Disclaimer: I'm pretty sure the Autobots, Decepticons and humans all own themselves... long story short they don't belong to me however much I'd like to claim them… Well except for my computer... which Optimus swears isn't a Decepticon ... But I have my doubts. All other OC characters (the ones you don't know) as you would call them belong to yours truly. Oh and the Lorie here is NOT the Lorie you all know, so she's mine too... It just so happened I found out the names were the same after I wrote it and I'm too lazy to go back and change it.
Also if I owned any Disney characters or anything Disney related… I wouldn't have a problem with paying my library fine... Yes I'm that broke.
How does this work again?
CH. 1 Introductions
My black-heeled boots clicked on the marble floor as I followed my friends through the mall. Glancing up and resting my hands in the pockets of my unzipped lightweight jacket I saw that they chatted happily amongst themselves. 'Heh they could care less if I was even here...' I though sadly as the corner of my lips twitched in a slight smile.
Violet laughed loudly catching my attention for a moment. Her tan and well toned body jumping lightly as she laughed. The tomboyish girl was visiting from Florida... She'd forgotten a few things from her recent move there and wanted to come spend some time with her mother, and so she had decided to kill two birds with one stone. When asked by April if she'd wanted to spend some time with the group she'd agreed happily.
Lorie chatted about her oncoming move to New York, the preparations, and housing arraignments, that kind of thing. Her blue gray eyes alight with excitement… She was so happy to be leaving; from what she thought was a small little backwater hick town. I understood that...She was a city girl born and bred… it was in her blood. She'd be gone in less than a month. Bound for the fast paced NY University, she wanted to be an editor. I was happy for her... and the job would suite her perfectly. Still a part of me was sad to see her go.
April smiled… her shoulder length sandy brown hair bouncing in agreement as she shook her head. April and Lorie could have been sisters as close as they were. She was the only one of the group that Lorie had really kept in contact with once the two had started collage. Despite the fact that they were going to different collages. April had been introduced to Lorie's wild collage friends, they'd clicked and the partying phase ensued, as some collage kids are known to do. April was the only one in the group I'd felt most of a kinship with, we were raised basically the same way; by the same type of southern Baptist family. Our family's had a similar way of looking at things. April was a down to earth, sometimes overly blunt girl who longed for travel and adventure. So when she'd announced she'd be leaving in a year or so to join the Peace Core it really wasn't a surprise. In truth I'd worried about her... once Lorie leaves for NY the separation will be hard on her.
I listened quietly for a few moments as the topic shifted. Crystal spoke about her upcoming wedding plans to Chris. Her almost unnerving blue eyes danced as she talked. He was a good guy… she loved him deeply, and I could see it working out well. At first I'd worried about their age differences, Crystal being 23 and he 30... Not that the age itself was a problem, just the maturity levels. But on observing the relationship itself they'd quickly killed the doubts I had... Though a few still remain. Hopefully they'll kill those too in time. Although the wedding would be two years from now Crystal was excited and jabbered on and on about whom she wanted for what and insisted that –all- of us were being bridesmaids if we were able. One of the reasons she was planning so early is that Crystal liked to be in control of things. Sometimes to the point of being down right bossy and offensive. It was never intended as such.. That we all knew... it was only because she cared and wanted things to go smoothly. At one point Crystal had appointed her-self 'leader' of our little group. We had all secretly scoffed at that... for various reasons one being her organizational and people skills weren't exactly the best, especially when it came to group events. Though she tried her best and we held nothing against her for at least trying. We had no leader as far as the rest of us were concerned; we were just a group of friends who worked together as a team. We hadn't said anything to Crystal however. And let her say and believe what she wished till it got out of her system.
Stephanie face turned almost as red as her shoulder length hair as the topic shifted to the wedding night and bachelor-ett party ideas. By looking at her I could tell she was resisting the urge to hide her face… sheltered little thing. Although she and Crystal were only a year younger than myself, I being the oldest of the group, had always seen Steph as the baby of the group. Weather it was because Stephanie was a very conservative Mormon or overprotective patents that attributed to a lot of it I am unsure, probably more so of the latter. She was considering moving to Illinois for collage to become a writer. But that wouldn't be until much later. The occupation would suite her.. She'd always been a hopeless romantic with her head in the clouds.
