"Yeah, we'll live until we die, Won't you turn my soul into a raging fire?"

-Raging Fire-Phillip Phillips-

(For a mood setter listen to "In this moment-1 rise with me")

Chapter 13

Five weeks passed by and Ruby had found herself working with Jacks mom, June, to help better her leg. The woman was a nurse after all, and while physical therapy wasn't exactly her expertise, she would help Ruby with her now daily exercises. Of course, the young woman would still go to the hospital and work with real physical therapists, but outside of that June made sure she kept to her home exercises. And now, she was getting fitted for a prothstetic and would have it by the next day. June had taken quite the liking to Ruby by her third week at the base and no news from Fowler on a more permanent place of residence for her, June invited her to stay with her and Jack. Jack didn't complain. He hadn't known Ruby very well, but by the first week of her living with them in the spare room, he too found a friendship growing. It was now her second week in the Darby residence.

Ruby had applied for a job, knowing that she would soon be able to use her leg to come more and more and would be able to work again. She applied for employment at the Jasper Grocery Store that really was just like a Safe Way but with a different name. Her hopes were to be able to afford a small apartment with the money she would make and be able to live on her own while finishing her high school, senior year in an online class. She only had a few months to make up and it just seemed to be the smartest thing to her to do it online.

She currently was enrolled as a student in one online class and had been for the past week now. June let the young woman use her home desktop until Ruby could afford to buy her own desktop or laptop. She didn't know which one she wanted yet but she was thinking a laptop as it would be more versatile.

She really was grateful to June for all her help, but every time she would try to express her gratitude June with wave it off with a smile and tell the girl that it was no problem what so ever and that she enjoyed her company around the house when Jack wasn't there, it made it a little more full is what June would say. Plus another thing June absolutely loved was that when she would come home after a late night of work, the house would be spotless as Ruby would do her best to pick things up. Not that Jack or June hadn't been doing that before, but it was nice to have some of it lifted off their shoulders.

Ruby would spend at the most, a quarter or so of her day at the Autobot base. With online school going on now, and getting ready to start working again, she didn't have much time in-between. But when she was there, she was nearly always now under the attention of someone or somebot. Mostly either Smokescreen or Bumblebee. The little yellow mech had taken a fond liking to her and they had more than once now taken a drive together. Ruby couldn't understand him, but he would talk to her anyways and she would sit there and listen, smiling as he beeped and cooed at her and then she would tell him a story once he was done. What she would talk about was probably completely off topic about what he had just said, but the scout didn't seem to mind and would listen her. It was easier to talk to him in robot mode though, as he could communicate to her better with hand gestures and motion.

She hadn't spoken much with Bulkhead, and hardly a word to Arcee. Ratchet she had struck a few conversations with, mostly about the work he was doing and how he was accomplishing it. He didn't mind explaining it to her, and she seemed to understand most of what he spoke of. Smokescreen was still Smokescreen and of course Ruby spent a lot of time with the younger mech.

But the bot who she hadn't said anything to as of lately was now Optimus. Being leader, she understood that he had a job to do, but it still saddened her a bit that he no longer found time to talk to her. Decepticon activity was going up and he was constantly out with his soldiers, but still they had found time for the other children, why couldn't Optimus make due for her? She knew it was a selfish thought, but she had quite liked the large mech and was somewhat missing their small talks and conversation.

But she tried not to let this faze her. So what if he was pushing her away? She hardly knew him anyways. And while something in the back of her mind told her otherwise, she ignored it. Of course she didn't know him better, right?

Besides this though, she was beginning to grow somewhat happier. She felt welcomed at the base by most, and finding her place in along with them. She had discovered quickly that Miko liked to sneak out and watch the Autobots battle. She had done this about three times by now. One time Jack followed after her and dragged her back to base before she could get into any real trouble much to Miko's dismay. Ruby herself though couldn't understand how the girl would actually enjoy watching their friends nearly get killed. It astonished her really the first time Miko left to go see them as if was some show they put on for the girls entertainment. Ruby herself had hated the few fights she saw or had been in. She would much rather stay out of it. But then again, everyone had their hobbies. Even Miko.

