MTMTE: Lost on the Lost light
"Rodimus I must detest this idea, not only is it a security breach someone could sneak in and-" Rodimus gently pressed a finger to Magnus's lips. "Its for charity Magnus, besides what can a bunch of little kids do to our ship...from what Diana has told me these are kids who have no parents their orphans as she explained."
It was a typical day at the Lost light till Rodimus told the crew they would give a tour of the ship to a local orphanage, though some didn't like the idea others jumped at the chance to get to see humans for the first time. Diana had to give them a crash course in human interactions, first of all how delicate they were and easily hurt especially children. She further explained that some kids are very forward or withdrawn meaning their either very friendly or very shy, some tend to cling some tend to wander. But most of all is to remember each little one is different and will react differently to different things. Rodimus didn't really like having to go to this lecture, he knew enough about humans.
"Rodimus please remember what I told you I know you tend to ignore me." said Diana scolding him a bit.
"Yeah yeah, right now Diana I think someone needs you-" Diana cuts him off.
"Megatron is tending to Tronus and Nova right now, and I prefer you call him by his name. I know you don't like sharing your ship but make the most of it, honestly your just like a child." Magnus who was standing behind Rodimus gave a small smirk, Diana hit a nail on the head there.
"Very funny Diana haha, the orphans are almost here anyway I'm gonna go greet them with Drift."
"Alright, please remember what I said and Magnus I know you don't like things getting dirty but kids stay relatively clean if you tell them to but don't try and clean them yourself thats both rude and disrespectful." with that Diana left, Rodimus grumbled and walked off to the front of the Lost light ship.
It wasn't long before the children arrived in the classic yellow school bus, their little faces pressed against the windows smiling big. All in utter awe at the ship before them, all of them were excited never seeing an alien ship before. All accept one a little girl by the name of Maria, her short blonde hair bobbed up and down as the bus ran over the dirt road.
"Hey pipsqueak better hope they don't squish you!" laughed a boy, Maria was always picked on by the other children. She hid her blue eyes away, constantly casted down at the floor.
"Ok kids listen up everyone on their best behavior, no chasing anyone off, no rough housing, no shouting, no screaming and be respectful. I don't want another incident like we had at the museum, everyone got that?" the teacher eyed the two boys behind Maria's seat very hard making them sink low.
The children were let aboard the ship escorted in by Drift, all marveling at how tall he was. The children cooed happily seeing all the magnificent machinery around them, from the bots walking around them. Maria didn't bother looking at them, occasionally she'd glance up at some of the bots but would quickly look away. It was when the kids break'd for their lunch time the two boys picking on Maria decided to break one of the rules. They began to pinch Maria's arm and before long had chased her off from the group, Maria found herself lost on the Lost light ship. She shivered scared but knew the teacher would realize that she was missing and would send someone to find her.
But that wasn't the case when she felt the ship lurch upward, she ran to a crate and climbed up. She found the ship was taking off and the bus was driving away....she couldn't believe it, her group had left her behind. She sat on the crate and began to sob into her hands, she felt her poor heart break into tiny little pieces. She was left on the ship on purpose, she sniffled and climbed down. Perhaps maybe if she found one of the bots they could help her, though it would be a bit difficult to get their attention due to their massive size. Maria was almost stepped on a few times but it was Rodimus who found her first, but Maria got scared when he started yelling so she ran off.
"Oh great....now we got a runaway stowaway..." groaned Rodimus.
"What are you talking about?" Magnus showed up behind him.
"One of those orphans showed up on the ship, we already made our quantum leap so we can't take her back any time soon ...we can't have her running around the ship either." Magnus cut him off again
"What do you mean..one of the children must have been left behind. An as for finding her its best we have the ship keep an eye out for her-" Rodimus suddenly got a stroke of brilliance.
