Its Tough Being A Femme Leader: Prologue
You let a small sigh escape your lip components as you watched over the dockworkers unload the cubes of energy. Being the supervisor of this place wasnt what most bots imagined. Its the same thing everyday: new shipments of energy come in, dockworkers unload them, and you watch over them and make sure they did their job right. Sometimes the process gets tedious and boring.
You didnt like being bored, so you found ways to keep you occupied. Since there werent any particular restrictions as to how to watch over the dockworkers, you sometimes helped unload and load shipments. It gave you time to interact with other bots and get to know each worker. They found it strange for a supervisor to help them in their work, but didnt complain. You were a pleasant robot to be around, encouraging them when they needed it and breaking up fights without resorting to violence. At other times, you sit somewhere so that you werent in the way and let your mind wander. This was one of those times.
Your mind tended to think about a variety of things, granted that sometimes they were the most random of thoughts like which of the story datapads you should read tonight. Right now, though, your mind was processing information that your audio receptors caught when you headed home some orns ago.
You heard from a couple of older femmes that flying robots have been spotted in the citys skies. Tourists, perhaps? They gushed about them, saying how wonderful it would be to get to know them. You mentally smacked your head at this. What great examples of femmes they were. But the places where they were seen flying were what caught your attention: research facilities, academies, and ports. It struck you as odd that these flying robotsif they were touristswould go to those places.
You made a clicking sound with your glossa, berating yourself silently. You were probably thinking too deeply into it. Things you hear from gossiping femmes, especially ones that seem infatuated with the ones being gossiped about, arent exactly the best sources of information. So who knows if its actually right?
You stopped your thoughts when you noticed someone at the entrance from the perch you took on top of the stacked metal crates. Six mechs had just entered the warehouse. Five of them you didnt recognize and didnt look at all like any of the mechs youve seen. The last one, though, you grinned. Youd recognize that red, white and blue color scheme anywhere.
Hey, Orion! you called, waving your hand to catch his attention. Once he turned to look (as well as the other mechs), you slipped off your perch and landed on your feet without so much as a scratch. You straightened yourself out before walking over, a fist to your hip and a smirk on your lip components. Decided to slack off? I thought you knew better! For shame! At that last remark, you held up a finger and wagged it at him.
Of course not! he said, huffing a bit at your accusation. Im just showing these guys around. Seeing your curious tilted head and the five mechs equally curious looks, Orion cleared his voice transmitter before gesturing to you, This is Nebula. Shes the supervisor of this warehouse, and, he smiled at you, my sparkhood friend. Nebula, this is Silverbolt, Slingshot, Fireflight, Air Raid, and Skydive.
Your optics quickly scanned them. Interestingly enough, they look like they were built for more strenuous work than dock work. Their plating was stronger than that of a normal robots, and seemed sturdy enough to take a few dents. Your previous contemplations about the flying robots slipped back in. Were they those robots?
Hi there, you greeted cheerfully. You decided to keep your thoughts to yourself. You didnt want to act on your suspicions if they were wrong. I hope Paxy here didnt bother you too much. Primus knows, he can be a bit of a handful sometimes.
Neb! Orion cried in an embarrassed tone, glaring at you a little. It quickly melted when you laughed light-heartedly. He knew you were joking and didnt mean any harm. Dont call me that, its embarrassing.
Fine, but only when were not around the mechs, you replied, grinning. He shook his head and sighed, but he was smiling. Said mechs watched the exchange with amusement.
You two seem close, Silverbolt commented.
Like siblings. Of course, you donned on a smirk, Im the older one.
What are you talking about? Im older than you!
You sure dont act like it.
Silverbolt and his friends laughed, but cut it short when a blue and yellow vehicle drove into the warehouse. You and Orion stopped as well when you noticed the vehicle stop in front of your little group.
Thats Dion, Orion said as the vehicle transformed into a mech, Hes my best friend.
Suckering more people into doing your work for you, Orion? You hid a giggle, but the wink Dion gave you was more than enough to tell you that you did a bad job of doing so. Orion put his hands on his hips, giving the impression that he wasnt amused. Very funny.
Are you guys leaving me out again?
You let out a pseudo gasp, a hand placed on your cheek. Of course not, Ariel! Why would you ever think that we would?
