What's in a Name?
"This is going to be a disaster."
"It is!" the Topkick snapped. "Do you really think that slimy, squeaking slagger is coming here to evaluate the progress of the situation? He's here to make trouble. End of story."
"He's got a point, Optimus," Ratchet chimed in. "I hate to say it, but I agree with Ironhide. The Dinobots aren't ready for any form of scrutiny, especially not his."
Optimus sighed. "I know, but my hands are tied. The majority of officials who know about the Dinobots are interested in their progress, and Simmons has been talking his case for weeks. There's nothing else we can do to stall them."
Suddenly, the door to the meeting room slid open less than halfway, and four pairs of optics swung round to catch one human slip through the gap, and slam against the door once it closed.
"Hide me, hide me, hide me!" Sam gulped.
Locking eyes with Bumblebee, the teen bolted towards him and hid behind his leg while keeping an eye on the door.
"What are you doing, human?" Ironhide muttered, shaking his head at the spectacle.
Sam sighed, and Bumblebee helped lift him to the tabletop so the Autobots could see him.
"Well to put it simply," Sam began, "the Dinobots learned how to spell."
At the Autobots' disbelieving stares he elaborated.
"One of them - I'm putting money on Swoop – realised that Grimlock was the only one without an 'S' name. Grimlock insisted this was because Me Gimlock Leader! Me Grimlock different from you Dinobots!'"
Ratchet groaned. "So they're fighting again. I knew this peace was too good to last."
"Oh no," Sam groaned. "They're not fighting. They all decided, unanimously, that if Grimlock was 'special,' they needed a new 'fifth' Dinobot to make up the numbers."
As he tailed off, the unmistakable sound of footsteps could be heard passing the room.
"Sam-bot!" Sludge yelled. "You Sam-bot come be Dinobot!"
Ratchet, respectfully, at least tried to cover up his muffled laughter. Ironhide had no such compunction.
"Oh, shut up!" Sam shouted.
Ironhide just kept snickering. "So 'squishy-bot' got a promotion, hmm?"
"This isn't funny!" Sam wailed. "Have you seen their initiation ritual? I'll be in traction till I'm 60!"
The door burst open, and Snarl poked his head through.
"You squishy! Get back here and shut them Dinobots up!"
Sam squeaked and grabbed Bumblebee's arm in a vice grip.
"Hide me, maim me or run away with me," he whimpered. "But for God's sake don't let them take me!"
Optimus was entirely sure how his Scout did it, but both Bumblebee and Sam got off the base without an entourage. Unfortunately, once the Dinobots got an idea into their heads, there was no stopping them.
Over the next two days, Sam was descended upon whenever he set foot on the base.
Finally, on the day of Reginald Simmons' inspection, Bumblebee snapped when the five behemoths crowded around the human and grabbed Sam himself.
"Enough! Get your own squishy! This one is mine!"
"Hey…" Sam whined.
Grimlock made a lunge for Sam only to have him be snatched away and held close by Bumblebee. It eventually descended into a game of human 'keep-a-way'. When Ironhide and Ratchet walked into the main hanger, Grimlock was mounted on Bumblebee's back, trying to climb over the scout, while Bumblebee held the hand holding Sam as far away as possible, swinging him about to keep the other Dinobots from grabbing him.
"They still haven't given up on this?" Ironhide snapped. "I didn't think their attention spans were that long."
"Buzz-bot should learn to share," Swoop snapped back. "Him Sam-bot be good Dinobot. He strong."
"Beats Autobots' enemy," Grimlock added, still on Bumblebee's back.
"Avoid us Dinobots."
"Him sarcastic like Snarl, and care for his own," Swoop finished. "Him Sam-bot perfect Dinobot."
"Stop the running commentary and help me!" Sam snapped.
"Oh yes, Prime, I can see you're working wonders with their rehabilitation."
The collective group held back a groan as Simmons walked in, Optimus following, hands clenched and mouth pursed. Clearly he was having as good a day as Sam.
"Grimlock! Get off Bumblebee!"
With Prime in the room, Ironhide took charge and yanked the T-rex off the camaro. Bumblebee immediately took several steps back, still holding Sam.
"Leave Sam alone! He doesn't want to be a Dinobot!"
"Then what you Buzz-bot suggest we Dinobots do?"
Sam just held her head in his hands. "Bumblebee, please let me down. I don't how much more of this I can take."
"Well you'd better get used to it," Ironhide called over. "I don't think they're going to give up unless you give them another option."
Sam groaned, only to have it trail off as an idea - as horrific as it was creative - flashed into his head.
"Hey…Simmons, you helped beat Frenzy at Hoover Damn, and locked up Megatron right?"
Simmons frowned at the boy. "Did these walking toasters hit you too hard? Course I did, you know that."
"So I guess you could be considered strong…"
Ironhide smirked. Oh, how he respected this little squishy now. "And you managed to track us pretty quickly after making planetfall," he added. "So you're fast."
Reginald Simmons was starting to get a bad feeling. "What are you talking about?"
"You're pretty damn obnoxious, too," Sam continued. "But you care for your country, that's why you do the things you do."
The five Dinobots were looking at him strangely now, and the feeling of impending doom grew stronger as Simmons took a step back. Finally, Ironhide slammed the final nail in the coffin.
"Say, didn't you use a flamethrower against Frenzy?"
That did it.
"You Simmons be new Dinobot!" Grimlock yelled, and lunged for agent. Simmons, in return, screamed and bolted back the way he'd just come. Grimlock chased, with Sludge and the others pushing Optimus out of the way to give chase. Simmon's final cry could be heard echoing in the hall.
"I'll get you all for this, you psychopaths!"
Ironhide burst into laughter, while Sam gave a sigh of relief as Bumblebee finally deigned to let him down.
Optimus however, wasn't too pleased with the situation. "That was a rash move, Sam. We are trying to convince Simmons that the Dinobots won't harm people."
"Oh, but it was so worth it," Ironhide chuckled. "The security tapes will be worth their weight in high grade."
"Go and rescue him, Ironhide," Optimus ordered, and then smirked.
"Though if you get lost for a few moments, I won't hold it against you."