CHAPTER 1: MISSION CITY
AN: I don't own anything associated with Transformers, or any other brands mentioned in this work of fiction. This disclaimer applies to the entirety of this story.
Warnings for entire story: Cursing, natural (and man-made) disaster, blood, death, canon-typical violence, slash (if a relationship between two asexual creatures can be termed as 'slash') and mentions of threesome. ...I think that's it. If a certain chapter needs a specific warning, I'll try to remember to throw one up there.
This story uses elements of G1, Prime, the 2007 movie, and Beast Wars, in a strange amalgamation. Let's see how well they work together, shall we?~
I sighed, rubbing my temples with my right hand. Amy had been working the slots for hours. She'd been liberally indulging in alcohol, and I knew that tomorrow she was going to have one hell of a hangover, as drunk as she was and how long she'd been drinking.
I sipped at my drink slowly, wishing that the ice cubes hadn't melted as quickly.
How she'd managed to drag me all the way from Toronto, just to go to Vegas for her twenty-first birthday and do what typical of-age people do, I wasn't sure. Granted, I'd been older than twenty-one for a few years. This was probably part of the reason that she wanted me to come with her. That, and she thought I worked too hard.
She was giggling and flirting with a good-looking blond guy with long hair - or was that a woman? I tilted my head slightly, inspecting.
After a moment, I still wasn't sure if the being was male or female. Eh, didn't matter. If it was a woman though, she was probably seriously drunk.
Amy didn't typically flirt with women, but it had happened in the past.
I sipped my scotch slowly, the rich taste delicious and vibrant on my tongue, the bite of alcohol burning slightly on the way down.
About half an hour later - or nearly down to the bottom of my glass of scotch - Amy flounced over to me, mascara running and eyes too bright. Her breath stunk of alcohol.
I waved my hand in front of my face. "Spazz, you stink."
She giggled. "I met this really hot guy, Mark, and he wants to go to this bar - you coming?"
I was impressed with her level of thinking - and that it was a guy, apparently - in coming to me about some guy who was trying to pick her up in all her drunk glory.
"Bad idea, Amy. STI's are rampant, you don't want to get a cauliflower growing between your legs."
She snickered again, weaving in place and I steadied her with my hand. A look came over her face, and I sighed. She was totally done for the night.
"C'mon, bedtime for the trashed birthday girl."
She muttered something into my ear, ruffling my curly hair with her booze-laden breath before slumping like a ragdoll against my shoulder.
I tucked an arm under her shoulder and around her waist.
"Let's go," I said, managing to haul her out the door on her spindly heels, red dress waving back and forth with her slightly staggering steps.
"But… Mark," she slurred, drawing out the 'K.'
"Mark's a sleaze-bag, Spazz, you're better off without that piece in your bed."
"Buzzkill," she grumbled, and I snickered slightly.
Finally, I managed to drag her back to the hotel, forced about three cups of water into her, stripped off her dress and heels and tucked her into her bed, hanging the dress up on the bathroom door.
I got ready for bed, and crawled in, considering what I should do tomorrow as Amy would be completely hungover all day.
One of the reasons I'd come with her was to see the Hoover Dam. That was only about half an hour away; I was a morning person, and I'd be awake at four in the morning. Habit.
So, I'd take the car we'd driven down and check it out. Amy didn't much like nature, she was more of a party girl, so I'd take tomorrow for myself.
Hopefully, I'd make it to the Hoover Dam at sunrise.
All this sorted, I relaxed into bed and squashed the pillow with my hands. The bed wasn't very comfortable. And who knew what lived in the sheets previously.
I fell asleep fitfully.
The next morning, I was up before the sun was. I had a cup of black coffee and was out the door. Amy was still snoring in the bed, sprawled across the covers, one tanned leg sticking out, pink toenails perfectly done.
