And you thought there were no more Cybertronians left. That is laughable. HA.
Sam sat in the driver’s seat of his Camaro, right hand clasped about the stick shift.
“Why’re we here?” he asked Bumblebee.
“Optimus sent a signal to the heavens; the second fleet should arrive this evening.”
“You mean more Autobots?”
The sun set over the wide, grassy plane, casting a reddish hue over all who waited so patiently thereupon. Nearby, Optimus Prime stood amongst his men; optics cast heavenward, anticipation causing the Spark in his chest to throb almost painfully. Ironhide shifted his position a bit as Ratchet elbowed him, whispering;
“He is anxious, do you suppose it’s…”
Ironhide nodded, “Definitely.”
The horizon fell to darkness and the stars were beginning to show themselves. Still, Prime stood, motionless as a statue. Sam slid down in his seat shivering. He was clad in only a t-shirt and the night was becoming chill. Bumblebee switched the heat on.
“Optimus!” the Camaro yelled suddenly.
“I see them,” Prime muttered. Sure enough, down through the atmosphere flew three meteors. Soon after, three thundering booms echoed from across the city beyond. Optimus Prime’s gaze was no longer upon the sky but resting in the direction of the meteor fall. A tense silence enveloped the earthbound Autobots as they waited and prayed their companions had arrived in one piece.
“Bee…Psst, look!” Sam whispered harshly, so as not to disturb the silence. The trees to the northeast were rustling. Pretty soon all the Autobots had taken notice of the movement, none more so than Optimus.
“Hey, Optimus!!” a bright yellow and red Autobot crashed out into the open, huge blue eyes sparkling with glee. He dashed right up to the leader of the Autobots and saluted heartily, shaking the hands of all others around him. Bumblebee dumped his cargo and transformed to introduce Sam.
“Hotshot, this is my boy, Sam.”
“Hey there li’l squishy,” Hotshot said, bending down to get a better look. Sam noticed that this Autobot wasn’t too much bigger than Bumblebee and got the distinct impression that he, too was a sports car. A second rustling of bushes caught and held everyone’s attention once again.
“Prowl, so nice to see you again!” called Ironhide as a white and silver Autobot emerged from the trees. His countenance was far less energetic than Hotshot’s. Tell truth, it was rather subdued. Prowl gave Optimus Prime a sharp salute and immediately turned his gaze to Sam.
“A native?” he ventured.
“Yeah, uh, nice to meet you,” Sam replied.
“He’s my new bee eff eff!” said Hotshot, excitedly. Prowl’s ‘eyebrow’ rose at the internet slang. Apparently, Hotshot had picked up earth dialect rather quickly. Sam thought it funny and allowed himself to release some tension in a hearty laugh with the two sports cars.
The laughter ended all too soon and the tense silence became a strangling miasma. Sam sat on Bumblebee’s shoulder and was now so involved in the wait, that he’d forgotten how cold he’d been. At the top of the hill, Optimus seemed almost to be quivering. His gaze was the most intense. Sam sensed that the big semi cab had a lot riding on this last arrival, it wouldn’t be until later that the boy would realize there was a lot more truth to that statement than he would have ever cared to imagine.
“Is it a girl? Does Optimus have a girlfriend?” Sam whispered in where he assumed Bumblebee’s ear should be located.
“If a ‘girlfriend’ is what I understand it to be, then no.”
Sam began kicking his feet in boredom. The Autobot soldiers shifted in their positions at the foot of the hill on which their leader stood, anxiously awaiting the final arrival.
Suddenly, trees rustled at the other end of the wide field. Nobody moved. No one dared excite the Autobot leader. What if it were a flock of birds taking to flight or perhaps some overly lively raccoons? Either way, no one wanted to risk it. Everyone seemed to lean forward with the sheer anticipation of it.
The trees parted at the edge and a metallic figure shoved its way out into the open. The waxing moon shed its silver light upon a red, white and navy color scheme. Clearly visible from where Sam sat was a red visor, shielding the optics of this new arrival and, where a left hand should have been, a long red cannon protruded. Optimus’ Spark skipped a beat.
“Re-Red Alert…” came the breathy murmur from the Autobot leader. Sam realized then what this other Autobot meant to Prime.
“Lieutenant Commander Red Alert,” Ratchet saluted smartly, “Good to have another medic about.”
“Quite a few scraped knees, I’ll wager,” Red Alert spoke with a gentle British accent.
“Red Alert, nice to have you with us, man,” Ironhide greeted the senior medic cordially.
“Great timing,” Bumblebee offered.
“And what a ride it was,” Red Alert replied. He continued up the hill, the crowd of Autobots parting for him.
Red Alert and Optimus Prime were mere feet apart. Prime’s hand stretched to the medic, aiding his last few steps up the hill. Sam leaned forward in his place on Bumblebee’s shoulder, anticipating the next action of the two Autobots on the hill.
In an instant, Optimus Prime’s arms were around the medic’s body, enveloping him in a behemoth’s bear hug. When metal ceased clanking on metal, Optimus held Red Alert by the shoulders and studied him.
“You are none the worse for wear, beautiful as ever,” the Autobot leader said.
“Thank you, sir. It is wonderful to be with you again.”
