-1For The Race

Summary: When Sam wishes he could do something for the Autobots in recompense for destroying the AllSpark, the energy left within him grants his wish in a way he never imagined. Oneshot.

Rating: M for adult themes, threatened violence, and threatened non-con.

Disclaimer: Hasbro and DreamWorks/Paramount own Transformers. I have never claimed to own them, and never will.

For The Race

Four months after the battle in Mission City.

Sam, Mikaela, and Bumblebee were sat in the Autobot's new base on Earth, which was a hangar and underground complex donated by the USA Military as a thank-you for helping them drive off the Decepticons earlier that year. There had been some discussion about this, and a few hairy moments when certain Army officials had bruited about the concept that the Autobots themselves could be considered a threat.

Thankfully, more sensible and cooler heads-among them Secretary of Defence Keller-had prevailed, and they had officially been welcomed as allies. They now had an official Autobot-human liaison, (a mechanic named Shaun Raven,) would soon have other people seconded to them, and this base had recently been completed, fitted out with all the stuff the Government and Army had figured that the Autobots would need, and a few things that the Autobots had requested and been granted.

Ratchet had just finished showing the two humans and their Autobot friend his brand-new and state-of-the-art medical bay, which consisted of one general injuries and repairs area, one ICU/serious injury unit, two side bays for on-going, long, and/or nonessential work, one large storage area, and one recharging area, containing five recharge units-two big enough for 'bots of Ironhide or Optimus size, the other three for Ratchet-sized and smaller 'bots.

The ICU and general medical area had two types of berth and equipment in each, plus refrigerated areas for storage of certain perishable substances, for they had been designed so that both humans and Autobots could be treated in them as necessary. Because Ratchet was twitchy about working on such small patients as humans, the Army had promised that a human medic was to be seconded to him, to help treat such patients without fearing he may injure them through ignorance. The medic and Ratchet would teach each other about their respective physiologies, and Shaun would be taught by them both, thus spreading the medical knowledge that might be required between three people. Shaun's daughter, a seventeen year old known as Fiona, had already proved herself capable of fetching and carrying human-sized instruments and small Autobot parts needed by Ratchet, and could shape up as an acceptable nurse with a little more training.

"So, now Cliffjumper, Prowl, Hound, and Mirage have arrived, and you've found that Jazz isn't as dead as you at first thought, that makes nine Autobots on Earth, and you're hoping some more might arrive? Are five recharge berths enough?" asked Mikaela, from Ratchet's new operating table, where she and Sam were sat for ease of talking to him face-to-face. He himself was sat opposite them, in a big chair that had been built to fit him. Bumblebee, for his part, was quite content to stand.

"At the moment, yes. While five recharge, the other four Autobots will be on duty." Ratchet explained. "Everybody will need to be more alert. We know some more Decepticons-at least four-have landed, so we are hoping more from our side will turn up. There is also room to build new recharge berths should more Autobots turn up and the need arises." Ratchet sighed. "However, we do not know how many of our old comrades remain alive. As dangerous as Wheeljack was with his experiments, and as annoying as the Twins were with their constant pranks, I could wish that they were here now. For all we know their husks could be drifting through space, or corroding on some planetary surface, as lifeless as that AllSpark fragment that Optimus picked from Megatron's chest. That, too, is something we will have to explain to any new arrivals. With the AllSpark gone, there is no chance of creating new Autobots, nor any chance of rebuilding and reviving those who have perished. We also cannot now restore Cybertron to what it was."

"Could the AllSpark do that?" asked Mikaela. "Could it bring back the dead?"

"We believe that when someone dies, their Spark goes back to the collective pool of energy." Ratchet explained. "Certain Autobots have been known to show a special affinity or connection with the AllSpark. Optimus is one, and we now know that Bumblebee is another. It has been passed down in legend that such individuals could communicate with the AllSpark and ask it to separate one or more individual's Sparks from the collective pool and place them in new or repaired bodies. They would be, in effect, reborn, or, as you put it, brought back from the dead. However, as the AllSpark is gone, so is that possibility." Once again, Ratchet sighed.

