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Fic: Missing Piece

I wrote a thing! Dragged painfully from my brain, sentence by sentence over the last month, in between trying to be more politically active (which I find drains the creativity out of me like being covered with several worrisome, creativity-draining leeches - still trying to find a happy balance). Also, trying to flesh out six OCs, even if just a little, is hard! Soooooo rusty, but hopefully it makes sense - Happy almost New Year :)

Title: Missing Piece
Universe: Project Reset, Librariobots
Rating: K
Characters: Quig (OC), Librariobots (OCs), Optimus Prime, Prowl, Streetwise, hatchling Jazz
Summary: Optimus was told he was an orphan, the only survivor of his clutch. Many vorns later, he learns he was told wrong.
Word Count: 3858

Ao3 link to Librariobot Beginnings if you need a refresher on the backstory

“Welcome to Earth,” Optimus said, his blue optics glowing warmly on these newest arrivals, despite his distraction. Prowl nodded his own welcome, no doubt already briefing this group of neutrals on local accommodation protocols, while also coordinating the search for their missing hatchling. “My apologies for the delay; we had an unexpected issue which I hope will be resolved soon.”

The leader of the group was a slender mech with simple dark blue armor, who gazed up at him with an expression that Optimus couldn’t quite place. He was used to awe at meeting an actual living Prime, or exhausted relief, or variations of nervousness or suspicion from those who had reason to fear what reception they would find, but this mech’s stance and gaze seemed more along the lines of…fond pride?

“Optimus Prime,” the mech said, holding out one hand, his smile making his own blue optics glow brightly, nearly overflowing with the intensity of emotion. “Look at you. My name is Quig, and I can’t tell you…” his voice broke for a moment, and Quig shook his helm, waving a hand in apology. “I’m sorry, it’s just…I’ve worried about you for a very long time. It’s wonderful to finally meet you.”

Touched, Optimus gripped and shook the offered hand warmly, pleasantly surprised by the familiarity and lack of awestruck worshipful gazing, and impressed that Quig had already downloaded and assimilated the local human greeting rituals. He wondered also what Quig had heard to make him so emotional about this meeting. The confused and highly exaggerated accounts of events on Earth, not to mention the many improbable aspects of the truth of what had happened were enough to make anyone’s processor reel (and some of the stories had been so terrifyingly close to what could have been, to what he could have become, that Optimus had sought out several long hugging sessions with First Aid and the rest of his hatchlings when he heard them). They did their best to get more accurate information to the trickle of new arrivals before they landed, but some did better than others at assimilating it all.

Optimus shifted his attention to the six other members of Quig’s group, who varied in size from smaller than Quig to a sturdy, broad-shouldered model, at a height to meet his optics with her own steady-searching gaze. Five femmes, somewhat unusual, and tucked under the arm of one of them was the lone mech of the group. They ranged in color from dark blue to silver to an iridescent deep orange, but all shared the same turquoise accents and trim. The largest carried a massive sword, the hilt gleaming bright silver, slung casually over her back. They were all watching him with an odd shy-fierce intensity, holding back and letting Quig speak for them but seeming at the same time on the verge of bounding forward. Optimus put a hand to his chest involuntarily as his spark gave a strange happy surge. He could sense Prowl’s sudden concerned attention, but they were all distracted as Streetwise drove up to the group and transformed.

“Excuse me, hello, so sorry to interrupt,” Streetwise said, waving a hand held scanner in explanation and flashing a quick grin and wave of welcome at the new arrivals. “Optimus, Prowl sir, my apologies, but I have a theory about our missing kiddo.”

“Kiddo,” a pale blue and turquoise femme spoke, in precise, careful English, adjusting her goggles as she peered at Streetwise. “Colloquial. Affectionate term for a child. You are missing a child?”

“In a manner of speaking, yes,” Optimus explained, switching from Iacon Standard to English as well. “It’s not the first time he’s done this, but he has been missing for nearly an hour this time, and he is still very young.”

