornly remained. How lovely.

Then there was the other issue; whenever he would hear people walk around outside of the building, he felt the sudden urge to want to attack them if they dare set foot in the building. It wasn’t like him to want to expose himself like that, but his processors overrode his need to stay hidden, apparently. Again, he tried to find a way around this erratic urge, but other protocols took precedence, making his needs for survival apparently invisible.

Days went by without incident, luckily, as he dealt with his problem. He began to wonder if he was going insane. Finally, he figured now would be a good time as ever to stretch his legs. He waited until it was evening and humans were in their sleep cycle before he transformed and took on his bi-pedal mode. Oh, how good it felt to actually move on his feet once again though he dared not leave the building, pacing within it. He was becoming restless, and the fact that he could barely recharge made him – If at all possible – even more irritable.

So, being buried in his worries of madness, his alarm was rather evident as a hand sprang up to his chest, his Spark becoming pained. In all his life, Barricade knew this was not the norm and instantly ran checks and scans, but his system told him everything was fine!

What exactly was going on around here?

Warehouses & Police Cruisers

The world in itself and the life on it is, perhaps, an unexpected accident. Earth probably did not suspected or even comprehend in its earlier years that one day her dry, barren lands would support life. But, as one can tell by the trees that tumble upward to the skyline and the soft grasses that hug the dirt, she was more than happy to embrace the little accident.

...Barricade can claim no different on the subject as well.

It had been about a month after the Autobots had made themselves known to Sam and Mikaela. To say his life was turned 'upside down' was the understatement of the century. His parents now knew that his car was actually a sentient robot, and although, at first, they were frightened of Bumblebee, they soon warmed up to him.

So, with his parents okay with his new ‘friends’, Sam had been busy with the Autobots more often than not. He actually often chose to stay at the makeshift base with them some nights rather than have Bumblebee drive him all the way home. Especially, if he was only going to return the next morning. Of course, there were times that Bumblebee had to go to base without him. Tonight was one of those cases and Sam hoped that his friend would return soon.

Sadly, his private ride hadn’t returned in time for the boy to have a ride home. So, the teen decided to rough it and walk home. Yet, it seemed that his walk that night was going to be a little more exciting than expected.

Something had caught his attention tonight, his feet stilling and his breath holding as the sound echoed from the warehouse. For a moment, the metallic nature of the sound, Sam had thought the building was going to fall down and took a step back. The boy felt a little foolish afterwards and was going to keep going when something, distinctively not ‘human’ echoed from the warehouse.

Swallowing any tint of fear, the boy found himself walking closer. It was upon this closer inspection that he noticed a collection of strange lights reflecting in the grimy windows. The nature of the moving light almost seemed to be as if someone was using a welder. Now he knew damned well that the place was not abandoned. Out of human curiosity, the boy found himself pulling closer and watching the light show with an odd fascination.

Yet, that curiosity turned to surprise and Sam stopped dead in his tracks as he heard something that sounded like a screech coming from the building. The sound alone frightened him and he jumped, startled. Deep down he couldn’t help but wonder if Decepticons were in there beating on another by the horrific pitches that were starting to come from inside the decrepit building’s clutches.

He knew better, however. All of the Decepticons had been eradicated. So, what was the noise coming from the building, he wondered.

Curiosity getting the better of him as the lights continued dance just behind the windows, and he snuck up to the side of the building, hoping to find a crack in the wall so he could peer in. If anything, he could report it to the Autobots if there were any Decepticons in the building; if not, he could at least see what was making the light show.

As he made his way down the wall, the sounds became more erratic as well as the light show; Sam could have sworn he heard what sounded like electricity zapping. The sound alone made him cringe and jump back, afraid the bolts might hit him. Then he remembered there was a wall, so hitting him was impossible. So, his safety assured, the human snuck his way back to the wall and slid across the side until he reached a door. Low and behold, there was a sufficient crack, one that he could look through and hopefully not be discovered.

Sliding into position, Sam couldn’t help but gasped when he took in the sights. There, in the empty building was the Decepticon Barricade. He had heard the Autobots say that his body was never recovered so he shouldn’t have been surprised, but the strange thing was … Barricade was alone. So why was he screaming like that? His question was quickly answered, though, when what appeared to be lightning jumped over Barricade’s form, the mech nearly collapsing in a heap.
What the hell is going on in there?’ Sam thought to himself as he hunched down to get more comfortable and to see what he could see. He knew something was going on in there and he wanted to find out what.