I jumped into the little car we'd careened all the way to Vegas in, the Subaru somehow making it the whole way without a mishap. Amy's boyfriend - a jackass of a med student who thought he knew everything - had loaned it to her on the condition she bring him back some good alcohol.
Driving by myself was nice, although finding a good station was impossible. Amy liked any music that was popular now, which I hated. I clicked the radio off and opened the windows a little, shivering at the crisp morning air. Should have brought a sweater.
I parked - the little red car was the only car in the parking lot - and got out, moving to the lookout. The sun was just rising, streaks of pink and yellow rising around the white-gold sun.
It was beautiful, with the water rushing down the gorge and my lungs full of dampened air. My mind wandered off, completely relaxed. It felt good to be here by myself, with no one to make noise and distract me from the beauty of the place. I'd brought a book, and some food I'd bought from some little cafe on the way out of Vegas, so I decided to wait around for a while. No rush.
After the sun rose, I roused myself, pulling my consciousness back to this reality. Six in the morning; Spazz was still going to be out for at least six hours.
I curled up on the bench, and cracked open the psychological thriller in my lap, the food sitting beside me.
I passed hours that way, barely conscious of the sun moving and rising in the sky. There were no clouds at all, and the book was riveting.
I read the last page, and clapped the book shut with a contented sigh, snacks gone. My phone informed me it was near noon.
Maybe I could check out that national park, to the north? Spazz would still be out and I didn't exactly feel like going back into Las Vegas for a few hours, just to go casino-crawling again later tonight.
I jumped back into the Subaru, arms sun warmed and slightly red. I'd forgotten to bring sunscreen.
I checked my phone, and figured that the hour and a half drive would be nice.
There was even a small town on the way, for a quick lunch break before I travelled into the national park. Probably a pee break too.
Mission City, it was called.
My heart was pounding as I slammed on the brakes, rubber squealing as I lurched to a halt. That man had just fallen – the one I had been watching because he looked slightly...off.
I jumped out of my car, instantly lamenting the fact that I didn't have anything to assist in assessing him. My stethoscope was back in Canada.
My professional mask washed over me. I was checking his carotid pulse, asking him in a loud voice if he was alright. A few quick slaps to the cheeks showed nothing, and his skin was grey. There was a loud noise to the left, but I didn't look up.
No pulse. Shit. I spent another second to make sure, and then pulled him a little more straight, before starting chest compressions. I'd just seen him fall – most likely a sudden stroke or heart attack.
I did thirty compressions, and as I moved to give him two breaths, I was glancing around, looking for someone to assist me, someone to call 911 and get emergency services on board with this.
There was someone screaming and running. I waved a hand at her, as I switched to doing compressions again, calling out.
"Help me, I need someone here!"
More people were running past, but I didn't spend any time in speaking to them. Instead, I fumbled my phone from my pocket, taking precious seconds to do so. I dialled and gave him two breaths, lifting his jaw upwards as I did so.
What was wrong with these people? Why didn't they come and help me? Surely a man fallen wasn't as terrifying as they seemed to think.
I needed an AED, but there wasn't anyone to spell me off while I did so – he couldn't just lie here, that would mean even less oxygen to his brain.
The operator was a female, professional and cold. "What is the nature of your emergency?"
"I've got a man – mid-fifties, I think, no pulse, no respirations Currently doing CPR at..." I squinted at the street sign. "Fifty-second and Main Ave, Mission City. I need an ambulance, stat."
"How long have you been doing CPR?"
Three sets of compressions, at around fifteen seconds each... "Around a minute."
"Did you witness him collapse?"
"Yes," I huffed out.
"Do you know the victim?"
"No." I switched to doing breaths.
"Ambulance has been dispatched, please stay on the line and at the site. Do you have assistance?"
"No," I huffed out, doing more compressions after the breaths.
"What is your name?"
My heart was pounding, keeping up with the compressions and my arms were starting to get a little sore. Adrenaline was still racing through me.
"Natasha Ivanova, I'm a registered nurse from Canada."