"Magnus thats brilliant, I think I got an idea how to catch her fast!" Rodimus raced to the broadcasting room where Blaster was and had him send out an announcement to the entire ship. "Attention Lost light crew we have a small stowaway child on the ship, its one of the orphans that was visiting. To anyone that can find her and bring her back to my quarters will get a free night of drinks at Swerves, happy hunting."
"....you did not just make that announcement, Rodimus she's not a Con or a fugitive she's a frightened child now your probably gonna traumatize her."
"Awe Magnus lighten up this will be over in no time, one bot grabs her and brings her to my quarters no problem what could possibly go wrong?"
An it wasn't long before a group of bots go looking for Maria, it was a bit of a mess though some bots run one way running into each other tearing through rooms and so on. Maria hid in a storage room under a locker, shivering...what had she done wrong did she break some sort of law on the ship? She gasped hearing the door open and a few bots walk in, one was Rewind the other Chromedome. Both were looking for her but had no intention of bringing her to Rodimus, they were gonna bring her to Diana.
"You think she'd hide in here Domey?" asked Rewind looking behind some crates.
"Positive, remember she's probably traumatized so when you find her don't pick her up just talk to her and try and calm her down. If you can't get her out I'll call Diana here to help." Rewind knelt down and saw Maria huddled at the back of the wall under the locker.
"You were right Domey I found her she's under here.....poor thing is scared stiff. Hey there sweetie I'm Rewind." Rewind calmly waved a hand to her, she waved back. He took note of her name tag still attached to her dress, he squinted to make out the name.
"Maria....Maria is that your name?" Maria slowly nodded.
"Wow thats a pretty name, listen I know your scared and you don't want to be around us but we're not gonna take you to Rodimus we're gonna take you to a friend of ours named Diana. She has a daughter just your age, she'll help you get back home if you want."
Maria stared at him and huddled closer to the wall, Rewind stood up looking at Chromedome with concern. Chromdome was already calling up Diana but just when he got ahold of her a certain cyclops walked into the room. Whirl the most annoying and violent prone bot on the entire ship, and like the other bots was looking for Maria.
"Hey did you find her?" he asked and looked, she gasped and backed up fast or as much as she could clutching the wall more. "Wow you did, ok come here ya little-" Whirl reached in to pluck the little girl from her hiding spot.
"Whirl no leave her alone!" said Rewind trying to stop the cyclops but it was to late, Whirl grabbed her with his pinchers and was already out the door. Maria kicked and struggled trying to get free.
"Stop struggling ya little pipsqueak, serves ya right for-" Whirl rounded a corner and found himself bumping into someone he didn't want to see.
"Whirl please tell me you were not going to take that child to Rodimus." asked Megatron
"Ok I won't, now if you'll excuse me-" Megatron grabbed the hand he had the little girl in who was shaking like a leaf at this point.
"I don't think so, put the girl down now." Whirl did as he said and started arguing with him, while arguing Maria found an opportunity to escape.
She ran as fast as she could down the halls until she found herself hiding in another storage room hiding behind some containment boxes, she curled up and began sobbing. Why, why was this happening to her she couldn't understand why. She sobbed into her knee's sniffling, she felt so lost and scared.
"Huh...well hi there." Maria sniffled and looked up, there she was staring at a bot with blue visors and a white square head. "So your the one everyones chasing after, for a second I thought it was something really dangerous. I'm Tailgate its nice to meet you and what would your name be?"
Maria looked and found her name tag was still clipped to her little white dress, she lifted it up for him to see. Tailgate peered in close and managed to make out the tiny words on the name tag.
"Ma...ri...a.....Maria huh thats a strange name but then again so's mine. Its nice to meet you Maria, I'm glad to see that your alright. I know a lot of the bots are chasing you but its just because of Rodimus promising them free drinks to find you. He doesn't think things through as he should. So what happened did you wander off and get lost on the ship?" Maria looked at him and shook her head and looked away, Tailgate looked at her confused but then asked another question. "Did....they forget you were on the ship and left you behind?" Maria nodded.
