Disclaimers: Transformers © HasTak, IDW. "Transformers" © Dreamworks, Paramount, HasTak. - - - - - - - Local Freeways - - - - - - - "...not take the Foothill." "Well, why not?" "If we take Huntington, there's a lot more to see than mountains on one side and rooftops on the other!" "But there's stoplights on Huntington, although I suppose it does allow a little sightseeing. What about the Pomona?" "Eh... Not sure, cuz there isn't much to see. Besides, we'll have to hit the East LA Interchange if we stick with the Pomona and we know how messy it is passing through that area. Heck, I can barely handle the Pasadena when I go through it." "Okay, save the east side for some other time. What about west?" "The Santa Monica, Century, Ventura, Hollywood... Some of those are scenic routes, so that's pretty good..." "There's always driving up the PCH for coastal scenery." "Not bad idea. Probably could make a couple other drivers feel a little squirrelly. Then we could drop back down through San Joaquin and..." Elita-1 tilted her head at the two young adults'... "conversation", trying to make sense of the words thrown so casually that seemed second nature to Sam and Mikaela. Even with knowledge downloaded from the World Wide Web, the maps they had spread out and what was displayed on the portable computer were barely helping on understanding the apparent codes used. She wondered if she should get Ratchet to check up on them for any malfunctions, despite still working through on comprehending the orientation from two Terran weeks ago. A hand slipped into hers before a familiar spark gently nudged a little and another's helm nuzzling rose-colored projections. "Something puzzling you?" She smiled softly, her spark nudging back through their bond. "Attempting to comprehend what they are talking about. Much of the terms used are in conjunction with the major cities around here but I am debating whether I should call in Ratchet due to the apparent misuse." Sam grinned, having heard Optimus' sparkmate question his and Mikaela's "sanity". "We're using them right, we're just using 'em differently." Her optic guards flickered in a blinking gesture. "Pardon?" A giggle from Mikaela as she rustled through the maps before smoothing out one. "Our freeways have designations by numbers, like Interstate 5, Interstate 10 or I-10 for short, State Route 110, and so on. Most of the freeways signs have that designation, which direction they run, and the control cities they fall under. For example, when I say 'take the Santa Monica', I mean take the I-10 westbound; opposite is true if I say 'take the San Bernardino', which means going east. Reason is that the I-10 runs from Santa Monica in the west, to San Bernardino once past through the East Los Angeles Interchange in Downtown Los Angeles." "I see..." Elita bent over a little to the table where the young adults were sitting on, scanning the colored lines, letters, and numbers. She had seen the roads and signs, having traveled on several of them after landing near what was deemed Reno, Nevada, but hadn't given it any further thought, much less think of it literally an aspect of the local humans' culture. "Then there's the I-5, to which us Californians usually call it the Golden State Freeway, since it pretty much runs straight through the entire length of California, given its nickname is the Golden State," Sam added, running a finger along said highway. "Some of the freeways share names and that depends on where you are. The Santa Ana Freeway is consisted of State Route 101 and the I-5 on the southeast part of LA County as one example, the Ventura Freeway sharing parts of the 101 and State Route 134 on the west side of LA County and then into Ventura County as another." Optimus rumbled softly, Mikalea hearing the whirls of the smaller gears as he also leaned over to examine. "Why use those designations instead of their numerical ones?" Amused shrugs from the humans. "We do use the numbers if we're in a hurry," Witwicky admitted, "but it's sometimes fun to see tourists and newbies go all cross-eye when you're giving directions. Traffic reporters use their full names, and not all freeway signs have it displayed so we sometimes use the control cities and given names. It's sorta a SoCal tradition, I guess. I mean, both of us were born and raised here so it sticks, not to mention it's a trademark of SoCal. Betcha there'd be other places with this kind of naming scheme." "Interesting designation semantics," the rose-colored femme murmured, intrigued by the usage. Before the war, their roads simply used numbers and letters to differentiate. "And your earlier conversation?" Exchanged smiles between the smaller pair. "Up for road trip along the California coast and interior?" Mikaela quipped. - - - - - - - A/N: Written for the Allspark's March fic challenge "Culture Shock". Southern California freeways have a bit of culture onto themselves. Huntington is Huntington Drive that runs a good length on the east side of the Greater Los Angeles, running through at least five cities.