Streetwise activated the scanner and began walking slowly in a circle around Optimus, and then Prowl. Quig and his companions watched curiously.

“Ah ha! There you are, you little scraplet!” Streetwise was aiming the scanner at the top of Prowl’s helm, where a very small bronze-metal helm had appeared, peeking down at Streetwise with bright blue optics.

Optimus watched in relief and amusement as Prowl sighed and bent his helm, fishing carefully behind his chevron with one hand until he retrieved a tiny mech. “You. Were supposed to stay with Hoist and Bumblebee,” he said sternly. The bitlet squeaked with hatchling laughter as Prowl cupped him securely against his chestplates.

Quig’s mouthplates were parted in wonder, and the rest of his group murmured and grinned and scrunched up closer behind him. “A hatchling! It’s been such a long time…I’d forgotten how small they are. You spawned a clutch on Earth?”

“No, not mine, or at least, not spawned by me,” Optimus said, his spark giving that strange happy surge again as he watched Prowl watch the gleeful hatchling sheltered under his hand. Prowl’s stern frown was belied by the hint of a smile he couldn’t quite manage to hide.

“This is Jazz, my former first lieutenant, two Earth years old as of yesterday and currently chief officer of mayhem and of rusting his caretakers before their time.” At Quig’s puzzled look Optimus shook his helm. “It’s a long and improbable story, which I hope you’ll have time to hear later. This one here, however—” Optimus reached an arm out and tugged a grinning Streetwise to his side “—is one of mine, and the other four will be on base later today as well.”

“Delighted to make your acquaintance,” Streetwise said cheerfully, giving them an informal Polyhexan salute, which Quig returned, laughing.

“I’m surprised you are familiar with hatchlings,” Prowl said, seeming not to notice as Jazz squirmed out of his hand and began determinedly creeping up his chestplates. “Most of our new arrivals have never heard of them, let alone ever seen one.” There was an implied question in his voice, and Quig nodded.

“Indeed,” Quig said, looking at Optimus again. “Speaking of long and improbable stories…” he continued, “I don’t…I don’t quite know where to begin. You see…you were barely bigger than Jazz the last time I saw you. Oh, my dear little Orion,” Quig’s voice shook as he stepped forward, bowing his helm and taking both of Optimus’s hands in his own. “I’m so terribly sorry. Sentinel took you away and left the rest of your clutch behind and I was so afraid, but there was nothing I could do to stop him, and the other six they needed me, they were so tiny then, I had to save them, but I never stopped wondering and worrying about you…”

Optimus was unsure if he knelt on purpose or if his knee articulations simply gave out, but either way he found himself at a more convenient level to wrap his arms around the much smaller Quig and pull him close to his chest. “The rest of my clutch,” he said numbly. He lifted his helm from Quig’s shoulder to the five femmes and one mech, all watching him with their sparks in their optics. “Sentinel…Sentinel told me I was the only survivor.”

Streetwise moved closer, placing a hand on Optimus’s shoulder. “He lied,” he said quietly. “Again.” Optimus dropped his helm down against Quig’s small shoulder again. Streetwise watched the other six, his optics wide with wonder. “So you are…”

“In local parlance, I believe, young Streetwise, that I am your Aunt Journal,” the largest spoke, her formal phrasing at odds with her warm smile. “It is an unanticipated moment of great happiness to meet you, spark of my brother. Would it be appropriate to offer a hug? I would like to give Optimus a space to process this news before offering the same.”

Streetwise patted Optimus again, and then bounded forward with a whoop of joy. Journal laughed and bent slightly to embrace him, then straightened as Optimus stood slowly, releasing Quig and meeting her optics.

“You’re my sister,” Optimus said slowly, still sounding dazed. “I have sisters.” His hand touched his chestplates. “My spark…my spark knows you.” (Prowl, who had been watching events unfold with his usual cautious vigilance, even with a tiny hatchling nibbling on his chinplate, relaxed subtly at this statement).

“And a brother!” the blue and silver mech piped up, from his spot under the arm of a deep orange and turquoise helo-model femme. He was larger than Quig, but not by much, a thin turquoise edging to his wheel wells matching him to his sisters. “Another brother, that is. I hope…I hope Megatron, Galvatron, won’t mind too much?”

“I predict he’ll be terribly jealous for about three kliks and then he will insist that he must adopt you all at once.” Optimus shook his head slowly. “I thought the universe was done with turning my existence upside down. I am grateful to learn that I was wrong. Please…” he held out a hand, “please tell me your names.”

Journal took his hand and warmly embraced him. They were of a height so that when she spoke it was directly to his audio receptors. “I already said my name, but I’ll tell you again just in case: I am Journal”

“I am afraid it still did not process,” Optimus said with a shaky laugh, releasing her to put both hands on her shoulders and get a better look. “What is it again?”

“Journal,” she said again, smiling.

“Journal,” Optimus repeated, almost able to smile back at her.

“Together we are the Librariobots, since Quig mostly raised us in as many dusty ancient archives as he could find in the entire galaxy.”

Quig made a protesting noise from behind Optimus. “They weren’t that dusty, not all of them.”

Optimus looked down at a tap on his leg. “I’m Indexia,” said a tiny light blue and turquoise femme, her optics large behind archival goggles. “I’m recording this for posterity; please let me know if you would rather not, though, and I shall desist.”

“And I’m Lexicon, or you can call me Lex,” said another equally small femme, although she was nearly as wide as she was tall, and her turquoise trim danced across her sturdy rounded frame in intricate poetic glyphs. “Meeting you at last is like finding a language we always knew, but never heard spoken until now.”

Indexia nodded seriously. “What she said. And you can call me Dex, but only you.”

Optimus was able to manage a laugh as he knelt to embrace them. “I am honored, and delighted to meet you both, Lex and Dex.”

Optimus remained kneeling as his brother came forward. “I’m Dion,” he said, ducking his helm a little shyly. "Quig named me, and I kept my hatchling name, well, because…”

“The Chronarchitect, and the breaking of time and space in the First Age. Dion was Orion’s faithful companion,” Optimus said, with a small catch in his voice. “I know the legend. Megatron used to read it to me when I was a hatchling.”

“I can’t turn myself into a being of pure energy and hold together a rift in space-time for you,” Dion said into Optimus’s chest as he was hugged, “but I can design a room or a city or a planet or even an engineered planetary system in the styles of two thousand and eighteen different species and cultures, and tell you what materials and technology it will take to build it. I’ll need some help to actually build it though, at least anything larger than a city.”

“Noted,” Optimus said with a chuckle. He gently and reluctantly released Dion so he could greet the next two waiting to meet him.

“Hm,” Optimus, still kneeling, had to tilt his helm back to meet their optics, although neither was as tall as Journal. The deep orange and turquoise helo-model solved any potential issue by slinging an arm around his neck and sitting on his knees, planting a unselfconscious kiss on the side of his helm.

“I’m Asterisk,” she said, hugging him tightly, which Optimus returned gladly. “Oh, I have so many questions, I don’t even know where to begin! When did you have time to spawn hatchlings during the war? We tracked down every scrap of information we could find about you, and we never heard even a hint that they existed! And then I’d love to get more details about what happened to Megatron, for him to become Galvatron, if you’re comfortable sharing them; I mean, we know the important parts of course, from your transmission, but I’m sure there must be so much more to that story! And Cybertron! And…!”

A glossy black femme, her turquoise trim a striking contrast along her helm and elegant doorwings, leaned down to put her helm next to Optimus with a conspiratorial air. “She’ll talk your audios off if you let her, and never give you time to answer any of her questions.”

“It’s true, I will,” Asterisk agreed cheerfully, nodding. “Citation does a good job of keeping me in line, although her name is really more in reference to her research ethics - which are most excellent and exacting, I should note - and not for her tendency to point out my personal boundary violations, that’s just a happy coincidence.”

