DISCLAIMER: I do not own Transformers, or any of the song/movie quotes used in this story. However, the idea for this story does, indeed, belong to me.
HERE'S YOUR TRADITIONAL, FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD REMINDER THIS IS NOT A SLASH FIC.
NOTE: DO NOT READ THIS FIC UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN DARK OF THE MOON!!! MAJOR SPOILERS ABOUND!
Transformers: Day of the Black Sun
Chapter Three-The Warning
FIRESTORM HAD LOST TRACK OF HOW FAR HE HAD TRAVELED; THAT WAS the problem with traveling through the stars. After a while, even when you had detailed logs of any familiar stars, everything started looking the same, and the fact that there was no proper direction in space did not help matters. The stars in this area were unfamiliar, anyway, so the star logs that he currently held were of no use. The only clues he had to let him know that he was heading in the right direction were the faint traces of the transmission he had picked up from Optimus Prime. All he had to do was follow the trail and he would find the transmission's origin point, on Earth. Just to be sure, though, before he made planetfall, he would check and see if the transmission's origin point on the planet had changed to a different location; time had passed since he had first picked it up, and he had his doubts that the Autobots would still be in the same area, especially if it had been the sight of a battle.
Just a bit longer, he thought to himself, urging his Energon-deprived systems to go on. Just a little longer, a little farther, and I will be on Earth.
Soon, very soon.
Once again he felt the chill of the shadow pursuing him, and he sped onward.
He only hoped that he would arrive on Earth soon enough to prepare the Autobots to fight back.
"So which Autobot is it that's going to meet up with us and show us where our new house is? Is it one of the ones we've met already, or is it someone new?"
Still in Camaro form, Bumblebee warbled a little, shifting up on his tires a bit in a shrug in response to Sam's question, although he was careful not to move too much, as Blaster was recharging on his backseat and he didn't want to wake the little Sparkling up. "Your guess is as good as mine," He offered quietly through his radio as his verbal response. The young Autobot was being perfectly honest; he had no idea who it was that was coming to show them to their new home. They'd finally begun their move, and after a few days of driving they had entered Ohio that afternoon. Shortly after they had arrived in the state, Bumblebee had contacted Optimus, and the Prime had told him that one of the Autobots would meet up with them just outside of Dayton and show them to the house that had been chosen for them. The Prime hadn't said who it would be meeting them, though.
Which brought them to their current location-a basically-deserted truck stop style gas station on the outskirts of town. It was actually a pretty convenient rendezvous point; the moving van had been really low on gas anyway and this was as good an opportunity as any to fill the tank up, since they had to wait for whoever the Autobot was that was meeting them to arrive. Sam had been driving the moving van, something Bumblebee had initially not been too thrilled about, but he knew that Sam and Carly taking charge of the moving van while he followed was better than having a driver they didn't know do it. Even though the Autobots were public knowledge, and had been for some time, Bumblebee preferred that they didn't have anyone they didn't know near, especially since they had a Sparkling to take care of. Not that any human would be stupid enough to try anything with a Camaro that could turn into a sixteen-foot-tall robot armed with a plasma cannon nearby, though. However, it was better to be safe than sorry; a lifetime of experience had taught Bumblebee and every other Autobot that.
As of now, Sam had finished refueling the moving van (with a vehement "blech!" from the watching Bumblebee, who thought that gasoline was one of the most disgusting things ever, to Sam's amusement) and they were all taking advantage of the break from traveling to relax while waiting for their Autobot guide to show up. After promising not to touch anything, Wheelie and Brains had climbed into the cab of the moving van and were looking it over. Sam was leaning against Bumblebee's driver's side door with Carly standing next to him. Buster was lying next to the van, and Blaster was, of course, still in recharge on Bumblebee's back seat. Bumblebee himself was just enjoying taking a break from driving and talking to his human friends (which was something he had been unable to do while they were driving as Sam and Carly had been in the moving van, and not with him).
"I hope whoever it is gets here soon," Carly put in. "I don't mind waiting but I want to get to our new home."
