24 - Ready for Anything

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I think it's pretty amazing that I can breathe in space. I must have gotten that ability from the robots, since they seem to breathe easily in space.

But every once in a while, it gets kind of hard to suck in. It's like getting trapped under a blanket with all the oxygen gone and all you have to breathe is your own carbon dioxide. And then my breathing goes back to normal.

That happens every, oh, five minutes? But that's just a guesstimate.

I was traveling towards Earth at a surprisingly fast rate. I was putting everything I got into my thrusters in my jets.

Soon, when I got close enough to Earth, fire licked around my body. It spread from my head to my shoulders, and then it flared out from there.

I winced as it started to burn my head. I suddenly realized that I was entering the Earth's atmosphere at an incredibly fast rate.

The temperature went up really fast, and I cried out as the top of my head burned in unbearable pain. Remembering a lesson from a long-ago science class, I slowed down a considerable rate, making the flames and agony ebb slowly away.

I eventually stopped mid-air, lightly touching the small burn mark on my forehead. Luckily, I stopped before the burn could get any bigger; it was only about the size of a half-dollar coin.

Earth's beautiful landscape shone below me. I was on top of the United States, and I conveniently spotted Illinois just under Lake Michigan.

I, very lightly and feet first, descended through the atmosphere. I was careful not to go too fast, since that would result in me burning to a crisp.

It took a while, but I finally got close enough to make out the buildings of Chicago. The cars looked like ants walking through trails of dirt.

I daintily landed on the roof of a nearby skyscraper and perched there. I looked down, the cars still looking like ants, but I could see the people, too. They were even tinier than ants, and most of them looked to be in a hurry.

I swung my legs over the edge of the concrete ledge and enjoyed the cool breeze that blew across my face, making strands of hair shroud my vision.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

A tiny smile etched on my lips, showing the pleasure that I was free. Free from the grasp of the Decepticons and Autobots. Free from the troubles that lay on my shoulders.

But not for long.

I knew they were going to look for me. And their first place to look for me was Chicago.

I hastily decided to go back to my house, hoping Gale or Aunt Gretchen or at least the twins were there. But mostly Gale.

The jets whirred to life on either one of my wings, and I started to lift off from my sitting position. I flipped my body horizontally towards the ground, faced the suburbs, then blasted off, making sure that I stayed as high as the tallest skyscrapers.

After a few minutes, the ground flying by below me, I arrived at my street. Going down a few houses, I soon came upon my aunt's home. I landed in her front yard, only a couple paces from the garage.

I suddenly remembered Bee.

Widening my eyes, I quickly ran to the garage, wings retracting into my back and eyes clicking back to normal. I got to the steps leading up to the door, grasped my hand on the doorknob, and flung it open. Horror overcame my system as I saw what fate had led me to.

Bumblebee wasn't there.

"Bee...?" I said in almost a whisper. I slowly stepped into the room. When I got to the center of where Bee should be parked, I landed on my knees and put my head in my hands, thinking of where he could have gone or could have been taken to. I violently held back the urge to start crying, but a stray tear or two fell from my eyes. I lifted a finger to wipe them away.

I fell against my back and splayed my legs out from under me. My wavy hair splayed out onto the cold, concrete floor of the garage. I felt like giving up for good, felt like quitting the chase. I immediately wished that I hadn't been born.

Shaking, I climbed to my feet. My knees wobbled uncontrollably, and I wrung my hands. I then noticed how cold I was.

I shook out my hair to get some volume back into it and strode towards the garage door. Opening my exit, I walked up the steps to the front porch of the house and came to the front door.

I reached out a hand and lightly jiggled the knob. Locked. She must keep a spare key under the mat... I thought as I checked under the welcome rug. Nothing.

"Desperate times call for desperate measures," I mumbled. I sighed as I brought my hand up in a fist, then flung my arm forward. My closed hand hit the wood of the doorway, and my entrance caved in immediately.

Coughing and waving my arm in front of my face to clear away the dust from the broken planks, I stepped through the split frame. I, by habit, scanned my surroundings.

The house was quiet.

Too quiet.

A sense of paranoia shivered down my spine, but I pushed it back down with doubted reassurance. Surely nothing would happen to me in my own home...

I trudged into the foyer, and then into the kitchen from there. The stairs were just in reach, and I climbed them, being careful of my own injuries. Actually, they weren't hurting as much anymore. It was probably that sleep that eased the wounded joints.

I hiked the last of the steps and stepped into the attic. It was unusually more dusty that usual up here, but it's always a little dusty in this room.

Looking down at my tattered and torn sweat shorts and sports bra, I ultimately decided I need a shower and a fresh change of clothes. So I grabbed myself a pair of dark blue jean shorts that were intentionally torn at the bottoms, a tight-fitting white tee shirt, and a spruce brown leather vest. I carried these items back downstairs and to the bathroom.

Setting down my wardrobe pick, I took off my dirty clothes and threw them in the small trashcan we have in the restroom. I wouldn't be needing those anymore, they were so frayed.

I turned the shower on to the hottest it will go, and I climbed in. I let the steaming water roll down my bare shoulders and soak into my hair.

Sudden pain flashed across my forehead. I screamed and flew backwards, hitting the stall wall. Gasping, I gingerly touched my forehead. I forgot that I had a swelling burn mark from the catastrophe in the atmosphere.

I lightly continued my shower, aware still that I didn't have water touch my forehead.

Once my shower was over with, I dried my body off and wrapped my long hair up in a towel. I got out some facial wash and scrubbed my face, still careful not to touch that same burnt spot.

After that, I took my hair down and blow-dried it, then pinned it up into a high ponytail. I also put on some fresh makeup: black eyeliner, mascara, and dark purple eyeshadow. For a finishing touch, which I almost forgot, I put on some sweet-smelling deodorant.

I put on my clothes and headed out of the bathroom. I finally felt fresh and clean for once.

I hopped down the stairs and to the kitchen. When I was in my bedroom, I had pulled out a small bottle of Energon, which I would think I would need if I went into battle today. I popped the cork to the bottle and gulped down the contents, enjoying the smooth liquid as it poured down my throat. It had a metallic tang to it, but it actually tasted good.

I felt coolness spread throughout my limbs, right down to each finger and toe. The sensation stayed for a couple seconds, then it slowly dissipated. I shivered as I realized how much I liked that feeling.

I turned and walked out of the kitchen and into the foyer. I stopped at the door, hand inches from the knob. I suddenly felt I wasn't ready for this battle. What if a battle wasn't going to happen? What if the Decepticons weren't coming to look for me?

I sighed and thought of something else. If the Decepticons were coming, they were going to have a fight all right.

But when I went to turn the doorknob, a flash of light blinded my eyes. I stumbled backwards as a sight opened up in front of me.

And that's when I realized I was receiving a vision.

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