A yellow light filled a nesting cave as a lithe blue dragon with pink fringes on the sides of her face bathed an egg with her fire. She continued to do so for another few heartbeats before closing her jaws and cutting off the stream.
Her blue eyes gazed fondly at the egg before gently nosing it to check the warmth despite having just bathed it flames. She smiled at the heat the egg gave off; it was perfect.
“How is our egg?” A deep soothing voice asked.
The female dragon looked over her shoulder and smiled as she saw her mate; a large and handsome red and blue Autodragon.
“I just bathed it with fire; our hatchling should arrive any day now.”
Her mate’s eyes twinkled at the thought of seeing his hatchling for the first time. He then drew abreast of his mate before speaking again.
“Have you thought of a name for our little one?”
“I have,” She gave a growling purr when he nuzzled her. “If the hatchling is male, he will be named Silverus.”
“And if the hatchling is female?”
Optimus smiled before giving her cheek a lick. “A beautiful name, Arcee.”
Arcee smiled. “I thought so as well.”
She watched as he approached the nest and nosed the egg like she had done only moments ago. After a moment, she sighed and rested her head on his shoulder.
“Must you leave today? The Rogues are growing bolder.”
Optimus lifted his head and looked at his mate, eyes softening. “I must, my love. The Winter months are on their way, and the clan will need fresh meat for when winter is at its harshest.”
“Then have someone else lead the Hunting Party. The clan has already lost three eggs because of them.”
Optimus was silent for a moment; he could still remember the keening cry of an Autodragon upon discovering the shattered remains of their eggs. He gave himself a mental shake of his head before the memory of Sunstreaker and Sideswipe helping their mate; Preceptor bury the remains of their barely formed hatchlings because of a raid two months ago.
“I am only taking a small Hunting Party with me, that way the strength of the Clan isn’t weakened while I’m gone.”
Arcee closed her eyes and sighed. “Very well, just be safe.”
Optimus gave her another lick on the cheek before leaving their cave; he stood at the entrance then looked over his shoulder and watched as Arcee nuzzled the egg again before following him out. He sent a silent prayer to Primus asking that nothing horrific happen, while he was away on the hunting trip.
X X X
Arcee watched as Optimus and three others leave the clearing and vanish from sight, she hated feeling this way, but the raids had made her uneasy and feared that with Optimus gone would only embolden the rogues even more. She looked around and saw that everyone was just as uneasy as she was especially those who were expecting. She spotted Preceptor curled up on the Sunning Rocks; sympathy gripped her heart for the red and gray dragon as he was still mourning the loss of his first litter. It would take him a while to recover from the loss as he had been so excited to be a mother and only a heartless rogue could only be so cruel to rip that away from him.
Her eyes flickered to Bumblebee and Smokescreen, the only two from her first litter that hatched. The third egg had been a dud and that is just as painful as losing the hatchling before it even has a chance to hatch.
Bumblebee saw that his mother was looking at him; he smiled and trotted over to her, his brother right behind him.
Arcee nuzzled both in turn, giving off a growling purr. She had fought for them to survive their first year and she vowed she would do the same for her third child.
“When will the egg hatch?” Bumblebee asked as he sat down on her left side whole Smokescreen took her right.
“Any day now,” She replied. “The egg’s movements have been growing for frequent these past few days.”
“I can’t wait to meet our little brother or sister.” Smokescreen grinned, Bee shared in his littermate’s excitement.
Arcee smiled softly, ever proud of her sons, one even had the makings of a great leader but only time would be able to prove her right.
“Uh-oh, here comes Magnus. We better go before he has us clean out the nursery or the Elder’s Cave again.” Smokescreen said before slinking off with Bumblebee.
She chuckled and watched them leave before turning her attention to the approaching blue and white male.
“Ultra Magnus.” She greeted with a small nod of her head.
“Arcee.” He replied with a small nod of his own before he sat down beside her. “I see Optimus has left with the Hunting Party.”
“The Clan will need the meat for the Winter Months.” She replied.
“I know, but why couldn’t he have sent someone else to lead the Party? His absence will only embolden the Rogues.”
Arcee’s heart skipped a beat as she had the same revelation earlier, but she swallowed her nervousness and said. “He took Mirage, Cliffjumper, and Hound with him, taking only three will keep the Clan’s strength up while he is away.”
Magnus heaved a small sigh in reply.
