"Oh well, the devil makes us sin But we like it when we're spinning in his grip"

-Paradise Circus-Massive Attack-

Chapter 1-Welcome to the Beginning of the End

Oh did she run.

Her legs pumped faster than they ever had before and her chest was filled with a fire that burned her to her core. She held fast to the items in her hand, gripping them even tighter when she fumbled a bit. She made the daring decision to glance behind her but snapped her head back around at the sight of the man chasing her, hot on her heels. He yelled at her something unintelligible and she could nearly feel his hot breath puffing down her neck. She was about to trip over a large crack in the old cement but managed to jump over it in a rather clumsy way, the bag on her back thumping against her.

She was deeply regretting the poor choice she had made to steal from the highway side gas station. She had known it was a bad decision at the time she was committing the crime, but it didn't cross her mind that she would be hunted down like this for a few cheap snacks.

The girl could feel him catching up to her, his long arms outstretched and ready to grab her hair and yank it back. But with a spilt second choice she jumped over the freeway railing and into the ditch below. She stumbled before falling completely and then was back on her feet in seconds. Running across the large expansion that separated the two different roads, one traveling south, and the other north. Heading towards the southern going road, she paused at the edge of it and watched as fast cars flew by. There weren't many of them, in fact they were pretty well spread out. Still it was dangerous none the less.

Although glancing over her shoulder and at the man who was hopping over the railing himself in pursuit of her, she decided to take her chances with the cars. She barely recognized the sight of a semi making its way speedily down the highway as she began to run across the road. By the time she realized the mistake she had made it was too late. Her face quickly paling as the semi's horn blared, its tires spinning to a hard stop, but it had been moving too fast. It skid across the road, hurdling towards the girl.

But as the truck began to turn a little with the large amount of friction being forced on it, she had a moment of quick thinking and dropped to the ground. The truck glided over her, gently skimming her backpack and stopping just behind her frozen frame. Sneaking a peek up, she caught a glimpse of the man chasing her standing at the edge of the road, his eyes look shocked and worried at the same time, as if he was fearing her safety. When he saw her stand up and dust herself off though, his gaze once again turned hard as he stomped towards her. Grabbing her arm roughly and yanking her closer to him, she grunted in protest and tried to yank her arm free. He held out his other hand expectantly, his lips almost curling into a snarl.

"Caught you." He growled, a smirk laid hidden his voice. "Now give me back what you stole." He gripped her arm tighter.

"Is everything alright?" A new voice asked as a small Honda drove past them, its passengers gawking at the scene that was unfolding on the side of the freeway before speeding off. Both the girl and the gas station owner turned their heads over to the new man. He was tall. Taller than the man currently holding the girls arm in a death grip. His frame was broad and well built. His brown hair was well kept. The beard that wrapped around his face and cut into jagged edges to match his chiseled face also seemed perfect.

He man's red and blue jacket held quite a few pockets and matched the semi behind him. His blue jeans seemed a little worn though, like he had fallen a couple times. For a trucker he wasn't all that bad looking, and he didn't seem all that old either. Maybe in his late thirties. He walked calmly over to them, his bright blue eyes grazing over the girl and her predicament.

"Everything's fine." The man holding her frowned. Although the trucker could obviously tell things weren't 'fine'. He turned his attention back to the girl as the man released his hold on her arm just to prove his point.

"Are you alright?" He now asked. The girl's eyes darted over to the other large man, still glaring at her before turning her gaze to the trucker, nodding briskly. "You weren't hurt were you?" He questioned.

"No but she's about to be if she doesn't give me back what she stole." The other man threatened, his eyes flashing a warning. The trucker gave the two a look before once again returning his gaze over to the teenager.

"I believe it would be best if you return this man's belongings." He advised calmly. Swallowing a little, the teen nodded and began to take everything out of her jacket, even taking it off to reveal the short sleeved shirt underneath, and shaking the jacket to prove nothing was left. The gas station owner picked up all the stolen items, which really was only about five things, before once again glowering at the girl.

"Do you have a phone, because I'm calling the cops on this little thief." He asked the trucker. His anger had died down but he wasn't going to let her go yet.

"I do not." The blue haired man seemed to sigh. The other man sighed.

"You're lucky kid," He turned to her, "you're off the hook this time. But if I catch you in my store again you're asking for it." He took a threatening step closer to her just to prove a point. The girl nodded vigorously.