'They'll all be leaving me soon.' I thought to myself as I watched them. But then again they'd all left me along time ago I knew… I just hadn't wanted to let go.
In truth since a few years after high school had ended they'd stopped trying to keep in touch.. Or at least they'd stopped having anything to do with me. I'd call and try to stay in contact…they'd be polite and answer but other than that they wouldn't try to contact me unless they needed something... And friendship has to go both ways. Oh I know everyone is busy with their own lives... But it wouldn't have hurt to have a phone call every now and again just to catch up, not just call when something was wrong. I knew they weren't the same as when we were kids... But they hadn't really bothered to let me get to know much about the people they were now. I had brought it up to a few of them once or twice; that I was worried about the friendship but it didn't seem like it mattered to them.. Until lately; when most of them were ready to leave. I knew what was going on Even if I didn't want to admit it ... And even if they didn't know they were doing so. They had wanted to say goodbye. Maybe it was to clear their conscious later on down the road. I don't know... But I'd like to believe it was to say goodbye... At lest that way it would have been because they'd cared. They kept saying we'd keep in touch once they were moved and settled into their various places, via the Internet and so forth... But if they couldn't keep in contact with me living anywhere from 5 or 30 minutes away... I doubted they would keep in touch with me from another state. They'll have to prove it too me… I truly hope they do.
' Ah well ' I sighed smiling... 'At least I have a little longer with a few of them.'
"AMBER!!" Steph squealed jumping back latching hold of my arm nearly making me fall over in the process. "Their saying icky stuff!! And … oooh sooofft " she blinked petting my velvet jacket.
"Yes dear." I smiled managing to not fall over. Glancing at Stephanie her green eyes danced playfully matching her green shirt, camo pants and combat boots.
"Haha.. aww we were only talking about…" Violet started but was interrupted by Stephy's protest.
" NOO!!" she whined burrowing her head in my shoulder. Which was an odd position seeing as my 4 foot 9 inches is much shorter than the rest of the group.
" There there dear" I patted Stephanie lightly "Violet what have I told you about killing innocent minds?"
"Nothing..." Violet replied her brown eyes dancing with mischief. Her sandy brown hair was in short boyish bob style and her light bronzed skin went well with the white tank top, denim shorts and sandals she wore. She looked more like a beach bum everyday.
"Un hu.. Well I'm telling you now... Be nice... not everyone wants to hear about other people's sex lives." I chided lightly and half jokingly while brushing a strand of my waist length auburn hair out of my blue gray hazel eyes.
"Yeah Vi geeze!" April popped up grinning. Her slightly darker sandy brown shoulder length hair bounced around her. Making a face she came to stand on my right, safe from Violet's reach. April's teal colored shirt and white kakis went well with her white and teal sandals I noticed.
"Hehe hey! I wasn't the only one talking bout it. Least I've gotten some!" Violet laughed reaching behind me and lightly punching April on the shoulder. Crystal smiled at the two then her attention focused on the particularly interesting pair of pants in the Hot Topic window. Lorie looked over at what had captured Crystal's attention...
" Those are nice." She commented wandering toward the store
"Whata go see?" April questioned glancing in the direction.
"Sure!" Lorie answered dancing into the store. Her sort cropped dark curls bouncing around her as she moved. The long purple drip died skirt and hip belt swayed around her supple form as she pulled a few belly dancing moves. Matching purple form fitting shirt allowing easy movement of her arms and hands in a few simple poses.
I smiled quietly noticing Lorie's moments had caught the attention of a few boys not to far away. 'She's hot and she knows it.' On entering the store we split up going to our various sections April and Lorie beelined to arm warmers and jewelry; Crystal and Vi to the clothing, while Stephy and I checked out the various lamps and fairy artwork in the back. "OOH pretty!" Stephanie squealed letting go of my arm to bound over to a shining mini disco ball. Checking the time I decided to check in with my parents.