Tailgate felt his spark break, he knew this feeling all to well. When he was apart of the original Ark he fell through a shaft and was stuck underground for the entirety of the war. He felt like they didn't notice he was gone or didn't care, he felt very sad for the little child. He looked at her and saw how she curled up, slowly he extended his arm out to her opening his hand.
"Why don't you come with me to my room, you'll be safe there. If you stay here I have no doubt some bot might find you, I promise you'll be ok." Maria stared at him for a good long while, she slowly walked up and into his hand.
"There you go sweetie, now I'll take you back to my room...oh I should tell you I share a room with another bot his name is Cyclonus he may look scary but he's a really nice guy. Don't be afraid he won't hurt you either, he's very nice despite how cold he can act at times."
Maria smiled a little as they walked to hab suit 14, Cyclonus was staring out into the wondrous vastness of space. He looked out at the stars as they slowly passed by, he took note of the hab-suit door opening and Tailgate entering. He turned around and saw him setting down Maria on his berth.
"Ok you sit right down here and we'll call up Diana to come see you ok?" said Tailgate, as he placed his hand on her back and rubbing it with his index finger.
"Tailgate who is this and why is she here?" asked Cyclonus in a unreadable tone.
"Her names Maria....she was left behind from the orphanage, I found her in a storage room scared half to death. I couldn't leave her there so I brought her here till we could find Diana to help her...she doesn't talk much from what I can see." Tailgate had his hands around her kinda like how a child protecting a baby chick from anyone or anything that might cause it harm.
"Then how did you find out her name if she doesn't talk." Cyclonus walked over and stared down at Maria. "Oh well she's got a name tag on her that has her name on it, so it made it easy to ask her name but lets not focus on that and lets focus on finding Diana."
Tailgate called up Diana as soon as he possibly could. "Hello Diana its me Tailgate listen I have Maria the human Cyclonus and I's room can you come over and talk to her she's not talking to me nor anyone and- ...Oh really sure ok thanks bye."
"What did she say?" asked Cyclonus.
"Well apparently Chromedome and Rewind found her first and had called her but Whirl kidnapped her before she could get there to help her out. So she's on her way along with Rewind and Chromedome, any bot that has come into contact with her in a non threatening way might help her calm down."
Cyclonus looked at him skeptically and leaned against the wall, he stared at Maria as Tailgate spoke to her. Strangely he was drawn to the small child, her short blond hair, her big bright blue eyes and soft pale skin. It reminded him of those organic creatures called rabbits on Earth, she turned to him and he just looked at her. He didn't care if he scared her or anything but what shocked him more then anything.....was that she smiled at him. She gave him a sweet genuine smile, it was so innocent. Needless to say Cyclonus felt a bit shell shocked by it, he felt the child would look away in fear of him but she was smiling at him.
"Awe look Cyclonus she likes you!" Tailgate said with a coo in his voice, he picked her up and carried her over to him. "Here why don't you hold her." Tailgate walked up and placed the tiny child into his hands.
Cyclonus simply stared down at her, he didn't want to but did. She was still smiling at him but her eyes were closed, when she opened them....Cyclonus saw something Tailgate missed. Her eyes looked up at him with this sad apologetic look, eyes that had nothing but sadness in them. It was like the color of her eyes were fading away from the tears she would shed, he felt his spark ache. He saw this before in the war, how many of his own men would put on a brave face but then he'd watch their sparks fade away with their courage and everything. It was like watching someone rust on the inside decay, but back then he couldn't do anything about it....but now...
"We're here." Cyclonus's thoughts were disrupted when Diana walked in with Chromedome and Rewind. Maria looked up at the golden haired techno organic wolf hybrid, she was in awe at how beautiful she was.
"Hi Maria I remember you from the tour, I see you got left behind don't worry we'll get you back to Earth soon as possible and I'm so sorry about those bots chasing you. I asked Blaster to send a announcement to stop all search of you on the ship and said reward was claimed already." Diana smiled at her but....Maria didn't smile back, she looked away.
