A/N- OK here you are! What happened next… I may do a sequel to this as it would be cool to take it further.

Chapter 9

The two girls ran through the centre of the city away from the two decepticons, Starscream's laughter still in their ears. Alexis was conscious of glass and grit in her bare feet, but she kept going. Sari ran with a limp, blood streaming from the cut on her leg. Both were bruised and dirty from their encounter with Megatron.

What a total, fucking, evil bastard, Alexis thought as she ran. Starscream had shown obvious delight at her shock when he had given them a five minute head start. She had really thought for a moment he was going to spare her, and it must have shown on her face. Fear and anger made her heart pound. Her throat hurt and she was exhausted already from running.

They ran past the mall. Sari veered off and ran to the doors. She tugged, but of course they were locked. Both girls paused for breath in the doorway. Dozens of panicked people were running past them, some were shouting and crying into phones.

Sari looked at Alexis. "Do you really think they're going to chase us Ali?"

Alexis thought of Starscream, and his cruel laughter as they had fled. She shivered. "Yes," she said grimly. "And we won't get away from them. That's the point. They're playing cat and mouse."

She turned to face her friend. "Sari, they're after me more than you. We should separate and…"

"No way, I'm not leaving you," said Sari bravely. They clasped hands tightly and carried on. They merged with the other people fleeing down towards Cathedral Square. Alexis wondered whether they could just stick in the middle of lots of people and hide that way… and whether Starscream and the other robot would just kill the whole lot of them. She was certain she knew the answer to that one.

"We need to get to the cathedral," she panted as they ran. Sari glanced at her but didn't reply, just nodded. Her leg was soaked in blood and she was very pale.

A few yards down the road she stumbled with a gasp. Alexis fell to her knees beside her friend and cupped her face.

"Come on Sari… get up …"

Thundering footsteps could be heard back down the street where they had run from. Summoning her strength, Alexis pulled Sari across the road to an abandoned black hackney cab. The keys had been left in the ignition by the terrified driver. She set her down on the floor leaning against the wheel. As she carefully rose her head and peered down the long street through the cab's windows, she saw Starscream come around the corner.

"Time's up Alexis!" he bellowed maliciously.

"Fuck off," Alexis muttered to herself, as she ducked down and began to unwind Sari's scarf from her neck to make a bandage.

"Sorry Alexis," gasped Sari. She bit her lip and tried to get up. "We've got to keep moving…"

"No." Alexis put her hand on Sari's shoulder to stop her. "We'll hide here. He hasn't seen us. I don't know how much blood you've lost."

"But that big winged bastard is coming this way!" Sari fought to keep the tremor from her voice.

"Ssshhhhh…."


Starscream stalked slowly down the street. It was empty now, the bars and pubs had disgorged their terror-stricken inhabitants. Debris littered the road and pavements. To his right, there were crashes and more screams. Megatron making short work of the city, by the sound of it. Away in front of him, he saw a square, and over the rooftops, spires stretching into the night sky… Then the wind carried a whisper to his audio receivers. His gaze settled on the black car ahead.

Alexis finished tying a tight knot around Sari's leg. Already the blood was starting to seep through, but it was better than before. Then Starscream's voice boomed down the empty street.

"I was hoping you would provide a little more sport than this."

The two girls froze rigid as statues, their gazes locked.

"Right, what was that you said about being hidden?" Sari hissed. Alexis slowly rose to her feet and found herself staring Starscream straight in the optics, a sneer curling his mouth. He was about one hundred yards away.

Alexis dropped back down. "Sari, I need you to get in the cab."

"Wha… are you insane?" Her eyes widened as the whole ground shook. Starscream was moving closer…

"I'm not getting in… it's suicide! We need to run!"

"Just get in- NOW!" Alexis pushed her unceremoniously into the back, and dove into the front passenger seat, slamming the doors behind her. The cab shook more and more violently with each step, and Starscream stopped beside it.

"Now what, genius?" Sari snarled from the floor in the back, clutching her leg. Then she let out a piercing scream as the roof of the cab buckled, smashing all the windows. Starscream was slowly crushing them under his foot.

