Suddenly, there was a crash. Taylor ran from the gym to the hanger in a span of five minutes to see a military jeep with its hood pushed in as if it had been sat on. Corporal Fisher, all of the Red Delta Squadron (including Bumblebee), Jazz and Ratchet, were looking over the mess, and Hotline right in the middle of it. His faceplate was pale, with an expression of terror and almost whimpered.
“I-I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to!” Hotline squeaked.
Bumblebee exclaimed, “The humans could kick us off the planet if ‘accidents’ like this keeps happening!!”
“Calm down Bee, no one was hurt” Nightshock warned.
“Please, I’ll do anything to fix this!” Hotline cried.
Dakota Fisher looked absolutely livid, but also reserved.
She spoke, addressing Nightshock, “With all due respect ma’am, General Morshower will be cross to find military equipment damaged. Not to mention the ones higher than them.”
“Well I’m sure we can sort something out” Wadewatch assured, “In fact, I’ll repair the Jeep, and Hotline can help me.”
“I think that’s a great idea.”
Everyone turned around to see Taylor. Everyone saluted.
“At ease” she ordered, “I apologize for not being present,” she said, “I’ll take full responsibility. I should have remained until all of you had settled in, especially since we have a new member who’s not familiar with the way we do things.”
She leaned to the side to see Hotline was still huddled in the corner, anxiously.
“Hotline, no one’s gonna bite’cha. Come on out from there” she ordered.
“Y-yes, sir, er-ma’am.”
Slowly, he walked forward, coming out of the crowd surrounding him.
“As you were, all of you” Taylor said, addressing the rest of her team and Dakota, “I’d like to speak with Hotline alone.”
Red Delta nodded and said in unison, “Yes Captain.”
All except for Bumblebee. When the rest were departing, he hesitated.
“Bee, go ahead to the tunnel entrance and wait for me. I won’t be long” Taylor instructed.
“Are you sure?” He asked.
She nodded. “I’m sure.”
As Bumblebee left, Taylor turned to Hotline. He was still antsy and fidgeting.
“How are you holding up, Hotline?” She inquired.
“Well…” Hotline started, then trailed off.
“You can be honest with me. I won’t be angry” Taylor insisted.
Hotline frowned. “I…I miss home.”
Taylor frowned as well. “Where were you stationed?”
“A small colony, in the Clarendon system. I was just a cargo transporter, nothing special.”
“Did you have friends?”
Hotline was quiet for a moment. “Yes.”
“When the Decepticons attacked, the colony had to gear up for war. But I wasn’t capable of shooting straight or swinging a sword. I just remained at what I was already doing. I did some Decepticon decryption, but not much else. The population become fewer and fewer, until there was only me.”
“I’m sorry Hotline.”
Hotline lifted his head. “Wadewatch, Roadshot, Nightshock, none of them like me. Never did. I don’t know why they picked me up in the first place. Their rations were already beginning to lower when I got onboard.”
“Because we have a code,” Taylor replied, “No one gets left behind. Every spark is precious, no matter who they are or what they do.”
Taylor stared at the ground.
“I’m glad that even after 6,000 years of wandering space in exile, they still remembered that.”
Taylor looked up and smiled.
“Well, I’m not going to abandon you either, and I’m sure Optimus Prime will agree with me.”
Hotline was surprised.
“We’ll help you find your place. All life is born with gifts. You may have just not found yours yet.” He smiled.
“Thank you Captain! Thank you!” He gasped.
“There’s nothing to thank me for. We’re brothers and sisters in Primus. We look out for each other.”
“He’s really clumsy! We’ve had two close calls with him completely falling into the fighter jets and ruining them! I’m not sure how long Major Lennox can handle it. Optimus won’t do anything about it other than cautioning humans!”
Taylor and Bumblebee were back through the tunnels, heading back to the garage next to the cabin.
“You’re just going to have patience with him, Bee. He’s been through just as rough times as us. Things will get better.”
“Yeah…Maybe you’re right…”
The two pulled into the garage and the false wall slowly closed behind them. Taylor stepped out and Bumblebee transformed. Taylor sighed.
“Well, back to work. Still gotta finalize that kitchen so I can stop ordering pizza” she announced.
“Is that the thing you cut into triangles and put tomato and animal insides on?” Bee inquired.
Taylor snorted. “You mean meat?”
