Authors Note: I haven't been around for a long, LONG, time. My writing ability died pretty dramatically, and then RL was a pain in the neck too. Thanks to everyone who sent me messages and emails asking where I was and how I was, I'm grateful I'm missed that much. Me back! I got started on this little ditty and the ideas started flowing again.
This is set after TF3:DOTM. Some of you may remember the little flat car called 'Roller' from the original G1/G2 TV series back in the eighties. Roller was Optimus Prime's personal scout/assistant and he lived in Prime's long trailer that he towed behind him in his truck mode. Roller was portrayed as semi-intelligent, loyal, hard-working, dedicated - something like a smart, well-trained and much-loved pet. Certainly, when Roller was injured or missing, Prime was very affected and upset. When Michael Bay put Prime's trailer into TF:DOTM, I presumed Roller would be one of the things inside it. As we now know, he wasn't. As it turns out, there is a very good reason why Roller wasn't in the movie, and if you read on, you'll find out…
General Morshower took a few long and slow steps outside of the residential building that housed his living quarters. With his morning cup of steaming caffeine in his favourite mug (a cup emblazoned with the bold logo of 'Mr Strong', a present from his much loved wife) and a beautiful spring sunrise in front of him, he flexed his back and let out a happy contented sigh.
"%$#& BEEP &^*^$ WHISTLE *&*^^ SQUEAK $%!"
A small - no, scratch that - a tiny red Mini Cooper came racing past him with its lights flashing, its horn honking, and the acrid smell of burning tire rubber. The Mini was an exact replica of a real Mini Cooper, but only half the size of a proper one - which was what gave it away as being an Autobot in disguise. That, and the huge Autobot insignia face-up on the roof. Morshower mused that the Mini was just small enough for him to stand beside and throw a leg over. Almost.
Being wise to the antics of the (mostly) friendly alien visitors, Morshower went back to enjoying his coffee and stretching his sore back. He didn't know who the Mini was, or what it was doing, but considering the regular bullshit antics that went down at this base, he was pretty sure he'd find out soon enough. Somehow. Some way.
"ROLLER! Return to me at ONCE!"
The General smirked faintly. Ah yes, there it was. All the information was about to be revealed - wether he wanted it or not. Thank you, bullshit radar.
The annoyed tone of Optimus Prime's voice reverberated around the buildings of Diego Garcia. And if anyone had been deaf enough or dumb enough to not know that Prime was pissed, then the image of the affronted tall alien leader striding along the tarmac with a scowl on his regal features would have filled them in.
In the distance the sound of a car doing a one-hundred-and-eighty degree turn; accompanied by the frantic revving of a little engine; meant that 'Roller' (if that was what the Mini was named) was currently undertaking evasive action and had no wish to 'return to me at once' at all.
Optimus Prime suddenly registered the presence of the General standing silently to his left, and the big Autobot turned on a very pained expression of disappointment. The big robots head tilted at an angle. "General."
Morshower make a slight waving movement with his coffee cup in response, "Prime."
Optimus paused and straightened up to his full metallic height. To Morshower, he seemed very uncertain about something. "I apologise for the errant behaviour of my... er..."
Morshower lifted an eyebrow. He didn't know that 'er' had ever been in the Great Optimus Prime's vocabulary.
Optimus finished lamely, "...scout. My scout, Roller."
As the word 'Roller' was emitted in Prime's distinguished rumbling tone, there was a loud shriek off in the distance followed by a scream of 'ROLLER! Get OUT of there!'.
The General blinked as the bright red blur that was Roller appeared at the end of the long tarmac runway. He had exploded in a blur out of one of the Autobot hangers and was now racing towards them. Or he had been racing towards them because the second he caught sight of Prime turning his irritated blue optics his way, he slammed on his brakes, did a sliding turn to the left in a cloud of smoke and took off again in the wrong direction.
Just as Prime thundered Roller's name across the tarmac, the Mini let forth a loud muffler fart, and disappeared out of sight around one of the squat office buildings.
Morshower was treated to the unusual motion of Optimus Prime face-palming and growling an obnoxious alien swear word to himself.
"So," Morshower gently swirled the cooling contents of his coffee around his mug as he spoke, "this Roller. Who is he, exactly?" From the way Prime's optics flicked quickly from side-to-side in a show of consternation, Morshower figured this wasn't something that Optimus wanted to talk about.
Yet again, just as Prime started to speak, another God-almighty scream came from the other side of the base.