She gave a sigh as she sat in the base. She starred out at the large rock wall before casting a glance to Ratchet who was busy with work per the usual before sighing again, only this time louder. He ignored her and continued on ignoring her for several minutes before she gave an even larger sigh and nearly threw self backwards on the stairs. He stopped, pinching the bridge of his 'nose.'

"What, what is it? You've been breathing loudly all day." He hissed, looking down at her with a glare. Usually she wouldn't act so childish, but today she found was an exception and she was feeling rather restless.

"I don't know, I just, I want to do something." She stretched out her fingers and hands as she brought her arms up to make a motion that expressed what she felt when she didn't really know what it was. Shifting from her sitting position she turned to face him a little more.

"You are doing something. You are annoying me." He grunted.

"That's not what I mean. I want to- I want to skip, I want to ride a bike, I want to run and jump and just-" She stopped dropping her hands a little as she frowned. "Ratchet, I want to walk."

He didn't say anything as he starred at the human. He had encountered many Bots during his time as a field medic in the great war. Many Bots who had nearly lost their lives, just coming out of the rain of bullets with missing arms, destroyed armor, missing limbs. This was not something that was new to him. He knew that everyone ached and yearned to walk while they were waiting for their new leg or other limb. But still, even for a Cybertronian a limb could never truly be replaced. It was still biology, not technology and there for could only be replaced with a fake. A fraud. And while it would sooth those who needed it, they would always still be pained with the burden of never having the real thing again.

And so as he stared at the human, that was all he could think.

" you will walk again." He finally said. Ruby paused before nodding, smiling a little as she did so at the thought of being able to walk. But Ratchet only frowned. He knew there would always be a gap in her life because of it. But he would let her find that out on her own.

And she would learn that. But for now, she would be blinded with the ability to walk once again. And she was. Two weeks more passed. She now had her leg, and was practicing walking with it every day. She hated the way it looked, she rather liked the style of the ones used for running, but the doctors had told her she would have to wait until she got used to using the regular leg until she would be able to fitted for one of those. They took it slow at first, only a few minutes a day of wearing it, then an hour, then a few more until she was able to use it a full day.

Oh how if felt so good to be free of crutches and wheelchairs! Oh how it felt good to be able to walk! She would never take the simple motion for granted again.

And then, once again, she fell in to the previous cycle of school, bots, and the job she now had been hired in. Around the clock, every day she was doing something. It had become a routine. The same thing every day. Even the Autobots were falling into routine. That was at least until Smokescreen and Bumblebee got caught in their robot modes by a pedestrian when Smokescreen got a little cocky. The entire base was in an uproar about it and Jack was assigned to teach Smokescreen how to behave. Ruby was an option, but the two were too close and would more or less only mess around and not get anything done. Jack didn't know Smokescreen as well and would be able to focus on his driving habits more than Ruby could and besides, it would bring Jack and Smokescreen closer anyways. The young warrior could use a few more friends at base, as most were only still just warming up to him.

And that was what brought Ruby to where she was now. At base, alone. Arcee, Bulkhead, Ratchet and Optimus were all there along with Miko as well. Bumblebee and Raf were out as well as Smokescreen and Jack. So technically she wasn't really alone, but she felt like it as she was in an area all by herself. Ruby had managed to talk to Bulkhead a little more frequently, and he would even occasionally do his own therapy with her when she did hers. The large mech she found out, had been in a terrible accident and had been left in a crippling state. But he was getting better slowly. He still had a slight limp, but he was better. Arcee and her had yet to share a word and with every passing day it looked like it would be harder for either to approach one another. Ruby wondered why this was, Arcee as far as she could tell was far from shy. She was a strong character and brave. But maybe it was just Ruby who was supposed to make the first move. But she didn't really know how.

