Chapter 6

Airachnid lunged forward and slashed down at the blue Autobot's helm. Arcee paired the blow and responded with a lightning fast uppercut that connected squarely with the Ex-Decepticon's jaw. The spider-bot hissed and her neck joints convulsed. Knowing what followed Arcee disengaged and somersaulted backwards and away just as a stream of poisonous green liquid shot out of her mouth to burn a hole in the rock behind the bot.

Suddenly a shot of white hot plasma hit the black and gold femme square in the chassis. Not bothering to see where her former opponent landed Arcee darted over to the still form lying on the beach. She tenderly scooped the bundle of white webbing up to her chestplates and turned it so she could see the still, white face exposed.

"Miko," she whispered frantically running a scan.

"Arcee. How is she?" a deep familiar voice asked from behind her.

"Her heart isn't beating Optimus," the warrior responded in agony, not bothering to wonder how the mech had appeared. It was just what the Prime did.

"Ratchet! We require a ground bridge immediately," he ordered over the comm. "Arcee is incoming with Miko and cannot find a heartbeat."

The green portal swirled open and Arcee loped through. Optimus glanced over to the spider-bot. She glared at him in return before leaping into the air and transforming into a helicopter

*A parting gift Prime,* a signal came over the airwaves carrying a data packet as the angular chopper disappeared.

Prime scanned it for viruses before opening it. He stiffened. The packet consisted entirely of audio-files of Miko's cries of pain. Optimus battled back a familiar wave of rage and guilt. It was not the first time he had received such a Decepticon 'gift'. The Autobot leader followed his second in command through the event horizon. Back in the cool confines of the base Ratchet had moved the girl into his lab and was already cutting away at the webbing. The medic ran a series of scan lights over the pale girl lying prone on the hospital bed.

"Her heart is still in fibrillation," he shouted out, relief in his rough voice. "Nurse Darby?" he asked as two cables coiled out from under his forearm plates. The woman who had been calmly taking Miko's vitals reached out and grabbed them. Resting one on top of the girl's chest just above the black and violet bikini and one on her side June nodded at the Autobot medic.


The amber and white Autobot sent a precisely measured electrical current through the cables. The small body on the table jerked. Ratchet ran another scan over her and gave a triumphant shout.

"All the cells in her heart are now working in concert," he declared joyfully, "and the organ is beating steadily."

"She's not out of the woods yet," June warned; her ponytail whipping behind her head as she spun on the two boys hovering worriedly as close as they were allowed. "She's not breathing on her own. Jack, CPR now! Mouth-to-mouth only at this point. Don't start chest compressions unless her heart stops again. Ratchet we need that oxygen over here."

The Autobot medic and the nurse moved off to collect the required equipment as Jack bent his head over the still form on the table. He carefully checked to make sure her air way was unblocked and used two fingers to tilt her chin up. Pinching her nose shut the raven haired teen pressed his lips over her mouth and gave a powerful breath.

Across the lab June was sorting rapidly through a disorderly pile of oxygen masks when Ratchet suddenly glanced up from where he was selecting a green and silver oxygen tank.

"Ah, Nurse Darby," he commented dryly, "refresh my memory please. What part of CPR requires the patient to be vertical?"

"Vertical? What do you…Ah?"

Miko was sitting up in the bed and had both arms tightly wrapped around Jack's head. He had apparently lost his grip on her chin and nose but their lips were still firmly locked together.

"Jackson Darby!" June's voice cut through the base medbay like a gunshot.

Miko reluctantly released the stunned and gasping young man and grinned impishly over at the nurse.

"Just thanking him for the excellent CPR!" she gasped out as she collapsed back onto the bed.

"I think he's been thanked enough," the mother said, but her mouth was twitching in amusement as she approached them. "How do you feel Miko?"

"Everything hurts, I think I wet myself, and I could eat a horse," the slim Asian announced.

"Well that's a pretty good situation, all things considered," said the nurse.

"Miko!" A deep cry of joy echoed throughout the base as Bulkhead came rushing in. "I was so worried! Why'd you go off like that?"

"Well you know," she shrugged her bare shoulders, "the famous Bikini Island. It was just the perfect place to try out my new bikini."

"Miko," Jack asked in exasperation, "do you even know what Bikini Island is famous for?"

"No not really," she said smiling up at him. "Why?"

The lanky teen shook his head in astonishment and turned to go.

"I need to get to school. Try to be alive by the time I get back please."

Bulkhead crouched down by the bed and delicately held out a canvas bag.

"Here, we found this," he offered with a grin. Miko squealed her thanks and the two began to chatter happily.


A massive cargo ship cruised across the Pacific Ocean. Clinging to one side, just above the water line, a dark form glared out over the ocean with baleful purple eyes. Her injuries were healing perfectly but for the first time in many stellar cycles her discomfort came from within. The emptiness of her sparkling chamber was suddenly very noticeable. Her processor kept running back to the comforting presence she had held within her for a short time, the defiant attitude, the quick wit, the uncorrupted innocence. A strange longing filled the huntress, and a deep regret for the still form that had fallen to the empty beach.