"Oh, for the love of Primus..." Optimus growled in exasperation, "Excuse me please." He took off at a loping ground-thumping run and darted behind the row of buildings on his left. There was a loud crash and thump. A squeal of indignation. A loud retort from Prime. The uncomfortable sound of metal contacting metal.
...and then the giant Autobot Commander re-appeared with the red Mini tucked under his right armpit and the car's wheels spinning furiously in the empty air. He strode up to the curious-but-trying-to-appear-not-to-be General. The Mini let out a couple of loud horn honks and flashed his lights erratically.
"One more honk, one more wheel spin, one more muffler fluff, and I will schedule an exhaust flush for you with Ratchet," Prime growled. "BE. QUIET."
When Roller seemed to pay more attention to that than anything else, and go silent, Morshower felt somewhat relieved.
"This," Optimus said in a droll tone as he tapped his formidable fist on the Mini's front hood, "is Roller. He is a scout and an extension of myself. He is one of my physical components and usually resides in my trailer."
"What?" Morshower blurted. An extension of Prime? Since when did anything of Optimus or anyone under his command, ignore orders, do wanton muffler farts and race around like a hoon head on crack? What on Earth did he mean by an extension of himself? "I'm sorry, but I fail to understand how, uh," the General gestured at the silent Mini Cooper, "this is a part of you." A farting, hooning, disobedient, part of you, Morshower thought to himself.
Prime bore a stoic 'I've been through this before' expression. With a sigh, he placed Roller on the ground, saying, "Stay and be silent. I have an open comlink to Dr Ratchet and his exhaust tools." The Mini didn't make a sound. Fortunately for him and everyone else involved. "Roller is a physical part of me. I can uplink to his databanks and direct him to go where I wish. I am also able to see what he sees, and hear what he hears."
The human General held up a hand at that. "Wait - what? That can't be right. He's been racing around and ignoring your command for the past few minutes."
"Ah yes," Prime inclined his head. "You are asking why is he acting like a-" Optimus flash searched the world wide web for a suitable term, "juvenile dumb ass delinquent?"
"Yeah. That." Morshower agreed dryly.
"Because Roller is a sentient being who has his own rights and I do not impose my will upon his actions unless he is on duty and undertaking a mission. He is not there for me to take control of every nanosecond of the day-cycle."
And as if to prove the point, the Mini screeched loudly with his engine and flashed his lights. Without a nanosecond of hesitation, Prime promptly boxed Roller in by doing the splits and putting each of his legs at the front and rear of the little car. Cornered, caged and pawned.
"I'm almost afraid to hear the answer to this question, but, does he transform?" Morshower ventured with more than a little trepidation. Heck, he'd had to deal with the twin terrors of Skids and Mudflap, he had experience at handling robotic dimwits. At this stage, Roller seemed like the worst traits of those two all rolled (he snorted to himself - rolled; Roller; ha!) into one nasty package that even Prime couldn't control, and he hadn't even seen Roller as a transformed robot yet.
Retirement was looking good. Very good. No idiots, no gunfire, no aliens on crack…
The General's face turned pale when he suddenly considered that if Roller was a physical and emotional part of Prime, what on earth would Prime's real offspring be like? He'd heard the rumours of Prime's rampant robot sexuality. The General shuddered - no, no, no; do NOT think of robot sex. No. Absolutely not.
Argh, crap too late!
Morshower mentally shook himself and put his diplomatic hat on.
"Well, as long as he doesn't interfere with the duties of my soldiers, he is very welcome to treat the base as his home." He eyed off the silent Mini between Prime's long straddling legs. "If he causes trouble, however..." He honestly couldn't say what he'd do to discipline the tiny car if it came to that. Parking tickets under his windshield wipers? Lock him up in a garage? Remove his wheels?
"I will endeavour to keep him under my full control, General," Optimus said gravely.
There was a strained note to Prime's voice that indicated that Optimus was trying not to put too much emphasis on the word 'try'.
Not saying a word more, Morshower drained his coffee cup and gave Prime a nod. Then left for his daily duties.
Left alone with his smaller companion, Optimus frowned down at Roller. "There had better not be a repeat of the incident on Mars-"
Roller flashed his headlights enthusiastically.
"- because I still have not figured out a diplomatic way of informing the humans that their Mars explorer vehicle was humped into deactivation by you, instead of hitting 'technical difficulties' as they currently think."
A digital wolf whistle came from the Mini.
"Oh, shut up."