Copyright 2006, masterfwiffo. All rights reserved.
Michelle stared quietly at the wall of her little cell.
Cell actually was far too cruel a term- it was more like a room at an inn. Of course, she couldn't leave, couldn't send emails, couldn't make any phone calls, or contact the outside world in general, but at least it was comfortable.
It had beens a few days at least since she had first arrived, after the incident in the desert. She was literally blindfolded and rushed onto an elevator. Where she was, she had no idea. Underground perhaps- there weren't any windows so she didn't know, but it had felt like the elevator had been going down for some time.
She stared down at the pencil in her hand, and at the crude drawing she had just finished. She was many things, but an artist she certainly was not. But now, that's all they seemed to want from her. After many hours of grueling interrogation over every thing that had happened, she had told them just about as much as she had the first time. Now all they wanted was descriptions and drawings.
She didn't know why, but they had been particularly insistent on little details. She remembered vaguely the symbols the creatures war- two different brands. A red and a purple. They had plagued her constantly about which symbol was attached to which side. And she didn't really know.
Four of the robot invaders stood out prominently in her head. The two she had quickly dubbed Leader-1 and Leader-2, for their presence on the field. All the others seemed to rally around those two- one a great red truck, his counterpart a tank. Their faces, staring down at each other etched into her mind.
But two more were present as well. The nightmarish sadism on the face of Chopper-Bot as she had named it, as it had slaughtered her friends around her. And the nobel look of Police-Bot, standing between her and the monster.
Police-Bot was etched on her pad now, as best as she could remember him, in his gleaming white armor. Unfortunately, her drawing made him look more like a scribble then a knight. She sighed, scribbling it out and attempting to start the drawing again.
As she desperately wracked her memory trying to remember the knights face, she sighed deeply. Were they monsters? Or in their own way, just people trying to live their own lives. She continued her effort, wondering if they ever felt like this. If they ever felt at all.
Andrew Smith sat at his own desk, not to far from where Michelle was scribbling. He was frowning, at the last image the recon copter two days ago had sent.
Young Miss Renolds had gone to great lengths to convince him and her other interviewers that there were two sets of robots, against each other. She had it set in her mind that one side was 'good', and another 'evil.' As if alien death machines would have such a concept.
He was hesitant to break this information to her. She had, after-all, such an idealized view of the machines, and considering the other trauma she had already been through, shattering her deep preconceptions would only serve to make things more difficult. Already, he had contemplate assigning her a guard, to keep her company and let her our more, in an effort to relieve the tension she must be feeling.
He closed the portfolio, hiding away the last image two of his men had seen before they died. The one she had dubbed 'Leader-1' firing at their vehicle.
"Quit moving." Aidia said grumpily, pushing Optimus back down. "He did a number on your internal systems, and I don't have the tools to shut you down and keep the systems working under duress. Your going to have to bear it."
"Isn't there another way?" Optimus grimaced, a feat considering the hindrance of his faceplate.
"Yes." Aidia muttered, beginning her work again. "If you wouldn't get in these fights, I wouldn't have to do this."
"She does have a point." Red Alert said helpfully, from his post at Aidias side.
"Don't encourage her." Optimus chuckled, then winced again as Aidia dived back into his systems.
Time seemed to crawl as Aidia bustled about her craft, welding, patching, rewiring and making other general repairs. Finally she sighed, and pushed down one last patch on Optimus's side, welding it closed. "Thats about all I can do. You better be careful for awhile while it sets in."
"Good." Optimus sat up, but immediately found himself pushed back down.
"And by be careful, I mean stay here." Aidia growled.
"I can't do that Aidia." Optimus said quietly. "As long as the Decepticons are here, I can't rest for an instant-"
"Too bad." Aidia said, jamming a energy needle into his arm, which caused Optimus collapsed instantly, into a simple offline state.
"Was that really necessary?" Red Alert asked weakly, staring at Optimus's body.
"Yes." Aidia answered firmly. "He'll thank me for it later."
"But I won't," Jetfire's voice echoed through the medical lab as he entered, ducking to avoid the (for him) low ceiling. He came in and stood as straight as he could, glaring down at Aidia. "Taking the commanding officer offline without consent is a punishable offense you realize."