"Understood." Her brows knitted together.

"Good." He nodded and was just about to turn away before he added a quick, "And next time, make sure to look across the road." He gave her a dark look.

She watched as the stalky man hopped over the short metal railing and into the ditch, heading back to the gas station not too far away. Turning back to the trucker, the girl gave him an up and down look.

"Are you positive you sustained no injuries?" He asked, eye brows raised. She also raised a brow, though the face she made was at his formal speech.

"Yeah, I'm fine. Sorry." She rubbed the back of her neck, looking away from him and to the tree line.

"For what?" He asked, frowning now.

"About running in front of your truck like that." She glanced down at the ground before looking to him again. "Mothers give some good advice. Too bad I didn't listen."

"You stole from that man?" He asked, changing the subject.

"Yeah." Her voice was shamed, but truthful.

"Why?" He now asked. She frowned at his questions, as he was asking more than she would have liked from a stranger.

"Doesn't matter." She pulled on her jacket again and slipped the straps of her back pack over her shoulders.

"I believe a matter such as that do." the trucker replied.

"I needed some lunch." The girl paused as she answered, her tone a bit annoyed but she hid it well. In actuality she just wanted to leave as soon as possible.

"Oh?" The trucker shifted his stance.

"Hey uh, don't you have somewhere to be? You know, being a trucker and all-" She gestured to the truck, only to now realize it had no load. ". . . .Never mind."

"Actually I do." He nodded. "But if you would like, I could grant you a short ride to your destination if you would wish as a small apology for," He paused, choosing his words before just letting it out with a bit of embarrassment in his tone. "-running you over."

Destination. . . . The word echoed through her head. Did she even have one? She knew she had to leave, but now that she thought about it, where was going?

"No thanks," She shook her head. "Like I said before, mothers give sound advice, like don't get in a car with strangers. This time I think I should listen better."

"Understandable" He nodded.

"Just out of curiosity, where are you headed exactly?" She shifted her weight from foot to foot.

"South west" Finally came the curt answer. She didn't like the way he paused to think about it as he should have just known, and his answer was vague as well, but she decided to take it. She was about to say her goodbye to the stranger but his eyes had darkened and he was now looking past her. Turning around to follow his gaze, she squinted at the object that was streaking across the sky. She only got a glimps of it however before it disappeared behind the tree line.

"We need to go." The trucker's voice changed to a lower octave, telling the girl that something was obviously wrong. Tuning to look at his face, she found his expression was grave and serious as his eyes stayed trained on the sky.

"We?" She repeated, making the man turn his gaze towards her now.

"You are no longer safe. You must leave." His tone was dangerous. Before she could reply the drone came back. She stared it intensely, watching as it menacingly hovered around the air over them.

"Laserbeak". The man rumbled. He glared at it, knowing what was about to come. The girl starred at him.

"Laser-what?" She repeated, a frowning look in her eyes.

"Come, hide in the trees, and only come out when I say so." His eyes shifted to the forest that surrounded the freeway, ignoring her question. She waited as another fast moving car passed them, ignoring the semi on the side of the road and oblivious to the sharp-floating-what-ever. Nodding, the girl darted over to the edge of the road, hopping over the guard rail and into the ditch before climbing out and ducking behind a tree. She didn't question what he asked of her. The drone had already proved to her that something was abroad. Poking out her head and eyes wide as she watched the man who was staring back at her with the same bright eyes before turning his gaze towards the object in the air.

Something flashed underneath it and suddenly out of thin air a huge swirl of both greens and blues appears. The girl stared at it, wide eyed, trying to comprehend the mass of energy and light. It was beautiful and yet it seemed almost haunting. There was a shadowy figure, large and seething. Its imposing form was walking slowly through the portal until it become more visible. Ruby gasped at what she saw, holding in a tight breath. It was large, very large, and it was a glistening blood red, its paint even slightly sparkled in the light of the sun. Metallic skin shined as well as it seemed to almost strut through the portal, a confident and cocky look over taking its face plates. Red eyes flashed to the truck, then to the man on the ground.

