"No need to be frightened." The mini-bot coaxed.

"Don't touch me." Margery snapped vehemently.

Shuttershot, she noticed, was standing a step back with a pleased look on his faceplate. His empty optic whorl widened allowing him to take in the show room while his normal one gleamed with pleasure. It seemed that he was liked that his colleague was having difficulties with the specimen.

The mini-bot turned to Soundwave who, during all this time, had been standing near the far wall silently like the reaper. "You've already taken her heart pulsing and optic interals? Along with the reading from her spinal column?"

Soundwave answered with a curt nod.

"I'll want to look at those later, but first . . ." He actually gave Margery a pleading look.

"Go to hell." She hissed.

She took a step back and her back hit the palm of a giant gray hand. She looked and saw the tall gray winged mech before he gently scooted her toward the mini-bot and his tools. She dig the soles of her boots into the metal, but they screeched and left black marks on the otherwise clean table.

Her arms were caught by the smaller mini-bot's metal hands. She twisted, yanking hard on her arms. She was no match. She was forced to sit on the table edge, her legs hanging off the edge.

"It's okay, be still, I'm not here to hurt you." The mini-bot tried soothingly.

"Let go! Goddammit!"

This continued for almost two full minutes until Margery grunted and forced herself to relaxed. They were going to do this, one way or another, they were going to do this to her with or without her consent. Her fighting would make it harder on her and it wouldn't stop the inevitable. Giving in will go easier for her in the long run.

"That's better." The mini-bot sighed greatly relieved.

The exam began. It played out pretty much as she remembered it as a normal doctor's exam. His cool metal fingers felt along her neck, ribs, and abdomen. She stayed still the best she could, but it was alien to her to be touched first, and secondly by alien hands. The blood test, she didn't like and she had been tempted to resist, but she rather it was taken by her own consent than her being held down and the needle shoved in anyway. After drawing the blood, the mini-bot sprayed some sort of sealant on the tiny puncture which felt cold.

"There, all done." The mini-bot, Triggerflex, she learned his name and his cohort's. Stormsaint, during the checkup. "That wasn't so bad now was it?"

He actually patted her knee, like someone might pat a dog to reassure it after getting a vaccination from the vet. She gave him a venomous look of which he ignored or chose not to react to.

She hoped that was all. That Soundwave would take her back to her cage so she could lay down for a while. God, how it sickened her to realize that she was actually HOPING to be taken back to her cage.

"She seems in perfect health, however, I daresay she's a bit underweight, but that could be from the sickness she suffered recently. She's better now, but make sure she refuels regularly. Other than that, she's fine."

Been a long time since she heard herself as being 'fine'.

"She's got nice face lines. Her facial endo-skeleton is nicely shaped. Amazing that it wasn't crafted by hands, but by inherited genetic makeup from her creators and time." Triggerflex brushed her hair from her face. She jerked away throwing off his hand in the process.

"You noticed that too?" Shuttershot replied dryly. "I daresay I find her limber structure and dark color scheme a bit more pleasing than compared to most organic's I've come across, however, she is far from pretty."

"Screw you." Margery muttered in a dark reply.

"And very temperamental also." Shuttershot finished off.

Triggerflex sighed and gave Margery one last pat before allowing her to scoot back onto the table and stand. She got warily to her feet and fixed the giant robots around her with a cool stare. Was this it? What else did these bots have in store for her?

Triggerflex threw his tools into subspace and hopped off the chair. "I believe that will be all for now. I will retire to our quarters and put together the data. I'll have it sent to you as soon as possible."

This was directed to Soundwave who acknowledged this with a short nod also.

Shuttershot stepped forward and gently removed the round disc from her temple. She twisted away once it was safely off her skin and shot him a dark look. Shuttershot placed the disc into subspace and ignored.

Soundwave, then, stepped forward with an indigo hand toward her.

