Arcee slowly opened her eyes and realized she was lying face-down in the field of grass. As she stirred from her unconsciousness, she pushed herself up and looked around. Rainbow Dash had apparently disappeared. Arcee could only see a thick veil of fog no matter what direction she looked.
"Hey kid?!" Arcee shouted in all directions. "Where'd you go?" Arcee waited for a response, but the air was filled with silence.
"Looking for someone?" A familiar voice rang out of nowhere.
Arcee stopped dead in her tracks with complete shock. "It can't be…" Arcee whispered to herself with eyes wide open as she recognized the voice. She turned to the direction where she heard the voice and saw a shadowy figure slowly walking towards her. It looked about the size of a Cybertronian, but what made him stick out was the pair of bull's horns sticking out of his head.
"Cliffjumper?" Arcee muttered faintly. As the figure came closer and out of the fog, his red body came clearly into focus. It was indeed Arcee's old friend Cliffjumper.
"The one and only," Cliffjumper replied smugly.
"Cliff, I don't believe it..." Arcee said in surprise as she slowly approached her friend. She reached one of her hands out and slowly brought her fingers to touch his chest. "You're really here. But how? I saw you- I saw you..."
"Can't really say I understand it myself," Cliffjumper replied. "I remember being brought aboard the Decepticon Warship, but it just kinda goes hazy after that."
A frown appeared on Arcee's face. "So then you don't know who did it to you, do you?" She asked disappointingly.
"Look that doesn't matter," Cliffjumper said reassuringly as he placed a hand on Arcee's shoulder. "What matters is that I'm here now."
"But how?" Arcee inquired.
"Well I can't say for sure," Cliffjumper answered. "But I think it might have had something to do with this." As he finished his sentence, he opened up the palm of his other hand to reveal a small golden necklace.
Arcee's eyes widened with shock once more. "I don't believe it..."
"It was nothing but pitch black for miles, then I saw this shiny little thing glimmering out of nowhere, and as soon as I touched it, I woke up here, and I heard your voice," Cliffjumper said softly.
"Cliff, I need you to give me that necklace," Arcee said sternly yet softly.
"What, why?" Cliffjumper asked defensively.
"It's hard to explain, but that necklace is the key to saving the world right now." Arcee answered.
As Cliffjumper looked at the necklace deep in thought, he finally turned to Arcee and answered, "I can't."
"What, why?" Acree inquired.
Cliffjumper said nothing as he held out the necklace and let it drop to the ground. As soon as he let go, his body started to turn transparent.
"NO!" Arcee cried out in urgency.
Cliffjumper immediately reached for the necklace once more. As soon as his fingertip touched the necklace, his body started returning to normal.
"I'm only here as long as I stay connected to this necklace," Cliffjumper answered flatly. "If I give it to you, I'll disappear."
"Then come back to the base," Arcee pleaded. "We can figure something out!"
"Come on Arcee," Cliffjumper retorted. "Do you really think Cybertronian technology has ever been prepared to deal with something like this?"
"Well we can try!" Arcee shouted desperately.
"I admire your optimism," Cliffjumper answered as he turned around and began walking away. "But it just isn't happening."
"Where are you going?" Arcee asked with a demanding tone.
"I'm thinking of setting out on my own; try to find my own answers," Cliffjumper replied as he continued to walk away. "You're welcome to come along,"
"Cliff wait!" Arcee cried out desperately. But Cliffjumper simply ignored her and kept walking. Frustrated, Arcee pulled out one of her arm blasters and aimed in his direction. "Last chance Cliffjumper! Stop now or I shoot!"
Cliffjumper stopped walking, but he still didn't turn to face Arcee. "So, you'd really go that far?" he asked flatly.
"Cliffjumper, I'm sorry," Arcee answered with remorse. "But I need that necklace and you aren't giving me any other options."
"I should have known you would never show me any loyalty," Cliffjumper stated as he finally turned to face Arcee. His once blue eyes were now glowing a fiery red. "After all, you let me perish that day didn't you?"
Arcee felt stunned at the question. She lowered her weapon and, for a moment, her guard. Cliffjumper took advantage of this moment and rushed into her with a hard punch to the gut. Before Arcee could collapse to the ground, Cliffjumper delivered another blow that sent her flying back. He took the necklace and placed it around one of his horns, pushing it down to make sure it wouldn't budge.
"Sorry, Arcee," Cliffjumper feigned remorse. "But you leave me no other choice."
Arcee quickly picked herself up and got into a fighting stance. "Cliffjumper, it doesn't have to be this way." She pleaded.
"Oh yes it does," Cliffjumper answered. "Because you could have saved me back there. You could have taken me with you back to base. But instead, you dropped me, and left me for scrap when the mine blew up!"
