Barricade snickered quietly to himself as he browsed through a designer clothing catalogue for his holoform. He'd been 'dating' the human femme known as Jasmine for three months now, and though questioned at first by Starscream and the Fallen, his idea did prove to be a good one.
With a quick check of internal time, Barricade materialized his holoform in a pair of dark wash jeans, a button up black shirt, and a black leather jacket. His Decepticon symbol was hidden on his thigh, and the dog tags around his neck remained.
Barry Cane was dressed for success, and he was going to be successful tonight. He'd had enough of waiting. His red-toned brown eyes peered towards the suburban house his 'girlfriend' was waiting inside. Sunstreaker was either denser than he had originally thought, didn't care, or his scanners were busted from his landing on Earth.
Either way, Barricade didn't care so long as he got the location of the Autobot base. If he didn't get the answer tonight, he'd simply get the answer tomorrow at the fashion show Jasmine was modelling for.
The door opened and Jasmine appeared in a pale green mini-dress with a studded black leather jacket, a pair of black ankle boots. She wore a pair of tights, a slight off-tone from her skin, covered in turquoise butterflies. A black studded purse hung from her shoulder.
Barricade's holoform smiled as she dropped into his alt-mode and planted a kiss on his cheek. "Not too late, remember. I still have my show tomorrow."
"I know, I know." He chuckled, intertwining their fingers as he made it look as though he was driving. "Can't a spend a little time with my girl without work interruptions?"
"I'm sorry!" Jasmine laughed, facing lighting up in a sweet smile. "I won't speak of it. Where are you taking me tonight?"
"We're going for dinner at that new restaurant by the bay." Barricade chuckled.
"How did you know I wanted to go there!?" The redhead laughed.
"Lucky guess." He winked.
The couple was walking on the beach when Barricade's 'cell phone' went off. It was really his comm link, but he had to keep up appearances.\
Jasmine frowned as he continued to talk and hung up with a sigh.
"I'm sorry, Firefly. Reed got sick and I've got to take his shift tonight." It was actually code-name for 'I have to go attack Shanghai with Demolisher' . But she didn't need to know that.
"Alright." Jasmine sighed, following him back to his waiting alt-mode. The drive home was in silence, and she smiled sadly as she got out. "You'll try to make it to the show tomorrow, right?"
"I'll do my best, Jasmine." He grinned, waiting until she closed the door behind her to zip away.
The cop-car grumbled to himself as he drove away, snubbing Starscream under his breath.
Jasmine stood backstage at the wedding show, first in line to step on the runway. A makeup attendant was putting the finishing touches on her eyes.
The redhead was clothed in a pale blue dress with a sleeveless torso and a ruffled skirt that fell to just below her knees. A floor length veil was held into her hair by a comb and a pair of white heels were strapped onto her feet. A bouquet of white roses sat in her hand.
"Models on standby." The assistant stage manager snapped his fingers and the makeup artists scurried away. The audience applauded, and the designer for the show had obviously stepped onstage to make his speech.
Jasmine took a deep breath and steadied herself. It had been a while since she'd done a fashion show. Nikki was seated in the second row, and several big-shots in the fashion and modelling industry were seated front and center.
"Without further adieu, let's start the show!" Music began pounding and several flashes of light pounded outside the white curtain sectioning the changing area from the runway.
"First model, go." Jasmine's legs carried her forward and her blue eyes scanned the audience indifferently before she struck a pose at the end of the triangular catwalk and carried onto the next leg. The second she was backstage, dressers descended on her, pulling down the zipper and untying ribbons. It wasn't long before Jasmine was in another gown; a white off-the-shoulder ballgown with a trim waist.
It was around the seventh dress, a strapless ballgown covered in sparkles and rhinestones, that things went to the dogs. Or rather the giant angry-looking robot.
It rose from the parking lot, crimson eyes locked onto Jasmine, who had just finished her pose at the end of the catwalk. It was black and white, with 'Police' painted on both his arms.
Jasmine turned to flee, but the skirt of her dress hindered her movement. The robot easily made it's way toward her, the audience fleeing in terror. The redhead bolted, loosing both her kitten heels as she jumped off the runway. The skirt billow around her as she landed and the model ran as fast as her long legs could carry her.
