"So, where are the new guys that came in from space?" Ironhide asked casually, strolling towards Ratchet.

Ratchet glanced up from his work, his luminescent optics narrowed in a glare as usual. His disapproving stare was powerful, enough to make even Ironhide take a step back and consider just how close he had to be before the crabby medic could pin him down and personally tear out his vocals.

"Well, if you don't know…" Ironhide retracted, taking a few more steps back away.

"Most of the refugees are getting filled in by Optimus," Ratchet snapped, cutting him off. "The engineer insisted on getting to work, and he's in there." In a startlingly quick gesture, he pointed at the garage door behind him. He then resumed his work as if Ironhide were not there.

"Thanks." Ironhide said uneasily.

Damn, the crusty medic was so mean and tough he could give even the old weapons specialist the heebie-jeebies. If only they could somehow harvest that fury and direct it at the Decepticons, the war would be won.

Not wanting to prolong the encounter, Ironhide cautiously walked past Ratchet, making a large arc around him so as not to invade his personal space and possibly provoke an attack or some such.

When he reached the door on the other side, he glanced over his shoulder plate, and the medic, as if sensing the look, growled audibly. Ironhide hastily pushed the door open without even knocking and let himself inside.

Once in the garage, he was greeted by the sight of a strange Autobot surrounded by even stranger equipment, completely engrossed in whatever he was doing with it. He was a curious-looking individual, completely white with red and green stripes on his chassis, lower servos, and the long, thin plates protruding behind his shoulders. Hearing the weapons specialist come in, he looked up, showing a face that was half-covered by a mask.

"Well, hey there," The engineer greeted. "Care t' gimme a hand 'ere?"

Ironhide approached, looking him up and down. "Fine," He answered, "What do you need?"

The engineer scurried over to Ironhide, holding a blue cable in one servo, and a red one in the other. He forced one hastily into each of Ironhide's servos, giving no explanation as to the reason why. Ironhide's servos started to relax, but before he could lower them, the engineer quickly grabbed them and forced them back up.

"Don't let them touch ya," The engineer instructed, "Or each other." He paused, looking thoughtful, then added, "Actually, prob'ly more important ya don't let 'em touch each other."

Ironhide started to ask why, but before he got the chance, the engineer took off back across the garage to the other side, where he engrossed himself in working on some large grey machine, as strange-looking as he and his equipment were.

Ironhide glanced down at the cables, processor trying to reason why it was so important they did not touch, and wondering just what might happen if they were to do so. At the end of each cable was a prominent metal tip, which leaned slightly toward the other, attracted by some invisible force.

Ironhide understood weapons. He understood everything about them, and could tell you anything you would ever want to know about their inner workings, the parts they were composed of, how to use them properly, and how to do the most damage with them. On the other hand, Ironhide did not understand machinery that wasn't directly related to weapons, which meant that he had no idea just what it was he was holding or what would happen if its twin components came into contact.

Therefore, he was confused. And confusion was not something that the weapons specialist dealt with well. When he wanted to know something, he could usually just beat someone up until they told him. But in this case, there was really nothing he could do to get the information he wanted, and that made him frustrated.

By the time the engineer came back, he was actually growling at the cables. The engineer raised an optic ridge, as confused by Ironhide's confusion as Ironhide was confused by the cables.

"Somethin' wrong?" The engineer asked.

Ironhide had been so caught up in being frustrated by the wires that he hadn't heard the engineer approach, and in the time the engineer had been across the room, leaving him to wonder about the cables, Ironhide had pretty much forgotten about him. And it wasn't that Ironhide was especially stupid, he was very jumpy and rather trigger happy, and when he got startled, he had a tendency to attack things.

It all happened very quickly. Ironhide dropped the cables and went for his gun. The engineer was scared by the gun and by the dropping of his cables, and dove for the ground with a yelp, dropping the device in his servo, whatever that device was. The cables landed close enough together that the electrical force that was pulling them towards each other finally got its way, and they were propelled toward each other faster than the engineer could get to them.

Ironhide fired, and the device landed on the ground right next to the two cables, just as they snapped together with a quiet click.

Outside, Ratchet closed the yellow Camaro's hood and wiped his servos off on a large cloth, feeling pleased with the end result of his work.

"There you are," Ratchet said. "How're you feeling, Bumblebee?"

"Heh, much better." Bumblebee answered cheerfully. "Thanks, Ratch—"

The young Autobot was cut off by a loud explosion that rocked the ground and knocked Ratchet clean off his peds, throwing him to the ground next to Bumblebee. All of the garage windows were shattered instantly, blown out with loud popping sounds. The doors were warped outward, barely held on by its hinges.

A moment later, smoke poured out from the former windows, the newly-created space between doors and frames, and the equally new hole in the back wall.

Ratchet and Bumblebee were stunned. As the medic picked himself up off the ground, the scout's wipers activated as if of their own accord, swishing into action to attempt to clear the layer of black that had suddenly covered his windshield.

"What the hell was that?" It was Bumblebee who voiced the thought on everyone's minds as Optimus Prime came running out, followed by the new reinforcements from Cybertron.

The yellow scout transformed and stood next to Ratchet as Optimus charged past and broke open the garage door, finding himself unable to open it due to the damage.

"Who's in here?" Optimus called. "Are you alright!?"

Getting no answer, Optimus forced his way in against the smoke, emerging a few moments later with one black and one white Autobot, each guided by the back of the neck and looking just as shameful as the other. The two looked like guilty puppies that had been caught by their mother, and Bumblebee would have laughed if he hadn't just been so startled.

"You two have a lot of explaining to do," Optimus growled.

The engineer reached up and wiped off his optics before turning to Ironhide. Ironhide turned and looked at the engineer in turn, and there was an awkward silence, everyone staring at the two explosive Autobots.

Suddenly, the engineer thrust his servo at Ironhide.

"Wheeljack," He announced. "Nice to meetcha!"