"If it means keeping him in one piece, I don't care." Aidia said defiantly.
Jetfire glared down at her, staring into her small face. Her jaw was set hard, her arms were crossed. Jetfire knew that were he willing, she'd go to a court martial over this. Which is why he relented.
"Good answer." He muttered. "But next time, at least let me get orders from him first."
Her face softened. "Yes sir." She said quietly. "Now, we best let the commander rest." She laid her hand on Optimus for a moment, as if unwilling to leave her patient. Then, as she became aware of the expectant stares of the other two, she turned and left.
"Piece of work, isn't she?" Jetfire muttered, crossing his arms over the bulky chest.
"Always has been." Red Alert answered softly, a sad smile on his face. "But she's right. Let Optimus rest for now."
Aidia sat, alone as usual, her back against Aris's hull. She was staring quietly at the sky. A slight distortion ran through the air every few minutes, a side effect of the holographic field that protected the ship from curious eyes. But that did not obscure the night sky, beautiful as it was.
She sighed deeply. It was... difficult. She was the youngest of the crew, the most inexperienced, and the only female. In fact, her breed was a dying one. Spark melding had given away to artificial spark replication as the war went on, making the need for two genders diminish greatly, and traditional female roles were shrinking all the faster. It was disheartening for her.
While several females had made themselves known in the war, like Elita-1's infamous Angel brigade, Aidia only ever wanted to know a peaceful life. The idea was a curiosity to her. From the moment of her creation, war was the only state she ever knew, and the fear of it the only feeling she had ever felt. She never wanted to be on the battlefield, or anywhere close, but more and more she was pushed toward it. The thought flashed through her memory quickly, the burning halls of Iacon. She had lost many, many friends that day. And three more in the crash. And every passing day, the fear of losing everyone got even worse.
Optimus's mangled body flashed through her mind again. She hadn't told anyone, not even Red Alert, but the damage was far worse then she had initially thought- and some much older then the fight with Megatron. Optimus had been wounded in the crash, and he hadn't bothered to tell anyone. While a transformers repair systems were extensive, there was only so much one could do. And though she hadn't told anyone yet, Optimus's internals were likely to be fragile for the duration of their stay on Earth at the very least, until replacements could be received on Cybertron.
She couldn't bear the thought of losing him, the only commander had thought it worth the risk to take on a young, scared and inexperienced medical student, instead of an experienced combat veteran.
Aidia gave a shriek at the sudden voice, and whirled to see a rather startled looking Prowl staring down at her. "Sorry." He said quickly.
"It's all right." She answered quietly. "I shouldn't be so jumpy."
"You mind if I?" He asked, motioning to the ground next to her.
"No, go ahead." She said quietly. "I don't mind."
He seated himself besides her, and sighed. "I should be in there studying, but I can't stand to hear another round of Jets and Red sharing war stories."
"Mmhmm." Aidia mumbled an answer, staring at the blanket of stars.
"You'd think they like the war, as much as they talk about it." Prowl muttered.
He sighed, leaning back to look up at the sky. "I always wonder if there's more then this."
"This war... It's all I've ever known. I've done my best to be the best I can be, but it's never enough. Always studying, always analyzing things... trying to get everything down... Is this really what I was meant to do? Live my life as a soldier? Fight Decepticons till I die? Is this it?"
Aidia chanced a look at him. There was a faraway look in his optics as gazed up at the sky.
"And then I wonder... what if it all ended? What would I do then?"
"What would you want to do Prowl?" Aidia asked quietly.
"Whatever I could do to make life better for everyone else." The reply came. "I guess... I guess thats what keep me going. The thought that I could help bring peace to our home again."
Aidia sighed again- but this time, a softer, happy sigh. "Thank you Prowl, I needed that."
"Needed what?" Prowl asked, clearly clueless as to what she was talking about.
Aidia chuckled softly. "Oh never mind."
Prowl shook his head but didn't reply. It was silent for a moment, before Prowl spoke again. "Humans are quite lucky." He said cheerfully.
Aidia glanced at him.
