“Autobots, transform and roll out,” Optimus Prime ordered his team, transforming into his new alternate mode, letting Bulkhead gently place Prowl’s injured frame on the back before he drove into the water, followed by Bulkhead. Bumblebee and Highdrive made to follow, transforming into their respective vehicle modes as well before Highdrive caught sight of the two human girls rushing to their side.
“Wait! We’re coming with you!” Sari announced when she was almost halfway through Bumblebee’s window.
“No, you’re not. It’s not safe,” Highdrive tried protesting as Tyla grabbed a hold of his door handle and yanked with everything she had in an attempt to open it up.
“Dude, we just survived a giant cockroach Going underwater in an alien car really sounds a lot safer,” Tyla chipped in, squeezing Highdrive’s handle a little tighter to see if that would work with prying him open.
“Alien?” Highdrive questioned in confusion before he spotted Sari nearly falling inside of Bumblebee. It seemed the younger of the two bots had given in to the girl’s request. Highdrive found himself letting out a sigh through his vents as his door swung open, nearly tossing Tyla onto her backside. “Fine, but stay out of sight, at least until we can explain.”
The grin on Tyla’s lips spread from ear to ear as she hopped inside, grabbing his seatbelt and securing it over her much smaller frame as her hands grabbed him by the steering wheel. “Great. So how does this work? Do I press some kind of button or-”
“I’ll be doing the driving,” Highdrive huffed, seemingly insulted by the mere suggestion that he wouldn’t know how to work his new set of wheels. Tyla only flashed him a sheepish smile as she removed her hands and held them at her sides. She didn’t have the package from earlier anywhere nearby, but he chose not to ask about it as he followed Bumblebee down the same ramp Optimus and Bulkhead had gone down from.
Exchanging air for water took his tanks a mere nano click to adjust to, causing a few bubbles to flutter free from beneath his hood, but considering that both Tyla and Sari had chosen to get inside of them instead of following in some alternate modes, he figured that they needed the beforementioned air to survive.
He didn’t know much about organics – humans in particular – but luckily some of his courses at the academy had dealt with organics as a whole and how they needed certain conditions met in order to stay alive, more commonly referred to as ‘breathing’. Cybertronians didn’t abide by that rule, but they sometimes followed the same basic concept by letting air in and out of their vents to try and cool down or show expressions such as sighing or showing a form of relief.
The moment the bubbles cleared, Highdrive caught sight of Tyla nearly smacking herself against his window, staring at other forms of organic life flying past them. The pure amazement on her face was enough to let him know that what she was currently seeing was something she wasn’t used to.
If his alternate form allowed it, he would have smiled, but for now, he focused on following the wet, sandy trail Bulkhead was pushing up from his spot ahead of Bumblebee, the sane nearly enough to cover the bright yellow car before him. He could easily drive to the side to avoid it, but considering how strong the water’s pressure was, it was a safer bet to cut through the same line Optimus was blazing at the front.
Ratchet must have been watching them from the command deck, because before they even fully reached the ship, the docking bay ramp slid free from its station, opening up the doors to grant them entrance. Optimus wasted no time in taking Prowl to the medical bay, followed by Bulkhead in his bi-pedal form.
Ratchet got to work, studying the sparking wound at Prowl’s chassis whilst Bumblebee and Highdrive stayed by the entrance to the room, nervously watching. Ratchet gave them a scowling glare, nearly tossing one of his tools at the two bots. It was only their quick thinking in slamming their seats back that hid the two girls from sight. Ratchet definitely didn’t seem like he was in the mood to find out just what they had done.
“What are you waiting for kid? I thought you wanted to be a medic. Hurry up and come help me over here before we lose him!”
“R-Right!” Highdrive stuttered, throwing his wheels in reverse as he raced down the corridor, Bumblebee in suit, just before they retracted their seatbelts and swung their doors open, tossing the girls through one of the ventilation shafts into the floor below. Highdrive made a mental note to apologise to Tyla a little later when things calmed down a little. Bumblebee must have thought the same thing because the next thing Highdrive knew, Bumblebee was jogging beside him.
“Do you think we were a little too harsh on them?”
“Maybe, but they’ll have to forgive us. Prowl comes first.”
Bumblebee nodded his agreement, the two entering the medical bay to find Ratchet already using his arm magnets to try and calm the sparking shooting from Prowl’s torso. He didn’t have to make optic contact with Highdrive twice to tell him to hurry up and help.
Out of instinct, Highdrive moved to the storage cabinets, grabbing everything he thought might be of use to the older medic within the given moment. When he approached the other side of the berth, Highdrive didn’t need a professional medic to tell him that they didn’t have nearly all the tools they needed to help Prowl. Brief optic contact with the old Autobot opposite him confirmed as much.
A beeping sound from the alarm near the door caught Optimus’s attention enough for him to wander off from the berth. Highdrive felt the heat in his cheeks rise at the sight of their commander choosing to heed the call of a minor alarm, rather than trying to stick around for support for one of their comrades. Sure, Prowl had never exactly been the friendliest bot or ever acknowledged them as part of a team, but one didn’t simply spend deca-cycles with a bot and not form some kind of form of comradery, even if most of those cycles were spent in stasis.
A shake of the helm from Bulkhead was enough to deter Highdrive from demanding why Optimus was leaving the room, but then again he was a Prime that had been placed in charge of a simple maintenance ship, so he probably had his own reasons for not wanting to stick around in a med bay that held a bot that was struggling to stay online. Highdrive only hoped that the reason for Optimus’s demotion wasn’t something that would end up with the rest of them in the same situation as Prowl.
Highdrive mentally scolded himself for his deprecating thoughts. Here, before him, was a bot with acid eating through his chassis, that needed his help, and he was more concerned over a Prime that was getting out of the way so that the only two medics on board could focus on the job at hand.
“This isn’t good,” Ratchet hissed through gritted dentals, his magnifier hooked over his optic, zooming in and out based on the commands his optic was feeding it from behind. It was a basic tool for medics to use in the field, but Highdrive had often found it useful during his practice tests and exams.
It was easy to miss something small that could lead to a bigger problem in the future if the medic on the field took too long to notice the problem first hand and inform the off-site medics that needed to assist if the situation became too dire. Right now, Highdrive knew that he was the secondary medic on scene. The one called in to help the primary medic perform his job. He was prepared for that, willing to acknowledge his part and follow the other’s orders to the last letter, but what he didn’t expect to hear were the words Ratchet said next.
“Get ready kid. You’re operating.”
Published by Fang Wolfsbane