Edit: Had to censor some swears and Allspark doesn't translate bold or italicized words for some reason. Regardless, hope it turned out alright.
Three fragging years and Perceptor still couldn't figure out how to break spacetime.
Sorry, did I say three years? I meant three million. Working with transwarp cells does that after awhile. One minute, you're measuring time IN minutes, the next, half the stars in the universe have burnt out, or don't exist yet, or never sparked at all. Such is the life of a temporal physicist.
Now, when were we? Oh, yes. For the past metric scrapton of existence, Perceptor has been sitting in his office working on a transwarp drive, trying to crack the secrets of how to break science with science. You'd think Optimus would be happy after he built a fragging SHRINK RAY, but no, apparently being a miracle worker wasn't good enough. He'd been tinkering so long in his lab that he hadn't even realized the war had ended already, and Optimus was little more than a historical footnote. His lab wasn't even real anymore, not really, as it had been demolished millennia ago in order to be replaced by a bar run by some bot named Maccadam. In spite of this, however, Perceptor continued on, tinkering in his lab that shouldn't exist, surrounded by enough temporally-charged material to make the Big Bang happen thrice at the same time. "Better than going outside and facing him," he thought bitterly.
He had nearly finished rebalancing the chronal calibration systems when-
Time itself lurched forward and Perceptor was thrown into the brilliant and terrifying unreality of transwarp space, the atoms of his body dispersing, recollecting, then dispersing again through a million, million moments all at once. He saw the past in all its primordial terror, the cosmos roamed by old and dead races that could dwarf suns, kill matter, and eat gods. There was one entity in particular that stood out, who's name Perceptor heard in a thousand screams, a thousand languages: Mogahn.
Then, his fragmented consciousness shifted again, this time far into the future, where the old stars he once knew had burned out and the galaxy had tinted from milky pink to turquoise blue. The Autobots and Decepticons were long dead, replaced by countless successor races, be they Maximals, Predacons, Terrakors, Guardians, or any other number of offshoot species. The history of Cybertron itself flashed before his eyes, going from blue-green to grey to gold to blue-green again, the towering cityscapes lining the planets surface appearing for mere moments before being destroyed, buried, and forgotten.
As the rest of the universe unfolded before his eyes, Perceptor could only watch. Watch as galaxies spiraled and collided, civilizations rose and fell, until nothing was left but the Void, empty and dark with only himself remaining. He saw Cybertron again, and on it, his workshop, and even himself, staring back at him in fear and awe from across the ages.
And then he saw Brianstorm.
Poor, tired old Brainstorm sitting outside his workshop door, head in his hands. They had been arguing earlier, and both had said the types of things that only wounded lovers could.
"Why can't you ever take things seriously anymore, I'm worried!"
"Why does it matter? You're never around anyway, what does it matter if I'm careless?!"
"Well maybe if you weren't so careless, you'd still have Quark instead of me!"
They hadn't spoken since, and by the looks of it, never would again. As Perceptor drifted in unreality, watching tens, then hundreds, then thousands of years pass before his optics, he saw Brainstorm still sitting there outside his office door, waiting. And waiting. And waiting. As centuries, then millennia, then eons flashed by, there Brainstorm sat, alone for the rest of time. Perceptor felt his spark split in two.
As if spurred by his sadness, time shifted the other direction, playing Cybertron's history in reverse. As the Golden Age fell back into its peak and the Quintesons uninvaded, the planet reverted to it's original organic state, a green-blue marble so similar to Earth that it was uncomfortable. That wasn't what was bothering Perceptor, however. It was what was before that. As time died backwards, so did Cybertron, its sprawling continents falling back into lithium seas, which preventually dried up, leaving a barren, empty husk of a world. And in that husk, Perceptor looked into the heart of the planet, and the planet looked back. Those weren't lava pools; they were eyes. And in them, Perceptor saw the history of his people, of himself, of the sun and the stars and the whole of creation.
The barren canyons on the world below shifted as time blurred faster, forming a haunting smile. As much as he wanted to, Perceptor couldn't look away, captivated by the great and terrible being staring into his soul. It had a thousand names; Primus, The One, It, Vector Sigma, VOK-Center. Whatever the title, Perceptor knew it for what it was, deep in the pit of his spark. God.
Time stopped completely. There was nothing else, no sun, no stars, no space, no anything. Just Perceptor and Him. "I want to go home," Perceptor said. "Please, I'll do anything, I just want to go home!" No response. Quietly, in a voice only he should've been able to hear, Perceptor said, "I want to see Brainstorm again..." As he said the words, God looked at him,
Time started up again, convulsing, then surging before Perceptor could even realize what was happening. History lurched forward, then backward, then sideways before Perceptor's optics, every moment crashing around him at once. He had the vague notion he was dying, his atoms finally dispersing as history swallowed him whole. In his final moments, he saw Brainstorm again, sitting in front of his workshop door, alone. Perceptor wished he'd die faster.
V0Ķ CENTER (P)RIM<us> (ER)ROR 19-84:
Perceptor woke up in his office with a scream and fell to the floor. He stayed there for about a week as his internal systems remembered what reality felt like, before finally figuring out how to stand. He couldn't remember much, only a vague sense of cosmic dread and...and eyes. As if by magic, he was able to recall one image vividly, of a sad scientist sitting alone outside. Brainstorm.
Rushing out of the lab, Perceptor found him sitting exactly where he thought he would. They stared at each other for what felt like eternity, both trying to find the words. Brainstorm started first. "Percy, I'm so, sorry, I-" was as far as he got before the other scientist hugged him. "Don't be," he said. "I'm sorry too. I shouldn't have mentioned Quark, that was wrong of me. I know I'm a sorry piece of slag, but would you like to go get a drink? I need to get out of the lab."
"Yeah," Brainstorm said quietly. "That sounds nice. You're paying though."
Edited by That One Guy, 25 June 2020 - 04:00 PM.