Mikaela sighed, her head on her hand as she watched the loading icon go round and round. Sam should have been online ages ago. Mikaela looked at her watch, it was almost seven o'clock. Sam should have been on at 6:30. She looked down at her dog, a rueful smile pulling at one side of her mouth. "Looks like it's just you and me, tonight." The large, droopy jowled Bull Mastiff looked at her and barked once, putting a smile on her face. "That's a great idea, Max. I'm starving," Mikaela said as she dug into her purse for her phone. "How about we order out tonight? My treat?" Max barked again. Mikaela was becoming frustrated at the fruitless search for her phone, so she took her purse by the bottom and shook it out onto the table.
The entire contents of her purse hit the table and scattered everywhere. Her make up went one way, a couple of pens she had forgotten she had put there, went across the table to the other end. Her phone along with a small, metal cylinder both shot off the edge of the table and into a box of scraps. Mikaela rolled her eyes and slid off of the stool and knelt by the box of scrap metal. She carefully lifted a few pieces out of the way, mindful of the sharp edges and reached in to retrieve her phone. Just before she got up, the metal cylinder caught her eye. She carefully tried to extract this too, but her thumb slipped and caught one of the burrs, causing her thumb to throb. She quickly snatched the metal cylinder out of the scrap metal before she got her hand out and wiped the blood off on a shop towel. The cut wasn't bad, however Mikaela figured that it would hurt for quite a while before it healed up.
After she blew the metal shavings off of the phone, she opened it up and dialed the number to the local Pizza delivery service. She ordered a medium Supreme pizza and a Coke with an order of Hot wings for her dad. He always loved those things at lunch. Mikaela closed down the video chatting program and brought up her email. She busied herself with her friend's messages for the half hour it took for the pizza to arrive. She paid for the pizza and sat it down on the work bench where she still had the contents of her purse scattered. She put the hot wings in the fridge and started on the pizza. She took a piece and fed a piece to Max in his bowl. He ate it in record time and was soon begging for more. Mikaela waited until she had nothing but crust left and let Max have that. He wolfed it down gratefully and belched.
Mikaela laughed and patted the large, brown dog on the head. He just sat there, begging for more pizza. Mikaela picked up another slice and sat it on the table in front of Max. He tilted his head and worked the pizza into his mouth, his snout covered in tomato sauce and cheese. Mikaela smiled and ate another slice before she put the rest in the fridge with the hot wings. The guys would appreciate pizza for breakfast since most of them had either nothing or a beer for breakfast. Slowly she cleaned up her mess, wiping up tomato sauce and cleaning up her purse. She started cramming everything back into it, her phone last then the small metal cylinder. She picked it up and turned it over in her hand. It took Mikaela a moment before she remembered what was inside.
She opened the top and stared down into the cylinder. "It should be safe now, huh Max?" Max looked back at her, his head tilting as though he was trying to figure out what she was saying. She smiled and emptied the shard out into her hand. She held it up to the light, looking at the broken symbols covering the smooth metal. She rolled it in her fingers, jumping when it touched her cut. She was not sure if it was her imagination but it had felt like something shocked her when the shard touched her cut. She rolled it over her cut again and was rewarded with the same feeling of static electricity over the broken skin. She held it in her palm, watching as a small drop of blood from the reopened cut on her thumb filled one of the symbols on the shard. She got up from the stool, intending to wash the blood off of the shard when she felt her entire body seize.
Her left hand started to throb like the cut on her thumb, the pain getting worse in waves as the seconds ticked by. Bit by bit she felt the shard in her hand cut into her skin, feeling the sharp edges pressed against her palm. The pain escalated until it felt like someone had sliced her palm open, the pain drawing tears from her eyes to spill down her cheeks. As the last of the shard buried itself into her palm, the lights in the work shop began to brighten, the electric hum becoming deafening white noise. The sound along with the pain becoming unbearable until finely every light bulb burst, showering the work shop with small glass shards as Mikaela fell limply to the ground. Somewhere in the work shop, Max howled mournfully.
In the haziness of her dream, Mikaela could swear she heard someone calling her name. She flinched when her vision was filled with bright light as a hand griped her shoulders and shook her hard. Mikaela started, having to lay on the glass strewn floor of the work shop for a moment before she remembered what had happened the night previous. The light that had filled her 'dream' was sunlight streaming in through the open sliding doors. "What happened," she asked, rolling over so she could slowly sit up.