"Geez, I'm really sorry, Ratchet." said Sam, feeling guilty. "I feel so bad about that. Had I known how important to you it was, I would have thought twice about doing that. I feel awful now, like a murderer or something." Ratchet shook his head.

"No, Sam, you did the right thing at the time. If Megatron had gained control of the AllSpark, he would have thrown the whole universe into the Pit for personal gain and conquest. Better that it be destroyed than the Source of Life be used to cause death, enslavement, and destruction at his claws." He shook his head, an oddly human gesture: Sam wondered if it were one common to both Human and Cybertronian, or whether Ratchet had learned it since coming to Earth. "No, Sam, Mikaela, we must move on now, live for those who are alive, await those who are on their way. It is no good grieving for those who can not live again……or for those who will never be."

Sam's eyes prickled with tears at the sadness in Ratchet's voice. How would he feel if he were told that there would be no more humans able to be born ever again? In essence, his actions had sentenced an entire race to extinction.

"Ratch, was the AllSpark the only way you could create new life? It seems a bit risky that your whole race relied on this one artefact. Where did it come from? If there's one, surely there are more?"

"If there are more, we do not know where they are. There are two main schools of thought. Firstly, religious theory states that the AllSpark was created by our 'God', Primus, distilled from His own essence, and it was done only once. Maybe if this is true, and we could find Primus, and explain, He might-might-create another, although that could just re-ignite the conflict, causing further loss of life."

"The second theory states that the AllSpark was the product of an alien race far beyond our understanding and that it was lost to it's makers, landing on Cybertron and causing our existence by a lucky accident. Whichever theory is correct-if either of them are-it is unlikely that we will gain a new AllSpark. However, to answer your first question, there is a second way by which Sparks can be created for new bodies, but for that, we would need a willing femme bot."

"A femme bot?" asked Sam. Among neither the Autobots nor the Decepticons had he seen anything that could be described as 'femme' about any of them. It was almost as if Ratchet could read his mind, for he answered Sam's unspoken question.

"You've not seen a femme bot, Sam, and that's for a very good reason. When the AllSpark created Sparks, most of them are like me, Optimus, and Ironhide-what we term 'mech' Sparks. Male, if you like. Such Sparks could give life to the bodies they were placed in, but could not create new Sparks, or give life to anything else. However, every once in a while-somewhere between one in two hundred and one in five hundred Sparks, exact records were never kept-a femme Spark would be disgorged. These femme Sparks, if allowed to briefly combine with a mech Spark, could sometimes create a tiny Spark-or Sparkling if you like. If a femme bot carried it and nourished it with her own energy, in time it could be removed from her and placed in it's own body, as a new life in its own right."

"So-couldn't one of these femme bots have survived and be on her way here?" asked Sam.

"Theoretically, yes, and we all hope so, but I told you how rare it was that they came about in the first place. In my whole life, I only personally knew six. I fought with one back on Cybertron, she led our patrol. Her name was Arcee, we held the Decepticons at bay at Tyger Pax, where the AllSpark was hidden, although everyone else-including most of the Decepticons-believed it to be at Simfur, where Optimus had taken most of our other forces, including another femme, Elita-One, to make them keep believing that." Ratchet almost smiled, and then sighed again.

"However, after we all had to split up to search, none of the femme bots have been heard from since. They may have been killed, or even worse, captured and used by the Decepticons. We cannot rely, Sam, on the hope that a femme bot will arrive to save us from extinction. Even if she does, she may not wish to, or be too scared to, and we would have to respect that. It would be a huge responsibility to lay on one set of shoulders."

"What did the femme bots look like? Like you? Or did they look different?" Sam asked. Ratchet sighed again.