"Yeah, me too," Sam agreed. "Not looking forward to all the unpacking, though."
"I'm not, either, but it has to be done," Carly replied.
"I can help-move in some furniture," Bumblebee offered.
"That'd be great, Bee," Sam said with a smile. "Save us the strain, right?"
"Uh-huh," Bumblebee replied. A faint blip on his sensors suddenly caught his attention, and he focused on it for a few seconds before letting out a soft, excited chirp as he recognized the signal. Finding an appropriate radio clip, he cheerfully broadcasted out, "He's here! He's here!" , although he was careful to keep the volume of his radio low enough that it wouldn't wake Blaster up.
"Who's here?" Sam asked curiously, and then turned when the sound of an engine answered his question.
A bright yellow Corvette Stingray drove into view, flashing its headlights at them. Bumblebee chirped a greeting at the newcomer.
"Sideswipe?" Carly guessed.
Sam shook his head. "No, Sideswipe is silver."
"Maybe he changed the color of his paintjob?"
"No, he's my brother, actually, and he couldn't pull off this look even if he tried," the yellow Corvette announced as it pulled up next to Bumblebee. "My name is Sunstreaker. So you two are Bumblebee's human friends, huh? I've heard about you. Sam and Carly, right?"
"Yeah, that's us," Sam answered.
"Nice to meet you, Sunstreaker," Carly added.
"Pleasure's all mine," Sunstreaker replied airily, and then he turned his attention to Bumblebee. He gave the younger Autobot a playful, gentle nudge. "Hey, Bumblebee. How are you doing? I think you've grown since the last time I saw you."
"Thank you-I'm-Just fine," Bumblebee replied. Sunstreaker seemed stuck-up at first, but Bumblebee knew that the older Autobot was a good friend and cared for the other Autobots, especially his brother. Bumblebee had lots of memories of spending time with Sunstreaker and Sideswipe (aka getting into trouble with their encouragement) when he was younger, and it was good to see the yellow twin again.
"That's good to hear," Sunstreaker said, giving the younger Autobot another nudge. "Who's that you've got napping on your backseat?"
"Blaster," Bumblebee replied, affection and pride evident in his voice.
"Oh, that's right, one of the rescued Sparklings, huh?"
Bumblebee chirped in confirmation.
"Never thought I'd ever see you taking care of a Sparkling, Bumblebee. But you're perfect for the job. Just leave teaching him how to annoy Prowl to me and Sideswipe."
Bumblebee made a noise that could easily be interpreted as "You wish". There will be no teaching Blaster to do anything like that, he retorted via comm, though inwardly he was happy that his older friend though he was perfect for being a Sparkling caretaker. Don't even think about it. He's got enough bad influences as it is.
Sunstreaker laughed. "Calm down, Bumblebee, I was just kidding." He shifted his attention to Wheelie and Brains, who were hanging out of the window of the moving van, watching him. "You two must be the 'Cons who joined up a while back, before I got here. What were your names again?"
"I'm Wheelie and he's Brains," Wheelie responded, jerking a thumb towards Brains, who waved.
"Brains, huh? Computron told us about you. He said you were interesting because you like to argue," Sunstreaker mused.
"That's me, all right," Brains agreed.
"I take it that these two are the aforementioned 'bad influences'?" Sunstreaker asked Bumblebee.
"The one and the same!" Bumblebee confirmed smugly.
"Hey, now," Wheelie protested. "We're just teaching the little guy how to have fun!"
Before a full-fledged argument could break out, however, Sam interfered. "Hey, guys, come on. Don't start. We've been on the road all day and we're all tired. Sunstreaker's here for a reason, remember? One that doesn't involve causing annoyances to anybody?"
"That's right," Sunstreaker agreed, focusing his attention on the two humans. His next words, however, were directed to everyone present, not just Sam and Carly. "So…are you all ready to go to your new home?"
The eager looks on the faces of Sam, Carly, Wheelie, and Brains, along with a happy chirp from Bumblebee, was all that Sunstreaker needed for an answer.
