applecrumble: (G1 Chromia)
[personal profile] applecrumble
Title: Snake in the grass
Characters: Elita One, Chromia, Moonracer, Firestar, OC
Rating: T
Summary: An explosion devastates not only the base, but the foundations of trust built over several millennia.
Genre: Drama/suspense 

Notes: I'm not normally one for OC's... but in this case, I felt it somewhat necessary. :P



Elita One keyed in the lockdown codes to the computer terminal with a staunch composure. It was almost as though three quarters of their base hadn’t just detonated and collapsed in on itself – was still collapsing in on itself as she stood there. No doubt dozens of soldiers had already been killed or entombed by the explosion and its wreckage.

She punched in the final few keys and heard the airlock hiss of the hangar doors sliding shut. A short tremor ran along the floor and she tensed. The room was without a doubt the most secure within their base – they needed at least one in event of an air raid or... well, something like this. But even so, that didn’t make it indestructible. She prayed it held out long enough for them to regroup.

“Hey!”

Elita’s helm shot up at the familiar voice, posture instantly relaxing a fraction. She turned to see Moonracer supporting a rather battered-looking Chromia. A quick onceover showed the latter’s whole right side seemed to have taken a severe hit from something significantly bigger and heavier. Falling debris no doubt.

“Pit of a wakeup call eh?” she drawled, a sour grimace in place. Moonracer frowned and looked to their commander, optics bright with apprehension.

“What happened Elita?”

Said femme looked back to the monitor, optics narrowing a little.

“We got fragged straight up the aft when we weren’t lookin’ is what happened.”

“Classy Chromia,” the bland voice of Firestar cut in from the other side of the room. She led a small group of equally shaken and dented looking bots through the entrance of the hangar, nodding over to Elita. “Seriously though. I thought we were secure here.”

“There’s no certainty in a war Firestar,” Elita calmly stated, hands resting over the edge of the terminal and she sighed. “For the explosion to have taken out everything but the east wing, they must have known the weaknesses in the foundations along that stretch. How else could they have perfectly calculated the chain reaction that would ensue?”

A heavy silence followed these words before a soft tch sounded.

“A spy?” Chromia growled, expression grim.

“Hn, it’s hard to say the exact circumstance. What I do know is that there are a select few bots who know of the building schematics to this base. And even less with the capabilities to hack our system and find out.” Elita paused, optics downcast.

“But…” Moonracer softly put in, a hint of incredulity in her voice. “Surely they wouldn’t have stuck around for the actual explosion?”

“But leaving base would look too suspicious at this joor of the cycle,” Firestar muttered.

Optics flitting back up and turning to properly face the room, Elita nodded. “My thoughts exactly.” She turned to Chromia, but one look at her leg said the other bot wasn’t in much shape to leave Moonracer’s support. Elita looked to Firestar instead. “Our first priority is to get everyone out of here unharmed. We’ll escape through the anterior beta tunnel – it’s the only one still fully intact.” She looked to the rest of them, voicing rising to carry further. “That will take us to a derelict building at a nameless location. No one is to leave or stray until I say otherwise. Every single bot here is to undergo interrogation. We will find out who did this.”

- - - -

Four joors later, Elita had instructed Firestar to lead the rest of the bots off to a more secure location two kliks from theirs. She now stood with Chromia and Moonracer, regarding the cowed femme slumped before them. It wasn’t too long into the interrogations before Boltbreak vehemently voiced her impatience over the whole thing – how the others still needed to be rescued, how several bots present still needed medical attention, etcetera. She only got more antsy after that. After she’d made a dash for the door and prepped to transform, it hardly took a genius interrogator to figure her out.

“I… I had to,” she whispered, clutching at the leaking shoulder that had been hit by a precise shot from Moonracer’s blaster. Her hands had been restrained behind her to prevent any more attempts at fleeing.

Chromia scoffed, optics searing with open resentment. Moonracer’s were downcast, still uncertain how to feel about shooting a femme who, just six joors ago, she’d had her energon ration with while gabbing about jets afts.

Elita One’s gaze was unreadable, though her optics were dark and penetrating.

“You had to sabotage your own base, effectively killing dozens of your comrades and friends?” she intoned.

The wounded bot flinched under the scrutiny, nodding fervently.

“The ‘Cons they… They have my brother hostage! If I didn’t do what they sa-”

“Bullshit.”

Three sets of optics swivelled round to settle on Chromia at the strange human profanity. She glared harshly at Boltbreak.

“Lying little piece of slag. I swear to frag, if I had my guns…”

“She’s lying?” Elita cut in, lifting an optic ridge. Chromia snorted.

