"You will be assigned your team soon, Optimus," Ultra Magnus said to the young robot standing in front of him. He stood at attention, his arms at his sides and his legs straight and stiff. He stared straight ahead and didn't blink. Ultra Magnus shifted, sometimes even he felt just a tiny bit uncomfortable in the presence of the stern young one. It was sad that this is what the autobots had fallen to. This young soldier had never known a day of peace and if things continued the way they were going, he probably never would. Still, fight on they must, even if for the chance to be happy for a little while.

"You will have a medical officer, as standard for all teams. You will also have a tactical officer who will also be your second in command, an espionage agent and a communications officer who will double as a retrieval agent."

"A five man team?" Optimus asked. "What will our job be?"

"You will be going to sites of previous battles and getting any and all information from whatever is left behind. Should you find a fallen comrade, you will send him home for a proper farewell and should you find a fallen enemy you will hand him over so that we may find as much as we can about our enemy. Megatron is gaining strength, Optimus. Ever since he captured the all spark we have been decimated. Information is our last hope, please do not fail us."

Optimus inclined his head then saluted his commanding officer stiffly. His blue optics were narrowed and set. "You have my word, commander."

Bumblebee walked into his new ship with what few personal belongings he had left cradled in his arms. Not like he really had much to begin with but now it was almost depressing. He turned around in a slow circle as he walked through the hall of the ship, taking everything in. He stopped when he walked sideways into another bot, one who was easily bigger than him. Not like it was hard to be bigger than him.

"Ow," Bumblebee yelped as he fell on his aft and his two precious objects fell on the floor with a clatter.

"You should pay more attention to your surroundings," a quiet voice said. "The more you notice, the longer you'll live."

Bumblebee looked up suddenly at the bot with wide blue optics and the stranger immediately felt bad for scaring the young bot. It appeared that he had just finished with his training. He put on a wry grin and adjusted his helm so that he could see out of his visor better. "Just some advice," he said and offered the yellow robot a hand.

Bumblebee smiled back, a bright smile that further convinced the larger bot that he had never seen a battle. "Thanks," he said and let himself be pulled up. Then he leaned down and picked up his two objects.

The older bot craned over and Bumblebee noticed him looking. "Just some things from home," he said with a shrug and showed what was left of an old yellow helmet with black markings on it that signified it as belonging to a reconnaissance agent and a beat up crystal that had begun to lose its shine.

"You know, you should have probably left that were you came from," Bumblebee's new friend offered.

"Uh…" Bumblebee shuffled and then walked past him. "Well, I would but there's not much left," he said.

"I…see…" he said, mentally kicking himself for being so tactless. Then again, that wasn't really his job.

Bumblebee suddenly turned around. "Oh, I don't know your name yet. Mine's Bumblebee," he said offering a hand.

"My name is Prowl, I'm espionage," he said, taking the yellow bot's hand.

"I'm communications and retrieval, so I'm more or less a scout," Bumblebee said with a small grin and a shrug.

"Just graduated?" Prowl asked, walking with Bumblebee.

"Yeah, like five joors ago," Bumblebee said with a laugh and Prowl stopped. He sighed and shook his head. Not only was this kid still obviously young but he was already being put on the front lines after barely being trained. Things were not looking good for the autobots. Maybe their commander had a bit more bite to him to make up for what appeared to be lack of experience on their ship. He himself wasn't much older than his new friend and had only a little more experience to show for it but at least he wasn't given an assignment the same day he graduated.

"You comin'?" Bumblebee asked and nodded toward the exit of the hall.

"I'm right behind you," Prowl said and followed the small yellow bot through the hall entrance.

"My name is Optimus Prime and I am your superior officer on this ship," Optimus began when all of his new team was standing in front of him. He gulped as the medical officer glared at him, it was slightly awkward to have someone on your ship, under your command who was obviously much older than you.

"We will be in charge of information gathering," he continued as he looked away from the red and white robot. "We will be going to old battlefields, destroyed living quarters and any other place that has seen decepticon attacks and we will gather every bit of information we can. It will be hard and messy and emotionally draining but hopefully the information we find will help give the autobots an advantage over our enemy. We set out immediately," he finished and looked at his team, taking it all in. He relaxed just the tiniest bit and nodded his head. "Stand down."

The bots in front of him didn't really seem to visibly relax except the black and gold one. He could tell that this one might be a little trouble. "Names and rank please," he said. "Then we will prepare to leave."

A white and black robot stepped forward. "Name's Jazz, I am your second in command an' th' tactical officer."

A black and tan robot stepped forward and Optimus had to peer through his dark visor to see his optics. "My name is Prowl. I am the espionage agent."

The red and white robot stepped forward and huffed a little. "My name is Ratchet and I'm your medical officer. I've been in this war then you've probably been alive, so heed my warnings," he said in a no nonsense tone. Optimus was taken aback but he realized that the older bot had meant it as an offer of help, not hostility. They were all just trying to survive.