"Well, well, what do we have here?" The robot sneered with a smirk, crossing its arms. "A lone leader without any backup?" The girl gawked up at the large robot from her crouched position behind the tree, a little unsure if any of this was even real. And she only questioned her sanity levels further when the man on the road vanished completely, leaving no trace of him left. It was an odd sight. Almost odder than the red robot, to just watch something that was once there, vanish. But soon she found out why as the semi began to shift and turn, building up on itself to make an entirely new shape. It stood, taller than the red robot. Its chin held high and its frame tense as it glared at the smaller robot with bright, glowing blue eyes, packed full of anger and annoyance.

"You know I will defeat you Knock Out. Stand down." The new robot warned, his blue eyes flashing dangerously and a growl came to be in its words, the weight of his voice leaving no room for argument.

"Oh no, I don't doubt that, not at all." Knock Out replied, hands raised in the air in fake submission. "But uh, who's to say I can't have a little fun and try?" He smirked, reaching behind his back and in a flash he had pulled out a long staff. Electricity course through it dangerously, zapping violently at the tip. "And-" He lunged forwards, aiming the pod at the larger robot who swerved to side just in time. "Maybe I can defeat you with the help of a little company."

As if on que, another form stalked its way through the portal of swirling energy. He was massive, not as huge as the red and blue semi's, but still quite large. His blue paint seemed a little rougher than the red ones as it didn't glisten so much in the sun light. The large gun in his hands was poised to fire, ready to take aim on the red and blue robot, previously a semi. His eyes held the same red glow to them as Knockouts. He held his gaze with that of the semi's as he thundered slowly towards the two, stopping a good distance away.

"Optimus Prime," He spoke slowly, not quite a mock, but more like a resentful acknowledgement. "You're looking better since the last time we met." He carried on "Did you buff your paint, it seems a little too nice for my taste." Now that was a mock as it was obvious that dirt and scratches covered the red and blue robots form. "Maybe I can help you out." He growled, hoisting up the large gun and firing at Optimus.

The Prime ducked, rolling away from the shots, only to end up at the end of Knockouts prod. The red robot zapped the larger one, a devilish smirk painted clearly on his face. But reaching up, Optimus gripped the staff and yanked it out of Knockouts servos, throwing it into the trees. The medic was about to chase after it, but a hard fist collided with the side of his face plates, knocking the red robot off balance. He staggered, reeling back with a cry.

Although, the Prime was given no break as the blue robot rushed at him with a battle cry, firing rapidly at the Prime. Optimus ran out of the way and made his way towards the blue robot. The two collided. Heavy fists hit harder bodies as they lashed at each other. As they battled, the girl watched Knockout shake his head, dizzy from the heavy blow he had taken. He shot a glare at the Primes back and ran over to the trees to fetch his prod. The girl held her breath as the large robot passed her, and she slid down against the tree to sit on the ground in hopes to hide herself better. She watched as his optics flashed across the forest floor, landing on the item he was looking for. He grabbed it out of the ferns and bushes before turning around, only to find the human instantly. Her frame gave a shudder as their eyes met and a sick smirk crawled onto his face as he stalked towards the girl.

Standing up she tried to back away but he was already upon her. Turning around she was about to run, but was stopped by a deathly grip. She snarled, pouding her fists against his metal.

"Oh, and what do we have here?" He mused.

"I wonder who this belongs to?" He wondered loudly and teasingly as he walked back out onto the road, successfully catching the attention of both his company and the Prime's. Optimus's optics widened just a tad at the sight of the girl in Knockouts hand, struggling against him with all her might.

"Let go of me!" She shouted frustration, pounding her fist against him, angry and scared of all that was happening. But the robot ignored her as he continued to stare cockily at the Prime.

"Hmm, I've always wondered just how far a human can stretch. . . ." With his other hand, he took her legs and began to pull just a little. Not a lot, only successfully making her rather uncomfortable. This was still enough to have Optimus running at him, fist high in the air and ready to sucker-punch the red robot. Knockout dodged the blow, letting go of the girl as he tossed her in the air. She screamed as she fell, hitting the ground hard. She wasn't hurt badly expect for a bruise on her side that would darken later. For now the only thing she had going against her was that the wind had been knocked from her. She gasped for air as sh sat up on the cold road, coughing.

"Sorry to end the fun so soon, but we got to go." Knockout's voice paraded cheerfully as the blue robot ran into the portal. The medic smirked to the two before running though it himself, the swirling blue and green energy vapors disappearing behind him. Optimus stared after the two for a moment, knowing that they had probably only came through to see what condition he was in and find out if he was weak enough to be brought down, a mock attack.

