Target

A Transformers Prime FanFiction based after the events of Episode 26 One Shall Rise Part 3

Warnings :SPOILERS:

"And you. I never forget a face. Even that of a human." The deep voice carried unspoken and unspeakable danger.

Jack's blue eyes hardened as he looked coldly and calmly over his shoulder at the smugly leering Decpticon. Then he turned without a word to follow the rest of the humans into the relative safety of the far reaches of the base.

June Darby snapped her eyes open and the memory was replaced with the dim grey of the concrete silo. The cool air, army cot, and thin blanket would not have been comfortable under any circumstances. With the ominous threat looming over her precious son's head, there was no way she was getting sleep anytime soon. The nurse rolled silently out of the bed and slipped her ward shoes on. She crept past the two sleeping children.

Miko and Raf were curled up together in another cot. Mrs. Darby had tried to call their parents to reassure them the children were safe but all the civilian communication lines seemed to be down. The road into town was destroyed and the ground bridge was down while Ratchet ran diagnostics on the over worked machine. The nurse knew she'd be needed at the hospital and being unable to fulfill her duty burned at her heart. But she was needed here as well.

The slim Asian girl had her arms protectively wrapped around the smaller boy. At the moment she looked like nothing so much as a lithe young cat protecting her sole remaining kitten. The dark haired woman smiled softly, Megatron had been right about one thing, human children were resilient, more so than the sadistic monster would ever know. Both were breathing softly and smiling as their eyes flickered through dream land. The human touch, the mother mused, was an amazing force. June took the time to check Raf's vitals, careful not to wake him. Satisfied she tucked the blankets in around them and slipped out into the base proper.

Using military short wave, and a simple but effective code, Fowler had reported to his superiors and been told that there was no transportation available. He was ordered to wait at the base until a chopper could be spared from the National Guard Relief efforts. Now, subscribing to the ages old soldier's code that you slept and ate when you could because you never knew when your next chance would be, he was sprawled across the battered couch, snoring away. June blushed slightly when she remembered his arms around her in the moment they'd realized the danger was past. Granted, it had only been from joy at being alive, but it had been a long time since any man had held her like that.

Finally she was looking across the base and there was nothing left to distract her. Jack was stripped to the waist and covered in dust, grime, and the dozens of little scratches and dings that go along with a long day of manual labor. The boy bent over some device clipping wires and doing heaven knew what else. He paused to wipe his face and reached over to lay a hand on Arcee's arm and smile warmly up at her. The bot glanced down at him and for a moment the emptiness of her optics warmed. No, not a boy any more, June thought with a pang as she watched her son move among the giant warriors. Everywhere he touched something was made better. A machine was repaired here, a smile drawn from the pain there. He was becoming a man; a man with amazing friends, and terrifying enemies.

Megatron's eyes burned into her mind, ember red eyes that focused on her son with enmity. Before that moment the Decpticon had been an abstract concept to the woman, the boogeyman that haunted the dreams of her son's friends and struck from an empty sky. Now he was all too real. And his optics had painted a bright red target on her son's back. What had Jack done to earn that attention? Her mother's heart told her it was something she would be proud of. Her mother's mind told her it was something she would probably want to strangle both her son and his guardian for.

But, the woman forced herself to be honest; it wasn't the presence of Megatron that was feeding her fear. It was the lack of another presence. She thought of that terrible moment when she'd realized that Optimus Prime wasn't going to come striding back through the groundbridge. Until then June had had no concept of how much she had come to rely on the compassionate mech. His soothing baritone had been the first to comfort her when she arrived at the base, still in shock from being abducted at gunpoint. It had been the knowledge that he was watching over the children that had convinced her to let Jack remain with the Autobots. Even when he was at his weakest, when she had struck out at him in anger and fear, his only reaction had been to reach out and comfort her, to ask her forgiveness. June flinched as she remembered the pain in his optics as she accused him of failing Rafael. The simple fact of the matter was that when it came down to it she trusted him, needed him.

"Mom? Can't sleep?" A tired voice pulled her out of her reverie.

"No," she said.

"You should try," he urged with a hand on her arm, "I'm needed here, but if I know you, as soon as the roads are clear you'll be headed for the hospital, and then who knows when you'll get to sleep next?"

Who was this man who stood before her? There was the shadow of a moustache on his upper lip. His shoulders seemed broader somehow than they had yesterday. A silver and topaz pendant lay against his bare chest, hung on a scrap of cable he had scavenged from somewhere. She had heard Ratchet explain the device's significance to the assembled humans. Optimus had given the care of the key to Vector Sigma over to her son. It was more than just an ancient and revered relic; it was a sign of the mech's deep trust for the human. If the Prime had that much faith in her son maybe she should be showing a little too.

"You're right Jack. But you get some sleep before too long. I can smell that you're running on will power and coffee fumes."

Her son smiled at her and led her back to the humans sleeping area. He stopped to check Raf's pulse and tuck the blankets in a little tighter. June slipped off her shoes and slid under the blanket. Jack was standing watch; despite the cold and discomfort she had no trouble falling asleep this time. The only image that greeted her was a pair of kind blue eyes, or perhaps optics.