All right guys – so I LOVED the second movie. I have reservations about it, of course, but overall, it was freaking epic. I've watched it twice while bearing in mind the intent to once again bring it down to Bumblebee's POV. For those of you who asked for it, well, uh, I'm feeling inspired.

This adaptation will not have fully accurate dialogue. I will be basing dialogue that I am unclear on off the movie novelization. In other news, Bumblebee continues to be awesome and I wish he'd just been in the movie more. =D

Finding Destiny


144 vorns ago, Tyger Pax, Cybertron

"Tell me where the Allspark is!"

They were not soldiers.

Technically they were – inasmuch as every Cybertronian was a soldier, the capability and very need to destroy inscribed in their base protocols, underlying their central circuits and sparks. Some were outmoded with weapons: others, using their original tools for destruction now instead of construction. They had the Autobot symbol inscribed upon them, having declared favor for that side, and they stood guard, but they were not soldiers.

A small militia consisting of technical engineers and maintenance bots, they were never meant to hold ground in face of such a frontal assault.

Now stripped to the barest protoform, the Autobot under interrogation flinched violently. "I don't know! I honestly do not know!"

He didn't. Amongst the force of sixteen, now cut to seven under fire, only one of them knew the answer to that question.

"Then die!" The faceplates of the Decepticon designated Swindle pulled back into a garish smile as he fired point-blank into the bared protoform's chest, instantly killing the Autobot. He slumped to the ground, the light gone from his optics.

They held up well under the circumstances, the other captives cringing at their comrade's death but none of them breaking down. They knew their fate – all but one, they could give no other answer but an honest denial of knowledge – but they did not plead for mercy, did not break radio silence over broken encryptions to express their fear.

Bumblebee mentally commended them – his team, his cohort, the very group to have commissioned his spark – and knew he was about to watch all of them die.

He alone had the information the Decepticons desired: the location of the Allspark.

"Bring me the next one!" Swindle sneered as the dead protoform was dragged away.

It might have been in honor to know, had the situation not been so dangerous. The information had not been entrusted to him lightly, but nor was it done out of anything other than necessity. The cohort leader, Bulkhead, had been slagged a vorn previous, leaving Bumblebee in charge of space bridge maintenance over Tyger Pax, and so he was the go-to Cybertronian on the matter of nonspecific space bridge jumps. When the Autobot leaders had approached him on the matter, Bumblebee had been honored and humbled to be brought to Optimus Prime and asked, frankly, whether or not such a bridge could be covertly programmed to transport the most precious Allspark away from Cybertron.

It was a crazy idea – the kind of crazy that perhaps the crafty Megatron would not anticipate. Uneasy but unwilling to refuse the Cybertronian leader he had sworn allegiance to, Bumblebee had answered with honesty – and then followed Optimus' orders, insane though they were, trusting the Prime to do his best by the people of Cybertron.

Eject was rattling his plates together from honest terror as he was brought to Swindle. "I wonder," Swindle mused as he considered his plasma cannon, "will you be more cooperative?"

"E-E-Even if I k-knew where the Allspark was, d-do you think I-I-I would tell you, Decepticon?" Eject stammered, cycling his vents rapidly.

The heavily guarded Iacon was where the Decepticons were supposed to be focusing their attention! But they seemed to have sensed a decoy. Left where they had worked all their lives, left there to pretend business as normal and provide a minimal display of force at the Autobot outpost, when the Decepticons and their Seekers had fallen upon them they hadn't stood a chance.

To the credit of the Autobots within the stronghold preparing the Allspark for takeoff, the Cube was so well shielded that even Bumblebee's specialized EMS sensors could not pick up its signature. But he hoped they were hurrying: the Decepticons would not keep their attention on the small cohort forever, even if they were fun sport.

"Hmph. You're just about sweating energon," Swindle sneered. "I've known drones with more spinal plating than you, Autobot."

"E-Easy to be b-b-brave when you're s-stupid!" Eject snapped back, optics darting back and forth, going pleadingly to Bumblebee for one long, horrible astrosecond. The de facto leader of the cohort nearly leapt to his feet right then, desiring to come to the younger Cybertronian's rescue, but he would gain no ground exposing himself.