"Come back, firefly." The robot sneered, meandering after her. "Don't leave me on the alter all alone."
Jasmine froze, blue eyes wide. The robot...sounded like Barry. She spun, only to scream as his enormous metal hand closed around her slim body.
"Pity, you were easy to catch." He sighed as his body shifted. Jasmine landed in the back seat of the oh-so-familiar cop car, hyperventilating. Mascara ran down her face and she was pretty sure the dress had been ripped.
Whether it was terror or something else, Jasmine was silent as the robot-car took the well known road up to the bluff.
"Look isn't this romantic?" The robot asked as he transformed again, squeezing none-too-gently as Jasmine landed in his hand. "The sun, the sea, and the dangerous drop to the extremely sharp rocks below."
The redhead screamed as he let go, only to catch her at the last moment. Tears streamed down Jasmine's extremely pale face and she whimpered as pain shot through her leg. The robot dropped her into his other hand, squeezing tight enough that she gasped for breath and struggled to get away. A sickening crack had her holding as still as she could.
"Oops? I think I broke something." He laughed, the red lights in his face gleaming. "Now, you know something I don't. If you tell me, maybe I won't hurt you anymore."
Jasmine nodded, going limp in his metal hand.
"Now, my firefly," The Barry-sound-alike snarled. "Tell me, where is the Autobot base!?"
"What's...an...Autobot?" She gasped, screaming again as he lazily increased the pressure on her ribs.
"You know what an Autobot is." He growled. "You've got one in your garage. The yellow Lamborghini."
"It's...just a car!"
"Is it though? Where is it!?"
"The car is-"
"The base! Where is the Autobot base!?" He yelled, dangling her over the edge of the bluff by her arm pinched between his large fingers.
"I don't know!"
"Lies!" He tossed her into the air, and transformed, activating his holoform as Jasmine dropped to the ground. Barry's normally slightly-copper brown eyes were fully red now, and he held a knife loosely in his hand.
Jasmine coughed, spitting out blood. The wedding dress she wore was ruined now, the white fabric torn and stained with dirt and blood from her wounded leg.
Barry sauntered over and crouched beside the pretty young woman, playing with the knife between his fingers. "Oh firefly, won't you tell me?"
"Barry!?" More tears cascaded down her face and she went to reach for the holoform, only for it to slash a deep cut into her arm. Jasmine screamed.
"Quiet." Barricade growled, backhanding her into the ground. "Where is the location of the Autobot base!?"
"I told you I don't know."
"You've been there! I could tell! Where is it!?"
"I don't know!"
Sunstreaker growled to himself as he sped through the streets, golden paint flashing. Horns blared at him, but the Lamborghini was too quick for anyone to catch the license plate number.
The golden mech knew his fleshy "owner's" schedule today, because it involved giving his alt-mode a wash. Every second Saturday, the femme would make time to wash him.
She was late.
And not only was she late. She was missing. The femme would have returned today at three in the afternoon. It was five.
She was two hours late, and somewhere deep down -deep, deep, deep, waaaaay down- in Sunstreaker's guarded spark, he was just a tiny bit -miniscule really- worried.
And then his scanners had blazed to life. Immediately, Sunstreaker honed in on the red dot blinking a top the bluff. There was a Decepticon.
And because there was a 'Con, that mean there was going to be Autobots eventually. And he would bet his best high-grade that the femme was with the 'Con.
Things like that happened when you hung out with Autobots.
Jasmine fell limp in Barricade's metal hand. Her head was tipped back and her elaborate up-do was hanging loose around her shoulders. The dress she wore was clinging to her body, covered in blood and dirt, several large cuts slashed through it. The skirt of the gown, which had once reached the floor, was up to her knees in tatters.
The Con sneered, and then went completely still as the human twitched.
Stasis imminent. Unlock processor? Yes/No
Onlining. Online weapons and battle processor? Yes/No
Onlining. Low Energon. Force medical stasis? Yes/No.
Deactivate holoform? Yes/No
Words flashed across Jasmine's vision, hidden beneath eyelids. She had no idea what was going on, but right now she was desperate, and even if she was hallucinating, it was probably better to activate all of that stuff.
Humming filled her brain...processor...and memories flashed though her head.
"Lock it all."
"Give that thing to her mother. We have what we want."