"Whats wrong, don't you want to go back where your friends are?" asked Rewind. Diana looked at Maria, she sighed sadly...she knew what was wrong.
"You don't wanna go back do you?" Maria didn't respond. "I saw how you stayed at the back of the group, how you didn't ask questions about the ship. I just thought you were shy but I know why you don't talk...you were picked on by the other kids." Maria flinched a little but nodded.
"At first they picked on your looks but my guess is that you told them you couldn't help how you looked and when they saw they couldn't get to you....they started to ignore you. An when you said something...they stopped ignoring only long enough to laugh at you." Maria shivered trying to hold back her tears, Diana reached over and stroked her back.
"I understand you don't want to go back but...." Tailgate soon butted in, after hearing all that he couldn't let Maria go now. "Let me keep her then!"
Diana jumped back a bit from Tailgates sudden proclamation. "Let me take her in, she can live with us on the ship. I mean your mother, your aunt and your kids live on this ship happy and healthy why don't we keep her here and not send her back to that horrid place where she'd just live in constant misery!?"
Cyclonus looked at Tailgate, he was determined he could tell. He was like this when they first met too, he wasn't likely to give up on something when he had his mind set to it. Maria looked up a bit shocked too but her eyes were very wide with the hope that she'd have a place to stay that was far away from the orphanage.
"Tailgate thats very nice of you but....its not as simple as you think, adoption to cybertronians is impossible. Not to mention you have to be married to adopt a child like Maria in order to obtain-"
"I'll help him." Cyclonus stepped up to say, everyone just gawked at him.
"You...you serious?" asked Chromedome.
"Yes I am, I'll help Tailgate take care of Maria. She'll live here on the ship with us, we'll be her guardians." Tailgate looked up at Cyclonus, his visors hid his optics how they glittered with excitement and joy. Maria had a unreadable expression on her face but to Cyclonus it was clear she was happy not to go back to the orphanage.
It wasn't long before the whole ship began welcoming her, in a course of a month everyone knew her name and was talking to her. Though she wouldn't talk back to them she was starting to smile and wave to them, everyone just stuck to yes or no questions since those were the only ones she could really answer. The other Lost light children also took a liking to her, especially Nova. She and Maria were just the same age, most of her siblings were far older then her and it was nice having someone in common with her.
"Ok everyone lets play a game!" shouted Starhowl.
"What game though?" asked Tronus brushing out his fur after doing training with is father Megatron.
"Um hide and seek we did yesterday, freeze tag before that.....oh I don't know." Starhowl whined as his sister Stella decided to speak up for her siblings/friends.
"I say we put on a play together all of us!"
"But what play will we do, and are you sure thats such a good idea sis?" asked Nova motioning over to Maria who still doesn't speak a word.
"Its because of her we're doing this, we're doing a play to help her start talking again. We'll also teach her how to SING it'll be perfect, and the play will be LITTLE RED RIDING HOOD!" Stella shouted to the sky.
"I don't think so Stella none of us wants to be the big bad wolf." said Tronus. At that time Diana the children's mother stepped in.
"Kids its almost time for dinner what would you all like?"
"Spaghetti!" shouted Nova.
"I want beef stew." said Starhowl.
"Hold on you guys let Maria decide, Maria what would you like to eat?" asked Stella. Maria opened her mouth a little but...stopped and closed her mouth tight pressing her lips tight together. Diana looked at her with deep concern, Maria was still refusing to talk.
"Come on Maria it's not that hard, don't you want to say what you want to eat?" asked Starhowl but Tronus acting quickly leaned against his brother and plucked one of his ears. "Oh don't listen to ol'Starhowl its ok if you can't decide right now."
"Get off me!" Starhowl hated having his heavy brother lean against him. Nova looked at Maria who simply turned away, Starhowl was right in a way...it shouldn't be that hard. Nova figured Maria was still scared of talking fearing they'd make fun of her till something popped in her head.