"Perhaps you regret restoring me so carefully, Alexis?" Starscream said conversationally, as he exerted a little more pressure and the car crumpled some more. "Nice work, by the way…"

Inside the cab, Alexis was manoeuvring herself over into the drivers seat. As the ceiling of the cab groaned and dropped closer, she pressed herself flat, the gearstick digging into her back.

"And this is how you show gratitude, is it, dickhead?" Alexis yelled through the glassless window. "So, how do you treat people who have really pissed you off?"

Starscream laughed loudly. "Now now, I gave you a five minute head start."

"So you did", Alexis muttered as she thrashed desperately to get her legs into the driver's foot well. "Lucky me…"

Keep him talking…

"Was it the music?" she shouted as Sari whimpered in the back, and the car made tortured squealing sounds under Starscream's weight. Almost there… if I just wiggle like this and then like this

"The music was not pleasing to my audio receptors," the decepticon agreed.

"Oh, I'm sorry," yelled Alexis. Her fingers found the keys to the cab and turned. The engine started. "I suppose you didn't find my conversation stimulating enough either?"

He laughed again, and the cab buckled further. "Even now, human, you talk far too much."

"So do you." Alexis slammed her foot onto the accelerator and the cab shot forward. Starscream yelled in surprise, and as he lost his balance and crashed back into the buildings behind them, toppling them like cereal boxes, the cab mounted the pavement and smashed straight through a shop window. Alexis forged far into the shop, until the cab crumpled into the far wall, covered in glass and clothes.

"Come on!" She ran round and helped Sari out of the squashed machine. The shop led into the shopping centre. They clambered over the wreckage and ended up in the vast space of the city mall.

"Woah… you've really made him mad now," Sari breathed.

"Do I look bothered?" asked Alexis. Her heart was racing and she laughed out loud. After a second Sari joined her and they laughed until they cried, bent double. They had thwarted Starscream, and made him look stupid on top of that. Whatever happened next didn't seem to matter for the moment.

They ran further into the gloom of the empty mall. There was a café in the main interior plaza, with chairs scattered about for the customers. Sari collapsed into one and Alexis rummaged behind the counter.

"Here." She tossed a packet of biscuits over to Sari. "Have these, get your blood sugar up."

"What, don't I get a cup of tea?" Sari joked. She munched obediently. "Now what?" she asked after a moments silence.

Alexis had been frowning in thought. "We can't stay here," she said.

"Why not? There's loads of places to hide, and he'll have to bash through all this to get to us."

"No he won't. Alexis pointed up. Raising her head, Sari saw the huge glass windows in the roof. "Ah…"

She sighed. "Right, onwards then…"


The mall had an exit onto the square. Alexis hefted a chair at the glass doors and they smashed. After a few seconds, they both cautiously ventured out into the chilly night air. The clock on the city guildhall said 2.15 am. To the girls' right there was a medieval church. And away to the left, across the expanse of the square, was the stone archway to the cathedral.

"We'll head to the cathedral," Alexis murmured.

"And then what?" Sari shivered and looked around fearfully at the shadowy buildings on every side of the square.

"Try and get inside. There are cellars and catacombs underneath. Dad and I went on a tour of them last year. I think that cathedral is the safest place to be in the whole city."

"OK…"

They set off. As they walked they heard sounds of the city descending further into chaos, crashes, shrieks… a boom that shook the ground even where they were. Alexis thought of the cannon on that monstrous robot's arm… they hadn't seen him for a while. Not that Alexis was complaining.

Just then there was a commotion behind them. The two girls turned to see forty or fifty people running into the square. Not good… Nearly there… keep walking… As they neared the archway, Alexis turned her head to the left. There was the street where Starscream had cornered them. She could see the smashed shop-front where she had rammed the cab. Opposite was the huge hole where he had fallen. But he wasn't there.

Just then the rabble of people drew level with them, and kept running, towards the archway.

"Get out of here!"

"He's coming, he's coming…"

"HIDE!"