A pink and white femme laughed as she walked up to all of you. Its okay, I know you wouldnt ever do that.
You grinned. Ariel was another one of your sparkhood friends. You, Orion, and Ariel were practically inseparable, doing everything together and enjoying the activities together. When someone saw one of you, it was a sure bet that another one of you would be close by.
Hey Ariel, Orion greeted her with a smile. The pink femmes faceplates tinted pink with Energon before she responded with a small hi. You couldnt help but smile. Ariel had the biggest crush on Orion, yet it seems he hadnt noticed despite the obvious signs being there. Maybe he needs a kick in the processors, you thought, more than ready to do so if he continued being so oblivious.
Dions shout interrupted you before you could do anything else. The others already went off to where Dion was, leaving you muttering a bit. Guess Ill just do it in the future
you said before following the others, wondering what Dion was all excited about. You frowned when you saw the reason. Dion had spotted flying robots.
You squinted your optics to try and see better. There were three of them, and they were all mechs.
The first one you spotted was purple. Where most robots had two optics, he only had one, and it glowed in an eerie yellow as it was partially shaded by the plating that made up his nonexistent face. His left hand was replaced with some kind of blaster.
The second one was bigger than the first one. A pair of red visors hid his optics from view, and a mask covered his mouth and nose. He appeared to be the silent type, and his indigo shade only helped to personify that.
The last one, though, stood out the most to you. Not only was he the largest of the three, he was also the brightest as most of his plating was a light gray that neared white. Attached to his right arm was a large black cannon, dangerous and imposing. In fact, the aura he emitted from his very being screamed dangerous and imposing. His blood red optics on served to intensify that feeling.
You felt a tug at the back of your CPU. This mech, whoever he was, was someone you didnt want to cross paths with.
What Id give to meet them, Orion said, obviously awed by the sight of the flying robots.
Um, Orion. Just because they have an unusual ability doesnt necessarily make them someone you want to know. You blinked at Silverbolt. Huh
Hey, go get your circuits checked, cha, those guys are the greatest. You looked at Dion with a deadpan look. How would he know if he never seen them before?
Ariel jumped into the conversation. I heard their leaders put together some kind of army and attacked one of the outer cities. Now THAT was something you didnt hear before. You mentally made a note of it.
Aw, you believe everything you hear. As much as you liked Dion, sometimes you feel like hes pretty close-minded.
Anyway, what do we care if theres a war? Theres guardian robots to take care of stuff like that!
So you say, you muttered. Orion turned to you, an optic ridge raised. You waved him off, Just talking to myself. You looked back up in the sky, where the three mechs flew by, a pensive look on your face.
Nebula? Ariel ventured.
I dont want any of you talking with those mechs.
Orion blinked. Huh? Why not?
Dion scoffed a little. This wouldnt happen to be one of those times where your CPU act up again, is it?
You diverted your now deadpan gaze on Dion. In a way, he was right; your CPU acted up whenever you felt that something wasnt right, and for the most part you have been right in trusting it. Others, like Dion, were skeptical though. Not the best way to put it, but yeah.
Dion shrunk back a little at your gaze. You looking at someone like that rarely ever happened, and when it did happen it made the robot uncomfortable. Hey, relax. Im just saying. And besides, its not like theyre coming here, right?
You sighed. What Dion said was true, but
Still, I dont want you to interact with them.
Aw, ease up, Nebula, Orion said, I think youre thinking too hard into this again.
Trust your closest friend to point that out about you. You did have a tendency to think too hard and too much into things, but its that trait that has stopped fights among dockworkers and the like.
you sighed before knocking a fist gently on your forehead, Anyway, we have fuel to unload. Orion, Ariel, Dion, get back to work.
Yes, maam! they responded before leaving. You knocked your head again. Maybe Im due for a check-up
I think you did the right thing, warning them.
You let out a small sardonic laugh before turning your head to look at Silverbolt. Most bots think Im either thinking too much or just being paranoid.
You probably are, Slingshot interjected before Silverbolt hissed at him to be quiet. You laughed, waving Slingshots remark off. Its just that, I want everyone around me to live happily and peacefully, so I take it upon myself to make sure that they dont do anything theyll regret in the future. Sure, were in the Golden Ages, but thats because our ancestors worked long and hard for it. So I think its only right that we do whatever it takes to maintain this peace not only for ourselves, but also for the ones who died fighting for it.
