There was something about the underside of the bridge at the edge of town that Miko kept coming back to. Maybe it was the silence. There was a distinct lack of noise, save for the cars that crossed the bridge, which didn't happen often. Not many truly understand the danger of words; they may not break your bones, but they cut the heart and wound the soul. Carefully chosen words and words thrown together in the moment, both can cause more harm than sticks and stones could ever dream of inflicting. The silence was completely devoid of words, and as such, she preferred it over the noise.
Maybe it was the solitude. Alone, there would be no one else to order her around. Alone, there was no one else to judge her. She could do whatever she pleased without fear of anyone mocking her. Under the bridge, she was free from any restrictions and regulations that society placed on her. Anything could be considered normal here in her domain, where she was the only person who ever existed.
Both the silence and the solitude were qualities that appealed to the girl. Miko usually found company unpleasant, and more often than not, the words of others did more harm than good.
Then, maybe there was some third aspect she had not accounted for. Whatever the reason, Miko would have never guessed something would occur under here that would cause her life to take a drastic turn.
Miko had been having a rough time at school. People tended to taunt someone lacking in qualities they possessed. In Miko's case, what she lacked was a voice. She was born mute, and her inability to speak was often subject for mockery. On this particular day, the bullying was worse than usual, and so she felt that a bit of alone time would be needed before she would be ready to rejoin society once more.
She had come under the bridge to think, to take herself away to another place, if only for a moment, so as Miko lay under the bridge, she closed her eyes, and let her mind go adrift. She slowly slipped away from the real world and set sail in a world entirely her own. Imaginary characters, to complex mathematical equations, sentences made of words and of music, it was all there. She had just gotten immersed in her own world of thought when a loud noise snapped her out of her thoughts.
Miko opened her eyes once again, and to her irritation, found herself back in the real world. The girl turned her head over to see what had interrupted her lonely brooding session. To her surprise, she found that what had dragged her back was a battered white and blue helicopter. As Miko inspected the shiny white helicopter, she noticed a bit of movement from the side of the helicopter. With an audible groan, one of the doors creaked open, and a tall, black haired boy emerged from inside. It took a moment for her to recognize the boy as Jack, a boy she knew from her school.
"Get back!" a woman's voice called out from inside the grounded vehicle. Miko assumed that the woman inside was the pilot. Imagine her surprise when the white helicopter before her transformed.
Plates shifted, gears turned, pieces clicked into place until a giant robot woman stood in the place of the white helicopter. The instant after she completed her transformation, the woman scrambled under the bridge. Jack seemed just as surprised as Miko at the sight of the giant robot woman, as he remained standing out in the open, his mouth hanging wide open. Only when the woman beckoned for the boy to follow did he snap out of his daze, and he quickly dashed under the bridge.
As soon as Jack had joined her on the other side of the bridge, the woman brought a finger up to her ear, or rather, the place where her ear would be if she had any ears. Her eyes frantically darted about the area as the odd pair across from Miko's position sat in silence.
"Come on, pick up!" the woman muttered, tapping whatever it was on the side of her head furiously. As the woman continued to tap the side of her head, Jack noticed Miko sitting on the other side. His mouth widened into a smile, and he waved at her from across the bridge. Miko waved back. Only then did the robot woman noticed the girl on the other side of the bridge.
The woman's eyes widened in surprise. She glanced over at Jack. He nodded back at her, and the woman seemed to calm down a bit. As quietly as she could, Miko crept over to the other side to join the two. She sat down beside Jack and signed him a message.
How are you doing? she asked.
Not too well, was his reply.
Miko moved on to another question. What are you doing here?
Miko raised an eyebrow as if to say, what is there to run from when you have a giant robot woman on your side. Her eyes went over to said robot woman sitting beside her, and for the first time, she noticed that the woman was trembling. She looked into her eyes, and through those bright blue eyes, she saw terror.
What are you hiding from? the girl said, curious as to what could possibly make a giant robot fear for their life.
Jack opened his mouth to speak, when a voice interrupted their conversation.
The two children turned their heads to see another robot woman, not much larger than the white robot, holding what appeared to be some kind of weapon to the side of their robot companion's head. The white and blue woman had completely frozen up. At first, Miko did not see what was so dangerous about this other woman, but one look into her eyes told the girl to consider otherwise.
With a loud thud, a second robot beside the woman in black armor. This one was green and yellow in color and had a more bulky frame. The first robot stepped aside, her weapon still pointed at the other woman's head.
"Cliffjumper," the woman barked to her partner. "Take our friend here back to base."
"As you wish."
He reached over and grabbed the woman by the scruff of her neck with minimal effort, before he raised the trembling robot up to the other woman's eye level.
"Please," the woman whimpered, shaking in the larger robot's grasp. "Don't kill me."
The darker woman's lips twisted into a sinister sneer, and she replied, "Don't worry. We won't kill you." She brought a finger up to the terrified robot's face, and Miko noted that the woman had unusually sharp digits. In one, drawn-out motion, the darker colored woman cut open a small wound down the side of the other woman's face, eliciting a cry of pain from the robot woman, all while Jack and Miko watched from below, helpless to do anything.