Margery was stuck between backing away from his reaching hand or stepping forward to allow him to lift her up and carry her out of these scientists and their big gray bodyguard. She decided on the middle standpoint. She didn't step back nor did she step forward. She stayed where she was and Soundwave picked her up.

Instead of taking her back to the bedroom where her old cage was, he took her to a different room where her new cage was. The room was spacious and seemed a great deal nicer than the one they had occupied before. Instead of one room, it had three rooms.

There was the den like room where a mech could receive guests or enjoy a private drink. There was the bedroom where Margery's new cage was and there was a washroom, or what she considered was the room. It looked oddly like a bathroom, without the toilet.

Her new cage was bigger with some new additions. It held the same foam bed as before, but this time it came with quilts and thick blankets. It wasn't made, it was more like they were spread across the foam just to look neat. Her water container was there with no doubt filled with fresh water.

In the far corner, she noticed two metal containers. When Soundwave placed her inside the catch and shut the door, which automatically locked too when closed, she walked over to the metal boxes. She opened one lid and saw black clothes and shoes, most of them resembling the pants and sweatshirt she had on now. Did they knock off a Goth store?

The second box irritated her the most. Inside it were books, magazines, crossword puzzles, a pack of cards, sketch pads, board games, a CD player with headphones and CDs to go with it, and a hairbrush. She stared at the contents and shook her head.

"I got a fuckin' toybox."

She noticed something else in her corner of her eye. She twisted her head and stared in shocked. It was large, round, and big enough for her to do a cartwheel in. And it no doubt was able to freely spin if disturbed.

"You got me a goddamn wheelie thing?" Margery nearly shrieked. "What am I? A fucked up hamster?"

Rumble snickered outside her cage. "Hey, you asked for one, glitch."


For the rest of that day she slept. The next day, she tried to fill the boredom by baiting and exchanging insults with Rumble and Frenzy and working at her crossword puzzle and sleeping. The third day, she woke up and Soundwave was gone and in his place was the large gray mech, Stormsaint.

She at first didn't notice that Soundwave was gone nor was Rumble or any of the cassettes. Soundwave was usually putting together a report of some sort with a datapad or was silently communicating with his creations. She had spent an hour watching Ravage slink about the room like a fuckin' house cat.

She sat up on her foam bed after laying sleepily on it, which was her usual habit after waking up. She rubbed her eyes and yawned.

"Oh, you're awake. . . ."

Instead of seeing Soundwave at his usual spot at the desk, there Stormsaint sitting in his place with a datapad. He flipped it into subspace and watched her through the bars of her cage. "Soundwave said you have to bathe today."

"Where is he?" She inquired not moving.

"Gone. Hadda go back to Earth to workout something with Megatron." The gray being answered. "He'll be back soon though."

Margery was conflicted. She was glad that Soundwave was gone, but she wanted him to come back now. She knew Soundwave and his cassettes, she didn't know this gray stranger with pink optics. And she hated it. She hated it that she missed Soundwave already and wanted him here now. She hated him and feared him, yet here she was missing him like a child would miss her father at daycare.

Maybe he could read her face or he expected her to feel this way, she wasn't sure, but she heard him say, "Look, don't get upset. He'll be back soon, I promise."

"I'm not upset." She muttered.

She wanted to go home. The homesick feeling was coming back and it dragged at her like grief . . .but it was grief. It hurt and stung her soul to realize that she may never go back to Alabama, her trailer, and live her normal life. It wasn't much, with the clairvoyance, the drugs, the estrangement from the town, and hurting her Grandmother, but it had been home and she missed it.

She looked up the see the cage door being opened. "You want to walk around a little?"

She didn't answer. She swung her legs out of her bed and reached for her loose pants she had discarded on the floor the night before. . . or better yet, the time before she went to sleep. She had no since of time here. She had been stuck inside this room for the last two days and she had no clock or watch. She went to bed when she was tired and ate when she was hungry. For all she knew, it could 10:00 PM back in Alabama.