"Hi mom." I smiled into the phone brushing a stray bit of hair behind my ear.
"HI sweetie I was just about to call you." my mom answered sweetly. "Do you know when your coming home?"
"Not yet. Do you need me for something?" I questioned picking up a plasma lamp examining how the beams of light streamed toward my hand. Looking at Stephy.. "hu… how dose this work again?" she shrugged and we both stared wide eyed as the glowing ball frazzled then died as the lights stopped. 'Crap' I winced the red head giggled as I hurriedly put down the lamp and walked away from the shelf before anyone saw me.
"No I was just wondering." My mother sighed. I listened to what sounded like my brother ranting in the background. Glancing at the faerie figures and picking up a few glass ornaments I checked the price and sat it back down... totally not worth that much..
"What's wrong?" frowning I arranged the shelf so it was just as I had found it.
"Your uncle wants Derek to go with him on his delivery cause he gets scared to go alone... You'd think a grown man would have more of a backbone. It's only the next 2 counties over. Even though it is getting late." My mother answered annoyed. "He's been driving for that company for over 2 years you'd think he'd quit and find another job if he couldn't cut it."
"Make him go alone." I suggested. Cruel I know but sometimes you have to push the birds over the ledge so they'll fly.
"He's raising hell... And we're all tired." My mother sighed. "Derek has a bit more work to do... And Rina cant go cause she's looking after the kids. But I guess Alan doesn't think bout that dose he."
"Well we're almost finished here." I sighed quietly "I'll go with him to keep him from whining. So Derek can rest before he has to go back to work."
"Are you sure? You don't have to he can go by himself. He's a big boy." My mother frowned in annoyance.
"Yeah but then we'll have to listen to him bitch for the next week." I smiled " Besides it shouldn't take long. I think I can last a few hours alone without committing murder. Tell him to pick me up in bout half an hour by the Barns and Nobel."
"Derek its ok... You're sister said she'd go." I heard my mother say. Then a ruffling sound as my brother took the phone.
"You aen't gota do that." My brothers' deep southern accent stated slightly irritated.
"Yeah yeah I know" I waved him off "buy me a candy bar and we'll call it even."
"Alright. Thanks sis I love ya." My brother drawled happily.
"Not a problem babe. Tell mom I love her ... I'll call when I'm on the way home." I grinned hanging up. By then my friends had joined Stephy and I in the back and I informed them I'd be leaving soon.
Crystal purchased a few items and we exited the store to grab a smoothie. Sipping my strawberry trinity I looked over at the magazine rack as my friends got their drinks. A picture on the local tabloid catching my eye and I laughed. The black and white photo showed two giant robots locked in combat. "Alien robots battle on Earth!" I read picking up the paper. I'd always enjoyed laughing at the crazy stories and hoax's people came up with. How in the world did these papers keep in business? Glancing though the paper I laughed. " Hey guys listen to this... This is almost as good as the Cuba trains Sharks to attack the U.S …...Alien robots battle on Earth!"
"Dude!" Crystal exclaimed sipping her milkshake and looking over my shoulder.
"What? Oh God your reading that junk" Lorie commented
"Its funny!" I grinned in protest and kept on reading. " The destruction of several buildings and military presence in down town LA not to mention the cost of many lives and property WAS NOT..." I paused smirking, "the result of a massive Earth Quake or Terrorist attacks as we have been lead to believe by local authorities. It was in fact the end result of a deadly battle between TWO GIANT ALIEN forces that clashed in down town LA. Not much is known about the two forces or from wince they came but our sources confirm that one group wishes the destruction and/or takeover of our world. While the other fights to protect innocents and peace throughout the universe."
"Wow someone has an active imagination." Stephanie laughed.
"OH it gets better." I grinned... "Apparently they can disguise themselves as regular family vehicles... aka your average car or truck. Transforming at will into their normal robot form resembling something from a sci-fi movie."
