Cybertronians don't tick, really. To speak with their medic RATCHET, "the 'ticking' of cooling metal is a bad sign for the Cybertronian doing the ticking", or in plain English, the person in question is most likely dead.

In a figurative sense, the ticking of time bombs was brought up by SIDESWIPE, and here I think that none of the Autobot faction seem to harbor any ill intent against the USA or humanity as a whole. They do compete with humanity over a small number of resources, mostly metals and water, but seem willing to offer their biggest resource, their technology, in return. Business should be relatively easy to arrange.

There are, however, a few things that need to be taken into consideration when dealing with them.

I cannot stress enough that we are dealing with the friendlier faction of a civil war. They are currently structured as an army, and will probably take several human generations to lose this structure again. Even if this wasn't the case, their society is organized as a monarchy. The Prime might listen to other opinions, but in the end any Cybertronian that isn't a Decepticon will jump if he orders them to. As they have graced their current Prime with the name OPTIMUS (latin, 'the best') it is highly unlikely they will change this arrangement.

Likewise, their ideas of states, countries, borders and ethnicity seem to exist on a purely theoretical level, holding no practical value whatsoever, if they don't elude the Autobot in question completely.

This, in turn, will lead to a refusal to fight in any war between human factions, as well as to an insistence that scientific findings and inventions should be used for the good of all mankind, and not just the USA. They might live on our land, they might observe our speed limits and other laws, but in the end, they are an entirely different civilization that will refuse to take sides if pushed.

This civilization might currently be homeless, but it is by no means stateless. Trying to incorporate them into any human system will be met with puzzlement and refusal. I believe they will remain a state within a state for the foreseeable future.

If handled incorrectly, they would probably not leave the planet, since they seem rather adamant about not letting humanity die at the hands of the Decepticons, but they might relocate further north, that is, to Canada. We'd be hard pressed to stop them if we wanted to ensure further cooperation.

If, however, handled correctly, the Autobots might prove to be an invaluable asset and most welcome guests.

August 29, 2007, Dana 'Razor' Scully