He wanted to rear back as he saw where the electricity was though, Barricade letting out another very alien-like screech. The teenager couldn’t tell what was going on with the Decepticon because Barricade’s back was to him. He quickly started to wonder if something was horribly wrong with the ‘Con. Another ear splitting screech, the mech’s whole form shivering as it threatening to collapse, was all Sam needed as an incentive to call the Autobots to let them in on what he had found.

“Ye-yeah, it’s freaky, I mean, there’s all kinds of lightning and he’s making these most god awful sounds!” Sam whispered into the receiver of his cell phone as he glanced back at the mech in the building and then around the area to make sure no one else was around.

“We cannot make it out tonight, Sam. Ratchet and I will come early in the morning to assess the situation with Barricade. Thank you for letting us know. Personally, we all thought he was dead or had retreated.”

Sam flipped the phone off and continued to peer in on what he was watching. If he had paid close attention, he would have seen more than just Barricade’s discomfort. It was unusually bright in there, like the light of a small sun had been revealed to the world. But he did manage to see something drop to the ground when the Decepticon fell on all fours.

The next day, Ratchet and Optimus appeared at Sam’s house, early as promised. Sam led them to where he had found Barricade the night before, his movements nervous. After a few minutes, Ratchet confirmed that Barricade was still in there, though his spark was weaker than it should be, as if it had been overtaxed. Glad to have the information, Optimus then ordered Ratchet to see what the ‘Con was up too and let him know what was going on. If something was really wrong with the mech, Ratchet would repair him so they could see about talking the ‘Con into defecting; the war being over and all.
Ratchet merely nodded at the other’s request and started to walk his way around, telling Optimus and Sam to remain where they were as he assessed the situation.

Quickly finding the doors, the medic crept inside, on guard. That guard was quickly dropped though when he caught sight of the mech in question. Barricade was huddled in the corner with his back to the medic, murmuring to himself in Cybertronian. To Ratchet, that was another sign that something wasn’t right. Barricade was most certainly injured in some way.

Ratchet slowly took another step into the building, which finally caused Barricade to turn his head and react to his presence, a snarl echoing over the confines of the building. The medic put his hands up in a sign of peace and took a step backward. Though his slight retreat, Ratchet was curious however as to why Barricade would be in this building, giving off a light show, and now huddled in a corner mumbling to himself. The medic quickly did a low rate scan on Barricade and wrinkled his nose at his findings.


At first, Ratchet had considered that Barricade might be repairing Frenzy, but he didn’t see the spindly Decepticon anywhere, nor did he pick up his signature. He took another step forward and this time Barricade turned around fiercely and knelt in the same place his back was to, growling like some feral animal. Ratchet reeled backwards when Barricade brought out his flail, the metallic weapon glinting in the dull light the building’s windows dare offer.

“Back off Autobot,” Barricade growled, spinning the flail dangerously. It was a sheer warning that if Ratchet did not heed his threat, he would wear it across his armor instead.

“What are you hiding?” Ratchet asked, scanning around the Decepticon, hoping to find a reason for his odd behavior. Usually, the ‘Con would retreat or at least attack, but he seemed to be guarding himself.

“Nothing, leave!” Barricade demanded harshly, lurching forward slightly, flinging his flail at the medic as a dangerous incentive to back off.

Ratchet continued to scan if only because of the strange behavior. It was then that he finally caught something suspicious; however, he wasn’t quite sure what it was until he ran over it with a scan again; this time using a third class scan. At first he thought he had picked up a second Spark and he had scanned again to confirm his thoughts.

As his systems told him what it was, his jaw dropped and he backed up further and turned, bolting out of the open doors. Barricade merely turned back around in his corner, feeling no threat once again.

Outside, Ratchet stood there a moment, staring at the building in shock. The Autobot leader tilted his head in question, wondering why the medic was acting the way he was. It was unusual for Ratchet to act shocked like that.
When the medic was finally able to clear his thoughts and said simply to the mech before him, “Optimus … Barricade’s a femme.”