"Duded that'd kick ass!" Violet exclaimed. "I want'a car that turns into a Gundam!"
"No kidding..." I laughed. "You and every other anime nut out there."
"Oh don't read that garbage." April scolded taking the magazine and putting it back on the shelf. "It'll rot your brain."
"Well its a lot more entertaining than 'Bat boy saves the USA from nuclear threat!'" I jabbed playfully as we made our way to Barns and Nobel.
" It will still rot your brain." April managed to say stabbing out every word over the straw of her orange and cream smoothie.
We hung around Barns and Noble for a while till my Uncle came to fetch me. After saying my goodbyes I made my way outside to see Alan's gray 18-wheeler pulled up to the curb waiting on me. The poor thing looked like it'd been through a war zone 3 times over. Chipped and fading paint were the least of the old trucks problems. Luckily it ran well and the engine was fine despite the look of the old clunker. Coming from a family of mechanics my heart when out to the old truck.
Upon opening the side door and climbing in my eyes widened momentarily noticing the seat was duct taped in more than a few places to keep the stuffing from falling out, but the tape being old in places started to peel off leaving a gooey residue on the seat. 'Wonderful.' thanking heaven that I'd decided to wear jeans instead of shorts I sat down and buckled in.
"I really appreciate this." Alan's green eyes smiled pulling out of the mall. The tall thin man was dressed in a blue T-shirt, and big shorts. A red ball cap hid his short-cropped brown hair. Alan was a nice guy and I loved him... but he was also a real smart ass.
"No problem." I replied with a smile resisting the urge to growl. 'Play nice.' I mentally scolded myself.
We made the delivery without incident until we started back to the trucking station. The old clunker jumped making a sputtering noise various times throughout the trip back. I patted the dashboard sympathetically; "Poor old soldier." I commented. Alan pulled into the trucking station and I quickly exited the truck. Just then a plump little woman dressed in a light blue t-shirt and jeans, with short black curly hair came walking briskly to us. Tracy along with her husband Rick was the head of the delivery section of the company Alan worked for. Truthfully the only reason he'd gotten the job was because Tracy was a friend of the family and put up with more of his crap than anyone else would.
"Hi baby!" Tracy smiled fondly at me as she came up. Being raised around this bunch my little brothers and I had always been 'pets' of the trucking station. The regular truckers that worked for the company were usually rough and gruff but good-natured guys who'd treated us as though we were their own. I'd also noticed that whenever I was around particularly, their language and rude behavior cleared up a bit. Jiminy the 6 ft 3 stern African American, his call sign coming from Jiminy Cricket, I'd later learned had made sure of that.
"I was wondering if you could make another delivery for me? It's only a package that someone forgot. We're packed tonight and I've got my hands full." Tracy asked holding the brown parcel.
"Where's it headed?" Alan readjusted his hat shifting his weight slightly.
"At Jacks bout 30 minutes from here." Tracy replied.
"I'd be glad to... But I don't think poor Thumper's gona make it. I was hoping Herbert could check him out." Alan responded. Thumper was the name of Alan's truck and his call sign. He even had tattoo of the little rabbit to match the one that was once on the trucks now faded paint job.
"I can lone you one of the new trucks that Rick just bought they should be getting in soon." Tracy offered and my Uncle nodded.
"Do you mind?" he turned to me and I shook my head in response as we walked into the office and lounge. Walking to the bathroom I turned examining myself in the mirror.. Lucky there was no gunk from the truck seat on my jeans. Straightening my velvet black jacket I zipped it up over my black tank top to fight off the slight chill from the fading suns warmth. Taking the hair tie off my wrist I pulled my waist length hair into a low lose ponytail.
