Author's Note

For those who haven't read my previous stories, you will be confused about my OC Micheal Rickers. His history is too long to explain here so you would need to read my previous work to understand who Michael is.

Hope you enjoy

It was a sunny bright morning over the Nevada town of Jasper, and the local high school was starting as the kids of the town were making their way through the main doors for their first lessons of the day. For three certain teenagers it was just another day in late February when they arrived at the school with their Autobot guardian's. Jack with his blue and pink sports bike, Arcee. Miko with the army green SUV, Bulkhead and the youngest of the trio, Raff with the black and yellow muscle car, Bumblebee. The Autobots watched as the children in their charge entered the school to begin their learning. Once inside the three exchanged pleasantries and went their separate ways towards their own classes. Raff had mathematics which he really enjoyed, Miko had history which didn't share as much enthusiasm as her friends while Jack had geography which he recently had a new interest in due to events in the last year. As they sat behind their desks and got out a pen and paper. An identical clock in each of the classrooms struck nine in the morning at exactly the same time and indicated that school had started.

At exactly the same time across the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, seven time zones away, a clock in another class room struck four in the afternoon. This clock was in a classroom in the main teaching block at the maritime academy in the sleepy village of Warsash in Hampshire. Michael Rickers was desperately looking at the clock, hoping the lecturer would have noticed he was five minutes over, as the done thing in the university was to finish at five to the hour so the cadets would have time to get to the next lecture in time. However it was the last lecture of the day and the lecturer was babbling on about the very trivial matter of a thing called sea clutter that appears on a radar screen. All twenty of the deck cadets of the class knew what it was as they had all done a minimum four months at sea. So really there was no point in them being there, some had even fallen asleep the lecturer was that boring. But Michael never slept in lecture, the seven cups of coffee made sure of that.

"Right next lesson we will be looking at the interface between the ARPA on the radar with the ECDIS, so during the weekend I want you all to quickly read around the topic. You'll find in the back of your course notes the recommended book to read, which are in the library. Also considering you've only got me for tomorrow afternoon, I'll pencil that lecture down as self-study so you've got Friday off. Err, when our next session after that?"

As Michael was the one of the few still awake he checked the timetable on his phone "On Tuesday, sir"

"Well I'll see you on Tuesday then, yes?" The lecturer only then noticed the sleeping beauties. "YES!" Everybody who was sleeping woke up all looking slightly dumbfound. "I'll see you next week" The lecturer logged off the computer and packed all his papers in his briefcase.

Michael along with his fellow cadets were to packing their notes into their bags. They left the class room and came down the one flight of stairs and stepped out of the Admiral Jellicoe building into the setting sunlight which was rising in Nevada. They as a group headed for the bar to start the weekend, all walking with a snap in their step in their uniforms, black trousers, white shirts and navy blue NATO pullover jumpers with the single gold stripe going up their shoulders

The other nineteen shuffled through the doors into the Moyana building and ten feet further through another door into the aptly named mariners bar. But Michael didn't go with them. He stayed outside standing next to an old fashion anchor windlass like in the old sailing galleons from long ago. It was there for decorative reason, more than anything else. But Michael wasn't looking at the windlass, he was making a private phone call.

The phone call was being received seven time zones behind, in the secret underground bunker a few miles outside of the town of Jasper which served as the Autobot base. In the base the main computer was displaying the time in the cybertronian language that only the Autobots could read. The display showed it was seven minutes past nine in the morning and that the three Autobots would arrive at the base any moment. But before that could happen, an alarm went off, warning of an incoming call. As Ratchet was always at the main computer, it was him who answered the call.

"Michael, what can I do for you?" He asked with a slight hint of irritation. Why couldn't he have some time to himself to get on with his work?

"Hello to you too" Michael retorted, sensing Ratchets irritation. "I've got a long weekend coming up so I was hopefully planning for a pickup, later on"

"How long a weekend?"

"Today till Monday as both Friday and Monday are free for me"

"I'll inform the others, Michael. Call when you're ready"

"Thanks Ratchet" Michael hung up and Ratchet went back to the work he was working on previously. But even then that plan failed due to sound of three engines roaring into the base as Arcee, Bulkhead and Bumblebee zoomed into the main control room and transformed into their true forms. Ratchet turned to face the three.

"That was Michael calling just moments ago. He's got a long weekend, so he will arriving later today"

"That's a bit short notice" Arcee commented.

