Disclaimer: For the last time, Transformers, sigh, don't belong to the author of this free work of fiction – though it would certainly improve the ol' bank balance sheet if they did.
Oh, and the lyrics Bee uses at the very end are 'High Voltage' by Linkin Park. Appropriate, I thought…
Warnings: Slight bad language, adult and supernatural themes
Authors: Yaaaaaaaaaay! Finished! My regulars, assuming I have any left, must be falling over from shock! It only took nearly two years and almost to the sequel!
Please, read, review, enjoy!
It was a surprisingly gloomy group that had settled on the big empty tarmac next to the choppers while clean up crews went hither and thither, dispatched to various locales to take readings and records before carefully erasing all traces. They sat on the ground or perched on Black Hawk rails, watching the Air Force officers go about the usual morning routine, ignoring any curious stares directed their way. Every so often, a new chopper would land in the distance and important looking people would be escorted inside the big hanger nearby.
"How do you think he's doing?" Maggie asked, biting her thumbnail.
Silence greeted her for a while. Eventually Lennox stirred from where he rested against the landing skids of one of the crafts. "Sam's a fighter. He survived twelve hours captured by a hostile. Ratchet is helping with the energy. He'll be fine."
"What the hell was that energy, anyway? The Cube didn't do anything like that when it was in the dam," Glen pointed out.
"Ratchet said that maybe the Allspark sort of…jumped inside Sam, to save itself," Mikaela said softly. She lay flat on the ground, one arm shielding her eyes from the sun. She sounded exhausted. "I don't know. Maybe we really didn't know what the Cube could do."
"Seems like nobody does, alien or not," Epps grunted from where he sat on the tarmac.
Silence reigned again.
"Ouch, Ratchet, watch where you're putting that!"
"I think…" Glen said slowly. "Yes, I'm fairly sure….that was the single worst night of my life. Yes, I think we have a winner, never to be displaced."
Maggie snorted. "What about when you got shot at in the bunker?"
"Yes, but that just happened in the vicinity. This time I…" Glen paused to rub at his eyes. "I actually, voluntarily took part in the madness. I don't know what that does to anyone else's centre of peace and tranquility, but the words 'atomic blast' is the only way I can describe mine now. God, I may never sleep again."
"Yeowch, Ratchet, what the hell are you doing back there?"
"Hey, you did good," Epps patted the hacker's shoulder. "I could have done without the girly whining, but you did good."
"That wasn't whining, that was injection of otherwise perfectly rational sanity into the anarchy of the military mindset. Why do you think I stopped working for you guys the first time?"
"You worked in Black Ops, amigo?" Figg raised an eyebrow is disbelief.
Glen sighed. "What can I say? Hack into the defense network at seven years old, and people pay attention."
"Ratchet, for the love of Primuaaaaooow!"
"He really did," Maggie nodded to their stares. "Most government agencies the world over have a file on Glen which is a minimum of six inches thick."
"So…why weren't you on hand from the beginning of the Qatar attack?" Epps asked.
Glen sighed. "Honestly, mis-fire one little missile…"
"You nearly obliterated Taiwan," Maggie muttered in a sotto voce.
"…and everyone takes it personally."
"You know what really worries me? I didn't see one spark come off Sam after the implant went in. I thought it was just supposed to redirect the Allspark, not obliterate it," Lennox looked down at Mikaela.
"It was," Mikaela said tiredly. She'd just gotten off the phone with her father, and whatever reserves of strength she had left were rapidly vanishing. "Ratchet isn't sure what happened. Optimus said that Bumblebee reckons the Cube energy is everywhere at the moment. I don't know what that means."
"It's went into the earth, is what it means. I used to sense the power, exactly where it was, but now it's all over the place…" Figg shrugged. "My Mama, she had the sight. Maybe she'd know better than me."
"Oh, come on man," Epps snorted.
"How d'you think I found you? Didn't get no reports from central. Just went where the sight took us."
"Jesus man, I ain't never letting you drive us anywhere, ever," Epps moaned. "Are you seriously telling me you based an entire covert op based on some stupid ass third sight?"
Figg just grinned.
"Ow! Ow! Ratchet, slag it, where did you get your medical degree, from the disposal? Yeeowww!"
Mikaela stared at the sky. "I wonder what they'll do with Jazz now. It's so weird to see him still like that."
"They'll keep him in a bunker somewhere for now. Ratchet only put him in sleep mode – stasis, I suppose - until the flagship reaches the planet. Then they can use his last memory record to restore most of the rest of his memories, assuming they can replace his parts. Technically the Autobots have no such condition as amnesia – they keep personal record banks for every stage of their…" Glen trailed off in the face of their looks. "What? Didn't anyone else read the info packs the PhD's put together?"
