This started out as a side project, but in time, it became much more than that. It's become an obsession. I thought about editing the first chapters because they were written several years ago, back when my writing style was still a bit immature. But then I realized that that was one aspect which made the story interesting, because you can see the style changing as I grew older. So it will stay the way it is.

Just don't let the first chapters scare you off, it's getting better :)

Transformers belongs to Hasbro/ Takara.

The Dark Horizon

Chapter1: If only...

If only I had known what I was getting myself into. If only I hadn't been so naïve. If only I hadn't listened to him, to this deep baritone that had been telling me to trust him. If only I hadn't gotten into the car.

Now I was sitting here on a cold metal table, alien fingers probing and examining a body that wasn't mine. A cage. That was what I was living in. A big, cold cage, with only one single exit: death. I closed my optics and sobbed. The fingers stopped.

"What's the matter, kid?" the voice of my friend, my only friend, inquired. I shook my head, looking down.

"It's nothing." That wasn't true. It was everything. I knew it. He knew it, but said nothing. He squeezed my shoulder lightly, resuming his work. I thought back. Back to a time when I had admired those warriors of metal, had looked up to them, had believed them. Those times were gone. Forever.

It all started on a cold and windy December morning; I was sitting in school, letting my physics teacher blabber away while letting my mind wander, looking out of the window. Just two more years. Two more years and I'd be outta here. No more physics, no more math, no more anything I didn't need. Only me and my gift. This was my drug. And even if studying art meant I had to pass the hardest entrance examination in the world, I knew that if I couldn't do it, no one could. My world was bigger than this. I knew that if I would lead a normal life, working in an office maybe, I would suffocate. And so, when I heard the sound of jets, of roaring engines and missiles hitting the building, it was a mix of horror and hope that I felt. My friend Malissa, who was sitting beside me grabbed my arm anxiously, being someone to be scared off easily. The other girls from my class started screaming, their high pitched voices making my eardrums ache. Suddenly a huge pair of metallic feet crunched down in front of the classroom's windows and only seconds later the window side of the room was being torn off by the biggest pair of silver hands that I had ever seen. In a daze I realized that the other pupils had already stood up and were storming out of the room, retreating further into the building, I started to follow them hastily when he called my name.

"Joelle Dahl?" I turned around, shocked. This wasn't possible. I had heard about him. Seen him in comics, cartoons, movies. But this was real. I couldn't believe it. There he was, Optimus Prime, leader of the Autobots, kneeling in front of my school, calling my name. Not even in my wildest dreams had I imagined that this creature, this god would ever come into my life.

"Y...yes?" He blinked the covers over his blue optics, eyeballing me with these alien visual sensors. Malissa, who had already fled the room now returned, grabbing me by the arm once again, trying to pull me out of there. I wouldn't let her. My feet were firmly planted onto the linoleum on the floor, my body not moving a single inch, no matter how hard she tried.

"Come on, Joelle! We gotta get out of here!" She screamed at me. I didn't listen. All of my attention belonged to the giant red, blue and silver robot in front of me.

"Joelle Dahl, you're in great danger. I don't have time to explain now. Please come with me." he said, that beautiful deep voice lulling me into some kind of trance. The next words were the ones that I should never have listened to.

"Trust me." He extended his hand. I looked past his massive thigh, where other, somehow familiar robots were fighting, demolishing the whole parking lot and the surrounding buildings. I smelt smoke. The school was burning. Machine guns were rattling, glass was being shattered, cars were being crunched down to become metal heaps, shredded beyond recognition. He promised safety. In a weird way. 'I'd probably be safer if I kept away from him', I thought, 'but that was what I wanted, wasn't it? An exiting, special life? And what would be a greater chance for such a life than him?' His hand was still outstretched to me. He was waiting. Waiting for me. After taking a deep breath, I approached the hand, to the shock of my friend.

