"Jou really need to recharge now, Allison."
The human rubbed her eyes and squinted up at the triple-changer groggily. "What makes you say that?"
Icy only chuckled and scooped the female up in his servos. "Come now, ve still have tomorrow before I must return to zhe base. Jou need to rest, mein liebe."
"Okay," she groaned. "But promise me tomorrow will be an all-nighter."
His faces switched around to Random's crimson, jagged-grinned visage. "Cross mein spark und hope to offline."
He sat down on his berth and made himself comfortable, placing Allison on his bulky chassis as he lied down. She curled up next to his warm spark chamber, letting the soothing, deep sparkbeats become her world. Her crystal eyes fluttered shut, and sleep was beginning to envelop...
She groaned softly, one eye tentatively opening. "What?"
"Back on Cybertron, ve vould tell legends to our younglings. Do humans do the same?" Icy asked, more to himself than to her.
"Sometimes. My parents used to tell me some. My favorite was "The Ugly Duckling," but it's sort of sad."
"It... iz not familiar to me."
"I wouldn't imagine it is. I think it's an Earth thing." She paused for a second. "Why, did you want to hear it?"
Now the glaring crimson light of Hothead's visor shone on the human. "Und vhy on Earzh vould I vant to listen to a sparkling's berthtime story? Do I look like a youngling to jou?"
Resisting the urge to point out that the way he was pouting was quite sparkling-like, Allison shook her head. "I never said that. Besides, you always complain about how you're so restless. Maybe it'll help...?"
The mech sighed, his visor darkening as he closed his optics. "Very vell. Go on."
"Well, it all started with a mother duck was waiting for her eggs to hatch--"
"Vhat iz a duck, again?" Icy interjected.
"A bird that swims in the water. Anyway, she was waiting for her eggs to hatch. Eventually, they did, and beautiful, fluffy yellow ducklings filled up her nest. But, she noticed that one egg hadn't hatched yet. She waited for a moment longer... And then it started to crack open. But the duckling that came out was a little different. He was still fluffy, but not nearly as fluffy as the others. He was all white, and honked instead of quacked. The mother had no idea what had happened--"
"Und vhy iz it significant zhat the vone youngling vas a different color und sounded different?"
"I'm getting to that. She realized that the duckling was different, and that he probably wasn't even one of her own. The duckling didn't even know what he looked like, though. He'd never seen a reflection. Then the mother started to shout at the little thing, calling him "the ugly duckling" and forcing him to leave the family. So the duckling ran away, and he finally got to the water and saw his reflection."
Blitzwing felt a sudden jolt in his processor as it flooded with memories.
"V-Vhere... am I...?"
"Welcome back to reality, Blitzbrain." Blackarachnia sneered. "I thought for a minute the procedure hadn't worked. Too bad."
The mech roared with anger and struggled against his binds to the examination table. "JOU LET ME GO ZHIS IN-" he paused. "--Stant?"
That didn't sound like his voice at all. Sure, the accent still matched, but he was sure that he never sounded so gruff...
In an instant, the world almost seemed to spin. After a second of hesitation, he spoke again.
"M-my... systems feel different." Ah, there was his voice. Perhaps just an error.
"Just a side effect," Blackarachnia said nonchalantly. "Congratulations, Three-Face. You're a triple-changer now."
"Zhree-Face? Vhy do jou call me zhat?-- ARE JOU INSULTING ME?-- Ooh, are ve at ze nickname stage already? Bwahhaha!"
No. There was ANOTHER error. Since when did he cackle? He would definitely need to check about getting his speech synthesizer fixed...
"Right, that OTHER side effect."
"VHAT ZHE SLAG ARE JOU TALKING ABOUT?!"
"See for yourself, Blitzbrain."
She lowered a sheet of metal to his face, letting him catch his reflection.
A visored, wide-jawed crimson face stared back at him. A tiny gasp caught in his vocal chords, before the face... CHANGED. That dizzying spinning sensation returned. As soon as he got his vision back, the face was gone. In its place was a jet-black face, with a jagged, glowing, crimson grin.
"OOOOH! I got a makeover!" it cackled.
