Preface: For those who are not familiar with the Amish culture or Equines, here is a brief list of terms that I will be using, and what they refer to:
Community School – public school
Englishman – anyone not Amish
Hay Barn – huge structure built to store hay
Ice Sled – very large heavyduty sled made for hauling tons of ice
Team – 2 or more draft horses/mules
Collars – Part of the Harness which circles the draft's neck
Borium Heeled – type of traction horse shoe
Briefly: Amish allow their teenagers to use cell phones, and from the ages of 16 through 21, the teens are allowed to go completely wild. During this period of their life, they can own cars, party and drink. At 21 they decide if they'll join the church, or become 'English'.
All of my 'human' characters are fictional, so any coincidental match with a real person is completely accidental!
"We can't shake them!" Bluestreak yelled in frustration; Barely dodging the laser blast hitting right next to him.
"We've got to get this to Metroplex!" Sideswipe responded, referring to the important 'package' he was carrying.
"Alright, you go on. I'll buy ya some time!" not waiting for a reply, Bluestreak spun around on the snow-covered, gravel road. Transforming, he returned fire on the coming Seekers.
He tagged one of Thrust's wings, forcing the Seeker down. Then Ramjet came at him, barely missing as the gray Mech threw himself to the side. He managed a shot off at Ramjet even as his side hit the ground. Laser fire hit his exposed back, as Thrust rejoined the fray.
Damaged, but far from helpless, Bluestreak wheeled around and landed a shot straight in the Seeker's cockpit. Thrust somersaulted with the force of the blast. Not having time to gloat at his good shooting, the Autobot heard the ominous sound of afterburners behind him. A huge impact hit his back, and he was flying through the air. He twisted in time to see Ramjet landing to help his comrade, then the expansive cliff blocked his view as he plummeted the 600 feet.
He landed on his helm, and then began rolling uncontrollably down the mountainside. The rocks and trees he hit, doing far more damage than Thrust's lucky shot had. A rumble filled his audios, growing, expanding into a thunderous roar. Then the avalanche he had started, caught up with him.
Ramjet looked down at the settling snow pack. "He's dead. Let's find the other one." he told Thrust.
The muffled roar of jet engines faded into the distance, as the sky opened up and a fresh coating of snow began to cover the signs of the battle. The mountains returning to the soft, silent, peace of late winter.
Bluestreak couldn't move, the snow packed around him like concrete. His face and one of his doors were barely visible in the fresh snow pack. Running a systems check, he realized that he had no radio, the linkage in his back was severed, and he had a slow power leak. Well, I've been in worse! He thought to himself.
Hoping that the Autobots would start searching for him soon, he waited patiently. But as day turned to night, he began to fear that they wouldn't find him. But there was nothing he could do! He was thoroughly stuck!
The full moon glistened across the winter landscape. The snow covered evergreens sparkling like Christmas trees. Bluestreak thought it was a wonderful sight, and if it weren't for the slow energy leak getting to the critical point, he wouldn't be worried.
He heard a strange sound coming towards him. A steady clop-clop, coupled with the jingling of metal and a smooth 'whishing'. As it got closer, Bluestreak thought he could here some human voices. Hope spread through him and he began to yell 'help' as loud as he could.
The clop-clop stopped, and he thought he could here the humans yell back. So he tried to increase his volume, to help them locate him. Then the clop-clop began again, turning straight towards him.
Out of the woods, came the strangest sight the Mech had ever seen! Two huge longeared beasts pulling a strange flat contraption; but standing on that contraption, were two teenaged boys holding thin lines which connected to the animal's heads.
"Hey, where are you?" one of them yelled, scanning the snow-covered mountain side.
"Over here, over here!" Bluestreak responded.
A flash light was aimed towards him. "Hey, Amus, I think someone ran off the road and is stuck in their car! Look I see part of it!"
"Drift's too deep for the team. We'll have to leave them here."
The teenagers strapped on their snowshoes and approached 'the car'. As one of them got his hands on the exposed door, Bluestreak said "No one's trapped but me!"
The one named Amus, fell over backwards in shock. His friend looking around, trying to figure out who – or what – had said that. Then he spied the helm barely sticking up, running over, he frantically brushed the snow off Bluestreak's face.
"Amus, it's one of those Transformer things that we saw on English Joe's TV!" he shouted excitedly.
Amus dusted the snow off himself, and came over. "Really Daniel? Never thought I'd actually meet one of them!"