The girl stood, turning around to face the robot. She found he was back down in to his previous form of a semi.

"What was that all about?" She glared as the trucker from once before as he appeared in front of her. "What are you?" She still was gasped for air, her eye brows furrowing together in confusion. He could only stared at her with deep regret before he sighed.

"My apologies. I had not believed that you would become a part of this." He shook his head.

"Apart of what?" She asked, staring at the man that she knew wasn't even human, or actually there for that matter.

"Of war." He frowned. "I will explain further, but now for your safety, I need you to come with me." He told her.

"Wait, wait, wait, I have to what?" The girl held up her hands and gave him an exasperated look. "I didn't want to before, and that little show you put on didn't help Mr." She frowned at him, clearly unhappy about it.

"It is for safety reasons. If you stay here alone, you are at risk of being attacked by the Decepticons." She frowned at the term as a car passed and a brief thought crossed her mind that they were lucky nobody else saw the little scuffle that had taken place. She starred at the man, eyeing him before looking over to the truck and sighing.

"Alright. Where are we going?" She asked, rubbing her temples, still comprehending it all.

"My destination is Nevada." He nodded to her.

"Come again?" She blinked at him. "Nevada! That's like, a million miles away." She made a wild hand gesture to prove her point. And considering they were not too far away from New York, her resentment to the long road trip was understandable.

"In a normal circumstance we would be able to ground bridge there instantly. But we have been experiencing technical difficulties with the ground bridge and at the moment as it is under repairs." He closed his eyes for a moment as the agitating memory came back to him of when Bulkhead tripped and fell into the ground bridge portal right before he himself was going to go through, successfully shutting off the bridge, and leaving him to get back to Jasper on his own doings. On most occurrences if one was to fall in a ground bridge nothing would happen. But the heavy green Autobot had tripped just as he walked into the base, lading sideways in the delicate circuits that made the bridge to avoid stepping on Miko, one of the humans who was at the base. And while Optimus had been left on the other side, he was not the only one stranded.

"Come, we must be going soon as possible. I am to randevu with a friend up ahead." The man nodded to the girl now.

"Wait, who's your friend? There's more of you?" The girl reeled a little.

"Yes." Was the curt reply. "Now," He began and the man once again fizzling out of existence as the trucks driver's side door opened up. "climb in." The girl stared at the open door and blinked. She didn't really want to go inside, but she sighed, knowing she really didn't have much choice.

"Alright." She took a breath and walked towards the red and blue semi, climbing up the small steps and awkwardly sitting down in the large leather seat. She gazed about the interior and set her backpack in the passenger seat as the door closed and the seat belt snaked around her. She had never been in a semi before. It was strange.

"What is your name?" The truck asked through the radio as its engine blared to life.

"Ruby." She let her eyes fall on to the steering wheel. "And yours is. . . .Prime?" She questioned as she had recalled one of the other robots referring to him as said name.

"Optimus Prime." The truck corrected as it pulled off the side of the high way and into a lane.

"Oh. Well that's a bit of a mouth full isn't it?" Ruby joked a little, trying to make her situation at least a little comfortable.

"I suppose it is at times." He replied with humor. She paused now, unsure of where the conversation would lead so she decided to change the subject.

"So uh . . . . who made you exactly?" She tilted her head a little, looking at the funny little logo on the steering wheel of a metallic face. "Because I have to admit, even you seem a little advanced for Japan."

"I come from the planet Cybertron." The semi answered easily.

"Whoa wait, so you're an alien?" Ruby blinked in awe.

"Yes. We are a mechanical group known as Cybertronian's, split into two fractions in means of war." He proclaimed.

"Fractions. . . . So were those guys back there are the other side? What are the fractions?" She asked, curiosity growing.

"There are us Autobots who seek for a peaceful way to end this war, and there are the Decepticons, who seek for destruction." He rumbled gravely.

"So then why are you fighting here? I mean on Earth, why not your own planet?" She frowned. "Sorry if I'm asking a lot of questions."

"That is quite alright." Optimus assured her. "We are here because our own planet had been left to a waste land, no longer livable. Our war had brought us here over time for various reasons." Ruby nodded now, but also a kind of pitied look came to her eyes along with understanding.