They were all the walking slagged. It was merely a matter of how soon.

The insults were both brave and stupid, but in the end they probably were responsible for Eject's quick and mostly painless death. As the minibot slumped to the ground lifelessly, Bumblebee flinched away, his gaze going to the ground as he struggled to steel himself for his inevitable interrogation.

Cut down to their basic protoforms, their encryptions hacked and internal radios disabled, their weapons destroyed before their eyes and in varying states of disrepair from battle, the cohort might as well have been helpless drones. Bumblebee was only relieved that the Doctor – and for that matter, Soundwave – were not on this detail, or no matter his bravery the information would be out of his central processors before he could shutter his optics.

He couldn't think beyond that, shielding grief and terror with relief and determination. He would not be the weak link in Optimus' chain.

"Bring me that one, the with his optics riveted to the rocks!" Swindle demanded. Bumblebee's head snapped up as he was hustled out of his kneeling position, dragged across the pockmarked crater, and deposited at Swindle's feet. "Oh yeah, this one knows something – I can tell," Swindle sneered, sharp protrusions in his mouthplates terrifyingly close to one of the Autobot's audio receptors.

Bumblebee couldn't fault the Decepticon for his instincts, although he wondered if he would have said the same thing about any of his cohort had one of the others been the next one to be brought forward for slaughter. He remained silent.

"You know, your silence just gives you away." Swindle stalked around Bumblebee. "All the babbling, it makes it obvious they only want a deal to survive. You – you think you have something to protect." Bumblebee could hear the sneer in his voice, and then the Decepticon wrapped his claws around one of his audio sensors, gripping it tightly. It didn't snap but static immediately assaulted him, causing Bumblebee to want nothing more than to claw that hand away. "This--!" Swindle hissed, hauling the smaller Cybertronian around by his claw, forcing him to look at the remainder of his team. "This is your cohort, right?"

In pain, his receptor hissing feedback and high-pitched whines, Bumblebee ground out, "If you need me to answer that …"

A wash of static at his EM sensors was all the warning the maintenance bot had before Swindle wasted Whiplash, the messenger bot's spark chamber vaporized by Swindle's plasma gun. His cohort startled away from the remains, exchanging horrified glances. "You know what I want to know!" he snapped, screaming into Bumblebee's other audio receptor, so close a capacitor overloaded and blew. The Autobot grimaced in pain. "Either protect your information or your cohort!"

Bumblebee clamped his faceplates back, locking them down to indifference and silence. The choice was so easy to make it wounded his spark. He had already made that choice when they stood their ground in battle, and again as they were killed before he was singled out.

"Well? Speak! You're just fragging them yourself like this, you know!"

The relatively young Autobot wished, in that moment, for reinforcements, for a miracle, for Primus Himself to come from the sky and declare the final battle upon them. Alas, fantasies they remained.

His cohort, brave to the end, would not look at him as they were executed in the name of interrogation.

Bumblebee promised himself he would never allow himself to be placed in such a position again.


Present day, San Franciso, California

When, Bumblebee wondered, had he come to think of the Witwicky backyard shed-cum-garage as 'home'?

"It's going over the Golden Gate Bridge! Give it some space, guys – it's going to get ugly," Lennox shouted from his driver's seat.

48 hours ago Bumblebee had been about as far from the Witwicky garage as possible – on a human military base in the Indian Ocean, running training exercises with the best-of-the-best new covert army ops N.E.S.T., de facto leader Captain Lennox. Commissioned by Defense Secretary Keller, the new organization was billed as 'international' but consisted almost entirely of American soldiers. Its purpose: a co-operational military alliance with the Autobots to annihilate Decepticon presence on Earth. Decommissioned from his assignment protecting Sam Witwicky in light of the new development, Bumblebee had reluctantly departed to join his comrades.

He wouldn't lie: it was fun, after a fashion. With a severe lack of actual Decepticons to fight, the training was serious but Bumblebee couldn't help feeling carefree. Starscream had departed the planet upon his leader's death – no surprise there. Jazz in particular had enjoyed seizing upon opportunities presented by the schism between Decepticon leader and second-in-command for some truly spectacular victories back on Cybertron, or so the stories went. Barricade's status was unknown, and the only real source of unease for Bumblebee. He knew where Sam lived, after all, but Prime and Ratchet had assessed the lone earthbound Decepticon too cowardly to dare Sam's neighborhood when attacking Sam would result in certain death. Still, Bumblebee would have felt better being there to make sure that remained true.