She stepped into the pants and pulled them up. She didn't worry about shoes, her thick woolen socks were enough. Maybe Transformers didn't care about temperature, or perhaps it was because Cybertron didn't rotate around a sun, but it was cold. Cold enough for her wear long pants and sleeves and tucked away under the thick blankets of her foam bed when she slept.

As she near the doorway of her cage, the gray mech reached out to lift her out. She swatted at the thick fingers. "I can get out myself!"

"Okay, okay, sorry, just trying to help ya." Stormsaint withdrew the offending hand.

Margery gave him a cool look before stepping out of the cage. The counter her cage was kept was cleared of any items and looked very clean. She wasn't sure whether it was that Soundwave was a clean mech or that he didn't want her to have anything to defend herself with.

She stood uneasily on the counter and stared at her temporary caretaker. He retook his seat at Soundwave's desk and watched her nervously. Margery tilted her head curiously. Why did he look nervous?

She took an unconscious step toward the edge.

"Hey! Stay away from the edge, you could hurt yourself!" Stormsaint admonished her. "Primus knows what'll happen to me if something happens to you."

So that was it. He was as nervous as the babysitter for the President's baby would be. She took a seat on the metal top and watched him and thought.

She could use this to her advantage. But do what? Go home? She was on another planet for God's sake. What? She was going to get a Cybertronian spaceship with a booster seat allowing her to reach the steering wheel?

Yet, if she stayed, then what? Was she going to live out her days living like a gerbil in a cage and being forced to go through divination whenever Megatron wanted to know his enemies' secrets? Fuck, for all she knew, she may not get to wait that long. They were performing tests on her now, how long before they decide to take a chance and dissect her brain? Like the greedy people cutting open the goose who laid the golden eggs?

The thought sent unwanted chills through her spine. She wanted to banish it, to cast it aside, to forget it, but she feared doing so. What if this was her only chance to escape? Or the closest to a chance she would ever get.

Soundwave had been vigilant, she was never allowed out of her cage without strict supervision and she wasn't allowed off the counter at all, though he did allow her to walk around on it . . .with Rumble or Frenzy close by. He was taking no chances with her since her last escape attempt.

Margery scooted forward to the edge to the alarm of her babysitter.

"Hey, wait! No! Stop!" He shot up out of his chair as she lowered her legs over the edge as if to attempt to jump down the short story down. "Wait, I'll put you down . . ."

She was gently seized about the waist and lowered to the floor at his feet. Stormsaint tried to pacify her. "Look, lemme get you something to eat. You can eat it on the floor if you want. Then you can go get a bath. . . ."

She headed for the door, cursing herself for not choosing to wear shoes or boots. Now she had nothing to throw at the door's seal. "Dammit."

"Hey, you can't go near the door. . . no . . ." No, he said in a low voice as a parent might say to a child committing mischief. "No, stay away from the door."

She heard his large feet clang against the floor behind her. She rushed forward and slapped her palms on the door.

Open, please, please, open for me. Please.

What the hell was wrong with her? The door wasn't going to open for her. It was a giant sheet of cold uncaring metal keeping her inside. A barrier set up by Soundwave and Decepticons to keep her in, a heavy reminder of her small stature in the giant world she was taken to.

And the reminder was bitter, bitter medicine to be swallowed by a sore and parched throat hungering for hope instead. God, what was she going to do? They were going to do what they wanted with her and that was all there was to it. Die if she went and die if she didn't go.

She slapped the door again and a wail escaped her throat. Gray fingers caught her upper arms and shoulders and gently drew her backward from the damning gate.

"Look, shh, stop. Soundwave will be back soon, I promise and . . .no, no, no, Primus, please don't do that . . . "

She was choking. It was hard to breath, then she cough . . .no . . .she sobbed. Her nose suddenly felt stuffy and her eyes were getting wetter as she inhaled and exhaled deeply. Gray fingers ensnared her upper body and she twisted to free herself.

