TITLE: Sever AUTHOR: artoni FANDOM: Transformers RATING: T for Teen CHARACTERS: Vector Prime, ensemble SUMMARY: Faith and belief are terrible things to lose. The last member of the Original Thirteen that still followed Primus must now deal with the repercussions. WARNINGS: This work of fanfiction contains material that could be considered offensive, including: ---Ideologically sensitive subject matter (re: fictional gods & the nature thereof) ---Lines that could be interpreted as slash-related innuendo (nothing explicit/directly intended as slash) ---Gratuitous usage & characterization of characters without a lot of canon 'screentime' for the purpose of plot (maccadam was just too cool to leave out) The author of this fic sincerely hopes that the above are in no way detrimental to the full reading of the fic, and advises that if anyone thinks that the above would offend them, to please do themselves a favor and stay away from the fic. The author of this fic would also like to take a moment and note that this fic turned into an experiment partway through. She isn't sure if it succeeded or not, but she hopes you enjoys reading. As a final note, this is a work of fiction, and deals with fictional characters and events. Any relation to nonfictional persons/situations is completely coincidental. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- sev•er /sev-er/ –verb (used with object) 1. to separate (a part) from the whole, as by cutting or the like. "Believe nothing just because a so-called wise person said it. Believe nothing just because a belief is generally held. Believe nothing just because it is said in ancient books. Believe nothing just because it is said to be of divine origin. Believe nothing just because someone else believes it. Believe only what you yourself test and judge to be true." ~ Buddha (Paraphrased) --------------------------------------------------- Safeguard finds him adrift in the spaces between time. This is not an unusual place to find Vector Prime; the natures of his duties often take him to such places, and further still. Many times, he goes into the places where Safeguard cannot follow unless he is directly led. The minicon is relieved that he has found his oldest friend without the need for assistance...but also disturbed. Never has he seen the Guardian of Space and Time in such a state. Vector Prime's once-pristine armor is dull, the shine he has taken so much pride in now dark and lifeless. The scrollwork that is strewn over his chassis seems more like random scratches than intricate adornment; though no physical damage is present on the Guardian, no sign of battle, there is an air of defeat about him. Safeguard trills in alarm as he climbs up on to his oldest friend. 'Up' is a misnomer; there is nothing truly here but them, not even gravity. Vector Prime could be 'standing' or 'reclining' in the midst of shimmering timespace, there is no way to tell. Nonetheless, Safeguard perches himself on the demigod's chest, and his anxiety only grows when he sees the darkened optics. What could have possibly put the timeless Prime in such a state!? Tiny hands rest on armor, then wring themselves helplessly. The minicon tries to rouse his friend, using every method he can think of. From calling his name in the song-like language that belongs to the Minicons alone to grabbing hold of pauldrons and shaking insistently, nothing he does brings a response. In despair, Safeguard lets out a whine and collapses onto Vector's armor, burying his head within his arms. It could be a few seconds later - or a few hours. But Safeguard abruptly realizes that there's a familiar hand slowly stroking his back. The Minicon looks up in surprise to see a face worn with age, experience, and something else entirely that alarms him to no small end. "My friend," Vector Prime murmurs, "I believe that I've lost my faith." --------------------------------------------------- The Fallen finds him in another space between. Intimate knowledge of his once-brother's methods has led him to this far off sector of spacetime, where the last steadfast son of Primus is currently working to repair a seam in reality. Though, if news is to be believed... The disruption that his presence alone triggers is enough to catch Vector's attention. In an instant, Rhisling is drawn, and the Fallen's hand reflexively moves to where his own blade hangs at his hip. "Fallen." Vector holds his blade in a defensive, but ready stance. The Fallen knows from experience that Vector's skill in combat is as formidable as his own, but he did not come here to fight. Instead, he smiles, his burning optics flickering in amusement. "Vector Prime," he responds, mocking the other's tone. The Guardian of Space and Time is not amused, but he betrays nothing, merely remaining in a ready stance. "Why are you here?" At any other time, this confrontation would end in some sort of physical conflict. The exact nature of such would depend on the words traded, the nature of the situation, or even the current state of mind of the two demigods. This time, though, the Fallen simply smiles again and inclines his head. "I heard what happened." Immediately, Vector tenses, stance faltering for just a moment. It's a moment that the Fallen takes full advantage of, closing the space between them and slipping