"OH I know!" everyone watched as she raced down the hall and back with a sheet of paper, it had three small pictures at the bottom all connected via a ladder system. "We'll play this game to find out what we want for supper! We'll let fate take a hand in our dinner making heheh!"
It was the fortune ladder game, you pick a shape at the bottom of the ladder then you climb it, one end is folded so you don't see whats written. When you get to the end the piece is unfolded and you see what you have one, Diana implemented this when the kids couldn't decide on what to eat.
"Ok Maria you choose which picture you like!" Maria looked at three small pictures, a flower, a moon and a four leaf clover. Maria pointed to the four leaf clover, Nova smiled big.
"Ok now we climb the ladder!" Nova sang a little song as she dragged her finger along the lines.
"Nova you don't have to sing as you do it ya know heh." said Tronus watching his sister work, when she got to the end she unfolded the piece of paper and Diana read out loud what the winner was.
"Ok and for dinner tonight we're having fried cod with strawberry shortcake for dessert!" to the kids anything fried was a rare treat they loved, Maria loved fried fish of any kind and smiled.
During supper Diana convinced Stella to postpone the play of red riding hood for a little while longer, later that night Maria and Nova decided to sleep together in Nova's room as a little sleep over just the two of them. Nova smiled big and got out her play make up kit and both started dressing each other up, Maria getting blue and purple washout color streaks in her hair.
"Oh you look so cute Maria!" said Nova as she put more streaks in her hair, Maria smiled but still didn't say a word.
Nova looked at Maria and wondered when she'd start to talk again, but remembering her mother's words before she simply nodded and let Maria speak when she felt she was ready to speak. A while had passed since Maria came to stay with them and still she didn't speak a single word, some questioned if she'd ever speak at all at times. Tailgate though believed she would along with a few others, he tried encouraging her to talk on many occasions but to no avail. Cyclonus even tried his hand though to no avail but still didn't stop him from trying, though she'd nod and shake her head for yes or no questions it made it difficult for other ones.
Cyclonus couldn't understand why he was so drawn to the human child, Tailgate he understood he had a weakness for things that were cute that and he related to the child. But why he, himself liked the child was a larger mystery then what was inside Brainstorm's brief case. What was it about the child that drew him to like her, those soft blue eyes, that bashful cute look. Or perhaps it was the way she looked at him, those big blue eyes staring at him. They were so full of hope and just were begging him to hold her, she just looked so innocent. Perhaps that was it, she was an image of innocence.
Another month had passed with no incident and Maria still silent, some bots made bets in getting her to talk but to no avail. Tailgate gave it his all to get her to talk, even tickling her to get her to laugh but nothing. Cyclonus tried a few times but figured to let her speak on her own, at times he would read a data-pad and young Maria would crawl up into his lap to read it with him despite she couldn't read Cybertronian. Later Rodimus called to the bots that it was shore leave time, he gave the usual talk about get here before a certain time or your left behind. The kids were to be left on the ship, it was a rule that when they were of age they could go out.
"This is gonna be great, its been a while since we were out and about." said Tailgate stretching his arms out. Cyclonus didn't really like going out but only did to keep an eye on Tailgate, Chromedome and Rewind were coming along with the usual crew. "Too bad Ultra Magnus isn't coming with us....then again I don't think he'd want to after what happened last time." said Skids.
Swerve shuttered remembering that fiasco, Rung was helping Rewind adjust his camera again on his head. The kids were saying their goodbyes to the shore leavers and saying their usual "bring us back a gift" line. Maria looked up at Tailgate with a sad look in her eyes, Tailgate gently picked her up and gave her a little hug. "Awe don't be so sad Maria, its just shore leave we'll be back later on today. I promise to bring you back a gift, cross my spark."
Maria simply looked at him and Cyclonus before he sat her down on the floor and got up to walk out. Her lips slowly opened, her mouth only opened so slightly...a small noise uttered that no one could hear...then finally something flowed from her lips that seemed to echo in the shuttle bay.