"Food!" Miles rolled up with a wheeling tray full of sandwiches.
"Thank you God!" Glen grabbed four and rolled the tray along.
Mikaela had sat upright. "Sam,"
"Is fine, as far as I know. His parents have been let in to see him, they just rolled up." For some reason a smirk crept across his face.
Simmons staggered up, clutching his face. "That woman is a god damn menace!" One of his eyes was swollen shut.
"Sam's Mom decked him," Miles snickered through his mouthful.
"What the hell did I do to her? Nothing!" Simmons snarled.
Lennox smirked. "Must just be your winning personality."
Simmons jumped. "What the hell was that?"
The enormous hanger doors slid open, revealing a triumphant Ratchet holding an impossibly deformed piece of shrapnel. "Got it!"
The humans gave him a resounding applause.
Sam opened his eyes, and looked around the white room. His most recent memories were vague and dreamlike. He dimly remembered a room, much larger then this, with a cavernous, corrugated roof high above his head, where the sounds echoed up past hearing. He remembered seeing Optimus, Bee and Ratchet segue in and out of his field of vision, and a lot of people in lab coats. He remembered his parents faces, looking washed out and white.
And now he was here, gloriously pain free and relaxed. It was a nice small room with no other patients, no noisy walkways and no insane, evil alien robots. Heaven.
After a while, he glanced lazily out the window, and to his surprise there was a big, blue eyed face watching him. "Bee!" He crowed happily. "Hey Bee, how's it going?"
He swung his legs off the bed and, ignoring Bumblebee high speed whistles of protest, stood – or at least, swayed alarmingly on his feet. Using the IV stand to nominally steady himself, he made the pilgrimage to the window and Bumblebee's frantic face. The 'Bot shooed futilely outside the window, a harsh matronly sound byte issuing the command "Back into bed with you, young man!"
"I'm not tired Bee," Sam said cheerfully, stumbling within sight of his goal and was saved only by Bee's massive finger hastily stuck through the open window to catch him. "Thanks bud. The floor's a little bit funky right now."
"Back into bed!" Bee tried again, in vain.
"In a minute," Sam waved a finger. "There was something I wanted you to know… uh… gimme a minute…." Sam rubbed his face, feeling lightheaded. "Oh, yeah. Bee," Sam made an effort to straighten his wobbly knees. "I'm really, really glad I didn't kill you, Bee. I'm sorry if I hurt you. I was just so glad I didn't kill you, when I saw you."
Bumblebee gave a soft croon, and gently crooked his finger, so his fingertip brushed the tear tracks running down his friends face. "I am okay," the cracked syllables were just clear enough. "You are okay. Everything is okay."
"Yeah." Sam sighed.
"Christ on a crutch," Lennox cursed as he came in. "You, back into bed and you," he waved at the 'Bot. "What the hell do you think you're doing? Do the words 'top secret' mean anything to you? This is the second floor of a civilian hospital, will you please become a car and act like a car?" He chivvied the 'Bot out of the window, and steered Sam back towards the bed firmly.
"Hey, we were talking there. It's all good," Sam protested mildly as he was definitively returned to his post.
"Wow, they must have you on the good stuff, kid," Lennox seemed amused.
"All good," Sam smiled muzzily while the Captain chuckled. "Hey, what happens now? I mean, since I channeled an extraterrarrarrestrial force and all?"
"Extraterrarrarrestrial?" Lennox repeated, trying in vain to restrain a smile.
"Right, that thing."
"Well, no one is going to lock you up in a lab somewhere, if that's what you're asking. We've spent the last two days arguing with half the Pentagon and having lots of fancy degree holders have a look. As far as they can tell there's no alien force inside you, and as far they can tell there never was," Lennox scrubbed a hand through his hair. "You've got an Autobot part implanted close to your heart, like a pacemaker," he tapped Sam's chest gently with a finger. "They also put two little discs about the size of a dollar coin in the palms of your hands, to conduct and disperse any more sparks safely. Ratchet says that it's just to be sure. Apparently there's no more sparks that they can find anymore," Lennox shot the kid a sideways look. "I don't suppose you have any hints?"
Sam stared at the far wall, lost in thought. "Content and container."
"Hey dude, 'sup?" Miles said cheerfully as he bounced in.
"Miles?" Sam sat up. "Hey, you were there!" He remembered, almost incidentally. Suddenly his jaw dropped open. "You were there?! Cripes, you weren't hurt or anything, were you? How the hell did you get there? What happened? I thought it was just some crazy ass vision!"
"I wish! If this were a dream, my bruises wouldn't hurt. You suck, you know," Miles added.
Sam winced. "I know." He stared at his best human friend, searching for anything bad in his expression. Guilt hit him sharper than the electricity ever could.
"You really, truly suck. You can be such an ass."