half-behind Vector in one fluid motion. Vector spins around to maintain optic contact, but the Fallen grabs hold to stop him; one hand on his far pauldron, the other on the wrist holding Rhisling. "No playtime today," the Fallen rumbles into his audio, both pleased and annoyed by the way Vector Prime jerks his head away. "Sorry to disappoint." Vector gives him a foul look. "Release me." "Promise not to run away?" If looks could kill, the Fallen would be a pile of ashes. His 'brother' makes such amusing faces, sometimes, especially in the heat of the moment. "Release me," Vector repeats, voice only a few steps away from a snarl. The Fallen does so, flames rippling as he holds back a laugh. As much as Vector Prime argues differently, he's incredibly easy to manipulate so long as you know the right buttons to push. The Prime moves back a few units, giving himself some room as he makes a show of checking his armor for damage. He lingers over his pauldron, scowling as he notices some dents from the Fallen's rough treatment. "Are you done?" the Fallen drawls, amusement fast draining. "Hn." Vector Prime does not sheath Rhisling, but he lets the blade rest at his side as he regards the Fallen warily. "Are you going to tell me what you want?" "I thought it was obvious...to see how my dear sibling is doing after such a lifeshattering event." The Fallen chuckles at Vector Prime tensing again, and is barely able to stop another laugh. Seeing the normally composed Guardian in such a state...though, the Fallen cannot blame him. Vector Prime was always one of the most zealous of their original thirteen, and to have his countless ages of loyalty repaid in such a manner... "As you can see," he says slowly, tightly, adjusting the grip on his sword, "I'm just fine." This time, he doesn't even bother with restraint. The Fallen howls, bending over in mirth as expresses just how much he thinks of that statement. Vector narrows his optics in rage, but doesn't say anything as the Fallen attempts to regain control of himself. Rather: attempts, fails, decides to continue for a while longer, attempts again, and then finally manages to form a coherent sentence. "You really think that!?" Vector Prime glares at him, then turns around, raising Rhisling as if to form a portal. The Fallen belatedly realizes that perhaps he pushed the wrong button, but he grins nonetheless. "I knew it was only a matter of time before you left him, as well." Rhisling screams as it flies through the air, but no portal is created; instead, the Fallen feels an exquisite burst of pain along his torso as the blade tears into his armor. Vector's optics burn with a fire all their own as he pulls it back for another attack, and the Fallen barely manages to grab hold of his sword and pull it out before the Guardian brings up his weapon for another attack. The broad edge of Rhisling creates sparks as it strikes against the Fallen's thinner, but no less deadly sword. The Fallen laughs again, then pushes forwards, trying to shove the other off balance. Vector Prime flows with the motion, ducking under the following slash before thrusting forwards. Once again, blade meets blade, and then again as the two begin their dance. To an outsider, they fight with two completely different styles. Every motion Vector Prime makes seems careful, calculated down to the nanosecond; almost like a sublime dance to an unfaltering rhythm that only he can hear. The Fallen, on the other hand, is much like the nature of the god whom he serves; the only thing that can be related to a dance on him would be the flames that eternally lick at his armor. Everything else seems to be little more than chaos, but it is a chaos he thrives on. "How does it feel, Vector?" he shouts. "How does it feel to realize that you've been on the wrong side all this time!" "SILENCE!" The word speaks for itself. Full of fury and denial and exquisite wrath that the Fallen can practically taste, Vector Prime brings Rhisling down in a powerful, two-handed slash that could easily cleave any Transformer in half. But the Fallen is no ordinary Transformer. He brings up his weapon to block, and the powerful shockwave that emits from the two striking together ripples across the fabric of reality that surround them. Infinitesimally small breaches are torn, but the one sworn to repair them seems oblivious - Vector clenches his jaw, pitting his strength against the Fallen's as he strives to break through and finish his attack. "I will end you," he hisses, "And your treachery, once and for all." "For once," the Fallen points out helpfully, "It wasn't me who betrayed you." With another howl of rage, Vector pulls away only to launch a new volley of strikes. The Fallen finds this endlessly enjoyable; never has he seen Vector Prime like this, with passion overriding all reason. The wound that has formed in his sibling is deep indeed to blind him to all the damage his onslaught is causing. The tempo of the dance has erupted into something else entirely - something that ignites something deep within the Fallen and twists his black Spark into a familiar shape. He emits a sound that can only be described as a purr as Vector takes advantage of an intentional lapse in his guard; the pain of Rhisling sliding in, and then out of his body only adds to the experience as they're