Written cause there isn't enough Autobot!Sam.
Oh, and I now have a beta. Dreams of All will be proof reading this and any other Transformer fics I do. So hopefully my abysmal grammar will be a thing of the past. Enjoy.
The sun was beginning to set as the yellow Camaro drove off the road and stopped on the edge of a cliff. He took a second to admire the view before he transformed into his more comfortable robot mode, and scanned the nearby area.
"I know you're here. You always come here. Come on out."
There was a rustle behind him, and something burst from the foliage, skittering up his back using the Camaro doors for leverage and sitting on his shoulder. The creature was a small Autobot protoform with no transformed mode, and uttered the chirps and vocalisations that only young Cybertronian sparklings ever seemed to be fluent in, conveying a desire to play with Autobot twice his size.
"No, sparkling," Bumblebee urged. "We should return to the base. Ratchet and Ironhide are tearing up the foundations looking for you. How did you manage to slip away from both of them at the same time?"
An electronic laugh was his only reply, and the sparkling crawled down Bumblebee's arm to rest in the Autobot's hand, staring at the sunset. Seeing the enraptured look on the sparkling's face, Bumblebee sat down, careful not to disrupt the being in his hand, and joined him in watching the sunset, though he couldn't help but find his gaze drawn back to the smallest, youngest and newest Autobot of their group.
A sparkling who, less than a month ago, had gone by the name of Sam Witwicky…
The events of that day would never lose clarity in Bumblebee's memory. He had been taking Sam to the lookout cliff, one of their favourite haunts, and he'd let his guard down, content in his knowledge of the route and distracted with finding radio frequencies to answer his human friend's random comments. He hadn't even realised Barricade had been nearby until the police car was only few feet from his bonnet.
The resulting crash had sent both cars spinning, and Bumblebee had jerked Sam from his seat, not having the time to be delicate, before transforming, Barricade entering robot mode seconds before him. Both had grappled in the road while Sam fled to the side, keeping out of the way of the two.
Bumblebee, so determined to finish this fight fast, hadn't noticed the small silver Decepticon slip from Barricade's side and head straight for Sam. He had, however, heard the gasp of shock from the human as Frenzy had leapt on him, slamming one of his unique throwing disks into the boy's heart.
"Long live Megatron" Frenzy had hissed in Sam's ear, before sprinting back to Barricade. A punch to gain some distance between himself and his yellow enemy and Barricade had been off, flying down the road, the two's apparent 'revenge' complete.
"Sam!" Bumblebee had shrieked, running to and then cradling the near-unconscious boy in his hands.
"Bee…" Sam had coughed. His eyes had drifted shut.
Bumblebee had been just about to transform and break every speed limit in Tranquillity to get Sam to the nearest hospital when the boy's eyes had flown open again, and Sam had given out an almost inhuman shriek. Both of them had watched in astonishment as the disk had crackled with blue energy, and seemed to collapse, sliding into the wound it had made, the injury healing behind it.
Sam's eyes had rolled back into his head, and Bumblebee had forgotten any notion of taking him to a hospital. That had been spark energy, and that meant-
Miles away, in a specially built building outside of Tranquility, a medical bot winced as his sensors were overloaded with an ally screaming his name.
No matter what anyone said, Bumblebee knew it was his fault. He hadn't even known Frenzy had survived—all reports had said the small Decepticon had been disposed of. He should have seen the Decepticon leave Barricade's side, should have realised that Barricade wouldn't provoke a fight unless he had an ulterior motive…
Even with the entirety of the Internet as an aid, Ratchet's knowledge of human medical procedures was limited, and he had screamed at Bumblebee for not heading towards the nearest hospital as soon as possible, knowing that, in his hands, Sam wasn't likely to survive. When Bumblebee had explained the unusual incident involving the throwing disk, Ratchet had been shocked into silence for several minutes.
"It couldn't be…"
"…Get him here as fast as possible. I can't say anything for sure until I've scanned him myself."