"I can understand that." She breathed, eyes flickering out the window as there really wasn't a need for her to drive as it would seem the truck was doing that for himself. She gazed out at the road, yellow paint flickering by again and again on the grey pavement.

"So who is it that we're meeting exactly?" She gave a small cough, trying to not get to weirded out by everything that had just happened.

"Smokescreen, one of my younger warriors." The truck rumbled in reply. "We had split in search of Decepticons in the area. Although, it would seem they are all dispersed now." He explained. "And we are to meet in the next town over." Ruby thought about what kind of car he would be. Her mind was picturing another semi.

They drove in silence for a few minutes. Ruby bit her lip though as she glanced at the dash board, and then the steering wheel as it turned to the next lane over. If she were to ask another question, she feared that it would become pesky to him. But the silence seemed thick in the air, something that didn't feel right to her. Deciding that the quietness was becoming quite bothersome, she once again opened her mouth.

"So if you're in a war, what part do play?" She asked. "What I mean is, are you a spy? A soldier?" Ruby further explained.

"I am the leader of the Autobots." the Prime confirmed.

"Of the entire fraction?" She asked with a blink.

"Indeed." She had a feeling that if he was in his other form, he might have given a curt nod by the sound of his voice.

"Wow. Wait so, who's the leader of the . . . ." She couldn't quite remember the other fractions name.

"Megatron leads the Decepticons" He clarified for her. Ruby nodded, her mind beginning to form a picture of it all. Ruby paused now as her stomach gave a loud rumble. She hadn't eaten since the day before and was really quite hungry. Upon hearing the girl's distressed stomach, Optimus clicked open his glove compartment on the passenger side seat. The girl gazed over to the little compartment and blinked.

"Inside I have a card. After we meet Smokescreen you can go buy something to eat." Ruby reached in to find a couple items actually. But ignored them all as she took hold of the credit card. She had never seen this kind before. Marked on it was some kind of military group and she frowned a little.

"What kind of card is this?" Her eye brows knitted together, it was obvious it was a credit card, but from what company?

"Our liaison, Special Agent William Fowler gave it to me for emergencies in case I should ever need to acquire something for myself, or for our human company." He told her. Optimus remembered when the agent had given him the card. All the Autobots had one in a special thanks to Miko and a little incident she caused on one mission.

"Human company?" Ruby raised a brow.

"Yes, we have taken it upon ourselves to care for three other children who have also gotten mixed in the cross fire." He rumbled.

"Really?" She blinked. "Three?"

"They all live in the same area and were caught under the same circumstance. Occasionally they still are involved in our battles, but we do our best to insure their safety." Optimus reassured her.

Now the drive was driven in a comfortable silence. Ruby feeling that her nerves were put more to rest as she knew now that he was in fact assuring her safety. Although as they reached the town the quiet was once again interrupted but not by Ruby, but the Prime.

"I am sorry I did not bring this up earlier, it had seemed to slip from my processor, but would you like me to comm. link Agent Fowler and have him tell your family about the circumstances. Not necessarily ours, but a cover up?" He asked as they drove up to the first red light and stopped at the edge of the town.

"No, no, I'm alright. There uh- on vacation anyways." She gave him a reassuring smile.

"What of school?" He questioned now. Her smile broke.

"I can't go to school for another-week." Ruby thought of a reasonable time with a small pause in-between her words. "I got . . . . suspended." She didn't like her reply but it was the only reasonable answer she could come up with on the moment's notice.

"Really? For what might I ask?" The light turned green again and the trucks wheels began to turn. The girl paused, mind racing for excuses.

"Fighting." She said coolly. She most defiantly wasn't a fighter, but the lie came out easily. The Prime hummed at this.

"Very well." He said, dismissing the idea of the agent calling anyone. Ruby let out a quiet, relaxed breath. She had a feeling that sooner or later he would bring up this question. But for now, she was safe from the unwanted attention. She let her eyes gaze out at the town now, watching as the smaller buildings and shops passed by. Only what she didn't know was that while she gazed out, someone was watching her.

Optimus let his optics flicker from the road then back to the girl quite often. She was… strange. Her reaction to his previous questions he could tell had put her on edge. And he couldn't help but think back to when she ran onto the road, in front of his speeding form as she tried to escape the man she had stolen from. He wondered what had driven her to become a theif and what had caused her to bodly run across a busy road such as that.