Nonetheless, Bumblebee was bound to follow Prime's orders first and foremost, and for the time being that had put him in association with N.E.S.T. He liked the soldiers well enough and Lennox most of all, the Captain being 'a cowboy' in Epps' words. "Just like you, you crazy robot," he'd assessed.

"I don't-t wraaangle c-c-cows," Bumblebee had told him wryly, his voice clicking over consonants and slurring through vowels. "And I do not-t think yo-o-ou would like-ke to see meee t-try to ride a horse."

"It means you'll do the craziest shit in battle." Epps smirked. "The. Craziest. Shit."

"Yes. We're working on that," Optimus had said in a slightly chastising tone.

It was like being back on the Ark, with Ironhide commending good shots and correcting poor ones and Ratchet screaming over the commlink that if they got themselves hurt in a fragging training mission he would replace all their internal weaponry with pellet guns - only with a lot more watching where he was stepping. Constantly aware of how fragile humans were and now spending most of his time in protoform rather than folded down into the shape of a car, Bumblebee found a good 2.86% of his processing strength was dedicated to algorithmic memory updates of the locations of the human soldiers at all times. Otherwise he felt quite comfortable around the human troops – trained combat men like himself.

And so they received their first mission as NEST-Autobot alliance: San Fransisco, California, where a Decepticon was spotted blowing up a gas station.

"Can't help but sympathize," Ironhide had commented privately to the other Autobots. "First time I ingested some of that slag I nearly chucked it right back out my injector. Wicked unpleasant surprise." Bumblebee had heartily related his own experience with human gasoline, drawing laughs and the confused attention of Technical Sergeant Epps. Unfortunately the joke didn't translate well.

More importantly, the spotted Decepticon had been identified as Swindle.

Upon identification Ironhide had looked at Bumblebee and the scout could almost feel Optimus Prime's gaze boring into the side of his head. Bumblebee had said nothing – not that he could. He had never fully recovered his voice after Mission City, and a stray shot to the neck by the briefly present Starscream months before had set him back to nearly voiceless. Ratchet had shut the whole node system down (under protest) for future work, but he was strapped for supplies and unable to work with what Earth could provide. ("If Wheeljack were here, maybe," he'd explained, making Ironhide roll his optics. "Not that I'd wish him in an inventive mood on anyone, much less this planet.")

After the discussion with the humans on the matter had come to a close Bumblebee had finally spoken up. "I'd like the honor of slagging him, sir," he'd admitted over uplink. What Swindle had done to Bumblebee himself was a painful memory that palled in the face of Megatron's immediately following, terrifying presence, but what Swindle had done to Bumblebee's cohort – killing them all in cold blood after incapacitating them – was unforgivable.

"You will join me on point," Optimus had promised.

As Bumblebee burned rubber in pursuit of Swindle over the Golden Gate Bridge now, he felt a dark glimmer of revenge deep in his spark.

Ahead of him sparks showered the road as the garishly purple Chevy Impala began to unfold into a familiar protoform with unfamiliar armor configurations. Bumblebee almost dumped Lennox from his interior at that exact moment to transform, only hesitating when Lennox bellowed, "It's transforming! First shots fired!"

Swindle had indeed opened fire, pock-marking the asphalt as Bumblebee swerved in avoidance. "I can't escape these things inside … you don't know who I am, so let me go, let me go," He played loudly over his radio.

Lennox choked on a laugh – the man's heart was pounding in his chest with eagerness and battle exhilaration. "Gotcha! Let me down easy, big guy," he gasped, and Bumblebee slowed a fraction before locking his opposite front tire, skidding sideways across the asphalt. He popped his door open and Lennox rolled out of his seat while the Autobot initiated transformation.

His hood lifted and bent, his grill separating and folding down as his front axles separated and admitted his arms from the undercarriage, fingers sliding from their protective plates to be revealed. His roof snapped into a myriad of separate armor plates as his doors folded up and across his back, and his legs reconfigured from the trunk while armor plating slid into place over his cerebral processors. As the final stages of transformation asserted the placement of small armor and gyroscopic plates in his feet, Bumblebee rolled across the ground and came up with his plasma cannon emerging from his arm; he fired at Swindle and got to his feet, 16.3 feet of bristling Autobot.