She had only one talk with Optimus after she got her new leg and that was it. It was mainly just him congratulating her about her accomplishment and effort to reach this far, and that was it. Ruby had felt quite disappointed. Even though he had gone with her to actually get the leg, he had said little then as well.

She jogged slowly in the battle room now. She had never been much of a runner, but she was now vowing to herself to start. It was hard to run. It was very hard. And besides her challenging leg, her physical condition didn't help and was already out of breath by her second lap. She was now on her third and felt ready to fall over at any second. She wasn't going fast as she was still getting used to the prosthetic, but it didn't matter. She was tired.

Stopping, she took a few moments to just breathe, gulping in air greedily as she huffed and puffed.

"Fuck Running." She mumbled softly, still out of breath. Her muscles ached for air as she stood there. She let herself feel the pain that filled her from her body cramping and she groaned, wincing a little. She had pushed herself a little too hard, and she was regretting it. She wanted so badly to just sit on the floor, lay down, and die.

But then she started laughing. She laughed and laughed until she snorted and then laughed more because of the strange noise and kept on making it. She couldn't believe herself, after all the things she had been through, all the running and explosions and robots and brothers she had dealt with, this little run made her tied? Ha! She had run twice, maybe three times further when Knockout chased her through the woods and into a cave! She had been more out of breath and her muscles had been aching even more when she was riding that bike away from the battle. She could think of a million other situations that had been more exhausting than this, and yet, she couldn't help but be tired.

Calming her chuckles, she took a deep breath to calm herself, thinking about just how strange it was one last time before she began to walk out of the training room.

Walking was something entirely on its own to her now. She didn't even know how describe it, but she was happy she had the ability back. The new leg felt awfully strange, but she tried to ignore the weirdness of it and just accepted it as it was. What had she been expecting anyways? An exact replica of her old leg? That looked and felt the same? No, of course she hadn't thought that. But still.

Heading into the main hanger, she found that Optimus was just beginning to walk through a ground bridge that Ratchet had opened not seconds before. She had only once consciously been through the ground bridge on her back and fourth round journey from the base to her old town when she went to see Libby's parents and Kevin. The funeral would be in just a week now, maybe a little less but she tried not to think about it too much. But as of now, her thoughts were far away from her friend as she stared at the large portal that thrummed powerfully with energy.

She felt her heart pull a little at the sight of the Prime and she didn't really know why. But she ignored the small, strange twist and gently pushed it to the side as she hurried over to him as he began to walk out into the command room.

"Hey, wait!" She called out to him, holding an arm to his direction and he glanced back at her. As she came up to him, she stopped and looked up as he patently watched her. "Where are you going?" She asked.

"I am going to investigate a small signal detected on our scanners." He replied easily.

"Could I come?" The only time she had ever gone out with any of the Autobots was to either drive to and from Jasper or just patrol around the area, and after having spent a lot of time traveling for nearly over a month, she was feeling a bit trapped these last few weeks, staying in the same place constantly. Optimus seemed to see the small desperation on her face and he thought it over, turning the idea around in his mind. There wasn't going to be any danger that he could tell of, the signal was weak and was probably nothing. It could have even just been a human thing, and most likely no Deceptions would be involved. And if they did come over any trouble, he would immediately send her back to base.

"Yes." He finally agreed and he saw her visibly brighten up as she began to hurriedly step into the ground bridge. He watched her for a moment as she gazed at the swirling vortex and power energy that hummed around her. Ruby couldn't stop her fascination with the ground bridge as its sound clouded her ears and she walked though, feeling it shaking her, molecule by molecule. She felt her bones shake and rattle and her ears popped as she walked through. She had had the same feeling when she and Optimus drove through a few weeks ago, but it had been less so as she had been moving faster then.

Looking around though now, she frowned as she had no idea where she was.