brought face to face. "If you're interested," he says, voice unwavering despite the damage to his systems, "My Master would happily take one with talents just yours." Vector spits into his face. "I would never serve the Chaosbringer!" he all but shrieks, twisting his sword. The Fallen shudders in delicious agony, reaching down for Vector's hands. Not to stop him, no, for only Vector can bring this to him and he would never try to stop it, perhaps it could one day lead to his true death but it would be worth it. "Your actions," he rasps, barely able to speak through the sheer amount of sensation, "Say differently." For a moment, nothing happens. Then Vector looks past the Fallen, the madness in his optics dimming only to be replaced with horror as he realizes what he's done. Around them, reality is dying; the sheer amount of damage that has been caused here is already bleeding into others. To a mech who has sworn his life to the upkeep of existence, the fact that he has caused this no doubt strikes him just as deeply as the wound that was already there. The fact that he has done so intentionally in an effort to destroy another... Vector Prime whirls around, all but panicking in an effort to start repairs. He leaps through one of the tears, no doubt realizing that this section is a lost cause - it is all he can do to save what he can, and abandon the rest. In such haste, the Fallen is left abandoned with Rhisling. And once more, he laughs. --------------------------------------------------- Maccadam finds his presence surprising, to say the least. Vector Prime has never bothered to hide his distaste for him, though the few times that they have come into direct contact since the first war the Prime has obviously tried to be somewhat civil. Really, though, it doesn't bother Maccadam. After all, Maccadam was one of the few, other than the Fallen, to leave Primus of their own will. But where Fallen has taken a new master, Maccadam has none. Maccadam has abandoned all of his duties to claim a small section of space and time as his own, a dimensional nexus that seems to exist solely to catch strong Sparks, if only for a brief period of time...to listen to their stories before they reach their final destination. For a long time, Vector Prime seemed to consider it a personal affront. But something fundamental in him changed. Maccadam is no mindreader, but he has developed a knack for being able to sense a mech's mood...among other things. He wordlessly brings his sibling a cube, and it seems to be the right thing to have done. Vector nods slightly, and for a time, loses himself in its contents. When it has been drained, Maccadam brings another, all the while piecing things together. Finally, when he has drawn a conclusion, he speaks. "There are ways," he says quietly, "Of easing the pain." Vector looks up slowly, then back down, before making a heavy sigh. "How?" he asks, reaching to rub at his shoulder. His cube is nearly empty, and Maccadam does not need prompting to bring yet another. "That depends on how far you're willing to go." Such a comment makes the Guardian frown and open his mouth to respond, but Maccadam continues before Vector has a chance to respond. It isn't Vector's fault he's so transparent, but then again...Maccadam has a lot more experience at reading people than the other. "I know what you're thinking, and no, it doesn't involve that. But once you Sever yourself, there's no going back. Ever." "'Sever'?" Vector Prime repeats, furrowing his brow. The word is strange to him, no doubt, and Maccadam nods in confirmation. "It's what the Fallen did." Even Maccadam doesn't speak his true name, but he does so for a completely different reason than Vector's. For while Vector Prime refuses to acknowledge what Fallen once was, Maccadam does it out of respect for Fallen's choice. "Although, he linked to Unicron soon after. You can still hear /him/, can't you?" At Vector's nod, he continues. "Severing removes the link you have to him. You can't hear him anymore, and he can't hear you. You won't be tied anymore, in any way." Even speaking of the act brings a pain to Maccadam's Spark. He watches Vector closely, gauging the other's reaction as the Guardian frowns slightly. "Why do you say there is no going back? Surely Primus co-" "Because Maximo tried," Maccadam cuts in, knowing that Vector would ask such a thing. "Primus' refusal was the last straw for him." The rest of Vector's drink disappears in silence, and it is refilled without a word. This happens for a few - or perhaps many - rounds, until finally Maccadam speaks again. "You can stay as long as you'd like." He turns, having others to mind, but Vector catches his arm. "Are you?" he questions, evoking a blink from Maccadam...and eventually, a very soft and sad smile. He doesn't need elaboration, because they both know exactly what is being spoken of. The gentle removal of his brother's hand is answer enough. --------------------------------------------------- The Liege Maximo finds him in The Hub; this is, to say the least, surprising and not something he can simply overlook. Vector Prime's presence suggests that his secrecy has been compromised, that his plans have been seen by the god that the Prime serves, and the first impulse of the Liege Maximo is to reach out to destroy the Guardian