"Living here... on this beautiful world, in relative peace."
"Yes." Aidia answered. "Beautiful."
"I kinda wish I could see more of it." Prowl continued. "See what the humans do, how they live their lives, not in the middle of a constant, unending war. What would that be like? I see them walking around every day, living their lives... Hardly a care in the Universe. No death, no fighting... just peacefulness. I wish I could see more."
"Your right." Aidia stated with a smile.
Prowl looked most confused. "About what?"
Aidias grin widened. "We should go see them."
"The humans! Come on!"
Prowl immediately paled. "What?"
"Your right Prowl. This war has gone on too long- but here? We're away from it! The Cons won't come back down for awhile at least, and we can return to base if anything happens. Lets go, enjoy ourselves for a night, and see what the humans do."
"But- thats against the rules and-"
"Not if we stay in vehicle mode!" Aidia said her smile broadening. "Come on, you said yourself you'd like to see what the humans are like."
"Well, yeah, but-"
"Please, Prowl?" She said gently. "For the short time we are without war?"
"I- Err... Well..." As he stared into her pleading optics, he could not find the strength in himself to object. After a moment, his head finally dropped in submission. "All right. Lead the way."
Aidia grabbed his hand. "Thank you."
"Don't mention it." Prowl said shyly. And with that, they transformed and headed into the night.
"What was that?" Red Alert demanded.
"What was what?" Ironhide asked casually, flipping through Aris's monitoring of the television networks.
"I heard someone leaving the base. Aris! Where are Prowl and Aidia?"
Aidia appeared beside him. "They are both leaving together, heading toward a human settlement."
"They're WHAT?" Red Alert cried, his optic flashing a brighter red then usual.
"I said," Aris repeated, a hint of annoyance in her voice, "That they are heading toward a human-"
"I get it." Red Alert snapped. "We've got to get them back here and fast. This is insane! What's Aidia thinking? I'm sure that idiot kid talked her into this, she would never do something like this! Why, anything could happen out there and-"
"Relax Red!" Ironhide and Jetfire both yelled at the same time. Red Alert shut his mouth.
"Let em have their fun." Ironhide waved his hand. "Primus knows young bots like that are stressed as it is."
"I have to agree with Ironhide." Jetfire nodded. "Let them be Red Alert. They'll be fine."
"But-" Red protested, before Jetfire cut him off.
"No Red. They'll be fine. I know your worried about her, but the two of em can look after each other." His hand descended on his friends shoulder. "It'll be all right."
Red Alert looked away. "I hope so."
Michelle awoke to find she had again fallen asleep on her various drawings. She brushed them aside with a yawn, glancing at the clock. Time was slowly losing its meaning to her- it's hands pointed to 3:45, but she really had no way of knowing if it was the early morning or the afternoon.
They fed her when she asked, let her sleep when she wanted, and interviewed her when they could. No schedule, no sense of time... It was becoming foggy on just how long she had been there.
She sighed deeply. She was hungry again. Wether for an early breakfast or a late lunch, she couldn't' be sure.
She stretched, pushing herself out of her seat, and glancing briefly at her doodles. Not a single one really looked like anything in particular. She must have been half asleep when she drew these.
She rubbed a bit of sleep out of her eyes, and once again glanced around her little cell. Nothing - same as the last time she had checked. Her eyes rested on the door. Many people had come through that little door, but she had never bothered to try and go out. Well, now was as good a time as any.
Hesitantly, she walked over to it, and rapped twice on it. No answer. Her hand came down and tested the knob. Locked. As she figured.
She pounded on it a little harder. "Hello? Anyone there?"
Silence. She sighed, leaning against the door. "Guess I'm alone." She muttered.
Suddenly, there was a clicking sound, and the knob began to turn. Michelle jumped up and turned as the door inched open, revealing the figure behind it.
He was the single biggest man she had ever seen. Michelle was not particularly short, but this man was a good head taller then her, bordering on 7 feet. Broad shoulders, dark hair, and brown eyes, accented by a straight military uniform added to his impressiveness. He entered the room, ducking a little to get his head in under the door-frame. "You ok?" He asked, his deep voice rumbling out.
"Ummm..." Michelle said, barely able to speak in his presence. "Yeah... Just wanted... to make sure someone was out there."
The man chuckled. "Yes, we're out there." He smiled. Then he glanced cautiously around and leaned down toward her. "You're that girl connected with the lab disaster in California, right?"
"Yes." Michelle glanced up at him, a little nervously now.
"Name's Ben. Ben Jacobson." The man said, extending his hand.
Michelle took it, and briefly answered with her name.
Ben glanced around, and finding an one of the two open chairs, sat down. "Technically I'm not supposed to be in here yet, but nows a good a time as any." He said. "I've been assigned more-or-less guard duty for you, been outside your door for awhile, but I'm not exactly supposed to talk to you."
"Why do I need a bodyguard?" Michelle asked nervously.
"Not because your in danger." Ben answered quickly. "But because your not supposed to talk about anything to others. The higher-ups realize its probably not the most fun being cooped up in this little room, so we're planning to start letting you out to the rec centers."
"Recreation- the cafeteria, the library, the media room- stuff like that. But the catch is you can't talk about anything you were a part of. That's the rule down here- everything is classified, and your not supposed to discuss anything. They also realize that you didn't choose to come here, and we don't expect you to know all the rules. That's also what I'm here for."
"So basically, your here to shut me up."
"Pretty much." He nodded. He glanced around the room nervously, and leaned forward, his deep voice dropping to a whisper. "I don't know what your circumstances are, but the entire base has been moving. Something big is going on- and I think your in the middle of it."
Michelle quickly averted her eyes.
"Everyones been talking." Ben continued. "Rumors are flying around - everything from Russians to Terrorists to space aliens. And we're getting kinda curious."
"Your closer then you might think." Michelle said quietly.
Ben glanced at her. "See, your saying too much already." He put his hand on her shoulder. "Keep quiet, and don't drop hints. I'll be outside your door if you need me- but I won't be able to talk as candidly with you."
"Ok." Michelle said answered.
"See you around." And like that, he was gone, leaving Michelle alone again.
She sighed, collapsing backwards onto her small bed. This was going to be an interesting stay.
"Your the one who thought this was a good idea, you tell me where we're going."
"I can't decide! You pick somewhere."
"I don't know the area!"
"Neither do I!"
Prowl sighed. "I'm still not sure I want to do this. If you want to go somewhere, you pick."
The two were driving along an old human road casually, breezing by the open countryside. Aidias thoughts were clearly elsewhere, and whenever she got that dreamy look in her headlights, Prowl got nervous.
"How about the City?"
Prowl could have turned pale. "The city? The... big one?" There was only one human city nearby large enough to be worth mentioning.
"Why not?" Aidia answered cheerfully. "If we want to see what the humans do, shouldn't we go to the largest group?"
Prowl didn't answer.
"I know I'm going to regret this." Prowl muttered in a whisper. "All right, lead the way."
Aidia raced forward without a second thought, quite a feat for an ambulance. Prowl lingered back for a moment, then followed.
A shaped watch them. "Two little Autobots heading out for the night eh? Can't let this one go unnoticed by their enemies. After-all, fair is fair." The red face turned toward the night sky, and shot into the air with a high-pitched hum.
Skywarp flew lazily along, the hum of his engines the only thing accompanying him. Scout work was always accompanied by a feeling of loneliness, but Skywarp relished it. It gave him a chance to think.
The wound he had sustained from Optimus hurt, no doubts there. But it was well under repair- and he was in far better condition then the Autobot had left Starscream, Sixshot and Demolisher.
Demolisher was undergoing heavy repairs in the CR chamber, joining Starscream in the heavy duty maintenance process. Starscream was only now coming back online, and he was crankier then ever. Sixshot, however, was refusing treatment, attempting on his own to patch his arm back together. Skywarp didn't know why he did this- it was just another of his quirks, he decided.
That left only himself, Shockwave and Cyclonus as the functional members of Megatrons crew. And Megatron was none to pleased about that.