"NBE-One. He started everything."
"Zap her again. It's the last time."
"I'm so sorry. I won't let them take you again."
"Never stop fighting."
And her eyes snapped open, blazing optics of blue. Her skin melted away, revealing gleaming silver metal and wickedly sharp claws. The wedding dress clung to the metal, rips in the skirt and bodice flashing silver. Cables hung from her head, waving in angry-looking patterns.
Barricade dropped Jasmine in surprise and she bared her teeth at him, only the canines sharp.
Battle processor activated.
Her clawed servos up to the elbows whirled, gears and wires shifting to reveal two powerful looking cannons. Jasmine narrowed her blue optics and dug her pedes into the ground.
She was at Barricade's feet in three strides, blasting a shot into his leg. Barricade wavered, pulling out his blaster and one of his saws. It whirred to life and he slashed towards the femme, catching the edge of her dress. The fabric ripped again, but Jasmine got away.
The two fighters -one Decepticon, one Pretender- were a whirling pattern of movement until Barricade landed a blast in the femme's abdomen.
Her screech of pain shattered his closest audio receptor. Bright blue Energon spewed from the wound. The shot had ripped away most of her side; from her hip to just under under her breast was a gaping hole. Sparking wires and gears fell from her side and Jasmine curled into a protective ball.
Medical stasis imminent. Send out an Autobot distress call? Yes/No
Squealing tires and the crunch of metal-to-metal contact rang in her audio receptors, before a large finger prodded her.
"Oi." The being snarled. His voice was much different than Barricade's; more of an oozing sexiness to it, but beneath that was the roaring desire to maim. "Don't offline."
Jasmine titled her face up, and the large golden mech above her made a face.
"Do you have working distress signals?"
"Who are you?" Jasmine coughed out, cringing slightly away from him.
"Name's Sunstreaker." The roar of another car echoed up the bluff's road and Jasmine suddenly found herself in Sunstreaker's hands...servos, her processor supplied. "Slag."
He melted into the trees and transformed around her. Jasmine landed on the backseat. "Try not to get my seats dirty, would you?"
Jasmine took in the familiar interior, optics wide, but she didn't dare say anything. Talking hurt. Moving hurt. Laying there hurt.
A yellow and black Camaro snarled into the clearing, popping open it's driver side door. A human climbed out, backing away as the Camaro folded in on itself. The new Autobot aimed his stingers around the clearing.
"Anything, Bee?" The human asked, staying close by. Sunstreaker revved his engine and transformed again, striding into the clearing with Jasmine cradled in his servos.
Bee whipped his cannons around and then made a happy trilling noise, followed by several beeps and whistles.
"That's a good guy, right? He's not going to squish me?" The male human asked, nervousness pouring off him. Sunstreaker sneered.
"Stay out of my way and I won't."
"Message to star-fleet captain...Found the treasure...But wait, there's more! For a limited time only...Staring at the sun. Mister Sun, Sun, Mister Golden Sun!"
Jasmine woke to the beeping of machines in her ears, and she groggily opened her blue eyes view the white ceiling above her.
"Oh good. You're awake." A voice sighed from beside her, and Jasmine turned her head, surprised. A high-school student was seated there, rubbing the back of his head. "I'll get Ratchet."
He vanished, and Jasmine went to push herself up. However, a sharp pain in her side prevented her from moving at all. The redhead whimpered, and dropped back onto the pillow.
The teen returned with a doctor and then he left again. The doctor pushed his glasses up his nose, and fixed his bright blue eyes on her. He sighed, moving around her to check the machines, and then he pulled back her covers, checking the wound on her side.
"Good." Ratchet huffed, crossing his arms. "That will heal quite nicely. Do you remember what happened?"
"Um," Jasmine frowned slightly. "I was at the show, and there was this big robot and then he kidnapped me. He threatened to kill me. And...and...then something happened."
"What happened?" He pressed, running his hand through his brown hair.
"You'll think I'm crazy."
"I turned into this...robot thing. My skin, like, melted away and I was a robot and I was shooting at him, the robot, I think."
"Sounds about right. Now, Jasmine," He leaned forward. "Can I ask about the tattoo behind your ear?"