"Most likely because of a cancelled lecture, but he didn't say"

"Who cares" Bulkhead said "He's coming back for a few days"

"Have you told Elita yet?" Arcee asked.

"No, I've only just found out"

"Where is Elita by the way?"

"On patrol with Optimus"

On a winding road in Oregon was a red and blue semi-tractor unit driving along with a light pink Honda S2000 driving parallel side by side. The road was empty and nowhere near any form of civilisation. The tall evergreens were doing their best to block out the sun but the sun would none of it as its rays penetrated the canopy and reaching the ground. Both of them received a call from Ratchet.

"Optimus, Elita. I've just been contacted by Michael and he says he will be over later today and staying for the weekend. I thought I should let you know"

"Michael is coming back?" Elita asked. "Oh wonderful" She was pleased to hear that her charge was returning. She was constantly worried about not being with him to protect him should the Decepticons decided to attack him. But also knew that he was a grown up and didn't need her smothering him all the time.

"Have you spotted anything yet?" Ratchet asked Optimus.

"No, I am afraid not, old friend. I believe the energon signal detected earlier was a false one. But we will keep searching for the mean time"

"Well, I'll leave to it" Ratchet cut the link.

Back in Hampshire, Michael had walked back to the small house in the quiet suburban street which was a twenty five minute walk from the academy. He was in his bedroom and dumping some clothes into a rucksack for the weekend. There was a knock on his door. He stopped packing and saw the other cadet staying at the house. A phase one deck cadet called Scott.

"Yeah?" Michael asked, trying to make a show of being busy.

"You going somewhere?"

"I've got Friday and Monday off so I'm off to visit my friends for the weekend. Is that all?"

"I'm struggling with this question. I keep getting a stupid answer. Could you see where I'm going wrong?"

"Let's have a look"

Scott past the piece of paper with the question on it. It was a maths question more specifically a question on vectors. Michael read the question and quickly went through it with Scott. For Michael it was a breeze, he had passed his GCSE's and also passed with flying colours with his A levels, one of them being physics so a simple vector question was a walk in the park for him. Scott on the other hand was fresh out of high school and just scraped his GCSE's without even doing the A levels, so for him living in the same house with Michael was a great help for his studies.

A few hours down the line and the high school in Jasper had come to half past twelve and it was lunch time. Raff was trying to find Jack and Miko as they always went for lunch together. As he was walking down the main corridor flanked by the lockers he suddenly saw his path was blocked by a wall of teenagers much older and bigger than him. The group were four strong and the alpha male of the group was none other than the high school bully, Vince.

"You're Jacks friend, aren't you?" Vince asked with menace.

Raff had to crane his neck to see his face as they stood no more than a foot directly in front of him, forming an impregnable wall of flesh. He gulped and answered with a slight quiver "Y-Yes"

It had been months since Vince had his gang were put to shame by a nameless friend of Jack's. The unknown man was a monster of a man standing at six foot eight. All was known about him was he was British and he was not to be messed with. Vince remembered the warning from the British man which was to leave Jack or anyone else alone. But that was months ago and nobody had seen him since so Vince decided to gain back his status back after that humiliation, and he would start with Jack's youngest friend, Raff.

"Gives us your dinner money" Vince demanded.

"No" Raff replied back defiantly. But it was a bad mistake. It was four against one. Four big teenagers against one small, relatively weak teenager who was the embodiment of a school nerd. The four slammed him against the lockers, pinning him. Raff tried to struggle out of their hold but he couldn't fight back one bit. While the three held him tight against the lockers, Vince went through Raff's pockets and found his lunch money in his left trouser pocket. It was a five dollar note, more than they were expecting.

"Thank you very much" Vince said. The others let him go and quickly made their escape.

"Hey! Give that back!" Raff shouted after them. But it was no use, they had his money and now he couldn't buy lunch. Raff dropped his head and tears formed. He had never been bullied in such a way before and it hurt and left him shaken.

At the same time Michael had finished packing his rucksack for the weekend and leaving the house. He walked around to the garage and lifted the metal door up, revealing his motorbike. The silver Suzuki Intruder 125. He put the key in to unlock the steering lock and wheeled it out of the garage, then locking the garage afterwards. He put his silver helmet on and straddled the bike then fired up the twin cylinder engine. As he held the clutch in, he engage he first gear with a kick down on the gear selector. A bit of revs from the engine as he eased the clutch out and he was away. Heading toward a quiet place where he would be able to Ground Bridge from without anyone seeing.