He thought back to when she had taken off her jacket to show the man there was nothing left in it. She had been thin. She wasn't that incredibly weightless, no she still had some pounds, but it was surprising to say the less. It was not what most children her age should have looked like. A layer of dirt seemed to cover the cover the girl, her hair was a little slick, like she had tried to rinse it out without any help from shampoo or conditioner. His mind had already begun to peace things together. And soon, he would find the answers to this odd human.

Optimus looked at the human now. Besides her rugged street appearance, she was average. Her golden blonde hair waved past her chest. Her height was tall compared to most human females, at what he could judge to be around five ten. Her eyes were dark brown and dull as she slowly gazed at nothing. There wasn't anything special about her.

Taking his gaze away from her, he had to focus on the task at hand. Silently without her hearing, he comm. linked Smokescreen, informing the young warrior that he would be at their destination in under a minute. With a conformation from the other bot that was already there, he signed off and let his gaze once again wonder over to the human inside of him as she gazed out of the window, nerves calmed down again as she seemed relatively calm. Her hair fell messily around her face, and with a sweeping motion of her hand she draped it back behind her ear.

He then looked her to the bag in the passenger seat. It was large as back packs go, holding enough items in it to keep her happy. He frowned at it, wondering what could be in the bag. It was filthy, just as she was. Tears and rips threatened to destroy it while all kinds of grit was lodged in-between its hard fabric.

But as they pulled into the parking lot of a safe way, his attention was pulled to the sleek racing car in the back, sitting as far away from the other cars as possible. Carefully going through the car lanes, Optimus pulled up next to the white car with blue colored stripes. For most people it would have been an odd sight to see a semi-truck without a load at a grocery store. Let alone that said semi was in the parking lot and not out back. But not many people were out and nobody really seemed to think anything of it.

Smokescreen seemed ready to go, his engine rumbling in anticipation. Although he faltered as the Primes door swung open and out hopped Ruby. The moment her feet touched the ground, Optimus's holo form appeared at her side. He had a good eight inches on her. It made sense that since his robot form was so large, that his human form would be too. Smokescreen hesitated for a moment before suddenly another human appeared in front of Ruby.

He was young. Maybe just a couple years older than herself. He looked to be around twenty two or three. His hair was messy and dark. His shirt was black and tight, showing off his muscles underneath. Over it he wore a white jacket with blue markings. Nothing was written on it except for the little robot face on his jackets sleeve where his shoulder was. It was just like the one on Optimus's steering wheel. She glanced at said mech's hologram and looked him over again, finding he had the mark too. His insignia could be found on both of his shoulders and the belt buckle he wore.

"Who's the squirt?" The new hologram spoke with a raised eye brow. Ruby frowned, but said nothing about the name he had called her.

"Unfortunately she had been seen conversing with me and was caught in battle. She shall be traveling with us back to base." The Prime replied, his voice sounding a little grave.

"Conversing?" He glanced between the two.

"Yes we had both seemed to be caught in the same accident and-" Optimus stared but now Ruby cut in.

"He ran me over." She said, nice and simple. Smokescreen blinked before a smile formed and soon accompanied by a laugh.

"I'm gonna need to hear about that one later on." He grinned. Ruby offered a smile at him before Optimus's spoke again.

"Yes but for now if you still would like, you may get yourself something to eat." He turned to Ruby.

"Oh yeah. Okay." She nodded. Returning the gesture, the prime turned on foot and began to walk towards the store. Shuffling her feet, Ruby was quick to follow a little surprised when Smokescreen also accompanied them.

"Wait so uh . . . how are you doing that?" Ruby frowned as they walked through the parking lot, her hands gesturing towards the human version of Optimus. Glancing to the girl he frowned.

"I am afraid I do not fully understand your question." He blinked.

"I mean-uh-well-" She tried to think of a way to put into words.

"You mean our holo forms?" Smokescreen input with a raised brow.

"Your what?" Ruby made a face. Smokescreen gestured to himself.

"Holo form. It's like a hologram." He explained.

"If it's a hologram, then how come I could feel Optimus?" She poked the Prime's arm for good measure. He sent her a funny look, but she ignored it as she awaited Smokescreens answer.

"Well you're gonna have to ask doc bot about that one. He's the one that designed them." The young man shrugged.

"Doc bot?" She blinked as they walked into the store.

