A/N: Well my sequel has begun…though I'm sorry to say my updates might not be as forth-coming as they should since I will be starting my career and will probably not have enough time to write for fun. A sad thought for me. BUT I will try with all my creative ability to continue my writing in Fan Fiction and continue to please you the readers who have made this all so enjoyable for me.
In any case, this sequel to "A Pet Squishy" is set in the G1/ All Hail Megatron comic-verse. If you haven't read "All Hail Megatron" I would highly recommend reading and/or purchasing this comic because it's by far the BEST comic I've ever read. This will make a bit more sense and bring scope to this sequel.
If you haven't read it here's the scoop: Basically the Autobots have been run off of Earth by the Decepticons and the Cons proceed to conquer the whole Earth and succeed handily. This will be eventually set in the aftermath of that conquering…
A Human Friend
"Chapter 1: Stir Crazy"
Four months after her freedom…
It was late when Lana sidled into her car and began relaying the day in her mind, "I stopped at the bank, paid the rent, picked up the groceries, 4:00 went to dental appointment, 5:00 went to work, midnight get off work…did I do everything today?"
Lana had the sneaky suspicion she'd forgotten something. She shook her head and turned off on the back highway she used every night to avoid the traffic and stoplights. It had been a long night working the bar and she was ready to sleep. She promptly switched on her radio and blasted the music to keep her fatigue at bay.
As she drove, she couldn't shake the feeling that she'd forgotten something.
Did she forget to lock up?
Forgot to shut off the lights?
Did she leave her purse at work?
The steering wheel vibrated beneath her hands. The redhead turned down her radio, thinking the bass was set too powerful. But the rumbling remained. Her mind didn't get a chance to register the sound when suddenly something hit both sides of her car and her high beams lifted from the road. Lana screamed as she was slammed back in her seat and the whole car became weightless. Her stomach rolled up to her throat before dropping back into place. Through her windshield she could see her high beams illuminating the tops of trees as her car soared above them.
Lana shook her head with her mouth agape and finally turned to see black metal palms on either side of her car.
Oh…THAT is what she forgot.
"THUNDERCRACKER!" she screamed gripping the steering wheel for dear life.
His red optics appeared upside-down in front of her windshield.
"You're late, Lana." he stated with a smirk.
Lana's eyes were wide with terror, "Oh MY GOD! Thundercracker! Put me back on the road! Are you nuts?"
"It's a great night for flying." his optics gleamed.
"No it's NOT! Put me DOWN!" she shouted in a high pitched voice. "I swear if you dent my car I'm going to deposit you in the recycling plant!"
"I thought you liked to fly?"
"Cars aren't supposed to fly you maniac!" Lana shouted.
"But, I haven't even gone very high yet."
Lana felt her pupils shrink, "Higher? No…NO!"
She was suddenly flung back in her seat and blasted with a huge sonic boom as Thundercracker arced upward toward the stars. It was like being in a rocket…but hundreds of times scarier.
The whole car shook and vibrated as the jet Con shot higher and higher until finally he leveled out. Lana jerked forward, a death grip on her steering wheel. Through the windshield she could see the tiny specks of light that were the cities far below. Puffy clouds whipped over the hood of her car and past the windows. Lana pressed the floor panel with her feet, trying to brace herself as her chest heaved with terrified gasps.
"OH…ohmygod…ohmygod" she moaned anxiously, "Ok. That's high enough. Take me back down!"
Thundercracker continued his flight, banking gently back and forth, "Isn't flying great? It's so much faster than rolling on the ground."
"Didn't you hear me you insane tin can! Take me back down!" Lana demanded harshly shaking her fist.
"Oh all right." he grumbled.
Suddenly the whole car angled downward and Lana screamed in a pitch she'd never achieved before when Thundercracker executed a barrel roll and took a nosedive straight for the ground. She swore her organs were deforming around her spine and across her back as the ground grew larger
"PULL UP! OH SHIT! THUNDERCRACKER!" Lana screeched.
Just as the trees became detailed again Thundercracker gently angled upward to glide casually over their tops. Then with reserved grace he landed in their meeting field still holding the car in his hands. Lana peeked over the top of her whitened knuckles which had made dents in the steering-wheel rubber. Her blue eyes burned at the Decepticon's red ones.