Silence. You suddenly realized that you probably ran your voice transmitter more than you should have. You grinned sheepishly as you rubbed the back of your head. Ah, sorry, mustve have bored you guys, huh?
No, not at all, Silverbolt was quick to respond, Thats very noble of you, to think about your peers, and honor your ancestors that way.
Your grin turned to a more light-hearted one. Just doing what I think is right. You ran a scan at your chronometer before letting out a small sound of annoyance. I better get going, theres still work to be done around here, and I cant leave the workers alone for too long. Sorry about leaving you guys hanging.
Thats fine, Fireflight said, a reassuring smile on his face, We can take care of ourselves. You just go do what you have to do.
You nodded. It was nice meeting you guys. And, with a smile and a small wave, you went back into the warehouse.
***Several Breams Later***
Something was off. REALLY off. You didnt know what, but your processors were practically buzzing. So you ran to wherever your senses were telling you. As you ran, you started feeling dread in the pit of your Spark. You never felt that way before with some exceptions, what couldve caused it? The answer came immediately after you thought the question.
Orion and Ariel
You picked up speed. Your feet led you back into the warehouse where the energy was stored-
A blast, and a cry of pain.
Your optics widened as you saw Orion get shot in the shoulder. The perpetrator
was the white flying mech you saw breams ago. You tried to scream, but your voice transmitter seems to have frozen.
Leave him alone! you heard Ariel cry before running at the white mech.
Another blast, swift and unhesitant. Ariel was reduced to a crumpled heap. Your systems felt like they were slowing down, unable to keep up with what was happening.
In his rage, Orion attacked. He and you shared one thing: protectiveness for friends. However, he did not have the restraint you had when it comes to taking care of the ones responsible. He just rushes in without thinking things through. So when the white mech raised his cannon and fired, he was unprepared for the blast.
A short cry of pain
it didnt come from him.
Orions optics widened further than they did when he realized that the cannon was trained on him a second time. N
You didnt know when it happened or how it happened.
You, despite the state of utter shock you were in, had somehow ran all the way from the opposite side of the warehouse to the middle of the fray. You werent thinking, and in a morbid satisfaction were glad that you didnt.
Lying on your back, your arms splayed, the right side of your Spark casing blown open and leaking Energon, you weakly tilted your head up to look at Orion. You couldnt see his face clearly; you were slipping between online and offline.
You offlined before an anguished and furious scream pierced the air.
You onlined, but judging from your current status you knew that you wouldnt stay that way for long. The first thing you knew for certain was that you werent in the warehouse anymore. The bright lights that blinded you further told you that much. The second thing you knew was that Orion was somewhere near you, damaged as well, but not as severely as you. You knew it was he; after so many years together, youve developed a sort of sense that told you where your sparkhood friends were. You mentally reprimanded him. He hadnt listened to your command and got himself hurt.
You idly wondered where you were and how you got here, and how long until you deactivated. You were prepared for the worst, as you knew that if your wound wasnt treated soon, you wouldnt be a part of the functioning for long.
Just then, an unknown presence came to your side. You couldnt see who or what it was, but you kept calm. It wouldnt do you any good if you panicked, especially in the state you were in.
Lets hope my plans are successful, for you, your friends
And for all the Autobots. You felt something (a hand?) approach your wound.
Suddenly, with strength that you didnt know you hid, you grabbed whatever was approaching you. Upon touching, you felt worn metal, a sign of age, and judging from the structure, a wrist. You turned your head painfully towards the medics face.
you coughed, R-repair
My dear, your Spark chamber is almost destroyed. If I dont repair you now, you may not survive.
! you hissed vehemently, mostly likely startling the mech, Him
Your friends life or yours, you would gladly choose his without hesitation.
The mech seemed to have felt that desire as he put a hand over yours. Very well, I will repair him first before you. So please, hang on
Satisfied, you let yourself offline again.
To choose another robots life over her own
Alpha Trion whispered as he placed the young femmes hand back to her side.