Arcee looked at him, she could see so much of Optimus in him, he was, after all her mate’s older brother and served as his second as Prowl was at the moment carrying Jazz’s brood, he wouldn’t birth the eggs for another month.
“How’s Firefly holding up?” She asked.
Magnus paused for a moment before speaking, a hint of pride in his voice. “She’s as stubborn as ever but just as excited as I am. She should birth the eggs she is carrying in the next few days.”
Arcee couldn’t help but feel happy for him, she still found it odd that they would end up together they were so different.
You two are perfect for each other. I mean, she’s tons of fun and you’re not fun at all, she completes you. Sideswipe had stated before taking off to avoid Magnus’ paw.
“You’ll be a great father, Magnus.” Arcee told him.
Magnus looked at her and smiled a little. “Thank you, Arcee.”
“Any-” She paused when the scent of fresh blood filled her nostrils; Magnus caught the same scent as he was on his paws in a matter of seconds, his teeth bared in a silent growl.
Half a heartbeat later, a light blue dragon with black paws and two black streaks running down his sides stumbled into the clearing; his shoulders and flanks bore wounds from a quite recent battle.
Bumblebee shouted before running over to his friend.
Magnus made his way to the front of the group. “Blurr, what happened?”
It took the smaller dragon several heartbeats to speak, but when he did caused dread to fill Arcee’s heart.
“Rogues… attacked the patrol, they killed… Tracks. Drift, Thade, and Crosshairs held them off… giving me time to warn you.”
“Get the hatchlings and those carrying into the nursery! We don’t have much time!” Magnus ordered. “Smokescreen, help Blurr into the Healer’s Cave, Ratchet will see to his wounds. Bumblebee, guard the entrance to the nursery with Jazz and Quarry.”
“You can count on me, Magnus!” Bumblebee shouted as he helped Autodragons into the cave.
“Arcee, hide your egg. It’s the only one we have until Prowl and Firefly laid theirs,” Magnus informed her then spotted a gold and silver female, helping Smokescreen with Blurr. “Quicksilver! You’re just as fast as your brother, find the Hunting Party!”
“At once, Ultra Magnus!” She replied then took off like a bolt of silver lightening after saying good-bye to Blurr.
“Even if she finds them, they could be at the far end of the territory by now. They won’t make it in time.” Arcee stated.
“We’ll hold these bastards off as long as we can,” Magnus growled. “Go to your cave and hide your egg!”
Arcee nodded before bolting into the cave with the others, sending up a silent prayer for strength.
Magnus watched her go before turning to face the entrance of the Camp, his teeth bared and eyes blazing as Ironhide, Bulkhead, Wheeljack, Sunstreaker and several others stood beside him. They would not lose another egg or hatchling to these honor-less monsters, they would stand their ground and hold them off until they retreated or until Optimus returned.
X X X
Magnus’ battle cry echoed through out the tunnel as Arcee made to her cave, she spotted the egg in the nest right where she had left it. As she approached, she failed to notice a hairline crack on the egg’s surface.
She gave the egg a quick sniff, it was still warm from earlier but it would need another douse of flames soon, she couldn’t do it now, there wasn’t enough time. Pushing down her panic, she looked around the cave for possible hiding places for the egg, her heart leaped when she spotted a deep notch near the back where a cluster of rocks nestled against the wall, she could use the rocks to hide the egg.
Running back to the nest, she carefully picked up the egg with her jaws and carried it over to the cluster of rocks, hopefully the rocks would disguise the egg and deter any Rogue from looking for it.
Satisfied, at least for the time being, Arcee turned away from the egg and face the entrance of the cave, ready to face any Rogue that managed to make it past Magnus and the others.
Her tail lashed the air as she heard unfamiliar foot falls several heartbeats later, despite the slight echo, Arcee knew that there was only one Rogue and he was heading her way.
Let him come, I’ll make him regret the day he hatched. She thought with a quiet snarl.
X X X
Optimus paused in his tracks and looked around through slightly narrowed eyes, he was sure he heard something but he wasn’t quite sure what it was.
“Something wrong, Optimus?” Cliffjumper asked.
Optimus looked at the red stocky dragon. “Nothing that comes to mind, but… something feels… off.”
“I agree,” Mirage put in. “The forest is too quiet.”
“Think we should head back?” Hound asked.
“I don’t think that will be necessary, Hound. We should continue hunting.”
Cliffjumper gave an undignified yelp as something collided into him from the side and sending him sprawling into the roots of a near by tree.