Alexis and Sari quickened pace and ran with the others under the archway. The cathedral reared above them across the grass, lit from beneath. The front was made up of 3 enormous gothic arches. Several people seemed to have had the same idea as Alexis, and ran flat out across the grass towards the shadows of the mighty building. Just then there was a deafening scream of jet engines, and Starscream shot over their heads in plane mode, close enough to whip up their hair. People fell to the floor on their faces. As the girls watched, he whirled in a huge arc, round the cathedral and out of sight.

"He's coming back!" shouted Alexis. "Hurry!" And they ran into the shelter of the archways.

Starscream plummeted down and transformed, smashing up grass and clods of earth as he landed. He straightened up, and stopped. This building was unlike anything he had seen. It towered over even him, splendid and unshakeable. He'd never seen anything like this before.

Humans built this?

Unbelievable.

His attention returned to the humans, who were huddled at the base of the building, trying in vain to get inside.

"It won't open!" Sari gritted her teeth and heaved on the heavy oak door. Others helped: a dozen pairs of hands pushed with all their might. Just then a clicking and whirring sound made them all freeze.

They turned to see the decepticon pointing his weapons at them. As one everybody shrank back. Starscream waited.

Then Alexis emerged from the huddle. "I'm here," she said.


Everyone gasped as Starscream snatched her up. He turned and set off across the grass away from the others. When he stopped, he raised her to optic level and looked at her for a long time.

The wind rippled across the grass. Alexis shivered. Still the jet said nothing. Finally Alexis spoke.

"So… how's the turbofan?

Starscream's expression remained unaltered.

"It is fine."

"Oh, good. And your intake ducts?"

"Satisfactory."

"Right, good. I did do my best."

Silence again, apart from the boom of Megatron's cannon in the distance.

"Um.. any problems at all?"

"Apart from the stunt with the car, you mean?"

"Oh that." Alexis wriggled in his grip as he clasped her tighter. "Uh… I was thinking that you'd developed a grudging respect for me and considered me a worthy opponent."

"Did you?" his clawed forefinger curled around her throat. "I see."

An enormous blast made robot and girl look round. Alexis craned to see in her restricted position. A huge flame ball had arisen over the city. At ground level, close to the stone walls, she saw people creeping along towards the gate, taking advantage of Starscream's preoccupation. She didn't blame them. And she hoped Sari was with them.

Then a massive object soared into view and landed with a crash in the cathedral clearing. It was Megatron. All at once, too fast for her to cry out, Starscream forced her into a ball and completely enclosed her in his fist. She could barely breathe, or move. This is it, she thought. She squeezed her eyes shut and waited. Dad…

Megatron strode across the grass, his optics blazing with the relish of battle. "Starscream," he nodded at his wing commander. "Time to leave, sadly. This has been most enjoyable excursion. A taste of things to come! And not an autobot in sight! Did you finish your little fleshbags off?"

His arm at his side, Starscream tightened his grip on Alexis slightly. "Yes."

"Excellent… Fall out. Come back to the base, where the rest of your comrades are waiting to welcome you back. And we can plan the next attack on this miserable planet."

Alexis heard the thuds of Megatron's feet as he moved off, and then the clank and crunch of his transformation. He roared off into the sky, leaving Starscream alone in front of the cathedral.

Starscream opened his hand, and dropped Alexis on the ground. Her grateful lungs inhaled the night air, and then she coughed and rubbed her aching limbs. She looked up at the jet.

"That's it?"

Starscream didn't reply immediately. Finally he said:

"You have caused me more annoyance than I ever could have imagined possible from someone so small and pathetic."

"Right."

"You had better hope we do not meet again."

"OK."

Alexis got to her feet, and backed away slowly. The decepticon's red optics stayed on her as she retreated. Finally she felt it safe to turn around, and limped across the grass towards the gate.

A laser blast right next to her scorched the grass and made her scream and fall to the ground. The laughter of the jet echoed in her ears, as he transformed and soared off, over her head and up into the sky.

FIN.