Chapter 25 - Left behind You

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Goldgears sat on her berth, running her digits over the smooth, silvery disks. Her breathing was ragged. She felt like she was on the verge of tears, but she forcefully held them back, pressing her hand against the middle of her optics so the waterworks wouldn't come showering down.

She was struggling to believe she received something back. She wasn't expecting it. If anything, she just made herself believe the words would be left abandoned among the stars. Or, that's what she actually hoped.

It wasn't her real carrier. Gears was forged; she was made from the planet. She wasn't even sure if carriers were even a thing. It was just a very old friend. And, yet, the 'mom' title just stuck. It seemed like the only thing she had left.

Gears exhaled deeply as she put in the hard drive with a loud 'click'. The voice sounded superannuated; elderly. It sounded as though the femme speaking was losing her breath after every word. It was hoarse and rough; sounding as though the femme was suffocating. It made Gears flinch.

"Now, how could I forget? Goldy. Gearsy. Or was it Shiny? I forget," the voice laughed dryly. "It's been such a long time. You know, I questioned if you even wanted to speak to me. I wondered, 'Hey. Maybe she's occupied. Maybe she found something better. Or, maybe, she made some friends!'.

"I hope you know I was so . . . so happy to find out you made friends. When you gave me that list. Faster, I think it was. No, no. Blaster! Blaster, the Autobot? And First Aid, Brainstorm, Trailcutter. All sound magnificent, absolutely magnificent. Maybe with my luck, you'll bring one home to me! Heh, heh . . . Are you going to come home, Goldy? Are you? I certainly don't want you to - Now, that isn't the talk for that."

Through the slight static, you could hear the elderly femme hitting herself on the head, repeating the word 'Fool, fool, fool. You fool'. Gears bit her quivering bottom lip, and she saw her vision grow a bit blurry.

"What about Whirl?" She asked.

"What about Whirl . . . ?" Gears whispered shakily. But the voice continued to talk; Gears was simply asking empty, meaningless questions to the wall.

"He . . . he better be nice to you!" The femme on the disk said. She sputtered a chunky, thick cough into the microphone, and Gears cringed. "Or I'll have to go up there and beat him frontliner style. Heh . . . Oi very . . . But, uh, oh! 'And you know my answer to their question? I just say it's complicated.' Classy Goldy. I miss your humor. But I think I miss you make my bed more! Hah. But getting down to the nitty gritty."

Goldgears raised an optic ridge, then shifted to a frightened expression when she came to realization. She was in too deep when she sent that message, and her stomach churned thinking of her 'mother's' answer.

"The moment you think of letting go, Goldy, remember the reason to why you held on so long. What's the reason? Holding on can either be in vain or not, but letting go means you've lost the war.

"I know, I know. I can just hear you saying, 'But sometimes people let go because they've held on for too long!'. Listen to my voice, Goldy . . . Sometimes people let go because they've held on too tight, and they start to bleed. To you want all that bleeding to be in vain? . . . 'Cause cuts and rips eventually turn into to scars, but you know what? Scars go away over time."

Goldgears buried her face in her hands, rubbing her temples. She could feel the barrier breaking; her tears were about to pour down her cheeks, but she forced them to stay put. Tears were always warm, like fire. And burns might scar, but those scars don't go away.

"'Sometimes I wonder if I've ever let you down, if you're ashamed on how I turned out.' Pffft. Now let me tell you something right now: this is a life you can hang a hat on. You don't need to make others happy, just be thankful to be living! Are you doing what you're able? Not living life without meaning? Are you chasing the stars and the dreams like I know you can? This is all something you can be so proud of."

Gears sniffed and grinned. At least she had someone's approval, and she would certainly carry it out. Her cheeks were sticky and wet, and she wiped her optics.

"I hope you remember me. I might remember things well, but can you?" The femme laughed, coughing. "I think this is my last run, Goldy. It's been . . . how many years? Millions, I guess. I'm assuming the ol' Necrobot is ready to write my name down, huh? . . .

"Can you promise me one thing, Goldy? You need to hold on, push forward, and lift others up. I know that's not exactly what you do - let's face it, I know you quite well, Goldy - but you need to remember something. There are people having it much worse than you, and I'm sure they are having a hard time getting through it all.

"There's some things in the word that really leave some dents, you know? If someone is a rubber band and is about to snap, you try gluing them back together. And if they break, you hold onto the thought. At least you tried. Okay? Enjoy the rest of your trip, Goldy. I'll look out for you."

Goldgears ripped the hard drive from its place as quick as she could. She wanted to smash it into a million pieces, but thought against it. It was the sadness talking. She hated that emotion; it always terrorized her. Gears sat at the edge of her berth and muffled her sobs, gripping her face tightly. If someone were to just walk in, it would look like she was going to rip her face from its position.

There was a sudden knock at her door, and she stood. She wiped her face quickly and gathered up the pieces of her shattered pride. When she opened her door, Fortress Maximus towered over her. She had to tilt her helm all the way back just to see his face. He handed her a small datapad, and all the prisoners' names were on it. She vented a sigh.

Luckless. That's what that was. She was stuck with checking the brig. Should she say 'again'?

Fortress Maximus said nothing and he walked away. Gears sniffed and leaned against the doorway. If she had to do it, she had to get going. She wasn't going to wait until everybody was asleep.

~

Gears had checked off all the names on the list as she wandered back and forth and around the brig, and she caught sight of Nameless sitting against the wall of her chamber. She felt some anger burn in her spark as she stomped over to the cell, and hands clenched as tightly as they'd go.

The nameless femme was playing with the bell, croakily singing small verses of 'You Are My Sunshine', her voice down to almost a whisper. Gears stopped and took a deep breath in, closing her optics and relaxing, counting to ten in her head. When she opened her optics, the femme was standing right before her, looking down on Gears like a dark bird of prey. Goldgears gasped, nearly choking on the air.

"Your eavesdropping has been noted," Nameless said, tilting her helm, watching Gears cough. "You look a little frightened, but I'm not that bad."

"How do you know my name?" Gears interrogated, her optics down in a squint as she tapped a digit on the femme's beaked mask. "And you . . . you crooked crow! You were the one in the vents, weren't you?! Brainstorm wasn't crazy! Who the hell are you?!"

The bird-like femme took Gears's digit in two of her own and pushed it back through the bars.

Nameless tucked her arms back under her feathers and said, "I know all your names. I know each and every one of your personalities, and I know all your secrets. I know many things about you that you don't even know. Autobots. You're all so pellucid."

"Then if you won't tell me, I'll get someone who will find out." Gears said, checking off Nameless's box and heading toward Chromedome's habitation suite.


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