Taylor lost control of herself. She took off back down the stairs and burst into the lab. Soldiers pulled up their guns, hostily, then Morshower appeared, shouting, “Hold your fire!” Taylor’s heart raced. There were over a dozen of them. Some were in stasis pods, while others were encased in solid, frozen ice. She ran up to one of the ice-cased she recognized. “Ironhide” she breathed. The Cybertronian’s eyes were dimmed, but she could still make out his bright red paint, and the autobot insignia on his chassis. She ran to the next one. The next one looked like to have a form similar to a white race car. “Jazz.” The next had a red cross on both of his shoulders. “Ratchet.” She could hardly believe her eyes. All of her friends she thought were dead, and she was looking right at them! It was one of the last she was the most relieved to see. The last in the row was the biggest of them all, who had the form of a large truck. His red and blue paint were scratched, and dim. But she could still see a bright, blue glow shimmering underneath his chassis. Optimus Prime. She slowly touched the ice case, not caring how bitterly cold it was on her fingers. She sighed, sharply. “Sir, you are a sight for sore eyes” she stated. “The ship was deep in the ice when it was recovered. Some of them were seemingly spontaneously frozen in ice. While others were in, what looked like to be stasis pods” Morshower explained. Taylor nodded. “Yeah, we used those on the wounded, since we couldn’t resupply them with energon. Er-our energy supply” Taylor replied. Then, she started to look around, distracted. There was one missing.
“Am I foolish to think that maybe…?” Taylor’s thoughts trailed off when she saw a scientist, an Asian woman, with yellow and black layered hair in a ponytail, almond brown eyes, and glasses, wearing a lab coat, tapping her fingers on a pad. “Excuse me, is this all of them?” she asked, urgently. “No, there about six others in the next hanger” the woman replied, calmly. She adjusted her glasses. “Are you the hybrid that Commander Simmons brought in?” she asked. Before she could open her mouth, Morshower had caught up with them and interrupted. “Knightingale, this is Doctor Masumi Glau, she runs the scientific division of this operation.” Dr. Glau nodded. “Welcome to Alaska, Ms. Knightingale” she greeted.
“Uh, nice to meet you to. Call me Taylor,” Taylor stammered, “Um, were there any Autobots that were yellow? Like…Bright yellow?”
“I haven’t checked them in thorough detail” Dr. Glau stated, seemingly ignoring Taylor’s anxiousness.
“Is there someone you’re looking for, Knightingale?”
Taylor turned to Morshower. “Yes, yes! He’s um-! He should be shorter than the rest of them. He’s got yellow decal, he’s got like…red lights down to here-” Taylor drew a line down both of her cheeks with her fingers, “-And h-he should have a scar on his throat!”
“Actually, now that I think of it, I think I may know who you’re referring to” said Dr. Glau, “That one’s in another hanger.”
“Is he alright? Is he alive?” Taylor demanded, “Please, Primus, tell me he’s alive!”
Before Dr. Glau could answer, a walkie-talkie strapped to her hip began ringing. Dr. Glau grabbed it and held down a button. “This is Glau, go ahead” she ordered, firmly.
“Doctor! One of the robots-! It’s-! It’s like…Spazzing out! I can’t tell if it’s alive or glitching! It’s breaking through the ice!”
Dr. Glau’s eyes widened. “They’re not suppose to wake up” she mumbled, then said loudly, “Do you have the generators on full power?”
“Then siphon it’s supply. We can’t risk it wreaking havoc and squashing humans.”
“Wait!” Taylor cried, “Which one is it!? There may be a reason!”
Dr. Glau glanced at her for a second, then asked, “Which one is it?”
“It’s the yellow one, ma’am!”
Taylor gasped. Her instincts suddenly kicked in. “Tell them to hold that order!” she commanded, “And tell ‘em I’m coming!” Then, she took off. “Knightingale!” Morshower and Dr. Glau exclaimed at the same time. But Taylor didn’t stop.