"Put…my car…down." she hissed slowly.
Gradually the blue Con placed the little navy car back on the ground and Lana immediately flung open the door. She stumbled out, falling face first in the tall grass. Thundercracker chuckled at her reaction and lifted her to her feet by the back of her shirt.
"See? That was much faster."
Immediately, Lana swiped at him, "What the HELL is wrong with you? Do you get some sick kick out of hearing me scream in terror?" she shouted viciously.
The Decepticon shrugged.
Lana made a stupid face and shrugged her shoulders in a mimicking gesture, "Oh forget this! I'm going home."
"Huh? But…we just go here." Thundercracker protested.
"Yeah and I'm JUST going home. See ya." Lana snipped, climbing back into her car and huffily slamming the door.
The redheaded woman jammed the key back in the ignition, but the Seeker picked up her car before she could start it.
Aggravated, Lana leaned out the window, "Let go of my car!"
"Why are you mad? I just wanted to take you for a flight." he explained.
"Did you even think to ask me if I wanted to go flying?"
Thundercracker shook his head, "No."
"That's my point! You've got to stop treating me like a pet or some toy you can play with whenever you feel like it!" the woman interjected.
The Decepticon shook his head, "Oh come on Lana. I didn't mean anything by it. I was just energizing your trip here is all."
"My life is 'energized' enough as it is." the woman sighed wearily, "Now will you please put my car down so I can go home."
The mech frowned, "No."
She pointed at him, "Thundercracker, I swear to God if you don't put my car down right now I'll…"
The Decepticon cocked his head expectantly for the warning. Lana pointed at him and puffed her cheeks as the threat filled her mouth and magically transformed to air which she blew out. She couldn't think of an admonition she could actually carry out.. To make it worse, Thundercracker was developing a smug smirk on his metal face.
"Arg! What is with you tonight? You're acting like that maniac Skywarp!" Lana accused.
He shrugged his high vented shoulders, "I was stuck in the control station most of yesterday and today and finally got out to stretch my wings. Guess I'm just glad to be out. And you were late so I decided to find you."
Lana raised a brow, "How did you find me?"
"Radar." Lana repeated suspiciously.
The Seeker swiveled the vehicle in his hand, "And…I put a tracker on your car."
Lana grabbed her steering wheel and blinked, "You bugged my car? WHEN?"
"Last month when we met."
The young woman rolled her eyes, "So that's why you were so interested in my car. You sneaky son of a—!"
Thundercracker grinned and made her car wobble through the air like a child playing with a toy car.
"Ugh! STOP! You're going to make me nauseous."
"I'll put your car down if you promise not to leave."
Lana threw up her hands in defeat, "Fine. Fine. I promise I won't leave yet."
Compliantly the Seeker gently placed her car back on the ground and Lana got out to lean against the door. They were silent for a moment.
"So…you're not mad at me for taking you flying?" he asked finally.
The young woman gave a bemused snort, "No…I guess I'm not mad. Just don't make a habit of snatching my car off the road. Ok?"
"Would you like to go flying again? Only not in your car."
"It's almost 1:00 in the morning." Lana lifted a brow.
"So I'm tired and I need some sleep."
Thundercracker looked at her and then at the stars as if uncomfortable just sitting on the ground.
Lana at last caved, "Oh all right. I'll go flying with you."
Thundercracker's whole body began to shift. His head disappeared between his shoulders and his wings shifted upward. His feet folded behind him to form the thrusters and his arms rearranged beneath his sleek F-15 mode. A ladder lowered from his opened cockpit. Lana blinked, still astounded by the fluid transformation.
"How do you DO that?"
She weaved her hands intricately to mimic his movements, "Turning into a jet."
"I just…do. It's not hard at all."
The young woman blew air through her lips, "It sure looks complicated."
"Not really." his ladder moved, "Are you ready?"
Just before she gripped the ladder Lana pointed sternly, "If we go up I don't want ANY crazy stunts! Just a nice level flight."
He grumbled quietly.
"Hey, do you WANT me to get sick in your cockpit?" she offered threateningly.