Sunstreaker wasn't too hard to keep up with on the road. Like Bumblebee, his bright yellow paintjob made him easy to spot, and, in turn, easy to keep in sight. This was a good thing, seeing as how Sunstreaker was the only one in their little group that knew where they were going. Once they pulled off the main road and started heading into more of a countryside area outside the city, however, there was less traffic and less of a chance of getting separated from Sunstreaker. To anyone watching, it certainly had to be an odd sight-a caravan of vehicles consisting of a yellow Corvette, a moving van, and a black-striped yellow Camaro.
As they drove, Sunstreaker conversed with Bumblebee over their comms, which was something Bumblebee was grateful for, as it not only gave him a chance to catch up with his friend; it also helped pass the time during the drive.
So, how many of the others have arrived? Bumblebee asked curiously. Last I heard was about Prowl and Computron's landing near DC.
Well, Prowl and Computron are here, like you said, Sunstreaker responded, listing the names of the newer Autobots. Silverbolt's here, too, and Red Alert just arrived a few months ago. And there's me, of course. That's about it, but I know we'll be getting more sooner or later.
Any sign of the Decepticons? Bumblebee asked warily.
Not a trace. Prowl thinks we may have finally seen the last of them, and Optimus hopes he's right, Sunstreaker replied. Me? I'll miss blasting the slag out of the 'cons, but I have to admit the idea of finally having peace is nice.
I haven't seen any trace of them, either, Bumblebee admitted. I'm all for never seeing them again. I don't want to fight anymore-I just want to spend time with my family.
And you will, don't worry, Sunstreaker assured his younger friend. We're almost there, Bumblebee. You and your human friends are going to love this place.
Sunstreaker made a left turn, which took him onto a driveway that led to the house that Bumblebee and his family would now call home.
The property had clearly been a farm at one point-fields that had a cultivated look despite being overgrown and an old barn were indicative of that. The house itself was shaped like a barn, but it was obviously much newer than the actual barn itself was. There was plenty of space all around, and the property was isolated enough so that Bumblebee and the others could move around without worrying about attracting any unwanted attention (because drawing strangers in just to look at the Autobots would not be very peaceful). Bumblebee clicked softly in amazement as he took in the new surroundings.
Like it? Sunstreaker asked.
It's wonderful, Bumblebee replied, then hesitated. Will I be able to get into the house? Living in the apartment back in DC had been nice, and he'd gotten used to living inside a human dwelling instead of in a garage. Not that he would complain if he couldn't do so here, he just hoped that he would be able to live in the house here as well.
Sunstreaker worded his reply in a way that implied he would be laughing if he had been speaking out loud. Knew you'd ask that. If you guys had come when we first found this place, no, you wouldn't have been able to. But we were able to pull some strings once we got this property and had a large enough door installed in the back so that you can get in.
Thank you, Bumblebee responded, relieved.
You're welcome, Sunstreaker said, and Bumblebee swore that he could detect the older mech's grin even though Sunstreaker was unable to do so in vehicle mode and the comms didn't really transfer emotion well. But really, the Corvette continued seriously. Optimus is the one you should thank. He's the one who found this place.
I'll thank him whenever I see him next, Bumblebee promised as the moving van and the two Autobots came to a stop next to the house.
Oh, speaking of that, Bumblebee, I've got something else to tell you, Sunstreaker informed the younger Autobot. But first, let's get the human verdict on this place, okay?
During the brief exchange between the two Autobots, Carly and Sam had exited the moving van, Wheelie, Brains, and Buster coming out behind them. The two humans were looking at the house and surrounding property in awe.
"What do you think?" Sunstreaker called.
"It's just…" Sam turned in a circle, taking in the whole property. "I mean…wow."
"It's perfect," Carly replied, turning to face the watching Autobots. "Just perfect."
"Glad to hear that you like it," Sunstreaker said, pleased. "Oh, yeah, the keys to the house are in my glovebox. You need those."