The black robot watched a strange, bright blue substance ooze out of the wound with hungry red eyes, before she said, "At least, not yet."
The black robot let out a short laugh as the bulkier robot dragged the trembling woman away. Miko hated the fact that she could do nothing to help, but she was too small to make a difference, so all she could do was watch as the scene played out before her.
As Cliffjumper held the struggling white robot off the ground, his darker colored companion raised a finger to the side of her head and tapped whatever these robots had in the place of their ears.
"Arcee here," the woman said as if talking into an invisible phone. There was a short pause, before the robot woman, Arcee, continued. "Yeah, we got her. Just send us the bridge."
Arcee kept a finger to whatever was on the side of her head for a few moments more before she put her hand back down. As soon as she had done that, a swirling green and purple vortex appeared behind the pair of giant robots. Cliffjumper shifted his position so that he was facing the portal and began to advance towards it. The woman in his grasp began to shake even harder.
It was then that Miko was snapped back to reality, and she remembered that she and her friend were at risk of being discovered any second now. Grabbing Jack's sleeve, she gave it a tug to catch his attention. He looked over to the girl, who gave his sleeve another tug as if to say, We need to get out of here before they notice us!
"We're not leaving!" Jack said in response, gently pushing Miko's hand off his sleeve. "We can't just sit here and do nothing!"
Miko threw her hands up in exasperation. Miko knew Jack was a kind soul who always had the best of intentions, but even the most stupid of people would have been able to see that they couldn't do anything. Jack did not take kindly to this gesture.
"You may not care about other people's lives," Jack said, pointing an accusing finger at the girl, "but-"
"Wait." Both children froze. Cliffjumper halted his advance and turned around to face Arcee. "Did you hear that?" the blue robot growled, and the children exchanged glances. Every instinct they had screamed at them to run, but fear had glued them to the spot.
"Hear what?" the woman asked, tilting her head in confusion.
Cliffjumper narrowed his eyes. "We're being watched."
At these words, the children snapped out of their frozen state. They broke into a run, hoping to get out before the pair found them, but their path was suddenly obstructed by a glowing red eye. A giant metallic hand shot out, snatching the two children out from underneath the bridge, and brought them out into the daylight.
"Well, well, well," Arcee said with a sinister smile. "What do we have here?" She inspected the two children with glowing red eyes as they squirmed in her grasp. "It seems that two organics have taken interest in our presence."
"Arcee," Cliffjumper growled impatiently. "The liaison told us to leave no witnesses. Squish 'em so we can get out of here."
"No!" the woman in Cliffjumper's hold yelled, squirming to get out of his grasp. This sudden movement surprised him, and he was barely able to retain his hold on her. "They've done nothing! Let them go!"
Arcee took note of how desperate their captive sounded, and her smile widened. "You know, seeing as how much you seem to care about these organic creatures, I think I'll just go ahead kill them."
Arcee slowly brought her eyes back to the two trembling children she held in her grasp. Her eyes lit up with a sadistic glint as their eyes widened in fear when she brought the blaster up to their position. A low hum filled the air as she prepared her weapon to fire, and the two children could only stare right into the face of their imminent demise.
Something crashed into Arcee. The impact sent her hurtling backward, and she released the two children. They had barely fallen for a few seconds when what appeared to be a robotic bird swept them up into the air.
Now high off the ground, Miko looked down and saw that another robot had entered the scene. This robot was about as thin as a twig; frail enough to be knocked over by a gust of wind. This robot also had similar colors to that of the lady being held captive by the other group.
"Unhand her, fiend!" the robot yelled, striking a stupid pose, an action that Miko couldn't help but roll her eyes at.
"Scrap," Cliffjumper growled. "The Decepticons are here. Let's get out of here."
"Don't worry," Arcee sneered, as she dropped down into a fighting stance. "I've got this." She charged forward with a battle cry, blades extended; only to be knocked over by another blow to the stomach.
Landing on her back, Arcee slowly got to her feet again with a groan. Clutching her stomach, she hissed, "Alright, let's head back to base."
With one last angry glare in the slim white robot's direction, she dashed into the portal. Cliffjumper, however, was having a much more difficult time getting through because of his struggling prisoner.
"Just go through!" the bulky robot snarled, as he continued to drag the smaller robot through the portal with him.
"Soundwave!" the white robot woman called out, trying to escape from the larger robot's grasp. "Help!"
Soundwave broke into a run, and in a blur of white and blue, transformed his hands into blasters before he fired away. The volley of fire bounced off the green-clad giant's armor like it was nothing. Now, almost fully emerged in the portal, Cliffjumper used his one free hand to fire back at the Decepticon. Soundwave wove around the blue robot's attacks, and in a last ditch effort, he leapt forward with a battle cry, arms outstretched, only to barely miss grabbing the woman's hand as the portal closed behind the bulkier robot and his captive. Slowly getting back up to his feet, the robot let loose a string of words that Miko guessed were probably some kind of curse words.