Beta Read: by Benjamin Bradt. Actually I think half of the words in this chapter are his. He took some rough, half thought out writing and polished into a gem. He deserves most of the credit for the prelude, without him this would read very differently. I don't know if I should list him as a co-author or not, but I do owe him a huge amount of thanks. Thank you Ben.
Rating: M for adult themes. Language, violence, character death, occasional mech eroticism.
Disclaimer: The only thing I own in this work of complete fiction is Velocity/Sira. She is mine. Everything else is copy righted and owned by some really rich people. I make no money from this, but wish I could.
Author's Note: Very OC centric. Pairings are Optimus Prime x OC, Ratchet x Wheeljack. If you haven't read "Finding Salvation", you may be a little lost; I have attempted to fill in some of the back-story to help avoid confusion. The events occur immediatly after "Finding Salvation". Started July 11, 2008.
To say, "It was the day the Earth stood still" would be a cliché, but that was the most fitting description. It was the day human kind learned a truth known only to a privileged few; that there was other intelligent life in the far reaches of space, that that aliens were walking the Earth.
Eight mechanoids and two humans gathered around a large plasma TV to watch the President of the United States address the world. Their future was precariously placed in his hands. It wasn't fear that permeated the room, but a nervous tension. They desperately wanted to secure a place on the small planet; a place to truly call home.
The television showed a rumpled, weary man stepping up to a podium. He was aged well beyond his years by the stresses of his office; his brown hair had turned almost white, his once youthful face bore the creases of too many sleepless nights, the boyish joviality replaced with a parental worry for a child gone to war. Endless worry and the pressures of protecting the free world had taken its toll, evident in the haunted look in his eyes, and the trembling of his hands as he shuffled the pages before him.
"He looks old," Mikaela commented.
"Leadership can be a heavy burden," replied a towering mech. His gaze never veered from the display as he crossed his arms, posture heavy with pensive anticipation. Nearby, a small femme turned her summer green optics to the Autobot commander; concern for the mech showed openly on her face, but she said nothing.
"People of the United States . . . and of the world," began the President's somber oration. "I come before you today, not as the leader of a powerful nation, but as a fellow man. I have been entrusted with informing all of humanity the truth surrounding certain . . . events that have occurred recently. What I am about to say will shake many beliefs to their foundations and question what we call the truth; it will force us to re-evaluate ourselves, and our species. However, we have a chance to make a new place in the universe; to make a better place for our children, and our children's children." The exhausted figure cleared his throat dryly, continuing, "As a species, we have endured almost impossible odds to become the dominant life form on this planet. We have suffered through much adversity; be it natural disasters beyond our control, or wars waged in the pursuit of personal freedoms, and through it all the human spirit has proven itself indomitable. It is that same indomitability that makes me confident that we shall overcome this too, and prosper as we always have."
The president fell silent again, staring blankly at the typed pages before him. His personal staff had labored for hours over what the leader of the country would say when he addressed the entire world with his news, but now, under the blinding lights and the scrutiny of the world's population, the words seemed hollow and insincere, unfitting and, dare say, robotic. He set the speech aside and took a drink from his glass, wishing it were something stronger than water as he mustered courage he never knew he had. "What I am about to say is shocking and frightening; I implore you to remain steadfast and brave, but mostly, open-minded. Our tiny, blue planet has been visited by a species that is both intelligent and superior to us. They are among us now; watching, waiting, praying that we will reward their boldness with friendship and good will. I have come before you to tell you that we are not alone."
The planet held its breath as the revelation rippled through humanity. Every man, woman and child was standing in the Threshold of The Ages. Would humanity move forward and embrace its new place in the cosmos, or would there be a fearful retreat backwards to hide from the inevitable future?
Hidden below ground, mere miles from the smoldering battlefield, eight mechaniods and two humans waited to see which way the world would step.
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