Back in Jasper Raff found Jack and Miko waiting for him in the canteen. Both of them saw straight away that something wasn't right.

"Raff, are you ok?" Jack asked with concern for his younger friend, always being the responsible one of the group.

"Yeah" Raff lied. "I've just discovered I forgot my money for lunch" He didn't want to make himself seem weak. He had seen what the other two were able to achieve where he hadn't, so for him to be bullied like he was only proof that he was weak. So he thought that by denying it ever happen, would mean it never did actually happen.

"Hey, that's ok. Look I got some money you can borrow" Jack said.

"Thanks Jack"

"Hey that's what friends are for" Miko commented.

Raff smiled. He was lucky to have friends like Jack and Miko.

Back at the Autobot base Ratchet took another call from Michael "Ratchet, I'm at the bridging location. It's all quiet at the moment so could you send a bridge please?" Michael asked politely.

"Ground bridge coming up" Ratchet replied. He pulled down on the lever and the ground bridge powered up. Elita and Optimus had return after their patrol in the North Western state, bearing no fruits for their labour. So all of the Autobots were present on the base as through the swirling wall of light came forth the figure of a man riding his trustee motorbike. The sound of the engine filled the whole room as Michael rolled to a stop. He killed the engine and set the stand down then removing himself from the saddle. He pulled his helmet off and glanced a sweeping look at the Autobots until he was looking at his guardian, Elita. The one who had sworn to protect him and look after him as he had lost his parents many years ago.

"Hey, how have you all been?" Michael asked the Autobots while looking at his protector.

"We are doing just fine, Michael. Although finding energon recently had proved to be difficult at the moment. But it is fortunate that we have a plenty to keep us going in the meantime" Optimus answered.

"I take it you have a day off or something considering you are here on a Thursday" Elita asked Michael.

"Yeah, it's called self-study, but there's nothing really to self-study" He answered. "When are the kids back?"

"About three hours from now and they don't know yet that you're here"

"So it will be a pleasant surprise for them" Michael commented.

Those three hours passed quickly. While Michael went for a quick nap to readjust his body clock as he had made a jump of seven hours back in time, the three Autobots left the base to collect the children from school. Back at the school Jack was already finishing up in his last lesson of the day and making for the exit along with Miko. Raff on the other hand was on the opposite end of the school and would take more time to reach the exit. But as he wanted to forget about the days earlier events, Vince and his gang once again stopped him in his tracks. Raff tried to manoeuvre around them, but Vince's gang were having none of it.

"Let me through" Raff demanded.

"Not yet, pipsqueak" Vince said calmly

"I have a name" Raff protested to being call 'pipsqueak'.

"Yeah, your name is pipsqueak. Now listen and listen carefully. You are a close friend of Jack and that comes at a price. That price is five dollars every day from your lunch money so we don't beat you up. If you don't pay up or if you tell anyone, we will drag you into the toilets and… I think you can guess as you seem smart enough. Are we clear on that?"

Raff gulped in fear and nodded his head.

"Good boy. Now run along, you wouldn't want to upset your parents for being late now, do you?"

Raff quickly made his way through the gap made for him and headed for the exit, where Jack and Miko were waiting for him. As he got there he did his best to keep himself to himself, barely acknowledging the two other teens as he headed straight for his guardian. Once he was strapped in Bumblebee's passenger seat he felt safe until he saw Vince coming out of the main exit, first glancing a sneer at Jack, then at Raff. Raff shuddered. Bumblebee asked if Raff was ok, but he only shrugged it off. Bumblebee decided not to take it any further and he took off down the street with the others in tow.

When the kids came to the base they got out or in Jacks case got off their guardians and quickly made their way up the steps to play their video games. But they stopped dead in their tracks as if they had stepped in super glue because they saw Michael lying asleep on the sofa.

"Michael!" Miko shouted in surprise. She shouted loud enough to startle Michael from his light sleep.

"AHHH!" Michael shot up and fell off the sofa, hitting his head on the floor which came some amusement to everyone, even Optimus. Everyone knew he was fine. He picked himself up off the floor rubbing his head as he looked at the three kids.

"Hi there, I'm back again" He said while trying to regain his dignity.

"Why are you back on a Thursday?" Jack asked.

"Tomorrow is self-study, so I thought to spend that day here"

Jack nodded as he knew what that self-study really meant, a day off to do whatever.