"JOELLE!"Malissa screamed. I climbed onto his flat palm, clinging to his thick fingers. I turned around one last time. While Optimus was standing up, I caught a last glimpse of my friend, who was trying to reach out for me, tears in her eyes, shouting for me to come back. Once he had reached his full height, I could see the complete extend of the battle for the first time. Four huge mechs, two of them winged, were trying to approach the large bot who was holding me in his hand safely, but a whole bunch of bots (I counted at least nine of them) were keeping them at a save distance. A sturdy black mech, who I recognized as Ironhide, big, but not as big as Optimus, ran towards us, panting.

"Do you have her?" he asked his leader, gazing into his hand curiously and scanning the 'puny fleshling'.

"Yes. Hold them back a little longer, then retreat." The other robot nodded.

"No problem."

xxxxxxxxxx

The soft leather seats were warm, somewhat snuggling into the curves of my body, holding me in place securely and comfortably while Optimus' motor was purring like a kitten, pushing his huge, transformed body forward untiringly. He had told me where we were going: their base. We had been driving for over an hour now, the other Transformers who I had seen fighting at my school were following closely. I looked to my left, where a holographic, tall man with a short brown beard was sitting in the drivers' seat, pretending to steer the vehicle. I cleared my throat. I wanted some answers and I wanted them now.

"So it's true. You guys are real. How come you haven't kept your existence a secret?"

"Sideways."

"Sideways?"

"Yes. An Autobot deserter. He had been hiding on earth for quite a while and to be able to interact with the human governments secretly, therefore being able to supply himself with pretty much anything he needed or wanted, he sold a story to them. And although this story was true, it was just so incredible, so fascinating, that the human governments knew that, even if they told this story to their people, they wouldn't believe it. That's how these comics, the cartoons, the toys and finally the movies about us came to existence. The humans made a fortune with these stories. Of course, now Sideways is no more."

"And everything from the stories is reality? The civil war and all that?" The hologram looked straight into my eyes, nodding.

"Pretty much everything, yes. Cybertron, the war, a lot of the Cybertronians involved, Autobots and Decepticons, good versus evil. There are some things that the humans don't know about us, and some things that they just dreamed up about us, but still." I shook my head. This was crazy.

"But what do I have to do with this? I mean, I'm just an ordinary human, I can't be of any importance to you, can I?"

"Tell me, miss Dahl, did you ever break a bone? Did you ever lay in bed with some kind of illness? Did it ever occur that you were not 100% healthy?" I looked at my lap, thinking.

"Now that you mention it, no." The hologram nodded.

"And what do you think, why could that be?" I shrugged.

"Good immune system?" He chuckled and shook his head, his brown strands moving almost naturally.

"No. Let me tell you another story. In the year 2006 a meteorite crashed down close to your hometown. Two days later a 13 year old girl was killed in a car accident. Only a few hours after that unfortunate incident, deep in the night, a car stopped in front of her parents' house and a woman stepped out. She talked to the parents and made them an offer. The next day, the girl was back home, alive and happy. The only ones who ever remembered the accident were the parents and the woman. This woman, who had brought back the beloved daughter, was one of us. The girl she brought back that day was her child. The child which she wanted to hide from the world to keep it save. The child that would decide over our species' fate one day. Joelle, you're the child." Now I could see what he was getting at. It was just hard to believe. The fact that I was not my parents' daughter made me cringe. They had lied to me, they all had. My stomach felt like it would wander up into my throat, cutting off my breath. My whole life, all my memories, were a lie?

"This can't be. I remember a time before I was 13 and I remember being human. You must have kidnapped the wrong girl." Again, he shook his head.

"It's all a matter of programming. Believe me, you're the right kid." I still wasn't sure if I wanted to believe this.

"So everything I remember... actually didn't happen?"

"It did happen, just not to you." He looked out of the windshield and up into the sky anxiously. I knew what he was most likely looking for.

"Okay. Let's say I'm this uhm... child you're looking for. And you want me to help you. How?" He sighed.

"You see, the war has been raging for quite a while and truth be told, our race is going extinct. I haven't seen or heard about a functional femme in centuries. You're our last hope." I blushed. That was what he was after.

"You want me to help you save your species. In other words, you want me to have children."