Ratchet finished his scan and shook his head, stepping back from the human he had just managed to stabilise. If he hadn't seen it for himself, he never would have believed it. He turned to the remaining Autobots: Optimus and Ironhide were also looking for information on the boy's health. Bumblebee was kneeling by Sam's side, his attention split between the two of them.
"What's wrong, Ratchet?" Optimus eventually asked, confused at the medic's silence.
"The blade hit his heart directly," Ratchet replied. "By all accounts, he should have been dead in less than a minute afterwards."
"Decepticon scum!" Ironhide hissed, activating his cannons. "I'll rip them into so many pieces that not even that cockroach Frenzy will be able to glue himself back together!"
"I don't understand," Bumblebee replied, turning his attention to Ratchet fully. "If he should be dead, how did he survive?"
Ratchet activated a hologram of his recent scan, and closed in on the ribcage. "Because of that…"
The silence in the room was almost tangible.
Sam's heart had clearly been damaged, but rather than a slash wound, it appeared small and shrivelled; around it, a thin metal cage had been constructed, slowly choking the organ. But what caught the attention of the four Autobots was the glowing blue light hiding in the centre of the dying organ.
"A spark," Optimus whispered.
It was impossible, and everyone in the room knew it. Sparks were the signs of mechanical life; they had no place in organic beings.
But Ratchet had his own theory, looking at the situation in the boy's chest.
"I can't be sure," he began. "But when Sam held the Allspark while it was destroyed, he must have accidentally received some sort of backlash, resulting in a spark lodging in his chest. Of course, a spark can only take control of a machine, so its never bothered Sam up until now."
The hologram closed in on the cage around the heart.
"But when Cybertronian metal lodged into Sam's heart, the spark began fighting the organic organs. It manipulated the metal of the disk and began choking the heart, so it can become the main life force. Right now, the only thing keeping Sam alive is the spark, and that is only temporary."
"What?" Bumblebee whispered.
"What do you mean?" Optimus asked.
Ratchet sighed, his shoulders dropping. "A spark can only keep a machine or mechanical body alive. When his heart eventually gives out—and given its current state, that won't be long from now—the spark will be unable to control the organic organs without inorganic material to convert them. Sam's body will fail."
"Isn't there anything that can be done?" Ironhide snapped. "Can't we just remove the spark?"
"Removing the spark will only kill him faster," Ratchet snapped back. "His heart is failing as we speak, and I have no doubt the spark will react defensively if we try to take it out. The cage is already beginning to convert into a spark chamber. We have only two options. Allow Sam to die, or…"
"Or what Ratchet?" Optimus asked, staring at the boy who he still owed a life debt to. Whatever it was, they would do it.
"Or we give the spark exactly what it wants. Metal. Machinery. Inorganic material to convert the body.
"We allow the spark to convert Sam into an Autobot."
At the end of the day, what else could they have done? All of the Autobots considered Sam a friend. They owed him a great deal, and it was due to them that he was in the situation in the first place. How could they possibly allow him to die when he could live? Albeit a life far different from the one he was accustomed to.
The process took almost two weeks. It became necessary to explain to Sam's family and friends just what was happening to him. Ironhide brought in Will Lennox to act as a liason, given that Sam's parents still didn't know what had happened in Mission City or about the Autobots. The Autobots were less worried about what cover story Will and the government came up with to explain Sam's absence or his inability to get visitors, and more concerned with supplying the boy with the metal his spark required. They weren't equipped to create the amount the spark needed in the time they had.
So when Ironhide arrived with the back of his vehicle mode filled with the stuff, nobody questioned it, and Ratchet tried to ignore the fact that it was covered in letters and symbols, most prominently the word 'Police.'
The newest Autobot was almost complete when he finally woke up, but before Ratchet or Bumblebee, both rarely away from his side, could explain, Sam began screaming.
"Calm down, Sam!"
"Hold him down before he hurts himself, Bumblebee!"
"Sam! It's all right! Everything's going to be okay."
Suddenly, the screaming stopped, the Autobot apparently going offline, except that Sam's optics shone several shades brighter.
