Annabelle

The Human Adolescent

Bumblebee paced up and down the hallway.

That human he had found, leaning up against the tree, in a growing puddle of her own blood? He couldn't leave her there. His processors were freezing, he couldn't begin to imagine what her little body was feeling. Someone had purposely hurt her, and left her there, to die. Bumblebee couldn't allow that. He had brought her into the base, taken her straight to Ratchet, ignoring, not only Jazz and Ironhide, but also Optimus Prime himself. Primus, when this was over, he would have a lot of explaining to do.

When the door finally opened, Bumblebee rushed to meet Ratchet.

"How is she?" he frantically asked the medic.

"Better," he said. Bumblebee let out a sigh in relief. "But she is still not even 75%. The cut was deeper on her left arm, causing more blood. Whoever did this to her didn't have a lot of time to finish the second cut...perhaps you scared them off. There were also a lot of older cuts and bruises around her body. Torture is definitely a factor here. But I have stabilized her. She didn't lose enough blood for a transfusion to be required, but she is very malnourished, and is also dehydrated. I'm going to have to keep her here for a couple days." Ratchet watched the younger bot as he processed all that he was saying to him. "Have you talked to Optimus yet?"

Bumblebee shook his head. He haven't left this hallway, waiting for news on the girl.

"You need to."

"I don't want him to send her away," Bumblebee protested. "What if he sends her back to the human hospital?"

"That'd probably be best for her. Her human body is so small-"

"But a human is what hurt her in the first place."

Ratchet sighed. The scout was right, there was no arguing that. "Do you want me to go with you?" Bumblebee looked over Ratchet's shoulder, as if looking for the girl. "She's on a heavy sedative. She won't be awake for a while longer. We need to talk to Optimus."

Bumblebee nodded. With that, Ratchet turned and head to the hangar, where Optimus spent most of his time monitoring the radar, looking for any form of decepticon life. He didn't think that Prime would be anywhere else, but then again, when he was taking care of a patient, nothing else in the world mattered.

As they entered the hangar, Optimus turned to greet the two, eyeing them cautiously.

"Bumblebee, Ratchet," his deep voice rumbled, ever calm and peaceful. "Is there something I can do for you?"

"The scout has a situation that he needs to inform you of, and seek instructions on what to further do," the medic explained, standing off to the side.

Optimus' gaze switched over to Bumblebee. He remembered earlier that night when Bumblebee ran past him, completely ignoring him. Is this something about that?

"Optimus,.." the scout hesitated, obviously nervous. "Last night after returning from patrolling, I came across...a human adolescent, leaning against the tree right outside the forest."

Prime paused. "It was way below freezing out there last night," he thought outloud. "What was he doing out there?"

"She, sir." Optimus paused at Bumblebee's correction, waiting for him to continue. "She was badly injured, and laying in her own pool of blood. I brought her here to have Ratchet looked at her, that's why I ignored-"

"You brought her here!?"

The interruption did not come from Optimus Prime. The three transformers turned to see Ironhide, now standing and walking to their direction.

"Of all the stupid, idiotic things you do-"

"Ironhide, enough," Prime cautioned. "Let him finish."

Ironhide looked up at the Prime, but didn't question his words, which Bumblebee was grateful for. This was hard enough already.

"I didn't want to send her back into human custody, Optimus," Bee turned to Ratchet for help.

Ratchet took his time explaining the conditions of the girl. He emphasized the idea of her being tortured, or abused before the initial and, unless certain actions were taken, fatal attack.

Optimus listened to their words carefully. It pained Optimus to think that humans would do this to each other. It wasn't right, wasn't fair. Before the war, Cybertron didn't have anything like this. They had gladiator pits, but that was it. It was a rather peaceful planet, no being intentionally hurt another beings for its enjoyment.

"Please don't send her back to human care," Bumblebee pleaded, looking at Optimus.

The autobots trusted Optimus to make the best decision on their behalf. He measured every possible option on how to deal with the human. He had to agree with the scout, sending her back into human custody was not about to happen. But what about her? Did she have a family to go back to? Was she going to be missed?

"I wish not to send her back into human care," Optimus finally grumbled. "But we have to find a way to determine if she will be missed without her seeing us. If she is missed, we will have to send her back. If she doesn't have anywhere to go, and chooses to herself, she may be permitted to live among us in the base."

Bumblebee let out a cheer of release. Even Ratchet let up a bit, obviously wanting that to be the outcome. After hearing what had happened to her, even Ironhide seemed content in letting her stay.

"Ratchet, can you determine who she is?"

"I already have plenty of samples from her blood. Let me hook my scanner into the human data base then I will have it in fifteen seconds."

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