This is the first in a series I call Transformers: Vignettes; I want to see how this works before I start more of them. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Imagine this... It's late October, 1984. About 4 PM or so, getting towards dusk as the days are shorter this time of year. You're in your car, driving on a road in Oregon, and it's been raining all day for the past 3 days. It's been a long day, filled with nothing but driving and errands, and it's foggy and chilly out. You're wet, cold, weary and hungry (not necessarily in that order), and you just want to get home. To be honest, you're sick of rain. Adding to an already frustrating and gloomy day, a cement mixer truck has been driving right behind you for the past hour. It's had several chances to turn off, and a couple of times you even tried to let it pass you. It didn't though, and it's starting to unnerve you. "Did I do something to upset the driver?", you ask yourself, but cannot recall anything that would have At one point, you turn down another road to get away from the truck, but just as you began to relax, there it was again. Lime green with a dark purple mixing drum, the weirdest colors anyone ever painted a construction vehicle. But as you look again at it in your rear view mirror... ...there's NO driver. You floor the pedal to get away from it, completely freaked out by what you just saw. But to your horror, the cement mixer truck not only manages to keep up with you, but begins to overtake your car. It shouldn't be able to, but it is. Your blood runs cold as you desperately try to get away from this...As you keep the pedal to the floor, you almost run off the road a couple of times, the cement truck almost on top of you. You hear cackling coming from the cement truck, as your engine light comes on. Your temperature gauge screams what the steam from your hood has already told you: you're overheating. But the cement truck is now almost right next to you, and suddenly veers to slam right into you. Terror and sheer panic run in your heart as you desperately pray for a police officer or someone to see this and put an end to it... As the cab of the cement mixer nears your driver's side door, you hear from the truck a manic, high-pitched metallic voice: "We just got here, and I find such a lovely ingredient for my next batch of organic-based sealant!!!BWAHAHAHAHA-" Then a brilliant, blinding flash, and a loud "BOOM" that reverberates through you and your car. You slam on the brakes, unable to see for a moment. You sit for what seems to be an eternity, still dazed and blinded from what almost seemed to be like horizontal lightning. You slowly and fearfully get out of your car, your eyes beginning to register shapes and motion. When your eyes clear, the cement truck is lying on its' side, with a gaping hole in the side. The steady rain dampens the billowing plumes of blue-grey, acrid smoke. The you hear a deep, gravely... somewhat unreal voice from nearby: "Are you alright?" As you turn to look where the voice came from, you cannot believe your eyes. A gigantic, HULKING... thing, a large human-shaped...robot, that looks part semi-truck. It begins to approach you; but as you consider fleeing, something about the robot's eyes and voice seems...calm. Collected. It almost stands there with a presence of... You struggle for the word and the closest thing your mind comes up with is: "command". "Please, do not be afraid. I will not hurt you." It says, lowering what looks to be some kind of gun in it's right "hand". "I detect that your vehicle is damaged, and needs attention. I have called for assistance for you, while I await my fellow Autobots." "W-who... who ARE you?.." you ask, the shock now settling in as you realize this is all beyond your comprehension. It seems to study you for a second before replying, placing it's "gun" behind it in some kind of panel that opens on it's "back"... "My name is Optimus Prime..."