Shortly after their return, Megatron had become obsessed with finding the remains of the Autobots ship. Under other circumstances, Megatron would have gone himself, but without the ability to fly, his scout-work was useless. Laserwave was doing orbital surveillance, but to no affect. Cyclonus was no good at scouting. Far too unpredictable to be trusted anywhere but the battlefield, it was deemed he remain, digging Shockfleet out of the wreckage of the cargo bay. That left only Skywarp to do the aerial scouting for the wreckage.
But Skywarp didn't mind. Whatever he accomplished here was for the glory of the Decepticons. Some time alone was Definitely worth furthering that cause.
Skywarp turned northward, hoping for a broader sweep. Time passed slowly in the sky, and things were uneventful. Such was the life of a Decepticon scout when wartime was slow. At least back skirting in fire-fights between Cybertron and the Nemesis, there was never a dull moment.
A sudden sensor reading woke him from his lazy glide. He banked sharply toward the signal. There was an Autobot in the air. Instinct took over as the triangular ship flew into his vision field, humming oddly. As it flew in its erratic, jerky path, the red mark flashed into Skywarps sensor. Though he did not recognize the bot from his previous encounters, that fact didn't matter.
"Autobot sighted." He reported quietly. "Will follow. Communication silence begins now."
The hunt was on.
The interior of a restricted area was, in fact, boring. Michelle realized this very quickly.
Ben was leading her on a brief tour of the small recreational facility, which consisted of little more then a cafe with a TV. There were very few other people in the facility, at last as far as she could see. It was quiet, slow, and dull.
Everything was a solid steel or a nondescript white. The food, if you could call it that, tasted like a school lunch with less substance. And the TV was permanently turned to one of the news channels.
The media was still hyping the disaster at the lab, with full 24 hour coverage, interrupted only briefly for update on other significant world events. Despite a newly restarted war in Africa, a hostage crisis in the Middle East, and three missing girls in Arkansas, the Media found it much more fascinating to look at what they still believed to be some sort of nuclear meltdown. And for all their analysis, jabbering, and fabricated explanations, no one was even remotely aware of the truth.
Ben was droning on about various security measures and techie things, while Michelle stared almost zombie-like at the unending white walls. Finally, she interrupted him, just as he was reaching a critical point about laboratory safety for rooms she would never go in.
"You said there was a library?"
Ben started. "Well, yes..."
Michelle nodded. "Good. Take me there. Maybe you'll have something worth reading."
Ben chuckled. "All right, but I think you'll find our fiction section a little dry."
He wasn't kidding. The 'library' was about 24 racks of books, piled high. And the first 23 rows were technical journals, field reports, engineering and math books, computer manuals, heavy equipment manuals, and other job specific literature. The last row wasn't actually a row, so much as a little bookshelf featuring a decently sized array of classical works.
And with nothing else to do, Melville and Steinbeck suited her just fine.
With a happy sigh, Michelle quickly began browsing through the books, looking for something she, at the very least, hadn't read in a long time.
Ben waited patiently as Michelle browsed, even stooping down to flip through one or two books, which Michelle later realized to her immense surprise, were romance novels. Finally her lighted on a beaten up copy of Mary Shellys Frakenstein, which to her mind, seemed oddly fitting in a way.
"Ready to go?" Ben asked as she stood up.
"Yeah I-" She was cut off a tall man appeared from nowhere, pushing her gently aside to rush at the books, with only a mumbled '"'Scuze me." as acknowledgment of her existence.
"I'm fine." She stated dazedly, looking down at the man.
"Damn." He swore, standing back up. "Still not back." He turned around and sighed, his head dropping as he leaned back on the short shelf. Thats when he noticed her feet, and his head quickly traveled upward so he could get a look at her face. "Oh... err... hi?"
"Hi yourself." Michelle answered, looking him over in a state of mild surprise. Tall, thin, dark and wiry, and crowned with a narrow set of glasses, the man looked very out of place. Jeans, a white T-Shirt and sandals were his entire attire, in stark contrast to the lab coats, military uniforms and suits she had seen everywhere else.
The man cocked his head. "Haven't seen you around before. Which department you with?"
"A special one." Ben interrupted quickly.
"Now I'm curious." Chris answered, wrinkling his brow. "Chris Johnson." He announced, extending his hand. "I'm the comp-tech here."