Finally the smallest of the bunch stepped up. "My name is Bumblebee, I'm the communications officer and retrieval agent."

Optimus eyed the small bot. "Retrieval, aren't you…a little…"

"I'm fast," Bumblebee huffed, obviously slightly offended at the insinuation that he couldn't do his job. "I can get into places other bots can't and I'm faster than anyone else."

"Big words, small fry," Ratchet growled, ready to nip the overconfidence in the bud.

"It's true," Bumblebee insisted. "I was the fastest in my class, by several breems."

This raised a few eyebrows. That actually was impressive but Ratchet was not going to let this little hot shot see it. "Just wait till you get in the real deal kid. It won't be so easy then."

Optimus cleared his throat and everyone returned their attention to him. "We will now prepare to leave," he said, effectively ending the argument. He watched as everyone went to their posts and sat, ready for orders. At least they seemed to respect him, which was a start.

Bumblebee found his personal quarters after they left and sat inside sulking. That medic bot had a serious attitude problem. He couldn't believe their commanding officer had let him talk like that. He was little but that didn't mean he couldn't do his job, or he wouldn't have been assigned in the first place. He sighed and set his things down then left the room. He looked around until he found what he believed to be Prowl's room. He then knocked on the door and gave a tiny grin to the bot as the door was cracked open. "Hi," he said, suddenly feeling stupid for leaving his room in a huff without much of a plan.

Prowl looked a little surprised but opened the door the rest of the way. "Hello, are you… okay?" he asked.

"What? Yeah, I'm fine. I'm just… I mean…" Bumblebee shifted his weight and Prowl understood.

"Upset about how Ratchet spoke?" he asked.

"Yeah," Bumblebee mumbled. "I mean I know you're not supposed to talk about other bots on a ship and it's against the rules to even go to another bot about personal problems but…"

Prowl stepped aside and offered to let Bumblebee into his room. Bumblebee seemed a little shocked at the invitation but brightened up as he went inside. "First of all, there will always be gossip on a ship," Prowl said as he closed the door. "Secondly, Ratchet meant no harm. He was only trying to keep you in place."

"What?" Bumblebee asked.

"He thinks you're a show off, someone who wants to be the best at any cost and he was simply trying to make you understand that that's not how things work in a mission team," Prowl explained.

Bumblebee shrugged. "I am a show off," he said pointedly. "But I'm not stupid. It's not like I'd disobey Optimus or go off on my own. I like to keep my spark beating."

Prowl smiled and shook his head. "Well, I'm simply saying what I believe he was thinking. I have similar problems."

"Think you can do everything by yourself?" Bumblebee asked.

Prowl nodded. "Yes, but I am aware of that. How did you…"

"The espionage guy in my class was like that. He didn't think anyone could do anything as good as him so he just tried to do it all on my own, I didn't like him," Bumblebee said with a laugh. Then he realized what he said. "B-but I like you," he said quickly to cover it up. "I mean…"

"I understand," Prowl said, positively grinning at this point. Somehow, Bumblebee was verily amusing, if not a little abrasive. Perhaps this team would fit together a bit better than his last one.

Bumblebee laughed and shrugged sheepishly but before he could say anything else Optimus' voice came over the intercom. "Time to land," he said.

Bumblebee slid into his seat next to Optimus' and gulped. The bigger bot made him nervous for some reason but he did inexplicably feel safe around him too. Guess that was a Prime for ya. He slipped on his headset and connected to the rest of the ship. Optimus nodded and Bumblebee flipped on the first link. "Prowl, you're gonna go out first. One sweep of the entire area, you have three breems."

"Roger that," Prowl said and Bumblebee cut off his communication.

Optimus was surprised. "You still remember all of protocol?" he asked.

"I did just graduate, sir," Bumblebee said. "And I don't want to mess up."

"Fair enough," Optimus said and then was quiet for a bit. "Please don't call me sir, it sounds weird."

Bumblebee was taken aback. He was always, always told to address his commanding officer either by his name and title or sir but he didn't like saying Optimus Prime, it was too many syllables, too long. He liked things fast and to the point. "Um…" he said, racking his brains as Jazz prepared to land on a larger ship wreck so that they could begin their mission. "Can… well can I call you boss bot?" he asked. Nice, short, to the point and still respectful. Or at least he thought so.

Optimus was quiet for a few klicks and Bumblebee had no way of knowing that he found this name entirely endearing but he wasn't sure if it was entirely appropriate. The small yellow bot was afraid he had just insulted his commanding officer but before he could apologize Optimus spoke. "Very well, I don't mind boss bot. Now, prepare to give final commands."

"Sure thing, boss bot," Bumblebee said with a grin.

Okay, so I wrote an AU fic for a friend. Kinda sorrrrta Animated, not really. I mean... well take with a grain of salt I guess. The story is what it is, I'm kinda just doing my own thing in the transformers universe with similar personalities to those of Animated. Enjoy and hugs and cookies to all my reviewers.