The area seemed dry, but she could clearly see a lush forest begin not three miles away. The ground between her and the forest was completely flat, no a slope or dip of the land at all. Tall, yellow grass surrounded her and she could hear the sounds of great birds flapping. Looking up she gazed with wonder as creatures of the likes she had never seen before flew overhead, their wingspan large and bodies lean. The dirt under her was cracked with lack of water and rain.

As Optimus came behind after her and the ground bridge closed, he too gazed out at the landscapes beauty.

Back in Nevada it had been around ten o'clock am, but here, the sun was starting to grow ever closer to sinking below the horizon and she could only guess that it was around eight o'clock pm, give or take a few minutes.

"Where are we?" She asked with a slight hint of wonder laced in her voice.

"Zimbabwe Africa. Just near the boarders of Zambia." He answered. Ruby felt herself suck in a breath. She was in Africa? Excitement began to tingle up and down her spine and she felt a smile on her face as she nearly giggled with joy. She had always wanted to go to Africa and there she was of all places, with a mere step through the ground bridge!

Taking a few steps forwards, she let the area around her surround her presence. But that didn't last long as she stumbled a little, her metal leg tripping over a clump of grass. But she recovered quickly and all she really did was loose her balance. Looking over her shoulder though, she saw Optimus nearly ready to spring forwards, as if he was going to catch her from falling and she blinked. His usually stern look had now been mixed with worry as he stared down at her with concern. But seeing that she was fine, he straightened again.

Ruby smiled a little now, reminded of the day she got her prosthetic.

Bumblebee had wanted to go with her, encourage her as she tried out her new limb, but couldn't as he had other duties to do first. Smokescreen was the same. But to her surprise, it was actually Optimus who had driven her back to the physical therapy building, connected to the hospital. He had no reason for doing so, and didn't give her any explanation. But she hadn't complained and it had been nice to talk to him again after many weeks of silence between them.

She remembered as they had fitted it onto her leg, and took her first steps again, how she had fallen. But it wasn't the doctors who had rushed over to her, it was Optimus in his holo form. He watched her like a mother hen as she tried to take step after step, holding the bar next to her with a tight grip. Every stumble she made, Optimus was at her side, right there to catch her. His face never letting up any emption as he kept his stern quota, but at the same time she could see the small mix of proudness and regret as he watched her.

"Are you alright?" His voice brought her back to the present and she snapped out of the small flash back and turned her gaze over to him.

"Yeah, I'm okay." She replied, forcing a smile. "Anyways, where was the signal coming from?" She turned back to look at the vast amount of land.

"East of here." Optimus told her as he transformed down into a semi. Ruby nearly laughed. He was more out of place in the savannah as a truck than he was as a robot. The large, shinning semi stuck out like a sore thumb against the plains. But ignoring her wanting to laugh, she instead climbed into the awaiting passenger seat and buckled in as he began to drive, kicking up clouds of dirt behind him as they tore across the land.

He didn't turn on his holo form, as he didn't need to when there were no people around, yet Ruby still felt his ever present gaze. She felt like it burned into her skin, peeling apart her layers until he was staring into her core. For whatever reason she got this feeling, she didn't know, but she tried her best not to squirm under it. The un-comfortableness in the cab was unsettling to her, and she couldn't shake off his unseen stare, until finally he spoke.

"Have you opened the box?" He asked and Ruby frowned at the absolutely random question that made no sense at all to her.

"The what?" She repeated, squinting her eyes at the steering wheel.

"The gift you carried in your bag. I was wondering if you had yet to unseal it." He explained. It took her a moment more to think about it, but then she remembered the present her grandmother had given her before she left. Optimus had one time seen her examining the small, wrapped box. She was amazed he remembered that.

"Oh um, no actually. I haven't. I kinda forgot about it." She felt her cheeks burn a little. It was embarrassing to forget something like that, she thought. But she also thought it strange that he would bring it up in the first place and wondered what inspired him to think of it.

"Well perhaps it is time to change that." He hummed, but his voice was still very much the same as it had been before.

