I know, I know. ANOTHER STORY? YOU STILL HAVE THREE OTHERS TO FINISH!! But the plot bunnies! They will not let me be! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this story. This idea was born of several things, mainly a combination between the Transformers Mirrorverse fanfiction collection and a number of fanfics here written by many talented writers. I'd list them, but I can't recall some of the titles and such and I'm too lazy to go look 'em up right now. lol
Phase One: Entrapment
Synopsis: It is suggested by many experts that if you ever find yourself kidnapped or taken hostage, it is always a better choice to cooperate with the assailant to avoid injury, but does this rule apply to alien abductions as well?
The room was very expansively large compared to her, but she'd grown far too accustom to everything being so much bigger for it to bother her much anymore. As she did with most of her time, she stared through the giant pane of glass that expanded across most of the far wall. There was a four foot high border spanning the window's length that made a foot wide shelf that she often sat on when she grew tired of standing. She would gaze out at the alien civilization through the window for hours. There wasn't much left for her to do when her master was out and she was less likely to get into trouble if all she did was sit there. She didn't want to send her master into another temper.
The world was similar to that of big cities back home, only far larger in scale and sophistication and complexity. The natives of this alien world had technology that had only been conceived as mere possibilities in science fiction. There were wonders that amazed and bewildered her, but to the natives these 'wonders' were so mundane that her master found great amusement in watching her discover and experience them. It was this fancy of his that had given her a better understanding of the world she now lived in and she knew her 'education' was just an unintended benefit. But this unintended benefit had paved way for an even greater and vital understanding, one that her master was thoroughly unaware of.
And with it, she hoped to one day leave her prison and find a way to free her world and her people.
"The good die young, nice guys finish last, and never assume the worst is over.
Bad luck loves an optimist."
"That'll be 11.53, sir," the cashier said cheerfully. The customer, a short middle aged man and balding, extracted a single bill from his worn leather wallet and handed it to her sluggishly. The cashier made no motion to suggest she was even aware of the man's mood and simply took the bill with a light cheerfulness that seemed outright ungodly at such an hour.
"Out of 20," She said and slipped the bill beneath the metal clip in the cash drawer. She then took several other bills from other slots and a few coins, holding them out to the customer, "And 8.47 is your change. You're Pizza should be ready in a few minutes."
The man took his change and quietly thanked her as he slipped the money into his wallet and wandered away to claim a booth for himself. The cashier surveyed the lobby with a sweeping glance, noting the absence of the younger crowd with a worrying crease of her brow. A hand suddenly appeared on her shoulder, startling her out of her thoughts. She whirled around to look at the face of her manager smiling down at her.
"Geezus, Jerry," She breathed, placing a hand on her heart, "You scared me."
Jerry was a large man, bald, and wearing a simple white t-shirt and jeans. The shirt in question was splattered with grime and tomato sauce from the day's labor and an equally dingy apron was wrapped around his husky waist. The man smiled, brown eyes twinkling.
"You're done for t'night Brea," He said, "You're probably the only student right now not studying for finals."
Brea frowned and pinched her lips. "Yeah, but I've got another two hours until my shift ends and I've been studying for weeks; I don't cram like everyone else."
Jerry laughed, a rich deep baritone sound, "Yes, well that's good to know. You have a good head on your shoulders girl and it does my heart good to know you're using it. But I still want you to get on home. It's slow tonight anyway. And you have to get up early tomorrow doncha'?"
"Yeah," She said, not looking forward to having to get up at such an ungodly hour, "My Psychology final is at six o'clock."
Saying it aloud seemed to convince her that she really could use a night off to finish up studying and get a good night's sleep. Brea reached behind her back to untie the red apron from her and folded it and handed it out to Jerry. "You've convinced me, Boss."
Jerry laughed lightly, taking the apron and folding it over one arm. She took one more sweeping glance of the lobby before turning and heading for the back. She picked her way through empty boxes and cases of tomato sauce, while at the same time trying not to slip on the slippery floor, and made her way into a small alcove in the back to gather her things. The room was roughly the size of a large closet, one wall covered with small cubbies. She reached into one of the small cubicles and took out her purse, setting it atop the small counter lining the other wall. She rummaged around until she found her cell phone. Flipping it open, a banner pop up, telling her she had three missed calls, text message, and a voice mail. Taking a moment to sift through menus, she opened her inbox and read the text message: Call me.
It was from Laura. She then checked the voice mail.
Her mother's familiar voice drifted through overlaid with faint static.
"Hey Brea, it's Mom. Just wanted to call you and see how you were doing and see if you were all right. Dad and Joey say hi and we all want to know if you're coming home for the summer break. Ok, well, call me when you get this ok? Later honey."
The message clicked and the phone's monotone voice asked her if she wanted to delete the message. She closed the phone and put it in her pocket. Taking up her purse, Brea exited the small break room and back towards the lobby just in time to see Jerry hand a wide thin box to the balding man. She walked around the counter, smiling waving to Jerry.
