Captain Lennox and his crew snapped on their weapons and safety vests as they hovered over the abandoned base. It was desolate, and a mess. Tanks upon tanks were turned right over, fighter jets were slashed in half, and electricity wires were torn apart and lying everywhere in a tangled mess. The helicopter slowly lowered as Lennox hopped off first, his gun drawn. “Alright boys,” he ordered, “be cautious. We don’t know what caused this. Be ready for anything.” “Yes sir.” The crew looked around, cautiously looking under rubble and behind thrown objects, looking for survivors. Just then, someone shouted. “Over here!” Captain Lennox shot up and ran to his crewmate. There was a man, his face bloody, and panting. “Get the medkit!” Lennox hissed. Then, he turned to the man. “He looks like he’s in shock” he thought. “Hey, buddy, it’s alright. My name’s Captain Lennox, we’re here to help” he cooed. “You’ve got to get out of here!” the man yelped, “it’s gonna come back! It’s going to come back!” “What? What’s coming back?” “It was huge! We thought it was help! But it wasn’t! It tricked us!” the man exclaimed. Lennox looked at the man’s dog tag. “Robert Thompson” it read. “Mr. Thompson, everything is going to be alright. We’re going to get you out of here.” Just then, they heard a rumble. Captain Lennox froze, then slowly peered up. He didn’t see anything, only his crewmates, who drew their guns at the sound. One of Lennox’s men spotted a helicopter, sitting near the back of the airfield. “Sir!” he called. Lennox turned his attention to him. “What is it?” The crewmate pointed at the helicopter. As Lennox squinted his eyes, he saw a person inside. “Backup, maybe?” Lennox didn’t trust this. “Ready your weapons, but do not fire until I say so!” he ordered. Everyone raised their guns and slowly advanced towards the helicopter. Lennox stepped in front of his crew. “This is Captain William Lennox of the U.S. Armed Forces. Identify yourself!” Then, they all something really strange. The pilot’s head turned as it seemed to glitch. “He’s not real!” Lennox thought. Suddenly, the helicopter started to change shape! “OPEN FIRE!” he shouted. The helicopter changed into a robot! Except this one was much scarier looking! The bullets bounced off the robot like throwing small balls at a wall. “Our weapons aren’t doing anything, Captain!” one of his men exclaimed. The robot zeroed in on three of the soldiers. A gun, what looked like to be a missile launcher on the robot’s shoulder, pointed at them, as a light inside began to glow. Lennox suddenly knew what it was and ran towards his team. “Get out of the way!” he shouted. The soldiers had little time to jump away as the launcher fired. One man and big bulks of cargo were blasted to bits. The shock wave caused everyone to lose balance and fall to the ground. Lennox scrambled to his feet as he heard the robot laugh as it spoke something in a foreign language. In the way he said it, it sounded like a taunt. Lennox, for the first time in his life, had no idea what to do. This was something he had never been up against. “I don’t know what to do…! I don’t know what to do…!”
“Good job Nightingale.”
Knightingale’s knuckles were bruised. She was fighting now in blinding rage. She was sick of death of these tests. Sick to death of being treated like a test subject. But today. Today was the day she was getting out. As the steel door open, and the soldiers approached to return her to her room, she grabbed both their guns, and bash their chins with the barrels. They cried in pain as Knightingale took one of their guns and smashed it into their faces. “CLOSE THE DOORS! CLOSE THE DOORS!” the person over the mic shouted. But Knightingale pulled out a small device out from her pants and fired it at the wall, where the controls were. The administrators above now had no way to close the doors and Knightingale was able to fly out free, and flew she did. She shot anyone who got in her way. Her tech wasn’t full of bullets though, it was a high functioning taser. That didn’t stop her from breaking a few bones and making some blood dripping on the floor on her way out.
When she was nearly to the exit of the building, she found the person she expected the least: Thomas Morshower. Knightingale paused, for only a moment. Thomas stood between her and freedom, and he was the last person she wanted to fight.
Knightingale’s memories were getting fuzzy.
She blew through the crowd of soldiers. Every last one of them was either groaning, spazzing out from electricity surging through them, or badly bleeding. She stopped over Thomas’s body, who was lying sprawling on the ground. “Forgive me,” she whispered, “But I will not allow you to keep me in a cage.”