"Michelle." Michelle answered quietly, accepting his hand. "You work with computers then?"
"A little." Chris answered, a grin on his face.
"What he means is that he's the only one who knows how to fix the computers when they break." Ben chuckled. "Everyone knows Chris."
"But your the first one I've seen looking through the works." Chris answered, motioning at the bookshelf behind him. "New here?"
"Yes. You could say that."
Chris's grin widened as he grabbed her hand. "Please to meet ya! If you need anything, I'll be around."
"I think we'll be ok." Ben answered, taking Michelle's arm.
"Ok, see ya around then." Chris smiled with a wave, and he was gone again, heading back out into the white corridors.
Ben shook his head. "That guy is going to be the death of our department."
"I can believe it." Michelle answered.
The city was big. And bright. And full of lights, activities and movement. People were clustered in groups talking, bustling too and from their nightly activities, blissfully unaware of the secret two commonplace vehicles had.
"It's incredible." Aidia sighed happily. "Look at them all."
Prowl seemed less then enthralled, much to Aidia's disappointment.
"These humans..." She continued on, trying to ignore his down mood. "Look at the way their dressed. There's so much variety!"
"No different then out own alt modes." Prowl answered distractedly.
"But ours are built in. Look at them, everything is an external outfit of some kind. I wish we could change our appearance like that."
"Look at the lights! Even Iacon doesn't light up like this." She said eagerly, pulling into a different lane to get a better view.
"Iacons a war center." Prowl grumbled in response.
Aidia didn't respond, wether by hurt feelings or a choice to ignore him. Prowl was glad for the (relative) silence. His mind was a nervous wreck- if there was one thing he wasn't built to do, it was to throw regulations in the air and do something as crazy as this. The added, bustling atmosphere of movement and noise only continued to grate as his already shot nerves. It also bugged him to no end that the humans here gave their vehicles a wide berth, Had they picked conspicuous vehicles on accident?
But something disturbed him even more. While Aidia was taken with the human styles and goings-on's, he was observing their actions. He truly had been eager to see how the humans lived their peaceful lives. But here in the city, he was finding the romanticized image he had of the humans to be far, far from the truth. Small TV sets and sounds indicated to him that not all was well. Images of war, images of murder, images of death dominated the tiny screens.
His hearing too, acutely attuned for small sounds, could pick up pieces of conversation around him. "I swear, I'm gonna kill him." "Did you hear what happened to that girl in Iowa?" "Have you heard from Alex yet? No, I'm getting worried..." As a robot who lived his life in another alternate mode, Prowl was acutely aware that things were more then meets the eye. And the peaceful humans, was there something darker behind them?
Some distance away, a fight broke out between two males dressed in black clothing. A third man in uniform rushed in to break it up. Prowl grimaced inside. What could cause the humans to attack each other like that? There was no war here, was there? Such base violence... All humans couldn't be like that. Could they?
Prowl moved along with the traffic, his mind dwelling on these thoughts. And each second his mind mulled over them, the more nervous he became. For the hundredth time, he considered ordering Aidia to turn around, and let them go home. But he could never muster the courage.
Another fight broke out. Prowl shook in disgust, and finally made up his mind. He was going home, wether Aidia liked it or not. But telling her that was far more difficult. "Umm.. Aidia?" He called over his short-range. To his shock, no response greeted him.
Startled, and suddenly worried, he flashed his sensors around, hoping for some response. Nothing. "Aidia!" He called again. A final sensor sweep confirmed his fears. Aidia had disappeared.
It was a simple driving error that had separated them. Aidia had gotten into a turn-only lane, but before she had realized it, Prowl had completely disappeared in the traffic. Her optics soon caught sight of him, and she was behind him, following him and chastising him for leaving her like that. But when no response greeted her, she became worried- and sure enough, the vehicle pulled aside, and two humans in uniform got out. It was then Aidia realized she was lost.
Without a second thought, her sensors switched to long-range mode, scanning for the faintest traces of his spark. Nothing.
In quiet desperation, she opened up her long range communication signals "Prowl? Where did you go? Prowl!"
