AHAHA. So they finally meet the "freakin' Mermaid!" All my wonderful readers know who she is, but mwahaha now the Autobots know too.

Hope y'all enjoy~

Arriving at the Atlantis Aquarium certainly wasn't the most pleasant experience any of them had ever had. The ride was a bit long for some of their tastes (Ironhide and Ratchet, though for different reasons), and Bee freaked out when he almost could't find a parking space next to Optimus. He eventually just waited for the red car (it wasn't Mirage, unfortunately, so he still had no excuse to kick the guy's headlights in) to move out of the way. The young woman driving said vehicle seemed rather slagged off though, judging by the glare she sent Sam's way as she pulled out and sped off.

The struggle to get inside the aquarium was not a particularly lengthy or strenuous one, but it was quite annoying - especially to the Autobots. One of the aquarium's workers recognized Mikaela, referring to her as "that girl what upset the mermaid". At which point Sam went off on another tangent about Mariners and "freakin' Mermaids!", then the worker, in no uncertain terms, told them all to fuck off. It was all quite nicely resolved when Ironhide showed off his newly upgraded cannons while inviting the human to "eat slag, fleshy".

The ceiling was large enough even for the Autobots to fit inside, but the stares they all got were a bit hard to ignore. They had lost Sam upon entering the building, as he had immediately made a run to find the Mermaid's tank. Ratchet followed him closely, and soon they were upon the container.

It was decorated colorfully, with realistic coral formations and bright pebbles among the sand at the bottom. For a moment the Mermaid in the tank wasn't visible to them. But then there was a slight movement of her neon blue tailfin, and Ratchet was the first to call out, "I see her!"

They were lucky no one else was around at the time, or they wouldn't have been able to do what they were. (That was to say, they were lucky that most workers apparently didn't care about their duties.) The Mermaid swam over in one graceful motion, pressing her hands against the glass. Her wide brown eyes soon located the only female in the group, and her face broke out with a grateful smile. "Mikaela!"

The brunette raised an eyebrow, clearly taken aback by the mention of her name. "You... know my name?"

"I was in your head before!" she grinned. "I know everything about you! Oh, is this your sweet but crazily awkward boyfriend? Two pearls in the same oyster, it looks like. He's quite the catch. Ha... get it, catch?"

It was Sam's turn to raise an eyebrow. "Uh, name's Sam Witwicky-"

"Knew that," the Mermaid sang out.

"- And you think I'm awkward?" he continued, looking at Mikaela.

Mikaela shot him a coy smile, knowing there probably wasn't even much use of it. "Only slightly."

"The Mermaid said crazily!"

"But I think it's cute."

"I knew you'd help me!" The aforementioned Mermaid swished her tail happily. "I didn't know your friends were Cybertronian, though. Added bonus."

"A Mariner," Ratchet vented, getting closer to the glass of her tank.

"And a Cybertronian," the creature giggled, feigning a kiss against the tank and clearly taking pleasure in the reaction it elicited. That was, a confused Ratchet. "I just saw one of you a bit ago. That's how I got trapped, in fact."

"Really?" Mikaela pushed past Sam and came up to the tank. "What happened? What one of these guys would have done anything like that?"

"Don't look at me!" Bee instantly chirped.

The Mermaid's dark eyes softened. "It was not any of you, nor do I believe it was entirely on purpose."

"You left your original planet eons ago, didn't you?" Ratchet queried. "And ended up here. In the seas of Earth. Was it one of our faction, even if not who you see here?"

She smiled, but in a forlorn sort of way. "It was not. It was one... who was similar to the Sirens. I would not be surprised if they were working together now."

"The Decepticons?" Optimus spoke up, coming closer to the tank.

She nodded. "Yes! He was in the sea, and I went to get a look. Then others came, and he woke. I tried to follow them out, but... that was when Namera caught up to me."

"Is she one of your friends?" Sam asked.

"Oh! Oh goodness, no. She leads the Sirens."

"The bad ones, right?" Mikaela clarified.

"Yes. I fear she has allied herself and her army with the ones you call Decepticons. If that's the case, then..." She swam away from the glass, to sit on a rock. "The Mermaids, we... we wouldn't stand a chance against such creatures if they came at us. Not if they came all at once, and one of them against one of us isn't a fair fight."

"By allying with the Decepticons, the Sirens have made this our war." Optimus placed one finger against the glass. "Let us all do the same. I am Optimus Prime, and this is my team. First officer Bumblebee, weapons specialist Ironhide, and chief medical officer Ratchet. May we know the name of our new ally?"

The Mermaid smiled warmly before doing an ecstatic backflip in the water of her tank. "Oh, thank you so much! I'm Amaris Fynn, and it's nice to meet you, but it's not really me you have to truly officiate this with. That would be my friend Rikki Shelldon - she's princess of the Mermaid Kingdom."

Ratchet raised an eyebrow ridge. "What of her parents? Surely she couldn't rule the Kingdom only by herself."

"The court guides her, though she's seldom very eager for their advice." Amaris's tail flicked slowly. "And I'm afraid that King Aric and Queen Coventina... they were taken by the Sirens at the beginning of the war, before Marinia-13 had been destroyed."

Mikaela grabbed Sam's arm. "You mean they... they killed her parents?"