“So don’t be afraid to just dump her on the ground, like this,” Citation unwound Asterisk’s arm from Optimus and, with a strategic tug and twist, sent Asterisk rolling off his lap in a giggling ball of orange and rotors.

Citation bowed formally as Optimus rose. “My brother. My Prime.”

“My sister,” Optimus replied, mirroring her formality as he bowed back, commander to equal. “And, my friend?” Citation scanned her optics up and down his frame, hands on hip articulations.

“You. Are every bit as wonderful as I imagined,” she said severely, sounding almost cross about it. “I couldn’t let myself believe it, not without hard evidence, but here you are. You are real, we can finally know you, after all this time. I would like a hug, too, please, for final confirmation.”

She held out her arms, a bit of a smile quirking the edges of her mouthplates. “For scientific confirmation, of course,” Optimus said, his optics mirthful as he bent slightly and arranged his arms around her doorwings with the ease of long practice.

“Jazz, what do you want now?” They all looked over at a flurry of hatchling squeaks and beeps coming from the vicinity of Prowl’s shoulder. A pair of tiny claws waved, just visible over his armor.

“He wants Optimus hugs, too, don’t you Jazzlet,” Streetwise interpreted.

“Ah, of course,” Prowl nodded and dipped his shoulder slightly to let Streetwise scoop Jazz up and transfer him to Optimus. Jazz squeaked and trilled in happy hatchling fashion as Optimus hooked him to his chestplates and patted him very gently.

“I see you’re in serious need of refueling, my very small saboteur,” Optimus said, unlatching a compartment on his side to pull out a nozzle. “You’ll have to remember to plan your missions to include adequate provisions, next time.”

“An integrated hatchling feeding system!” Quig said, moving closer to peer in fascination as Jazz wrapped both claws around the nozzle and drank contentedly, cradled in Optimus’s hand so he could still watch everything going on, although the dimming of his optics suggested he’d likely be in recharge as soon as his meal was finished. “What a completely marvelous concept! Is it unique to Primes, or…?”

“Nope, anyone can get them installed, although they can be a big drain on your spark, so you do have to be careful with them.” Streetwise explained, pulling out his own nozzles to demonstrate. Citation pulled out a small scanner and took some readings, murmuring in appreciation at the design. “We’ve got portable feeding cubes as well, but for very young first instar bitlets like Jazz the freshly circulated hatching grade seems to process the best.”

“When I think of the struggle it was to keep you six adequately fueled and fed,” Quig said, shaking his helm and looking at the Librariobots fondly.

“I can only imagine,” Optimus said, smiling. “I know someone you should compare notes with. Thank you, Quig, for saving my…my sisters, my brother.”

“Oh, well…there was nothing else to be done you see,” Quig ducked his helm, embarrassed. “I can’t imagine my life without them.”

“Aw, Quig,” Asterisk and Dion hugged him from either side, and he patted their armor fondly.

"So…you have more hatchlings, then, more than just young Jazz?” Quig said, a hopeful note in his voice.

“Whoo, do we have hatchlings!” Streetwise clapped Quig on the back, laughing. “We’ve got hatchlings coming out our audio components around here, just wait until you see them all.”

“Wherever I can best be of service to you, Optimus, of course, and I don’t wish to presume, but…”

“As a hatchling caretaker, I’m certain that you are more than qualified,” Optimus told him. “Your help would be most welcome. In fact it is difficult to escape some sort of hatchling duty,” he cautioned. “Our resources are stretched here on Earth, and everyone does their part.” No one looked alarmed by this news in the slightest.

“Shall we get you settled in quarters?” Prowl suggested. “Optimus has no further duties for the day, so he is free to accompany you. I’m sure you all have many stories to exchange.”

“What happened to my duties?” Optimus asked, sounding puzzled, as he put away his feeding nozzle and cradled a sleepy Jazz to his chestplates.

“I’m sure I have no idea,” Prowl said innocently.

