Surrender on Memory Highway
The doorbell rang. Taylor excitingly rushed from the kitchen and to the door and opened it. “Daniel!” Taylor exclaimed. “Taylor!” Daniel exclaimed as the two embraced. “Welcome home!” “Dad!” exclaimed a voice. The two adults turned to Spike, who was rushing down the stairs. Spike embraced his father. “It’s so good to see you, Spike” Daniel said as he affectionately patted his back. Daniel then started to sniff the air. “That smells wonderful, Taylor!” he exclaimed. “I made fettuccine pasta tonight. I figured since you were coming home, we would splurge a bit.” “Well, what are we waiting for? Let’s eat!”
Taylor, Daniel, and Spike sat down at the table and began to eat.
“So how’s your month been going, son?” Daniel asked.
“It’s been alright” Spike replied.
“Tests been coming along fine?”
“Yeah. It’s coming along.”
“He hit a few bumps in the road, but I pulled him through” Taylor responded.
“Ah. Good. How’s your teaching going, Taylor?”
“I’m doing alright. We’re studying the Egyptian Culture. Final exams are coming up, but I have confidence we’re going to do well.”
“One of my students are leaving though. His dad got a new job, so they’re moving.”
“Oh. Did he give you that bouquet of flowers on the counter?”
“Yes, he did! Aren’t they pretty? I believe I have the best students in the universe!”
“Well, who wouldn’t like you?”
“So, Dad, how’s work?” Spike asked.
Daniel shrugged. “If you must know, being on an oil rig hundreds of miles from shore isn’t very exciting anymore.”
Spike snorted. “Ya think?” he muttered.
“I was thinking…maybe sometime in the future, I could set up a repair shop, ya know, for cars.”
“YES!” Taylor and Spike exclaimed at the same time.
Daniel looked at the two. “What? What did I do?”
“Dad! We’ve been telling you countless times: ‘you obviously don’t like your job, start a car shop!’”
“Well! It never clicked until just now! You can’t blame an old man for being slow!”
The two stared at each other for a moment, before bursting out laughing. “I wish Bumblebee could see me right now,” Taylor thought, “He wouldn’t believe that I’m leading a normal life, and laughing at such stupid things!” “Taylor, you alright?” Daniel asked. Taylor sniffed and wiped her face, and took a deep breath. “I’m fine. It was just…so funny I started crying.” Taylor then got up from the table and removed the dinner plates. “Thank you for the wonderful dinner, Ms. McCarthy!” Daniel sighed in satisfaction. “You’re welcome, Mr. Witwicky” said Taylor, trying to sound formal.
Taylor put all the dishes into the dishwasher, and set it to run. Daniel and Jacob were both sitting in front of the television watching their weekly comedy. It was now eight o’clock. The sun was down and the crickets were chirping outside the kitchen window. As Taylor was finishing drying the plastic dishes, she heard the two men laugh from in the living room. “Taylor, hurry! You’ve got to see this!” Jacob called. “Coming, just a minute!” Taylor called back, giggling. She rung her towel put and placed it around the handle of the refrigerator. She was about to exit the kitchen and join the Witwickys, but then, she paused.
She squinted her eyes to look out the window, ducking down slightly. She could see a large vehicle on the side of the road, one she hadn’t seen before in the neighborhood. It was a large, unmarked, black van with a satellite on top of it. Then, she could see the door open and men crept out of it. Taylor suddenly knew what they were and hastily ducked down underneath the window. “They found me!” She hissed. She rushed into the living room, when Daniel said, “You just missed it, Taylor! This man just-!” Taylor Interrupted, “I’m so sorry! Listen, I gotta go out for a bit. I need to rush to the grocery store to grab some things.” Daniel raised an eyebrow. “Taylor, it’s Friday, can’t it wait until tomorrow?” Taylor straightened, firmly. “I’m sorry. It can’t” she replied, then ran out of the room and up the stairs. Daniel and Spike looked at each other. “What was that about?” Spike asked. Daniel rose from his chair. “Son, stay here. Taylor’s not acting right. I’m gonna go talk to her” he ordered. “Um…okay.”
Taylor burst open the door to her room and ducked underneath her bed. She pulled out a duffle bag, full of granola bars, water bottles, a tied up stack of cash, a map, and two sets of clothing. She had prepared for instances like this, although she hoped this would only be in case of bad weather. She was grabbing her coat and a sun hat when Daniel walked in.
“Taylor, are you alright?”
“Yeah, erm-” Taylor stammered as she struggled with her coat.
“-Because you seem like you’re in a hurry to run away from something…”
Taylor ignored his question and sighed. “Um, Daniel, I’m going to be gone for a while. I’ll write you a letter in a few days” she informed.
“Why don’t you just use email-? Taylor, what is wrong?”
Before Taylor could think of another excuse, Jacob hissed from the down the stairs, “Dad! There are men with guns coming up to the front door!” Daniel turned at Taylor, now with a look of betrayal. Taylor’s eyes were now pierced with fright.
“It’s not what you think” she insisted.
“Then what is it, Taylor? What have you my been telling me?” Daniel snapped, hostile.
“I didn’t murder anyone. I just…! You wouldn’t believe me if I told you!”