"Thanks, but I really need your help." the gray Mech told them.
They looked at each other, confused about why he needed their help. "Why don't you just radio your buddies? You do have a radio don't ya?" Amus asked.
"Well, it broke on the way down here."
"Hmmm, so do you want us to try and call someone to pull ya out – after we get to a place with network coverage?"
Bluestreak sighed, how in the hell was he going to get out, before his power leak drained him completely? "Well, that would work. Except that I've got a bigger problem right now."
"All my fuel is leaking out."
The boys looked at each other. "I bet if we can dig enough of him out, to wrap the logging chains around.." Daniel began, as he started to dig near Bluestreak's head.
"Then we could hook 'ol Jake and Precious to him, and pull him on out!" Amus finished.
Bluestreak looked at each boy. "Who?"
"Oh, our loggin' team. They can pull anything you hook 'em up to!" Amus said cheerily, as he started digging on the other side of Bluestreak's head.
"You do have shoulders or something down here, don't ya?" Daniel asked, working his way down Bluestreak's neck.
"Yep. You're almost at them."
"They won't rip apart if we try and wrap 'em and pull ya out?" the other boy asked, making it to that shoulder and trying to dig a small access hole all the way under it, to get the chains around.
"I don't think they'll be damaged." Bluestreak answered.
Then Amus trotted back to the sled, the sound of clanging chains filled the mountain valley as the boy began to laboriously drag it back.
"Ok, I'm done over here." Daniel said, leaning back and rubbing sweat off his forehead. "You're a pretty big robot." he commented to Bluestreak. Then he yelled over to Amus, "Hey, how much length we got?"
"Um, 200 ft. I got the new chain we just bought at the store yesterday!"
"Got the big hooks?"
"Hey, don't go anywhere, I'll be right back!" Daniel said as he trotted over to help Amus lay out the chain.
Bluestreak chuckled, like he could go anywhere!
The Big Pull..
It took a little work, but soon the boys had looped the heavy chain twice under and around each of Bluestreak's shoulders. Amus then trotted down to the 'team' and began to unhitch them from the sled. Looking over at Daniel he asked. "So just what is this 'team'?"
"Oh, those are our Shire Mules. They've pulled every log we've ever hooked 'em to! They're good strong mules!"
Bluestreak thought he remembered seeing some kind of thing while scoping out the human TV channels, about these animals that humans used to use instead of machines. He didn't really think they still used them, machines were so much more efficient! "If you don't mind me asking, why don't you just use a truck?"
The boy grinned at him. "Guess you've never heard of the Amish before?"
"Can't say that I have."
"Guess ya have now!" Daniel cheerily said. "And anyways, truck'd be useless in these mountains, can't pull as much as a good team and couldn't even get to where we log!"
he laughed. "But we've been saving up for a car. We're sixteen, so we get to have fun like the Englishmen do!"
Bluestreak was debating on asking him what he meant by that, but Amus was bringing the team around and backing them up towards them.
"I can't bring 'em any closer, they're knee deep as it as!" Amus told Daniel.
Daniel stretched out the chains. "They're at the end of the chain, but it should work!"
Bluestreak felt the chains get a little taunt, as they hooked the eager team's harness to it.
"Good thing we got the pullin' harness on 'em, not the traces!" Amus commented, since the team had been hooked to the Ice Sled, they'd used the heavy duty harnesses.
Daniel thought for a moment. "Remember when they had to pull 'ol Samuel Yoder's wagon outt've a mess like this? They had to rock it back 'n forth to get the pack to loosen."
Amus nodded his head in agreement. "Hey-up! Right Jake, Right!" the team sank down on their haunches, straining against the collars. Swinging right, then sidepassing and swinging left, then back again.
Bluestreak felt himself being jerked side to side, then the sensation of the pack loosening its grasp on him. "It's loosening!" he yelled to the boys.
Amus stopped the team, then backed them straight, putting slack in the chains. "OK, I'm fixin' to ask em to really dig, so brace yourself!"
"Hey-up! Hey-up!" the team sank down on their haunches again, then sprang forward. The slack giving them enough room to get some forward momentum; then they leaned into their collars with all their might. Heads going down, Hocks straining with effort, barium heeled shoes digging into the frozen ground beneath the snow. Then suddenly, the pack released its grip on Bluestreak and he found himself being dragged, face down, Amus quickly trying to rein-in the team.