Bumblebee searched for Taylor but couldn’t find her. He attempted to contact her through her cell phone, but it appeared she purposely rejected his calls. Finally, when he returned to the Autobot’s floor, he found her attempting to climb up to a computer that was originally set up for the bots. Then, Taylor slipped and fell on her rump.
“Oof!” she exclaimed.
She slammed her fist on the concrete floor in anger.
He chuckled, “Heh, I don’t think that’s the most convenient way to get up there, Gale.”
Taylor looked at him for a moment, frowned. She turned away, getting back up, embarrassed, but still angry. Bumblebee walked up to her, and knelt down on one knee.
“Come on, I’ll help you up” he offered.
Taylor turned around. He was holding his hand out to her. Taylor stared for a moment. Then, slowly, she walked over and stepped onto his hand. She wobbled a little, leaning one hand onto his arm, trying to balance herself from falling. Then, Bumblebee stood up, and dropped her off where she could reach the keyboard.
“Thanks” Taylor finally said, “Well…That was humiliating…”
Bumblebee chuckled. She pulled up a holographic keyboard in a human size and began to swiftly tap multiple buttons.
“Hey, you okay?” Bumblebee asked, “You know we needed that data, right?”
“Of course,” Taylor replied, more calmly, “I just don’t trust her, that’s all.”
Taylor turned around, boldly. “The only reason I was able to telepathically communicate with the matrix was because she had Cybertronian technology to do it with. She still won’t tell me where she had acquired it…”
Bumblebee didn’t respond for a moment. “Well, I knew she was stone-cold and cryptic, but now after what you said, there may be good reason why…”
“Just keep an eye on her for now. We can’t afford to throw around accusations. As far as I know, we don’t have much right to…”
“Heh, you sound like Optimus…”
Taylor froze a little in surprise at that comment. She turned around to face him. Bumblebee winked, saluting:
“I’ll keep an eye on her, sir!”
“Stop it, you!” She giggled, playfully nudging him.
Soon they were both laughing until the computer beeped. Taylor turned back to it, then sighed in relief.
“Good. I think I’ve found enough suitable canadities to add to our team. Perhaps for once, we won’t get caught with our pants down” she remarked.
“Why would humans want to walk around in public with their pants down?”
Taylor snorted, unexpectedly laughing. “It’s just an expression, Bee!”
Suddenly, there was a beeping. Teletraan 1 lit up and a map pulled up. A red dot appeared and the map suddenly zoomed into the United States, then New Mexico. Bumblebee and Taylor picked up quickly what it was. Perceptor also noticed and ran over.
“Did we find something good?” Taylor asked.
Bumblebee’s hands ran across the holographic keyboard.
“Sky Spy’s detected Dark energon signatures” Bumblebee announced, “In New Mexico.”
“Then let’s move!” Taylor cried.
Bumblebee sighed. “‘Gale, I’m not sure if you should.”
Taylor almost retorted at that statement.
Bee shifted his weight.
“Optimus Prime seemed very bent on keeping you out of harm’s way. I don’t completely agree with keeping away from everything, but I feel strongly that perhaps…you should sit this one out. You’re the ambassador. You’re extremely valuable to us…Why don’t you…Let me take the lead on the field this time…?”
Taylor thought for a moment. She knew Bumblebee had been wanting to take command of the Red Delta Squadron for a long time. He wanted to prove himself, prove that he could be a capable leader when the situation called for it. A tiny something in the back of her head was suspicious that this was Bumblebee’s primary reasoning. However, she also considered the possibility that Perceptor could possibly need her insight for his research. She also came to the realization that she was next in the chain of Autobot command now that Team Prime was temporarily out of commission. She had no doubt in her mind now.
“You know what, Bee? You’re right. I should stay here” said Taylor, “I will allow you to lead Red Delta on the ground. Just…be careful. Keep your mind clear so you can make good decisions.”
Bumblebee saluted. “Aye Captain!”
Taylor chuckled. “Okay Lieutenant, at ease.”
Taylor had finished her report and request to recruit human members for her team, and was promptly accepted.
“Captain, may I ask why we need human partners to complete this mission?” Nightshock asked, “We’ve been able to take care of ourselves without them on Cybertron.”
Red Delta stood in front of N.E.S.T.’s landing pad. Now they were awaiting their arrival.
“This isn’t Cybertron, Nightshock” Taylor firmly replied, “This is a world that does not abide by our laws. You need partners to be your guides, and to teach you Earth’s ways. I may have been living on this planet for over thirty years, but I can’t be in more places than one.”
Finally, the blast door was raised, and a helicopter lowered from the sky. It hummed loudy as it hovered inside. When it landed, four soldiers stepped out, and helped their recruits off the copter. There were two women and a man. The man had dark skin and wore a Marine Corp uniform with a low ranking sergeant insignia. He had a nearly clean shaven head and dark chocolate brown eyes. The first woman was tall with almond brown eyes and silky black hair tied in a bun. She wore all black with the exception of a leather jacket. Finally, the last woman, who appeared to be the youngest had bright blonde hair with a pink bow headband and black rimmed glasses. She wore a white coat with a pink shirt underneath and navy blue jeans. The soldiers led them up to Taylor and her team. The new recruits all had different reactions to the large, fifty-foot robots in front of them. The man reacted with subtle excitement and squirmed a little in energetic anticipation. The woman with the black hair was completely unreadable, only intense focus. The blonde haired girl had widened eyes and looked a little nervous. Finally, Taylor spoke.
“I’m glad you were able to make it. Welcome to N.E.S.T. I am Knightingale, Captain of Red Delta, and this is my team-“ she pointed to her companions “-Roadshot, Nightshock, Wadewatch, and my guardian Bumblebee.”
Taylor turned to her team.
“Red Delta, this is Sergeant Landis Hamilton-“ she gestured to the man, then to the black haired woman, “Agent Iris Janis-“ then to the blonde woman, “and Doctor Marie Davis.”
The new recruits nodded.
“It’s such an honor to be here, Captain” Dr. Davis added with a wispy Irish accent.
Taylor nodded with a smile.
“Now, Major Lennox has briefed you on this mission. As of now, this is only reconnaissance. We need to know why the Decepticons have started activity again and why” Taylor explained, “You will be paired with an Autobot partner. Your job will be not only to give them support on the field, but also to give them assistance with any Earth related inquiries.”
Then, she announced, “Now, Sergeant Hamilton, you’re with Roadshot.”
Hamilton nodded. “Yes Captain.”
“Agent Janis, you’re with Nightshock.”
Iris only nodded.
“Doctor Davis, you’re with Wadewatch.”
“Aye Captain.” Marie replied.
“Alright then. You have your orders. Suit up and we’ll meet back here in ten minutes. Dismissed.”
A cargo plane was prepared for the reconnaissance team. The human team were armed: Iris equipped with a sniper rifle, Hamilton possessed a machine gun, and Marie held a simple rifle (as she was the medic, and would only fight if absolutely necessary). The Autobot counterparts were fully charged and their weapons were online and ready. Taylor watched as they boarded to leave.
“Good luck, and be safe!” She called, adding in her mind, “especially you Bumblebee.”
“We’ll make ya proud Cap!” Roadshot called.
Taylor saluted to them, and the team saluted them back. Then, the blast doors were raised. The cargo plane doors closed, and with a loud whirring, the plane took off into the dark night.
When the doors closed, Taylor walked back towards the monitors and climbed up the scaffolding. The tracking signal for the plane was lit up on the map of the western United States, and heading towards New Mexico. The plane would be in the air for five hours. They would land somewhere in the wilderness, miles away so the Decepticons wouldn’t be alerted to their presence.