Optimus Prime sat and waited in the base rec room, using the seat Sam playfully called ‘The Big Bot Couch’. He stretched his legs out in front of him, leaning back and tucking his hands behind his head. He did some casual browsing of the World Wide Web on his internal systems, reading the latest news from around the world and carefully scanning for any illicit signs of what Barricade and Frenzy may have been up to. Nothing unusual showed up. It was Ironhide’s job to patrol the newsfeeds and infonet in any case.

Speaking of which...

“Fragging glitch of a bootleg, should shove his rifle up his royal aft, damn slagging pit-reared clone. Needs re-formatting with an Earth iPod, etc, etc,” Ironhide’s incessant swearing and muttering reached Optimus Prime’s audio receptors before the bot even put one disgraced metal foot in the hanger door.

Ironhide made it halfway across the room before he looked up. He should have expected the damn evil mech to be waiting. He didn’t even need to gloat. Just sitting there, looking vaguely smug, optics dimmed. Figures.

Optimus raised an optic ridge cynically, not moving from his stretched out relaxed position.

Ironhide stared at him, optics glowing. “You... you.. YOU...” he spluttered.

“Won’t you have a seat, ‘Hide? You must be tired after all that exercise.” Prime’s tone was very patient. He patted one large hand on the seat next to him.

“FRAG OFF!” Ironhide hissed, stomping off to his room. The words “And you still smell!” floated out from the hallway.

Optimus sighed, shaking his head. He looked down at the very small doggy lifeform curled up next to his left thigh. “Do you have to make your waste products smell so much? I mean, really, I’ve washed myself off three times already. What is the strategic point of such an almighty stink?” Mojo merely hiccuped in his sleep, stretching one paw out.

Ratchet came out from his medbay, holding something in his hand. “Was that Ironhide?” he asked.

“Oh yes,” Optimus grinned and flexed the metal extensions on the tips of his feet lazily. “He didn’t seem to want to sit down.”

Ratchet looked displeased, “Oh no, not THAT again. You know I’m the one that needs to replace the blown circuits in his aft plates, it’s not a pleasant job. You’re punishing me as well as him whenever you go off on a jaunt like that.” He stopped in front of where Optimus was sitting and looked down at the snoozing dog. “Still, Ironhide does need to be reminded to stay in line every now and again.”

“Mmm,” Prime agreed lazily. He was more than happy to shoot Ironhide in the butt. Much better than a computer generated holographic shooting range. “And what is that? I’ve seen you carrying that around before.” He focused on the microscopic round metal disc in the medic’s hand.

“This is for Mojo. I wanted to give him a small gift from us. See?” said Ratchet, holding it in front of Optimus’ curious optics, the tiny disc dangling from his pinched forefingers.

Prime sat up and leaned forward, hands on his thighs. “That has to be the smallest Autobot insignia I’ve ever seen. Why would Mojo want that?” The blazing red Autobot head symbol glittered from the light of the twin pairs of optics studying it.

“It’s for his collar. I believe he has earned the right to wear our symbol. Do you not agree?” Ratchet’s tone was the one he used on the Twins. Agree or else. The Twins didn’t often choose ‘else’. ‘Else’ was painful and undignified.

“Uh... sure.” Prime scratched the side of his head. The Autobot symbol was not something bestowed lightly. It stood for a lot of things and came with heavy responsibility.

“Good,” Ratchet nodded, satisfied. He slid gentle hands under Mojo, lifting the sleepy dog onto his feet. “Hold him still for me?”

Prime grunted an affirmative, using the tips of his fingers to hold the dog in place. Mojo blinked and yawned. Ratchet used tweezers to remove the dog’s collar, slide the loop of the metal disc onto the leather, and replace the collar. “There! Doesn’t he look good?” he said proudly.

“He looks, ahem, glorious,” Optimus rumbled uncertainly, gingerly holding Mojo on the palm of his metal hand and lifting the dog up for him and Ratchet to inspect the results. Mojo stared back at them, lifting his chin to expose the Autobot symbol hanging under his neck. “What is he supposed to do if he meets a dog wearing a Decepticon symbol?” he asked, cocking his head at his CMO. “Maybe we should outfit him with shoulder cannons too.”