Hound and Mirage nearly launched themselves at the intruder when Optimus told them to stand down, as he was the first to realize that, the dragon was Quicksilver.
“Silver, what are-“ Optimus started but Quicksilver cut him off.
“Rogues have attacked the camp!”
X X X
Arcee grunted as the Rogue tossed her to the ground, she rolled away from him and quickly got to her paws before he could pounce. Snarling, she launched herself at him, sinking her claws into his shoulders, her teeth going for his throat but he easily pushed her off him with his rear paws, sending her tumbled to the ground, her head hitting the ground hard leaving her dazed.
“Now stay there while I find and destroy your hatchling.” He growled, he knew she had hidden the egg, seeing how in their fight, they had destroyed the nest.
Her eyes widened when she saw him going for the eggs hiding place, with a snarl she forced herself to her paws, sank her claws into his flanks, and dragged him away from his destination. She jumped back moments before he lashed out at her, she whirled around and smacked him in the face with her tail, stunning him.
Leaving him there, she ran over to the egg’s hiding spot, her heart skipped a beat when a piece of the egg gave way and feel, and her blue eyes locked with the sapphire blue eye if her hatchling.
As she stood there transfixed on the egg and the gift inside, she was completely unaware that the rogue had recovered from her smack and was now stalking towards her, hell bent on killing her and the hatchling. He took two long strides before launching himself at the female Autodragon.
X X X
Optimus all but exploded into camp, ready to rip apart any rogues still alive, his blood lust faded when he saw the bodies of the rogues scattered across camp. He spotted Ratchet tending to Ultra Magnus, his older brother bore a nasty gash on his right side, but he looked no worse for ware, as did the others. He looked behind him as the Hunting Party and Quicksilver emerged from the undergrowth and stood beside him.
Magnus quickly spotted Optimus and much to the displeasure of Ratchet, limped over to him.
“Thank Primus, Quicksilver found you in time. We held them off as long as we could, though I don’t regret killing these monstrous Egg Breakers.”
“Optimus!” Quicksilver called as she ran out of Healer’s Cave. “Blurr said that he saw three Rogues slip inside cave!”
Optimus’ heart nearly stopped and without saying a word, bolted for the cave. The Nursery was closer, so he had to check there first.
Blood quickly filled his nostrils as he drew closer to the nursery and within several heartbeats; he spotted two bodies with Bumblebee and Sunstreaker standing over them.
“Dad!” Bee cried as he spotted his father. “You have to get to mom! A rogue slipped by while we were fighting these two! I heard fighting in that direction, it stopped a while ago.”
Dread filled Optimus’ heart, praying that Arcee and their hatchling were ok. “Stay here, Bumblebee.”
Bee nodded, his bright blue eyes filled with worry for his mother and his little brother or sister.
X X X
The scent of blood was even stronger now as he neared their cave. He paused just before reaching the opening.
Please. Let them be ok.
He swallowed his growing dread before stepping inside, his mouth fell agape as he saw the stated of the cave, the nest torn to shreds, and blood splattered the floor along with bits of scales.
He spotted the body of the rogue, his eyes narrowed as he trotted over to it, he rolled it over with a paw and saw that its throat had torn out with claws. He gave a soft growl of satisfaction before spotting Arcee lying on her side and his heart nearly stopped, claws marks covered her shoulders and flanks, though none appeared fatal.
“Arcee!” He cried as ran over to her.
She opened a blue eyes and it softened when she spotted his worried visage. “You came.”
The large dragon managed a small smile then nuzzled her, purring softly. “Arcee. Is the egg… safe?”
She smiled again and unfurled a wing, revealing a blue and pink hatchling curled up against her side.
Optimus’ rear legs gave out on him, forcing him to sit down as he gazed at the hatchling, it was the spitting image of Arcee only with slightly bigger paws.
“She’s beautiful,” He breathed. “When did she hatch?”
“During the fight, seeing her look back at me with a single blue eye caused me to drop my guard.”
“It doesn’t matter now; you and our hatchling are safe.” He nuzzled her again with a soft growling purr.
The noise caused the hatchling to stir and open her sapphire blue eyes and look up at her father with a curious expression.
Optimus smiled once more and lowered his head to touch noses with his daughter for the first time. His eyes softened and heart melted when she licked his nose.
“Hello, Tieria. It’s so great to finally meet you.”