Band of Brothers

An Autobot searches for his brother...

by Fred's Workshop

I walk the battlefield, stepping lightly amongst the bodies, looking for my brother, fearing the worst. It's been over two cycles since his last communication. There is little more I can do but keep searching.

On earth, our weapons are lower-powered; the worst that would happen was that you'd get the wind knocked out of you; maybe a few circuits fried. A quick trip to the repair bay, and you were as good as new. But here on Cybertron, blasters fire with full intensity, doing real (and permanent) damage.

It was foolish of us to come back here. We didn't have to; we could just as easily have stayed on earth. But Sideburn was insistant; with Megatron out of the picture (at least, for the moment) we had time to rest, to catch up on other duties...and to visit old friends.

That's what brought us back to Cybertron, really. Old friends. An old friend of Sideburns'. A FEMALE friend.

Many things changed after the Unformatting. Cybertron was returned to its former metal glory. And our fellow Cybertonians were restored, as well...those that wanted to revel in the old ways again were able to, while those few who preferred an organic existance were free to pursue it.

That's when things changed for Sideburn. After the unformatting, that is. When he used to be known as HotRod...


You see, Hotrod was the one that helped bring about the unformatting (see my fanfic, Crime and Punishment), which returned Cybertron to its former metal glory. The machinations of the Oracle, and of the beast machines that followed it, were but a fading memory for most. True, there were still organic Cybertonians, but those few who chose that life retreated to Cybertron's two moons (themselves replacement, organic moons brought in long after the Unicron War). It was this that eventually ended things for Hotrod, and brought about the birth of Sideburn.

The minds of Transformers are not like the minds of others. Yes, they have memories and emotions, but these are stored as Datatracks. And as we all know, datatracks are like files on a computer; they can be altered, reprogrammed...or erased. If you erase the datatracks, you have essentially 'killed' that transformer. True, the essense of the being is still alive within their soul, or 'spark' as they call them, but everything that made up the life of that particular being is stored within the datatracks. There are few sparks that carry this information encoded within them. Those that don't...become blank slates.

This happened to a great number of Cybertonians...including Hotrod's consort. It was thus that when Hotrod went searching for the great love of his life, he didn't find her. Oh, he found her spark, her essense, wasn't his consort. It wasn't the Arcee that he remembered. That being was gone, her datatracks lost. The only memory of her even having existed was held by Hotrod himself...the last of the true Autobots, one whose datatracks survived both the Battle for the Spark, and the Unformatting. Hotrod's datatracks survived because of his connection to the Matrix at the time of the planet's unformatting (see Crime and Punishment). Only one other's essense remained intact during that process...Optimus Prime.


Notes: presumably, the Oracle DID half-win. Memories were altered somewhat. Most Cybertonians' memories were erased? Whatever the reasoning, many remember their names, but most else is gone...they're all new beings. Or maybe the few memories they do have, have no context. Or perhaps everyone's memories were altered (but based on what?) Bottom line is that for whatever reason,. Arcee is gone, so Hotrod has his memories erased (death of Hotrod/birth of Sideburn) and a new paintjob (blue painted over red) so that no one associates him with the old Hotrod persona(such as those who were there during the unformatting who might recognise him.) Or maybe somehow Nightbeat and Hotrod merge? That might be a great way to explain the power-up/color-change on RID...the Hotrod persona emerges when he is powered up. That would mean that there is an accident, and somehow both sets of sparks/datatracks are shoved into one body at some point before...does that mean Prowl carries Bluestreak's and Smokescreen's personality with him? Tracks is one of the bullet-trains? In any event, Sideburn somehow gets part of his Hotrod memories back, and goes looking for a friend...