Static was the only thing that could be heard from the other end of the transmission. Taylor slammed her fists in anger. Everyone around her stopped and stared at her.
She turned to Major Lennox and exclaimed, “We need to assemble a rescue team!”
Major Lennox stifled a scoff.
“With all due respect Captain, it’s not as easy as you think! If Decepticons continue to hang around that area, a human team won’t cut it!” He rebuttled, “We have no available Autobots!”
“Yes we do!” Taylor argued, “Hotline!”
Now Lennox couldn’t refrain his dry chuckling.
“Captain, I hate to be blunt but that bot is not capable of fighting.”
“Anyone can fight if the situation calls for it.”
Major Lennox questioned if Taylor’s propositions were out of emotional stress or logical thinking. Taylor quickly picked up on this.
She sighed, trying to calm herself and said, “Will, we are a kind of on the verge of extinction. We don’t even know if any other ships survived other than us. If there’s even a slight chance they will be alive, I’m taking it! Please, can you help me?”
Lennox sighed, and rubbed his forehead in frustration.
“If Hotline is going with us,” Lennox finally said, “Then you will have to be responsible for any distress he may cause.”
“I am fully aware, Major.”
Taylor was waiting when Dakota and Hotline came rushing in. There was a crash as a stack of crates were turned over. There was a lot of groans and angry shouting.
“Sorry! So so sorry!” Hotline called.
Dakota saluted Taylor.
“You wanted to see me, captain?” she asked.
“And me?” Hotline inquired.
Taylor nodded. “Yes, I have assigned both of you to aid me in rescuing my team.”
“Wait, me!?” Hotline gasped.
“Him!?” Dakota couldn’t help but cry.
“Yes, you, Hotline. You are the last, fully functional Autobot available, I need you” Taylor explained.
“But…! But I’ll screw it up! I’m going to make a bigger mess than it already is!” Hotline argued.
Dakota made no comment, even though she knew the unlikely scenario Hotline would be of any help.
“Hotline, continuing to tell yourself that will do nothing to help you” Taylor insisted, “Here, kneel down so I can speak to you face to face.”
Hotline was surprised at the request, but eventually knelt down. Taylor took a step forward to be closer.
“You’re not alone in this. You should never have to feel that you’re alone. You can do this. Dakota and I will be there to help you,” she assured, “We may be human, but we can still be very resourceful.”
Hotline looked at her for a moment, unsure. Then, he sighed.
“Okay, I’ll do my best.” Taylor smiled.
“Good. Now, I need the two of you to grab weapons and whatever else you need. We’re leaving in ten minutes.”
Dakota nodded awkwardly.
As Taylor left them, Dakota and Hotline looked at each other. Hotline chuckled nervously.
Dakota sighed. “Just try not to step on me, okay?”
Hotline’s pupils shrunk a little. “Of course not!”
“Good. Then let’s get some guns.”
The sounds of the plane hummed loudly in Taylor’s ears. Lennox was sitting next to her, one leg crossed and carrying a gun. The rest of Lennox’s team was sitting across from them, with Dakota on the very right, and Hotline standing over her. Taylor watched intensively out the window. The sun was beginning to rise over the horizon, giving a clear visual on the pile of rocks that used to be the exit the Decepticons blasted out. Taylor could also see Nightshock and Iris, who waved at that from down below. Taylor shifted her weight, anxious to get on the ground and start digging for her missing team.
At last the plane landed a short distance from the cave-in. It was a long, grueling process to dig everyone out. Taylor was building with anxious anticipation. She was afraid of what she might find: Life-threatening injuries? Paralysis? The human partners close to death? She couldn’t bear the thought of losing everyone all over again. Not after everything they’ve been through. Finally, they could hear a faint voice calling from the darkness.
“Down here! We’re down here!”
It was Marie. Wadewatch had been crouched over her. As a result she had a few minor bruises and covered in soot. The men worked hard and pulled her out of the rubble.
“Wadewatch! He’s hurt! We’ve got to get him out!” She cried.
“It’s okay, Marie,” Taylor assured, “We’ll get him out as soon as we can, I promise!”
About fifteen minutes later they found Hamilton. Roadshot too had shielded him from the cave-in, resulting in two cuts, but not very deep ones. Then, they began on Roadshot and Wadewatch. Hotline did as best as he could, focusing intensively on moving rocks in the right order and avoiding making the bad situation, worse.
Hotline froze. Dakota was standing next to him.
“Not that one. Take the one on the right.”
Hotline gently grabbed one of the stones and moved them. The pile trembled, but didn’t fall. Hotline sighed in relief.
“You’re making good progress” Dakota informed.
Hotline smiled. “Thank you!”
Wadewatch had two huge dents in his side and his arm had been dislocated.
“Oh my goodness! Are you alright? Is there anything I can do to help!?” Marie exclaimed.
Wadewatch chuckled. “No, I can handle it and yes, I’m fine. Easy repair.”
Marie sighed in relief, and said tenderly, “Good. I’m glad.”
Roadshot was in better shape, with about three dents and no worse injuries. And finally, Nightshock and Iris were recovered and once again, they suffered little wounds.
“Where’s Bumblebee?” Taylor asked.
“I don’t know, I couldn’t see anything after the rocks start’ed fallin’” said Roadshot.
Taylor bit her lip.
“We have to keep digging!” She called.
“Don’t worry Captain, we’re going to get Bumblebee out,” Lennox assured, “Trust me, General Morshower would have our heads if we didn’t. He knows how much they mean to you.”
Taylor nodded, unaware her cheeks were slightly pink.
Bumblebee was finally hauled out before long. He was unresponsive and didn’t move. He had three large dents, and faded eyes. Taylor ran to his side. Wadewatch pulled out a scanner and ran it over him. Taylor held her breath.
“He’s alive. The cave-in just shook him up a little. He’ll come around shortly” Wadewatch informed.
Taylor sighed, “So now what to we do?”
“Wait, there’s something in his hand!”
Marie pointed at Bumblebee’s right hand. It was clenched tightly, but something was glowing in between his fingers. Taylor gently pride his hand open. It was a large chunk of energon. Taylor chuckled, sadly. She slowly took it from his hand, and showed it to Lennox, Dakota and Hotline, and the others.
“This explains why he was so deep into the cave.”
The Autobot members of Team Red Delta looked at each other and grinned.
“That’s Bee for ya” Roadshot commented.
Taylor put her hand on his arm and glanced at him with tender eyes.
Then, she took a deep breath, then said, “Let’s head back to base. Perceptor may get a good test or two out of this chunk but at least it’s something.”