Stormsaint tightened his grip. He didn't like to kneel on the floor for this creature, but Soundwave had made it clear, anything happened to this human, it was gonna happen to him tenfold. "Stop, stop. Lemme get you something to eat. Wanna draw? I got the drawing pad from Shuttershot and he still wants you to draw for him. C'mon, you might like it, just draw and . . ."

"Shut up, get your hands offa me, and stop treatin' me like a goddamn kid!" She snarled and twisted hard enough to hurt her back.

He released her, drawing his hands back away from her. She scooted around his knee and stormed off toward Soundwave's desk. He watched her move past the chair legs and to the far corner where the edge of the desk met the corner of the room. She scooted herself into that corner and saw facing it, her back to him.

Stormsaint crept over to the desk and had to kneel and lean forward to see her. He reached a under out toward her. "Get over here."

She felt his fingertips brush at the small of her back and she tried to wedge herself further into the corner. "Leave me alone."

"Look, just come out from there. You don't have to draw, just take a bath and eat and I'll leave you alone. C'mon, ya gotta do those things anyway cause you're an organic."

Margery twisted her head and shoulders to give him a 'go to hell' look, but seeing the large gray Decepticon on his knees and reaching toward her like someone trying to retrieve a kitten from underneath a bed, made her tighten her lips to strangle a giggle.

"Wonderful, fine, fine, first you cry and then you laugh. At least you got variety. Yarians always screaming and throwing things, get over here." He snagged her elbow between two fingers and drew her across the floor.

Margery allow him to pull her out from beneath the desk. Her harsh fears were chased away by mirth and she coughed out a hard laugh as he picked her up with both hands and put her on the desk. The disgruntled Decepticon got to his feet, giving her a hard look.

The bath was fine, even better. Stormsaint filled the sink more than was needed with the water level up to her shoulders. She took this opportunity to swim for the first time since childhood. It was like having a warm small swimming pool to have fun in. Stormsaint watched over her for fear of leaving for an astrosecond and coming back to see her belly-up dead in the water.

He let her swim until she was tired and hungry enough to attempt to pull herself out. He lifted her out of the water and took her back to her cage to dry off and dress. Margery chose a XXL black sweatshirt, which she usually worse to sleep in, and just a pair of panties. She was feeling fatigued and thought she might go to sleep after she ate.

While she was sipping her soup, tomato, Stormsaint placed the sketch pad on the counter near her leg. "Shuttershot really wants you to draw something so . . . "

Margery simply reached over and swiped the sketchpad off the metal topping. It fell almost a story to the floor and rattled on the floor. Stormsaint put his hands on his hips. "You are the most spiteful and feistiest little thing since the time Triggerflex adopted that little Vixsov from Trafna. I do not understand why Soundwave hasn't squished you yet."

Margery responded with a shrug and finished up her small meal.

"You're spoiled rotten, you know that." Stormsaint stated.

"No, I'm pissed off." Margery countered. "See how you feel if giant sons of bitches from space come down and stomp the shit outta yer hometown and grab yer ass and take ya, unwillin', to their giant screw of a planet and toss yer ass into a cage and have some more fuckers poke and prod you. You ain't gonna be wearin' a smile either."

She ended her emphasis by throwing the can on the floor. It landed on the sketchpad and bounced off to roll across the floor.

Stormsaint's pink optics flared. "Okay, that's it. Get in your cage. You're staying in there until Soundwave comes back."

"Oh me oh my, I don't get no cookies." Margery sang as she got to her feet. "Papa Soundwave gonna take a belt ta me when 'e gets home."

Stormsaint ushered her into the cage and slammed the door shut. He bent down to scoop up the can and the sketchpad while she crawled into her nest of blanks and foam foundation. She went to sleep and when she woke up, Soundwave was back.