“Her family died eons ago. The ‘Cons don’t have any leverage over her,” she growled. Boltbreak’s optics widened, then flared in rage.

“H-how dare you accuse me of lying about-”

“It is a lie!” Moonracer abruptly snapped, optics devoid of all prior disappointment and now flashing with anger. “You told me so yourself when you first got here! You were the only one left of you family line, is what you said.”

Elita’s gaze shifted from the betrayed looking femme back to the suddenly silent Boltbreak. She inclined her helm and furrowed her optic ridges.

“Care to add a little clarity?”

The other bot’s expression faltered, helm ducking down for a moment. A brief silence followed and for a moment Elita thought she might have to prompt the other again. Finally, after a klik, the other femme snarled quietly, shoulders quivering almost imperceptibly.

“Fragging Pit… Fragging slag hole. I hated it,” she growled under her breath. Chromia’s faceplates scrunched up in bewilderment, exchanging a brief look with Moonracer.

Elita remained unfazed, “Hated what?”

Suddenly, Boltbreak’s helm shot up, prior shame and chagrin all but replaced with a glower of intense repugnance.

“This! This fragging war!” she hissed. “First it took my family. Then my home. Then my way of life! I was left with no option but to aid the same disgusting cause that destroyed everything I loved. And don’t give me that scrap about having a choice.” She sneered and narrowed her optics, “Shooting a neutral is like target practice for both factions. So I chose the ‘Bots.”

She scoffed, shaking her helm and smirking bitterly. “A fragging mistake. With the ‘Cons I might’ve at least had a more decent living… But here? Here I felt like I waded knee deep through slag every other cycle. And I couldn’t even complain about it without getting dirty looks from my comdrades.” She scowled and looked down, “This war took everything from me. I swore a long time ago that if I could do anything, anything, to get something remotely close to my old life back, I would.”

Elita was the first to break the tense silence that preceded Boltbreak’s more-or-less confession, expression finally giving away something. Her brow creased as sliver of anger worked its way across her faceplates.

“And what did the ‘Cons offer you in return?”

The other bot looked up, a crooked grin slipping onto her features.

“Not like it matters now right?”

Chromia shoved away from Moonracer and took a purposeful step towards the femme. Elita caught her before she toppled with the strain of her injuries, optics sharp.

“Both of you go. Now,” the weight behind her words seemed to bring Chromia out of her momentary vendetta. She met Elita’s gaze, frowning slightly but relenting with a huff.

Moonracer moved to her side and slung an arm over her shoulder. She spared a brief look at Boltbreak, faceplates faltering for a moment before clouding with bitterness once again. Chromia just glowered, optics alight with enmity.

“Count your blessings it ain’t me you’re bein’ left alone with fragger,” she darkly snarled.

Boltbreak just smirked superciliously, optics sliding to meet Elita’s own. She waited until the other two were out of audio range before speaking.

“I suppose the brig is out of the question?” she dryly queried. The other frowned.

“I’m afraid so. It seems it was taken out by the explosion,” she coolly informed, taking a step closer and uncrossing her arms. “Along with the training area, the medical bay, the common room, and several dozen innocent soldiers.”

Boltbreak scoffed, “Innocent soldiers? Well that’s a paradox if there ever was one…”

So quick she barely had the time to blink, Elita’s gun was firmly pressed to the front of her helm. The only thing that reflected the other’s fury was the foreboding look now darkening her faceplates.

“You killed my soldiers. Devastated my base. Insulted their memories. And now you dare make jokes?”

Boltbreak actually felt a sliver of fear twist her spark. She swallowed a lump in her throat tubing and watched the gun as it pressed harder against her helm.

“Y-you’re not… I mean, you’re an Autobot!” she stammered. She’d been expecting a bit of roughing up, sure. To be locked up, definitely. But they wouldn’t actually... “I have information! About the ‘Cons. It could be detrimental to the-”

“Information would indeed have been a valued asset several joors ago,” Elita frostily replied, finger curling over the trigger. “When we had the soldiers and supplies to use it to our advantage. As it is, we’ll have to rebuild. After we dig our dead and wounded from the wreckage of course.”

Boltbreak began to tremble.

“You... You would execute a wounded and restrained bot?” she tried feebly, optics reluctantly moving back up.

Elita’s just narrowed, offering no pity.

“No. I would rightfully kill a traitor,” she lowered the gun, barrel now directly in line with the other’s spark casing. “A traitor who is no better than a ‘Con.”

She pulled the trigger.

“Rejoin the Towers, Boltbreak.”
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