The sensation returned once more, oh, that awful sensation... And his ice-blue face gazed fearfully at the sheet of metal before him.
And... where was his other optic?!
The monocle-like feature buzzed as it zoomed in on the reflection.
Three voices screamed out in horror.
"--And the duckling decided to find another family."
"Welcome to the Decepticon ranks, Blitzwing. Serve your cause well."
He ran a servo over the insignia over his spark chamber, letting his digits feel the grooves it created in the metal.
So this is what it felt like to be a Decepticon. He couldn't say it felt half bad, either. Well, the branding still stung quite a bit, but it felt nearly liberating.
He caught a glimpse of the Cybertronian night sky, optic glittering as he scanned the cosmos.
The Autobots would perish for leaving him behind. For the glory of Megatron, they would all pay.
Getting out of his pensive state, he began to make his way back into the base. He had been told that his new partner would show him to his designated quarters...
A few snickers met his audios. Immediately, his gaze snapped toward the source of the derisive sound.
The second-in-command and another seeker were huddled together, occasionally glancing at the triple-changer and guffawing amongst themselves.
"Und vhat is zo amusing, Commander?" the cold personality spat, his wings twitching in annoyance.
The seeker only continued to snort to himself, answering with an unrelated question. "Y-You must have a Pit of a helmache!"
Blitzwing's one optic blinked in confusion. "Excuse me?"
"How come you have three faces? Couldn't decide which was the ugliest?" the other seeker jeered, clutching her sides as she laughed.
Oh no, the spinning again...
"VATCH JOUR GLOSSA BEFORE I TEAR IT OUT!" Hothead roared, balling his servos into fists.
"Uh-uh-uh, my dear defect, I'm afraid you cannot lay a digit on your superiors. Now report to your quarters," the magenta demon smirked.
Blitzwing's entire frame trembled as he did his best to restrain himself. After a moment, Icy's calm visage returned, speaking through grit denta.
"But everywhere he went, he never seemed to fit in. Eventually, he had gone through pretty much every bird family along the lake. No one would accept him or even seem to see that he existed. He sat on a rock and started to cry... But it seemed that there was one family he missed."
Blitzwing held his helm in his servos, finished with nursing his dented chassis from where Starscream had pounded him so viciously. He had told himself that going back to confront Starscream was a terrible idea, but something inside him just cried for vengeance.
Bad decisions seemed to be yet another side effect. When would that list end?
He gently rubbed the sides of his helm, the faint sound of the door to his quarters sliding open reaching his audios. His helm snapped up in alarm, expecting to see Starscream or that devilish femme he had with him, but a different sight met his optic instead.
A dark green, bulky, hulking monster of a mech gazed down upon the triple-changer, one giant red optic blinking almost inquisitively. His pincher-like mouthplates opened to let his gravelly voice out.
"You have already found your quarters," he observed.
"Danke for stating zhe obvious," Icy replied irritably, continuing to rub his sore helm.
He seemed to ignore the triple-changer's venemous reply. "You are the new recruit designated Blitzwing, are you not?"
"Ja... vhat of it?"
"My designation is Lugnut, another faithful servant to the glorious might of Megatron. I have been assigned as your accompaniment for the next missions."
Blitzwing truly looked up for the first time, looking Lugnut in the optic. That big, round optic... Just like his monocle. It showed no ill will. Not like Starscream's or that demon femme Blackarachnia's. Just the intention to seek out his partner.
With a whirring click, his Random visage dominated. "Oooh, zo I am zhe brains und jou are zhe muscle, ja?"
The other mech jumped noticeably, but said nothing. Blitzwing noted this in the back of his processor, eventually letting his thoughts slip through Icy's voice.
"Jou are... not... afraid?"
"I see no reason to be." Lugnut turned and began to stomp out of the doorway. "Come. The Master calls us for an assignment."
The triple-changer awkwardly stood up and followed after him in silence, walking side-by-side with this giant new accomplice. After a moment of quiet, Lugnut spoke up.
"And perhaps later I could show you our high-grade."
For the first time in cycles, Blitzwing smiled.
"And the swan and the beautiful cygnet lived happily ever after."