"And in other news, a man has been arrested for the murder of 5-year old Eliza-"
Prowl quickly turned his long range off, swearing. It had never once occurred to him, or any other Autobot, that the humans communication signals would interfere with their own. Prowl, took a turn, hoping to find some way out of the maze of human structures and roadways, but every turn lead him deeper into the dark labyrinth of the city. He was alone.
Aidia was receiving human music. She decided to leave it on. It helped calm her nerves. There wasn't anything the humans could do to her, as far as she knew, but being lost on an alien world was hardly a comfortable prospect.
She continued driving, attempting to follow the flow of traffic, and praying Prowl would do the same. But the flow of traffic was hectic and meandered to and about the city, taking her farther and farther away from her original position. And the more she traveled, the more desperate she became.
Time seemed to slow to a crawl as traffic pushed her along. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity, something caught her sensors. In front of her was a large white building. But near that- many vehicles- the same form she had chosen for her alternate mode. With a sigh of relief, she pulled aside into the driveway there, and brought herself to a stop. This done, she stopped to collect herself, and began trying to decide her next course of action.
Skywarp was a natural born hunter. While combat was far from his favorite activity, he enjoyed the thrill that came from the chase. As he climbed above the clouds, he kept himself perfectly in line with his target, pacing himself so that he would not catch it to early. His prey seemed blissfully unaware of his presence, jerking along an erratic path that seemed to Skywarp rather frivolous.
The ship flew in a more-or-less straight direction for quite some time, doings its exotic weaving dance in the sky, and Skywarp followed quietly. There was something strangely hypnotic about the ships dance, something almost chaotically artistic. And that thought perked Skywarps interest. He found himself memorized by the seemingly random motions that held together a strange, almost beautiful exhaust trail along the organic patterns of the low-level clouds. A picture worth far more then any words, Skywarp thought. He was a fan of the arts, though his position left little time for admiration. Plus, Megatron found such things frivolous... and Skywarp did not want to disappoint Megatron.
Skywarp was startled out of his musings when his prey made a sudden vertical drop straight down. Not even stopping to think, SKywarp made a dive into the cloud-bank, hoping he had not lost his prey. THe clouds were thin, and as he tore through them, he found himself blinded by a thousand lights from below. He was over a large human settlement, and far closer to the ground then he had anticipated. He pulled up quickly, straining his engines and performing a spin above the buildings, before leaping out of vehicle mode, and landing on top of one, panting heavily to take in air and cool his strained systems.
His optics went immediately to the sky, searching for any trace of his target. Nothing. The ship had vanished.
Skywarp swore, pulling out a small device from on of his storage compartments in his arm. It was a short-range spark scanner that Sixshot had whipped up some time ago. While not very accurate, it would give the general direction of any Transformers in the vicinity.
The results surprised him. There were no sparks in the air- which meant his target had disappeared. But from the ground, there were two readings, one very faint, meaning some distance away. The other...
Skywarp glared down from his perch at the large white building, and quickly switched his com over to a short-range Autobot frequency. The hunt had ended, and the fight was about to begin.
"Thanks Ben." Michelle muttered, as the large man escorted her into her room.
"No problem." He responded, a smile on his face. "If you need me, I'll be a knock on the door away."
"Sure." Michelle waved, closing the door, and slumping down into the chair they had provided her. She sighed deeply, glancing over at her desk. Nothing had moved. She got up, stretching and heading over to the desk to place the copy of Frankenstein she had appropriated from the library among the mess. Her eyes came down again on the sketch of the white knight, and she smiled softly. "I wonder what you're doing right now?" She said softly. No answer came to her mind.
She switched off the light and went to bed.
Aidia started at the sound. Hearing only a voice, she quickly turned her short-range response on and radioed back. "Prowl? Is that you?"
"No Autobot. I'm afraid here, you are alone."
And there, shivering by herself in the humans world, Aidia realized the source of the haunting voice. Her optics made out the dim shape standing on a nearby building in the darkness. And she realized the Decepticon had spoken the truth. She was alone.
-To be Continued-
A note about this chapter: This was intended to be one chapter, but length required me to split it into two. Next chapter is coming soon