“Psst, Journal, the sword!” Indexia poked her larger sister in the hip. “Should we do that first?”

Journal blinked and straightened. “I’d nearly forgotten! I’ve carried her so long…” she reached around and effortlessly drew the great sword at her back. “My Prime,” she said, going down on one knee before Optimus and presenting the sword to him, light gleaming from its surface.

Lexicon came up beside her, one hand on her shoulder. “Optimus Prime, Bearer of the Matrix and our long lost brother, we present to you the sword of Nexxus Prime, the Star Saber, which destroys evil not through violence, but knowledge. That’s what it says on the scabbard anyway,” she added, discarding her formality in favor of a slightly sheepish smile. “We haven’t been able to figure out how exactly it might do that.”

“It’s also what the ghost of Nexxus Prime said,” Asterisk interjected, “but he didn’t give any instructions either.”

“You met Nexxus Prime! So did First Aid,” Streetwise said excitedly, “my brother, when we all almost died. Groove will be so excited - he’s another brother.”

“He said we were of his lineage, so that would mean you are too,” Citation said, nodding.


Optimus lifted the sword from Journal’s hands and held it aloft with one hand for a moment, then slashed it through the air a few times, still cradling Jazz against his chest with his other hand. They all made appreciative sounds at this show of strength, and Jazz woke from his doze to squeak with wonder and reach for it with tiny claws.

“Not for you, small one,” Optimus said in amusement.

“What does it look like to you?” Indexia asked.

Optimus raised an optic ridge at her question, but held the sword straight in front of him, looking it over closely. “Dark grey, with silver glyphs - I don’t recognize the metal. Battered, and parts of it almost look as if they’ve been melted and reforged.”

Prowl looked startled. “I see clear crystal, traced with glowing red fissures of light.”

“Huh,” Streetwise said, blinking. “It just looks…pink, to me.”

“I know, right?!” Dion said. “Pink, that’s what I keep telling everyone.”

“On occasion it turns into a data slug, too, or a crystal key, so don’t panic if you are unable to see it at first,” Journal told Optimus, rising. “Usually it’s there if you turn the scabbard upside down and shake it a little. My theory is it just works by being weird and everyone gets so preoccupied attempting to unravel the mystery they forget to be evil.”

“Don’t worry,” Citation said, as Optimus prudently shifted the sword to his other hand as Jazz crawled down his arm in an attempt to reach it. Jazz gave a frustrated squeal and began making his way back up Optimus’s arm. “It won’t hurt anything that’s alive, no matter how hard you swing it. I doubt even a curious hatchling would come to harm.”

“It does make short work of duryllium walls when you’re being chased by angry K’Baxian tunnel snakes though,” Quig added.

“Ah,” Optimus said, nodding nonchalantly although both optic ridges were held high. “I appreciate the information. Nevertheless, it never pays to underestimate small Jazz here. My sister, would you carry it for me yet a little longer? I still feel…it may be some time before I am worthy to bear another sword, even one such as this.”

“Of course, Optimus,” Journal said easily, asking no questions. She took the sword and returned it to the scabbard at her back. “For as long as you like, I will be honored to carry it in your service.”

Streetwise was watching Optimus with a small frown of concern, and Optimus wrapped his free arm, the one not occupied with Jazz, around his neck affectionately. Jazz burbled unhappily at the loss of the big shiny sword. “I’m not about to start wallowing, don’t worry, Streetwise. I’m just…not ready for swords again just yet.”

“We all have many tales to tell,” Quig murmured, watching them.

“Some more difficult than others, for my part,” Optimus acknowledged, “but you shall hear them all, if you wish it.”

Streetwise leaned against Optimus, sighing. “I’d better go. Aid wants to check the Jazzmeister here over, if I can pry him away from you, and Barricade’s requesting back up. The hatchlings figured out how to pry up one of the floor panels and now they’re under the Retribution somewhere mounting a rescue mission for Jazz - he’s gotten three of them to come out, but the rest are still in there.”