"Please hold, Natasha."
"Sure thing," I replied, clicking the phone to speaker and placing it on the ground near the man's head.
I was trying to glance around more, but nothing was jumping out at me. There was a lot of background noise, noise that didn't really seem to fit with a busy time during the week. It almost sounded like explosions. Had this man come from there?
What good luck I had come into town for a bathroom break when I had – no one else was even coming near here. A few were still running by, clad in nice business-casual dress and high heels. Men with briefcases lunged past, panting and sweating. Comb-overs flopped in the wind.
What was happening? Mission City seemed to be going to hell. This couldn't be a typical Wednesday.
I grabbed a random person who got too close – her eyes were white-rimmed and terrified.
"What's going on?" She shook me off and tried to run, breath rushing out in horrified gulps.
The next person I grabbed who was running past was a man, who managed to tell me, "Run, you idiot, run!"
At that point, jets were flying over the city, and the noise was incredible. I flicked an irritated glance upwards, before watching the man again. He ripped free, taking off again, running back, trying to get away from whatever was on the streets ahead of me.
I shook the knowledge from my mind; this man was my priority, not whatever was happening on Fifty-Second Street.
A boy ran across the street, and I glanced up as a massive metallic crash echoed, making my ears hurt. Blue flashed in my vision, and I blinked in bewilderment. My hands never faltered on the downed man's chest. I needed an AED, stat. Where to get one, with no help?
I snatched at another man, but he dodged my attempt and pelted down the street. As my temper frayed, English started to decay.
"дерьмо́," I hissed, assessing my options.
This man needed an AED, and I needed a helper. My arms were starting to get sore, and the emergency dispatcher wasn't getting me a damn ambulance. The muscles in my upper stomach were sore.
I growled low in my throat, muttering some less-than savoury curses my babushka had favoured as I shoved down hard on his sternum, interlocked fingers sore.
Why was this taking so long?! I shot a conflicted look down the street, and my eyes caught on an ambulance. Perfect. I hollered, waving my arms. A few stragglers chugged past me, shrieking the entire way, something about monsters.
That ambulance would have an AED, and other medical equipment. This man needed immediate assistance, hell, he needed to be in a hospital.
The ambulance raced past, no lights on. It was strange looking - a lime-green, big wheeled thing.
I swore viciously as it ripped past, missing the street. "Hey, you су́ка, get back here!"
Taking another glance at my patient, I raced up the car-strewn road towards the ambulance. I needed it back with my patient! It had already been ten minutes, brain damage was already happening.
It felt good to run, to allow that adrenaline some outlet. I managed to round the corner, and halted dead at the sight before me. A black… thing… was standing in the street, head even with the street lights, glowing blue on the end of it's hands. Something blue flashed in pulses at a thing that looked like a helicopter gone wrong. A man in military fatigues and riding a motorcycle roared past, whooping as he slid under the helicopter.
What had I just stumbled into? A movie set? I collected my thoughts, after a split second of shock. I needed an AED, that was still my priority. And that thing was an ambulance.
I raced forwards, arms working in tandem with my legs, running hard toward the ambulance.
Cupping my hands around my mouth, I hollered at it, hopefully reaching the people inside. "Hey! You got an AED? I have a patient who needs it!"
No answer. I made it to the door of the ambulance, grabbing the door handle and pulling on it, squinting past the tinted window. I couldn't see a person, and when the door opened, I was taken aback.
The door was only open for a moment, but I knew what I had seen. No one was in the cab. I could see the leather seats, the slight grit of dirt on the dashboard. What?
The door slipped from my numb fingers and slammed shut. The ambulance took off, lights going. I gaped after it, before my brain caught up.
No person in it didn't mean that it didn't have an AED. I still needed that AED.
I raced after it again. "дерьмо́," I hissed again through my teeth as I chugged forwards, heart pounding.
The ambulance paused and I came to the back door. I was about two blocks away from my patient, and time was running out. I could feel the time draining away like grains of sand.