"Our chief medical advisor." Optimus cut in.

"Oh." Ruby gave a blink as they walked through the store. She paused though and watched as Smokescreen gazed about, a curious look on his face. "Is he coming?" Ruby asked, tuning to Optimus who too was giving the young warrior a look.

"Smokescreen-" He began, but the second the name was called the young man turned to him instantly.

"Sorry Optimus, I've just never been in a place like this . . . ." He rubbed the back of his neck.

"A grocery store?" Ruby did her best not to snort. To her it was almost unbelievable that someone could be filled with such wonder by a grocery store. But then again they were giant alien robots who for one, couldn't even fit in a store or most human buildings. They were also from a completely different agriculture. The mech gave her a shrug before letting his eyes wander again.

"So this is where humans access food?" He questioned.

"Most of the time." Was Optimus's reply.

"Over here." Ruby gestured to the hot food section. Making her way over to it, she gazed out at the meals behind the glass, already able to smell their delightful scents. She knew that maybe what was in the glass probably wasn't the best variety or brand of food, but it was good none the less. Picking out various things such as a chicken tender, a salad, mozzarella cheese sticks and a soda, she paid up front with the credit card Optimus gave her and smiled as she grabbed the bags of food and the soda.

"Alright, I'm ready to-" She began, turning around only to find that two were no longer there. Frowning she looked to the right and found them both standing in front of the vegetable section. Well Smokescreen was more or less the one that was actually staring at it while Optimus kept a close eye on the young man. Ruby raised a brow as the sprinkling system turned on and rained down on the food products, the automatic thundering sound boomed from the speakers and Smokescreens eyes filled with delight.

"Hey isn't this cool." He laughed, looking to Optimus and Ruby both.

"Seriously?" Ruby stepped up next to Optimus. "The sprinklers?" Smokescreen turned around again with a smile.

"You humans just have everything don't you?" He chuckled lightly. Ruby laughed a little too, finding his delight in the simple sprinklers funny.

"Alright, let's get moving." Optimus cut in, turning around as he began to walk out of the store.

"So, you're Smokescreen?" Ruby asked as they followed the Prime. She had already begun to munch away on a piece of chicken as they made their way out of the store.

"The one and only." He grinned back to her. "And you'd be . . . ."

"Ruby." The blonde answered.

"Well, looks like you're stuck with us now." He nudged her jokingly even though it probably wasn't a good thing. Being caught in another planets war was defiantly not a good thing. But she smiled anyways. Realizing they were lagging behind, they both jogged back up to the Prime although as they reached the truck and racing car in the back, Smokescreen's holo form disappeared, leaving Optimus and Ruby.

"After you have finished your meal, we will once again head out." He gave her a curt nod.

"Wait, what?" Smokescreens voice sounded from the speedy car as it gave a small rumble of its engine. "I mean, it's getting pretty dark, can't we rest for a bit?" He asked.

"Time is of the essence and we must use as much of it as we can." Optimus replied.

"Says the bot who never recharges . . . ." The younger Autobot grumbled. Optimus shot him a stern glare and the white car seemed to reel back a little. "Sorry sir, I didn't mean any disrespect." He apologized. The semi behind Ruby vented a little as the Primes holo form gave a sigh.

"Alright, after we cover some more distance we will pull over and get some much needed rest." He agreed.

Ruby took no time in inhaling her meal, feeling her stomach settle happily when she was done. She was glad that Optimus let her eat before they left as she didn't really want to gobble up her food inside of the living truck. And she was sure that even though he hadn't said anything, he too did not really want to have messy crumbs inside of his interior. Although when she tried to suck down her soda, she couldn't manage to get the bubbly stuff in all at once and the Prime told that it was fine if she were to come inside with it as well.

This time however, Ruby decided to sit in the passenger seat and kicked her backpack to the floor before settling in, allowing the seat belt to wrap around her as the door closed. Taking a sip of her soda before putting it down in the cup holder, she watched as his holo form disappeared and the trucks engine blared to life before they all took off out of the parking lot and out of the small town and onto a highway.

Chapter one said and done~

Tell me what you guys think so far, good, bad, amazing? I'd love to know.

UPDATE: I've gone over it and changed a few things to make more sense grammar wise. I almost felt like I was reading a completely different story while I was editing it. Very strange. I guess a lot's happened since between chapter twenty, and chapter one.