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Transformers Prime: Ordeal

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Old 05-24-2012, 05:24 PM   #1
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Transformers Prime: Ordeal

Wow, this is my first fanfiction posted here on TFW2005, so I'll give it my best shot and try not to disappoint you guys. I guess it's obvious, but this one here is set in the Transformers: Prime Universe. XP
Okay, here goes:

Summary: Rachel Hawkins will learn at a terrible price that, once involved, nothing will ever be the same. How can the Autobots and their latest recruit, Prowl, help her overcome the challenges that lie ahead when they're too busy solving problems of their own?


Transformers Prime: Ordeal


~Prologue~

You want to know something about stories? Almost all the time, they start with one or a bunch of characters who embark on this grand adventure, and as they journey through life, they encounter huge amounts of problems, obstacles and challenges... All those factors amass into an epic climax, embroiled with danger, misconceptions and tensions, before it spirals down to a calm, collective and happy ending.
This story isn't a happy one. It doesn't have a happy ending, like you'd expect it to. At least I don't see it. My life isn't coming to an end, but I feel as though I'm hosting a decaying soul, devoid of all the joy that makes me the person that I am. To me, I've lost all reasons to live.
Many people have told of their own greatest discoveries, whether it be the unraveling of a theory or that hidden talent they were unaware of. But none of their jubilant breakthrough can top what I have to reveal: together with my best friend, we have practically discovered the existence of an alien race of mechanical, sentient beings known as Cybertronians, or as some of us like to call them, Transformers. They say we are part of the very lucky few to have befriended the Autobots, a group of warriors who hide in plain sight, but who fight and defend us in the name of peace and justice from a threat that most of us do not even know of. Unfortunately, being friends with the Autobots, I have crossed paths with the enemy known as the Decepticons, harbingers of destruction. One of them has grown very fond of me because of one little incident, one little accident, and I understand now that he will hunt me down until I either breathe my very last breath, or until he fires his last missile.
I... I can't get my thoughts together. There are too many of them, one as painful as the other, expanding, multiplying as they begin to take too much space for my head to contain. My vision is blurred by the tears that I have shed for the past hour. I can't stop crying. I can't control my trembling, sobbing body.
My story won't have a happy ending, because today... I have just lost my best friend.

***


Author's note: This is a fanfiction turning into an audiobook project. The prologue's already up, so check it out and tell me what you think:

Transformers Prime: Ordeal ~ Prologue ~ - YouTube
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #2
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this sounds like a good one can't wait to read more
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:49 PM   #3
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Thanks! I'm posting chapter one right up!
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:53 PM   #4
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~Act I, Chapter I~



"Michelangelo! If I ever catch you falling asleep in class again, I promise you'll have to catch up with so much homework, you won't even sleep at night!"

Hearing her seethe those words as she yelled after me gave me a good reason to run out of class as fast as possible when the school bell rang. Yeah, I already had my daily dose of scolding from my History teacher, so I didn't think I needed to hear another lecture from her about some little accident that happens to every student at least once in their life.

I was a little too much on my computer yesterday night, and by the time I went to bed, it was 3:00 am. Guilty as charged, I won't deny that. But I won't deny that I haven't tried as hard as I possibly could to stay awake in class. When it comes to the cranky, shriveled Miss Dawson's History lessons, unless you had your coffee, you're guaranteed to at least get distracted by the birds outside. I don't even remember the last thing she talked about before I fell asleep. Yeah, it was that boring. The only thing I learned today in History was that if President Lincoln was my History teacher and caught me taking a nap in class, he would have sent me out to work in the fields, to make up for the time I wasted on sleeping.

Well, if it means not ever coming back to her lessons, then hell yeah! Sign me up any time soon!

So, as you can clearly see, I had a great day until Miss Screw-you-I'm-Your-Teacher caught me dozing off in class and had me involved the last 15 minutes in an argument. I think that was a lot more interesting than what she had to teach. Sure, what I did was wrong, but I can't help it if she doesn't know how to teach history.

I barged out of the doors of our school after hearing another dissing remark from the janitor, telling us students the golden rule of NOT running in the halls. Pff, still can't believe that people like him treat us like 5th graders, even though we're all in high-school by now. But I didn't waste more time thinking about it, because nothing felt better than breathing that fresh air of freedom after a long day's work.

As I ran down the stairs, I looked eagerly around me. I was searching for my friend and we would usually meet up after class. It didn't take me long until I spotted a group of girls near the sidewalk. I knew I had found her, since Native-American girls with wavy, shoulder-length hair like hers is very hard to miss in this school. I slung my bag over my shoulders, put the most charming smirk on my face and walked up to the clique... Like a boss. "Hey, ladies."

The girls in the group giggled and laughed, and I even spotted one blushing. I still had the moves.

The Native-American girl turned around, her face showing a mix of amusement or annoyance. "Hey there, slacker."

Wow, she didn't miss a beat. That was one way to ruin my image.

I gasped, playing it up a little dramatically. "Rachel, I'm offended. Is that how you treat your oldest friend?"

She waved goodbye to her school friends as they left, and she had that mocking smile plastered on her face when she looked over to me. "I'd treat you better if stopped showing off in front of my friends."

"Oh, come on, they like it when I do that!"

"Yeah, because it looks funny."

"That's what you say, but you know I'm right." I stated, "Did you see Alice? I could tell, she was digging me."

Rachel thought differently, seeing as she was moaning in exasperation. "Oh, Mike... You should really focus more on your schoolwork. You DO know we have an exam next week, right?"

I scoffed at her remark, raising my fist. "Exam? You think I'm iffy because of some sheets? I've dealt with worse."

No joke, the exams looked like nothing compared to what I had been up against. I wasn't even referring to the History teacher, though she could remotely scarier than the exams. Just by looking at Rachel, she knew what I was talking about, showing discomfort as she pushed the strands of hair out of her face, anxiously looking around her.

A blaring honk made us jump, and we both spun our heads to a police car that just drove up the sidewalk. Other students were pointing their fingers in amazement, gossiping about who was in trouble with the law enforcement. It took me a couple of seconds to realize that a huge grin had spread across my face. I showed it off to Rachel. "I really enjoy this conversation we're having, you know, with you giving great advice and a heads-up for what I already know, but I gotta run. Gotta meet up with some... friends, and I don't wanna be rude and make them wait."

She rolled her eyes, sighing. "Always making up excuses to get away. Fine. Go ahead, I'm not holding you back."

"Thanks, Rach', you're the best."

"Heck yeah." she muttered.

I opened the door to the police car, but didn't go in just yet. There was something I wanted to try one last time. "You don't know what you're missing. These guys... They're really awesome. I'm sure you'd like them a lot. You should give them a chance."

She gave me an apologetic smile. "Mike, we've been over this. I'm sure they're as great as you tell me, but... That world... I don't want any part of it."

I was a little disappointed, hoping for a different answer. I returned an understanding smile as I nodded my head. "All right. I'm not gonna force you; I'm just letting you know that if you ever change your mind, you're more than welcome to crash the party."

"And I appreciate the thought, thanks. I anyway don't have time for anything else. I'm too busy preparing for the school concert. Can you believe that the band's expecting me to learn three new songs by the end of this week?"

Right. There was this concert coming up a couple of months from now to celebrate the inauguration of this unfortunate building. "That doesn't sound like much."

"And that's why you'll never know what it's like to work as a musician." she said, mocking me, "Just go already. I'll see you around. And don't get too side-tracked as usual, Mike."

I could hardly say goodbye as she rushed off into the school, probably going to the music room where other musicians were practicing. The band was supervised by one of the school's music teacher, so he probably had a strict rule about punctuality.

Teachers... In the end, they're just monsters in disguise.

Another honk reminded me that someone was waiting. I scoffed in disbelief. I was holding onto the door handle, I was inches from being inside the car. And he still honked at me.

I shook my head and finally slid into the front seat, slamming the door shut. The engine immediately roared to life, and I was barely given enough time to strap myself as the car drove off, speeding down the street.

I glanced at the policeman sitting in the drivers seat, nodding my head. "Hey, Prowl. 'Sup?"

He fell silent, briefly glancing at me indifferently before focusing on the street. "I'm late for duty because of you."

Wow. Looks like teachers aren't the only ones getting edgy over punctuality.

"It's nice to see you too." I stated dryly, "By now, I figured you'd know how to greet people."

The man sighed heavily. "How was school?"

"I'll survive, thanks for asking. See, that wasn't so hard, was it?"

"It's a matter of being bothersome, not hard."

"Oh, so now you're telling me there's a difference?"

"Yes, there is. Being hard implies that the task is difficult to complete. Bothersome, on the other hand, indicates that it's too much of a bother to be looked into, but it doesn't mean it's impossible to do it."

It was my turn to fall silent. "And you plan on handling a team with THAT kind of attitude? You know, now I'm not the least bit surprised that Optimus promoted you to be my guardian."

With a strong, sudden jerk, my body lurched against the seat belt as the car ground to a screeching halt. "The hell, Prowl!" I hissed and grunted at him. When I looked out the window, I realized he had pulled up in front of my house. "Hey, what gives? I thought we were going to HQ."