My fingers tore the back of the ambulance open, and there was shudder beneath my feet as I jumped inside, swiftly tearing the cloth pack the AED was in off the wall and out the door, leaving the door to slam behind me as I ran back towards my patient. Chunks of falling concrete were smashing around me, but I was intent. There was a weird noise from behind me, but I put it out of my mind. I needed to get back to my patient, he was dead, I needed to get back before too much brain damage occurred.
As I ran, toting the pack carefully, I felt my heart pounding in my stomach.
Part of me knew that my patient was going to have brain damage at this point. But I couldn't just give up, I was made of sterner stuff than that.
I slipped to my knees beside the patient, breath heaving as I pulled open the kit, waiting for it to beep to life. As it did so, the noises around me blurred out - once in a while, the loud scream of a crazed woman would slice into my brain, or the noise of gunfire, but I wasn't going to listen to any of that. No.
A boy's loud scream washed through the air and a loud screech of metal washed through the air. It died away slowly, and a girl's shriek crashed through.
The man lay deathly still under me, shirt cut open and patches attached to his skin. The crisp voice attached to the AED informed me that another shock was advised, and to stand back.
I did so, checking automatically for someone to tell to stand back, so they didn't touch him. No one was in the area, and it was very silent. I grabbed my phone, and the woman was asking if anyone was there.
The voice informed me politely that it was 'scanning' and then told me to halt CPR, no more shocks necessary.
My breath was still fast.
"Yeah, I'm here, I got an AED, it's informed me that no more shocks are necessary."
"We're receiving a large amount of calls from your area, do you know what's happening?"
"No, I know that I need an ambulance here, now!"
Her voice was clipped and professional again. "We're doing our best. However, the area seems to be blocked off with rubble and police."
What. Another Russian curse slipped out. The ground rumbled and explosions rocked the air, shockwaves rippling through the earth.
"This man is going to have another heart attack unless he gets to a hospital!" I nearly shriek into the phone - I hate losing patients.
"We're doing our best," she placated blandly.
"Right now that looks pretty horrible," I growled, heart still pumping from my mad dash. Loud shrieking echoed through the air.
My phone jangled with another call.
I checked who was calling, and Amy had changed her name again in my phone. Unless I had some other Magical Genie who regularly called me.
"Yeah?" I asked, checking his carotid pulse. He was still completely unconscious, but the pulse was there, thin and weak against my fingertips. I kept an eye on him, wishing I had oxygen to bolster his brain, wishing that he was already in a hospital with advanced medical supplies.
"Oh my fucking- what the hell?! Where are you, Nova?! Do you know how concerned I was when I woke up - huge hangover, by the way, ow ow ow, why'd you let me drink that much? - and you're totally gone?! Where the hell are you?"
I debated how to tell her I'd somehow wandered into a war zone, a guy had died in front of me, ambulances had no drivers and I had only come here for a pee break.
"I'm in Mission City."
Her voice went up a good octave. "What!? That place is all over the fucking news, Nova, and not in a 'we had the largest litter of puppies in the world born here,' you idiot! What the hell are you doing? Are you safe? No limbs detached - although you might like that, you kinky girl - are you okay, oh my gosh, are you okay?"
"Yeah, I'm okay," I said, a small smile curling one lip. "Spazz."
"You jerk, holy shit, I was so worried about you!"
"Spazz, I'm fine."
"The news is going crazy!" she said, bulldozing right over my reassurance. "There's freaking military jets over the city, like, actual jets and they're firing, you're not safe - what the hell are you doing in Mission City?!"
"Helping. An old guy collapsed in front of me. No pulse, had to help."
"You're kidding. Nova, we got out of Canada for my twenty-first, not for you to go find the nearest dude who needed nursing back to health!"
I bristled slightly, although the man I was watching had some more colour to his face. There was some human noises from around the corner, but no people in sight. Someone was crying.
