Disclaimer: I do not own the Transformers concept, or anything of the like. That's Hasbro and several other people I don't want to even think about.

AN: This is the prequel so to speak for D for Drive. I will finish that story, but chances are it's gonna get scrapped first and restarted. This is so those who are having troubles with that story can understand what's going on, and so I can get my own facts straight while I'm writing it. So if you liked that one, or want to better understand it, read this. Please review and give me advice/pointers/whatever. We all know I could use them.

Chapter One

The situation would have been funny if it hadn't been so cold.

Rae had decided that nature had a sadist's sense of humor. After all, it had been storming the day seven months ago when her mother died on the streets. It had been dark and dreary the day six months ago when Social Services finally found her and put her in foster care – not that she needed it. She had been born on the streets; therefore she was perfectly capable of living on the streets. Now it was raining, and this was the day that she finally escaped her prison.

She wondered if nature was trying to tell her something.

Social Services had told her she needed to go to school, have a family, and make friends. They seemed to think that she was below the normal citizen just because at night she was forced to make her home in a cardboard box. They never did ask her exactly what she knew. Because of how her father made his living – not that she had seen him in two years – she knew everything there was to know about computers, and as she got older some of his friends had taken to teaching her even more. Mathematics, reading, history – she probably knew more about all of it than the average student her age did. She was good.

Living on the streets had also forced her to pick up a few habits that the normal citizen probably wouldn't have even thought of. She was a natural thief, simply because she needed the food. It was easy to lie, and it was even easier to manipulate. People were so gullible sometimes.

Rae had learned a long time ago not to trust humans. It had been her father's brother who had shot her mother dead. It had been the same man who had informed Social Services where she was staying. He was the reason she was running from not only the cops, but the neglectful people who wanted to call her their daughter.

She wouldn't allow it.

With a glare at the stormy sky, she sighed. She wouldn't be in any condition to allow anything unless she found some proper shelter. Being so small for her age, she could fit just about anywhere. The hard part in this city was finding a place that wasn't already occupied. The homeless were everywhere, and she knew most of them by name.

An elderly black man pushing a shopping cart paused a moment to smile at her. "Wha' choo doing so fa' out he'e, lil' missy?" His smile revealed his missing front teeth, and probably the reason for his strange accent. "Ain't safe fo' sommun as young as you t' be in these pa'ts."

Rae nodded. "I'm trying to find a place to sleep, Uncle Pa." she explained. Everyone called the man Uncle Pa, although she really couldn't figure out why. That was how he had been introduced to her, so that was what she called him. For whatever reason.

Uncle Pa chuckled. "Try the junkya'd, lil' missy." he advised. "They always b'ingin in new ca's you can hide in."

Rae nodded her thanks and walked past him without another word. Her mother would have said she was being rude, but she had never really liked the man. There was something about him that was strange. It was probably the way he always knew when she was standing near him despite the fact that he was blind. Her mother called it a gift. Rae had learned to accept it, but it still made her nervous.

That was another thing she had been taught. It was best to accept things as they were, because you really couldn't change anything. And things were never as simple as they seemed. It was stupid to make assumptions.

She made her way across the city, trying to stay out of the rain and finally giving up once she was good and soaked. No sense in pretending she cared now. The rain was freezing, but she would live. Get sick for a while, but she would live. She always did.

/---/

It was part of Little Silver's patrol to sit in the junkyard for a few hours and keep an eye out for any other Transformers in the area, be they Autobot or Decepticon. It was an easy place to escape detection, especially considering his beat-up Ford Ranger pickup alt mode. It wasn't bad, per say, he just got into one too many fights when he was younger to even think of being dent-free.

This time it was pouring rain, but Silver didn't particularly mind. He was filthy anyways from always driving up and down that dirt trail that led to their base. It was about time he got reasonably clean.

Then again, he was going to get mud all over his tires when he finally headed back, but that was beside the point. The rain felt good.

Small footsteps caught his attention, and he went on alert. He could feel small fingers slide down the metal of the bed of his alt form, but he still couldn't quite see the individual walking there. A few more steps, and he'd be able to see them out his side mirror.

The sight made him relax. Just another of the homeless in the city. Every now and again they showed up and made use of the back, but he never bothered them. It was just too tiring to keep trying to get rid of them. Besides, they made for such a pathetic sight.

The small hands opened the door, and it was all Silver could do to keep from transforming in surprise. Now that the homeless was sitting in his cab, he could clearly see what it was. The sight was spark-wrenching.

A small child, maybe seven years old, her clothes sticking to her like a second skin even as she shivered in the drivers seat. He kept an eye on her as she reached down under the steering wheel, and suddenly he realized what she was doing.

Quietly, he started his own engine and turned the heat up. The child jerked in surprise, but smiled and adjusted the vents so they were blowing on her. "Thank you." she whispered.

He was so shocked he almost responded to that. How could she know to thank him? After all, humans didn't believe in things like this. Cars – technology in general – did not talk, or operate on their own. At all. So why was this one so accepting?

The girl sighed. "I hope it's not raining tomorrow morning." she muttered. "Bad enough being wet for the night. Sucks being wet all day long." She shifted a little, trying to get comfortable. "I'll bet you have the same problem I do. I mean, why else would you be in a junkyard? The people you used to belong to don't want you anymore. So they send you away." She laughed at that. "Boy, you're lucky. At least they don't try to keep you even when they don't want you."

Silver couldn't believe his ears, so to speak. She spoke with a wisdom and pain beyond what anyone, human or Transformer, should have at her age. He wondered for a moment what had happened to make her grow.

Whatever it was, he couldn't very well leave her here. She had his curiosity now.

Case always said his curiosity would get him into trouble one day. Now Silver could say he firmly agreed.

He waited until she was settled and his sensors showed she had gone into recharge before opening communications with his leader. "Little Silver to Veris."

"Veris. What's going on, Silver?"

"I seem to have a problem." Quietly, the mech explained the situation. "I'm not really sure what to do."

There was a pause. "Do whatever you see fit." Veris said finally. "Just do not endanger the base."

"Understood." Silver sighed. He already knew what he was going to do. And he was fairly certain that, while Veris may not mind, the others would probably kill him.