The accusation pierced Arcee to the core as she remembered that time the Autobots raided the Decepticon mine to rescue Cliffjumper. But horror filled her mind as she remembered the mindless Terrorcon that Cliffjumper had become when she finally found him.
"That wasn't you anymore!" Arcee protested. "You had become...something awful."
"Are you sure about that?" Cliffjumper taunted. "Or do you just tell yourself that to put your mind at ease?"
Arcee couldn't take anymore as she pulled out her arm blades and rushed toward Cliffjumper. She kept slashing at him, but he simply weaved and dodged her attacks. Then he grabbed her arm mid-attack and tossed her away. He pulled out a blaster and shot her midair, which sent her crashing back into the dirt.
"Cliff," she muttered to herself weakly. "I'm so sorry..."
"So you're giving up then?" a high pitched voice rang from nowhere.
Arcee's eyes opened as she realized who was talking to her. She pulled her head up to find Rainbow Dash sitting beside her.
"Where did you come from?" Arcee asked with surprise.
"Oh I don't know," Rainbow answered timidly while trying to avoid eye contact. "Somewhere I guess..."
Arcee frowned as she realized Rainbow Dash still needed to return to normal. But she was simultaneously struck with inspiration as she looked over to Cliffjumper and saw the Element. Arcee remembered what she was fighting for.
"I'm not done yet," Arcee strained as she pulled herself up.
"Really?" Rainbow Dash inquired. "But I thought he was super important to you. Would you really fight your friend?"
Arcee had to think before giving an answer. "Cliffjumper is important to me. But I can't turn my back on Optimus and the others. They need me, just like your friends need you."
"My friends?" Rainbow Dash asked faintly. The memories of the times she spent with Fluttershy, Pinkie Pie, Rarity, Twilight Sparkle, and Applejack started to return to her. "But aren't you still breaking a loyalty, no matter which side you choose?"
"Loyalty works both ways kid," Arcee answered. "You show loyalty to the ones who will treat you with loyalty in kindl!"
Rainbow Dash kept Arcee's word in mind, but before she could continue, Arcee made another charge toward Cliffjumper. She fired from her arm blasters as she ran towards him, but the shots seemed to do little damage. Cliffjumper charged forwrad and attempted to punch Arcee. She slid under the fist and performed and uppercut that knocked Cliffjumper on his back. As Arcee rushed over to deal the finishing blow, she flashed back to the image of Cliffjumper at the mind. She paused for another moment, which Cliffjumper took advantage of once more. He quickly raised his arm cannon and shot Arcee point blank in the chest, which sent her flying back. Arcee was about to try and stand up when she suddenly found Cliffjumper standing over her, with his cannon aimed right at her face.
Just then a blue blur brushed right past his face. He looked up to see a small, flying blue pony with a Rainbow colored mane.
"Hey ugly!" Rainbow Dash shouted boldly. "Bet you can't catch me!"
Cliffjumper scowled ferociously at the new pest, but before he could act, he felt himself knocked off balance by a sweeping kick from Arcee. He aimed his cannon at Arcee once more, but she knocked his arm out of the way and deal a fierce barrage of punches. Cliffjumper was knocked back and stunned, but still standing. Cliffjumper readied himself as Arcee made another charge toward him, but he suddenly found his vision blocked by Rainbow Dash suddenly appearing in front of his face. He tried to swat her out of the way, but she maneuvered too fast and was flying circles around him. As Cliffjumper was distracted by Rainbow Dash's antics, he didn't notice Arcee coming into range until it was too late. He tried throwing a punch at her, but before he could land the hit, he felt his jaw being struck by a powerful flying kick. The force from the attack sent Cliffjumper flying, and kocked him flat on his back.
Cliffjumper tried to get up, but he didn't have any strength left. His red eyes returned to their old blue color as he saw Arcee looming over him.
"Who knew you had it in ya?" Cliffjumper said weakly with a smile.
"I'm sorry, Cliffjumper," Arcee said solemnly.
"If you're going to do it, then do it," Cliffjumper ordered fiercely. "Just promise me you won't let the cons win."
Arcee nodded her head in agreement without saying a word. She slowly reached for the necklace on Cliffjumper's horn. "Goodbye, Cliff," she whispered sadly. With that she yanked the necklace off, and watched as her friend slowly faded away.
Suddenly, the field was enveloped in a white light. When the light passed, Rainbow Dash found herself back to normal, wearing her restored necklace.
"Aww yeah!" Rainbow Dash shouted triumphantly. "We did it, Arcee!." Rainbow Dash waited for an answer, but she only heard silence. "Arcee?"
Rainbow Dash turned to find her friend still in the spot she was before, deep in though.
"You okay?" Rainbow asked in concern.
"I'm fine," Arcee answered flatly as she finally turned to acknowledge Rainbow Dash. "Let's get back to the others."