“Uhm, Optimus? I don’t think this is a good idea,” Highdrive said, having transformed into his bipedal mode to try and get a better vantage point on one of the emergency-looking vehicles. Why the bots around them hadn’t transformed to help them, he didn’t know, nor did he have the luxury of time to ask either. The organics surrounding them had all scurried off to safety somewhere.
“Protect the organics! We’ll figure something out!” Optimus ordered, casting a questioning glance towards the vehicles behind him. He must’ve chalked it up to them being too afraid to move so he acted by chopping off the tendrils that reached over to try and grab them.
Groaning to himself, Highdrive rushed towards the large, squishy creature. None of them knew what it was, save for that it had some nano infusion of some kind that influenced its size. They could outmanoeuvre it, or half of them could at least. Bulkhead had already attempted to attack it with his wrecking balls but had only succeeded in getting himself caught temporarily. Luckily the cables connecting Bulkhead to his appendages wasn’t connected to his nerve wires other wise Optimus cutting them free would have had the large mech spilling energon by now.
Prowl was keeping his distance, observing the creature closely. Highdrive stayed back, knowing that if one of the others got hurt too bad, then he’d be their first line of medical attention. If Ratchet had followed them, then he might’ve tried to fight against the creature a bit more closer, but he didn’t have Ratchet or Bumblebee’s shockers, or a weapon like Optimus, Prowl or Bulkhead.
The creature snapped one of its tentacles towards him, barely giving Highdrive time to jump back beneath the building’s cover. Inside more of the vehicles were standing around, stationary. Perhaps they were all in some form of stasis lock? He nudged one of them by their tires, and the only response he received was an alarmed beep.
“U-Uh, excuse me, but you need to get out of here, now. It’s not safe here,” Highdrive tried convincing the one closest to him, but all they did was flash their headlights at him. He tried nudging them again, only to be yelled at, or screeched at. The tone of their protests made it unclear as to what they were trying to tell him. Deciding that he had enough, Highdrive pulled his leg back and kicked them this time. “Hey, get moving!”
The only response he received was an even louder scream. Not knowing what to do, Highdrive thought about contacting Ratchet to ask him for assistance, but from the sound of Optimus’s voice on the other side of the wall, Ratchet’s attention was currently and other wise occupied. Highdrive was about to turn and head back out into the field when a voice caused him to stop in his tracks.
“Hey robot! This is Sumdac piers right?”
Whirring his optics to try and readjust his focus, Highdrive turned to face the owner of the voice. It was one of the organics, a variant of them judging by how thinner and shorter it seemed than those he had seen sitting in the vehicles outside. He figured out why the vehicles hadn’t moved. They were waiting on their organic pets!
Clicking his digits in an eureka moment, Highdrive leaned in towards the organic. He had to be careful with it. He didn’t want to end up spooking it into running away and then having to help its owner try to find it again.
“You can’t be here,” he told it slowly, gently, “it’s dangerous. You need to go find your owner and get away from here as fast as you can.”
The creature only stared at him before raising what he would call an optic ridge. “Owner? What the hell are you talking about?”
It seemed that they spoke the same language but didn’t interpret words the same way. The fact that the pets on this planet even knew how to speak was impressive in itself but he couldn’t sit around and wait for its owner to pitch up, especially not with the building’s entrance falling down on him.
Highdrive barely had enough time to react by looking up at it just before transforming into his alternative mode. The creature stared at him, temporarily shut its optics, and then spoke words he didn’t know the meaning of but wasn’t all that sure that he wanted to know their meaning either judging from how they were pronounced.
Without thinking too much about it, Highdrive pulled his servo free from its door form, grabbed the organic around what he assumed to be its waist and pulled it inside. The yelp it gave in return made clear its surprise as he slipped his seatbelt over it.
“Stay still, okay? And don’t touch anything!”
The creature barely had time to voice its protest as Highdrive pushed his pedal down as low as it could go before he sped off to a safer distance. He and Bumblebee met up on the rooftop, both transforming back into their bipedal modes. It seemed he wasn’t the only one to have picked up a stray. A arched optic ridge towards the other teenage bot, received a shrug in return, along with that sheepish grin he seemed to use whenever he knew he had gotten into some kind of trouble that he could somehow manage to talk his way out of at some point. Whether he planned those excuses beforehand or not, Highdrive didn’t know, nor did he care to ask.
“What could I do? I couldn’t just leave it behind,” Bumblebee reasoned, earning what seemed like a frown from the creature, whilst the one Highdrive had ejected from himself hopped on one ped to safety. It was funny how similar the organics reacted like they did, far more natural than the bots on this planet.
“Hey, I’m not an ‘it’! I told you, my name is Sari,” the smaller organic frowned, crossing its arm struts. From the pitch of its voice, he judged that it would possible be the planet’s version of a femme. Where the one he had grabbed from the basement had a yellow colouring on its – her – helm, this one had red.
“Yeah, and neither am I!” the other one chipped in, walking up to them, resting her servos on her hips.
“Are you a ‘Sari’ too?” Highdrive asked, assuming that to be the name of their species.
“What? No. I’m a Tyla – and I’m a human!”
“So am I!” Sari – no, the human – confirmed. Well, at least now they knew what their species was.
“Oh, uhm, well I’m Highdrive,” Highdrive said, a servo on his chassis to indicate himself before holding it out towards the mech beside him, “and this is Bumblebee.”
“We met,” Sari said, acknowledging Bumblebee with a wave. He returned it with a small smile on his own lips.
“Great. Now that we all know each other,” Highdrive hummed, looking over to where the other organic creature was still trying to hold Optimus, Bulkhead and Prowl away from itself, “what are we going to do about that thing? Or… is that some kind of pet on this planet?”
Sari and Tyla both turned to face the creature. It was Sari that answered his question. “No. That’s probably one of my dad’s experiments that went wrong – again.”
“Does that happen often?” Highdrive asked, looking down at them. Sari nodded in confirmation, her earlier frown returning to her lips.
“You could say that.”
“So, any suggestions on how to beat that thing?”
“Lots and lots of luck.”
“Then we better get started.”
Published by Fang Wolfsbane