Amaris looked down. "We would hope in the opposite direction, of course, but... King Aric was known for his shrewdness. They would have escaped and returned to us before now, if they were alive."

Mikaela allowed Sam to wrap his arms around her, leaning against him. "Oh my God..."

"They're worse than you could imagine... the Sirens. They look like us, but they just lure you in and then they reveal what's really beneath their disguise..." Amaris lowered herself down onto the sand, lying on her back. "And unless I can get out of here and take you to Rikki so she can approve this... they're just going to keep doing whatever they please. And that will destroy Earth, I assure you."

"I think we've come to an agreement," Ironhide stated, ready to draw his guns. "Shall I blast her prison to pieces then?"

"No, no!" Amaris was quickly up again, in front of the glass. "That would be too conspicuous. The humans would stop us before we even reached the door."

"How would you go about it, anyway?" Ironhide snorted. "You don't have legs."

Amaris crossed her arms over her chest, pouting. "You and Kemena would get along so well, combat bot."

"Why you-"

"Ironhide, stop!" Ratchet grabbed Ironhide's servo, preventing him from brandishing his weapons. "What are you doing? She made a friendly suggestion about a new companion for you, that's all! And besides, she can switch to human legs."

"But wouldn't that mean she'd be naked from the waist down? Cybertron's legends have descriptions of Mariners as being beautiful organic women wearing nothing but a couple of seashells over their breasts, sometimes not even that, and some seaweed to cover up their-"

Mikaela promptly smacked her boyfriend over the head before he could finish his detailed description. "I think they get it, Sam."

Ratchet shrugged. "Well, yes, technically she would be. Her tail would transform into a pair of legs, and clothes for those legs would not just materialize out of thin air." He frowned. "Humans have such a preoccupied paranoia regarding nudity. It's so odd."

"It's probably because they're ashamed of how they really look," Ironhide snickered.

"Is this going to result in action anytime soon?" Amaris sighed, hitting her tail on the glass.

"If we cannot take you now," Optimus spoke up, "what do you propose we do, Amaris?"

She swam in circles for a moment, then gestured them all closer to the tank, glancing around for any humans. "Come back after night falls. Most of the humans will be gone by then. If you time yourselves right, you may not even have to deal with the night guards. I can transform to escape, but I can't be out of the water for extended periods... and it's a long trip to the ocean."

"I can fill a tank with water and carry you in the back of my alt mode," Ratchet offered, though a bit eagerly. "That should work, yes? And it will give me a chance to learn more about your race."

Amaris laughed, little bubbles shooting out of her mouth. "Oh, I'm sure you'll learn more than you want from Osane when we see her. Couldn't your leader carry me? I sense that his other form is also vast and powerful."

Optimus shifted his optics away from Amaris's tank. "Ratchet is our medical officer. You would be safer with him. He knows much of your species."

Amaris scoffed. "I sincerely doubt both of those statements, but I shall go with him anyway. You were kind enough to agree to this brackish plan in the first place, so I shall do as you wish."

"What about us?" Sam complained. "You can't leave me and Mikaela out of the adventure, and we can't breathe underwater."

Amaris tapped her cheek a few times, then snapped her fingers. "I've got just the thing! If you hold seawater in your mouths while I sing, you'll be able to breathe underwater for a... temporary period of time."

"So you're saying we're gonna be freakin' mermaids?"

"Enough with the 'freakin' meramids'!" Mikaela hissed, before turning to Amaris. "How temporary?"

"Oh... I think a week or so. But if it wears off, I can always do it more than once." She blinked at them, then did a backwards somersault and came up to the glass, so close she may as well have been making out with it. "Have we got a plan, great Cybertronians? Will you take me back to the sea?"

Optimus leaned down just a little, so that he was face-level with her. "We will get you out of the humans' possession."

The Mermaid's whole face lit up with a smile, and she kissed the glass where the side of Optimus's face would have been. "Mwah! Oh, thank you so much." She glanced down briefly, then looked up and met his optics. "Optimus Prime... I vow to always protect you, even if it costs me my life."

Optimus looked mildly surprised by this, though he simply took a step back. "I... vow the same."

Her look darkened slightly, and she pushed herself away from the glass. "Go and prepare your forces. Once we return to the Mermaid Kingdom, the Sirens and Decepticons will not know what hit them."

OOH LOOK Mariner slang that's real words, just like Cybertronian! Translations? (there may have only been one...)

Look, I'll even translate some of it into Cybertronian too, if it's possible! Check it:

two pearls in the same oyster = soulmates; sparkmates (awwww.)

brackish = normally means a mix of saltwater and freshwater, but Mariners use it in the context of "half-baked", like a half-baked plan (lol, or "half-assed", depending on the Mariner's faction and/or personality)

OMG. Soo, lots of questions. How exactly are they going to get Amaris out of there? Who are Kemena and Osane?

... And I wonder how the DeceptiSirens are doing. Next chapter, let's go check. But you guys, watch my back.

Jack Sparrow: *pops up* Isn't it yer front ye be more worried about, mate?

Me: *grabs the broom* Away, you drunken pirate! You reek of rum! *chase scene ensues*

Jack: Oi! Oi! I give! *runs away* It's not worth it!

Well, anyway, hope you guys enjoyed, and reviews are looooooove!