Blinking I noticed my right eye wanted to wander a bit... Since my premature birth I have always been technically blind in it... At times seeing shadows and bright light if I closed my good (left) eye…some people said it was weird or was all sympathetic about it... It was just part of how I was and always had been. It wasn't a big deal to me until I found out I couldn't join the Police Academe, Air Force or any form of the military. Which was something I had always wanted to do... Flying would have been kick ass too. Sometimes life just plane out sucks, that or maybe my Lord had another plan, I just hadn't figured it out yet.. Ah well... Frowning and blinking a bit more I willed the pupil to settle back into a more natural position. Smiling somewhat satisfied I headed back out grabbing a piece of paper from Tracy's printer, a magazine and pen I settled myself outside the main office to sketched for a bit. Glancing up I saw a truck I hadn't seen before. Close inspection showed no sign of the driver.
"Hey Tracy? Is this one of the trucks you were talking about?" I called thought the open door.
"Hu I reck'en so" Placing her hands on her hips the motherly lady replied coming to stand beside me "I've never seen it before. Must have gotten here before the others." She walked back inside to find my uncle.
Walking up to the blue trailer-less simi I whistled… "Hello handsome." Being around trucks as much as I have you can tell workmanship when you see it.. This wasn't a truck.. It was a piece of art. The old Peterbilt gleamed from grill to tailpipe in the fading sunlight. Hot red airbrushed flames stroked the metallic blue cab and sides making it seem as though it had been set ablaze. Being an artist by nature and trade I couldn't help but appreciate good work. Gingerly touching the flame I traced it from the headlight to the door totally absorbed in studying the detail. The colors shifted from red to yellow contrasting the navy blue perfectly... Not a stroke missed... my fingers itched to pick up a sketchbook again.
"Looks like someone's in love" I jumped startled as the deep voice laughed behind me. Jiminy leaned against his truck his arms crossed smiling at me ... Dressed in jeans and a white T-shirt. His clothing matched his laid back personality. The brawny man would intimidate anyone…anyone but me. I mean how could he intimidate me... The big guy had a tea party with me when I was 6.
"Can you blame me" I smiled sheepishly.
"Some piece of work." He commented coming up to stand beside me placing a hand on the cab... "You know they say the truck picks the person.. Not the other way around."
"Really..." I mused as Alan and Tracy came up to us package in hand.
" He is a beauty isn't he…lets go... So we can get you home at a decent hour." Alan said jumping into the Peterbilt. "Good thing the keys are in the ignition. We looked all over for a set in the office." He commented as he tried to start the simi. The truck however had other ideas. Jim and I had walked around to the passenger side. I waited as the engine turned over and over again. "Must be cold start" my uncle scowled agitated
Glancing to my right I noticed a small red symbol that looked etched with a ghosting technique into the electric blue exterior of the truck. " We've got one last delivery to make. Mind helping us out a bit?" I whispered tracing the lines of the little face with my fingertips and smiling at my reflection. "What'd ya say big guy?" As if in response the engine suddenly roared to life scaring me half to death. Jiminy laughed picking me up as I jumped and sitting me gingerly in the passenger seat.
"You be careful now." He smiled; grinning at him I shut the door. As I buckled myself in we started on our way.
'Thanks big guy.' I whispered patting the dashboard lightly. Then spent the first minute or two glancing around the cab of the old Peterbilt noticing everything looked brand-new… who ever owned the old truck before had kept it in mint condition. Rick had to have paid a pretty penny for it. The sunset and night fell as we headed on our way. Yawning I turned sideways in the blue leather seat propping my back against the door and loosening the seat belt. Alan was a good driver... It was one of the few things his was good at; so I wasn't worried about any accidents. Curling my head into the warm leather I dozed peacefully.
"Mmmeehhh…" grumbling in protest I groggily opened my eyes as a slight weight tugged at my waist and abdomen. "What'd you tighten my seat belt for..?" I mumbled frowning at my Uncle.
"I didn't. It must have slipped while you were asleep." Alan theorized keeping his eyes on the road.
"Mmm" I yawned sleepily settling back down. Listening to the sweet lulling of rain as it gently started to pelt the metal around us. My uncle looked over and switched on the radio I listened half-heartedly then frowned as heavy metal blasted through the speakers. 'Wonderful... I'll have a migraine before we get home.' I growled closing my eyes and trying to tune out the blaring racket. Just then the radio switched stations to ... classical? My eyes shot open. 'If Alan's started listening to classical I'll eat my sketchbook.'