"You are going home. I am on patrol duty for at least another two hours."

"I don't mind waiting in the car." I retorted.

"I do. The last thing I need is you as a distraction while I'm on duty."

I groaned and shook my head in disapproval. "You kiddin' me? Prowl, if you're expecting that we both get somewhere in this partnership, then you're gonna have to make more effort. The very least you can do is pretend to appreciate my company instead of getting rid of me."

The policeman glanced at me, his face expressionless, and stayed quiet. He turned back his attention to the road and, seconds later, the engine roared to life, tires spurting smoke as the car drove off. I talked to him, tried to bring him to say something, but he never gave into my attempt of conversation. He was known to be patient, never giving into the demands of others, no matter how much he was being nagged about it.

Freakin' unsociable robot doesn't even want to have fun every once in a while.

Yeah, you heard me right. I'm dealing with a robot here. The man next to me? A hologram, created by the car, which is actually Prowl. I'm not kidding. In reality, he's a robot capable of transforming into a police car and the other way around. The vehicle form is used as a camouflage in order to blend into our society. With that disguise, he comes off as an ordinary police car to anyone.

And guess what? He's my guardian, now. Pretty cool, huh?

Well, since Prowl's on patrol and he's not willing to put the effort into talking, I guess it's time you heard my story. This is how it all happened.

A couple of months ago, Rachel and I were on our way home. I was riding my bike, and I was trying to persuade her to hop on because, let's face it, it's fun and helps you get home faster. And she didn't want to, for reasons beyond my understanding.

We passed by the local junkyard, a familiar place we'd sometimes hang out at. For a tinkerer like me, that place is paradise. It's where I can find spare parts for any innovative plans I had in mind, ranging from constructing my own custom-made bike to upgrading any vehicles, or just making a little do-hickey as a last resort. I enjoyed creating my own things, and for a passionate genius like me, money falls short. In that junkyard, things were price-wise cheaper than on the market. The guy in charge of the place, Chris, a middle-aged man in his late 40s, would put up a reasonable price for the parts we found there. So, Rachel and I would go there quite often. She is, after all, my best friend.

You can say we know that junkyard very well, what we could find, how expensive things were and when the junkyard was open. We know for a fact that it was closed on Thursdays, because Chris would take the day off to get himself wasted to some spirits in a bar. So, in the middle of our argument, Rach' and I heard some rattling coming from inside the junkyard, and when we looked, we caught sight of a flare that only lasted a moment before it faded into the early evening. It was an unusual thing, and it was strange because that day was Thursday, and nobody was supposed to be there. I was curious by nature and investigated whenever something appeared in the corner of my eyes, or when my ears picked up something I judged to be unusual. So naturally, I was going to check it out.

Rachel held me back at first, telling me that it was a bad idea. She was always cautious, but she should have known by now that nothing could stop me once I got curious. Seeing as I wasn't even listening to her anymore and started moving towards the junkyard's fence, she let me go and followed me instead.

I placed my bike against the chain-link fence and started climbing, earning some angry, quiet ramblings from Rachel. I didn't even need to tell her anything before she copied my moves and went up the fence. Once I helped her down, we heard some voices in the distance. There was a conversation going on and we felt the ground tremble beneath our feet almost simultaneously. This was getting exciting for me, and I grew more anxious as I sneaked further into the junkyard, past stacks of scrapped cars with Rachel sticking to me like glue. Obviously, she didn't share my excitement. Along the way, she insisted with sharp whispers that we should get out, coming up with what I thought were lame excuses, channeled by childish fears. Maybe she was afraid, but I should know better than to question the judgment of my best friend, who has always been the voice of reason. I chose to ignore her and drew myself nearer to large piles of scraps and garbage. We hid ourselves there, looking in between those piles to see the open area ahead of us, and what was going on.

I don't know what the hell was happening, but I was wondering what the hell I was looking at. And I swear to you, this was the one time where I had no idea what to say.

Assembled in the heart of the area were a group of three freakin' ginormous robots. The shortest one was a blue-colored female robot. You could tell that much by looking at her body, if you know what I mean. The second was fairly tall, its metal plating consisting of a white and black paint job, and it had a visor on its face. Oh, I also remember seeing sirens attached to its back. And there was the final one, the tallest of the three, which was a massive robot with bulky, heavy-weight features. Altogether, they were huge, making lampposts look like freakin' midgets, at least the latter of the two did. They were talking to each other... in English, but I don't think even Rachel could understand what they were talking about. What mattered to us was how threateningly intimidating they looked to us, especially to Rachel who tugged at the back of my shirt.

I was too mesmerized by these robots to hear Rachel's panic-stricken voice or to even think what to do next, and she noticed that very quickly. She tried to snap me out of it by pulling me away from the incredible display of robots. Unfortunately, in doing so, I tripped over or kicked something, I don't remember which it was, but I knew that I had messed up when I heard some subsequent rattling coming from one of those scrapheaps.

One pile shook and tipped forward before finally crashing onto the ground with loud cracking and clunky sounds of used objects. I screwed up bad. With a grimace on my face, I looked at the rendered pile before me, then slowly lifted my head up, realizing that we weren't hidden anymore. The ice cold eyes of the robots were looking straight at us, and the green robot, one of the biggest, bulkiest robot I've ever seen, took one step towards us. The tremors of the ground forced our senses to kick in, and that was when we ran for our lives.

I don't think I've ever run as fast as I did that day, but we both sped towards the exit like there was no tomorrow, dashing past piles of scraps and stacks of wrecked cars. The fence, our way of exit, was in our view when a sudden shadow loomed to our right. A shriek made made me stop in my tracks, and as I turned around, I watched Rachel struggle in the grip of a new robot.

Usually, I'm a good judge of character, because I trust my instincts. When I saw the robots from before, somehow, I didn't feel like they were all that bad. With this new robot, something was different. I felt this strange vibe coming from it, a slender, gray and silver robot, who was now holding Rachel in his thin, sharp, claw-like hands. He was smirking, his crimson eyes glowing in the dark of the early evening, and he gave out a low, menacing order.

New robots appeared out of nowhere, and as I started to ask myself how they got here without being obvious, I saw a vehicle transform into a robot for the first time. Their paint job was of purple color, and each of them was identical to the other. Three of them came to me, their arms morphing into firearms.

I was just able to see the flare inside their barrels, charging up and ready to disintegrate me into dust when bolts of lasers tore through the air. Their attention was drawn by the three first robots I've seen, and in a matter of seconds, two of those robots were hit as they propelled from their spots. The blue, female robot was fast and agile, assaulting the third robot with several punches and a roundhouse kick in the face in just a matter of seconds. She was tough for a small one, hitting him hard until she pinned him to the ground and took him out with one final shot through the head. She then provided me with cover, firing with in-built weapons as she shielded me with her towering height from enemy fire. That was how I learned that there were two factions fighting against each other, and the blue robot that seemed to be protecting me was on my side, at least that's what I believed back then.

Knowing that I was more or less safe for the time being, I became worried about Rach'. I was hoping, begging that she was all right, but I couldn't see anything beyond the intimidating size of the robot that was protecting me. Moments later, a terrifying screech made my blood run cold. I had to know what was going on, so I jumped aside to get a clearer view. The gray robot was holding his face, covering his left eye as purple liquids streamed through his fingers. He had dropped Rachel to the ground, and she staggered to her feet and ran. The robot, in all his fury, screamed out to her when he himself was shot by the white and black-painted robot. The purple robot soldiers were distracted by the agonizing outburst of their leader that it caused them to be in complete disarray. The towering robot before me shrunk so quick, it took me time to realize she had transformed into a motorcycle. She zoomed towards that silver robot and reverted to her robotic form, battling him with guns, blades and metal fists. All the while, Rach' came running towards me, dodging fire and crumpling robot bodies.

And then, a massive explosion engulfed the area she was in, spurting clouds of dust. I held my breath, and shouted her name. She didn't answer.

A police car leaped out of that thick cloud and screeched to a halt before me, its door slinging open. Rachel was in there.

"Get in."

I was taken aback, unable to move a muscle, because I didn't see anybody else in there besides Rachel. I realized the car was one of them.

A nearby explosion shook the ground, forcing me out of my thoughts.

"If you don't want to die, then I suggest you get in right now!" that same voice urged as the car revved.

I had no other choice but to obey. Rachel was in there, and that car was our ticket out of here so I hopped in. The car screeched and tore off into the heat of battle. Explosions erupted from around us, adding another layer of mist that I could hardly see the robots battling each other. The car sped through that thick, brown cloud with debris and rubble being thrown against the windshield. It even rammed into several of robots before it burst through the barred entrance of the junkyard. I turned around, watching the area, having become a battlefield, disappear from my view as we distanced ourselves.

In a couple of minutes, the car ground to a halt, its doors popping open. Rachel and I barely got out when the car began to transform before our very eyes, rising to tower over us. It was one of the three first robots we saw, and I understood what the purpose of those sirens on his back were. I crawled over to Rachel, checking to see if she was all right, who nodded as her whole body shook. Her eyes were wide with shock and horror, unable to speak. I watched then the robot just stand there, sometimes observing us, other times looking elsewhere, waiting for something, quiet as the dead.