Swindle dodged the shot by ducking and rolling forward. Bumblebee had only briefly ever fought the other Decepticon, but he was wily, better known for his ability to stay alive by hiding and dodging than for kill counts. "One Autobot? They send one scout-class Autobot after me?" He charged forward, laughing madly.

Bumblebee let him get close – against his better judgment – but he wanted Swindle to know exactly who he was when he slagged the Decepticon. He had every confidence in his hand-to-hand skills, and not without reason.

But, he would realize in retrospect, perhaps he had overestimated himself in this case.

Swindle wasn't easy to enrage like Barricade and fought smart. Bumblebee met him head on with his feet braced against the ground, but Swindle planted one foot wide on his last step and hit the Autobot crossways unexpectedly, making Bumblebee stumble. The advantage of leverage lost, he went under when Swindle elbowed him in the side of the neck and roundhouse-kicked him to the road.

"Not much to say, I see," Swindle sneered, attempting to stomp on Bumblebee's back; the Autobot rolled aside and into a crouch, swinging one foot around in a gamely attempt to trip the Impala. Swindle staggered back a step to avoid it, but he didn't shut up. "Can't imagine why that might be the case--!"

Bumblebee launched himself at Swindle's torso, but the Decepticon caught his arms in a grappling lock. Straining pistons against pistons, their faces close together, the Decepticon's faceplates registered smug recognition. "They sent you! Hah! The Prime must be truly strapped for help if he's got a mute drone on his front lines!" He lunged forward slightly as if to knock their armored heads together. "And all by yourself. No cohorts for you nowadays, hm?"

"I'll be the last thing you see before you die." The line came from an old 'B-movie' (movies of a poorer quality than 'A-movies', but they always had the best quotes for his clip files!) Bumblebee redoubled his efforts, rerouting power to his fresh-built legs to stretch pistons just a little further.


It was gratifying to see Swindle startled, brief though it was. Caught off-guard by the third voice, Swindle let up on the pressure just enough to give Bumblebee the ground he needed to shove the Decepticon back.

"Don't forget about me!"

Swindle overbalanced, tipping backwards, but (very graciously, Bumblebee would tell his comrades later) the Autobot tightened his grip on one arm and swung Swindle up into a chokehold. The Decepticon slammed a fist into the unprotected circuitry of his lower torso but did not have the traction to prevent Bumblebee from wrapping an arm around his neck and pulling Swindle's backplates flush against his chest. The Decepticon, not much larger than Bumblebee, struggled to throw the Autobot over his back but the Autobot hooked one of his ankles first, leaving Swindle immobile for one critical second.

Lennox, crouched on the asphalt 75 meters away, was sighting down the barrel of a saber round gun. Swindle had enough time to snarl "Insect!" in infuriated Cybertronian before the saber round bored into his chestplates.

It wasn't enough; the heat of the saber round could melt metal, but the spark chamber was made of sterner stuff than even the armor plates around it. Swindle screamed in fury, twitching once, before loading his plasma cannon to return fire.

He never got the chance. Bumblebee buried his hands in the Decepticon's mouthplates and began to pry jaw from cerebral plating.

Swindle screamed again. Most of a Cybertronian's central processors were located in the chest cavity, protected by the spark chamber plating, but a good portion of general programming was located in what humans would have referred to as the 'brain cavity'. More importantly most models had their main optics and audio receptors located in the cerebral processors. If a Cybertronian's head was cut off, the Cybertronian was usually not 'dead' in the traditional sense but immediate stasis lock would be necessary.

Swindle burst into movement, armor joints locking and folding as he attempted to escape Bumblebee's hands by folding into his alt-mode. Bumblebee tripped him forward and half-fell on the Decepticon's back, knee shoved into spinal plating and smashing a foot down on Swindle's upper arm, locking transformation for the moment. "Get off! Get off!" A stream of Cybertronian swear words poured from Swindle's vocal processors. "Don't think this is the end! We are coming--!" But Bumblebee got enough leverage to give a good yank that destroyed the projecting hardware. Circuitry snapped and fizzled and tingled against Bumblebee's hands.