Once she'd climbed in and took a seat in his cockpit his harness secured her and the glass dome closed over her. He rolled across the field and smoothly took off with a dull booming sound; his sound. Lana felt much safer here than in her car and allowed herself to stare out at the Earth below. It was all so pretty now that she wasn't fearing for her life.
Thundercracker cruised leisurely in the night sky until he asked, "Mind if I go faster?"
The young woman thought a moment, "Just don't spin."
"Hang on," his targeting screen blinked.
Lana felt the Gs shove her body deep into the command seat when Thundercracker blasted his engines and accelerated. A low whoop rose in Lana's throat as the stars became white lines above the canopy. Her face split with an excited smile as the blue jet blazed across the ebony sky at speeds impossible for a human-made craft.
"See? You like flying."Thundercracker's tone bore a "smile".
Through her wide grin Lana asked through a vibrating voice, "How fast are we going?"
The jet's targeting screen flashed briefly, "You don't wanna know."
"Oh hell." Lana groaned, thinking her face was going to start flapping like a bed sheet on a clothesline.
The pressure over her body was intense but not completely unbearable. However, after a few minutes Lana started to feel her vision tunnel.
"Thundercracker…I think I'm getting sick." she admitted.
"HUH?" he almost shouted.
Lana held up a hand, "Just slow down."
The jet complied quickly, not wanting his cockpit to be showered with anything Lana might spew forth. Gradually the G-forces backed off allowing the young woman some recovery. She blinked groggily, looking out the canopy.
"You're not going eject your stomach contents are you?" the jet asked very seriously. "Because I will eject YOU if you do."
Lana shook her head but didn't look too sure, "I think I need some fresh air."
Thundercracker angled around and flew toward the first island that blipped on his radar map. With a slow, descent he landed on the sandy beach and flipped open his cockpit. Salty, humid air hit Lana's face but it was still cool enough to give her some nausea relief. After a moment she looked around at the tropical setting now beginning to darken with the setting of the sun.
"Holy cow, where are we?" she inquired not familiar with the area.
"We are at Longitude 11—" he began.
Lana shook her head, "I don't know longitudes Thundercracker. How about a name?"
"Oh. On one of the Hawaiian Islands."
She sat up, "We're in Hawaii?"
"Actually the island is called Kahoolawe."and then added, "Dumb name for a spit of land."
"How did you get here so fast?" the young woman leaned out.
The jet merely grunted, "It wasn't that fast. Starscream is almost twice as fast as I am."
Lana still shook her head. That trip had to have been faster than a common, non-robot-type jet could ever achieve. Perhaps it was good Thundercracker didn't tell her what his speedometer read.
"It's very pretty." Lana admitted, secretly squealing to herself.
She'd always fantasized about going to Hawaii with her future husband on their honeymoon. Too weird Thundercracker landed on one of those islands. The jet and his passenger were silent as they listened to the surf and the fading calls of birds as the sun melted into the watery horizon.
"Feeling better?" he asked.
She nodded slowly, "Thank you Thundercracker."
"You can call me TC you know." the jet mentioned.
Lana smiled at his targeting screen and leaned back leisurely in his seat, "Ok, TC."
There was a beat of silence between them as the ocean hissed melodically.
"Have your um… 'classes' …been challenging?"
Lana gave a small grin. Thundercracker always sounded lost when trying to make small talk, "Oh they keep me busy sure. The hard part is paying for them."
"You uh, still do that dancing thing?" he sounded like he didn't want to ask that.
"Not for money. I just work at a bar now. Tips aren't AS good…but at least I'm not…you know." she leaned back in the cockpit seat, "What about you? What have you been up to?"
"Oh…went on a couple energy raids earlier this week. Got shot in the side pretty bad." Thundercracker stated in a mundane way. "But I got it fixed, no problem."
Lana frowned, squirming uncomfortably. She always felt uneasy hearing about Thundercracker's "job". Though he never disclosed anything definitive about it she never liked the sound of him and his comrades stealing. Not to mention she always had a nagging sensation that stealing energy wasn't ALL the Decepticons were doing on such raids. Still, Lana didn't want to assume anything; especially something so heinous.
"I sure wish you wouldn't raid those places all the time." she said in a chiding tone.
"Well once we get enough energy we'll be able to leave and return to our home planet." Thundercracker explained.
Lana gazed up at the stars. Over the past three months her friend had told her little bits about his alien origins but again, nothing heavily specific.
"What was your planet called again?"
"Well why do you have to steal the energy? Why can't you just ask for it or start some kind of trade agreement?"
A wry laugh rumbled from the Decepticon.
"What? Why is that funny?"
"That would NEVER happen." he stated.
Lana frowned, "Why not?"
"You honestly think the human leaders of this world would willingly share their resources with us? Humans can't even share Earth's resources peacefully amongst their own species."
"We share if we are compensated. It's when certain groups try to take what is ours is when we fight back." Lana glared firmly at him. "We don't like thieves."
Suddenly the jet rose up and Lana shouted in alarm as she was dumped out onto the beach when Thundercracker stood up.
The big blue Con stood over her, voice tinged with indignance, "We're not thieves."
Lana stood up and brushed the sand from her pants, "You steal our energy. If you steal, you're a thief."
The massive Con looked miffed by her accusation.
"We need energy to survive." he insisted. "Energy will get us off of this planet and back home."
Lana held up her hands, "You're still stealing."
He knelt down near her, face serious, "If you were stranded on an alien world with a million light years between you and your home, wouldn't you do whatever it takes to get back?"
"Yeah…but I'd try to barter for the things I need first before stealing them."
"Ha!" Thundercracker made a derisive laugh, "That's the most hypocritical statement I've ever heard."
Lana straightened her back with offense, "Oh yeah?"
"Take a look around Lana. Humans TAKE what they want. Oil and ores from the ground, fish from the oceans, trees from the forests…" he gestured to the land around them, "Do you ASK the species inhabiting those places if you could kindly have those?"
Lana's eyes shifted uncomfortably, "No. But we need those to survive."
"Exactly why we take that energy."
Though his statement glowed with truth, Lana couldn't help shake the uncomfortable comparison he'd made with humans and animals. Even though they were 'friends' a strange tension always seemed present. The line between pet and friend had yet to be firmly established. Every time it seemed she had moved out of his "pet" standing, little comments would shove her right back into that role. It was like a pesky prejudice that hadn't quite faded.
"So…we're just animals to you?" she mentioned. "That's why you don't believe you're stealing?"
Thundercracker looked away from her briefly, mouth fixed in a firm line. She waited for his answer with growing irritation.
He then smirked and shook his head ruefully, "Why do we always stumble into this argument?"
"Because we never resolved it." the young woman crossed her arms.
Lana moved away from him into the surf, foam tingling between her sandals and toes, "Because…you never tell me the WHOLE truth do you?"
Thundercracker glanced down at her; his turn to feel uncomfortable. She was right, he hadn't told her the whole truth because he knew the moment he did their friendship would end. He couldn't tell her that his faction wouldn't stop at the energy raids. He couldn't tell her that the Decepticons were programmed for combat and conquest and Earth would most likely be just another notch in their armor. But he kept those little details to himself. The Seeker kept faint, unrealistic hope in his Spark that once they were properly fueled they would simply leave Earth and reclaim Cybertron as they had initially set out to achieve. But he knew such hope was a fool's idealic dream. Even if they DID leave Earth they'd return and bleed it dry of all its resources. And none would care what inferior life-forms suffered because of it. Thundercracker did value the survival of his species above all others, but that route seemed dishonorable and unworthy of their greatness.
Of course such thoughts were treasonous; thoughts he swore to keep to himself.
He plucked her up gently, "Why don't we talk about something less…edgy. Hmm?"
Lana sighed, "Can you take me home, please? I'm really tired."
The jet Con nodded and transformed, placing her safely in his cockpit.
"Not so fast this time?" she requested.
"You really ARE no fun." the blue jet mumbled.
"And you really won't be clean if I get sick."
Thundercracker snorted, "I'm going to have to train you to fly with me sometime."
Lana yawned, "Maybe next time TC."
With that the jet took off from the island and charted a course for the mainland again.