Well. This has to be my first TF work in a very long time. I'd like to thank Panic Switch for convincing me that I should write this story. Go check out her work, Pathways.
DISCLAIMER: I don't own transformers.
Full Summary: Ten years after the events of TF3, Autobots have been almost fully integrated into human society. The Decepticons are on the run. Ian Kenly is the son of a diplomat and has an Autobot guardian. He fits right in at his new school, but when he sets his heart on helping to cure a girl's fear of all things Cybertronian, he gets himself involved in much more than he could have ever imagined.
The Girl with the Glove
The school complex was placed in a generously open area for its location. Placed smack dab in the middle of the towering metal city of Neopolis, this area had clearly been set aside from the beginning of the metropolis's construction. It created an awkward gap between the many taller buildings. The campus was wide open and took up over two square miles.
The city housed both humans and Autobots alike, so the buildings were naturally much larger than those of other cities on Earth, which had been designed to accommodate humans only.
Along the sidewalks, cylindrical machines picked up pieces of trash, making sure to avoid the many people. In the streets, perfectly smooth and gray, many different vehicles of different makes and designs moved. Around half of them didn't have drivers—drivers in the seats, at least.
It was the year 2021. Things had changed since the war with the Decepticons. After the battle in Chicago, people had realized that the Decepticons would never leave them alone. After the battle in Chicago, people realized that the Autobots were willing to disregard their ignorance and still fight for their safety. People realized that the only good future for the two races was one where they worked together.
Arcee wove through the traffic. Her human passenger didn't hold on as tightly as most others would. He'd spent two thirds of his life with her, and he trusted the electric blue femme with his life. Everyone who knew him knew her. Most who knew him had worn the spare helmet she always kept incase a friend of her charge needed a lift.
"A school where Autobots teach human kids. It's like a dream," he wondered.
She slowed down as they got closer. "It shows that people are changing for the better."
They pulled up to the school. There was a driveway that led straight into the building, for Autobots to use only. Not for segregation, but for safety. They could walk in the partially underground complex, and it was just safer to keep humans out of their walkways.
After he got off, Arcee transformed. There were only a few quick glances from the other students. Autobots dropping off kids wasn't uncommon. Many parents preferred to carpool with them since Autobots didn't need gas.
"You said that before we left."
Ian had been to more than one private school over the years and he had seen worse uniforms. The simple blue blazer, red tie and gray dress pants were mercifully simple. At one school he'd worn plaid pants. He was relieved that the only plaid in the area was completely comprised of the girls' skirts.
"Have a nice day," she said in an exaggerated motherly tone.
He walked into the room and saw that it was astonishingly large. The seats were elevated like a movie theatre, all above a massive open space where a light yellow Autobot with a medical logo on his right armplate stood. A few students glanced at him. Some girls smiled at him then whispered to each other. Ian felt his cheeks flush.
Ratchet! He thought. One of the first to arrive on Earth!
"Welcome, Mr. Kenly. I'll ignore your lateness since this is your first day. Take any open seat you like."
Most of the seats in front were taken, but the entire back row was completely empty, save for one seat in the middle. It was a girl. She had wild, short black hair and fair skin. She stared at her notes with a blank expression.
He sat next to her and immediately heard chatter amongst the students. It didn't bother him. Ian transferred a lot and was used to the new kid routine, but he'd never been to a school like Neopolis Academy. Being so far back in such a large room made reading the board extremely difficult. It was electronic, a touch screen designed for Autobot use, but it was still hard to read. He could barely make out the math equations on the board.
He awkwardly doodled on his Touchpad, trying to look like he was doing his work. Ratchet hadn't opened the option for children to access the information on the board and Ian didn't want to attract attention to himself by asking him to open it.
The girl handed him a pair of binoculars with a gloved hand.
Ian stared at her. She maintained a completely blank expression.
"Thanks," he said. "Uh, nice glove."
She didn't respond.
"Ice queen!" He thought.
Ian could feel his mouth water as he stared at the school cafeteria's generous selection of foods. He quickly picked a large sandwich and a plate of fries. He merely placed his Com Bracelet against the automated register to pay.
The sitting area rivaled those of actual malls in terms of size. He saw the girl from before sitting by herself.
A tall, blonde boy, clearly a senior, placed an arm around Ian's shoulder. "Hey, new kid. Ian, right?"
"Y-yeah. And you?"
"Liam. Come sit with us."
Ian was amazed. He could tell that Liam's table was the in-crowd: cheerleaders and jocks. People giggling and talking about the latest gossip. He was luckier than most new kids, that was for sure.
"So, is it true that you've met Sam?" One girl asked.
Ian nearly groaned. Sam Witwicky was a legend, the man who saved the world three times—twice when he was still a teenager. There wasn't a kid alive that hadn't idolized him at some point, and he was like the big brother Ian had never had. This was Ian's first day at this school, and somehow someone had found out about their relationship.
He had to fudge it. "Kind of. Not that much though."
Thankfully, the other kids got the message and changed the subject. These kids knew all of the ins and outs of Neopolis—the places to hang out, see cool stuff and just have fun. Ian was really lucky. Most of the time when he transferred, he had to deal with being a social outcast for at least a week before finding a clique that would let him in.
"Hey," he began. "Do you know her name?" He asked.
Liam took a sip of his soda. "Who's name?"
He gestured towards the girl with the glove, still sitting by herself.
"Oh God," on girl groaned.
Ian felt his cheeks burn. "What? What did I say?"
Liam glared at him. "Please don't tell me that you have the hots for her!"
"What? No! It's just… She seemed nice, and I never got her name."
Several of the students let out exasperated groans. Something was seriously wrong.
Liam came close to Ian. "Listen," he pointed at the girl. "That's Skylar Wreathe. You don't look at her, you don't talk to her, and you don't acknowledge her. At all!"
"She's a total skank, man!" One boy said.
"Well that's a little harsh."
Liam grit his teeth. "She hates anything and everything Cybertronian."
Ian was speechless. "Well then why is she at this school?"
"Two reasons: the staff doesn't care, and she's like a total prodigy," Liam sneered. "See her Touchpad? Doesn't it look like it's not normal make?"
"She made it herself."
"On her first day she came in with pens and papers. The teachers told her that she'd never be able to keep up and they were ready to give her a free Touchpad. You know what she said?"
Another girl cut in. "Not many people noticed it, but I was right there. 'All standard Touchpads are made by Autobots.' She went into the tech room and put hers together in record time. The teachers were impressed, but I think that she was trying to say that she was better than them."
They drove across the city, towards a complex that towered over every other massive building in Neopolis. There were several raised highways that led into the building. They had to go through a gate and several layers of security, all of which were manned by both Autobots and humans. There had never been a security breach in the building's history, and no one intended to let a first come about.
Arcee drove into the main office. The secretary was a human, and her desk was human-sized, but the rest of the room was massive on human scale. Some of the tallest Autobots could stand upright in the lobby without any trouble.
The secretary ushered them in. Arcee helped Ian onto the raised walkway humans and smaller Autobots used. Again, not for segregation, but for safety. They turned right and entered a large room, completely overtaken by machinery and Autobots. There were only two humans in the room, counting Ian. The other was Sam Witwicky.
The man, now in his early thirties, was wearing dress pants and a polyester shirt. He stood near his guardian, Bumblebee, running through some paperwork on his Touchpad. There were many different models of the devices, and many different brands with different capabilities, but everyone just called them Touchpads.
Sam smiled. "How was your first day?"
"That's what I wanted to talk to you guys about. Arcee, Bumblebee, could you guys come here too?"
The four stood together.
"School was great, at first. I managed to make a few friends, but there was this one girl…"
Sam smirked and patted Ian on the back. "Oh, I know what you're going through. She doesn't know you exist, does she?"
Ian shook his head. "It's not that! She seemed nice, just a little… I don't really know how to explain it, but the other kids says that she hates anything Cybertronian."
Bumblebee let out a saddened sigh-like noise. Sam groaned. Arcee crossed her arms.
"Why would someone like that even be in Neopolis?"
"The other kids say that the teachers don't blame her—and she's supposed to be really smart, too."
Sam scratched his head. "Isn't Ratchet supposed to be your teacher? Maybe I should ask him. He should be coming in soon. What's the girl's name?"
Sam dropped his Touchpad..
Sam slowly came up to Ian and looked him dead in the eyes. "Did she have black hair?"
"You look like you saw Megatron's ghost," Arcee joked.
"She's alive," Sam sighed. "She's actually alive!"
"Can you explain what's going on?" Ian shouted.
Sam sat down at a bench and rubbed his temples. "It was in the attack on Chicago. We were about to get into the city, and there were some civilians still trying to get away. Then we saw a girl, very young and completely alone, running away. She had been on a field trip and got separated from her class in the process. One member of our group volunteered to leave and help her get out of the city.
"After the attack, we tried to get in touch with him."
Arcee, Bumblebee and Ian waited.
"We found his remains and his communicator, not far from where he'd left. There were a few bones that didn't match his DNA, however. That of an arm, but it wasn't fully grown. Tests showed that belonged to a little girl. She was assumed dead.
"I visited her family and offered my condolences. They were heartbroken—the mother wouldn't stop crying—but they didn't blame the Autobots. If anyone, they blamed the government for trying to banish them and allowing this to happen in the first place. Last I heard of them, they wanted to do their part to help those that tried to save their daughter's life and moved here when the construction of the city began."
"Ian, you said she was wearing a glove, right?" Arcee asked.
Sam stood. "She probably got a robotic limb, then. It happens all the time."
"It must be the trauma," Ian concluded. "She wants to get over it, but she can't!"
Ian ran out of the room. "Arcee! Come on!"
"Where are we going?" She asked.
"To go cure a girl of her phobia!"