"It's gone," Daniel sniffed. Grimlock wasn't sure what ‘it’ was, but the human's lower lip was trembling.
"What are gone?" Grimlock asked. He ducked low to peer into Daniel's room. "Me Grimlock not see anything."
"That's cause it's not there!" Daniel suffled loudly and wiped his nose on the back of his sleeve. He looked up at Grimlock, his eyes glistening. "I looked everywhere!"
"What you Daniel look for?" Grimlock asked. "Me Grimlock good at finding. Me help."
Daniel shuffled from foot to foot. "I lost the head," he said quietly. He held up something small and black for Grimlock's inspection, his lip wobbling again. "I lost Batman's head!"
Scattershot paused outside the humans' quarters. Inside, something screeched. He was sure metal wasn't meant to make that sound. Not indoors, anyway, and certainly not around their human friends.
He unholstered his pistol in case (hope) of Decepticon shenanigans, and crept through the main door towards the source of the disconcerting noises.
"I think I see it!" a small voice called. "But I can't reach!"
Scattershot lowered his weapon. "What on Cybertron's going on here?" he said. Because it looked like Grimlock was pulling up the floor of Daniel's room. And it looked like Daniel was inside the floor, scrabbling about, covered in dust and oil. But that couldn't be right.
"Hey!" Grimlock roared happily. He stood in robot mode over a gaping space between the floor joists, a bent and buckled metal sheet in each hand. Daniel's bed was invisible under his displaced carpet, and his bookcase lay on its back in the corner. "You Scattershot hold this! Me Grimlock need to lower him Daniel down hole."
"Uh," Scattershot said. He looked from Grimlock to Daniel, whose bare feet wiggled as he tried to edge himself deeper between the floor joists, and back to Grimlock again. "OK." He laid his gun on the carpet-covered bed, and took the edges of the floor plates. "Why are we doing this?"
Grimlock knelt across two joists and took a hold of Daniel's legs. "Him Daniel lose him head," he said, as though it was obvious. "Me Grimlock help him find it."
"Are that it?" Grimlock's voice echoed around the humans' quarters, causing First Aid to pause.
"No!" a tiny voice wailed in response. "It's an old cog!"
First Aid flicked to the next table on his data pad. Ah Grimlock, such a gentle giant of a war machine, and so good with the humans.
"What about that?" Grimlock boomed.
"Uh," a new voice began, sounding far less sure of itself. First Aid recognised it as Scattershot. "I think that's a Quintessonian matter-transport delivery key?"
"Ugh," Grimlock sighed.
"There's something else!" Daniel yelled. "But I can't get at it, that wall's in the way!"
First Aid froze, then winced as a tremendous screeching whine tore through the building. Surely Scattershot wouldn't have allowed...
"It better now?" Grimlock asked.
Scattershot groaned. "I can't believe you just did that."
"Me Grimlock strong!"
"Right on!" Daniel yelled. "You sure are!"
First Aid turned off the datapad, and headed in the direction of the voices.
Carly rolled her shoulders. Man, was it good to be out of that spacesuit. Next stop, a nice hot bath with lots of bubbles, and maybe a glass of wine.
"I almost got it!" Daniel yelled.
Before Carly could wonder what ‘it’ was, the floor shook beneath her feet and a worrying metallic groaning shuddered through the air.
"I don't know," someone said, and that someone sounded suspiciously like First Aid. "We've salvaged nineteen objects here so far, none of which are Daniel's missing head, and all of them look rather old. I'm not sure how it could have gone so far."
Carly gaped. Daniel's missing what?
"We find something," came a voice that could only have been Grimlock. "That are better than nothing, right? Scattershot, me are right, right?"
"Uh, sure?" Scattershot didn't sound sure at all. And neither was Carly. The thing she was most unsure about was whether she wanted to know what three giant robots and her son were doing in his room.
When she got there, she was certain she didn't want to know.
"Hey mom!" Daniel called from a very deep hole in what appeared to be the wall of the storey below. Grimlock lay outstretched on what remained of the floor, with First Aid sitting on his legs, and one arm down the hole. It was from this arm that her son dangled upside down. Scattershot stood to one side, holding the battered edges of what used to be the floor, looking confused.
"OK," Carly said. "You're about to give me an explanation, and it's going to be a good one."
"Of course!" First Aid said, at the same time that Scattershot said, "Actually, I don't know..." and Grimlock said, "Me Grimlock not drop him!"
"I lost Batman's head!" Daniel called. "It's OK, mom, they're helping me find it."
Carly sighed. Why were things never simple with giant robots? "It's in the kitchen," she said. "On top of the fridge, where you left it."