"No, he literally collapsed right in front of me, you know I have to help, Spazz."
"You and your bleeding heart," she muttered, whimpering as her head was probably hurting.
"You should drink some more water - I'll be back to the hotel pretty soon, promise," I said.
"Nova, I swear, if I hang up and you get blown up by a jet, I will hunt you down and kill you."
"I promise to haunt you, Spazz. Gotta go, savin' lives."
"You better," she growled teasingly. Then, right before she hung up, she blurted out another wish for me to stay safe.
I smiled, before it washed off my face. Thoughts were racing through my mind. There was a huge possibility that other people were in danger, and I was just wasting time with this person. But I had developed a possessive relationship towards him - I had brought him back, I didn't want to just leave and let him die again. But I had nothing to really help, and I would be needed for triaging.
There would definitely be injured people.
I bit my lip before deciding decisively. I touched his shoulder.
"I'm sorry, I'll come back and check on you, I promise," I told his still face, grey-tinted skin looking pallid and sallow.
Tongue thick in my mouth, the bitter taste of defeat washing through, I checked if there was another set of pads in the AED kit - there was. I packed it up swiftly, and gathered it up, into my arms. Moving swiftly, I trotted towards the human noises I could hear, wishing for a massive backpack of supplies I could cart about.
A woman was crumpled just around the corner, dark hair messy and escaping her bun. Blood streaked her face and tear-tracks trailed down, her eyes pink and wet. One of her legs was at a funny angle - ninety degrees to the knee, clearly broken.
Nothing I could do for her. I checked her pupils, blown wide open. Shock. Her breathing was fast, and her face was chalky-yellow pale. Triaging would put her at a level three.
She was moaning and holding her upper thigh. There was no blood around her on the ground, but she had some scrapes on her hands and face. Maybe she'd fallen.
"You okay?" I asked, crouching to her level. "What's your name?"
She continued moaning, face contorted.
"I'm Natasha, I'm a nurse. Help is coming, okay? What's your name?" I touched her shoulder. She blinked at me, and nodded, holding her leg with a death grip.
"Georgie," she whispered, after clearing her throat.
"Georgie." I smiled. "Stay strong. I need to go check others."
Dark eyes flashed to panic as I stood up again. One bloody hand rested on my arm, leaving a red stain.
I smiled again to reassure her. "I need to go check if more people need help, I'll come back though."
She tightened her grip. "No, don't leave me, they're coming back."
"Who?" I asked.
"The aliens, they're coming back."
Concussion, maybe? No way to check pupils, only altered thoughts. Maybe a level two instead.
Thoughts of the ambulance with no driver washed through my head, the helicopter with issues. The guy who had some serious thrill issues, racing his bike under the 'copter.
Was that what she had seen? But that couldn't be aliens.
She did have a head wound, so it was possible that she had a concussion, entirely plausible.
"Did you hit your head?"
She hesitated, then shook her head. "No, I didn't - don't leave me."
"I've got to check others," I said, patting her shoulder comfortingly, looking at her.
"It hurts," she whimpered.
"I know," I said, gaze flicking to her broken leg. "Be strong, okay, Georgie?"
She took a deep breath, and nodded.
"Good girl, help's coming, okay? Help's coming."
She nodded again, hands going back to her thigh as her jaw clenched and she moaned in pain. I wished again for a backpack of medical supplies - gauze, pain killers, saline to clean wounds, bandaging to close wounds, needles to give medications.
I moved forwards, and a man in military fatigues caught my eye. I trotted toward him, eyes instantly picking up the amount of blood around him.
There was some serious bleeding, and he was deathly pale. His dark skin was an ashen grey.
I raced forwards, checking his pulse. He had a faint one, and he grinned at me.
"Got the damn alien, ma'am."
More talk of aliens, really? Geez, maybe it was true. However ludicrous it sounded.
"Hush, soldier. Try to keep your blood in your body, fight more aliens later. Where are you bleeding?"