Introducing Prowl, my soon-to-be-guardian, the unsociable extraordinaire.

We were in the abandoned parking lot, which was around about 200 yards from where the junkyard was. Rach' and I barely exchanged words, unsure if we were safe enough or captured. Sometimes I would stare at the robot in amazement, sometimes in dismay.

The robot had suddenly brought his left hand to the side of his head and began talking to himself. I figured he was communicating with someone, and when he was done talking, he turned to us. "The battle's over and both of you are now safe. However, the Commander would like to have a word with you before you return to your abode."

A mix of curiosity and courage invaded me, and I got up to my feet and started my first conversation with a robot. That was how I learned who he was. He hardly introduced himself before falling silent again. Even with time, some things never change.

Minutes later, more vehicles sped our way, lead by a semi red and blue painted truck. When it stopped, it underwent a jaw-dropping transforming sequence, wheels shifting to the side, a head popping out of its chest as it rose to its feet. The other robots did same.

He knelt down and began to introduce himself: Optimus Prime, the leader of the Autobots. Following next were Bulkhead and Arcee, the robots from the group, and another new face called Bumblebee. From the looks of things, they're a group of robotic aliens from another planet, but have become refugees here on Earth; their home world, Cybertron, was destroyed as a result of the war they waged against their enemies, the Decepticons, those guys from before who invited themselves to a festive brawl. And by accident, we had become involved. Leading that assault was Starscream, a Decepticon rogue who was trying to create his own league of armies, those who disfavored the current Decepticon leader called Megatron.

I was so absorbed by his story-telling, and that was unusual for me. Could have been his smooth, authoritative, baritone voice, could have been his intimidating size that forced my curiosity to pay attention to everything that was being told... Or it could have been the fact that I was so used to listening to my History teacher that everybody else except her made their story sound more interesting. Joke aside, seeing how small I was in comparison to them and having seen them fight so fiercely with their 2-ton fists and super-advanced weapons of complete annihilation, I should have been more afraid, but I wasn't. My entire body trembled, but it wasn't because I feared them. I was more amazed than afraid, because all of this was so exciting! The idea of meeting a whole new species from outer space, a bunch of robots with emotions and kick-ass moves was just... Overwhelming. I was hyped as hell!

Optimus Prime was continuing his story-telling about the war, going into details when he was suddenly interrupted by Rachel's scream. That made me jump, and I was ready to argue with her when I noticed that she was about to break into tears. She said she wanted to go home and didn't want to get involved in any of this.

I was shocked back then. How can someone NOT want to know more about this? I tried to reason with her, but she was in such a state, screaming at me and flinching as I tried to get close. Me, her best friend.

The leader of the Autobots drew his head closer to us, less than a feet away from our faces, his eyes searching as if he was trying to get a good look at us. I admit I was a little taken aback when I realized how HUGE he really was, but I couldn't help but feel more mesmerized by his metal-plated face, especially that azure, luminescent gleam of his gaze. I was so hypnotized by them that it took me 10 seconds or so to realize that Rachel had run off. The commander's voice brought me back down to Earth when he told me that, as a friend, I should see to it that she was all right. I agreed completely, and so I rushed after her and out of the parking lot. I didn't like the idea of postponing life-changing events, but I was loyal to the people I cared about. It was my duty as a friend to be there for her, even if I had to risk never meeting those robots again.

When I finally caught up with her, I watched her wiping her tears from her eyes, avoiding my gaze. I tried to slow her down by grabbing her arm, trying to understand why she was behaving like this, but she would rip out of my grip. With no other choice, I confronted her, blocking her way, demanding an explanation. I'll never forget how she reacted that day:

"What's there to explain, Mikey? We were nearly crushed and obliterated by rampaging killing machines, or did you forget that already? Did it cross your mind that in that type of battle, we're nothing more than collateral damage? We're just a bunch of insects that could have been easily step on, by accident no less! Did you ever think about that? No, of course not, and that's your major problem, Mike. You could never tell the difference between safe and dangerous because you're so stupid and irresponsible! If you want to go on with your big robot adventure, fine by me! I don't care what you do, but whatever trouble you get into, you will NOT drag me into it! I'm sick to the pit of my stomach of your recklessness! I don't want to deal with that or these damn robots ever again, do you hear me? NEVER!"

I watched her tread away from me, picking up the pace as she began to run. I was dumbfounded and paralyzed, struck by her words, offended by what she told me... She had never raised her voice against me in this way, nor did she ever say how she really felt about me.

My thoughts were interrupted by a loud honk, forcing me to turn around. Optimus Prime had caught up with me in his vehicle form, halting right next to me. I was too upset to find the right words to engage him in a conversation, but I didn't need to as he was first to speak. He told me that I shouldn't be offended by her strong reaction, as if he found out what had happened. In fact, he did; thanks to his super-advanced range of hearing, he overheard us. He stated that she had been emotionally compromised by the battles that had taken place, and may have been still distraught by them and the existence of gigantic species. As his words sunk in, I tried recalling not what she had said, but her face.

She was in tears. She was upset. It was a face that I've never seen before, and if I didn't know any better, I'd say she was... terrified, scared to death. And it hit me.

I am so stupid. I let her words get to me instead of trying to understand the humane reaction that I should have had too.

The leader explained that it would be best if I headed home to make sure that Rachel was all right and that I take time to recover from these events. He would find me, he said, giving me enough time until then to meet up once again. And with those last words, he drove off, the rest of the other vehicles driving up behind him. With one last wave of goodbye I headed out, trying to catch up with Rachel. She was quite fast, having already disappeared from my sight. Fortunately, the way home was past the junkyard, the place where I had left my bike. I rushed to the entrance, took my bike and pedaled as hard as I could.

I was half-way home when I finally caught up with Rachel. She told me to buzz off; it was a nice try. I kept up with her pace, pedaling as slowly as I could.

That ride home felt like one of the longest ones I've ever had. For a while, we just walked and stayed quiet. I was trying to come up with something to say, but honestly, after all that had happened back there... I couldn't find the words to express my thoughts. I was speechless. My mind was filled with the images of the battle, and it felt like reality had only caught up with me now, making me realize a terrible thought.

We really could have died.

My train of thought was interrupted by Rachel as she apologized for the harsh words brought up by her reaction. I still remember up to this day how that conversation went.

"Rach', you don't have to excuse yourself. You're right, we nearly died out there; I just didn't see that back there, and you know how long it takes for me to catch on. Can you forgive your stupid, reckless friend?"

"You are more than just stupid and reckless, but I forgive you because that's what friends do. I just... I want to live a normal life. I don't doubt that they're awesome, but I just have this bad feeling that if I involve myself too much in it, it could... change my life. It's also a huge responsibility to keep a secret like this one, and I already have enough responsibilities to take care of. You should think about that too, Mike. Do you really want to be with them? If you do, nothing could be the same ever again."

"I'm counting on it. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and you know I wouldn't want to miss out on something like that."

"But... What if you get hurt, Mike? What if you-"

"Rach', I don't want to hear it!"

This statement came out stronger than I expected, silencing her and leaving me perplexed. With a sigh, I continued. "We just discovered that we aren't the only living beings in the universe. This is a big thing for me, and I know that if I just pretend that nothing has ever happened, I'll live to regret it. I want every moment in my life to be worth living, no matter what happens. If I end up getting hurt because of it, then I'll put a huge smile on my face because I did something others didn't do."

I was really proud with what I said back then, and Rachel, for once, didn't contradict my decision. I was up to the challenge of a lifetime, and she understood, though she was surprised at first before putting up a nice smile on her face. She stayed with her own decision, keeping herself away from this adventure. And as we went home, we fell right back into the argument we had earlier, almost as if nothing had happened at the junkyard. After ten minutes or so, she arrived at her place, and I went to mine across the street. It was a little past nine, and I did get Mom and Dad a tad worried there. But once I explained that I was together with Rachel, they were immediately relieved. They trusted her as much as they trusted me; she was like the daughter they never had. They knew that as long as I was with her, I wouldn't get into trouble.

Hah. As if.

I recall being so excited that night that I could hardly sleep. My mind swirled with the thoughts of the robots. How could they find me? Would I meet them ever again?

The next day, after school, I walked Rachel home and, having dropped her off, was just in front of my house when a police car pulled up next to me, and a police officer sitting inside told me to get in. I quickly found out that the man was Prowl, and went in without any second thoughts. He drove me out of town, and when everything was clear, an iridescent, turquoise ring had flashed into existence a yard or two ahead of us. It was a portal, and as we went through it, we popped up in a completely different place.

I had arrived at their secret base. I got out of the car, recognizing the familiar faces of Arcee and Bulkhead, and standing before me was their leader, Optimus Prime, welcoming me. He introduced me to the rest of the team: Ratchet, the team's medic, and... three other teenagers. Huh. Looks like I'm not the only one who found out about the Autobots.

