Disclaimer: Transformers © Hasbro/Takara. Any and all creative liberties are by the author, and in no way are connected to The Powers That Be.

Inspired by the LJ prompts.

The First Set : The Rookie's Tale

Log Entry #5: Don't Fail Me Now – Crossing the line.

He was never one to run from a battle. Not that he was particularly brave, but it never seemed to be an option for him. He had been on the losing side more than once, but he never left the field before the battle was over.

His mentor didn't believe in it anyways, and she made sure he understood it.

But Bumblebee wasn't a dumb Cybertronian, not by a long shot. He didn't think himself to be precocious, although others have called him that, but he knew immediately that the Autobots were going to lose the fight outside of Altihex. The sheer number of drones was one thing, but there were more than enough elite Decepticons in the field, including Soundwave, Bonecrusher, and Blitzwing.

He gave his team a simple order. «If you feel the battle's giving way, fall back.»

Eighteen and a half grueling cycles later, he was dodging bolts of energy and laser as he picked his way across the apocalyptic landscape in front of Altihex. The evasive maneuvers were all reflexive; he didn't give a second thought about the drones firing on him as he made his way towards the retreating Autobot forces and the safety of their stronghold.

:I've got your back, Bee.:

Springer roared overhead in his Aerial alt mode, picking off the drones while Bumblebee jumped and slid through the field of battle. Blades quickly followed, but their cover fire wasn't enough. The drones kept coming.

An energy bolt hit his left leg, and Bumblebee dove behind a large slab of a former structure, curling his body around the wounded Autobot in his arms. The drones pounded at the metal barrier but he couldn't move until he had a minimally functional leg again, so he remained hiding and pushing his body to make the repairs and cursing his subordinate for being so incredibly stupid.

«-rusted piece of scrap, nobody told you to go looking for them! The order was to pick off the drones and leave the Decepticons alone! What on Cybertron were you thinking? Not even Blades is that stupid-»

«Don't compare me to Blades. We're nothing alike-»

«No, of course not! You're even worse! Do you have any idea how a team works? Or did Ironhide teach you to be a-»

The top half of the metal barrier blew apart and he bent over the Autobot, tensing as shrapnel hit his armor.

«Don't you go insulting him, and I knocked Blitzwing out, didn't I?»

«Shut up! You call that an accomplishment? It's not worth it if you die, idiot! You corroded junk-»

«You know, I like this side of you. You should start shouting at us more oft-»

Arcee hissed as a blue spark fell out of her cracked Spark Chamber.

«Damn you and shut up,» Bumblebee snapped. «You are unbelievable.»

He rose to his feet, and staggered as his left leg buckled. A small shower of sparks hit the ground as the femme cried out and curled against his chest. Her optics began flickering, and he realized that they had to go now, leg or no leg, before he loses her.

:Springer and Blades, fall back.:

:No way, Bumblebee. Not when my friend's involved.:

:I was just getting started.:

But it was nobody's imagination that the gunfire from the drones had increased dramatically. The Decepticon forces were advancing on Altihex, rapidly.

Bumblebee did the next best thing he could think of. He looked up at the circling Aerial Autobots. «Springer, take Arcee and get out of here. Blades, don't even think about trying to outmaneuver them. Get back to Altihex.»

«What?» Blades was outraged. «I'm not falling back, not while these drones keep shooting at us-»

«Blades, cover me!» Springer descended rapidly and transformed as he landed in front of Bumblebee and Arcee. «And what are you going to do, Bee? Thinking about playing hero?»

«I'd like to see Blades try and carry me off,» Bumblebee retorted as he handed the femme over to Springer. «Just take her and leave. I'll buy you two some time.»

«Hey now-»

«Did you hear me? Go; get out of here. You hear that, Blades?»

«Loud and clear, boss. Damn…»

Springer carefully half-transformed into his Aerial alt mode. As he slowly rose into the air with his charge he said, «You'd better be around after I hand Arcee over to Crosswise. I don't want to tell Ratchet what on Cybertron happened down here-»

«What? I don't get a say in this -»

«Arcee, shut up, you're in no condition to do or say anything. If I don't get back, tell Prowl you're in charge. Don't fail me now, Springer. You hear me?»

Once he was sure his teammates were out of range, Bumblebee transformed his right forearm and pressed his body against the metal slab, waiting for a break in the assault. There was a momentary pause, he eased the muzzle of his cannon out into the clear, and opened fire.

Author's Note: I imagine drones – mindless robots, literally – to form the backbone of the Decepticons, aka the combination of the actual Decepticons and their drones would make one formidable army.

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