He felt a growing respect for this unknown femme. Taking care of others was one thing, but sacrificing ones own Spark for others is a whole different thing. It was rare for a simple dockworker to have such fierce loyalty to another.
He quickly made his way to the young mech, his tools ready. He cant let her die like this, her or her friend. They had to live for the sake of the future.
***End POV, Many Breams Later***
You felt yourself online, systems booting up, and optics slowly powering up. There were two figures towering over you, blurred because your optics had not adjusted yet. When they did, you were met with two pairs of concerned optics. When they saw that you were online, relief washed over them.
One of the pairs belonged to an old mech, colored maroon, light blue, and light gray. He had a white beard of sorts from under his nose and at his chin. Most likely, he was the one who had done the repairs. You hadnt forgotten his voice. You survived
You smirked good-naturedly before sitting up. Im tougher than most give me credit for. Whoa, your voice sounded a bit different than before. You shrugged it off though and swung your legs over the berth before slipping off. You stumbled forward a bit when your feet made contact with the floor, but blue hands steadied you by taking hold of your shoulders. You blinked. Blue hands
? Immediately, you looked up into the other pair of optics you saw.
This mech was almost as tall as the menacing white mech who almost deactivated you permanently. His upper body and arms were a fiery red as opposed to his blue head, hands, and shins and his white legs and lower body. Your optics trailed from his silver grill, his chest where two square windshields were hiding his Spark from view, his long blue antennae that stuck up from the sides of his head, and his white mask that hide his mouth and the tip of his nose from view. You should have been startled when you saw this mech, yet you felt strangely calm. His presence was a warm welcome after all that has happened. Just who was he?
When your optics connected with his, though, you knew the answer. Gasping softly, you raised a hand to his face, fingertips barely brushing his mask.
You were sure that he smiled sadly before nodding. You almost rebooted. This mech in front of you was Orion Pax? The same Orion Pax that was your sparkhood friend? You thought that your systems were going to short-circuit. Im sorry, Nebula
His voice, it was so deep now. You were right; I should have stayed away from Megatron. But I didnt. I led him to the warehouse without question. If I heeded your warning, this wouldnt have happened
Hes blaming himself for this, you thought, also noting that Megatron was the name of the white mech, typical Orion. When your friend did something he regretted, he took regretting to a big level. You grabbed hold of your senses. This wasnt the time to be shocked or guilty. So you did the one thing to snap him back to reality: you smacked him on the head. Or tried to. He wasnt the same height as you anymore, so the highest you got to was his chin. It still did the trick as he turned surprised optics on you.
Nows not the time. Megatron is still out there, wreaking havoc. Are you just going to stand there and wallow in depression, or are you going to do something about it? He looked at you silently for a few nano-kliks, but you knew you got through to him.
You smirked. Arent I always?
Excuse me. Oops, you had forgotten all about the elder mech. But if youre going to stop Megatron, then I suggest you make haste. You quickly dropped your humor for the moment. Right. First things first, well need weapons.
Ive already prepared them, he gestured to a table behind him. Three different weapons laid there, pristine and untouched. One was a large black rifle, its form promising powerful shots that would render the opponent incapacitated or worse. Another was a black gatling gun, its size slightly bigger than the rifle. The last one was white and appeared to be a short sword, but half of its blade is missing.
You picked up the gatling gun. You raised an optic ridge. It was lighter than you estimated, as you only needed one hand to hold it up. When you took aim at invisible enemies, you found the action natural as if youve done this before. You grabbed the sword with your free hand, studying it. You found a switch on it, and then it clicked in your head. It was a sword that generated destructive waves that formed the blade of the sword. It certainly explained why it only had half of the blade. Giving it a few test swings, you felt the same naturalness you felt when you held the gun. Orion held the rifle up, carefully inspecting the weapon. His surprised optics were all you needed to know that he, too, shared your reaction to your weapons.
Out of the blue, you let out a hollow laugh. At both mechs questioning looks, you explained, I never imagined to be put in this kind of situation. To have to fight to survive
you shivered a little, Its
scary. You may be tougher than most femmes, but you still had your fears. Most of the time you pushed them down and out of the way. But after being so close to deaths door and experiencing cruelty firsthand, your grip on yourself was slipping.