Meet Jack, Miko and Raf, high schoolers from Jasper, Nevada.

I returned my attention to Optimus Prime, who was asking about Rachel. He couldn't hide his disappointment when I explained that she decided not to come, nor could I. Regardless of that, he was glad to have me there, and so were the others, with the exception of the medical officer who just scoffed exasperatedly. Then, the unpredictable happened.

Optimus Prime appointed Prowl to be my guardian.

We both stared at each other before protesting almost simultaneously, though I did it out of sheer surprise. Prowl had the oddest ways of saying how we didn't fit together, from "compatibility" to "illogical", and to some extent, I had to agree with him. He really looked like a bore and seemed complicated enough to get along with.

Nonetheless, once an order by a Prime is given, it had to be followed to the end, and Prowl was loyal to the Autobot commander, or at least that's what I've seen. So he accepted the role as guardian, and has been since then watching over me.

In the following months, I spent my days with the Autobots, getting to know this whole new family. They're loads of fun, especially the three other guys. Miko is one crazy nutcase, but she makes sure that that it doesn't get too boring at the Autobot HQ. The little squirt, Raf, is one hell of a smart kid, able to hack into servers and do some high-tech reprogramming. And he's good with video games, which is why we play a lot together. Now Jack is the oldest and probably the only one who is levelheaded, but we both get along well. You can talk to him about anything. He's a good friend.

When it comes to the Autobots, they're on a whole new level. I don't know them as well as the other guys do, but I do know for a fact that the medic called Ratchet is a grouchy bot always looking for reasons to nag somebody, and that I can't understand a word Bumblebee says. And Arcee... She looks tough for a femmebot. That's all I know.

The only ones I could get more or less to know are Bulkhead, Prowl and Optimus Prime. I hang out most of the time with Miko and her guardian when mine isn't busy with whatever he does as the team's military strategist. One thing's for certain: Bulkhead is an awesome 'Bot who promises epic moments.

I don't see the Autobot Commander that often, but there are times when I meet him on the rooftop of the base, outside, staring out into the horizon. He offers me his hand, allowing me to climb on it, and lifts me up to show what he's looking at. The view from there is unlike anything I've ever seen, especially when the sun's going down; you don't have this kind of sunset in my town. The time I've spent with him has been more than just a rewarding experience as we get into a conversation and talk about what's on our minds.

And then there's Prowl, my guardian. His apathetic behavior towards others makes him incredibly obnoxious, and secluding himself in his own room, doing his own business related to missions, doesn't render him any nicer. He's always up to something in there, but keeps it all to himself, which makes me more than often pissed about it. However, despite his faults, there are times when we get along. We can agree on some battle tactics and strategies (hours of playing strategy games finally pay off), and he likes showing off his strategic thinking without being too much of a jerk. He sets his priorities on the mission and any task that's been given to him, and sees to it that they are all complete. That makes him not only a busy robot, but also an easily unlikable teammate. What others actually don't see is that his loyalty doesn't only lie in the mission, but also in his friends. There was this one time when I caught him off guard while he was having some personal issue, and that was when I discovered his true colors. Ever since then, I've seen him from a different perspective, and he's a lot more awesome than I ever dreamed of expecting.

If you can't socialize with him, you can give him credit for his reliability and accountability. And I can relate to that.

So, that's the story. What prevents this story from being great is the fact that Rachel isn't included. With all the good that's come from meeting those guys, I know that it'd be a lot more fun if she was around. Somehow, I can't blame her. I haven't noticed that much of a difference in my life just yet, but she is a lot more sensitive than I am. And when things get overwhelming, she just can't take it.

So now I'm stuck in this car, waiting for the patrol to come to an end. An hour and a half had gone by, and the ride felt painfully longer than I had imagined it to be. That was Prowl's intention, demonstrating how 'exciting' patrolling can be.

He could try all he wanted, but he wasn't going to get rid of me that easily.

I was deep in thought when the cellphone in my pocket vibrated to life as it played one of my favorite rock songs. I reached deep into my pocket, pulled out the gadget, its screen blinking with the initials of my best friend. I couldn't hide my surprise.

"Hmm, I wonder what she has to tell me."

***
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:13 PM   #5
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great start can't wait to read the next part
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Old 06-05-2012, 09:21 AM   #6
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~Act I, Chapter II~


I scoffed in disappointed as clouds of gray threatened to cloak the sun and cast a large shadow over the small city. I had hoped for the sun to keep filling this town with its warm radiant beams, as I had plans on buying ice cream and sitting on a bench in a park. That's what I usually did after band practice.

Now I had to switch over to plan B, in other words, window-shopping. It was a one-way method that helped me stray away from worries, such as the upcoming school exams or the concert that my school was organizing. The slightest thought of any of these things put me under pressure; everyone had high expectations of me, ranging from teachers and parents to friends and the school community, and the last thing I wanted was to disappoint any of them. I didn't need to be reminded of those fears, which is why window-shopping was helpful. That activity kept my mind busy, filling it with wishes and desires until my responsibilities and obligations were forgotten, at least for the time being.

Strolling down the streets of the city, I stopped in my tracks when a cosmetics store lured me in. I walked into the store, combing down isles of beauty esthetics, searching for the appropriate eye-shadow, inspecting the different shades and colors. My mind drifted away from schoolwork, but it didn't leave out the thoughts concerning Mikey and the development of his new, adventurous life. I sighed almost in exasperation, but opted for a more gentle thought. His curiosity had always made him reckless, indulging him to seize whatever rare opportunity he could to satisfy his longing for excitement. In some ways, I envy him. He is optimistic and daring, even when things seem to be taking a turn for the worse, and me...

I cannot help but recollect the events that have had an impact in my life. The day when we went to the junkyard and found a whole bunch of robots talking to each other made me realize that, in the end, we weren't as alone as we thought we were in the universe. But unlike Mikey, I was skeptical, always thinking of the risks of our involvement instead of the benefits of that extraordinary discovery. We could be harmed, or, in the worst case scenario, dead. When I think back, I remember how terrified I was when seeing these robots. That's why I had urged Mike that we leave the place before they noticed us. And in those anxious moments, I became clumsy, pushing Mike too much and causing a pile of garbage to tumble and fall. What we tried to avoid, we made it happen in an instant. We made our presence known, and at the first sign of the robots approaching us, we ran like hell.

When trying to run away, all I could think of was what would happen to us if we were caught, and I feared for the worst outcome. That's when I went for my phone and dialed 911. As I put the phone to my ear, it rang momentarily before nothing but static was heard. We couldn't count on any help. Maybe we didn't need any; I believed that we maybe had the chance of getting away, because the exit was only a couple of feet away. All those futile hopes were gone in just a moment as I was roughly scooped up from the ground by what I thought was the edgiest bars I've ever held onto. Only later did I realize that those bars were the fingers of another robot. His crimson eyes looked at me and he made no effort to hide the malicious glee on his face.

“Well, what do we have here? One of the Autobots' pets?” He sneered, examining me like some sort of tool.

I didn't understand what that meant, nor did I care much about it. I just knew I was going to hurt or die if nothing was being done. I remember hearing Mike's yell as he called my name, but it felt so faint as I was completely terrorized by the robotic monster holding me. He, on the other hand, glanced down at Mike, but returned his attention to me when his smile had widened into a malevolent grin. From then on, I noticed the presence of more purple-painted robots, and that was when he muttered his order:

“Exterminate the other Fleshling. We don't need the extra leverage.”

Horrified, I looked down at Mike, who now had guns pointed at him. I knew sneaking into the junkyard spelled trouble, but I couldn't believe the mess we had gotten ourselves into. Was this how I was going to live my last moments, watching my friend disintegrate, burning until nothing but ash remained? I had my phone in my hands, the number dialed, my finger on the call button. Even if it didn't work before, I had the chance of trying again. But I didn't. My finger was immobile, frozen in place. I couldn't scream, despite the possibility of someone hearing me. I was too scared, stiff like a fragile porcelain statue, moments before being crushed in the rough, metallic grip of the robot. With nothing else to do, I watched the other robots take aim at Mike and, trembling, listened to the whir of charging weapons.

The order was thankfully interrupted by the resounding detonations and zipping gunshots. The soldiers averted their guns and fired at the robots we first. They came running towards us like a stampede, relentless and unstoppable. The silver robot growled, tightening his grip as a groan escaped my mouth.

“You spoiled our surprise-attack!” he snarled at me, but his frown quickly twitched into smirk. “No matter. I could always have great use of you.”

His low sneer and piercing stare had triggered an overwhelming sense of terror like I've never experienced before. I didn't want any of this. I didn't want to get hurt, and as his face drew closer, I... I'm not entirely sure what happened. I felt like I was caught in a surreal world where everything but the robot seemed nonexistent and devoid of all importance. In those everlasting moments, when facing the Chimera of my nightmare, I shut my eyes and threw my phone at him. What I didn't expect was that it would actually hit his left eye.

His screech forced my eyes open, and by mere accident, for someone like me who is incapable of inflicting harm on others, I had seen the terrible damage I had done. The silver-winged robot slouched and cried, as if overtaken by the most excruciating pain I've ever seen, and he clutched onto the left side of his face with his left hand, trying to contain the liquid and sparks that spat out of his socket.