of Space and Time. He hesitates only because Vector Prime meets his gaze without something completely unexpected - apology. "One breem, Maximo. That is all I ask." The Liege Maximo regards the smaller, but no less powerful mech in silence for some time. Then he nods. Vector bows his head in gratitude, which further confuses the Liege Maximo; his memory of the other Original is of a proud mech, easily to and past the point of arrogance. The mech before him, if not for the power that radiates from him and the similarity in design, could be one completely different. But though his attitude is strange, the Liege Maximo is intrigued enough to allow him to speak. "One breem," he confirms, turning to walk down one of The Hub's many channels. Vector Prime ignites his rear jets, keeping up with the larger mech with flight. "Tell me about your Severing." Immediately, the Liege Maximo halts. "No." The mere word brings up memories better left forgotten, and he emits a low growl of displeasure. Vector Prime positions himself before the Liege Maximo, crossing his arms. While he seems contrite, there is also an insistent press to his voice. "Please." The Liege Maximo quickly realizes that despite Vector Prime's manner, the Guardian will not leave without a true response. He growls again, walking past Vector (though the other is quick to remain at his side), and already considering stretching out the breem his once-sibling asked for. But then, something else occurs to him. "Why are you interested?" "I need to know," is the simple reply. Need, not want. That simple word is enough to start a picture. The Liege Maximo frowns, trying to force it to come into a focus...but little comes. All that does come is how this could possibly affect his own plans, his deepest desires. But perhaps it does in a way that doesn't meet the eye... "Liege Maximo," Vector begins again, interrupting his thoughts, "I assure you that I could care little about what you are doing in this section of space. All I want is for you to tell me what happened." "And Primus?" the Liege Maximo rumbles, his crimson optics narrowing to slits as he looks towards the other. Vector Prime's demeanor changes, however subtly; the demigod shifts his weight as a mere mortal would when in an awkward situation. "I...wouldn't know," he admits with obvious reluctance, taking the opportunity to inspect some of the imagery. That invokes a sense of curiosity, but the Liege Maximo does not give in to such an urge - he never does for something so small and petty, else he would never have survived this long. Instead, he mulls this over for a few moments, before coming to his conclusion. "There isn't much to tell," he drones. "And I am sure you know most of it." After all, in those early times, the Originals dealt with one other far more often than they do now. Now, there are only a scattering left, and Vector Prime is the only one who still stubbornly follows the path set forth to him by Primus. The Liege Maximo did not wait until Unicron drew one of their number to his side; he realized his true destiny soon on. He was not born to serve a god; he was to become a god, and knowing this end, he had endured everything with infinite patience. There had been times when his created nature has all but betrayed him, prompting him into acting in ways unbecoming of an immortal, but the Liege Maximo knows beyond a shadow of any doubt that his ascending would purge himself of any such impurities. Vector continues to press. "Maccadam told me you tried to return." "Maccadam is a fool who cannot let go of his, or anyone else's past." "What did Primus say to you?" The Liege Maximo feels another unbecoming urge - anger. "He told me that I did not deserve to have the link reinstated," he sneers. "That I had to live with the consequences of my 'fool decision'." Though the Liege Maximo has come to the conclusion that the only fool decision he made was trying to return, the memory nonetheless still burns. When he takes his rightful place in the universe, Primus will be one of the first to deal with him. The Guardian takes this in, then voices another question. "Why did you try in the first place?" So like a mortal, with incessant questioning. The Liege Maximo feels scorn for the other - one would have thought that the Guardian of Space and Time would have a little more patience. But unfortunately for Vector Prime, the Liege Maximo has only one more set of words for him. "Your breem has expired." --------------------------------------------------- Unicron finds him by tracking the scream to its origin. It ripples across space and time, reminding him of another, long ago, made in his very presence. This, though, has a slightly different tone; the mark of a different mech, and one fueled by different motivations. He did not think that the motivations would lead the demigod this far, but chaos is nothing if not adaptable to a changed circumstance. The Dark God observes the still form of the Guardian until it notices him. Vector Prime starts in surprise, obviously fighting to pull himself together in preparation for a conflict of some sort, but his movements are slow and sluggish at best. It is unsurprising; Vector Prime has performed a task that literally requires he cut himself off from the one who not only created him, but has continued