Taylor moaned. She slowly moved her head up. Her neck was incredibly stiff and she still felt weak. She squinted her eyes open to see where she was. She was in a room. She couldn’t tell if it was an office or an interrogation room. Either way, she was sitting in front of a desk, and a man in uniform stood in front of her. He was an elder man, with black hair and gray salt sprinkled in it. His eyes were gray blue, and his uniform was light blue, and covered in metals. Taylor recognized right away he was a general. “Good evening, Knightingale” he spoke, in a strong, but slightly gruff voice, “Or Taylor, so I’ve heard.” Taylor took a deep breath and tried to stretch her arms, but couldn’t move them: they were tied down to the chair she was sitting in.
“I’m sorry, but I didn’t want you to try to escape before I could explain why you’re here” the general explained.
“Where’s Daniel? Where’s Jacob? Where are the Witwickys, what have you done to them?” Taylor demanded.
“They’re fine, and we’ll let them go as soon as we finish business.”
Taylor scoffed. “What business? Where am I?”
“You’re in a military base in Alaska. We’re about ten miles from the North Pole.”
The general leaned forward. Just then, Taylor began to realize this general looked familiar. “T-Thomas?” She gasped. The general nodded, and smiled. “Twenty years, and yet, you still look as young and as beautiful as ever.” Taylor didn’t smile back, though she was a bit flattered.
“But…How?” She asked.
“I…retired a few years back. Got compensated with a nice large house, and expecting grandkids.”
Thomas Morshower paused a moment, before continuing:
“They called me back into duty when they knew that you and I…Well, we were friends; and they assigned me to run the project.”
Taylor raised an eyebrow.
Thomas leaned forward in his seat. “Knightingale, we found a ship. A ship with the same symbol as the one you wore when you were discovered. There’s no doubt in my mind that you’re connected.” Taylor nearly jumped out of her seat. She remembered what the commander said: “You’re the key to our mystery ship.”
“Was there anything inside?” Taylor asked eagerly.
“Let me ask you this first. Knightingale, I know you don’t trust me. I was foolish to think you did, and I know you’re very secretive about your past. But, more than ever, it is urgent, that you tell me who your people are.”
Taylor didn’t answer. She was anxious, and annoyed that he didn’t answer her question, and continuing to squeeze her for answers.
“People are intimidated by you. I have faith that your people are not as dangerous as it would seem, but I need to hear that statement from your own lips.”
Taylor was quiet for a moment as she looked down at the floor. Then she looked back up. “What’s the urgency this time?” She asked, this time, more calmly, and honestly, “Another war? Are you going to use what you find for super weapons?” Thomas stood from his seat.
“This scenario is quite different this time, Knightingale.”
He took a photo that had been lying facedown on the table, flipped it up, and slid it to Taylor. Taylor’s eyes widened at what she saw: A glossy photo of what looked like a ginormous robot, but his edges were more jagged. The sun perfectly blocked a clear view, only revealing the silhouette. Taylor gasped. “No. No, it can’t be!” “Is it not one of yours?” Thomas asked, concerned. Taylor looked up, horrified. “If this is what I think it is, then this entire planet is in grave danger! Where did you get this?” General Morshower began to pace back and forth in the office. “This was part of a last transmission we received from one of The US Armed Force’s bases in Iraq. From what we know, there are no survivors. Whatever this thing is, it managed to blow up and eliminate over 400 men in one fell swoop!” He slammed his hands on the table, almost causing Taylor to jump. “Please, Knightingale, I beg of you: You must tell me who your people are!” Taylor stared at him for a long moment. It was selfish to try and keep her secret now. If she didn’t, this beautiful planet she now called “home” would be destroyed forever.
“Okay, I’ll tell you. The thing that attacked your base is called a ‘Decepticon’. They are the enemies of my people, led by their ruthless leader, Megatron. They were the reason our planet was left to ruin.”
“Who are your people?”
“We are called ‘Autobots’, short for ‘Autonomous Robots’, cybernetic organisms from the planet Cybertron.”
“Why are you here?”