“You filthy-”

He was immediately cut off by another robot that had assaulted him, and during the clash, I slipped from his grip and dropped hard to the ground. I heard Mike's cry again and jumped to my feet, running towards him as fast as I could. And in the pandemonium, all hell broke loose as explosions emerged from everywhere. And then blackness.
It was momentarily, though. Something had picked me up and I found myself in a matter of seconds in a car seat. I was too shocked and confused to the bone to react or to even care. I didn't even notice Mike was in the car until we had to get out. My astonishment didn't end there as the car unfolded and refolded itself to build up into one of the robots from earlier.

And that was how I met these robotic aliens. They claimed to be friendly, and I do owe one of them my life for saving me. But I wasn't ready for this kind of adventure, and I don't think I'll ever be. This whole event was nothing more than a traumatizing mishap, and I felt I was charged with the burden of a war that promised misery beyond what I could imagine. I was also too scared of them. Even if those Autobots – if I recall correctly – were genuinely good, I was still frightened by them. The truck-transforming leader scared the hell out of me, and his face approaching me didn't make it any easier for me to deny that emotion, especially after I facing the cruelty of machine-like warriors and the fierceness of the war-driven battle. I don't even know or understand how Mikey can't see how dangerous such a life is. Maybe his naivety prevents him from seeing the full picture that I was seeing. He even thinks that I aimed and blinded that monster on purpose.

Like earlier today, he keeps asking me whether or not I want to hang out with the Autobots and get to know them better. I know he means all well; deep down in his heart, he wants to share that amazement he feels when being with those alien robots. He also wants me to have a good time and make sure I'm not being left out, missing out on all the fun as he would say. But for someone like me who was raised to be the best in whatever I do and to be as responsible, I knew that being with them would require an extra responsibility, and I didn't need any of that when I already have a ton of them weighing on my back. On top of that, one battle was enough for me to understand the serious dangers of the war that is being waged.

It's just too much for me.

I don't hate my saviors, on the contrary, I am eternally grateful to them. But involving myself in their lives meant involving myself in their battles, and I am not as courageous as Mike. I am satisfied with my life, despite its ups and down, and I don't want to change that.

Saving lives is for heroes, not a schoolgirl who took a wrong aim and got lucky.

I stopped contemplating while holding onto a box of eye-shadow. I sensed a slight tremble. I lifted my head up and looked over to another customer. Eye brows creased in confusion, she, too, seemed to have felt the anomaly at work here. The tremble grew into a series of strong quakes, the whole store shaking as cosmetics fell and clattered, dancing to rhythm of the tremors. People sunk to their knees and covered their heads, following the precautionary measures for earthquakes. I did same and went to the ground. Earthquakes weren't frequent, but happened every once in a while. We all knew that it was a matter of time until the cataclysm stopped.

Oh, how wrong we all were. As we hoped for the quakes to end, explosions suddenly erupted from outside as cars raced through. However faint, the discharge of guns resonated across the street and the screams of civilians reached our ears. I had the sudden feeling of déjà-vu, and that's when I understood that the area had suddenly become a battle zone. I made connections, figuring out who was behind the attack, and then came a strange sound. In that one precise moment, I began to relive the memory.

A sequence of crunching noises and locomotive sounds, a mayhem of explosive proportions almost as an aftereffect. I knew the answer, and I couldn't believe it was happening all over again.

“Decepticons! This city is ours for the taking!”

I was terrified in place, and watched as everybody ran out of the shop. There, I realized I had committed my greatest stupidity. The customers weren't warned of the dangers I knew of. It was too late though, and in shame and fear, I hid behind the isle of body-lotions and shampoos and covered my head, shutting my eyes, praying that I was sleeping in my bed and having nightmares that I would eventually wake up from. No matter how hard I tried to avoid it, the past caught up with the present once again as history began to repeat itself. Only this time, it was worse than I could have ever dreamed of.

Among the echoing series of gunshots and explosions came the terrifying screams of the dying. Tears streamed out of my eyes, my fears coming to life. After every thunderous footstep of the destructive robots, more and more products tumbled and fell on me, and I shielded myself while trying to keep still. I didn't even dare to take a breath. More screams of men and women made me quiver uncontrollably and I jolted from my place when the store's windows were blown apart, shards of glass shattering on the ground. In my mind, I was begging for these terrible events to stop.

I don't remember how long I waited until things quieted down, but it felt like eternity to me. The detonations had grown fainter, distant. I took a deep breath and dared to see how it looked like outside. I crawled closer to the end of the isle and took a quick peek. Past the broken windows, I watched as a quietness so deadly roamed the streets, with the exception cars that occasionally burst on fire. I had already spotted the first victim, and pulled my head back in shock. It was a kid. Younger than me by at least five years. And he was...

I felt so nauseous at that moment. There was an urge that came from the pit of my stomach, fueled by extreme shock, but I resisted. Not now, Rachel, I told myself, keep it together and get help.

An unexpected, clangorous stomp nearly obstructed my heart to beat. As a form of reflex, I peeked once again from the corner. A sole, black robot had appeared and he treated over the wreckage of the streets. He tilted his head to the already dead child I had seen. He let out a low, gnarling laugh, and fired at him.

With a mix of anger, disgust and fear, I retracted my head and covered my wet face. Those ungodly, spiteful monsters... How could they be so heartless and...

I tried to breathe steadily, but my heart was racing and my limbs trembled hectically. I had to calm down and get help. If that one found me here, I would...

I fumbled clumsily into my pocket and pulled out my mobile-phone. I couldn't control my shaking hands, even my fingers felt as though they were too weak to press on any button. There was only one person who could help me out, and if I wasn't mistaken, he was hanging out with the ones who could take care of these murdering monsters.

With the numbers finally dialed, I waited. It rang once. Twice. Three times. I lost count as more explosions resumed, sending tremors throughout the area.

Finally, he picked up. “Y'ello?”

“Mikey? It's me.” I whispered, unable to hide the edge in my voice.

“Rachel! Hey, what's-” An explosion was heard on the other line. “Uhh, Rach', I'm gonna
have to call you back. Prowl and I are downtown, and looks like we just got into HUGE trouble.”

I could never understand how he could be calm AND amused at such a situation. Panic and frustration overwhelmed me. “MIKEY! I AM downtown! These robots are just outside my door, killing anyone and anything that moves!”

“What?! What the hell are you-” His sudden change of attitude expressed his way of serious concern, but he still managed to keep his calm. “Okay, which shop?”

“I'm at-” I stopped when the line went all of a sudden static. “Hello? Mikey?” The static grew louder, and then a voice came through.

“Surrender, fleshling.”

Paralyzed, my strength bereft, I dropped the phone. The clunking footfalls grew louder, and with the little strength I had recovered, I peeked again.
The robot outside was heading for the shop.

Submerged by panic, I scurried to my feet and dashed through isles, boxes and glasses shattering across the floor as I hustled for the back door of the shop. The door led me to a narrow alleyway that connected two streets. I hurried down a small flight of stairs when I heard a blaring honk. Luck seemed to be on my side this time. I breathed a sigh of relief when I spotted a familiar police car rolling towards me.

“Oh God, am I glad to see you. Look, these robots are everywhere! They even picked up my phone call, and I think they know where I...”

Words were stuck in my throat as I watched the vehicle transform. The parts snapped and shifted out of their place and were roughly shoved elsewhere, disappearing into the mass of machinery with metal-grinding, ear-splitting noise. It wasn't anything like the robot I knew, whose name I couldn't remember. This transformation showed too many signs of hostility; it raised its fists and immediately brought them back down, pounding just a couple of feet before me. I stumbled back and recalled his name. Prowl. It wasn't Prowl. A quick, rough grab and I was within the robot's grasp. I watched in horror as this machine continued transforming. I gasped. I had spotted a marking on its chest, and delving into my nightmares I remembered seeing a similar insignia on the chest of my former captor.

A head popped out of the chest, glaring at me with sick, vicious eyes. “Rachel Hawkins.”

His low, animalistic chuckle compelled me to hold my breath, and I stared at him with horrified eyes. How did he know my name? What else did he know about me? What did he want with me? Whatever it would be, only by looking into his face could I tell that his intent was of pure malice and sadistic delight.

Sensing that danger, I struggled in his grip, trying to pull myself out or slip through his fingers. I had to get out of this mess and get as far away as I could. In my most desperate moments, the strength seemed nonetheless so faint as my arms trembled in fright. My effort was fruitless, for his grip was too tight and too powerful to budge. My struggle obliged him to clench me in his edgy fingers to which I groaned in pain.

“Oh, don't even try, Fleshling.” he snarled as he walked down the alley, “You've made quite a name of yourself since your encounter with Starscream.”

My mouth fell agape. Memories surfaced at the mention of that name, which had been engraved in my mind, but buried until it was forgotten. In a flash, I remembered his dreaded name. Starscream, the mechanical, winged beast who threatened my life and whose left eye I unintentionally blinded.