“Could you use any assistance with the hatchlings?” Quig asked hopefully, and the rest of the Librariobots nodded eagerly. “Our quarters probably aren’t going anywhere.”

“They love meeting new people!” Streetwise said enthusiastically. “If that doesn’t lure them out from under the floorboards, nothing will. Give me half a breem to clear it with Barricade, though. He’s not big on surprises.”

Streetwise bounded off, and Optimus stroked Jazz until the somewhat cranky hatchling finally went back to recharge. They talked companionably of hatchlings and Barricade and Earth until they got the go ahead from Streetwise, and then headed in the direction of the base and the Retribution.

“Welcome home,” Optimus said, his optics warm with happiness as he turned to lead the way, his rediscovered family close behind him, on their way to meet the other parts of his family on Earth. “Welcome to your home.”

This entry was originally posted at http://playswithworms.dreamwidth.org/178829.html. Please comment wherever you wish.


( 6 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 31st, 2016 01:38 am (UTC)
Love it! Optimus finally meeting his siblings, and what a group!
Dec. 31st, 2016 05:42 pm (UTC)
Re: Squee!
Glad you enjoyed it! It's a bit ridiculously happy and silly, perhaps, but I apologize for nothing! ;)
Jan. 2nd, 2017 06:26 am (UTC)
ALSKGHALDKSGHAL;DGHAO;GHAEIORTAHEG;HAERKLF1!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I proper love you.
Out of town for the weekend and I come back to WONDERFULNESS!!!!!!!!! I don't wanna go back to work tomorrow, but I'll be happy anyway, with this in my heart. <333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333
(more commentary later when I've regained my composure...<3)
Jan. 3rd, 2017 01:49 am (UTC)
Hee hee! *wiggles happily about*

Fossil geology earrings! OMG they are absolutely perfect! I have something to wear when I do geology classes now, and they look lovely enough to wear everywhere I love them so much! :DDDDDDDDDDDDDD
Aw, Princess Leia card ;_; *hugs it*
Teeny backpack, hee! With a most appropriate button inside XD
Squidit, hahhahaha! Oh niecelet and I will have fun with that - and I'll have to add the backpack to my "fun keychain" collection.
Teeny snail, how adorable! It looks like it's supposed to fit on the end of something?
Volcano, ee hee hee!
Invisible Inkpen, whoa, cool - I always wanted one of these! :D
Robot legs socks! And butterfly socks with caterpillars! They're both so neato I may actually wear MATCHED socks for the first time in years, lol
Bear Police ornament! Barricade has stolen it and is now proudly driving around with it on his rearview mirror ^_^

THANK YOU *glomps* I'm having so much fun playing with all my new toys, eeee!
Jan. 3rd, 2017 04:33 am (UTC)
Oh wow, eeee! Got there p fast - and not sat on this time one hopes? ;D
(I think they're ceramic, but I love the shape!!!) <333333
...omg I picked it out before she... ;_;
I knew your robots needed a backpack! And you needed that button - I bought all they had at Evangeline's so I have one, too... XD
Oh gosh I meant to explain about the snail in the card. Oops. OK, it is a tea snail! You sit it on the edge of your mug and wrap the tea bag string around it to keep it from escaping!
Because of course you needed a pocket volcano. u.u
I have the other one... shine the light inside the card... ;D
SOCKS! Mom and I went to the sock shop in Old Sac, and I saw those... ;DDD
I couldn't believe there was such a perfect Mama Bear ornament right there in front of my own eyes!!!!!! <33333

YOU'RE SO VERY WELCOME!!! <3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 ::snugs!::
Jan. 4th, 2017 02:54 am (UTC)
Box was in great shape, not even scuffed! ^_^
I got a library book update in my Kindle a few days ago for her last book, "The Princess Diarist" - I'd forgotten I'd put in a check out request for it, there were several holds in front of me. ;_;


A devious snuggle trap!! Ah ha! XDDDDDDDDDDD
( 6 comments — Leave a comment )


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