Her hand shot to her neck and ear, surprise on her face. "It's more of a birthmark. I've had it since I can remember." She played with the pristine sheets. "It says-"
"Nightracer." He hummed, and then helped her out of bed. "Come with me. Optimus wants to see you."
"Who?" She winced and followed him out the door. She stopped dead when the S&R Hummer from her calender shoot three months ago appeared in her vision. The vehicle shifted, and then collapsed in on itself, rising onto two feet.
Jasmine screeched, and turned to Ratchet...who wasn't there.
"Come here." The Hummer grumbled, scooping her into his hand. "And calm yourself. You'll go into stasis if you over-work your spark so soon."
Jasmine took to curling into his palm, terrified for his life. Where they going to kill her? Demand for those...Autobot things? Dissect her for experimentation?!
A door hissed open and Ratchet stopped. "Optimus, I brought you Ms Volkov."
"Thank you, Ratchet. Please place her on my desk."
Yup. She was going to get dissected. Ratchet slid her onto the desk, and the door hissed shut again. There was a heavy vent from above her, but the redhead remained curled in a ball.
"The first thing I must ask you, Ms Volkov," Optimus spoke gently. "Is are you alright?"
Jasmine squeaked as she was picked up again.
"I give you my word I will not harm you in any way." The mech promised and Jasmine dared to open her eyes.
Optimus was bigger than Barricade and Ratchet, with kind blue optics, red-and-blue paint, and an aura that oozed trust. Jasmine involuntarily found herself relaxing.
"I hurt and confused and I'm scared." She whispered, hugging her knees.
"I will explain some things for you. Perhaps that will help. I am Optimus Prime. We are autonomous robotic organisms from the planet Cybertron; Autobots for short. We came here searching for the AllSpark-"
An enormous Cube, covered in mysterious ruins. Blue energy crackled down it's sides and into thickly insulated cables. Pained screams followed seconds after.
"-a powerful relic from our home world. It was the only thing that could save Cybertron. However, it was destroyed when Samuel Witwicky pushed the Cube into Megatron's chest. Megatron is the leader of the Decepticons, the second faction in our war. He also wanted the Cube, and has been on Earth since perhaps ten thousand BC. He was destroyed along with the Cube."
An enormous, bronze-coloured, robot with glowing red optics. His digits were clawed, and his armour pointed. Shark teeth sat in his mouth, and ice covered his body. People in bioharzard suits milled around the mech.
"And we have met you before I believe, though it was not face to face." Optimus chuckled. Jasmine, who was living in flashing-by-memories, nodded.
"The calender shoot."
"Are you...alive and stuff? Like have a heart." She murmured, snapping from the memories.
"We are alive. However, our hearts are called sparks." The plates over Optimus's chest slid open, and a glowing orb of deep blue appeared. Jasmine sucked in a breath, and her hand snapped out before she could stop it.
Immediately, visions of what Jasmine knew to be Cybertron filled her brain, flashes of war and before. Optimus's life.
And then the connection snapped.
"What...was that?" Jasmine stared at her now metal hands. Obviously, whatever had kept the metal beneath her skin hidden had vanished.
"A spark-bond." Optimus's voice carried an edge of confusion. "However, the memories I received do not make sense. My brother never had a sparkling..."
His blue optics lit up fully again, and he nodded. "It seems as though we are related, though my brother."
"I'm your niece!? But my father was human! And so was my mother!" Jasmine protested.
"That is true. I assume your mother worked for Sector Seven while she was carrying you, and somehow got contaminated somehow. It explains it, mostly. And then I believe you were in the care of Sector Seven until you were six or seven. Exposure to the AllSpark energy would have expelled most human factors in your systems."
"Then...who was my father?"
"Megatron. However, he is dead." Optimus placed the Pretender back on his desk, and smiled slightly. "What remains to find out now, is are you in your early growth stages or are you simply a Pretender? Ratchet will expect you to remain in his Med-Bay until you are healed, and Sunstreaker and Sideswipe will most probably check on you once or twice."
"Sunstreaker?" Jasmine's brows pulled down into a frown. "My Lamborghini? Oh that's right! He's an Autobot."
"He's quite pleased to be reunited with his twin, Sideswipe. Sideswipe wants to thank you." Optimus chuckled, standing and scooping his niece into his servo.
Jasmine nodded, staring at her own tiny servos in fascination.