“I-It was an accident!” I stammered, moaning as his fingers ached my limbs, “I never meant to blind him! I just threw my phone, I didn't even aim for his eye!”
He had no trouble squeezing the truth out of me, because I didn't know what kind of pain I would be submitted to if I lied. A sick laughter ensued, twisted by his disturbing gnarl.

“Oh, that is rich. This is even more humiliating than I thought! It doesn't surprise me that he wants you alive.”

I stared at him with bewildered, wide eyes. “Wha-? What do you mean?”

“He has been telling us soldiers that if we ever saw you on the battlefield, we'd have to bring you to him, alive and unspoilt.”

“Why?”

He gave a piercing glare, displaying his irritation. “You'll find out for yourself, Fleshling. Until then, shut it. You have no idea how much I HATE chatterboxes. If I weren't following Starscream's orders, I'd already have your innards popping out of your mouth with one single squeeze.”

I believed his every word as I writhed in agony, grunting and groaning as he scrambled me in his grip. My ribs were forcefully squeezed inwards, ready to snap at any moment. I panicked and cried, eyes stinging, and fell into a pant as my lungs were constricted by the lack of space.

“You're weak and pathetic, Fleshling.” I heard him grumble, “All the more reason why he will enjoy 'playing' with you-”

A blast rang, and the robot monster roared, stumbling backwards and dropping me at once. My scream mingled with the tearing of more shots, and when I thought I was going to hit ground, to my utter surprise, I landed in the arms of Mikey.

“Jeez, you're heavy.” he grunted, “Lay off on any dessert for a while, will ya?”

I barely had time to express my sense of relief when he set me down and began pulling me into one direction, both of us running away from the robot who himself was suffering from bullet wounds.

“Ugh... You Pit-Spawns! Come back here!”

I really believed the alien robot would come after us, but another blast resounded. Up ahead was the one I had been expecting to meet in the alley.
The Autobot police car in robot-form was clutching onto a fuming gun, aiming at the foe behind us. “Michelangelo! Get Rachel and yourself out of here! Call up Ratchet and he'll tell you where he'll open up the ground bridge!”

“Got it!” Mike shouted, pulling me harder. As we passed up the robot, he looked back. “Be careful, Prowl.”

Nothing more was said as we both ran for our lives again, leaving the one called Prowl behind. While we were on the run, Mikey pulled out an odd device that looked like a communicator, and he held it to his ear. “Ratchet? Come in! Mike here! Yeah, the whole city's under attack! The 'Cons are everywhere!”

Gunshots filled the air once more, this time accompanied by the powerful revs of engines. We turned our heads to see purple vehicles racing towards us. “Ratchet, they're on our tail!” Mike shouted in the speaker, panting as he then listened to the other line. “Where? Okay! We're heading there right now!”

He pulled the device away from his ear and caught my puzzled stare. “That was one of the good guys. See that street down there? We gotta take a left and a right, and then meet up the rest of the gang in an alley. You can bet that once we reach them, we'll be safe!”

“Are you sure? Last time I checked, the whole city was a battle zone! How can we be safe from any of those monsters, especially those chasing after us right now?!”

“You're gonna have to trust me, Rach'! Come on!”

Mere seconds later, I witnessed other vehicles emerging from the left corner of the street. I had slowed down, nearly halting, but Mike's firm grip said to do otherwise. I focused on those vehicles and only then did I recognize the yellow muscle-car and the blue motorcycle from the day I met the Autobots. They sped past us, transforming into robots as they leaped into the air.

I sensed Mike's exhilaration as he put up a large grin on his face. I couldn't believe this guy. How could he smile when we're chased by blood-thirsty robots in wrecked city? After contemplating, I understood that he was confident enough that we'd make it. It was the only reason that could explain his hyped self. I didn't allow myself to smile, but I believed his intuition.

We were going to get out of this mess unharmed. We were going to live.

We were about to turn left at the end of the street when we heard gunshots zipping past us.

“ARGH!”

In the middle of our run, Mikey suddenly collapsed, dragging me down with him. I hit the floor hard, skidding across the concrete ground, my right cheek scraping against it. My limbs trembling but uninjured, I pushed myself off the ground and held my now bleeding cheek. With much confusion invading my thoughts, my eyes wandered the area until recognized the silhouette of Mike's body a feet or two beside me. I held my breath in alarm. Mikey wheezed and moaned in pain, flinching as he clutched onto his leg.
Christ. He had been hit.

“Mikey!” I shouted, kneeling beside him as I inspected his wounds. The bullet had perforated his leg , blood oozing from the torn flesh. My mind raced, filling with dreaded worries for his health as I tried to comfort him in his moments of agony.

“It's- It's going to be all right, Mikey. Just a bullet-wound. You'll be fine!”

“Y-Yeah?” he wheezed, “Tell me that when I got my wound treated! Ugh...”

He moved his leg as he tried to get up, but that attempt resulted in an agonized outcry, nearly bringing me to burst into tears. I watched him crumble, overwhelmed by his ache. I had no idea how to help him without hurting him. I didn't know how to treat those wounds. He needed help.

The best option I had was to carry him by the shoulder and drag him to the meeting point, away from the battlefield that had taken over the city and claimed already hundreds of lives. We would be slow, but at least we would be safe.

However, as I considered that option, my heart stopped as I heard a loud rumble. I tilted my head towards the route we needed to take, and gaped at my bête noire which had manifested itself a couple of yards before me. He growled and mumbled, his single eye searching the area.

Our eyes met and we recognized each other in a daunting instant.

Starscream.

“You!”

The intense, flaring glare of his crimson eye were proof that the vengeance he harbored was going to be the end of me. I jumped to my feet, staggering at the tremors caused by his thunderous pace. Unbalanced, I turned around and ran.

I was terrified, convinced that if he caught me, I would never see the light of day. Gasping, panting, I kicked those legs, hoping to flee whatever torture I would be subjected to.

I swerved into an alley, anything to get away from the open and to prevent myself from being an easy target. I screamed as an explosion from behind shot debris all over the place, Starscream's arm piercing through the cloud of dust as he tried to claw his way through. He glowered and bawled, vehement hatred present in his voice. “COME BACK HERE!”

I halted in my steps when I looked ahead of me. At the other end of the alley, out on the streets, another group of robots were brawling, their guns discharging red beams at whoever they were attacking. I couldn't go on nor could I go back. I was trapped.

Yet to my luck, there were the fire stairs. Without any second thought, I climbed the ladder and broke a window in order to get into the apartment. I hissed and looked down at my hand. It stung sorely, bleeding as shards pricked at my flesh. I couldn't linger too long on that small dilemma as I felt the quake of the approaching robot, so I dashed out of the room as fast as I could. The wall behind me had been blown apart by the rampaging robot monster, his angry growl pushing me to run for my life. I burst out of the apartment door, having no choice but to go upstairs as explosions resonated from downstairs. I was out of breath and exhausted, but arduously kept on climbing up the stairs until I rammed the door of the roof open.

When I got my bearings, catching my breath at the same time, I was dominated by trepidation. Barely able to walk, I went for the edge of the roof and, in frightful disbelief, realized that I was really trapped this time. The houses were too far apart from each other. I couldn't make the jump.

“What's the matter, 'Rachel'? Run out of rooftops?”

Still shaking, I pivoted hesitantly at the cruel, throaty laughter, before shock and horror overwhelmed me as I crumbled to the ground. And with that came my scream of terror.
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Old 06-05-2012, 11:54 AM   #7
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Fanfic

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Old 07-02-2012, 02:52 AM   #8
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Quite nice. Looking forward for more.
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Old 07-11-2012, 06:02 PM   #9
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~Act I, Chapter III~


“Be careful, Prowl.”


Mike's concern resonated in my audio receptors, yet I didn't allow myself to glance back nor to answer him. Though the feeling was mutual, there was only one primary concern running through my processor, and it involved that Decepticon who had just dodged my acid discharge by rolling aside. Usually, most Decepticons relied on their brute strength than their speed. But he was faster, slightly more agile than most Decepticons I had encountered before. Judging from his buffed, heavy armor, even he wouldn't be able to keep up with such speed for a longer period of time. This detail was something I knew, because I recalled seeing him beforehand. All he had to do was lift up his head for me to confirm his identity.

“Barricade, the Decepticon infiltrator.”

He appeared to be amazed when he heard his name. His astonishment, coupled with amusement, brought him to chortle. “Well, if it ain't Prowl. Nice to see you again.”

I raised an optic ridge, unable to mask my mild perplexity. I never knew him personally; I have only read reports and scoured Teletraan 1's database to get more information about him. This was our first encounter, or so I believed up until now.

This little minor confusion didn't go unnoticed, bringing a blood-lust smile to the Decepticon's face. “Oh, we've met once, a long time ago, way before the war began. Back then, you were nothing more than a regular officer deployed in Iacon, but no, that is not how I know you personally...”

As I began to ponder over what he was implying, more Decepticon soldiers poured in from every corner, aiming at me with their loaded weapons. A whirring sound alerted me that a soldier was going to fire. However, the sound dimmed down as that Decepticon soldier was suddenly knocked down by Barricade.“You aft! This Autobot's mine! Get the Fleshlings and bring them to Lord Starscream unharmed. GO!”

