Chapter 3 Of NEST, swearing and keys.

Thank you for reviews and for adding the story alerts. Prowl is happy too. Be happier if things were quieter on the NEST base but oh well. Several of these rules are now longer because of the adventure behind them and several will become their own fics shortly, depending on work and family and weather here. # 52 and #53 is per requests about swearing around Annabelle Lennox. Onward to the fun!

AOP Autobot Optimus Prime

3. Do not tell civilians that NEST stands for 'Need to Eliminate Stinking Terrorists,' or 'Natural Enemies Selected thoughtfully,' or 'New and Emerging Science and Technology' or anything but what it stands for. *Ironhide, Sunstreaker, and Wheeljack.

Prowl paused, running various memory search applications but came up blank. "I do not know what NEST stands for. Humans and their acronyms. DoD, NBE-1, AAMDC, RPG. Prime would know. Second processing, it is my responsibility to find out. He relies on me to know these things.

4. Do not identify yourself as an Autobot or Decepticon (even in joking) around any humans without proper government authorized security clearance. And never answer:

a.) What, you can't tell? Hint: I'm metal and look like nothing on this planet.

B.) That's it! I'm so firing my talent agent for these low-level appearances.

c.) Your worse slaggin nightmare!

d.) This year's new Christmas prototype. Do you like my paint job? *Sunstreaker, Sides.

e.) A lost soul looking for love.

f.) A pissed off robot who is going to slag the next human that asks me that!

22. Do not watch a cartoon marathon then approach Ratchet with 'what's up Doc' repeatedly the next day. He will run out of wrenches, tools, chairs, and tables then begin to throw the smaller Autobots.

52. No leaving data pads of any kind around Annabelle Lennox. Additional reference rule # 53.

53. No profanity spoken or written in either English or Cybertronian around Annabelle Lennox.

Prowl smiled, briefly dropping his professional manner at the memory. "I understand Ratchet being fed up with the minor twins, Skids and Mudflap. Their behavior often creates ripples of trouble beyond original incidents. "

"There is no excuse," Ratchet had stated, a yellow green armored finger pointing for emphasis. "For not knowing how to read or write Cybertronian. You read and write English, why not our language? Even if not the ancient of the Primes but modern Cyberspeak?"

"Oh, we can't read English either." Mudflap answered without thinking,

"We don't know nothing in any language." Skids had added then both blinked as the medic towered over them.

"How do you read road traffic signs?"

"We don't Ratch! We just move!" Both began running as wrenches started flinging their way. Caught, they were each handed a mini datapad.

"Do not lose those," Ratchet growled. "They are made small, made simple and will teach you both English and Cybertronian, in pictures as needed, and you will learn how to read and write and SPEAK CORRECTLY! IS THAT CLEAR?"

Two hours later, Captain Lennox and Annabelle stopped in to retrieve some human files. Annabelle had walked over and seen the data pads. Skids had gladly turned his datapad over to her, not fearing what the child could do to it. Grinning, she hid it in her backpack and pulled out a mini tape recorder.

"I'm making a note to remind myself. Otherwise I forgotted." Whether by accident or by fate, the tape recorder stuck on as she walked back outside. Ironhide was talking to newer arrivals. He looked down at Annabelle, nodded, and then gestured her to stay there out of the way.

"I don't talk to strange humans; I do talk to NEST members and our own forces. And I tell a Decepticon," he hesitated, remembering Annabelle then switched to pure old Cybertron. CLICK WHIRR SNARL SNATCH SNIKT CLICK CLACK HUM GROWL SNIK SNAK.

That night Annabelle realized how much her tape recorder had caught and began playing it back, trying to translate the phrase using the borrowed datapad. "CLICK is miserable, WHIRR is sneaking, and SNARL is slagging. What is slaggin? Oh, melting. SNATCH is glitch, the ultimate Cybertronian insult and to be used only in extreme cases. SNIKT CLICK CLACK is not directly translatable. Means 'stuff up' and more. Unable to translate. That's not helpful. HUM GROWL is Cannon blast will and SNIK SNAK is not translatable either."

For over a week, the child practiced and learned to repeat the phrase with the proper sounding before returning to base with her dad to meet visiting Congressional representatives. Optimus Prime had asked Sam and Mikaela also, wanting to show how earth children felt safe around the Transformers though Sam protested the child designation. It was the Committee Chairman that had been talking to Annabelle.

"Such a polite child. You know how to talk to military, and me. How do you talk to the robots?"

"The Autobots are smart. I talk to them like my dad. They protect us," She waved at Optimus, glad to show her friends were nice.

"And to the other robots?" Quietly, they waited for her answer.

"Decepticons? They're all bad meanies. I'd tell them CLICK WHIRR SNARL SNATCH SNIKT CLICK CLACK HUM GROWL SNIK SNAK.

The room went silent as Autobot jaws fell open.

"IRONHIDE!" They yelled. Prowl was the one who kept Optimus from locking Ironhide in the brig until Annabelle reached adulthood and finally decided on his punishment. Monitoring the minor twins and teaching them tactical skills, written in two languages. The borrowed datapad was retrieved without the government official knowing its' existence. Captain Lennox was tasked explaining to his daughter that while the phrase was pronounced right, it was so wrong as to never repeat again.

82. No retaliation on Earth cars for damage or insult caused by human drivers.

Prowl closed his optics, feeling sheepish about not reporting the real reason for that rule to Optimus Prime. "I am a tactician and second in command. I make precise difficult decisions and relay to my leader what he needs to know. Sunstreaker was already in enough trouble. It wasn't his fault that driver was an idiot. It was the new liaison that demonstrated the technique." The man had driven his personal car to the base and somehow the door had become scratched. In retaliation, he keyed the military vehicle next to him. Of course, several Autobots had seen what happened and learned the human art of "keying the paint job."

"Sunstreaker was on a mission, keeping a low profile on a deserted street. He was monitoring for Barricade when that drunk human hit him from behind. Left his Prius Hybrid double parked. At least Sunstreaker confirmed no living entities around before he transformed. Unfortunately, keying a car's paint job with a seven-foot-wide energon sword bubbled the paint layering off of both halves of the car."