"Yes." Yes. Just yes. Forgotten were the adventures, forgotten were glory and excitement.

"So what? Are you going to seduce me now? Get the job done right now with your super sexy hologram, Mr Optimus?" Said hologram tightened its grip on the steering wheel, shifting uncomfortably in its seat.

"That would be useless. You're not even fertile yet." I laughed sarcastically.

"Excuse me? I'm 16 years old, I got my period for the first time at the age of 14 and you're telling me I'm not fertile?" He rolled his bright blue eyes.

"What a detailed fake."

"FAKE?!"

"YES, FAKE!" He let go of the steering wheel, left his seat and shoved his face into mine. He was so close I could see every one of the little blue accents that seemed to explode over his iris, emanating from the pupil, that seemed to narrow, seizing me up. He poked my breast, I slapped his hand away. "Listen. This skin, the hair, the muscle, the human organs, it's all a fake. A perfect disguise, no human would ever suspect you of being something else. This was exactly your mother's intention. And somehow she managed to stop your growth, otherwise you would be way too big by now to pass as a human. So you're still in your sparkling body, but your CPU has developed normally. And if you don't stop being so damn recalcitrant I'm feeling tempted to just tie you up and leave you in my sleeper!" I felt his hot breath on my skin, felt his hands being braced on the seat on either side of my hips. Intimidated, I leaned back as far as possible, away from this relatively big artificial human male. He even smelled like a human. It was a somewhat musky, but decent scent. Under other circumstances I would even have considered him attractive. I held up my hands in a defeated manner.

"I'll be a good girl. Just... stop grinding against me like that." He retreated back to his seat.

"When we arrive I'll have Ratchet examine you. I think we'll have to remove all that... flesh to allow your body to reach its full size." The next minutes passed in silence. So decisions were made about my life and I didn't have a say in it? Great, just great.

"You know, you're a pretty detailed fake yourself. Your hologram, I mean." He looked at me, smiling again.

"Thank you." I sat back, pleased with myself.

"Are we there yet?"

xxxxxxxxxx

As expected, the base was really big. Of course, since those guys were simply huge, they needed a shelter that equaled their size. It was located in a desert, a sealed military area. Area 51 maybe? Couldn't be sure. Nervously, I looked over to the hologram again. I wondered if, in case I had to stay here for a longer time, I would be allowed to visit my family and my friends. After all, even if I had left them in a rush without really thinking about it, I still cared about them.

"Uh...how long...do I have to stay here? I mean, before I can go home and visit my family?" He didn't respond while pulling up into a huge hangar. "Optimus...?"

The hologram disappeared, the door on my side of his cab opened. Slowly, I stepped out. When I had left the vehicle, Optimus transformed. I watched him, stunned. I'd probably never get tired of seeing them do that. This shifting of body parts, creation of new connections, the bombastic metallic sounds that came with it. When he was finished I took in my surroundings. Thirteen Autobots, of which I could identify most, were standing around me, along with countless human soldiers. They were all staring at me. The greenish mech to my left stepped forward and lifted me up by the back of my jacket, ignoring my shouts of protest. Ratchet, the chief medical officer. He eyed me up and down, obviously running scans as I struggled. He would most likely not intend to harm me, but still the position I was in was highly uncomfortable. Finally he lay me down on his palm and stroked my back with his other hand like I was some sort of pet you could just pick up to play with. I didn't want to be treated like an animal. I kicked his finger. He shook his head.

"A fascinating creation", he said, "probably one of the most advanced disguises I've come across. And you even managed to bring her here undamaged. I'm impressed."

Optimus nodded. "Retrieving her was relatively uncomplicated. I'm leaving her in your care. She is to be examined and treated so she can be of use to us. I trust you to find a way to get her development restarted."

"I'm confident I'll figure it out, sir.", he responded.

"You may leave and start your work."

"Yes, sir."

Ratchet started making his way out of the hangar, securely holding me in place between his hands. The other mechs were still staring at me, not daring to say a word. It was strange, having all those familiar yet unknown aliens watch me so intently. After we had left, I could hear them talking quietly in the distance.