All soldiers transformed and zoomed past me in their vehicle forms. I stood my ground instead of blocking their path, focusing on my opponent who was surprised by my decision.

“You're not going to stop them?”

“I won't need to when my backup intercepts your personal brigade.”

In a matter of nanoclicks, loud detonations resounded from behind me. I heard the Decepticons cry out as they were assaulted by the remainder of the Autobots.

“You notified your team while you assaulted me...” Barricade growled, his delight intact, “Well played. Worthy of your title as Autobot strategist. Tell me, since you've no doubt made a solid background check about me, why don't you fill me in with what you know?”

He was without a doubt fond of discussions, either to taunt me, to disorientate me or to show off. Ironic, considering the fact that, from what he said to the human girl before, he 'loathes chatterboxes'.

“I've read and analyzed all files available on Teleltraan 1's database based on reports and intel. According to what I've seen, you originated from Kaon City and were in charge of Megatron's gladiatorial fights. There were even insinuations of you being implicated in the bombings of the headquarters of Fort Scyk. The only inaccurate, ambiguous intel I've received was you being permanently offlined when Omega Supreme awoke.”

“You know your stuff... Accurate for the most part, but incomplete. You don't even know HALF of me and I do have to say that I'm disappointed.”

“I only take interest if it pertains to the success of the mission. Everything else is trivial, including your tiring babble.”

He snarled, offended. “If that's the way you think, then let's see how 'trivial' I am to you in combat!”

I wasted no cycle drawing out my weapons and instantly fired my first rounds at him, who dodged aside as he charged at me. His servos transformed into his guns and returned fire, the discharge grazing the left side of my faceplate. I dashed aside, leaping here and there as the ground of my previous position simmered with acid discharge. His aim wasn't perfect, but he knew how to handle a gun, especially while charging at me with such speed. If I weren't that agile, he would have hit me by now.

Opting for another tactical approach, I ran towards him and leaped in the air, transforming into a vehicle, accelerating in speed as an attempt to ram him. At the same time, I brought forth my guns and fired at him. The chance of avoiding being hit by fire and or by the vehicle were close to possible, but if he managed so far, the counter-strike that followed could terminate him.

All the while he dodged the missiles, jumping aside, he anticipated my move and jumped up high. I saw that as an opportunity and transformed, skidding underneath him and pulling out one of my guns. He was quick; he brought down his Energon scimitar to which I produced with the other servo my Blight Baton, the friction of our blade and rod causing faint sparks to spurt.

I transformed my weapon back into a servo to support my rod-holding servo. His brute strength surpassed mine, something he had probably gained from cycles of gladiatorial training in Kaon. He was powerful enough to remove one servo from the handle and keep the same stance as he went for his gun.

I immediately leaped backwards just in time to avoid being shot to smithereens at point blank, bits of scattered, searing debris springing out at me. My sensors alerted me of a sudden rise in radioactivity. I grimly recollected the data of my memory banks. There was only one gun capable of discharging radioactive rounds: a Super Blaster, a deadly, destructive Decepticon weapon built eons ago before its Decepticon creator was scrapped. Only three of its kind had ever been fabricated, but were confiscated and brought to a weapons' storage facility in Iacon until it was destroyed by a Decepticon aerial assault. Nothing of the place was left to salvage.

How did he get a hold of that powerful weapon?

As the analysis went through my processor, I countered his offense by throwing multiple Energon stars at him. He wafted them away with his crooked blade, his speed never relenting. Strength couldn't be used here. However, he was slower than me, a talker displaying arrogance and impetuosity, faults that I could use to my advantage.

“So why did Megatron send you here? To do his dirty work?”

“Megatron?” he laughed, “Get your facts straight, Autobot. Megatron didn't know what kind of warrior he had until he lost it. Now, I am second in command to Starscream, who recognizes my potential as an asset to this new league of Decepticons!”

“Unless you're the leader, Barricade, you'll always be considered a two-time, pathetic lackey, no matter how many times you change in factions or Decepticon ranks.”

His vocoder emitted a furious growl. “I'll make you eat those words, you piece of slag!”

With a raging fury he charged at me, blade scraping against the floor, as I had predicted. As he drew closer, I charged at him and, nanoclicks before collision, loaded a particular round into my gun before shooting at him. The discharge hit the Decepticon, forcing him to the ground as he roared in pain. The purpose of Photon Displacer rounds was to temporarily not only to blind an enemy, but to incapacitate him for a couple of megacycles before the effects wore off, courtesy of Fireflight. The Decepticon wasn't immobile just yet as he tried fight off the effects as they took over him, swinging his blade around and yelling and screaming in a mix of anguish and anger. Once behind him, I leaped at him and had his face pinned to the ground. The success of incapacitating him was short-lived as Vehicons came forth to aid their comrade.

“U-Using my anger to disorienta-ate me... C-Clever.” he grumbled in amusement, his speech pattern impeded as a known repercussion, “T-T-Too bad yo-your luck's just r-ru-un o-out.”

We were both encircled by new Decepticon soldiers, who might have come at their lieutenant's request.
“Step away, slagger.” one of the soldiers commanded, his gun pointing at me.

Despite being outnumbered and outgunned, I ignored his directive and kept the Decepticon lieutenant immobile on the ground. Barricade and his soldiers had already lost this battle.

Barely a cycle had passed when the Vehicon who gave out the command was shot down. The back-up I had requested earlier had arrived.

Part of the Prime team had converged to my location, with Bulkhead leading the assault as he fired his weapons before whacking the soldiers away with his wrecking-ball fist. Following him was Arcee, who attacked another soldier while Bumblebee was occupied dealing with a three-on-one combat. Given the circumstance, victory was assured in this battle, and thus I was allowed myself to concentrate on Barricade.

“Luck has nothing to do with tactical advantage, Barricade. You lost the moment you let your guard down. Now, you and I can have our own personal chat.”

I dragged the chassis of the Decepticon by his shoulder to a quiet corner down the street. His body waggled meagerly as he attempted to fight for his freedom, a futile effort considering his condition. I hauled him up before slamming him with full force against the wall. “I'll get straight to the point: what are you Decepticons up to?”

I produced my Blight Baton from a compartment on my leg and activated it, releasing electrical charges as I had it placed by his neck. Upon touch, his body convulsed violently as the charge coursed throughout his body. Judging it enough, I removed the batons, hearing him grunt, awaiting a reply. He only laughed.“T-This is really fun... To think you have no idea... Wha-what's really going on.”

Silent and discordant with his poor answer, I repeated my interrogation procedure. “Why are you attacking the city?”

His grunts turned into groans as he shook violently. But once again, his response consisted only of laughter, strained this time with twinge. “Hgn...
What's the matter? Afraid we might mess up this place like Crystal City and the Helix Gardens?”

I stared at him, watching him burst into masochistic laughter. “I know a lot about you, Prowl. Just couldn't handle losing those battles, could ya?”

He was smart and cunning, I'll give him that. The fact that he knew how attached I was to both Cybertronian locations meant he knew of my other weakness.

I used my Blight Baton once again, watching his body fall into a series of uncontrollable jolts as the volume of his roar increased. It was a nice try on his account, but I've learned long ago to never let my emotions get the better of me on the battlefield.

“Last chance. Why are you attacking the city?”

As he tried to utter words, his speech patterns still impeded by electrical shock, my audio sensors all of a sudden picked up a shrill cry. I recognized it, but tried to pry the information from my captive before concerning myself with it. “What are you 'Cons up to?!”

“C-Come on, Prowl... You're wasting your time... And the more ya waste it, the more Starscream gets to enjoy playing with the girl's corpse.”

As I feared, the scream came from Rachel Hawkins, Mike's closest friend.

“Prowl, you heard that?! Rach's in trouble!”

After hearing Bulkhead's concerned yelled, I withdrew myself from the Decepticon, leading him to believe that I would give him a momentary rest. If he knew me well enough, he should have known that I wasn't that forgiving if I wasn't satisfied. I produced my other Baton and, crossing it with the other, thrust them both to his neck. With one last shock and a final bellow, Barricade crumpled to his knees and fell into stasis. He won't be up for at least another three Earth cycles, “hours” as humans would call it.

Offlining him would be a waste if he could provide valuable information. Anything coming from him could serve as a deterrent to the war, especially with what he knows about the Super Blaster he's using. Additionally, I am curious of what other things he knows about me.

“Prowl, we gotta do something about Rachel!”

I glanced over to Bulkhead, who looked at me with bewildered, concerned optics. Averting his optics from the battlefield was a terrible mistake he committed. I dropped my batons into the compartments built on each side of my legs and transformed my hand into a gun, just in time to shoot in Bulkhead's direction. The bullet hit the Decepticon that nearly assaulted Bulkhead with a blade. Understanding what I had done, the former Wrecker permitted himself a cheeky grin. “Hey, thanks.”