Orion put a hand on your shoulder. It is scary, he admitted, But we cant let it get to us; Megatron must be stopped before there are more innocent victims. At this, he squeezed your shoulder reassuringly. Youre not alone, Nebula. I am with you.
That was all you needed before you steeled yourself. Yes, Orion was here with you
Orion and Ariel-
Your optics widened. Ariel
She was still injured and back at the warehouse! You quickly rounded at the mech who repaired you. Sir! My friend, Ariel, shes-!
Settle down, your friend has informed me already. I sent droids out to fetch her while I repaired you.
As quickly as your panic came, it left. Oh thank Primus
you whispered. You felt like kicking yourself in the aft. You had almost forgotten your important friend. While you knew it was because of whats happened, you still didnt forgive yourself. Suddenly, you backtracked. Wait, Optimus
Ah yes, you dont know yet, the elder said to himself before looking at you, The two of you are the first of the warrior robots to be built. Since you were rebuilt entirely, I gave you new names that would suit your new selves.
Ah, so Orion Pax is now Optimus
It was a good, strong name for him. So, enlighten me, what is my name now?
The old mech smiled. Your new designation, Nebula, is
The new name was forever printed in your Spark.
***A Cycle Later***
The battle against the Decepticons was long and arduous. You never fought before in your life, yet your new body seemed to know what it was doing. Each blast from your gatling gun and each slash from your blade were fatal. Optimus shared your same state, as each shot from his rifle struck true.
And both of you had the same hollow feeling. You felt nothing but pain with each Decepticon you took down. They may have killed innocents without remorseperhaps even enjoying ityet you couldnt feel any sense of satisfaction when they fell from one of your attacks. All you felt was the weight of carrying the memory of taking a fellow robots life.
But you kept fighting. You had to, if not for yourself, but for other innocents who fell under the Decepticons.
Only when Megatron ordered a retreat did you let yourself feel accomplished. His scathing glare at you and Optimus only made that feeling grow.
He was the cause for this war, this senseless fighting and killing. Never had you felt such hatred to another robot.
Theres a first time for everything, you thought begrudgingly as you hurried back to the lab you were repaired in, Optimus following close behind. Both of you were worried about what happened to Ariel, and hoped that the operation was successful.
When the two of you reached the lab, you openly gaped. Her new body was taller, her head reaching Optimuss shoulder, and you could tell that there was a hidden power in here that would have put mechs to shame. Aside from this and her new star-like head, there werent drastic differences like Optimuss. She was still the same sweet pink-and-white femme that you grew up with.
Ariel, Im so glad youre all right, Optimus was the first to approach.
I am also glad to see that you are safe, Optimus, her voice was more mature now, but it suited her new form, You and Nebilus. And like you, Alpha Trion has given me a new name. I am now Elita-1.
Interesting name, to say the least. When the two of them realized that you didnt join in the reunion, they turned their attention to you. You were still gaping, your optics wide and mouth slightly ajar. Their expressions became worried.
At Elita-1s voice, you finally responded. You two are tall! The three of them jumped a little at your shout. You glared lightly at Alpha Trion. We used to be around the same height! How come I was rebuilt to be so short compared to them?
Pardon? the elder mech started. That was not a question that would be expected in the current situation. Then again, he didnt know you enough. Optimus and Elita-1 laughed to which you grinned before going over. Its great to see youre up and running, Elita. You gave her a hug to express your relief fully. She hugged back, feeling the same with you. After you separated you turned to Alpha Trion, smiling from audio to audio. Thank you so much, for everything.
Think nothing of it, he replied, smiling warmly, however it quickly faded into a sad frown, But Im afraid an attack like this will happen again in the near future. Megatron is relentless; he wont stop until he obtains what he desires.
So what youre saying is that he will continue to destroy cities and kill, just as he had done to our city, Optimus surmised. Alpha Trions nod was all the confirmation needed.
Everyone turned to face you. Your body was tense and your dental plates and hands were clenched tightly, your eyes glaring at the image of Megatron in your mind. Imagining all the cities all Cybertron destroyed, all the lives of those innocent civilians extinguished, just for that Decepticon to get what he wants, all for that one Decepticons selfishness, was enough for your hatred for him to grow. Im not going to let it happen
Im wont let Megatron do as he pleases!