"Bye," She said.
"I'll see you tomorrow Brea, be careful."
The pizza shop door jingled as it closed behind her.
The streets were eerily deserted, pavement still wet from the winter rains. Humidity hung in the air like a lingering odor and a cool wispy breeze cut through it every once in a while. Brea's sneakers tapped dully against the concrete sidewalk as she strolled down the street. Many of the shops were closed and only a few small restaurants or bars still had lights on, some with lingering patrons outside the doors. She past a bar with several men assembled outside smoking and walked by with a quickened pace, holding her breath against the acrid smoke that gathered there. She took a deep breath when she was out of range, but still managed to suck in some of the smoke that seemed to have followed her. She coughed lightly to quell the tingling in her throat.
After walking another half block, she began to wish (not for the first time) that she had the money to get her car fixed. Walking everywhere was pain, even if it was good for you. She dreamed of the soft seats and rubber clad steering wheel. She even missed the odd clicking noise her car made whenever she drove less than 20 MPH. She still needed another 150 to pay the mechanic. When she got paid on Thursday, she should be able to get her car back. Thursday never seemed so far away.
Sudden light startled her and she whirled around to see a parked car on the other side of the street, facing the wrong direction. It had its high beams on and Brea sneered at it, she couldn't see the driver. The car pulled out from the parking spot and drove off, still on the wrong side of the street.
That idiot's going to get in a wreck, she thought incredulously. What a moron.
She watched the car disappear down the road and when she could barely see anything but the red dot of its break lights as it turned right.
Brea shook her head and wondered silently how long until the idiot got pulled over by the night patrol. She reached into her pocket and retrieved her phone. She opened the address book and flipped down the list of names until she found the one that said "Laura" and pressed enter. As she raised the phone to her ear, she heard a quick session of seven beeps, a pause, and then it began to ring.
There was a small beep as the call was answered.
"Hey Laura," Brea smiled into the receiver, "What's up?"
"Oh! Brea, I was just about to call you!"
"I got your text."
"Really? Oh, I didn't think it went through," Light laughter filtered through the line, "My phones sucks so hard sometimes. I was in Calculus when I sent it to you and I only have like two bars in Mr. McConahay's room. Those walls are made of led so or something. Probably so no one can here you scream."
Brea laughed into the phone. "So are you cramming for tomorrow?"
"Hell yes I am," The girl replied, "What about you?"
"Jerry let me off earlier tonight," She answered, "I'm gonna go over my Chemistry and Psych notes and then go to bed."
Laura groaned, "How come you have the will power to start studying weeks ahead of finals and I can barely force myself to study for an hour?"
"Because I loose my scholarship if I fail?" Brea offered with a little humor, a small attempt to cheer her friend up. "I don't wanna go home and have to take out a loan for community college."
"Ah, good point," Laura replied. "So you wanna come over and study a bit with me? I can drive you back to the dorms later."
"Nah, I'm almost home anyway," Brea replied, "Besides, I think I'd just distract you from studying."
"But I like distractions…" Laura whined, causing Brea to giggle.
"Well, I guess I let you get back to it," Brea said, "Just wanted to return your call and see if you were at it."
"I'll probably be at it until five minutes before class," Laura added.
Brea huffed a laugh, "Well, I'll see you tomorrow OK?"
"'Kay. See ya Brea."
Brea clipped her phone shut and stuffed it into her purse. Up ahead was the short cut she habitually took. She reached the opening to the long ally and hoped over a stream of dirty water the flowed out of it and into the street gutters. She was careful to watch where she stepped, not wanting to find her foot inside a pile of garbage some stray had rummaged through or worse. The smell was always unpleasant but with the humidity, the stench seemed ten times so. She breathed through her mouth so as not to smell the grim and sewage, looking up every now and then to make sure she wouldn't run into a trash bin.
She jumped in surprise when she was suddenly doused in bright light, and she raised her hand to her face to shield against the radiance that pained her eyes. Squinting past the luminosity, Brea saw the fait outline of a car at the far end of the ally and she scowled.
This guy is an idiot, She growled. Must be a lost tourist or something.
The car's engine gave a rev and, annoyed, Brea stepped close to the wall to allow the idiot to pass. The car revved again and drove forward.
But as the car neared her, it slowed. Brea sighed in annoyance. Just go you moron, there's plenty of room. But it continued to slow and as it got within seven feet of her, it stopped.
Brea felt panic begin to swell inside her. She backed up a few feet. The car rolled forward a few feet.