"They were different Sam, very different. They were designed to be. Anyone bringing one up was so proud, because they were so special. This was Arcee, at Tyger Pax." He projected a hologram of a tall-looking, elegant and very feminine looking Autobot. Sam gaped at the thin, long, shapely legs, large chest, long, slender delicate arms ending in elegant hands and the slightly haughty but definitely female-looking face, complete with shaped metal hair. She bore a large, dangerous looking bow on one of her narrow arms, but you couldn't mistake it-no, her-for anything but a female Autobot.

"The mech bodies were created so that each one was individual, but sometimes only in the face or the hands. Bodies of several different sizes were crafted for mechs, but only the faces, in general, were different, and some of the faces could be considered plain or even ugly, but femmes were so rare, and thus considered so special, that no two were alike in either face or body. Each femme body was constructed individually by craftsmechs, and there was never such a thing as an ugly femme. Great care was taken to make them all attractive, both in face and body, and all were given something else not given to mechs, to mark them as femme and therefore special-hair. Only metal shaped as hair would be, admittedly, but it was something else that made them both more desirable, and also set them apart." He frowned, and then continued.

"Strangely enough, despite the fact that many viewed mech-femme created Sparklings as sacrilegious, all femmes were given those big chests, with the room for a Sparkling to settle and be nurtured should the situation arise. Due to the widely-held view that it was sacrilegious, most femmes took some sort of steps to ensure it never happened, but I have heard of one or two Sparklings being created this way. Some questioned why, if it was sacrilegious, the AllSpark created femme bots at all, and no clear answer was given. Now I have my own theory, that it was a fail-safe on the part of the AllSpark."

"How do you mean?" asked Sam.

"From what Bumblebee has said, the AllSpark was not only alive, but intelligent. A few thousand years before the conflict exploded from small skirmishes to full-out war, it was recorded that there was an upswing in the amount of femme Sparks produced. Maybe the AllSpark somehow could see what was coming? However, it may well have been too little, too late. Even if they are out there, what would stop the Decepticons from capturing one, and using her as a substitute for the AllSpark? I think many femmes would choose to permanently offline themselves rather than go through that. That's if she wasn't worn out by Sparkling production before she reached that decision, and if they didn't make that route impossible for her, by disabling any weapons she had and putting her under constant guard."

Mikaela shuddered. "If I were a femme bot, I think I'd permanently offline before letting Barricade or Starscream get their claws on me, too." she said. Ratchet nodded.

"You see why we cannot rely on them to save us from extinction? Not only would a femme bot need to get here and be willing, she'd be in constant danger from the Decepticons. Better that they all died than be forced to live under Decepticon captivity. However, none of our spies or bugs have picked up the merest hint that the Decepticons have a femme. Better that they stay well away than risk that." He sighed again, and then looked up.

"Well, I should start organising this place, I suppose, no point in moping over could-have-beens and should-be's. I must live for those of us who are alive, not grieve for those who have come and gone, or those who never will be."

'If only there was something I could do, anything to change things, I would do it." thought Sam. 'I wish I could because if I could save the Cybertronian race, I would. I would do anything.'

'Anything?' came a small voice he thought was his own mind replying to him.

'Yes, anything."he confirmed.

'Then let it be so.'the voice said. Sam was alarmed at this response, suddenly realising that this was not his own thoughts, but something else. Something alive. Something intelligent. Something……alien.

'AllSpark?' he said in his head.

'Yes, I am the essence of what you called AllSpark.' it said. Before he could think anything more, Sam's vision exploded with a blinding white light at the same time as his hearing left him.

Ratchet had moved a tray of equipment to one of the wall-mounted shelves when he heard Sam gasp and Mikaela cry out. He turned.

Sam had stiffened, and his eyes were rolled back in his head. As he jerked, his back arching, Ratchet strode over towards the table, thinking that Sam was suffering some sort of fit. Reaching out to pick Sam up, Ratchet jerked his hands back as Sam's body was suddenly engulfed in a corona of painfully bright white light.