"I've been really getting into that racing game of yours recently, so much I've bought it and now me and Scott are playing it most evenings… before we get trolleyed" Michael said with a mischievous grin.

"Prepare to lose to a girl" Miko said while racing over to snatch up one of the controllers. Michael picked up the other controller and as soon as the game started he had to concentrate really hard. He may have been able to drive cars in high speed chases in real life, but it was a completely different with the game so he had to start from scratch and we would resort to petty cheating if he had to, but he would be damned if he was to lose without a fight.

While Jack was cheering Michael on, along with Bumblebee, Raff couldn't help but reflect on what occurred earlier in school. He decided he didn't want to see Miko win again and be all smug about it, so he quietly slipped away to explore the base on his own so he could have some time to himself. However Elita had noticed him trying to discretely exit without anyone knowing, so she waited a few moment before following him down a corridor, leaving everyone apart from Optimus and Ratchet to watch Michael attempt to beat Miko at the kid's favourite game.

Raff walked down a corridor for a few minutes, blissfully unaware Elita was close behind seeing what he was up to, there were parts to the base that could prove to be hazardous to humans so Elita was always concerned if one was to wonder off, which was usually Miko. When Miko sneaked off, it was a case of just finding her quickly but for Raff to be wondering off, that was suspicious for him, so Elita decided to remain hidden to find out what Raff was doing. But all Raff did after a while was stop abruptly, sit down on the floor leaning against the wall and quietly start to cry.

Before raff had met the Autobots his life was a quiet and lonely one. He had very few, if any friends and being such a large family he soon found himself more and more isolated from everyone till the point he just left the house to play with his remote control car to keep himself amused. But after meeting the Autobots along with Jack and Miko his life took a turn for the better. Now he was truly appreciated and made good friends especially with his guardian, Bumblebee who too had a passion for racing, they were the best of friends. But at school very little had changed, only Jack and Miko were his friends in school and was often ignored by everyone which still upset him greatly, but today had made things even worse as it reminded him of how weak he was. He didn't have Bumblebee to protect him and he wouldn't be able to fight off bullies like Vince. He knew Jack could fight as he had destroyed Arachnid's ship and Miko had managed to survive all her reckless actions when it came to battles between the Autobots and the Decepticons. Then there was Michael, for him where did the list begin? Brought up in naval bases, losing both parents at the age of five, and fighting off secret agents from his father past, not to mention his own list of enemies and then taking on MECH on his own and stumbling on Elita, then freeing her from the terrorist organisation. He had great respect for Michael who on many occasions had asked for Raff's computing skills and was actually glad not to have a life like Michael's, although getting to see the world for a job he did like the sound off. But that was them, not him. What had he achieved this being on the scene? He racked his brain but couldn't think of much. He felt useless and it was getting to him. He kept saying it over and over again in his head 'I'm useless, I'm completely useless'.

"Raff?" Elita asked gently. Raff lifted his head out of his hands to see Elita approaching carefully as she was crouching down as if she was pretending to walk down non-existent steps. "Are you alright?"

Raff sniffled, he didn't want to be seen as weak "It's nothing" he lied for the second time that day.

"It definitely is something, why don't you tell me"

"No, I can't" He protested.

"Why can't you tell me?"

Raff knew Elita wasn't going to give up that easy like Bumblebee so he decided to just say it. "I was bullied in school today, they took my lunch money and threatened me"

Elita didn't need to hear anymore and picked Raff up from off the floor and hugged him hard and Raff sniffles became full-on tears. He was still young and shouldn't have been put through that.

"Have you told the teachers" Elita asked the crying boy in her arms.

"They said if I told anyone, worse would happen"

"You need to tell someone, the more you let them the more likely they will continue"

"But who? I can't tell the teachers and I can't tell my parents because they don't the time to deal with it. I'll just have to accept it because I can't stop them"

"How about I talk to the principal for you?"


"With my hologram. We'll speak to the principal together and ask him to sort them out. How about that?"

"Ok" He slowly said. "Thank you Elita"

"That's ok, I'm your friend, and friends look out for each other" She stood up again and carried Raff back to the control room "C'mon let get back before Bumblebee starts worrying"

Raff was starting to feel better now he didn't have to face Vince and his gang alone "Who do you think won?" Raff tried to change the subject.

"I hope Michael wins, Miko is so smug when she wins and she really need to be shown her place, if anyone can do it, Michael can"