She practically kicked down the door, and ran into the bitterly freezing air. She fumbled through the thick snow, her pant legs getting soaked. She kept going as fast as she could. “I’m coming, Bee. I’m coming!” Finally, when she approached the next hanger, the door was already opened, and a soldier was waiting for her. She stumbled her way in and the soldier closed the door. “The yellow robot! Show me where it is!” she demanded. The huge crash at the end of the hallway answered her question. She kept running until she burst into the large, opened area. There, she could see more rows of more Cybertronians, in the same conditions as the first. But this time, she could see one of them was frantically moving. Taylor took off running again. Another soldier ran up to her. “I-I don’t know how it woke up! It’s the most badly bruised of all of them! He was the last one we expected to-!” Taylor cut him off. “Is there an empty, intact stasis-pod?”she asked, “There should be at least one empty!” “Y-Yes, just one, ma’am!” “Bring it in here as fast as you can. Once you do, I’ll tell you how to power it up.” There was another crash. The lights began to flicker. The soldier took off, and Taylor went the opposite direction.
As if she wasn’t shocked enough already, she could see her very own best friend, glitch wildly before her eyes. She couldn’t believe that he was alive! But first, she had to calm him down. His health was probably just as delicate as it was when they last met. She had to be careful. She could see him sprawling on the ground, the ice crumbling from between his joints. Some of the other soldiers were already lassoing chains around his wrists to try and pull him down. He looked like he didn’t even notice them. He only looked very disoriented, and very scared.
“Bumblebee!” she screamed.
The Autobot didn’t seem to hear her, but he had seem to crash back onto the ground. His optics were squeezing tight, as if he was in serious pain, and he was pulling with all might he could muster to get his wrists free. She approached him closer, and began shouting some foreign words. Once again, he still didn’t seem to hear her. Taylor huffed. She hated to do what she did next, but it was the only way to get him still. “Pull his limbs down long enough for me to climb on top of him!” Everyone stared at her in shock. Who was this lady, and why was she giving them orders? But, they obeyed when they realized the damage that could potentially be cause if they didn’t. They pulled him down harder. Taylor continued to call out the strange words, calmly, but as loudly as she could. Finally, they were able to pull him down. He struggled against his bonds, but he seemed to be losing his adrenaline rush. Taylor growled. “I could use that stasis pod about now” she muttered. But, she quickly ignored that thought and began to get close enough that she was able to climb.
He squirmed, feeling her presence, and was alarmed by it. “Bumblebee! Bumblebee, stop!” she cried. When she got atop of his chassis, she noticed the large wound to the chest was still there. No wonder why he was in such pain. He was still suffering the same wounds he had suffered years ago. She laid belly-flat down, and crawled forward, until finally, she was eye to eye with him. “Bumblebee, Bumblebee, look at me!” she ordered. Then, she began to repeat what she said in her tongue, in a way he could understand. He saw her. He froze. His eyes were flashing blue as his energy was draining fast from his sudden spazout. No one could understand what she said, but I do.
“It’s alright, it’s okay. Look, it’s me, Knightingale, your friend” she said, lowering her voice, “The friend who used to race with you, the friend who fought by your side during the war. Please, primus, let him recognize my voice. It’s alright. You’re not in danger.”
Finally, it seemed that he began to calm down. His optics widened. He seemed to understand her, and was no longer frightened. “That’s it, that’s it” Taylor cooed, “Now, listen to me. You need to go back to sleep, alright?” She put her hand on his face, gently. “Just a little longer, I promise. Go back to sleep. Save your strength, and that’s an order.” She honestly didn’t expect him to understand, even if she spoke in a language he understood. He seemed only half-awake, in a fever dream-like state. There was no guarantee he even knew he was on another planet. However, he calmed down, and rested more easily. Taylor felt her heart pounding. She wanted to cry again. But she held back. She took deep breaths, then whispered, “Everything’s going to be alright.” He moved slightly at that sentence. He looked at her, mouthed a long word, then, finally, he seemed unconscious once more. Taylor covered her mouth, holding back her anguish, hating herself for telling her best and dearest friend to be silent; and she knew what he was trying to say: he was trying to say her name.