"His processor's programming has taken over," Ratchet noted, scanning Sam's head. "Why would it-"
Ratchet's own optics widened, and he jerked for access to Sam's central system.
Bumblebee was not a liar. He knew one of the vast differences between an Autobot and a human was their life spans. No matter how much he enjoyed his time with Sam, it was horrifically limited. He wouldn't be able to spend even a century in his company, and deep down part of him wished the impossible: that Sam was one of them, that Sam could be made of wire and metal, rather than flesh and blood. A Sam that would see forever with him.
When the truth of what had happened was explained to him, he would have given anything to take it back.
The final sliver of the sun vanished past the horizon, and the sparkling in Bumblebee's hand jumped down, muttering in Cybertronian about going home. Bumblebee nodded, and transformed back into a car.
"Ride inside. I don't know how you keep getting here without being seen without an alternate form, but we're not taking any chances going back."
The sparkling complied, jumping into the back seat before accessing the Internet. His processor still couldn't handle the huge mass of information, so he kept downloading in erratic jumps that gave the Autobot the appearance of a nervous twitch as Bumblebee pulled out onto the road.
When the spark had begun converting Sam's body, it had had no intention of leaving anything behind. When everything organic had left Sam, every fibre of knowledge, memory and being that resided in his brain had been converted into data. When Sam had awoken, and discovered what had happened to him, he had panicked, and the spark had seen that the data from the organic was dangerous to its existence. Little more than the basic survival instincts of an organic could be adapted to be used in an Autobot body. Memories made no sense, knowledge of the human body, senses, limitations, they only set out to confuse the Autobot who used completely different systems.
So the spark had isolated them, and purged them from its processor, effectively destroying everything that made Sam, Sam.
Ratchet had tried to stop the purge. Oh, how he'd tried. But even he could only save a handful of fragments, shards of memory that made little sense to any being. Sam was gone, and when the new Autobot had woken up, he had been a blank slate, with no more personality than a human infant, or rather, a sparkling on Cybertron.
The Autobots had tried to see the positive side of it. Sam would have had difficulty forgetting a lifetime, however short it was by Autobot standards, of teachings and facts. Without them, the new sparkling would probably adapt quicker, relying on instincts programmed into his processor by the spark. It was because of this that they referred to him as 'the sparkling' now, rather than Sam. The sparkling had the right to become his own Autobot without anyone forcing an older personality onto him. He would choose his own name, and his own alternate vehicle in his own time.
But deep down, each of them mourned the loss of their friend, of whom they had denied even the right of death, instead being wiped out as if he was just an unnecessary file.
Mikaela blamed them. She hadn't said it out loud, but it was obvious in the distance she had started to put between herself and the beings she had once called friends. And Sam's parents…
Eventually, it had been Will, one of the few that understood they'd only done what they felt they had to, who had told the truth to the Witwickys. Or had tried to, at least – Ron had kicked him out during his explanation, and warned him never to show up again.
A week later the funeral for Sam Witwicky had been held, with a closed casket so no one would know it was empty. To Sam's parents, it was probably the only closure they would get.
Bumblebee however, had his own way of comforting himself at the loss of Sam, and kept a watchful eye on the sparkling in his backseat.
The fragments of memory that Ratchet saved, no matter how small or senseless they were, had survived. And they compelled the sparkling to make sense of them. Why else would the protoform constantly return to the place that had meant so much to Sam?
"F-f-faster!" the sparkling urged, practicing his rather bad English, looking out the window of the camaro.
If Bumblebee had been capable of smiling, he would have, but instead he began to accelerate, and turned on his radio.
There are things in life you'll learn and,
In time you'll see,
Cause out there somewhere,
It's all waiting
Perhaps it was just wishful thinking, but every now and then, when the protoform did something unexpected, Bumblebee swore he could see a flash of brown in the bright blue optics.
To be continued
Song: Phil Collins – Look Through My Eyes (I cannot believe how hard it is to find lyrics for Bee TT)