He pried the upper half of Swindle's head off his body. The remains scrabbled at the ground for an instant as central processors struggled to find a directive and waited for LOGItac to explain why everything was dark and silent, but finally the protoform trembled and stilled.

Bumblebee shot it once in the back to extinguish its spark, and stood, dropping Swindle's upper head next to the body. Satisfaction suffused his circuits.

"Holy – 'Bee, that was brutal," Lennox was saying, half-jogging across the stripped and destroyed asphalt of the bridge. "Hardcore brutal."

"I had a score to settle with him," an ominous-sounding man in an action flick snarled over Bumblebee's radio. Bumblebee stepped over the remaining protoform, getting to his knees to transform back into a car, and he finally flipped his internal radio back into the joint commlink of the Autobot team.

Swindle is slagged STOP.

Silence greeted him initially. To no one's surprise, Ironhide responded first. "Felt good, huh?"

Yeah STOP, Bumblebee agreed as Lennox climbed back into his interior, shaking his head as he called for the clean-up crew. Really good STOP.

He never looked back.


Out of all the Autobots, Bumblebee had lived on earth the longest, observing their behavior and searching for the Allspark for four long years of solitude. However, for all the time he had spent on the planet, he found there was always more to learn about humans – especially their rules.

The only rules Bumblebee had learned to observe were those of the road. Speed limits (annoyingly low), signals at intersections (humans had a strong preference for color-coding), right-of-way, courtesy laws, parking laws – the rules of the road were many and varied. But as much as humans liked to govern their roadways they enjoyed governing every other aspect of their lives even more.

He had not needed to know these rules. His actual interaction with humankind had been heavily limited – even more so when Barricade had destroyed his holoform tech. Now, however, human laws informed so much of his life he wondered how humans got anything done without worrying about breaking laws. (Bumblebee had read once, on a website, that a law in Cleveland, Ohio forbade humans from 'slurping' drink-like meals called 'soup'. He found this law so absurd he had started laughing abruptly, drawing the attention of the other Autobots. Attempting to explain had only made him disappointed Jazz was dead – he would have found it funny.)

As far as Bumblebee and the other Autobots were concerned, San Francisco was a job well done. Dead End and Swindle had both been quickly located and slagged. No humans had been killed. In fact, the only real flaw in the operation had been Bumblebee. Apologizing profusely and embarrassed by how he'd forgotten his main function (gathering intelligence), Bumblebee had presented the limited intel revealed by Swindle's dying words – "We are coming!" – drawing consternation from the others.

"Wish there was more to go on," Ratchet grumbled, scratching his cerebral plating.

There might have been if I hadn't been so quick to kill him, Bumblebee had answered, abashed, over uplink.

"What's done is done," Optimus had admonished. "We understand. It will not happen again, I trust?"

No, sir.

"Then it is in the past. I will present this information to the humans and deliberate on it myself." And so they had, translating the Cybertronian message into English and handing over the soundbyte for consideration.

The humans, however, were not pleased in any way, shape, or form with the battle in San Francisco.

"So," Lennox told the gathered Autobots two days after the assault, "they're telling me we made a mess of things."

"What?" Ironhide was appropriately enraged, the Topkick revving his engine. "That operation went perfectly! A better outcome could not be asked for! Are your superiors suffering from some kind of cranial damage? If so I can certainly relieve them of their damaged circuits by taking off their heads--!"

"Easy," Optimus cautioned, his wheels turning in Ironhide's direction in preparation to intercept the weapons specialist should he decide to make good on his word. "Captain Lennox, it is true that from our perspective the mission was a complete success. What do your superiors feel we could have improved upon?"

"'Mess of things' my aft," Ironhide was grumbling under his engine. "I'll mess up some things – like the arrangement of certain skeletal structures."

Lennox scratched the back of his head. "Mostly they're not liking the fact that battle took place in exposed, populated areas. I mean, you guys killed Dead End in waterfront property and we kind of took out Swindle on the most prominent tourist attraction of the area," he admitted, twitching a finger back and forth between himself and Bumblebee in indication.

