Interlude : Rite of Passage
A/N: I normally try to stay away from including religion in my stories but a discussion with friends over this made me realize that they were right in what they were telling me. This decision is in no way meant as an insult against other religions it simply is what it is with no insult/slight intended.
The cities seemed better suited for the fashion shows that they had once held than the smoldering heaps of rubble that they had become. Relying on what past experience with the Decepticons had shown them, the Autobots had advised Secretary Keller that the first signs of Decepticon presence would likely emerge in America. Decepticons were proud mechs, they said, and pride would not allow them to ignore the defeat they'd endured at Mission City. And in a way they had been right. Megatron had sought to regain control of the Allspark completely disregarding its new organic composition in favor of the power contained within.
With the euphoria of another resounding Decepticon defeat at Mission City they'd allowed themselves to become complacent and with that complacency came the opportunity that the Decepticons had been waiting for. They'd struck in a concerted effort against the cities that would present the most damaging blows against human morale. London represented a city that had withstood the terrors of a war with scars to show for its resilience. Geneva held the distinction of being one of the world's most important financial centers. And Rome was the seat of the Catholic Church's power.
London's destruction in the face of all that the city had lived through and survived was a blow to many throughout the world who could either remember themselves or had relatives to tell them of the darkness that had covered the world during the second of the World Wars. Geneva's destruction had left the world's financial markets reeling and stocks had plummeted to the point where safety measures were implemented and the stock markets were closed before they could crash. Rome's destruction had left a vast number of people throughout the world with a pervasive sense of disbelief at the news that their spiritual leader was gone and with him those that might have ascended to power in his place. Within minutes of the first attack word had reached America and its Autobot allies as both scrambled to mount a proper response against the brutality of the Decepticon attacks.
But sometimes even the best intentions can be rendered meaningless in the face of odds that are stacked against you on a seemingly insurmountable level. With Soundwave's decision to take on the temporary alt. form of a human satellite, the Decepticon Communications officer had been able to erase the presence of arriving Decepticon reinforcements who were called to Earth by their Lord's order. Aware of the Command trine's presence on Earth, the Autobots had been alarmed to discover that the presence of the other Seeker trine's had been hidden. Attempts to enter into Europe were rebuffed by the Decepticon Aerial teams led by the Elite who formed a cohesive defensive pattern that managed to rebuff even the most promising of Prowl's battle plans.
Their only saving grace had been the arrival of the Autobot's own Communications Officer who immediately began the challenging task of neutralizing Soundwave long enough to allow for the descent of newly arrived Autobot units into Europe. With the arrival of the new troops, Megatron stepped up on his campaign in Europe with strikes against the military bases. Left with few options and a population that was rapidly dwindling with each successful attack, the human governments had banded together to begin forming designated 'Safe Zones' which were popularly termed as the civilian centers. For three years the lines that divided the growing Decepticon held territory from the Safe Zones were held by the weary Autobot units with support from their human allies.
On January 18th 2011 the lines broke and the civilian centers were attacked.
He'd honestly never thought that he'd ever have to go back to the times where he'd mastered coherency after only a few hours of troubled sleep but he had. With the levels of exhaustion that his body was protesting quite vehemently through the nasty headaches he would get right after waking, he'd found that he had little trouble in falling asleep when and where he was able to do so. Coherency was just an effect of being in a war zone where a sleep addled head could get you killed because you weren't coherent to move fast enough.
Mumbling sleepily to himself as the car he was riding in hit a pothole in the road they were travelling along, he tried to adjust himself to a more comfortable position or at least a position that wouldn't have his head knocking against the side of the glass like some insane version of a bobblehead. Now there was an interesting idea. Mojo would make a good bobble head but he actually liked the rat so he couldn't really do that to the dog that had peed in Will's shoes during their last visit back in the States. Wincing as his head slammed against the window hard enough to send tight strands of pain streaking through his thoughts, Sam opened burning eyes and rubbed at the bridge of his nose in a feeble attempt to ward away the building headache.
Stretching aching muscles as much as he was able to in the moving car, he blinked away the gooeyness of his eyes and wiped at the corners of them as his mouth stretched into a wide yawn, "mornin'," he said through the yawn. "Anything happen while I was asleep?"
"I would have woken you if anything had happened." Sam smiled as the voice came through the car's speakers, the voice trembling with the strength of will used to slow his voice down to a more normal pace of speaking. "Kup says we should meet up with the other units in a couple cycles."
"Sounds like a plan." Moving in the seat as he reached over to his bag lying on the passenger seat, he pulled the zipper open his hands digging around for the small container he'd stowed in there the night before. "What units are we meet—," grabbing onto the bag in his hands as the earth exploded around them, Sam hastily zipped it back closed as he twisted around to stare up at the sky through the windscreen.
There was nothing left. Frozen with one hand clutching the door in a white-knuckled grip with one leg still bent and foot touching the flooring, he stared. The soft crackles and sharp pops of the still going fires were the only sounds as plumes of dark smoke curled lazily towards the reddened sky where the sun seemed to burn an angry red as the smoke passed in front of it. Heart thudding against his ribcage so forcefully that he thought it would burst from his chest, he vaguely noted that his body was trembling while the skin on his face seemed to prickle with an odd feeling of tightness closing around it.
Stepping out of the car completely to stand on knees that rebelled against his weight he took in the changed landscape with a look on his face that spoke of the emotions whirling inside of him. Nausea gripped him as he swallowed reflexively against the bitter tang of bile rising up onto his tongue. Whirling around as a loud sound echoed from behind him, Sam looked up with blank eyes at the blue mech before turning back to stare at the destruction as though to burn it into his memory. Ignoring the sounds of vehicles pulling up followed shortly by the sounds of transforming parts he stepped forward towards the remnants of the civilian center. Stumbling through the crumbled bits of concrete he skirted around the edges of the fires as he began to search. Logically, he thought, logically there wasn't going to be anything for him to find.
Stopping as his foot brushed against something, the black boots scuffed and dusty he glanced down to see a bright spot of color lying on the ground. Leaning down to pick it up, he stared at it for long seconds as his hands began to tighten around it in a grip that seemed more inclined to destroy it than to keep it safe. Emotions flitted through his eyes as he began to breathe faster and faster his vision beginning to blur before he burst into motion. Grasping the small object in one hand he threw it at a nearby piece of concrete that had once been a wall with bits of glass still clinging to the window frame. Landing against it with a soft thud the object fell to the ground as he began to scream.
Lying on the ground with one button eye missing, its dress torn and stained the ragdoll's hair began to burn as the fire crept closer.
A/N the Second: Please accept this most humble offering as the authoress continues to struggle against the urge to murder her Bumblebee muse.
Review Replies (for a couple of chapters as I forgot to do this last time *facepalm*):
Toki1: I tried to reply back but your account doesn't accept PM's so here's my reply. Please don't kill me! It's the fault of both my Bee muse and my Sam muse who are currently ignoring each other. I am glad you like it though.
Sara: Hehehe. Sam muse is very insistent that he will get his revenge. He just has to figure out how first.
Catc10: I know, I know. I kinda died there for awhile. School and work were killing my ability to write and updates really reflected that one. I'm glad you liked it though considering I was laughing my way through that particular chapter.
Starfire: I'm honestly trying to bring the Seekers back in for Sam but they're being uncooperative at the moment. My Starscream muse keeps muttering about how they need a grand entrance or something…