Real panic began to set in and Brea just turned and ran back the way she came. The car revved once and then its engines roared as it zoomed off after her. Sprinting over piles of trash, Brea fumbled around in her purse for her phone. She pulled the small gadget out and flipped it open. She managed to push nine before there was a sudden snap from behind her and a sharp jolt of pain in her arm. She tumbled forward to her knees, scrapping them along the jagged asphalt. Wincing and breathing hard against the pain, Brea turned her head to look at her left shoulder. There was a small tube sticking out of the back of her shoulder and for a long moment she just stared at it stupidly. Brea gingerly reached up and pulled it out and she was horrified to see a needle slip out of her shoulder. She looked at the odd tub needle and found it strangely difficult to name the object. Brea knew what it was…but the name was lost on her. Everything was slowing and her vision began to blur at the edges.
She swayed unsteadily and caught herself with her free hand, her other still clutching the tube thing. She eye the needle dumbly as thought process broke down and motor functions failed. Her grip loosened and the needle thing dropped from her hand. Then she noticed the lights. Turning her head sluggishly, eyes already beginning to droop, she saw the car pull up close to her. So close in fact that she could feel the heat from its engines.
There was a sound like snapping and scraping metal as the car began to shift, seeming to fall apart and then…pick itself up. Her eyes watched the car as it stood, high beams still blaring down on her, and all she could make out beyond the light was a dark outline of a figure. The giant figure bore down on her and a hand, large and black (and not just because of the lack of light), and She absently noted the blue color of the forearm as it reached out. She didn't even have the notion to run or to scream. As the impossibly large hand loomed over her, coming closer and closer, the world began to fade into blurry nothingness and finally everything just went dark.
She was awoken by sudden light. Awareness came back slowly in a fuzzy blur and the first thing to register in her mind was the cold. She was also aware that she was lying on her back and her body was cushioned by something soft, but the pain in her head, pounding with a migraine, and her left shoulder and arm, feeling as though they were on fire, caused her from appreciating it. Groaning, Brea turned onto her belly to keep the flaming limb from further irritation. She felt something cold and metallic press against her neck and she felt ill. Her throat screamed with thirst and her stomach felt as though it had collapsed in on itself from hunger. She tried to curl her hand into a fist, but found no strength to do so. She blearily looked around her, neck and spine cracking and popping with the moment. Black vertical bars lines her vision but as sight cleared, she saw they were metal bars like those of a cage…and she sat up with a start, regretting the abrupt action as her body and mind protested with a myriad of pain of varying degrees.
She sucked in a pained breath and collapsed back to the ground with another wave of pain.
She could hear faints voices and with trepidation, Brea raised her head slowly to look out. She couldn't see much, so she slowly worked her way into a sitting position, trying her level best to tolerate her sore body and nausea. Brea could now see rows of cages stacked on top of one another in neat little rows.
Inanely, she blinked and thought to herself, I'm… in a cage…?
They were all occupied, she realized, with people. Most, as far as she could tell, held up to five people. She looked to be the only one caged alone. Many that she could see looked as though they were also just beginning to wake up from the deep sleep while others were still very much unconscious. She noted absently that she seemed higher up, with the floor being a good 15 feet below her plane of sight.
A faint, somewhat muffled, thrum drew her attention from her surroundings as it grew louder, evolving into a steady rhythmic pattern of klang. Her heart pounded in her temples, seeming to match a doubled pace of the approaching noise. And then, what seemed to be a wall of metal swept by the restricted view of her cage. She jumped, surprised, as it passed by and her brain, still struggling to reboot from the groggy sleep, went completely blank. She tried to put a name to the thing, but there was no name for her to associate it with. She scuttled as fast as she could over to the cage's entrance and poked her head out between the bars, looking down the way the thing had gone. She saw its back and noticed it had an over all, odd, boxy shape. Its torso was essentially a square, edges rounded somewhat, with square shoulders and oblong arms and thighs that lead to large rectangular legs. It didn't appear to have ankles or feet, just legs. Even its head was a square.
…robot? She thought stupidly. Her heart made a daring leap into her throat when the robot turned and started walking back the way it had came. With a squeak, she ducked back inside her prison and laid down, shutting her eyes and pretending to be asleep. Her heart hammered in her chest and she held her breath. The klangs grew louder as the robot approached and as they reached the top of their crescendo…it stopped. Curiosity was faster then logic and Brea opened one eye without a conscious thought. The giant robot had stopped in front of her cage and was now peering down at her. Its eyes glowed like dimmed head lights of a car, basking her in faint red light. At the picture, both eyes shot open and her breath caught in her throat.
There was a long moment where she and the robot simply stared. A little disturbed, she noticed that the robot had a face startlingly akin to a human. Eyes, mouth, lips, chin, even a nose! Its face seemed to be made of a malleable sort of metal because as Brea continued to stare at it with wide eyed terror, it smirked. Crease lines appeared at the edges of its mouth as the lips pulled back in the condescending gesticulation. Before Brea could react, it pulled away and continued to walk on down the row of caged humans.
She lay there for a long moment, allowing her panicked heart rate to ease back to a normal rhythm and for her mind to attempt to make sense of what was happening. Then the lights flickered and died and her world became black.
Brea's name is pernounced "Bree", like the cheese.