It was obvious to Sam the deference with which Red Alert address Optimus was something he could neither control nor wished to.
“For the millionth time, Red, please…! How long have we been friends?”
“Near on a few millennia,” Red Alert replied, quietly.
“Hey, dudes, it’s like party time!” Hotshot shouted, “Everyone back to base, we’ve got a lot to catch up on!”
Everyone agreed and, one by one, they transformed.
“You’re coming too, right Sam?” Bee asked.
“I wouldn’t miss this love-fest for the world!” Sam declared loudly, “I didn’t know Transformers could love!”
“We can more than do that, Samuel,” Optimus spoke to the human for the first time that evening, “Red Alert is carrying a Spark…Mine.”
To Be Continued…
The Autobot hangar was alive with chatter. With three new Autobot around, there was quite a bit to talk about. Bumblebee, Hotshot and Sam became the best of friends in less time than it takes one to blink. Prowl sat with Ratchet and Ironhide, talking in semi-hushed tones. The latter two recounted to the new arrival the trials of the last year, along with the death of their comrade, Jazz. Prowl was particularly saddened by that, but was nevertheless pleased Jazz died a hero’s death.
“It is how he would have wished,” Prowl resolved. The other two nodded and then their gaze drifted inexorably toward the isolated pair that was Optimus Prime and Red Alert. Neither Autobot was speaking, though Prime had his arm around Red’s shoulders.
“I’m glad Red made it safely,” Hotshot whispered, “He means Cybertron to Optimus.”
“Which brings me back to my half-assedly answered question,” Sam interjected, “If you dudes are a.) robots and b.) all dudes…What’d Optimus mean by ‘my Spark’?”
“First of all,” Hotshot replied, “We’re not ‘all dudes’.”
Sam’s eyes widened a bit, “You hiding something?”
“What he means, Sam, is that there are ‘female’ Cybertronians,” said Bumblebee, “Though none of us here fit that ilk.”
“But the Spark thing?”
“You know, Sam, that all Cybertronians, Transformers more generically, have a Spark in their chest that acts as, in human terms, a soul.”
“Yeah, I got that much.”
“We cannot simply pop out of thin air,” Bumblebee continued, “When we say one is ‘carrying a Spark’ it is akin to human pregnancy.”
“But Red Alert is a dude, right?”
“The concept of gender has little to no value in our society, and Optimus and Red have been best friends since time immemorial.”
“So it makes sense they’d finally have a Spark,” Hotshot said, as though it were the most obvious factoid. By this time, Sam had given up. He was so confused, he thought that if Bumblebee narrated any more, his head would literally explode.
“Alright,” he said, his tone that of a mentally defeated young man, “I give, you guys make no sense an’ y’know what? Tha’s cool with me.”
His hands were thrown in the air in a gesture of surrender from his seat upon Bumblebee’s shoulder.
“They appear to have bonded well,” Prowl observed quietly.
“Indeed,” Ratchet replied, “Bumblebee and the boy are the closest of friends.”
“I was referring to Hotshot and the lad.”
“Would there really be any doubt whether or not they would get along?” Ironhide pointed out, “Hotshot is barely more than a boy himself.”
“And the fact that he can assimilate into the culture of such an odd species speaks volumes for his future leadership skills,” it was Optimus. The three elder bots’ attention immediately snapped toward their leader.
“But Optimus, Red Alert is your second-in-command,” Prowl interjected.
“I haven’t a circuit in my body designed for leadership,” Red Alert’s voice was just above a whisper, “I never have and never will. The Commander knows this and, as it is his decision, I’m behind him 100%.”
“I think I heard my name over there,” Hotshot whispered to Sam, “That’s probably a bad thing.”
Sam, Bumblebee and Hotshot dissolved into insatiable laughter. The three were really very much alike. Although Hotshot and Bumblebee were eons older than Sam would ever hope to be, their temperaments and personalities were such that they both seemed like earth teens.
“I’m so glad to finally have the base filled with laughter,” Optimus exclaimed, a robotic smile gracing his metallic lips.
“So uh, you guys’re like….Buddies then?” Sam spoke up, leaning forward from Bumblebee’s shoulder.
“Red Alert is my ‘best friend’,” Optimus replied, “And has been so for millennia.”
“Yeah, I uh get that,” Sam answered, “But I mean like, you’re uhm…You know.”
The wild gesticulations with which Sam was explaining his meaning were almost enough to topple him from his seat.
“Sir, I believe he means that we are lovers,” Red Alert said, finally.
“Oh well in that case, absolutely!!” Prime practically yelled.
“We have no concept of gender, as I said earlier,” Bumblebee repeated in an exasperated tone.
“Hey man, cut the kid some slack…He’s only a squishy, after all,” piped in Hotshot. Sam wasn’t sure this was an endearing term, ‘squishy’ but he figured that Hotshot couldn’t have meant it with the same contempt Megatron voiced when he said ‘fleshling’. No, Sam was certain Hotshot was incapable of that kind of hatred.
All in all, the new arrivals were sure to be a real boost to the morale of the Earthbound Autobots. With a new member of the team on the way, Sam was certain he would never see a happier father than Optimus Prime.