Her father put his hand on her shoulder to keep her from getting up. "Not so fast, 'Kaela." He looked her over, shaking his head at the cut on her left palm. "If those weather men were reading their crystal ball right," Mikaela's father drawled out as he wrapped her hand. "we had ourselves a lightening storm that popped up outa no where and disappeared." Mikaela's eye brows rose nearly to the top of her head. "Yea, I call bullshit, too." Mikaela laughed as her father helped her up off of the floor, tiny shards of glass falling off of her clothes and tinkling when they hit the concrete floor. "You sure you feel alright, sweetie?" Mikaela nodded again, running her hands through her messy hair before pulling it up into a messy bun.
The older man nodded to himself. "Well, just to be on the safe side, why don't you go get some rest." Mikaela would have said 'No', but she had to admit that she felt tired. Knocked out or not, sleeping on a concrete floor was not restful at all. As Mikaela stepped out into the morning sun, she felt something warm and wet tickle her nose. She reached up with one of the shop towels to catch what she thought was mucus running out of her nose. What the towel came away with instead was bright red blood. She wiped her nose again, staring down at the towel. She shook her head, the bleeding had only lasted a few seconds. She might have gotten that when she fell to the floor. Mikaela straddled her scooter and rode out of the work shop's parking lot.
She felt much better as she pulled the powder blue scooter up to the single wide trailer she shared with her father. She stepped into the dim interior and could already feel sleep pulling her eyelids down. Mikaela pulled off her helmet and sat it on the small side table by the door, running her hands through her hair again. Her hand didn't throb nearly as much as it did the night before, but it was still uncomfortable. She stripped out of her dirty overalls and stepped into the shower. The warm water was soothing to her aching muscles and she stood under the spray for as long as she could before she started dozing off on her feet. She stepped out of the shower, dried off and changed into her most comfortable cotton pajamas, crawling into her soft bed. As soon as her head hit her pillow, she was fast asleep.
Mikaela washed her face in the sink, noticing the dark circles under her eyes in the mirror. She felt as tired as she looked, but she had promised her dad that she would help him get his shop off the ground. So she put on her makeup, making sure to cover up the bags under her eyes and use a white eye liner to make herself seem more awake. It seemed to be working so far, which was kudos to the You Tube video that taught her how to use it for just that purpose. She wrapped her dark hair up in a bun and put her helmet over it and made her way to the work shop.
Over the last few months, things seemed to settle into a comfortable pattern. She woke up, went to the work shop, repaired and customized motorcycles and scooters, came home and jumped into bed. Her time chatting with Sam came further and further apart until she began to think of him as that cute kid she was friends with. She knew that Sam had been interested in other girls up at Stanford, but he was simply too nice to say anything. He was definitely too nice to actually approach one of those girls for a date. The result was that the two of them would arrange a date to just pretend, for an hour or so that they had not drifted as far apart as they had. Just one hour to pretend that Mission City was only yesterday and they were still riding the high of their first kiss.
Mikaela sighed as she brought her scooter into the shop, feeling the tell tale tickle in her nose that signaled another nose bleed. She grabbed the rag that was always in her overall pocket now and tilted her head up. She squeezed her nose gently, the rag catching the blood until the trickle stopped. She sighed and tucked the rag back into her pocket, getting started on a customization she had been putting off for a couple of days. As soon as she started removing the wheel hubs and air filter cover from the frame, the day just seemed to fly by. Before she knew it, she had finished stripping the paint from the metal and polishing it smooth for a new coat with the customer's designs. She smiled at her work as her dad called her over for lunch.
He had a bit of a pot luck on the cleaned off work bench at the center of the shop. Several of the other guys had brought left overs from home while her dad had a few pieces of fried chicken from his favorite mom-and-pop restaurant on the outskirts of town. Mikaela had half a taco salad she had saved from the day previous. Conversations criss-crossed the space between them as the guys caught up on the scores from the night before or news another had read in the newspaper about their favorite teams. Tim, who was one of her father's oldest friends held out a picture for everyone to see. At first, Mikaela didn't know what she was looking at until she made out the shape of a hand held in front of a tiny face.