"Perhaps." She shrugged, turning to look out the window. She could see a few pairs of reflecting eyes as the darkness set in and the predators began to crawl out into the night. No doubt they were lions, as she could hear a roar crack across the land as they drove past a pride that scattered at the sight of the large mechanical monster that shook the ground and sped across the land, faster than any cheetah. She felt a small shiver run up and down her spine at the terrifying sound, but then took the time to remember she was safe inside of Optimus.

They drove for a little while before finally slowed to a stop in the midst of the savannah. Night was now looming closer and she felt bit hesitant to step out of his alt mode, but figured that most of the predators would have probably been spooked off from the trucks unnatural sound that seemed to rip through the thick air. She hardly glanced at him as he transformed and took a few ground jarring steps around her.

"The signal was coming from around this proximity." He said as he grabbed a detector from his sub space.

"Why didn't we just ground bridge here in the first place?" She frowned, looking up at him. The setting sun shinned a brilliant glow of orange and red off his armor that nearly seemed to sparkle against the darkening land and she found herself staring a little at this.

"For if the Decepticons were here, we would have bridge right in center of their midst's." He stated. Ruby made a small 'oh' sound before turning away and letting her eyes sweep over the land before her. All the vibrant colors of red and orange were now gone, completely replaced by darkness. The sound of a river was easily heard as well as the call of the animals that dwelled near it, that including the hiss of more than a few crocodiles. Ruby very much hoped that the signal had not been coming from anywhere near the river.

But as she heard and felt the Primes large footsteps she turned and watched as he began to walk away, letting the detector lead him in pin pointing the signal. Ruby quickly followed after him, but she had to slow down a little as she felt the familiar pain in her leg from over using it, as it was still warming up to its fake attachment.

Still though, she managed to catch up to him and felt her hopes drain a little as she realized he was heading to the river. He stopped at the slopes edge and a part of the earth eroded from under him, plunging into the dark waters below. If Ruby had had a flash light, she would have seen the many glowing eyes of the waters predators lurking under them, watching them with ever curious gazes. But, she did now, and was saved the frightful sight.

"How come you only picked up on the signature now? How come you didn't earlier?" She found herself asking, looking up at the large figure beside her.

"Most likely, the waters shifted the land and moved away much of its shore, allowing for the source of the energy to be detected." He briefly explained and Ruby gave a curt nod back in understanding.

Optimus seemed to pause for a moment before holding up a hand. "Stay here." He said. Ruby was about to ask why, but then he stepped down into the river. Instantly the many crocodiles that had been lurking in the mucky waters scattered away from the large intruder, hissing and snapping their jaws as they did so. The Prime let them move out of the way before he stepped all the way into the river, turning to glance at Ruby as if to make sure she hadn't moved before he reached over to the other side and began to push away at the rivers bank, moving the earth a little before there was a soft, 'clang,' that filled the air.

In the darkness, Ruby could only just make out the small reflective shine of something hidden in the dirt. A loud beeping filled the air and taking out the energy sensor again, Optimus frowned at the readings it was receiving now that the object was unmasked.

Ruby raised a brow. There wasn't any question as to where it came from, it was obviously something Cybertronian if the readings were to say anything. Optimus glanced at her before turning back to the object and pulling it out fully, only to find it was a capsule. Wading back to shore and hauling himself on the land, he stood by the girl, dripping down over her.

Ruby back away as some of the water splashed onto her and she made a distasteful face before turning back to look at him again. She was about to ask what was inside when the sudden noise of a ground bridge ripped through the mostly silent air. Its bright light glowed over the land and blinded the girl for a moment before she blinked it away and squinted at the portal. Almost instantly did a parade of gun fire fall through, and a dozen drones marched though, followed by five Insecticon's. Dreadwing, as Ruby had learned his name by the help of the three kids, came from the back of the pack, blaster gun out and ready.

The moment his dark red optics landed on the Prime, he fired.