to sustain him through uncountable ages. He has willingly Severed himself, and denied Primus of his own volition. It is an act that makes the Dark God smile. So you have done it, he intones, not a question but a simple statement of fact. Vector Prime watches him as a wounded animal would; tense, wary, but aware of a certain futility. He says nothing, one arm wrapped around his midsection, the other hanging limply at his side. His hand twitches, seeking the reassuring grip of a blade that is no longer there. A useless weapon, to be sure, but its absence is no doubt even further demoralizing to the Prime. Unicron reaches forwards, cupping his hand under Vector Prime's form. Vector reacts out of reflex ingrained into instinct; his wings flare and he shoots upwards, trying to get away. But even were he at peak condition, his attempt is in vain - Unicron merely uses two of his claws to pierce the demigod's wing panels, effectively halting his flight. Vector hisses, struggling a moment more, then slowly stops. His smoldering gaze lacks true fire, but it also lacks submission, accompanied by the defiant tilt of his chin. Worn, but not ruined; defeated, but not broken. Unicron is almost impressed. Almost. What now, former Guardian? he questions. You have abandoned your cause and your god. What is there left for you? "That," rasps Vector Prime, "Is none of your concern." But it is, Unicron counters, curling his fingers. The motion further tears the panels, and Vector Prime winces in pain. You have been an annoyance to me since you were Sparked, and here I find you without the protection of your Creator. What is to stop me from ending your life here and now? Vector Prime is many things. A fool is one of them, but he has never been stupid. "You would have killed me by now if that was your true aim, Chaosbringer," he says stiffly, and Unicron cannot help but reveal fangs in a humorless smile. You of all know that I have been known to play with my food. Reminding the demigod of his place costs him nothing. And there may very well be something to gain from this encounter, if only in the matter of a light snack. His words appear to do the trick; what was the last true follower of Primus is quiet now not out of impudence, but of resignation. Perhaps wanting Unicron to hurry up and make good of his threat. Poor, lost child, he croons, bringing his hand closer to his face. The Original winces again as Unicron removes his claws, and slowly sinks into an upright sprawl. You are a knight without a lord, Vector Prime. My 'true aim' is merely to save you from this paradox. "Liar," Vector coughs, but Unicron continues. Answer me truly; with all of your own truths being shown to be a lie, have you never thought of doing something about it? Unicron questions. Primus has betrayed you, as he did your brother - betray him, and I will reward you. Silence. The demigod looks down at his hands. Not only will Primus regret his actions, but your own will serve to his end, and that of all the suffering he has caused. Your power over timespace will herald an end to the foolish meandering of existence. Still no words, but Vector's face is ridden with guilty anguish. Link to me, Prime. You were born to serve, in some way or fashion. "No," rasps Vector Prime, curling his upright palms into fists. He looks up, and Unicron is mildly surprised to see the fire he thought extinguished burning so brightly in the demigod's optics. "I will not render all the good I have done to this existence a falsehood for you, or any other god." The mild surprise grows at Vector's last comment, but his smile is anything but amused. So be it, the Planet Eater intones, opening his maw. The child of Primus is defiant to the last, even when he has nothing to be defiant for. It is a fallacy for all of creation, but it will be solved in due time... --------------------------------------------------- The Chronarchitect does not find him; he plucks him out of time and space as one would a single thread in a great and elaborate tapestry. The demigod emits a shrill noise as he's pulled farther out then he has ever ventured before; it is akin to having splashed in a puddle, then suddenly being thrown into the ocean. Only the nature of his creation and his design allows Vector Prime to function here, and it is with this in mind that the Chronarchitect gives him some time to recover. But he does not wait forever. Godling, he calls. Vector Prime turns around, and the Chronarchitect can see the distress in every fiber of the demigod's being. He wonders how much is from him, and his actions directly, and how much is from the situation he has just been delivered from. The Chronarchitect was aware of Unicron's attempt at subversion before it even began; such is his sight. "Ch-chronarchitect," the Guardian stutters, forming a hasty bow. The two have directly encountered each other a sparse handful of times, but the power difference between them is obvious to them both. For while Vector manipulates time, can tug on the threads of existence...the Chronarchitect is time. The threads are his veins, the many layers of existence his skin. And he does not have the need - nor the urge - to pretend that he is anything different than what he truly is. Be at ease, godling. Vector immediately starts to obey, but he cannot completely; he