Instantly the entire table erupted in congratulations and pats on the back as Tim basked in the glow of what he confirmed was his 4th child. Mikaela shook her head, smiling to herself as she finished off her taco salad. Her dad launched into a story about when Mikaela was born and she took that as her cue to clean herself up since her dad could spin the sappiest tales around. Though tales of her own childhood would inevitably bring up memories of her mother, and those were always bittersweet. Mikaela threw the plastic bowl and fork in the trash and finished up the Coke she had with her meal before she went out the front to let her food settle. She sat down on the wooden bench the guys took their smoke brakes on and closed her eyes.
When she opened her eyes again, Mikaela felt the hackles on her neck rise. The entire work shop had been replaced by an ever expanding view of what looked like rocky plains. Though if she looked closer, the rocks looked almost metallic. She got up from her seat one one of those metallic rocks, turning around to see the area expanding all around her as far as her eyes could see. The light around here seemed to come from to places at once. Two suns filled the sky; in the east, a small yellow sun shone dimly, to the south, a large orange sun cast it's warm rays down on the metal expanse around her. The result was an almost warm, honeyed glow to the metal around her. She backed up, leaning her hand on the rock she had gotten up from, only to find that its shape had changed.
She turned around, her eyes falling upon what she recognized as a foot. The toes of the foot were almost as tall as she was, and the leg that foot was attached to seemed to rise forever into the blinding glow of the twin suns. Had she never met the Autobots, she would have been scared out of her mind. But she noted with some curiosity, that the being in front of her, or what she could see through the reflection of the suns, was looking down at her. She could almost make out the glow of its eyes. Their blue hue reassured her that she had not stepped into a nightmare after all. Perhaps she had fallen asleep on the bench and not noticed?
"Mikaela Banes," the sounds that made up the voice that came from the being in front of her startled Mikaela, shaking her to her bones. She took a reflexive step away, almost fearing what would happen next. The being never moved other than to tilt its head curiously. "You need not fear me. I will not harm you," the voice shook her again, though now that Mikaela knew what to expect, she felt less fear and more wonderment. She had the strangest feeling that she should know this being from somewhere. A cloud moved lazily to cover the suns' light, bringing the being's face into view. Even though he was a mechanical being, it seemed ancient to her eyes. Or perhaps it what she felt was a sad expression making him seem old.
The being opened its mouth, the voice softer this time; "You do not know me, Mikaela Banes, but I have been watching you for some time." Mikaela could only stare open mouthed. "For all that you have done for my children, I am grateful. But I must ask more of you, if you will have it." Mikaela made no move to speak or respond in any way as she tilted her head in her own version of curiosity. "Even now, those of my children who yet live have lost their way. Their minds fill with despair even as yours fills with hope. Without the Allspark, made from my own body, there can be no more Cybertron. Those who are created in its absence are doomed to suffer a sparkless existence." The being seemed to lean closer to her, his face coming more into view as well as the sorrow in his eyes. "You have taken within yourself, whether by design or chance the last of all that remains of my gift to my children. It seems fitting to me that it is you whom the shard had chosen. You who were instrumental in preserving not only my children, but the people of your world as well."
Mikaela opened her mouth to ask why the shard had chosen her when the being began to speak again. "I must ask, Mikaela Banes; Friend of Optimus Prime, Ally of the Autobots, a thing which I feel I have no right to ask. I must ask you this, because the suffering of my children wounds me deeply. Will you, Mikaela Banes, be willing to become the first Cybertronian Mother of my children?" Mikaela furrowed her brow, not quite sure what she was being asked. "Will you be willing to join the wonder that is your Human womb with the most worthy of my children's spark to bring forth a new generation of Cybertronians who will have the ability to bring forth more as a human woman can bring forth her offspring?"
Mikaela's mouth hung open, her voice completely gone as she finely understood what this being was asking her. Her mind told her that there was no chance in Hell that this could work, her heart however understood the pain this being felt as his children were forced to face a future where there would eventually be no more Autobots. The answer came to her mind as the name of the being who asked her this deeply personal favor came to her. She had made her decision as the clouds parted and threw the face of the being speaking to her in their harsh light once again, blocking him from view. She felt herself waking as a hand on her shoulder shook her gently. "Primus," she whispered.
"Who?" Mikaela started as her father gave her one of those looks that said he thought she had been sampling his whiskey.
"Nothing," Mikaela got up, stretching her back. "Just talking in my sleep..."