Optimus was knocked back into the river, dropping the capsule in the process. Instantly, he was reaching a servo up to his helm, calling for back up as he recovered from the slight fall. Ruby was running the other way, along the river's edge and away from the mass of fired shots. The Decepticons ground bridge had only just closed when the Autobots appeared and with it came Bulkhead, running straight into the mass of drones, wrecking ball hand smashing into one Eradicon's head, caving it in as if they were nothing. Ruby stood at the edge of the battle and watched as Bumblebee followed, along with Smokescreen and Arcee.

Optimus was now back up, pushing down an Insecticon's who had managed to pick up the capsule. The beast dropped the object and began to fight back against the Prime. As he finished off the Decepticon, his optics rapidly searched around until he found what he was looking for.

"Ruby!" He shouted above the fray. "Get back to base immediately!" His voice left no room for argument and the girl wasn't going to object anyways. She jogged hurriedly to the open ground bridge, not wanting to overdo her leg as it was hurting more and more now. Her previous jog that day had left it tired and sore and she wasn't sure if she could do much more.

She was just about to go through the bridge when suddenly she was snatched up by a nearby Eradicon. The Decepticon's claws squeezed all too tight and she gasped for a breath that would not come. Already she could feel the bruising that was to come, but no sooner had she been picked up than was she thrown out of his grasp as Bumblebee launched an assault onto the 'Con, hitting him repeatedly, making the drone stagger back sever steps.

Ruby paid this little attention though as she fell to the ground, no one to catch her as she landed with a thud. But she compensated with rolling in with the fall, and was not as badly hurt as she would have been had she not. Getting up, she could feel the ache in her body, but ignored it as she looked over her shoulder and at the ground bridge that was now far away again. Scowling, she was going to head back to it, when she was Dreadwing making a run for its direction.

"Close the bridge!" She yelled as loud as her voice could carry. "Close the bridge!"

Arcee who was no so far away heard the girl and turned her own attention to the bridge, seeing the large commander nearly upon it. Whipping a servo up to her helm she turned on her comm link.

"Ratchet, close the bridge, now!" She hissed. Mere milliseconds later did the vortex close and the large blue Decepticon came to a staggering halt right where it had been. He growled, grinding his denta before swiveling his hulk around to turn back to the fighting fray. His gaze zeroed in on Ruby and the girl felt the blood drain from her and he took a step towards her, then another and few more before he broke out in a jog and then a run.

Nearly shrieking, she turned around and ran. Not caring for how her leg ached, she sprinted across the battlefield, ducking under and running beneath a drone as it fell down, just missing her. A shot was fired right besides her and she felt terror seize her everything as Dreadwing began to shoot at her.

But then before he could continue, Optimus charged him, knocking the large 'Con over. The two locked in battle, throwing punch after punch at each other before Dreadwing managed to get some space between them and took out his gun again. Using his weapon of choice, he got a small upper hand as he bombarded the Prime with a rapid fire. The Autobot leader complied with his own blaster, shooting back at the other mech.

Ruby didn't stay to watch this though as she was already moving away and towards the nearest cover which happened to the capsule. She let herself fall against it as she panted, sweating and tired. The object wasn't very large, not even taller than herself and when she pushed against the sphere like thing, it rolled.

Looking back at the fight, she watched as Bumblebee and Smokescreen tag teamed an Insecticon, while Bulkhead was more than busy with three Eradicons that had rushed him. Arcee was kicking her way throughout the battle, going back and forth between enemies while Optimus was still engaged with Dreadwing. Ruby didn't know what to do. She knew she should do something, anything, but she didn't know what. What could she do? She was a human in a giants battle ground. She had gotten lucky the one time she sparked up an explosion, but she definitely wasn't doing that again. It was far too dangerous and would not only hurt herself, but also the Autobots as well. She didn't know what to do. But it would seem others would be deciding what she should do for her as Arcee's optics landed on her.

"Ratchet," She commed the base again. "Open up another ground bridge. It's safe again." She said and said portal came to life once more in the same place as before. "Ruby," She turned to the human. "Get back to base, see if you can roll that thing in with you." She gestured to the pod. The girl nodded and stood back up as the femme turned around to help Bulkhead get out of the mess he had managed to get into.