“Now you’re being silly. Cannons wouldn’t aim well from his short height. He needs self-guiding missiles,” Ratchet huffed, taking his dog friend from his Leader and walking off. “He’s a silly mech, isn’t he Mojo?” he commented.

“Bark!” Mojo’s tail wagged happily. This was his friend Ratchet! Whatever he said was ok! And missiles, gosh, that would take care of that nasty Doberman dog down the road.

Optimus watched the pair go. What was Ratchet going to do with himself when Mojo was picked up by Sam? Optimus had never seen the medic be so openly nice and caring about practically anything. The dog was so totally indulged and spoilt by Hatchet, he was sure many of his past patients would’ve been laughing their aft’s off.

Outside the hanger, Frenzy was hanging upside down by his knees from the tallest tree he could find. He’d gotten himself much closer to the Autobot base, wanting more entertainment. Barricade may have given up on the Autobot’s doing anything of importance, but Frenzy hadn’t.

“Moremoremore! C-c-come ooooout to play, Autobrats!” he babbled excitedly, clapping his spindly hands together rapidly.

He got his wish. Coming down the dirt road at an incredibly slow pace was the yellow Autobot, Bumblebee. He was driving slowly and balancing a stupid squishy male on his roof.

“SAM! SAM STUPID-HICKY! Get DOWN!” a human female demanded from the passenger window, long hair waving in the wind.

“I will not allow him to fall, Mikaela. Although I honestly do not agree with such foolishness, I do not see the fun in standing on my roof,” Bumblebee’s scratchy voice was attempting to calm the irate female. He was driving barely fast enough to register more than a few miles per hour on his speedometer.

“Bee, you promised! It’s part of my birthday present! And its called surfing, dude!” Sam was concentrating on his style, arms splayed out, hanging ten with his bare toes on the edge of Bumblebee’s windscreen.

“God help me,” Mikaela put one hand on her forehead, sighing. Sam gets an alien car and he wants to surf on its roof?

“He will not fall, Mikaela, he will be caught before he gets anywhere near the ground, please let me do the worrying,” Bumblebee insisted again, driving at a crawl around the potholes in the road.

“Bee, play the song, please? For me?” Sam asked, squinting his eyes from the bright sunlight. In answer, the song ‘Surfing In The USA’ came booming from the car. Mikaela sobbed once. Trent would never have been this un-cool. It would’ve been fun to see the Numb Nut fly off the windscreen at sixty miles per hour, though.

Frenzy blinked. Nuh, this wasn’t fun! Bring back the Big Dumb Leader with his gun and the Stupid Black Truck! His optics watched the car come closer to his position. Hmm, unless... Oh yes! This was going to be goodgoodgood!

Frenzy didn’t think, he just acted. He wanted more amusement and he was going to make it. Chuckling manically, he launched himself off the tree like a gymnast and landed right in front of Bumblebee. “B-b-booo!!” he cackled, dancing up and down.

Bumblebee lurched to a stunned stop and Sam went flying off his roof head first in a slow tumbling arc.

“SAM!” Bumblebee shrieked, he accelerated forwards over the top of Frenzy, morphing the metal of his hood into a large yellow scoop and catching the boy like a baseball into a glove. He fishtailed to a stop. Dust filled the scene with huge billowing clouds.

Frenzy groaned. He sat up. At least, his body sat up. His head was hanging by one wire off his shoulders and his hands reached up to grasp it, having a hard job since his head bounced around with every movement, “STUPIDSTUPIDSTUPID,” he grumbled to himself, “Dumb s-s-slag bot run Frenzy overoverover!”

“That’s not all we’ll do,” a cold hard voice suggested.

Frenzy’s unbalanced bent optics looked up, straight into the long wide shaft of Optimus Prime’s heavy rifle pointed at his forehead.

“Eeeeep!” He slumped back down to the dirt in surrender and opened up a comlink channel with his Decepticon partner, Um, ‘Cade? H-h-help Frenzy?

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