"Hu.. Weird." Alan commented reaching over and switching the station back. He smiled happily singing or screaming rather along with the music.
"I knew it was too good to be true." I sighed. Static filled the air disrupting the shrieking music. Then the station changed back to classical. Now that got my attention... "Hm?" I sat up staring at the radio and watched wide-eyed as it turned by itself switching to classical. My uncle snorted in protest.
Click rock… click classical... click rock… click classical. "What the hell!" my uncle yelled in frustration.
"I knew I liked you..." I whispered to the Big Guy grinning. "I like.Bach " I commented so my companion could hear.
"Well I don't," he grumbled. "Damn thing must be busted." Alan yelled hitting the radio
"Hey... Hitting isn't going to fix it and you should probably keep your eyes on the road." I advised calmly. My uncle looked up as the rain came down harder. I could barely make out a bright yellow SUV in front of us.
"I don't like these roads..." Reducing our speed my uncle cursed under his breath. The rain was coming down much harder now and the roads were small, only enough room for one vehicle at a time; curvy and dangerous. To our right was a wall of natural rock and our left a sheer drop and frosts below. The SUV in front of us slowed and I could see two kids in the back watching TV.
Just then the truck lurched forward as something slammed into our rear. "Jesus!" I exclaimed as the seatbelt caught me. Alan hit the brakes to keep from smashing into the SUV in front of us. "Did they not see us?" I questioned looking out the side mirror to scarcely make out a full trailer simi behind us.
"I guess not. The roads are bad and it's hard to see in this downpour." My uncle answered still shaken. The crashing of metal echoed around us as we were violently shoved forward again. Tires screeched as Alan hit the brakes just in time to miss hitting the small SUV. "What the hell!?"
"Maybe their brakes are out." I reasoned my heart racing as I grabbed the seat trying not to panic.
"I hope to God not." Alan muttered his knuckles white, holding the stirring wheel in a death grip.
"I'm gona radio and see if their ok" I informed him reaching for the CB. I yelped as the radio was knocked out of my hands and I was yanked forward, we were hit again this time harder than before.
"Shit!" My uncle cursed narrowly missing the SUV. "They're doing it on purpose!"
"What?!" My gray blue eyes widened "why?!" nails biting into the soft blue leather of the seat.
"I don't know... They keep reducing speed.. Then slamming into us." he replied as we were jerked forward by another hit. Panic was starting to take it hold on him …and me as well.
"I'm gona try and radio for backup.. Maybe Jim or Rick's in the area." Trying to stay calm and reaching for the CB discovering it in the floorboard, just out of reach. "At the very least I can give that ass a piece of my mind." I growled and muttered a curse in frustration. Reaching with my foot I tried to pull the CB to me by the cord but it was too far. Cursing I reached down to unbuckle my seat belt but it wouldn't move. "Damn kid safety locks," We jerked forward again. Each hit getting more violent than the last. 'Being smaller than most adults has benefits' I thought as I started to wiggle out of the seatbelt.
The seatbelt had other ideas... It got tighter. "What the hell?!" I exclaimed in near panic. The safety belt caught me as we where hit again. This time Alan couldn't avoid hitting the small car in front of us... The steering wheel jerked sharply as we went over the side of the steep drop.
Curling into a ball and placing my hands over the back of my head, I squeezed my eyes shut as the world around me erupted into chaos. My stomach leapt into my throat as we tumbled in darkness, glass shattered, metal screeched and ripped. My Uncles scream mingled with my own. Someone laughed... A dark mincing voice laughed at our pain, from nowhere. 'Oh God help us' my desperate terrified mind prayed. A blast of cold wind and rain hit my face as pain shot through my body. And then the world stopped and all was darkness.
A/N thank you very much for taking the time to read this - Reviews are much appreciated