By: Ghost of the Dawn
It was still dark when Ferrari got up that morning. She sighed tiredly at the early hour, but she had to make sure her little brother was up on time.
"Stupid summer school," she thought as she trudged to the shower. She badly needed a wake up call. It was hard enough that all the events of last night kept her from going to sleep. But then having to get up at this early hour was ridiculous.
She opened the window next to the shower and looked out and the dusk horizon and the sleeping neighborhood. The crickets were still chirping. The cool air felt good even this early in the morning so she left the window open.
As she started the hot water and got in the shower, Ferrari thought about last night again. About the giant robots she had just met and about the ones she had known for a while now. What was going to happen to them? Would she get to see them again? Now that they had changed her life, how could she go back to the way it was before she had met Sideswipe and Sunstreaker?
Ferrari raised her head. She thought she heard a voice over the hissing water.
It sounded like it was coming out the window which seemed unlikely since she was on the second story and there were no trees near by. But Ferrari peeked her head out from behind the shower curtain anyway. Her eyes widened when she saw a giant, metallic face in her window.
"Sunstreaker!" She quickly hushed her voice. "What are you doing here?"
"Sorry," Sunstreaker whispered. "Just wanted to let you know what's going on."
Ferrari pushed her wet hair out of the way. Her face did little to hide her disappointment. "Are you guys leaving now?"
Sunstreaker flashed her his most charming smile. "Not yet. Ratchet says he's getting some strange readings in the city. Optimus wants us all to throughly scout the area before we go. So we probably won't be leaving until tonight. And Sideswipe says he wants to take the kid to school and pick him up one last time."
"That's fine." Ferrari nodded, though a bit blankly. One last time... Then they would be gone.
"Hey," Sunstreaker then said, catching Ferrari's attention again. "We also need you to let Sam stay for a bit while we scout around."
No sooner had he said that, but a teenage boy was lifted up to the window.
Ferrari screamed and grabbed the curtain, pulling it tighter around herself. Sam, seeing his predicament, screamed as well and tried to scramble back as he was pushed through the window at the same time.
"I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Sam cried, trying to cover his face as Sunstreaker forced him in through the window whether he wanted to or not.
Ferrari looked extremely angry at the moment and Sam would have gladly tossed himself back out the second story window if he could.
"Ferrari?" There was a knock on the door and a deep, male voice.
Both the bathroom occupants froze at the sound and Sunstreaker ducked away from the window. Ferrari shot Sam a warning look to keep his mouth shut.
"Is everything okay in there?" her dad called.
"Yeah Dad," Ferrari replied. "I just... saw a spider."
"Okay then. Well I'm leaving for work. Make sure your brother gets to school on time."
Ferrari sighed visibly. He said that every day as if she had never done it before. "I will."
"Okay, have a good day. I'll see you tonight."
Ferrari and Sam both stood there, breaths held, waiting for him to come back. He never did. A while later, they could hear out the window a civilian car pull away. Only then did Ferrari breathe out a bit freer. Then she turned to glare to Sam.
"You. Out!" she ordered. "Go downstairs and wait for me until I get there."
Sam didn't need to be asked twice. He fled from the bathroom so Ferrari could finish her shower and ran down the stairs into the kitchen. It was empty at the time so he sat down at the table and obediently waited. A few minutes later, he looked up when he heard soft footsteps enter the room. A ten year old boy shuffled in still wearing his pajamas. He rubbed his eye tiredly with his hair poking up everywhere. Sam envied him for being able to get a good night sleep. The boy paused and looked at the stranger in his kitchen.
"Um, hi," Sam fumbled. "Don't worry, I'm here because--uh, your sister said... she and I..."
The little boy ignored him and went to fetch a bowl and some cereal from the cupboard. Then he sat down next to Sam and ate quietly.
Sam hated silences. They made him uncomfortable and he still had the urge to prove to the child that it was okay for him to be in the house.
"Your sister knows I'm here, so it's okay. I came with her friends. Well, I guess they're my friends, too. We have mutual friends and--"
The little boy suddenly perked up, looking at Sam with wide eyes. Then he grabbed his cereal box and ran with it out the front door. Sam stood up and followed. He got to the door just in time to see the red Lamborghini parked outside open its passenger door and the child climbed in as the door shut behind him.
Sam just stood there watching as Ferrari came down the stairs, dressed with a towel wrapped around her damp hair. At first, she had no idea what Sam was doing until the teenager turned to her.
"Is it okay that he know about the giant robots?"
To that, Ferrari gaped angrily and ran outside. "Sideswipe! Clinton!" She opened the passenger door with fading tolerance. "What are you doing out here in your pajamas? And cereal? I told you I was going to make breakfast, Clinton! Get inside and get dressed. The car isn't going anywhere young man, now march." She pointed towards the front door and the confused Sam.
Clinton slowly slid out of the car with his cereal box and trudged back to the house. Ferrari gave a sidelong look at Sideswipe.
"Really, you're no help," she told the vehicle before going in herself.
Sam didn't realize how famished he was until he started to smell the pancakes cooking. Then his empty stomach suddenly twisted and he felt a wave of nausea come over him. He was starving. Ferrari gave him the first pancake which he ate down heartily.
"So Ferrari," Sam said between bites. "That's an interesting name."
She looked up from where she was cooking. "Huh? Oh yeah. When my mom and dad first got married, he said he wanted one more than anything else. But then my mom told him they were going to have me instead. So I guess naming me was the compromise."
Clinton, finally dressed, came down to join them and ate in silence.
"So the kid's alright with keeping that secret, huh? About the Autobots?" Sam stated out of the blue.
"Clinton doesn't talk. At all," Ferrari insisted. "He's very good at keeping secrets." She sat down next to her brother to eat. "Now Booger, Sideswipe is going to take you to school and pick you up today. So I don't want you to play around, okay? You get right in that car when you see it, alright?"
Clinton nodded as he ate his pancakes.
As Sam ate, he thought about the two new Autobots that this girl named Ferrari knew and about the things he had witnessed the night before.
After dropping off Ferrari, Sam and Bumblebee had returned to the site where they left the other Autobots. As Sam got out of the Camero, he could see Ratchet and Optimus taking turns reaming out Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. The two Lamborghinis had little alternative but to sit there and take the tongue lashings in guilty silence. As Sam listened to the tone used on the two new Autobots, he flinched with empathy. He had a feeling he was going to get a similar greeting from his father when he got home.
Bumblebee transformed and stood silently next to him, not giving his own opinion of the situation as Ironhide, in robot mode, walked up to them both.
"They don't look happy to see them," Sam had to comment. "Optimus looks pissed."
"He might be a bit," Ironhide concurred. "Those two have caused more than their share of trouble with this. But I have to say Optimus is probably far more relieved than angry with them. We thought we had lost those two for good for a while now. Despite the fact that they're extreme pains in the aft, we can thank Primus they're still alive."
Sam looked up at Ironhide curiously. "Why? Are they important or something?"
"Those two," Ironhide informed him. "Are the youngest of our race. They were the last lives given by the Allspark before it was lost to us all." The old robot suddenly got a far off look. "A strange creation indeed. I was there when it happened. The Allspark had only ever granted one life at a time, but that night, when the Allspark granted life, one spark left the Cube and split into two. Twin sparks.
"I saw it with my own optics and I almost couldn't believe it. And I could feel it deep down in my processor; even now as I see them again. It was as if the Cube knew it would then be lost and this was it's final life granted to our planet."
Ironhide almost seemed to sigh as he looked skyward. "Those two... they really burn my grill sometimes. Since day one, they've acted as if never quite realizing there was a war going on. That our very existence is on the line. They just seemed to be waiting for... something else."
"Something else?" Sam wondered.
"Such a strange pair," Ironhide continued, partly ignoring the question. "Sometimes it seems as if they hear things the rest of us can't. And there was one night when Sideswipe was badly injured by a Decepticon raid. It was severe enough I thought his spark would go out for sure despite how wildly he thrashed around. As Ratchet worked to subdue him, I could hear the young punk muttering to himself, only half of his processor online. Something about a Sigma Vector or Vector Sigma. I'm not quite sure. When I asked him about it later, he had no idea what I was going on about.
"But Optimus has a theory. He believes something hidden deep down in the root programing of those two show-boat hotshots is a key to finding a way to still save our planet despite the fact that the Allspark is now gone forever."
"Another Allspark maybe?" Sam wondered.