Ruby placed her hands on the cold metal of the capsule and pushed on it. It rolled exceptionally easily and she pushed again and again until it began to really move. But when she placed her hands on it for a fourth time, something shifted and the pod stopped, hissing as it did so and the girl frowned as it began to open.

Terrible things happen in wars. Bad things that want to destroy you, that want you dead. So many things can go wrong, so much damage can be done. The good, the bad, they are just labels for either fractions of the fight. But the object that sat before her was truly one of evil. One of pure destruction and chaos. An unholy weapon, forged in the last efforts to regain the upper hand to a lost war. An object that will always do more harm than good.

But of course, Ruby didn't know this.

She starred at the small object, tiny enough to fit comfortable in the palm of her hand. It was flat, and thin, as thin as the flattest apple cell phone. Its metal glimmered perfectly, and the middle of it seemed to be nearly hollow, which was surprising considering it was so thin, but she could tell that it was hollow because of the glass like surface on it, allowing her to see inside of it. But it was without anything to fill it up, without the light that was supposed to be in it. An empty, pitiful looking thing. Its large container seemed much too big for it as it sat at the bottom, cold and frail. She didn't know what to think of it really. Was this really what had caused the massive energy spike when it was undug from the earths soil? Was this really everyone was fighting over? This small, pathetic, sad little lightless machine?

Ruby didn't take too long to dwell on it though. The container was open now, and it would be much easier to just grab the thing and run to the ground bridge instead of rolling the sphere any further. With no small amount of hesitation, she reached in and let her fingers wrap around the object inside.

Instantly she pulled away with a shout of surprise that quickly turned into a wail of terror.

The cold looking thing burned her hand the moment she touched it, searing into her skin and boiling her blood. But when she pulled her hand away, it stuck to her, not letting go of its grip as it produced several wires that cut into her flesh, intertwining itself to her blood line, and attaching to her nervous system. The fire in her right arm was excruciating and she howled with pain and fell to her knees, buckling over and clutching her arm as the fire only grew. The machine glued itself to her palm, flexing with her hand and bending as she squeezed her fingers into a fist around the object.

She tried to pull it out with her free arm, to find that not only that she couldn't do it. And what surprised her was that it wasn't hot like she felt it to be in her arm, but that it was cold to the touch. Colder than anything she had ever felt. But the fire that it spread into her hand told her otherwise.

She screamed again, not knowing she was gaining the attention of the others. But she did notice the bright red glow that was seeping from her skin. Turning her hand over to face her palm up once more, she panicked as the object began to glow in its center. A deep, dark red light filtering out of it brightly, swirling around in its glassy encase. It was her blood, she realized. It was taking away her blood for its own use.

But the machine seemed confused by the blood inside of it, as if it was not the substance it was looking for. The machine began to pulse and panic, rejecting her as its user and a dark, thunderous energy cracked around her as the object began to lose control of itself.

Ruby looked around herself and at the energy. But it wasn't really energy. In truth, it was just opposite. She could see this. It cracked and moved like electricity, but it wasn't. It ate at the oxygen around it, it scorched the grass and dirt and it left a murderous sound where ever it went. Its burning mark was still thrumming her hand, much less than before though, but the machine only grew even wilder. It wasn't like lighting even though it nearly had the same look as it, it didn't glow, it had no light. It was pure darkness that cracked around her, and it ate everything it touched. Standing up, she didn't know what to do. It hurt her entire being, leaving a numb feeling throughout her body. The blood inside of it was glowing like nothing she had ever seen before as the machine ate away at her very being, using her essence at its own.

Around her the battle continued, but now the Autobots were trying to push the Decepticon's back away from her as the enemy's had drawn their attention to her when she had started to scream. And they were even more curious and driven to get to her at the commotion of the rips or darkness around her.