“Just tell me, Taylor!”
Taylor was fed up. She had to go now or Daniel and Jacob would be in grave danger! As the doorbell rang downstairs, she hissed, “I’m an alien! Alright!?” Daniel was stunned and froze. Taylor took a deep breath. “I’m a real, honest to goodness, alien, from outer space.” The two stared at each other for a hot minute, Daniel’s mouth wide open in shock. Then, the doorbell ringing turned into a slamming fist on the door. Taylor couldn’t wait for Daniel to respond. “I gotta go. I’m sorry.” She rushed over to the window and quietly raised it up. She could hear a muffled voice shout, “Open the door, or we will use force!” As she swung her legs out the window, she heard Daniel’s voice say, “I’ll do what I can to distract them while you run.” Taylor looked back, nodded, then smiled.
Taylor had a string of rope always dangling from her window, just in case she needed a quick getaway. When she got down, she could hear footsteps. She ran and jumped her neighbor’s fence. She sat there for a moment, in squatting position, waiting for them to pass. “Command, Nightingale has escaped the premises” she heard a low voice say. “Scout the area. We cannot lose her!” “So they are the ones who created me! At the very least affiliated with me!” She thought. She held her breath, staying as still as she could in the bushes. When the soldier seemingly passed where she was hiding, she crept out, beginning to start her way down the sidewalk. But something stopped her.
She turned around and stared at the house. The front door had been left open and she could hear loud shuffling inside. Then, she heard a loud grunt, then a familiar voice cry, “Stop! Let go of my dad!” Taylor froze. She was torn, and terrified. She was thinking of the worst! “They’re hurting them! They’re hurting my family! All because of me! They’ll take them away! I’ll never see them again! What if they-?” Suddenly, Taylor lost interest in running away. She dropped her bag, her hat, removed her coat, and raced back towards the house.
“I know you helped her escape. How else would she have gotten out of the house so quickly?” said the stern commander of the squad. Daniel grunted, trying to pull himself off the floor. He had a small cut on his head, and it dripped with blood. Jacob was struggling to get himself free from the soldiers pulling him back. “Now, where is she?” The commander demanded again, “Surely you’ve picked up on the fact you’re hiding a fugitive, Mr. Witwicky.” Before Daniel could answer, they could hear a series of painful cries from outside the house. The commander sneered, and signaled to two more soldiers. The soldiers equipped their guns and slowly made their way out of the house. Jacob shot a terrified glance at his father. What was happening? Why had these soldiers just barged into their house demanding Taylor, calling her “Nightingale” no less! There was a moment of silence, then, the soldiers burst back in, this time, they were unconscious with a bleeding nose and a bleeding lip! Taylor marched her way in, now furious. “There you are” The commander remarked, smiling slyly. “You have no right to treat my family that way!” Taylor barked. She grabbed the gun of the soldier next to her, foisted it out of his hands, then slammed it hard into his foot. The soldier screamed, then Taylor pierced her elbow into his chin, sending him sprawling on the floor. The other soldier grabbed her from behind and was trying to keep her still, but Taylor, with a mighty heave, flipped him over her, and sent him also flying onto the wooden floor. The wooden floor cracked and split under his impact. For a second, Jacob Witwicky could swear for a moment Taylor’s eyes flashed a bright, almost cybernetic blue glow. She continued onto the next soldier. She grabbed his gun and rammed it into his face. When he hit the wall, a large hole formed into it! Like many years ago, Taylor could still demonstrate her massive strength. Finally, it seemed all of them were gone. Jacob was released, and ran to aid his father. Taylor spat angrily and breathlessly at the commander, “You will never put an Autobot in a cage!”
The commander scoffed. “I’ll admit, that was very impressive, being able to take all my men out in one fell swoop. You are obviously just as powerful as your records declared you were” he spoke, with a slight sliminess in his words, “However, you’ve gotten cocky considering-” Suddenly, Jacob shouted, “Taylor, behind you!” Before Taylor could react, she felt something sharp impact the upper base of her spine. She felt something oozing into her system and she suddenly fell to the floor. “-You don’t realize when someone’s sneaking up on you.” Half a dozen more soldiers entered the house, once again restraining both Daniel and Spike. “Taylor!” Jacob cried. Taylor was picked up by two of them as she forced to lift her head. She was feeling herself being paralyzed from the neck down. “Don’t worry, it will only last half a day” the commander reassured. “Please, let them go. I didn’t tell them anything, I swear!” she moaned, desperately. “Sorry, we have no way of telling whether you’re lying or not, and we’re on a tight schedule.”
“Stop!” She shouted.
“Hahaha, Ah, there you are! I knew there was a scared, shivering exoskeleton beneath that armor plating! Now I can start having a bit of fun!”
Taylor growled, shaking the memory out of her head.
“What do you want?”
The commander stepped forward, and knelt down over her.
“Let’s just say, you’re the key to unlocking our mystery.”
Taylor felt her heart nearly stop.
“Mystery ship? Does that mean…!?”
Suddenly, Taylor’s started losing her vision. “Taylor!” she could hear a voice exclaim again, this time, sounding muffled. As everything suddenly blackened, she could hear a familiar voice cry out her name: