Chapter 1

The fog was thick and blinding. He had fled from the battle at the sound of Megatron's bellow of retreat. Never before had he suffered so much damage, for now it wasn't just the autobots he had to contend with, but the miserable fleshbags which plagued this soggy, pathetic planet!

He was still flying over water, but where was he? He had flown for miles, his energon levels were low, enough to worry even him…

But then… he picked up a sense of land ahead. Excellent. Waves crashing on cliffs, dark rugged land beyond... a few pitiful lights huddling into the landscape. As exhaustion threatened to overtake him, he flew lower and scanned the area to see where he was. The image filled his vision: planet earth. The scanner zoomed in… but not towards the United States, the bulky outline of which he had become vaguely familiar with… with growing incredulity he saw the image zone in on a tiny patch of land in the atlantic, off the western edge of Europe. Great Britain.

Starscream suppressed a snarl of rage. Here he was, miles from his comrades, on the edge of stasis lock, on a miserable rock no one in their right processors would bother to waste missiles on! Great Britain- what a joke!

But he could go no further. His injuries simply would not allow. As he dipped alarmingly, his scanners alerted him to a large space down below… a small hangar? Or a…. what was the word the organics used… a barn?

It would have to do. As his vision dimmed and he touched the wet ground, his only goal was get into that building and hide. Until Megatron found him…

Alexis stalked through the small house, grabbing items from the rooms and shoving them into a backpack. The other housemates cringed and exchanged nervous glances as she reached over laps, or bent their heads to be out of the way when she scooped up her photo frames from the shelf behind the sofa. In her wake hurried her boyfriend, Ed, the excuses falling thick and fast as he scrambled to stop her from leaving.

"Alexis, hang on a second, just wait a minute!"

"What, so you can talk some more about how you cheated on me?" she replied, her voice trembling in rage. "Go fuck yourself."

"I was going to tell you..."

"Yeah, well, I know now. Thanks," she said, the bitter sarcasm like a whip as she crashed down the hall, wrestling a bag over one shoulder.

Make that ex-boyfriend, actually. Alexis ducked deftly under his arm that blocked the hallway as he stuttered and protested. Despite the heavy weight on her chest and tears of rage threatening to spill from behind her eyes, she knew she made a pretty impressive exit, black boots and skinny jeans, with the red jacket he thought was cute.

Down the steps and into the car. Alexis slung her bags onto the front seat and swung out into the road, narrowly missing a milk float. Her driving wasnt great at the best of times. She floored the accelerator, the growl of the engine in her small car matching her mood.

So, that was that then. How could she have been so stupid? What a waste of space he turned out to be! As she sped through the streets and London began to fall behind her, the tears came. She was so angry with herself, allowing Ed to completely pull her in, when in fact he was a standard, cheating, bastard. Ed, who was tall and cheery and had a little bit of a paunch which he enveloped in geeky t-shirts. Who liked going to the pub or snuggling on the sofa for a night of Spaced or Star Trek. She'd thought he was a bit safe and dependable but basically sweet. Shows what she knew.

Whatever. She would go out to the country for a while, to her dad's house. She wouldn't have to talk to anyone up there. No, she would hole herself up while she had time to think. Sari would help her get the rest of her stuff from London in good time.

She had a good job waiting for her in 3 months up north, as an A&P mechanic, thanks partly to hard study and partly her childhood tinkering with planes with her dad, who was in the Royal Air Force. He was currently away somewhere, probably the states, working with something called N.E.S.T, whatever that was. They would sometimes go a while without speaking but the bond between them was very strong. He was so proud when he found out she had secured the position. Alexis had remembered laughing at him when he had gently reminded her, half in jest, that it might put her relationship with Ed under strain going long distance. That doesn't matter now anyway, she thought sadly.

Alexis smiled to herself as she thought of the rambling house and collection of barns next to it, usually full of bits of cars or planes. As familiar to her as her own palm print. Quiet and secluded, perfect. She wound down the window slightly and turned up the music so loud her ears hurt.