This idea just came to me out of the blue and demanded to be written. This is my first fan fic. My thanks go out to Lament of Meow and Black Vixen for being my beta readers.
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers, they are the property of Hasbro. The novel Ghosts of Yesterday is the property of Alan Dean Foster.
Post 2007 Movie-verse
Summary: In remembrance of the crew of the Ghost One.
Requiem for a Ghost
After the battle in Mission City, Secretary Keller flew in and asked the Autobots to return to Hoover Dam. The crews from Sector Seven had already arrived and were starting the process of obscuring the evidence of the battle, and it was thought that it would be best if the Autobots were removed to somewhere away from the eyes of the public. Hoover Dam was a secure location and those there already knew about the robots. After many apologies from the Defense Secretary, Tom Banachek and Agent Simmons regarding the treatment of Bumblebee while he was held captive, and assurances that nothing similar would ever occur again, the Autobots, and especially Ratchet, finally agreed to the move, and the unusual convoy that had raced to Mission City retraced its path.
Once there, Ratchet got to work repairing Bumblebee's severed legs. Ironhide had made sure that Frenzy was truly dead, and the human allies the Autobots had fought alongside were given medical care and a place to rest.
Optimus Prime and Ironhide found themselves with Tom Banachek watching the humans clear the debris in the chamber that had once held Megatron.
"Mr. Banachek, do you know anything about a ship called Ghost One?" questioned Optimus. It was the encounter with the human vessel nearly half a vorn ago that had led them to this planet and he was still curious.
"You had contact with Ghost One?"
"Yes. In fact I owe Captain Walker and his crew my life. It was because of their sacrifice that I survived the battle with the Decepticons when we encountered Ghost One 38 of your years ago."
"What happened to them?" Banachek asked, fearing he already knew the answer.
"I am sorry, the ship and all aboard were destroyed. We could not save them." Optimus' voice was filled with regret.
Banachek sighed. "We had always wondered what their final fate was." Looking back up at the bots, he explained. "Ghost One was a prototype vessel created using technology gleaned from the study of NBE1. I believe you called him Megatron."
"Fraggin' thing looked a lot like him. At first we thought it was something the Decepticons had put together," Ironhide observed. "But we soon realized that the materials and construction methodology were foreign and primitive."
Banachek supposed that to these highly advanced aliens, the Ghost One, which would be considered cutting edge even today, was primitive. He took no offense, though Simmons probably would. "Ghost One was launched in July of 1969 on a mission to test the new propulsion system. They were supposed to slingshot around the Sun out to Jupiter, then back, but something went wrong."
"Instead, they inadvertently created a wormhole and were propelled parsecs away," Optimus said, taking up the narrative. "We deduced that after making contact with Captain Walker and his crew. They also informed us that Megatron was on your world. That concerned us greatly. He would have destroyed you if he ever awoke from his stasis."
"We had a couple of close calls when we almost lost containment, particularly when he was being moved here from the artic." Banachek walked over to a nearby computer terminal and called up an old, secure file.
"This was Ghost One's final transmission."
The voice of Captain Samuel Walker filtered from the speakers beside the computer terminal.
"SSAB Command this is Ghost One, do you copy?"
"Go ahead, Ghost One." Replied another voice.
"SSAB Command, be advised as to our status. As mentioned previously, we are not alone out here. Earth is in for a visit. Maybe today or tomorrow or in ten years, but it's inevitable. Prepare yourselves and prepare the world. Some of the beings with whom we have had contact are benign, some—aren't. Sooner or later, components of the Ice Man's extended family will find us. Ghost One is staying to make sure the door that's currently open gets closed and locked."
There was a pause.
"This is Ghost One—signing off."
At this point the recording ended.
"We lost all telemetry from Ghost One when the wormhole finally collapsed."
"They knew they could not go home and risk the Decepticons following them." Ironhide's voice was unusually soft. Optimus thought back to the demeanor of the humans before the battle and their willingness to aid the Autobots however they could. He had known at the time that something was amiss, but had not guessed that they had been resigned to never returning home.
Banachek's voice broke Optimus' reminiscence. "Actually it was part of their orders, even though they were given clearance to attempt a return through the wormhole after their final transmission."
"What do you mean?" snapped Ironhide.
"There were many sets of contingency orders drawn up for the mission," Banachek explained. "One of those sets of orders was for the possibility of alien contact. With NBE1 here we knew it was possible there were others out there. If the contact proved hostile they were to make sure that they could not be followed back home. All of them knew the risks when they volunteered for the mission."
The bots could see the wisdom in having such a set of contingencies, but Optimus did not see how it in any way diminished from the courage it took to actually follow them. "The Decepticons were hostile toward them. Starscream in particular was unrelenting in trying to destroy their ship."
"Yes, he knew the humans had found Megatron on their world and he was desperate to keep the others from finding out." Ironhide's piercing blue gaze speared Banachek. "Their courage and sacrifice saved not only Optimus, but your entire world, human. They should not be forgotten."
"What they did gave us the time to prepare for today," Banachek whole-heartedly agreed. "Their families could never know what actually happened to them, but some of us in Sector Seven did, and we have not forgotten them. Look over there on the wall."
Optimus and Ironhide turned to look where Banachek pointed. On the wall of the Hoover Dam, near were Megatron had been held, was a simple plaque. On it was inscribed the following:
In remembrance of the crew of the Ghost One:
They locked the door to give the World time to prepare.
May the stars guide them back home.