I thought you might say that, Alpha Trion interrupted before you could continue, Thats why I wish to talk about a certain matter with you, Nebilus.
You blinked. Me? What did you want to talk about with me? He didnt answer. Instead, he pulled something out from his subspace pocket under his cape and held it up for all of you to see. You gasped softly.
What was in Alpha Trions hands was indescribable. It appeared to be a talisman of sorts, comprising of an orange container that was held together byfrom what you can telllight gray handles. Inside the container was a blue crystal, glowing mysteriously from its confines.
Alpha Trion held it out for you. You blinked numbly, pointing at yourself asking You want me to hold it? When he nodded, you raised your shaking hands up. Funny, why would your hands be shaking?
Just as the talisman was put into your hands, your mind was suddenly assaulted by images. You were only half-aware of new strength seeping into your core from the talisman as your CPU worked overtime, trying to piece together everything you were seeing behind your optics.
The leaders of the Autobots
The downfall of leaders
The succession of each leader
Your optics widened as you realized what was passed down from leader to leader.
The Matrix of Leadership
The very same talisman you held in your hands.
The images vanished as abruptly as they came. You couldnt stop shaking. No
Rise, Nebilus Prime
A deep voice rumbled, trailing off.
Your friends gasped. You felt like your CPU crashed. You and your sparkhood friends knew what the name Prime stood for. It was the name for the leader of the Autobots.
Which meant that the Matrix of Leadership chose you as the new leader.
N-no! you cried, shaking your head furiously. I cant be the new leader! I just cant be! Just cycles ago, you were just a regular supervisor over a dock. Then you were a warrior robot. Now, youre the leader of the Autobots? Things were getting to be too much to handle.
Optimus had never seen you so panicked before. You always had a good head on your shoulders no matter what kind of situation you were in. Now you were like a petro-rabbit facing a horde of hungry turbo-foxes. Seeing you so scared pulled at his Spark. He had to help you somehow. And I will.
I cant do this! you continued, I dont know a thing about being a leader! I- You stopped when you felt a gentle hand on your shoulder. You turned to face Optimus. Optimus
You can do it, Nebilus, he smiled even though you couldnt see it, You have been taking care of mechs ever since you were a youngling.
Thats different! This
I have to lead an armyan ARMY, Optimus!against Megatron! you looked down, pain in your optics, Soldiers may die because of the decisions I make!
I know, Nebilus, he said softly. He put a finger under your chin and lifted your head up so that he can look into your optics, You have a kind Spark, you dont want anyone to be hurt because of what course of action you take. He became quiet, trying to find the right words to explain to you. But I know that that is not a luxury we can have now. No matter what decisions are taken now, someone will suffer, whether they be Autobot or Decepticon.
You flinched. You knew he was right, but you didnt like it. You hated the thought of having to hurt someone in order to gain something. But you knew that if Megatron and the Decepticons continued to devastate the cities, all of Cybertron is in jeopardy.
Elita-1 stepped in as well. The Autobots need someone who they can turn to in their time of need. They need a leader to take care of them, and to take care of the Decepticons. She smiled gently, her hand on your other shoulder. And I know that you are the one best suited for it.
You slowly let a smile appear on your lips. Optimus
You felt like the luckiest femme alive to have such wonderful friends. Thank you. You looked down at the symbol of leadership you held in your hands, a nervous grin on your face. Im still a little unsure, though
You have us, Nebilus, Optimus stated in a matter-of-fact tone, Elita and I will support you in anyway we can.
Its the least we can do for all the things youve done for us in the past, Elita-1 added.
You felt like your face was splitting from the smile you had on. You truly felt grateful to them just being there with you at that very moment.
Hmm, how odd
You almost jumped. You completely forgot about Alpha Trions presence! Whats odd?
Its nothing to worry about, he assured when he noticed the concerned air, However normally, when a new leader is chosen, that mech-(Or femme, you and Elita-1 interjected.)-Or femme will gain new strength.
Oh yeah, I did feel that, you mused, remembering that feeling when you first touched the Matrix.
Thats whats strange. You tilted your head in confusion. All the leaders in the past grew taller as they gained that power. You should have grown as well, but
You figured out why he was wondering about this. Your expression became annoyed.
Why am I still the same size?!