“Our planet was dying. It could no longer sustain us, so, we had to leave. We had opened a space vortex that would allow us to get as far as we could possibly go through space on the little fuel we had. However, the Decepticons had gotten to us first.”
The memories of that flight started to play in her head. Lights flashing, her head starting to hurt.
“We’re approaching the portal. Data indicates it’s growing more and more unstable” said the captain, “at this point, we may never get through it.” “Keep optimistic lieutenant,” said Knightingale, “we’ll get through.” Suddenly, a huge shadow overtook the ark. Everyone looked up. It was a decepticon ship. Knightingale groaned. Then, grappling hooks came crashing through the windows. “Direct all fire on those tow cables!” Optimus shouted. Knightingale and Bumblebee loaded their guns and immediately started shooting them out. As one came hurtling towards them, Bumblebee quickly pushed Knightingale out of the way as the impact of the hook pushed him back unconscious. “Bumblebee!”
She pushed them out of her mind and continued. “We tried to escape. We tried to shake them off. But it was no use. They had halted our engines, destroyed our shields, and and killed almost everyone on board. I…I don’t remember anything else after that. I think…I was sucked into space as the ship went through the vortex.”
Reminiscence resurfaced once again. She remembered the last few moments before she blacked out.
The loud groans of the ship, the blasts of explosions, and the cries of soldiers around them, graded on her audio receptors. She panted as she pulled her best friend off the top of the ship and into a corridor. “You idiot! Why did you have to do that!?” She scolded, her voice breaking. He didn’t respond. He only winced in pain as the shot circuits in his wound flashed. “Don’t you dare go offline on me! You hear!?” she ordered. She tried to fix it up, but the constant shaking of the ship was preventing her from doing so. “Scrap!” she growled, slamming a med tool onto the ground, “I promised! I promised this wouldn’t happen again!” Then, out of the corner of her eye, she spotted a large brawler, slowly skulking towards them, snickering as he banged his shield and hammer together. She closed her eyes. She knew that if she didn’t take care of the brawler, they would both be dead. She turned back to him, a look of despair coming across her face. She leaned in, almost resting her head on his shoulder, as she whispered, “I’ll be back.” He knew what that meant. He tried to grab her, but she was too quick. She unsheathed her sword and shield. “You’re dead, Autobot!” the brawler growled. “Maybe, but I’m not going down without a fight!” she snapped. After moments went by of them fighting, which felt like hours, the hold suddenly tore. She grabbed a metal rod poking out, as the brawler was sucked into space. She gave one last look at her friend, terrified, before letting go, screaming into the soundless void.
Taylor sighed sharply. She hung her head, her long red hair hiding her face, to avoid the general seeing her tears. “The Decepticons will stop at nothing to destroy your world, and siphon every drop of energy you have. They are ruthless, killing machines, who will stop at nothing until their conquest is complete!” Her voice was started to crack, as it become harder and harder to keep from choking. “They will kill everyone! If they don’t, they will enslave…everyone! They will kill everyone you love! They feed on your weaknesses, and they will NEVER let you forget what you did to save anyone you cared for!” Then, she started to grit her teeth as she lifted her head. Her eyes were swollen and red. She hissed: “You think I’m the monster? Then you know nothing! Do you hear me!? NOTHING!”
She felt a hand on her shoulder. She froze. Thomas Morshower bent down to look at her eye-to-eye. Gently, he removed the bonds tying her down to the chair. She was surprised when he did that. No one in a green uniform had ever showed compassion to her like that. Well, except maybe this one… “Knightingale. There’s still hope for your race yet” he stated. Taylor looked at him, confused. “What do you mean?” The General stood up, straightening his uniform. “Follow me.” General Morshower led Taylor down a stairway, and towards large, opened blast doors. She could hear the sound of machines whirring, and loud hissing. “Where are we going?” Taylor asked. Thomas looked over his shoulder. “That disturbing photo we had received wasn’t the only reason we needed you here” he stated, vaguely. “Yeah, your commander mentioned that.” “Well, this was the main reason-” General Morshower finished. They went up another stairway, and onto a balcony. What Taylor saw, nearly stopped her heart. There were multiple bodies on the ground: all of them were Cybertronians!