A/N-A quick message to all of my 'lovely' followers who blatantly disregarded the painful, emotional trauma of the shootings and the psychological turmoil I have been going through for weeks that has kept me awake at night, kept me from eating right, and has all but deafened my muse for art, who simply left note after note after note about how it was sad but OMG I NEED TO UPDATE LEIK RIGHT NOW.
'Shame on you' is the proper, lady-like response. But it doesn't cover how I feel about those horrible notes, so I'll just go with a nice, standard:
So help me God, if one more person just acts like those kinds of things shouldn't affect your precious fan fiction's update schedule, I'm just going to delete this whole fucking thing.
The sound of the door closing roused Jack from his exhausted rest, jerking him awake to see Silas and another MECH agent walk in casually. His chest tightened in sync with his throat, his breathing becoming shallower as he watched Silas polishing a wicked looking combat knife.
"Good Evening, Jack. How are you feeling?" Silas purred.
The MECH agent behind him brought a camcorder out and aimed it at the boy. Jack looked on as the light on the camera flashed from red to green, signaling that it was recording.
'Why are they doing that? What's the point?' He frantically thought; his throat far too tight to respond to Silas as his mind raced from one thought to another.
Silas didn't seem to mind Jack's silence, "I just finished visiting your friend Miko. She has quite a mouth on her, if you can believe it." Silas chuckled sarcastically, his eyes drawn to the knife he was cleaning as he sauntered his way and that in front of Jack.
Dread passed through him and Jack began trembling at the realization that somewhere his friend was hurt. "What did you do to her?"
Silas looked up at him with an unemotional look, "I bet Miss Nakadai is loose with her words because of those Autobot friends of yours. I very much doubt that mechanical homunculus had much of a reign on her." He finished cleaning the knife, looked it over once, and slid it back into its sheath on his belt.
"What did you do to Miko?!" Jack cried, body too tense to stand.
Silas paused, and then took a few steps forward, kneeling before the shaking teenager, "I would be more concerned about what I have in store for you, Jack."
Jack froze; expecting instant pain, but Silas simply withdrew and stood up, walking over to the door to plant a few soft raps. The door opened and two more MECH agents entered, locking to door behind them. All four men now turned to face Jack, silent but foreboding.
June Darby sat in her living room, hands folded in her lap, watching the clock on the wall tick the seconds away with pained eyes. She hadn't slept since the children's abduction, and had hardly eaten anything. Her whole body still screamed with pain from her injuries, but it couldn't compare to the awful void inside her. She had cried all her tears, prayed to any deity that could hear her, and screamed until she went hoarse; none of it helped.
Her son, and two other children who June loved dearly, were in the hands of some deranged terrorist and they had no idea where. A sob escaped her throat unconsciously as she tried to reel in her emotions. The worst part of all of this was just not knowing a damn thing.
Calling Agent Fowler did her no good, he just reassured her that he was on top of things and the kids would be found soon. And the Autobots…well, she hadn't made too much contact since the first day. She had been a bit busy with the police asking a dozen questions and dealing with Raf's parents and Miko's host parents; having to lie through her teeth to both of them had aided in draining June to her current state.
She thought about making a call to the Autobots, having the base's frequency programmed into her phone, but quickly decided against it; she didn't want to hog the line in case Fowler contacted them, or they were busy looking and needed the line open.
Forcing herself off the couch, she made her way into her bedroom. She resolved to getting some rest, then visiting the Autobot base when she woke. She was no longer going to sit around and wait; one way or another, she would have answers.
Ratchet had been the only one this time. The Decepticons finally resurfaced with an energon mining operation deep in the wilderness of the human country 'Canada'; Optimus and the others had gone to stop them, as well as hopefully procure some energon for themselves, as they hadn't had the chance lately to harvest their own…Which left Ratchet to man the groundbridge and maintain communications.
And also left him as the only one to witness Miko's torture.
He had been hesitant to open the transmission, as he debated leaving it for when the others were there to witness it as well. But he decided it was a selfish thought, to make the others suffer by watching another sparkbreaking video of their charges being mutilated.
The video was merely a few moments long, just enough to do damage to the young girl's faith in her Autobot friends. Silas had done that on purpose. And somehow it was worse than when he made them bleed. There was no mention of Jack or an indication of Rafael's status.
Ratchet cursed every foul word he knew in Cybertronian and English, slamming his fists repeatedly on the console until all he saw were sparks and flashing lights.
This never would have happened if those damned children had never been brought to the base in the first place! If Optimus had simply kicked them out when he had the chance, when he had told their leader to-
His hands retreated to hold his helm and Ratchet sank back onto the cold floor, knees drawn up to guard him as he curled into himself; the only sounds in the base being his systems whining in utter distress.
Jack spat blood onto the growing puddle on the floor. Silas was military grade stuff, which he had figured from the start, but for a kid his age, Jack liked to have thought he held up pretty well under the MECH leader's onslaught.
He was more than sure his rib had been broken from a particularly harsh kick to his chest, but besides that, some already-blackening bruises, and a pretty nasty busted lip, he was going to be just fine. But that wasn't what was on his mind at the moment.
They had recorded it. Why? What was the point? They hadn't demanded information, they hadn't told him to do anything that he would refuse; they merely used him as a punching bag and filmed it.
Well, what were videos meant for? To be seen. But who are they showing them to?
His thoughts were interrupted by one of Silas' men throwing open the door and shoving another being inside.
"Miko!" Jack cried, sitting forward as the girl was thrown in front of him. The MECH operative then retreated back through the door, leaving them be as the boy hurried to his friend's side.
Jack's hands instantly flew to Miko's shoulders, eyeing as much of her as he could to look for injuries as he rattled off a hundred questions, "Are you alright? Did he hurt you?" Miko merely curled into herself, body shaking as she began to silently cry.
Helplessly, Jack cupped her face gently, brushing away her hair that had come loose from hair ties, voice dropping to a near whisper, "Where did he hurt you, Miko?"
She didn't look at him, just shaking her head as her sobs began to gain sound, until she was crying hysterically, falling forward to clutch at Jack. "They left us!"
He held her close, not caring about the pain from his chest at the pressure, "W-what?"
Miko gave another loud sob, "Bulkhead! Optimus! The Autobots; they left us here!"
Shaking his head, Jack tried to cut her off, but she pulled back off his shoulder to look him in the face, her eyes swollen from crying, "They know what he's been doing to us, but they don't care! They left us here to die!"
"No." Jack's voice finally came through, cutting into Miko's tirade, "No, they're going to find us, Miko. They're gonna kick Silas' ass and we're-" He stopped himself this time, swallowing a growing lump in his throat, "We're going to be ok…"
Miko's sobs died, but her body still quivered, and her hands still clutched at Jack's shirt, "They aren't coming, Jack. And even if they do it's gonna be too late by the time they get here. We'll be dead."
"He's gonna kill us, Jack! He's gonna kill us just like he killed Raf!" Miko cried, hot tears falling down her face as she looked into Jack's eyes, "That guy who brought me here told me! He said Silas cut him all up and he died! He's dead!" She screamed as she began to weep again.
No. Oh God, please, no…
The world felt like it had been ripped from underneath him, spinning him in its wake. The air left his lungs as Miko returned her head to his shoulder to cry on it; Raf was dead? No. NO! This couldn't be happening…He was supposed to be the responsible one, the oldest one who looked out for his two friends. And he had failed. Raf was dead. A horrible, painful death alone with a psycho and more than likely a haphazard burial, if he was granted one at all…
Dead. Gone. Soon they would be too.
Why hadn't Optimus and the others come yet? Why didn't they save Raf?
"They left us…they left us…"