So, we are to lure the Decepticons out into open, empty places every time we enter battle? Bumblebee wondered. Such tactics had met with limited success on other planets. Bumblebee didn't particularly enjoy playing 'bait' either, which he inevitably would, deceptively small and under-armored.

"This is the first major combat situation since the Allspark's destruction," Ratchet put in thoughtfully. "Compared to the loss of life and severity of that battle, I would think your military officials should be especially pleased."

"You'd think," Lennox grumbled, drawing an agreeing growl from Ironhide. "Okay, guys, look: I'm really, really lucky they didn't Geneva Convention my ass or throw me in the brig for disorderly conduct over Mission City. Like, lucky like you wouldn't believe."

Geneva Convention his ass? Bumblebee was no communications expert, but he was pretty sure Lennox had just replaced a verb with a noun, which didn't make much sense in the English language. He filed the verb-noun away for future analysis.

"Mission City is like the worst-case-scenario situation, not the stick by which all our future skirmishes are gonna get measured," Lennox continued. "It's just as important to my bosses that you guys stay under wraps as that humans don't get killed."

"Under … wraps?" Optimus queried over their commlink.

Remain hidden or kept secret, sir STOP, Bumblebee answered, knowing the answer to that one from Sam's cautioning rambles about the same subject.

"We do battle in a major city, humans die, and your 'President' thinks that Cybertronian presence will remain a secret?" Ironhide snarled.

"He only lends the Decepticons a helping hand," Ratchet interjected. "They specialize in infiltration. Did no one take into account that most of them took on military vehicle alt-modes? At the very least your entire military should be aware of our capabilities."

Lennox scratched his head again, casting his eyes heavenwards as if asking Primus for help. "I know we talked about this before, Ironhide. If everyone knew it could cause some serious panic. I mean, how would you feel if you never could be sure the car you were looking at was a car?" He hesitated at their silence. "Okay, maybe you wouldn't understand."

Bumblebee did; Jazz would have too, having also been in extremely hostile situations where one never knew the enemy's alt-modes. "I understand, raise my right hand up to God," the scout played.

Lennox shot the Camaro a look of relief. "See? Exactly. So basically, I don't know if any of you remember, but you're not supposed to ever transform in public."

Again a brief, stunned silence met this. Bumblebee remembered hearing about this a couple of months ago, but LOGItac programs had dropped the information from all but his memory banks after discarding it as useless. It was one thing for Optimus Prime to remain in alt-mode – he could roll over some transformed Decepticons with little difficulty – but for smaller Autobots like himself, realism required he utilize his protoform for all head-to-head combat situations. From the silent reaction of his comrades, Bumblebee had little doubt they felt much the same way.

"Ridiculous," Ratchet finally said. "I refuse to go into battle virtually defenseless. That's madness, and I – with all due respect to Optimus – will not allow my comrades to go into battle that way."

Optimus' engine revved as Ratchet subsided. "Ratchet speaks wisely. Even if I did not consider these my friends, we cannot afford to lose even one of us for the sake of foolish protocols. I will speak with your officers on the first opportunity and attempt to come to some sort of understanding."

Lennox jabbed a finger in Optimus' direction. "See, I tried to tell them they were idiots! But you – If you tell 'em, they'll have no choice but to listen." Bumblebee couldn't help but observe the intimidating factor of Optimus Prime's height and build was always fun to behold. "Plus, they can't court-martial you."

The Prime actually laughed at that, a sound like his engine switching gears at a high revolution. "I see! Is there anything else?"

"A bunch of technical stuff – I'll have the download for you in an hour," Lennox said dismissively.

Humans, like Autobots (and Cybertronians before them), would spend as much time (if not more!) post-combat analyzing how the battle was conducted. However, unlike Cybertronians, the intent of such analysis seemed to not be improvement on tactics or improved understanding of the enemy, but rather assigning blame. The report of Mission City had been issued to the Autobots on paper, but reading the tiny print – and even handling the paper the report was written on! – proved too much of a challenge for the relatively large alien robots. (Optimus Prime in particular had trouble. The entire report was smaller than his first thumb joint.) Later that report and all subsequent were issued to the robotic allies as downloads.

"Very good. That aside, I need to speak with you about the information Bumblebee gleaned from Swindle."