She felt someone violently grab her wrist. Knightingale jumped. She whirled around. What she saw, made her the happiest femme bot alive. “Bumblebee!?” She hissed. It was! Bumblebee’s face was pale with shock, and he was shaking. “RATCHET!” Knightingale cried. She sprinted forward. Bumblebee’s hand was clasped tightly around her wrist. “It’s okay. It’s okay! Look-” Knightingale moved his hand up to her face, “-Look, I’m here! We’re safe! We’re safe!” Bumblebee’s optics glowed its bright blue again, which made her spark soar. Bumblebee opened his mouth to say something, but in doing so, resulted in coughing furiously, and sat up suddenly. Ratchet burst into the room. “By the Allspark!” He exclaimed. He ran over to the table, and gently pushed Bumblebee back down. “Easy, easy Bumblebee! Calm down! Be still.” Bumblebee tried to speak, but once again, he coughed violently. “Don’t try to speak, Bee! Just calm down! It’s alright” Knightingale cooed. Bumblebee finally stopped struggling, and laid back down. Ratchet checked his vitals. “Thank the maker!” He cried, “It’s a miracle!” Knightingale beamed. Bumblebee still had a grip on her wrist, but it started to loosen, as he relaxed a little. “Well, it looks like I’m gonna have to extend my visit, Ratch. I’m not leaving until my scout’s ready to roll” Knightingale announced. “Of course! I’ll send a message to both Optimus and your team of the news. For now, it looks like the storm has subsided.”
Taylor watched somberly as Bumblebee was lowered into a stasis pod. Dr. Glau watched carefully, observing Taylor’s behavior. Once Bumblebee was inside, a stool was brought so that Taylor could configure the controls. She turned it on, and the mirror reflecting the being inside, was now fogged. Taylor felt a sense of exhaustion as two heavy duty trucks moved the pod to a more convenient location. Dr. Glau walked up behind them. “So, who was it?” Taylor turned around.
“That robot, you knew its name, and it seemed to know you…”
Taylor shrugged. “Probably not. He was probably too feverish. Besides, I’m human. He wouldn’t recognize me.”
“I don’t know, we had a pretty hard time containing him until you showed up. It seemed…entranced.”
Dr. Glau looked at her. “Excuse me?”
“It has a name. It’s Bumblebee.”
Dr. Glau stared at her for a moment, then nodded. “My apologies.”
Once everything settled down, General Morshower met back up with Taylor. Taylor was leaning on the balcony, looming over all her sleeping friends. She looked lost in thought, as well as feeling a sense of depression. Morshower couldn’t help but smile. He remembered that look all too well. “What’s wrong, Knightingale?” he asked. Taylor looked at him, her hand propping up her head.
“I think you know what’s wrong, Thomas” she replied. Then, she sighed heavily. “I just keep thinking…Is this how Optimus felt when he became a Prime?”
“Is a ‘Prime’ like a ‘Commander’?” Morshower inquired.
Taylor shrugged. “More or less.”
There was silence between the two of them. Taylor looked away, then continued:
“What happened to Bumblebee tonight…What I had to do…made me realize I have a huge responsibility on my shoulders. Not just on behalf of the Autobots, but of humans too.”
“What do you mean?”
“Whatever decision I make now will decide the fate of this planet, as well as my people” Taylor explained, “The Decepticons are out there, and it’s only a matter of time before they initiate a large-scale attack. Humans don’t stand a chance against them without some help.”
General Morshower sighed, then leaned on the balcony next to her. “If it makes you feel any better, you’re not the only one.” Taylor glanced at him. “I’m not as spry as I used to be. I’m fearful of making the wrong move that will cost my men their lives” Morshower expounded, “Contrary to popular belief, the concept of aliens are beyond me.” Taylor frowned. Then, she had an idea. She put a hand on his shoulder, just as he used to. “But, if we work together, we might have a better possibility of succeeding” she proposed. Morshower looked at her, and smiled. “Music to my ears.” Taylor smiled back, smally. Perhaps, maybe she could do this…