is still too wound up from his near death. What's more, there is a bitterness in him - a bitterness directly related to his encounters with gods, Unicron, Primus, and now such is being directed towards him... The Chronarchitect rebukes such thoughts with the manifestation of a light smack to Vector's helm. Enough. Such is precisely why I have brought you here. As Vector rubs the side of his head, the god continues. I will make no illusions to you; while have always been a source of interest to me, you have heightened it as of late only because you are acting as a fool. Vector's temper is no doubt only stayed by his respect for the power the Chronarchitect wields. Still, the Chronarchitect approves of the way he reigns it in. "Then why have you brought me here?" he asks slowly. To offer you a choice. The demigod stiffens, but the Chronarchitect continues before bias can harden. As I said, you have always been a source of interest to me. You, among all of Primus's children, can begin to grasp the complexities of time and space; moreso, you respect them for what they are. For this, though you are not my creation, I hold an appreciation for your and believe it in my interest for your existence to continue. It is for this that I offer you three choices. Much of the anger has left Vector Prime, replaced with other emotion. The foremost is curiosity; the demigod regards the Chronarchitect with it mirrored on his face, but says nothing as he waits for the god to continue. One - I will use my power to reverse events, and create enough of an alteration to avoid its restart. Vector's optics flash in surprise. "Paradox," he protests, and he is right. To alter what happened would be to alter what followed; in turn, the two of them speaking would never - will never have happened. In turn, events will not have been altered... One I could easily manage, the Chronarchitect explains. You understand, though, that the process would entail a certain amount of memory alteration. Vector Prime interprets this as a simplified concept - as the catalyst to all that has happened would never have happened, then there would be no way for those involved to process that it had. Effectively, he would be back at the beginning, with none the wiser for the scope of his god's capabilities. The godling swallows. "But such could happen again, in another circumstance." The Chronarchitect is impressed by Vector Prime's deduction. Yes, he says simply. Though that event would be avoided, he could not ensure that it would never happen again at a later date. It would be all the more likely to, in truth; one can only delay for so long. "What is your next offer?" Link with me. Unicron was correct in that you were created to serve under a god. He allows this to sink in a moment. You understand that servitude is not the same as slavery; your function would change little, as Primus's goals and mine are similar. We both work so that the Grand Plan can come to fruition...to a point. "In other words," Vector Prime says, voice hard, "You are as selfish as he." All gods are selfish by nature, godling, the Chronarchitect notes. The simple truth is that though we work towards the Grand Plan, we will always put our own selves first. And, to a lesser extent, our creations. But when our creations are put at odds with our ends, our choice has already been made. Vector Prime knows this well. It was the catalyst. Your function and my goals coincide; this is the boon I offer you. He mulls over the Chronarchitect's words before speaking again. "And your last?" I send you to the reality of your choosing, and let fate decide the rest. Renew, relink, or return - these are the three offers that the Chronarchitect has made. But to his surprise, Vector Prime brings up another. "Would you send me back to Unicron?" You seek to link with him? Was the Chronarchitect incorrect in assuming it was a fate that the demigod did not desire? But Vector Prime shakes his head. "No. But if I asked you to send me back from whence you took me so that I could face my end - would you?" It is the Chronarchitect who now mulls over Vector Prime's words. His answer is slow in coming, but it is true. If you truly desired it, then yes, I would. Though it is in his interest for the Guardian to continue his upkeep of space and time, he does not believe that Vector Prime would go so far as to link with the Dark God. That would be an event he could not allow to continue; it would force him into action. But if Vector Prime were to simply end... His death would be regrettable, but not something that would endanger himself or the Grand Plan. Is this what you wish? A soft smile spreads over the demigod's features. --------------------------------------------------- Primus finds him on the edge of a universe. Without the link to his creation, he has had to track him down through other means; means that could very well have exposed him to Unicron and result in another cataclysmic battle, but his opposite has not revealed himself. It would have been a pity if he did. There is much to be done if Vector Prime's faith is to be restored before he is destroyed. Vector Prime does not try to flee, though he does hesitate before transforming. Primus feels a pang of regret, but knows that this is not the end. Hello, Vector Prime. "Hail, Primus." His