"I know. Sorry." Sam managed weakly.
"That's okay. Riding around in an alien is absolutely made of awesome."
"Absolutely," Lennox nodded.
"It is, isn't it?" Sam agreed. He relaxed and truly, consciously smiled for the first time in a long time.
"You still suck, though." Miles turned the friendly punch into a mock-punch at the last minute. Sam looked utterly frail at the moment, inside and out. But he was smiling – it was a fragile smile, but it was a start.
Footsteps pounded down the hallway floor at a rapid sprint, the sound bouncing up and down the corridor.
"Aw, crap!" Miles ducked down under the bed. "Hide me! I jumped in the elevator to get here first, she must have taken the stairs!"
She burst in, dark hair flying around, smiling like a loon, and didn't say anything. She didn't need to. Mikaela just kissed him, hard and long, and reminded him that warmth and love and kindness was still in the world.
The fact that she reached down and swatted Miles across the back of the head without looking was a mere anomaly.
Sam wasn't sure why he'd come here – to this dark place on their dry field where he met Mikaela and the Autobots every chance he got. The clear night sky looked down at him.
"Hello?" he called vaguely. "Are you there?"
In the sky, he remembered, in the sky, galaxy upon galaxy spun and danced to the beat. He remembered that endless, beautiful, golden beat, dear and sweet to him, connecting him to everything and everyone.
Why had he come here? Sam tried to remember. He couldn't remember much about the clearing, and the light, and the way he had felt that great, slow, immeasurable powerful pulse of the entire planet beneath his feet. He smiled slightly – he wasn't wired for it, was he?
"Are you…" Sam stopped. Here, in this dreamlike state, it was all so clear. It was there. It always had been, is now, and ever shall be. He breathed in, pulling the feeling of it, the Allspark, all around him, under him, over him, before and after him, filling him with wonderful, immeasurable, unthinkable joy….
Sam opened his eyes. Daylight, a clear and warm blue sky day met him, with the sizzle of the grill in the background, punctuated by rumbles and rattles and murmurs of the others mingling in the very clearing Sam had just been in – inside his head.
Actually, it may have been more complicated than that. Who knows?
Soldiers, alien and human, various parental figures and hangers on all milled about, cheerfully trading my-story-is-much-worse-that-yours stories over food, drinks, and some mysterious cube-shaped things the Autobots passed back and forth. Maggie and Sam's mother clucked over the little baby in Sarah Lennox's arms, while Ironhide kept a proprietary eye on them – Will Lennox looked thoroughly amused by it. The soldiers all compared war stories, and the Autobots looked like they were winning the contest. Centuries churned out more stories than decades.
"You okay bud?" Miles raised an eyebrow from where he lay, legs and torso upside down against the tree trunk, shoulders and head on the ground – Miles simply could not let his reputation as a weirdo lag. Mikaela found him as funny as hell. She sat normally, back against the tree, Sam's head resting on her shins. Mikaela also looked at him, eyes warm and faintly concerned. Ten-something feet above, Bumblebee looked down from where he sat, not-quite-but-almost hovering.
Sam glanced over to where the 'Bots and the humans traded cultures and as easily as if they had known each other for years. Optimus glanced back from where he stood, demonstrating some his weaponry to Figg and Epps, and Sam gave him a nod. He'd tried to explain what had happened to the 'Bots and his friends – but the first thing he'd said was he really didn't understand it himself. He hadn't told Lennox and definitely not Simmons; but he could see in the soldier's eyes when he gave out a heavily edited version that the spark had burned out of him that the soldier knew he edited and was glad he had.
The version he had given the Bots was this – give us a few years. Give us a few years to really understand how you work. Once we really understand, and once you really understand us….Bumblebee won't be the last. Here, the Cybertrons can really be reborn.
This planet was an Allspark. Not because of Sam, and what had happened, not because the content and container had switched once again in that white, world-shaking conflagration and the Cube Allspark had earthed into…well, Earth, although that had helped Sam to understand. It was because every planet, every cold, inhospitable rock that had ever circled a distant star, was an Allspark in the making. It had the ability to create life.
And now, Earth had the power of two Allsparks at it's core. More than enough for all who lived there now. Enough to put life where it had never been before on Earth. But life was designed to change and adapt, so that was okay. And if anyone tried to take that power – well, they'd have enemies of pure badassness to deal with. The Autobots had lost too much, and humans had too much to lose.
Sam smiled. "Yeah, bro', I'm good."
Mikaela bent down to look at him closely. "You sure?"
Sam kissed her. "Perfect." He grinned.
Bumblebee leaned back. "Many men have tried to shake us, But I twist mic cords to double helixes and show them what I'm made of…"
Sam laughed. "Yeah, Bee. That's it exactly."