Meanwhile, Hotline was still trying to decrypt the complex Decepticon code. They could hear banging and laser blasts from the other side of the door.
“Corporal, What’s your progress?” Lennox inquired.
Dakota sighed, irritably.
“Slow progress, sir!” She replied, “We’ve bolted ourselves in the security room but I don’t know how long it will hold!”
“Affirmative. Wounded has been secure. Heading back now!” Hamilton responded. Hotline groaned.
He mumbled under his breath, “This is insane! I’m not capable of doing anything right.”
Dakota sighed sharply. “Hotline, what did I tell you? Doubt is futile in battle! Don’t admit defeat without giving it all you got!”
“But I’m not a soldier like you!” Hotline exclaimed, “You’re…fearless, and incredible! And I’m just…me: a barely serviceable computer engineer.” He lowered his head in shame. “I can’t do what you do, even though I wish I could…”
Dakota bit her lip. She was finally beginning to realize and understand who Hotline truly was: a victim. Someone who had traumatized, and forced to do the impossible to survive.
“I suppose having your colony ransacked and arriving in a strange new world with people who hate you would amplify those feelings tenfold.”
At last, she said, “I understand.”
She took a step forward and reached for his arm to touch it.
“You can do this. I believe in you; and don’t worry, I will protect you.”
Hotline was surprised, but pleasantly so at her touch. Her hand was callus, and smeared with dirt, but to him, it was so soft, and gentle. He looked into her eyes with bright blue orbs. Then, he took a deep breath and replied:
He turned back to the computer and took a good, long look at the task in front of him.
“There is one last thing I could try…”
Roadshot and Hamilton, along with Lennox’s team, were managing to push through and climb back inside the Nemesis. However, their numbers were getting fewer. Decepticons were still shooting at them, but were getting smarter and staying clear out of melee range and firing from above.
“What’s your status, ‘cap?” Roadshot asked.
Taylor grunted through the commlink and the sound of a blaster rung in the background.
“Well, we ran into the Chief Medical Officer and he’s a psycho with a taser staff. So, that’s lovely!” Taylor finally informed, “Fisher?”
“Hotline may be onto something, Captain, but we’re going to need more time!” Dakota responded.
“We’ll be happy to provide it” Roadshot volunteered.
“Knightingale, we can’t take much more of this” Lennox warned, “My men are sustaining heavy injuries. We’re going to have to fall back.”
“I got it!” Hotline suddenly exclaimed with elation, “I did it! I got the download moving again! Five Earth minutes!”
Overhearing this, Knockout suddenly became more aggressive. He whirled his staff and smacked Taylor, sending her flying into the wall.
“ ‘Gale!” Bumblebee exclaimed.
Knockout took the distraction as an opportunity to stab bumblebee in the side.
Taylor quickly recovered and transformed her blaster into an energon blade. She started to charge towards Knockout. Knockout took his staff and attempted to not only crush her, but zap her to death. Taylor’s blade and the prod clashed and scraped against each other.
“You’re getting very irritating, little insect!” he grunted, then regained his composure, “But fortunately, this is the perfect bug zapper!”
Then, he lifted his staff and let out an electric burst of energon that hit Taylor straight in the chest. Taylor’s body stiffened like a board. All of her senses were rendered paralyzed and she fell to the ground. She could only stare at her enemy as he stared down at her.
“Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to help stop that download.”
There was a deafening horrible whirring sound. Suddenly, a force shaped like rings flew towards them, causing vibrations and extreme heat. The soldiers let out extremely pained screams and covered their ears with their hands. The Autobots were not impervious to this either. Roadshot cried and covered her audio receptors.
“WHAT THE HECK IS THAT!?” Lennox shouted at the top of his lungs.
“SOUNDWAVE!” Roadshot cried.
Sure enough, Soundwave appeared on a floor above them.
“FALL BACK! FALL BACK!”
“Decepticons, leaves the perpetrators to me. Frenzy, Laserbeak, Ravage, Rumble, eject. Operation: Annihilation.”
Soundwave’s voice was layered, cold, and as robotic as a human’s perception of a robot. A panel on his chassis opened like a disk player and one by one, rectangular objects shot out.
Hotline and Dakota covered their hearing aids. Hotline almost collapsed on the keyboard at the agony the sound was causing.
“MAKE IT STOP!” Hotline wailed, “PLEASE!”
“JUST KEEP THE DOWNLOAD ACTIVE!” Dakota cried.
If that wasn’t bad enough, the blast door was suddenly impacted with two huge dents.
“CRAP!” Dakota exclaimed.
Finally, the piercing sound ceased. But as soon as it stopped, the dents burst into big holes. Something lept through and jumped on top of Dakota, causing her to lose hold of her gun. It was a Decepticon, but much smaller and about the same (if not shorter) height as a human with pile-drivers for arms and a bright red visor over his optics.
“Get ready to crumble, before Rumble!” It shouted.
The little ‘con was about to crush Dakota’s face, but then Hotline shouted:
“Get away from her!”
Suddenly, he fired his blaster at Rumble. It pinged and shot a shard of the bot’s helm clean off.