He tried to sit up, and a wince crossed his face. "Ouch, oh, damn that stings."
Wryly, I helped him sit up and supported him. His whole back was wet, red streaking the surface behind him. "Not doing so well on keeping the blood inside, soldier."
Checking his back, I winced. Definitely level two, working on being a level one. Maybe he'd even be black tagged, depending on how many other people were injured.
"That nice?" he said, dryly.
"Oh, yeah," I said. "Lay down on your belly, please. I want to try and stop this bleeding."
When he seemed to be hesitating, my cheerful facade dropped slightly and I 'assisted' him in lying down.
"I like a woman with some spunk," he gasped, face turned to the side. I peeled the back of his shirt up, and he hissed.
Pulling the scissors from the AED pack I had plunked down, I snipped up the back of the shirt and drew in a breath as the scissors became bloody and his skin was revealed.
"So, soldier, you've got some serious lacerations here. Wish I had some gauze."
"Sorry ma'am," he rasped, voice weaker. "Fresh out of gauze."
I needed something to put pressure on the wound, to slow the bleeding. He was losing too much blood.
With a grimace, I grabbed the piece of cloth I'd cut off his back, and started to apply pressure. With any luck at all, I'd be able to slow the bleeding enough to keep him from dying on me. Possibility of infection was definitely higher now, but there was nothing for it. Infection, or bleeding out.
"I'm Carlos," he grunted, pain lacing his voice.
"Natasha," I returned. "I'd shake your hand, but… I'm a little busy."
A laugh shuddered through his chest, and he winced in pain. "I'll shake your hand once you've saved my life. I'll even spring for dinner."
"Less talk, more concentrating on staying alive."
My mind was racing a thousand miles a second, wondering what I could be doing that I wasn't.
Stopping bleeding, preventing infection (yeah, not happening), keeping him conscious.
There was the distinctive sound of an ambulance, and I breathed a sigh of relief.
The man tensed up. "Alien," he muttered.
"What?" I asked. It was the same Hummer I had hunted down for the AED. "It's an alien?" I asked in disbelief. "No driver, yeah, but alien?"
He nodded and groaned again.
"Wow. And to think I broke into an alien."
He was startled into a laugh. "What?"
I kept my hands steady. "Don't move, you're bleeding. I needed an AED and it was an ambulance. Easy."
"You're crazy," he muttered.
Ruefully, I smiled. "Well, if I'd known it was an alien, I might not have broken into its behind and stolen its equipment."
He laughed again, and I scolded him for moving.
The ambulance paused beside us, and fell apart. It had two legs, two arms and a head, with hands.
My hands stayed steady on his back, although inside I was trembling.
With all the confidence I could muster, I looked at the alien-robot-Hummer. "Want your AED back?"
Author's Note: To any true-Russian speakers, I apologize. xD Tasha was very insistent that she be allowed to swear in Russian, so... ce la vie.
To my (Googled) understanding, дерьмо́ (der-mo) is not exactly serious swearing – and hot damn if Russian isn't full of awesome swearing! дерьмо́ means shit. So, not seriously horrible. (Go look up some awesome ones, if you want~).
су́ка (soo-ka)- bitch
And that blather about triaging and levels and stuff near the end is based on the Canadian ED Triage and Acuity Scale (google it if you want) which wouldn't technically be used for this, she'd actually be tagging people, but she was starting to figure out there was a lot more people than she envisioned. If there was only a few, then the hospital one works. But for an emergency thing like Mission City, triaging would be happening. Which is black, red, yellow, green and white tags. Look 'em up if you're curious!
Just so you guys know, the medical stuff isn't going to be a super-relevant role in the story. Right now it's just Tasha being Tasha. :)
And the category is so general because a lot happens. A lot. I have plans for some sort of romance later on, but it's not going to be a main point of this story. (as far as I know...)
Updating at the moment looks like it's going to be once a month or so... Not much free time anymore.