“Oh! Yeah, that…”
“Yes. But it’s not healthy for humans to eat that so much. Too much carbs.”
Taylor paused as she was exiting the garage.
Bumblebee reached to the workbench and picked up his radio.
“I’ve been trying to find some music from these humans called ‘Pentatonix’, but the radio keeps playing the same songs over and over and I can’t find any. Do you have any ideas on what I should do?”
Taylor turned around. “I’ll tell ya what, Bee. There’s music streaming platforms that can allow you to play what you want to listen to. I can set one of them up for you and give you access to it.”
Bumblebee’s eyes lit up. “Really?”
“Yeah, no problem! Believe me, I know what it feels like having to constantly change stations and not find anything you like.”
“Thanks, ‘Gale! Maybe I can music from this ‘Kenny Loggins’ too-”
Suddenly, Bee paused. His faceplate went pale. Taylor was startled.
“Bee, what’s wrong?”
His knees abruptly went limp and he fell down, his wing-doors scraping against the wall and knocking an empty shelf over. Taylor suddenly ran over to him. His bright blue optics were slowly fading, as well as the red lights on his cheeks.
“K-Knightingale…? What’s h-happening?” He asked.
His voice box was becoming distorted and fading and was now lying on the cold, hard floor back-first. Taylor’s heart began to race and thump wildly in her chest. It seemed like Bumblebee’s systems were simultaneously shutting down.
She climbed over him and nearly tore open his chassis, struggling to discover what was happening. Finally, after some hasty digging into the wires and bolted objects, she finally realized what was wrong.
“Your energon…! It’s too low…!”
Taylor thought hard, trying to think of some kind of solution, but her mind kept returning to one thing: There was no energon on planet Earth. Taylor reached into her pocket for her phone, but realized it wasn’t in her pocket.
“He’s losing energy fast! No one’s going to get here in time!”
He was sounding weaker. His warm ochre yellow paint was now fading. Taylor scrambled over to his head and clasped her hands around his face.
“Bumblebee, you need to stay awake! Don’t go offline!”
Bumblebee didn’t respond. His optics only had a flicker of life remaining in them. She was breathing so hard. She didn’t know what to do. It wouldn’t have mattered if she rushed for her phone to contact N.E.S.T.! It would be too late!
“Bee! Don’t die on me! Don’t die on me please!” She cried.
She strained to look on as the blue glow was now fading.
“No! No please!” Taylor pleaded.
Then, she slammed her fists on his chassis.
Suddenly, a huge flash of light exerted from Taylor’s fingertips and blasted the yellow bot right in the spark! Taylor tumbled head-first into the ground. Her vision spun for a few moments before she scrambled up. She could hear a loud whirring sound and the faint aura rapidly grew brighter. Just then, Bumblebee gasped and irked forward. His optics flashed to life and the yellow color that was also fading shone again. Taylor stared at him with widened eyes. Bumblebee was just as shocked.
“Wha-? What happened?” He gasped. Then, he noticed something. “‘Gale, your eyes.”
Taylor was standing a few feet from him breathlessly. Her eyes were glowing luminescent blue, as well as the blood veins in her arms. As quickly as it came, the glow faded, and she returned to normal.
There was a long stare between the two of them, slowly taking in the frightening situation they had just left. Without another word, Taylor ran to him. She wrapped her arms around his neck and rested her head on his shoulder. There was silence between them. Taylor hid her face from him, so he wouldn’t see the tears she was striving to hold back.
There is a certain code that all leaders must follow: And that’s show no emotion, at least, not negative emotions. If a team trust in their leader to make rational decisions and keep them alive, who can they trust? Taylor was a captain. She spent over twenty years slowly putting her guard down and allowing herself to occasionally wear her heart on her sleeve. But once she realized she needed to transition into the soldier, the captain mindset, it proved difficult.
“Hey, it’s okay,” Bumblebee cooed, chuckling nervously and placing a hand over her back, “Everything’s alright now.”
Taylor closing her eyes. She held him close for an additional few seconds, then released him and took a few steps back.
She sighed. “You…scared the daylights out of me…!”
“Yeah, good call though!” Bumblebee hissed.
Taylor remained worried. “That’s bad…If you were low on energon, and there’s currently no energon in existence on Earth. Then what does that mean for the rest of us!?”