“Hey!” It whined.
Dakota pulled herself far enough from under him that with all her might, she kicked Rumble off with both feet. Rumble stumbled and almost fell.
“That’s cheating!” He cried.
Dakota front rolled and grabbed her gum before firing at their tiny invader.
“Ha, it tickles!” Rumble mocked. He began running about the room like a cockroach.
“Don’t let him affect the computer!” Dakota shouted.
The paralysis was finally wearing off. Taylor struggled back on her feet.
“Bumblebee, you okay?” She asked.
Bumblebee groaned and slowly pulled himself up.
“I forget how much of a helm-ache those nodes give me” he replied.
Taylor couldn’t help but chuckle, then quickly turned serious again. “Come on, we’ve gotta help the others!”
It was absolute chaos. A mechanical bird squawked and soared about the room, swooping down and rapidly firing down at the soldiers. A metal panther snarled at the intruders and even bit into some of them with its sharp teeth. The only one that the Autobots manage to subdue was Frenzy, because he was little more than fighting a regular human, as he was tiny, just a tiny person made of metal. Soundwave remained at his perch, firing down at them occasionally. Lennox had had enough and ordered his men to retreat. But Soundwave’s minions were causing so much panic, it was almost impossible to coordinate attacks.
“I’m sorry Captain, but my men can’t take it anymore!” Lennox explained on the comm link.
“I understand, Major” Taylor replied, “Hotline, Fisher?”
Hotline was flustered in trying to track down Rumble, who would constantly bang on the walls and floor and cause vibrations that shook them and lose their balance. Finally, with a battle cry, Hotline managed to snatch the tiny Decepticon and smash him into the ground. Dakota fired at his joints, and he was no longer able to use his pile drivers. He fell to the ground.
“Yeah, woohoo! Take that you tiny heap of scrap!” Hotline exclaimed.
“Nobody calls me tiny!”
He was about to get up and try one last-ditch attempt, but Hotline quickly step on him and applied enough pressure that Rumble was completely trapped. Dakota sighed in relief.
“My apologies, Captain. We were a little preoccupied,” Dakota informed, “Download is at 85%. ”
“We’re making good progress. Captain, we just need a little bit more time!”
“Time is limited, I’m afraid,” Taylor warned, “Lennox’s team is moving out. You’ve got ten Earth minutes!”
“Get your team out of here, Major. I’ll do what I can to hold them back” Roadshot informed.
“And I’ll help you!” Hamilton added.
Roadshot nodded. She drew her hammer, then reached for her back, where a fragment came off her body and transformed into a shield. She bashed the hammer and shield together in a taunting motion, and shouted something in the Decepticon tongue. Soundwave stood unwavered, only drawing his hand and pointed at them.
“Chance of Autobot survival: improbable.”
Ravage and Laserbeak crept back out of their holes and snarled and screeched at them. Hamilton and Roadshot clenched their teeth, ready to give a 110%.
“Hey! Why don’t you fight yourself, you coward!?”
Lasers came shooting out of nowhere and boinked Laserbeak and Ravage of their ports.
Knightingale and Bumblebee suddenly came bounding from the darkness. Bumblebee attacked from the front while Knightingale came from the back. She drew her glowing energon blade and thrust it into his shoulder. Bumblebee bashed Soundwave twice in the face, then in the stomach area, while Knightingale continued to run around and blast at his joints.
“90%!” Hotline hissed eagerly.
Dakota sighed sharply. “Come on! Come on!”
Suddenly, Soundwave cried but in monotone:
The horrid ringing started up again as he let out a fierce force of sound propagation. Taylor and Bumblebee halted in their tracks and covered their hearing.
Hotline and Dakota plugged their ears and squinted at the computer.
As everyone wailed and groaned of the seering sound, Soundwave began sprinting to the security booth. Taylor grunted, and shouted:
“DAKOTA! SOUNDWAVE’S COMING RIGHT FOR YOU!”
Finally the sound ended. Bumblee groaned, then snapped:
Without another word, Taylor dashed to follow the sixty feet security officer.
“Knightingale, wait up!” Bumblebee called.
But Taylor didn’t stop.
Her speed increased, faster, and faster. Soon she could see Soundwave rounding the corner where the security system stood.
“Prepare to be smited Autobot.”
Hotline cried in terror and frantically fired, but somehow the lasers were bouncing off Soundwave. Soundwave grabbed his arm and twisted it, then knocking him down. Soundwave turned to the computer to shut down the download.
“NO!” Dakota shouted.
“LEAVE THEM ALONE!”
Soundwave turned around and a giant blast of pure energon shot at his torso. Immediately it impacted. There was Taylor, eyes electric blue and her hand thrusted in his direction. Sparks flew from Soundwave’s chassis and promptly fell to the ground.
“100%!” Hotline announced.
He grabbed the drive that Nightshock had previously plugged in to the computer. Taylor’s eyes faded back to green and almost collapsed on the floor but quickly caught herself. Dakota ran to her.
“Captain, you alright?” Taylor looked at her, and smiled.
“Never better!” she announced, “Now, let’s get out of here!”