creation's words are stiff, and without their usual intonation of respect; it seems as though Vector Prime is forcing himself to say his name. Primus watches the demigod, noting his demeanor, his attitude, his posture, even the healing rents in his wings. It appears that Unicron and Vector had a talk of their own; the Dark God's marks are clear. The only question is how Vector was able to escape - did Unicron let him go? Did another interfere? His thoughts drift... "Is there something you wanted?" The offer is not made out of courtesy - it is obvious Vector Prime would rather be elsewhere. Primus decides to be honest with him. I would like you back. His Original crosses his arms before him. "I have Severed myself, Primus," he says quietly, the note of finality in his voice saying so much more than his words. I know. But I would still take you back. Vector frowns, not expecting it. "Why?" You Severed yourself wrongly, Vector Prime - nor did you give me time to explain my actions, to make you understand. "You are a god. You need not explain." Primus is surprised to hear something in Vector Prime's voice that suggests he does understand - at least in part. Nonetheless. Will you return? "Why?" Vector Prime asks, spreading his hands. "Why me? Why not the Liege Maximo, or even Maccadam? Do you not miss them as well?" Of course I do. Even my Fallen, I miss. It is truth - though the Fallen has committed grievous misdeeds against him, Primus would grant him mercy if asked. The mercy would be a swift death, but nonetheless. The Liege Maximo Severed himself without understanding that he had not truly understanding that he was still following the duties I had set forth for him. He still serves me, though he is not linked. As for Maccadam... He never Severed himself, Vector. Though he has chosen to leave, he has not made that final step. The demigod is silent for a long time. Primus allows him to think, to understand. But he frowns when his Guardian finally speaks. "So Maccadam is a coward. And you, a manipulator." I wish you wouldn't see it that way, Vector. "Many things are seen another way, when light is cast upon them." True. And that is what started this in the first place. Vector Prime learned a fundamental truth that day: darkness may smother, but light burns. Primus does not regret teaching Vector Prime this lesson, but he does regret his Original's stubborn refusal to understand. "For all that is different between you and Unicron," Vector Prime continues, "There is much the same. Your methods are different, but your ruthlessness to your ideals are not. Just as Unicron seeks to consume your Light, so do you seek to overwhelm his Darkness. "I cannot even begin to understand your motivations; I never have, and I never will. I am simply not capable of knowing the mind of a god, but I do know this: It is our actions that define us, and whether we are good...or evil. "I have seen you are just as capable for 'Evil' as Unicron. I cannot truly call you such, or even 'Good', because they both are mortal concepts and you are anything but mortal. You are a god, Primus, and to call you one or the other would be denying half of what you are. Any perception I have of you is a mere shadow, at best." Perhaps he does understand, after all. "I am sorry, Primus. While you could take me back, I could not take you." Then at least take this. Part of Primus feared this would happen, but he holds no ill towards his creation. Rather; in a sense, he is proud that Vector Prime has matured so, has come to such an insight. Vector Prime catches the item easily, slowly bringing it before his face as his optics widen. "Rhisling," he murmurs in recognition. May it continue to serve you, as you once served me. Goodbye, Vector Prime. --------------------------------------------------- Vector Prime finds himself doing what he has done since he was first Sparked; monitoring the fabric of time and space, and repairing what damages he finds. He does so, though the damage in him will never truly heal...but the hurt is less than what it first was. Time heals all wounds, or at least allows them to scar over. It helps that he has found something else to devote his life to, other than a god; rather, the ideal of a god he had held in his Spark for so long. For it would be foolish to claim that he has stopped serving Primus - it would be akin to claiming he does not serve the Chronarchitect. Or even Unicron, during those rare and regretful times when he must intentionally cut off a part of reality so that the greater part of it can survive. The gods will inevitably find a way to turn the actions of those below them to their own ends. Vector Prime does not begrudge them this. He accepts it with the knowledge that who he has chosen to now serve are in far more need of his skills. 'Serve' is a misnomer, in truth. As the Chronarchitect mentioned, to be of help to another is not the same to slavery. Admittedly, the ones he now 'serve' do not always know that he is there. Many are ignorant of his existence. It is a thankless function he performs, now, one that puts himself into danger more often than not. And this time, there is no lifeline to grab hold when he needs to pull his damaged form out of a black hole that seeks to rend him apart. But he finds the smiles and laughter of mortals worth it.