After Sam had taken the keys from Sunstreaker, the Corvette-formed Autobot began to speak again. "Now, listen, I've got to run-I'm due for patrol duty right about now. But if you need anything, the base is not too far away, and you can just have Bumblebee here give us a shout. That okay, Bumblebee?" He asked the younger Autobot.
Bumblebee perked up on his tires a bit and gave a positive chirp in conformation.
"Good. Just do that," Sunstreaker continued, "And we'll be here as soon as we can."
"We will, Sunstreaker." Sam nodded. "Thanks for bringing us here."
"Yes, thank you," Carly added.
"Tell Optimus 'thank you' for us, too, okay?" Sam requested.
"As to that…" There was no mistaking the grin in Sunstreaker's vocal tone now that he was speaking aloud. "Why don't you all thank him yourself? Optimus asked me to invite all of you over to the base tonight. Nothing fancy, it's just sort of…a…well, no, party isn't really the right word…well, a 'welcome-to-your-new-home' gathering, anyway."
"Wow, really?" Sam was surprised. He'd expected to be invited to the base, but not right away. He turned to Carly. "What do you think? We'll get to see everyone again and thank them for helping get a house for us."
Carly nodded. "After all they've done recently, how can we say no? And you're right. It will be nice to see everyone again."
Wheelie and Brains came over from exploring the outside of the house.
"A party?" Wheelie asked. "Count us in."
"Bee?" Sam questioned, looking over at his friend.
Bumblebee didn't even have to think about it, and his radio let everyone know that in no uncertain terms. "The gang's all here-let's go-have some fun!"
Sam grinned, turning back to look at Sunstreaker. "We'll be there."
"Great! I'll let Optimus and everyone else know when I get back on base. In the meantime, remember what I said about what to do if you ever need anything. Oh, and it's easy to get to the base-just follow the signs on the highway, they'll lead you right to it. The guards will be expecting you and show you the right place to go once you get there. See you all tonight."
Sunstreaker turned around and headed back towards the road.
"See you, Sunstreaker!" Sam called. "Tell Sideswipe and everyone we said hey!"
As Sam and Carly turned and began to approach their new house, eager to see what it looked like inside and then start unpacking so it would feel more like home, Bumblebee received one last comm from Sunstreaker.
I can see why you like the humans, Bumblebee. They're both pretty cool, for organics. See you tonight.
Not even the normally self-absorbed Sunstreaker can avoid becoming friends with them, Bumblebee thought, pleased. He knew how prickly the older Autobot was when it came to befriending others, so hearing his friends praised by Sunstreaker was both a pleasant surprise and a welcome one. Once Sunstreaker decided that you were his friend, that was that. Humans really are amazing. I'm proud to call them my family.
Now on the porch with Carly, Sam turned to face Bumblebee. "Hey, Bee, we're gonna go inside and check things out. That okay, or do you want us to wait until you can come in, too?"
"Go on, go on-I don't mind," Bumblebee urged.
Sam offered his friend a smile and then unlocked the door, opening it and disappearing inside with Carly.
Bumblebee drove up a little closer to the house. Blaster was still recharging on his backseat and would remain that way for at least another hour as it was still his naptime, so the scout had no problems about waiting patiently for Sam and Carly to come back outside, so they could get the little Sparkling out without waking him. It was true that he could Transform so that Blaster ended up in one of his hands once he was in robot mode, but, as Transforming was not a quiet process, doing so would wake the Sparkling up and he did not want that-Blaster was very cranky if he was brought out of recharge too early. Waiting for Sam or Carly to get Blaster was a much better idea as a result. Once Blaster was taken out and put in a place where he could continue to recharge while they unpacked (probably a box of clothes or blankets until they could get the Sparkling's actual berth set up), Bumblebee would help Sam and Carly get the furniture out of the moving van and into the house.
As best as he could while remaining in vehicle mode, he looked around the property once more-the large house, the barn, the open fields, the trees that would allow him and the others to not worry about prying eyes-it was a beautiful, peaceful place, and it was theirs.
This is our new home, he thought. Sam and Carly are right.
Once Sam and Carly had finished looking around the inside of the house and Blaster was transferred to a box of towels and placed out of the way upstairs-they were going to work on unpacking and getting set up on the ground floor first -so the little Sparkling could continue to recharge without being in an area where he could accidently be woken up, the Autobot-sized back door was opened so that Bumblebee could come inside. The young Autobot hesitantly approached the door, pausing for a minute before he finally entered the house.
The interior of the house was somewhat similar to the apartment they had lived in back in DC. There was a large main room that was connected to the kitchen and dining area. The second floor was basically a loft like area that lead into the upper rooms, with the stairs that led up there coming down in the main room. However, there were differences-there was more than one room upstairs, and the house seemed to have both an attic and a basement. Of course, the only floor he would be able to go to or stay on was the first floor, but that was just fine with Bumblebee, as long as he could stay in house and be close to his human family.
Bumblebee continued to look around the interior of the house curiously. They'd only been here for less than half an hour and it already felt like home; as if they had always been living here. Something about the layout of the house just seemed right. They belonged here, all of them. It was wonderful. Impressed, Bumblebee chirped quietly to himself.
"Cool, isn't it, Bee?" Sam asked his friend as he reentered the house carrying two boxes stacked on top of each other.
Bumblebee chirped again. Seeing that the human was struggling to keep both of the boxes balanced, the young Autobot placed a steadying finger against them. "Steady, steady," he quoted.
"Thanks, bud. Could you…?" Sam began, but finishing was not necessary. Bumblebee knew what he was going to ask, and he nodded, taking the top box himself. Without the second box, Sam managed to successfully regain his balance. "Thanks."
"No problem," Bumblebee shrugged.
Sam sat the box he still held down, and then took the other box from Bumblebee and sat it on top of the first box once again. "Okay, Bee, we're going to start moving in the furniture next. You ready?"
Bumblebee nodded again, following Sam out of the back door towards the moving van.
With Bumblebee helping move the furniture into the house, unloading the moving van took hardly any time at all. After about an hour, the moving van was empty except for a few last boxes of personal belongings, which were quickly brought inside as well, and the house, even with most of the boxes unopened and furniture in odd places, was definitely starting to look more like people actually lived in it. With the moving van now empty, Sam and Carly began to unpack the boxes and set up the furniture, with Bumblebee, Wheelie, and Brains helping out whenever they could-they wanted to have as much of it done as possible before they left to head out to the base in a little while.
A few hours after they had started, Sam pushed aside an empty box and sat down on the floor. He looked at Carly. "Let's take a break for today. We've got the bed set up in the bedroom upstairs so we have a place to sleep, so I think we can stop for now. And at least things more or less have the appearance of not being so much of a mess. Besides, if we keep unpacking now and don't stop until we're finished we'll all be exhausted tonight, and that won't make the little housewarming party the Autobots are holding for us seem very fun."
Carly set aside the box she had been unpacking. "You're right. I don't want to be falling asleep at a party that's being held for us, either. It's almost evening, anyway, so we should be leaving and heading to the base soon."
Blaster, who had woken from his recharge a couple of hours earlier, had something to contribute to the conversation. He was far too young to really understand the gist of what they were talking about, but the concept of not going to sleep was something he understood, in his own way. "No go bed. Stay up!" He announced as he tried to climb onto Bumblebee's leg. Bumblebee, not wanting the Sparkling to accidently fall off and hurt himself, picked him up and placed him on his leg to save him the effort of climbing.
"No one's going to bed, little guy," Sam told Blaster, smiling. He looked back at Carly. "Maybe we should head out now-before Blaster gets bored and tries to find some new hiding places. I don't think it would be very easy to find him right now with everything still not completely unpacked."
"Yes, we probably should," Carly agreed. She stood up, and Sam followed suit.
"You want to leave now, Bee?" Sam asked when he noticed that the young Autobot was watching him.
Bumblebee nodded, warbling in agreement before he handed Blaster to Sam so that he could exit the house and Transform. Once he was back in Camaro form, he drove around to the front of the house, where he waited for Sam and Carly to come out with Blaster, Wheelie, and Brains. When Sam came out, Bumblebee raised a little on his wheels in interest-Sam was not only carrying Blaster in one arm, but was also carrying along one of his guitar cases in the other hand.
As Sam approached, Bumblebee let out an inquisitive chirp. Sam guessed what it was Bumblebee was trying to ask, and lifted his guitar case slightly.
"Thought I'd bring this and play something for the other Sparklings. I know Blaster loves it, so I was thinking that the others might, too."
That's actually a pretty good idea, Bumblebee thought as he swung his doors open so his friends could get in. It keeps Blaster happy, and it might keep the Sparklings calm and out of trouble at the party, too, at least.
Sam placed Blaster on Bumblebee's driver's seat, and the little Sparkling immediately scrambled into the back seat, where Wheelie and Brains were already situated. Once Blaster was in, Sam got in himself, and Carly followed on the passenger side. Bumblebee shut his doors once everyone was inside.
"Alright, let's go tell everyone hi," Sam said. Bumblebee could hear the eagerness in his human friend's voice, and he felt it too. It had been entirely too long since he had spent a decent amount of time visiting his fellow Autobots. Not wanting to waste any time in getting to the Autobot base, Bumblebee drove down the driveway and turned onto the road.
They hadn't been on the road terribly long, and were driving by a line of trees shielding a small creek from view, when Blaster suddenly let out a series of surprised clicks as he looked out of one of Bumblebee's windows.
"Star!" the little Sparkling said, pointing at something outside, up in the sky.
Brains looked at what Blaster was pointing at, and shook his head. "That's not a star, kid, that's a ball of fire. Well, technically, that's what all stars are, but that's moving through the sky. Too close for a star, see. That's a meteor, most likely."
"A what?" Sam barely had time to ask before the object in question streaked through the sky above them. It was a large ball of fire-just like Brains had said-but it looked oddly familiar to Sam. He'd seen something, quite a few somethings actually, that looked exactly like that. And even though he had seen them several years ago, he could never forget what they looked like. 'Is it really a…'
Several pieces were breaking off of the fire ball as it sped out of sight into the line of trees. One of the flaming pieces struck Bumblebee on the hood. He screeched in surprise and pain, and spun off the road, too startled by the sudden impact to maintain his concentration on driving. Luckily, the screams of his passengers were enough to shock him back into focus, and he was able to come to a stop before he crashed into one of the trees. He remained there for a moment, shaking, but quickly snapped his attention inward. If he was that shaken up, he could only imagine how bad everyone else was feeling at the moment.
"I-is everyone a-all r-right?" Bumblebee managed to ask through a burst of static.
"I'm okay," Carly replied, but she sounded just as shaken as he was.
So am I," Wheelie responded from the back seat, followed by a "Me, too" from Brains.
"I'm fine," Sam told his friend, placing a hand on the center of the steering wheel. "Are you okay, Bee?"
"I'm fine but my pride is bruised," Bumblebee quoted, not entirely truthfully, as his hood was stinging painfully were the flaming whatever-it-was had hit him. He then mentally winced as Blaster began to cry in the backseat.
"Aaahhh!" Blaster wailed, his loud, distressed cries filling the inside of Bumblebee's vehicle mode. He was far too young to understand what had just happened, but the sudden change from driving normally to spinning and screeching to a sudden halt, along with Bumblebee screaming, had terrified the little Sparkling.
"Shhh…shh," Bumblebee desperately played through his radio, trying to soothe the crying Sparkling as best as he could in vehicle mode. It worked, to an extent. Blaster stopped his outright wailing but continued to make sounds similar to tearful whimpering and sniffling like humans did.
"Aw, come here, sweetie," Carly said soothingly, reaching into the backseat and picking the still-whimpering Blaster up. "You're okay. We're all okay." She turned to Sam, eyes wide. "What was that? Was it meteor?"
"I don't think so," Sam replied hesitatingly. "It looked like a…"
"L-like a C-Cybertronian…h-hot c-comet e-entry," Bumblebee finished. He had been thinking exactly the same thing as Sam, and it worried him. Autobots didn't hot comet entry on planets very often-what he and his original teammates had done to first get to Earth had been a rare decision-opting to go with ships instead as it was safer and less damaging to whatever planet they were landing on, especially if the planet had life of any kind. Decepticons, however, didn't care about damaging a planet or its civilians as a consequence of their planetfalls, and they didn't have as ready access to ships as the Autobots had. What was more, Autobots arrived on Earth because they had received the call, and they always contacted Optimus before they landed. Bumblebee knew that if the fact that an Autobot was going to make planetfall that night was common knowledge among the others at base, they would have let him know, as well. This could only lead to one reasonable conclusion.
Whoever this Cybertronian was, he wasn't an Autobot. And if he wasn't an Autobot, and was a Decepticon, they were in danger. He couldn't risk not doing anything, just in case it was a Decepticon. Bumblebee needed to contact base and let them know what was going on. But first…
Bumblebee activated his scanners. He detected the Cybertronian energy signature in the trees, and it wasn't an Autobot signal. The signal was scrambled, but it was still recognizable as a Decepticon one, just like he had been afraid of. Feeling more than a little on edge, Bumblebee opened his comms with Optimus and Ratchet. They would know what to do.
Optimus? Ratchet? He asked frantically, desperate for the help, advice, and reassurances he knew both of the older Autobots would offer.
We're here, Bumblebee. Even over the comm, Optimus's words rang with an authority that made Bumblebee feel a great deal safer just by receiving them. What is it you need? Are you going to be arriving at the base soon?
I don't think so, Bumblebee replied. Sir, we were on our way, but we witnessed a hot comet entry. It landed in the woods close to the road. I'm still near where it happened. I scanned and…and it's a Decepticon.
There was no immediate reply. Bumblebee got the distinctive feeling that Optimus and Ratchet were discussing the disturbing news with each other and everyone else. After a few tense moments of silence, Ratchet contacted Bumblebee.
How strong is the signal, Bumblebee?
Very weak and erratic, Bumblebee replied, after performing another quick scan to check. Ratchet, I don't think that whoever it was is in very good condition. Even Decepticons have some method of steering when they hot comet land, but this one didn't seem to be following any set trajectory. The signal's pretty scrambled, too.
We are on our way, Optimus responded. See if you can get a visual of the Decepticon, but do not engage in battle if you can avoid it. Understand?
Yes, sir, Bumblebee replied.
Good. We'll be there soon. Be careful, young one. The comm broke off.
Bumblebee was a bit nervous about the prospect of confronting a Decepticon again, even a possibly severely injured, weak one. He hadn't seen any action like this in a year, and he was feeling distinctly out-of-practice. But he knew he had to do it-if there was a possibility this Decepticon wasn't as weak as his scanners showed, he needed to confront it before it came into a position where it could hurt his family or anyone else. He popped open his doors with a snappy quote. "Out, out, everybody out!"
No one argued. They also sensed the urgency of the situation and scrambled out as fast as they could. Once everyone was clear, Bumblebee quickly shifted back into robot mode. He stretched up, and looked anxiously into the trees. He couldn't see where the Decepticon had landed, but he knew that it was in there somewhere. The young Autobot glanced at his family and at the sight of them-Sam and Carly looking worried, Blaster clinging to Carly and whimpering with his optics shuttered tightly, the normally talkative Wheelie and Brains quiet and concerned-he knew that he needed to go and see what they were dealing with. He didn't want to leave them, but he knew that his family would be safest here. Bumblebee gathered his resolve, then turned and took a step towards the tree line.
"Bee, wait!" Sam called, running forward.
Bumblebee looked over his shoulder at Sam and made a gesture that unmistakably meant Stay here. There was no telling what the Decepticon might do and he wanted Sam and the others as far as possible from it.
"Bee…" Sam pleaded.
"I'll be fine," Bumblebee managed to say, giving Sam a thumbs up. "Stay here-no following. I'll-be back-soon-I promise."
Seeing Bumblebee's resolve, Sam relented, but it was obvious that he wasn't too thrilled about it. "Be careful," he whispered.
Bumblebee nodded, turning back to the trees. He resumed walking towards them, and soon he was completely in the woods. He looked around. A little ways ahead, he could see the branches of a tree snapped partially off, pointing towards the ground and glowing with embers from the heat of the Cybertronian who had crashed nearby. He rushed towards the damaged tree to examine it more closely. As he got closer, he could see the huge, smoldering gash in the ground where the Decepticon had crashed and surged forward with the remaining momentum from its entry. More broken trees with snapped and charred braches, embers, pieces of still-hot metal, and ash were scattered all along the trail of entry. Anticipating a fight, Bumblebee slid his battle mask into place and followed the trail of destruction. Finally, the woods opened up, and the trail lead to a small clearing.
It was on fire. Not completely, but badly enough.
Flames shot sparks into the sky. More hunks of metal that were still glowing with heat were scattered here, more so than along the trail he had followed to get here. Amid the greatest concentration of the flames, a movement that wasn't caused by the fire caught his optics. Warily, he shifted his right arm into his plasma cannon and approached cautiously, fighting down the renewed nervousness he felt. Once he caught sight of the Decepticon, however, he froze.
Struggling to stand in the middle of the flames was one of the tallest Cybertronians he had ever seen-Autobot or Decepticon alike. It looked like a large bird, but he wasn't surprised by that-some Cybertronians had animalistic forms, whether in robot or alt mode. Bumblebee took a few hesitant steps forward, then stopped again, craning his head up to look at the Decepticon. Primus, he's so tall-he's taller than Optimus! He kept his plasma cannon on it in case it tried anything, but he knew that if it came to a fight, he wouldn't stand a chance. He took another step.
The Decepticon turned its head around and stared right at him. Bumblebee froze, still with his cannon aimed directly at the Decepticon despite the fact that he knew it would be useless to fight this thing. It scrutinized him with its bright red optics, then met his own gaze. Bumblebee blinked. There was something familiar about the way the Decepticon looked at him-something about his optics. He had never met this Decepticon before, but he knew that he had seen the same gaze, or one very similar to it, at one point in time. It was familiar, but more than that…it felt safe. Despite the fact that this was a Decepticon, Bumblebee got the distinct feeling that it could be trusted; this Decepticon reminded him of someone he had met and had known. He didn't know why he was reminded of this, or even who it was this Decepticon reminded him of, but he trusted his instincts. As a scout, that was his job.
Bumblebee slid his battle mask up, his nervousness fading, but he did not shift his cannon away yet. He somehow knew that this was safe, but he still had his weapon ready, just in case he was feeling wrong.
Suddenly, the Decepticon tilted its head to one side, optics widening. It took a shaky step forward, rasping a question in Cybertronian, his deep voice identifying him as a mech. "You…are a…you are an Autobot?"
Bumblebee nodded hesitantly. Now that he could clearly see the Decepticon, it was obvious that he was very, very old.
The Decepticon took another step, but promptly collapsed. Without knowing why, Bumblebee shifted his cannon away and raced forward, helping support the Decepticon so that he was more or less upright again, completely ignoring the heat from the still-burning fire that singed his armor. The Decepticon looked at him, and Bumblebee could see desperation as well as sadness in his optics.
"Listen…there is no time to waste. You must…warn Optimus Prime!"
"W-warn h-him o-of w-what?" Bumblebee stammered in Cybertronian, realizing that the Decepticon did not in all likelihood speak or understand English.
"It is urgent. Please, get him! Tell Optimus that…tell him…He is coming!"
And before Bumblebee could force out a response asking the Decepticon to elaborate on what he meant, the old Cybertronian froze up, the red light of his optics fading out as he collapsed into stasis lock.