"Who knows, kid," Ironhide mumbled. "Though I have a feeling that the answer won't be found during my life time." He chuckled down at Sam. "Definitely not yours. Maybe not even during the life of this planet. Maybe that's how long it will take us to end this war. And I believe if anyone can survive, it will be them and only then it will finally be safe to rebuilt Cybertron again."
At that time, Sam experienced a deeper understanding of just how old these great metal beings were and how short his own life span must feel to them compared with theirs.
Sam looked up as Ferrari leaned over to look him in the face.
"You were spacing out on me. Didn't you get any sleep last night?"
Sam blinked at her and then realized how exhausted he really was.
"No, I didn't, actually."
Ferrari shook her head. "That's giant robots for you. Heaven forbid they understand that we have different needs than they do. You're welcome to crash on the couch if you want. My dad won't be home all day and I'm just going to stick around and clean. I'll wake you up if any of the Autobots show up, okay?"
Sam nodded tiredly. That sounded like a plan to him.
"Hummingbird One, this is 008 calling in progress."
"What's the status report, 8?" came a female voice on the line.
A man in his late 20's on a bicycle responded to the radio in his helmet. As he did, he watched on as a flame painted semi and a yellow Lamborghini parked in a lot for a few minutes.
"It's now been confirmed, all Autobots are here in Detroit including the two new ones. Twin designs- Lamborghini. Code names Yellow and Red until they can be identified."
"And you're sure they are now reporting under Optimus Prime?"
"Affirmative. They are now fully among the Autobot ranks and following his orders, whatever they are. They all seem to be combing the city. For what, we're not sure yet." 008 watched as the two vehicles pulled out of the lot and continued down the road.
"Acknowledged. Keep me posted. I will be on site myself soon. Hummingbird out."
Sam slept like a log as soon as his body hit the couch. Sometime in the afternoon his sleep was interrupted as the house phone rang. He heard Ferrari answer it and settled back down to resume his sleep.
"When?" Ferrari's voice floated out from the kitchen. "How bad is it?" Pause. "Well where did they take him then?" Her voice started to shake and rise in pitch. "No! I'm not going to sit tight Dontae! That's my dad! I'll take care of it! Just hold on! I'm coming over there!"
Shortly after, Sam was aware of her roughly shaking his shoulder.
"Sam, get up. I have an emergency I have to go to."
"Huh? Wuh?" Sam mumbled as he tried to sit up.
Ferrari went around to the front of the couch, trying to get Sam's half awake attention.
"Listen, I need you to pay attention for me. I have a cab coming. I am going to the hospital, alright?"
That woke him up a bit more. "Why? What happened?"
"It's my dad," Ferrari replied solemnly and offered no more information than that. "I need you to stay here and wait for my little brother to come home. Take this," She shoved her cell phone in Sam's hand. "I will call you when I know what's going on. If you don't hear from me by the time Clinton gets back then I want you to go with Sideswipe and take my brother with you and you stay with that red Lamborghini until I do call. Do you understand me?"
Sam blinked tiredly at her. "Yeah... I guess..."
There was a cab horn outside and Ferrari grabbed her keys.
"And don't you tell my brother ANYTHING until I talk to him first," she called as she ran out the door.
Sam scratched his head tiredly as he watched her go before flopping back down on the couch.
Ferrari ran though the emergency section of the hospital, eyes wide and frantic. She immediately noticed the small group of officers waiting there. One of them, a tall black man, stood up to meet her.
"Dontae!" Ferrari cried as she ran up to him and grabbed the front of his shirt. "How's my father? What happened? Where is he? Let me see him!"
"Calm down, Ferrari," Dontae said slowly as he grabbed her shoulders. "You can't see him right now. He's in surgery. You're going to have to wait."
Ferrari took a deep breath, trying to calm herself. Her heart felt like it was going a million miles a minute. It was getting hard to breathe.
"Is he... going to be okay?" she panted. "I can't-- I can't tell Clinton that--"
"It's okay, Ferrari. It's okay," Dontae spoke softly. "Calm down. Take deep breaths."
Ferrari nodded, but her rapid breathing wasn't slowing down. Dontae frowned as he saw this. He knew Ferrari was normally a level headed person. But after just losing her mother to the same thing her father may be dying of, he wasn't surprised at her reaction.
"Come," he said, putting an arm around her shoulders. "Walk with me."
He led the hyperventilating young woman outside and walked her around the back parking lot until she was breathing normal again. They ended up at her father's beat up old police car. Ferrari leaned against it as Dontae brought her some water.
"Feeling better?" Dontae asked.
"Yeah," Ferrari said softly as she took a drink. "Thanks."
He smiled gently at her. "It's no problem."
"Please Dontae, can you tell me what happened?"
The tall officer sighed. He chose his words as carefully as he could.
"There was a drug bust that turned into a shoot out. Your father took a bullet to the chest. The doctors said it missed his heart, but that's all I know."
Ferrari nodded, staying silent.
"You know," Dontae had to add. "When I saw that gun aimed for your dad, I thought that was it. The aim was dead on . I expected your dad to be dead before he hit the ground." He patted the hood of the police car. "But this piece of junk just may have saved his life. It's so old and beat up the doors don't even stay shut. I couldn't believe it. The second the gun went off, this front door swung open. It took the bullet first, Ferrari. And it may be the reason it didn't hit your dad in the heart."
Curious, Ferrari stood. She immediately saw the bullet hole in the driver side door and then opened and closed it experimentally.
"Craziest thing I ever saw," Dontae confirmed.
Ferrari opened the door again and sat in the passenger seat of the police car.
"Dad loved this car," she sighed, hugging the steering wheel.
"He will still love it," Dontae said firmly. "Just have some faith; he's tougher than that. I don't think it's his time yet."
Ferrari nodded slowly to the steering wheel. She glanced over to the passenger side and saw the blood stains on the seat where her father obviously had sat while Dontae drove him to the hospital.
"Dontae, do you mind if I sat here for a while–alone?" she asked. "I just need a few minutes."
In turn, Dontae looked hesitant at the request, but finally nodded. "Sure. You know where to find me if you need me."
Ferrari gave him an appreciative smile. "Thanks. I'll come back inside in a little bit."
She watched him go, noting the reluctance in his step. She knew he was a nice guy, all her father's friends were, but she didn't want to see them right now. She didn't want to hear them talk to her like they knew how to solve her problem. All she wanted was to be alone, far from them so she could gather her thoughts.
As if some power heard her request, Ferrari looked down and noticed the keys had been left in the ignition. Without hesitation, Ferrari started the car. She had to get out of here; she needed time to think. She drove away from the hospital to another part of town where she pulled into an empty lot and there she finally allowed herself to cry.
It felt good and hurt at the same time. But it was a relief to be able to get out all she was feeling; to be able to scream at the top of her lungs and no one would be able to hear her inside that car. And when she had finally cried as much as she could, she felt better. Her mind was clearer to think. She began to formulate her plans; what she would do if her father didn't make it. What she was do if he ended up needing care for the rest of his life. And also, how she was going to tell her little brother.
After she had figured all this out and readied herself for what was to come, Ferrari knew her place was now back at the hospital to wait with the others. To be there next to her father whatever the out come may be. Once this was decided, Ferrari started the old police car again and drove off for the hospital. As soon as she got there, she was going to call Sam and tell him to bring Clinton to the hospital as soon as he got home. Then, at least, they would all be together and that was what mattered.
Flashing lights in the rear view mirror caught Ferrari's attention and she saw another police car pulling up behind her.
"Great! Did one of dad's friends call me in?" she said out loud. Then she looked closer at the vehicle in her mirror. "Wait, that isn't a Detroit police car..."
As a direct result of her observation, the gas pedal beneath her foot sunk lower on its own accord and the car sped up. Ferrari lifted up her hands as the steering wheel jerked and watched with wide eyes as it turned itself around the corner.
The car is driving itself! Is it...another one?
The new police car behind them had also picked up speed to stay with them and was now flashing its lights and blaring the siren, but the car she was in was not adhering to the warning. In fact, it was accelerating to the point of almost reckless speeds as it skidded onto an entrance and then jetted out into the freeway. Behind them, the other police car stayed right on their tail.
Ferrari was at a loss on how to react. She had no control over the situation whatsoever and had no idea what was going on.
On the dashboard, a yellow light began to blink and then a rough, metallic voice reached her ears.
"Ferrari," the card said to her in a voice that sounded as though it hadn't been used in a long time. "Hold on. This is going to be a rough ride."