"Be safe you two...I love you." everyone stopped and looked around, they wondered who said those words. "Hey Nova did you say something?" asked Chromedome.
"No that wasn't me and Stella isn't here." Nova turned and looked at her brother, he was standing next to Maria. His eyes were wide, staring right at Maria who's gaze never left Tailgate or Cyclonus.
"Y-You two better take care of yourselves....be safe and....don't...get into...trouble....I love you both...you know." those words....came from Maria, Tailgate's optics widened and he went right to her picking her up. "Your talking! Maria you spoke! OH you sound so cute, this is awesome!"
Everyone needles to say was shocked, they were so use to her not saying a word but now here she was talking. Cyclonus couldn't help but smile, Nova squealed in delight she couldn't believe her friend was talking. "Oh Maria say something again come on, please?"
Tailgate pleaded to hear more as if this was the only time she'd ever speak, Maria looked at him and simply pointed to him "Mama." she muttered and proceeded to point to Cyclonus and smiled. "Daddy."
Swerve was about to bust up laughing before Drift covered his mouth silencing him, Rewind awed at what she said. Cyclonus and Tailgate were a little taken aback by her title choice for them but didn't seem to mind.
"You can call me whatever you want...as long as you never stop talking again." said Cyclonus walking up and kneeling before Maria who stared at him before smiling. "Ok...daddy...I promise."
Shore leave began, Tailgate the whole time was just so giddy with excitement. Hearing Maria speaking for the first time just made him feel like he was on top of the world, Cyclonus though had his usual solemn expression but from time to time he would smile. Hearing Maria's words echo in his mind, those words though so small held a big place in his spark. Tailgate went into a shop and looked around he had to find something special for Maria, he saw some stuff that was collected from Earth on sale. A bunch of plushes from Earth, they weren't really valuable in the store but were nice novelty items. Tailgate bought the whole box of plushes despite there was only three there, a rabbit plush doll, a doll that's tag said Catbug and last a plush that said Puppycat on it.
Returning to the ship all the kids were put down to sleep, Tailgate hurried to his shared hab-suit to find Maria...on Cyclonus's bed drawing with crayons borrowed from Nova. "We're back Maria!" sang Tailgate.
"Welcome home." Maria smiled at them when they walked in, Tailgate just gushed over those two little words. "Guess what we brought back something for you, this way you have some toys of your very own!"
Tailgate presented the three dolls to little Maria who looked wide eyed, she instantly grabbed them and hugged them close as if she was holding some kind of treasure. She hugged them tight it looked like the stuffing might just burst out of the seams, Tailgate was surprised at the reaction as was Cyclonus.
"Thank you so much I love them!" Maria said through tears of joy on her face, she never got any kind of toy to herself before. It was either taken away by the other kids at the orphanage or she was told to share it among the others.
Later on after Tailgate washed her up and put her into her night gown, he sat down with her and began to read her a story. He borrowed a book of fairy tales from Diana to read, he heard her reading to her kids before they went to sleep all the time so he decided to give it a try. Cyclonus just read a data-pad but listened to Tailgate read the story of Cinderella to Maria who was smiling so sweetly.
"So then she was whisked away to the the palace and she married the prince, Cinderella lived happily ever after the end. Ok Maria time for bed come on now." Maria sighed and got into her bed made for her by Tailgate himself. Cyclonus got up to pick up one of Maria's dolls....pausing for a moment he wondered if he should put it away or do something else.
"Good night Maria, its so nice to hear your voice." said Tailgate rubbing her head, Maria smiled as Tailgate tucked her in.
"Sleep well little one." said Cyclonus tucking one of her plush toys under her arm, she smiled at them.
"Good night...mommy...daddy." cooed Maria as she drifted into slumber.
Cyclonus smiled, Tailgate went back to his berth ready to sleep. He never saw Cyclonus leaning down and placing a kiss upon the child's head, though he probably wouldn't have said anything right away. The ex-con simply couldn't help himself, after all it would be a crime in his book now not to give his new daughter a kiss good night.