I didn't return the mutual feeling. “If you want to live long enough to see us win this war, then I suggest you keep your emotions under check, especially on the battlefield. Now cover me and keep those 'Cons at bay!”

With that yell I dashed towards the building, dodging fire while the approaching enemies were shot down by Bulkhead. Even with his lucky aim, he still managed to miss a few up ahead. His lack of targeting precision would never have him qualified as a Targetmaster.

My servo weapons shot up from the compartments and I retracted my plasma-gun back to grab hold of my Blight batons. Activating the rods, they gleamed in crimson color, and I swung them at the approaching 'Cons, tearing through them, smiting them in half whenever it was required to get through.

I located the former second in command Starscream on a rooftop, and as I increased my visual perception on him approaching the human girl, I ascertained that the attack on her was imminent. I calculated my chance of reaching her in time, and went through it twice. Disheartened, I deducted the outcome.

I won't make it in time.


***


My arms could barely support the whole weight of my body as they wobbled, but I still managed to get back on my feet. The fearful, one-eyed robot came closer with treading steps, and all I could do was stare in terror at his towering height. Maybe if I tried talking to him, I could convince him to let me go or, in the worst case scenario, stall for time. I couldn't gather any reasonable thoughts to help me out of this mess, as they all were fed by fear and terror. I pulled my hand up, taking a few, slow steps backwards. “Don't hurt me, please! I didn't mean to-”

“What, carve out my left optic?!” His screech was so shrill, so vengeful that they forced me into petrified silence. “Not a cycle goes by when I'm reminded of that fateful day you destroyed my left optic. Do you know why that is? Because everyone who looks at my face will know that I've been had by an inferior lifeform! Do you know how humiliating that is?! My stature has been violated and degraded by you, a bug that only got lucky! Now everybody looks down on me, including my own soldiers who doubt my potential, and bit by bit I lose more of my pride and dignity as a ruthless and feared Decepticon leader!”

“But I-”

“SILENCE, YOU DISGUSTING VERMIN!” he screamed, earning a shriek from me. He hissed vehemently, panting from his outburst. ”No matter how much you plead for mercy, you will die today, Fleshling. I'll make your final moments as stretching and as agonizing as possible, and I will make you scream until you choke on your very own blood! Oh, I swear to you, I will enjoy every passing cycle as I watch you hurt, for no one, not even someone as puny as you, will soil my very name, the Great Air Commander Starscream, and get away with it!”

Once he concluded his firm statement, he brought down one feet before me, cracks and fissures tracing across the surface of the rooftop. I crumpled to the ground, my legs unable to support the weight of my body. This is it. He's going to kill me.

His snicker only confirmed my fears. “Yes, cower before me! That is all you can do before I start ripping off both of your arms for what you've done to my optic!”

As his hand reached out for me, my jaw trembled as tears streamed out of my eyes. It can't end like this...

“No...” I muttered in shock. Turbulent thoughts invaded my mind. I don't want to die, I don't want to be in pain. My mind screamed at me to move, but it was too late before he grabbed me.

I desperately tried to fight out of his grip, clinging at the same time onto hope that somebody was around to save me.

I took a deep breath and screamed at the top of my lungs. “NOO! SOMEBODY HELP ME!”

He gruelingly smiled at my desperate cry for help, followed by a sinister, cruel chuckle. He eyed me viciously, but suddenly spun his head to the side as a rev grew stronger in sound. I followed his stare. A police car leaped over a roof and rammed directly into my captor. He let out a shrill cry, tossing me out of his clutches before being pinned to the ground, not anymore by a car but by another robot.

Flung aside, I used my hands to soften the impact. Little did it help as I heard a loud crack when I hit the ground hard, pain instantly shooting through my wrist. I cried in pain, still rolling aside uncontrollably until I stopped. My head spun as the world turned around me, but the pain in my wrist forced me back to reality. Just as I became aware once more of my surroundings, I spotted Prowl on top of an enraged Starscream. “Get off of me, Autobot scum!”

Prowl struggled hard to keep the squirming Decepticon down. “There's something you should really consider, Starscream: if you plan on hurting or killing someone, do it before you waste your time monologuing about it.”

“Ngh, this isn't over!” he seethed, “I will have my revenge!”

His optic had turned into a flamboyant red color, and fueled by his vengeful fury, he fought back harder and thrust Prowl off of him with a growling shout. The Autobot coiled back, skidding to a halt and rushing at my side just to pick me up. As he made a grab for me, the screech of the Decepticon tore through the air. “No! That female is MINE!”

Starscream's order went over deaf ears as Prowl transformed into a vehicle. I found myself in the back seat, dazed by how fast he had changed. I was barely buckled in my seat when he gunned the pedal, zooming towards the ledge of the roof. “Hold on tight!”

I could not believe how calm he sounded as we leaped off the roof. I didn't have the strength in me to scream, as I already felt my throat becoming sore, but I was overwhelmed by dreariness, caused by the vertigo as gravity pulled us down. In mid-air, my surroundings swirled once more when I found myself again in the grip of the robot. I watched him collide against the wall of the opposing house, and he immediately kicked himself back and landed on the ground. My stomach lurched here and there during his performance. I was lucky that I had a strong stomach, but not the same could be same for the nauseous feeling that had invaded me. As I struggled with my dizziness, Prowl had already begun running and transformed back into that police car, speeding with incredible velocity down the broken streets.

“Prowl to Autobots, requesting immediate assistance! Rachel Hawkins has become a target, I repeat, the human girl has become a target!”

I trembled in my seat, covering my face as tears suddenly streamed out of my eyes. The chaos and terror of this event took my previous encounter to a whole new level, tripling the amount of conflict within my heart and head. I wanted it all to come to an end, begging for everything that was happening to stop.

But a car rammed unexpectedly into the right side of the vehicle, forcing Prowl to veer and take a turn to the left. Another police car had clung onto the door frame of this car, a claw-like hand punching the window open and sending shards of glass scattering across the interior.

“Come here, Fleshling!” he growled.

I instantly recognized Barricade's voice, and I crawled with shaky limbs to the other side of the car, far away from him and his sharp fingers as possible.

“S-Stay away! Don't hurt me, please!”

Prowl took a sudden, sharp turn to the right, drifting as the car attached to him was thrown aside and into a building, unable to cling onto Prowl. At the same time, I was flung to the right side as well, hitting my arm and head against the door. The impact forced me to scream in tears; the sudden move caused more pain to my most-likely broken wrist, and the shards had embedded themselves in my already bloody hand from the window I had broken earlier on.

I held my hand, crying as I endured the agony. Prowl didn't seem to be paying any attention to my dilemma as he drove on, kicking dirt when a shadow loomed over the car. Explosions detonated around us. I didn't want to look out of the window to see who it was, but my heart raced as I predicted the attacker. A jet flew over us and transformed, landing with a resounding tremor before us.

Starscream had caught up with us.

“Your mainframe must be fried if you think you can outrun a jet, Autobot!” Starscream sneered, welcoming us with sharp claws.
I waited for Prowl to screech to a halt and back up, but instead of slowing down, he accelerated. “I don't need to outrun you if I can outsmart you.” he shot back.

Starscream seemed to be taken aback, who was most likely as confused as I was of Prowl's reaction. “Prowl, are you nuts?!” I screamed at the driver's seat in front of me, imagining him sitting there, “What the hell are you doing?!”

He remained silent and sped only faster, heading for the Decepticon that awaited us with a cold, grueling smile and a barrage of missiles pointed at us. As I wondered in panic what was going through Prowl's mind, I heard him suddenly make a calm remark to himself that would never reach Starscream's ears:

“He's all yours, Prime.”

As if on cue, gunfire rained down on Starscream. Surprised, he looked up, and I watched him back away as another robot landed on the ground, barely giving him a second of break before the assault continued.

The leader of the Autobots was attacking Starscream.

“Prowl, secure the humans and meet up with Ratchet!” he commanded, grabbing the Decepticon, “I will handle Starscream.”

Obeying his direct orders, Prowl dashed past both combating robots, the leader tossing Starscream aside so that we could pass through. I turned around to see that Starscream had picked himself up and that both of these robots were in some sort of showdown.

“Rachel, where's Michelangelo?”

In response to Prowl's words, emptiness overcame me, depriving me of the pain in my hand and preventing me to understand what the Autobot was talking about. Yet barely a second later, those words struck at me like a blade straight into the gut. I gasped in utter shock, covering my mouth with my unharmed hand as it slowly, painfully dawned upon me.

“Rachel, where is he?” he repeated. My mind raced too much, I couldn't find the words to express myself.

Mikey had been shot. When Starscream came after me, I was so scared that I had forgotten all about it and ran off like a gutless coward.

I've abandoned the only friend close enough to be family when he needed me most.

“Oh God... What have I done?”

***


A.N.: Phew, that was a tough one, but I'm glad I got it done! So, what do you guys think? Let me know in the comments below, and thanks for reading this! ;D
"Hold onto your dreams. The future is built on dreams." -Peter Cullen
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Old 07-16-2012, 02:21 AM   #10
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Dude this is seriously EPIC Can't wait to see what happens when they find Mikey
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