Lennox nodded thoughtfully, crossing his arms and his focus on the ground. "Yeah. Yeah, Secretary Keller was pretty interested in that one, too. 'We are coming' – sounded pretty ominous." He looked up again. "What're they coming for? You have any idea?"

"Nothing but educated guesses," Optimus admitted. He had discussed the matter extensively with Bumblebee earlier, and now he related what they had discussed. "It is possible they seek revenge – against us, and against the Earth – for the destruction of the Allspark and Megatron's death. I do not doubt there are those amongst their army that would seek out all the agents of their end, since we eliminated not only their leader but one of the greatest assets at our disposal – a source of endless warriors. Still, they followed Megatron out of fear as much as loyalty, and it is our sincerest hope the Decepticons will fall to squabbling over the power vacuum.

"However, to the best of Autobot knowledge, there is nothing material left on this planet for the Decepticons to come after, besides the Allspark fragment that remains and has only the most limited use. Nonetheless you must understand that when the Allspark was destroyed, we lost not only our only source of life but also our greatest repository of Cybertronian knowledge and history. Even I do not know the fullness of our past, and I can never know it without the Cube.

"Perhaps our worlds have met before; perhaps Earth retains some value to the Decepticons that we do not know. What we do know is that more of the enemy will come, and we must be here to stop them."

Lennox pressed his thumb against his chin, a gesture of consideration amongst humans. "So. You're allied with us but it's not like you actually come under our command – not that we don't appreciate your co-operation with us," he quickly added. "What's your next move?"

Bumblebee broke in then. "I'm going home, I'm going home, oh the wind is calling and the leaves are falling, and I must get on the road …!"

Lennox's shoulders jerked at the sudden burst of noise, and he laughed, a short, loud sound of surprise. "What?"

Optimus explained, "Since we cannot know the exact nature of the threat, I have decided it is prudent to put a detail on Sam Witwicky again – after all, he was key in Megatron's death and the Cube's end. I believe you can guess who I have in mind for the job."

"Seriously?" Lennox shook his head. "Optimus, I … I don't want to tell you what to do with your own troops, but we could really use Bumblebee here."

Bumblebee preened a little over that, enjoying how much his presence was appreciated. Ratchet's vents cycled; the medic seemed to know exactly what he was thinking.

"I know. We are spread too thin as it is," Optimus agreed. "But in my judgment, Bumblebee is needed more at the Witwicky home. I would not see Sam injured or killed due to some oversight on our part."

Lennox drew a breath as if preparing to present another argument, but he only let it out in a long sigh. "He's your man," was all he said.

"Your government will not object?" the Prime inquired, unfailingly polite about the American government demanding to know all Autobot business. It frustrated Ironhide to no end, and Ratchet took it in stride – Bumblebee was aware of the situation, of course, but he tried to put the matter from his processors, remembering that local politics were Optimus Prime's business.

"Oh, I'm sure they'll put up a stink, but what do you care? He's your man. Do what you gotta do with him." Lennox didn't seem very pleased, but Bumblebee found his respect for the man – already quite high – rose another notch as he refused to question Optimus' orders further. "I won't lie, we'll miss him, but I guess we'll figure it out."

"More Autobots will come," the Prime said optimistically. The H2 Hummer that was Ratchet visibly locked his wheels in an effort to not broadcast his doubt. "And should it come to disaster, I will bear responsibility for my decisions before any judge – human or otherwise."

To be continued

Music credits go to 3 Doors Down ("Let Me Go"), B.B. King ("I Understand"), and Chris de Burgh ("I'm Going Home"). The beginning content of this chapter can be credited to the IDW prequel comic for the first movie, and the rest of the content of this chapter can be credited to Transformers: Alliance, the IDW prequel comic to the new movie (with abounding creative license) The character Whiplash that makes a one-line appearance early in this chapter is an OC created by Conna Stevenson here on ff dot net. He's extremely lovable, and I highly recommend the fic about him! I used him without permission because I couldn't think of any other Autobots at the time of writing this chapter. Sorry, Conna!

If you didn't like the second movie and you're reviewing just to tell me that, please don't bother (even though I do understand!) Otherwise, all reviews are greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading!