Monica made sure her dad was gone before going back outside to where Luna was waiting patiently. She got in and shut the door. "So… you're my guardian now."
"Yes." Luna replied easily
"And your job is to protect me from uh, Decep- Decepa-"
"Decepticons." Luna filled in. "You'll be safe with me."
"Right…" Monica hesitated, not sure what else to say. Just give her a chance, Raf had told her. "Jasper's a lot different from California, but it's a nice town. I've lived here my whole life."
"But you prefer California." Luna said
Monica blinked. Was it really that obvious? "Well… I like it there because it's a fresh start. But Jasper will always be my home." Monica shifted in her seat "Want to go for a drive? I can show you more around town if you're interested."
"Are you sure you won't 'freak out'?"
Monica smiled a bit. Raf probably told her that. "I think I'll be okay, as long as you let me do all the driving."
Monica backed out of the driveway then drove off. "So. How do you like Earth?" She made a face because it sounded so weird to say. How else was she supposed to make conversation with a transforming alien robot?
"It's very different from what our planet was like. Cybertron was mostly made of metal and machine, while the majority of Earth consists of water. I find your oceans to be fascinating."
"What about Humans? Why are you so interested to learn more about us?"
"There's a lot more to human kind than I expected. For such small life forms, you're so complex. And intelligent, too. I admire that you care about one another, that you value your friends and family. You hold great potential, I believe."
"On the inside, we're not so different because we all feel emotion, human or not." Monica said this without giving it much thought, but it struck Luna into realizing that she was absolutely right.
"Although I have to say, your Earth customs are… strange." Luna added.
Monica laughed "So are yours. We don't have any gladiators on Earth. At least, not since Ancient Rome." She waited for Luna to respond, but she didn't. "Luna?"
"That part of my life is over. It isn't exactly something I'm proud of."
Monica could hear the sadness in her tone. The last thing she wanted was to force her to talk about it and open old wounds. It wasn't the right time to ask why.
She continued to drive around town, showing Luna everything she needed to know about Jasper. She stopped at the library to pick up a Physics book, and explained to Luna that she was majoring in that subject.
"Monica? Do you get along with your sisters?" The Autobot suddenly asked.
She blinked, caught off guard by her question. "Sure, most of the time. We've got a big age difference, so I'm always telling them what to do. Not that they ever listen. My mom thinks that I'm their role model, but I think they just see me as the bossy older sister."
"I'm sure they see more to you than that."
"I guess. But sometimes I can be a stick in the mud."
"Stick in the mud?"
"Oh, it's just an expression. It means that I spoil all the fun. But it's irresponsible of me to let them do whatever they want."
"You look after them, I understand. I'm sure they look up to you." Luna concluded.
There was a pause. "You said that you have a twin sister, didn't you?" Monica asked.
"I do. But our relationship now is… complicated."
"You chose to become an Autobot. She chose to become a Decepticon."
"And last week, you saw her for the first time in like, hundreds of years?"
"Yes… along with Megatron."
"Leader of the Decepticons." Monica whispered to herself. That's who she refused to join. Now she understood. "What if you got the chance to talk to your sister alone? Would you try to convince her to join the Autobots?"
"Maybe. But it wouldn't matter. She'd never listen."
"But what if she's changed?"
"You don't know my sister."
Suddenly, Luna's comm. link beeped so she switched it online. "Luna, we need you back at base," ordered Ratchet.
"Is something wrong?"
"No, just someone here you have to meet."
"I have Monica with me. Should I take her home first?"
"Best if she comes too."
"On my way." She clicked her comm. link offline. "I'll take the wheel now."
Monica dropped her hands and took her foot off the petal. She wasn't thrilled about going back to base without Raf. The other Autobots were complete strangers to her. She would feel a bit out of place. But Luna was her guardian now, so that automatically made her welcome.
To Monica's surprise, once they got there, a person was waiting for them. His name was Special Agent Fowler, the Autobots' designated U.S. government liaison.
"My job is to keep you and the rest of your team out of the public eye." He explained to Luna "Not an easy job, I must say." He paused, now looking at Monica. "I can see that you already blew your cover."
"Raf's my kid brother. I was bound to figure it out." Monica said
"And you understand that you can't discuss this to anyone?"
"Ok, good." He turned his attention back to Luna "So, new recruit, they tell me you're a gladiator."
"I used to be."
"Then you must be a heck of a warrior in the field."
Luna gave a shy smile and shrugged.
"Great, then we're lucky you showed up! We're outnumbered and could use a 'bot like you."
"That doesn't necessarily mean we're outmatched, Agent Fowler."
"Good attitude." He went for the elevator "Things are finally looking up. Until next time, Prime."
With that, the doors closed and he was gone.
"He seems nice." Luna said
"Yeah, he's a real ray of sunshine." Bulkhead joked
Monica took a seat on the stairs, trying to act casual. Bumblebee looked at her and started beeping again. She stared up at him, clueless to what he was saying, so she just smiled back awkwardly.
Bulkhead laughed "He wants to know what you think of the team."
"Well… I think I'm happy you're here to defend us. You're all incredible."
"I like her already." Bulkhead said to Bee.
"Monica's studying science in college. She's very smart." Luna smiled
This got Ratchet's attention "Science? Really?"
"Physics. Like the properties of matter and energy, lots of formulas and equations. But your level of science is unbelievable. I mean, you've managed to create a way of teleportation, which human kind thought was scientifically impossible."
"It might surprise you that Earth based science has helped us in the past, thanks to your brother." Ratchet said.
Monica smiled "Oh, speaking of Raf, I'm supposed to pick him up from school. But after what happened yesterday…" She meant, after witnessing a giant alien robot death match.
"Don't worry, we got him." Arcee said. They always picked up the kids from school. "We'll be back."
The three of them transformed and drove off.
Monica walked over to the ground-bridge to observe. Surprisingly, Ratchet followed. She asked him how it worked and he tried to explain, although, she couldn't understand most of what he was talking about. She tried explaining her concepts of Physics with him, but Ratchet shared the same problem. He had to admit, though. He admired her love for science and the way she lit up just talking about it.
Luna approached her leader. "Optimus, do you think I should have mentioned about my sister to Agent Fowler?"
He took a moment to process "He would see Nova as just another Decepticon."
Luna bowed her head "I don't want to have to face her again."
"When that moment comes, you won't be alone."