A second ground bridge opened up as Dreadwing called back to the war ship for reinforcements. For a moment, of brief moment, the two open ground bridges fed off of each other, both examining and crashing in on themselves. But then a single presence stepped out of the Decepticons bridge and it closed again, stopping the back feed. Ruby managed to glimpse at the mech who stepped though and felt her heart seize.

It was Megatron.

His optics were pinned on her. His red, menacing glare freezing her in place before she saw something change in his gaze. The black like lightning cracked around her again, growing more and more powerful with each second, expanding and growing. And then she saw something in Megatron that she had not been expecting. She saw fear in his optics.

"It cannot be." His whisper was hardly audible to her ears but she heard it. And no sooner than he say that did that the machine finally snapped. The sound it made was horrendous, louder than thunder, louder than the fight around her. Louder than any explosion or gun she had ever heard. A terrible noise that emitted from the currents around her as it rapidly ate away at anything and everything in its path. The Cybertronians around her fled. Autobots, Decepticons, they all scattered. Smokescreen was pushed down to the ground by Bumblebee, who saved the rookie by being devoured by the matter eater as it rapidly passed over head.

Bulkhead followed suit, and made himself fall to the ground, allowing the currents to pass over. Small drifting parts of it licked at the falling 'Bots frames, tearing away at their paint, but doing no more damage than that as it the larger mass of it continued onwards. Arcee and Optimus had already been far enough away to simply run away as well as three Vehicons and Two Insecticons. Dreadwing had flown over to where Megatron stood, both far enough away as to not be harmed.

The mass of black star stuff engulfed the area, traveling sideways and up, high into the sky. Emitting itself into the heavens mostly as its cloud surrounded the area around Ruby and a good forty meters out around her.

The unlucky Decepticons caught in its path didn't even have time to scream or shout. It ate away at their forms immediately, leaving scorches in the grass around them. And then, it stopped.

It all sucked back into itself in and instant, as if it never happened. The only evidence was the burnt ground and thin air, devoid of oxygen as it had been eaten away, but soon filled up again. Ruby collapsed to her knees again as the machine stopped its glow. It was done with her, it had rejected her but had used up far too much of her blood. Her body shook and she felt as if her veins were vibrating. The burning was gone and instead it felt as if it was tearing her apart. But she was too tired to even scream. She sat there, on her knees, hunched over, exhausted.

She felt a heaviness weigh itself down on her, but she didn't let herself be succumbed to it, instead, she took hold of the machine imbedded in her skin and pulled. It ripped her hand, tearing her skin and her blood splattered and dripped on the ground. It let go of her nerves and pulled out of her veins without much resistance and didn't add much more pain to her already hurting self. But now, she sat there with the machine in one hand, its cords covered and dripping with her blood. She dropped the machine, not caring for it as she clutched her injured hand to her body, cupping it with her good one. The blood pooled in her open palm, like a small lake and slowly, it slid down her arm and fell in drips to the burnt ground and the world was hazy as Optimus rushed towards her with a shout to others that she could not understand.

Alright, so this chapter came fast! I had a lot of fun writing it, and I spent more time on making sure there weren't as many grammical errors in it and I think there shouldn't be any in this one, but if you spot them don't be afraid to point them out.

Also I'm working on re-reading my other chapters right now and am going through the ever so slow process of editing them and their grammar errors. But in the meantime, just bear through them.

Oh and if the song didn't make much scenes to this chapter, its only because its really an omniscient for the upcoming chapters really. And the mood for the song didn't really fit this chapter either, a better mood setter listen to In this Moment-1 rise with me.

Hey, and if you haven't already, go to my authors page and check out the links I've put on it. They will let you see what some of my OC's look like as well as Optimus's holo form and some fan art. Speaking of which, if any of you like drawing/painting, I wouldn't mind some fan art *cough cough, wink wink* ;)

Alright, tell me what you guys thought of this chapter, been loving all of your reviews! And if you haven't reviewed yet, DO IT! And if you have already, DO IT AGAIN!