A/N: I'm at it again. I do not own Transformers or any other related thing. All belongs to it's respected owners.
It had been only a few hours after the fight at Mission City. Sam had been beat up worse than he thought when he took on Megatron himself and later helped with getting Bumblebee and the rest out of the City. People had been standing around while the leader was holding a silver body, what looked to be a much smaller being that was no longer alive. Sam had busted a couple of ribs, banged his head good and ached all over. He sat back and forced himself to remember what had happened. It was all so fuzzy still.
Megatron. Running to that building. Falling. Being caught. Nearly being crushed. It was so much for him to absorb, and being so young, he felt he was going to go crazy. In a way he had wished the previous days had been a dream, but it wasn't. He opened his eyes vaguely as the Camaro drove on, heading to the Outlook where they could all be safe for the time being. Ratchet had warned him that he needed medical attention, but he didn't heed the warning. He was far too engrossed with Mikaela and still trying to absorb everything that had happened. His mind was whirling around the idea of the aliens. What would his life be like from now on? How could he ever go back to a somewhat normal life? If at all? He laid across the hood of the Camaro as Mikaela climbed up and they both stared at each other in the eyes. They had made it. They made it out alive, no less. He took her in his arms and held her close to him, smiling at her, wincing at the pain in his head and side. Bumblebee sat humbly, allowing the kids to relax, even though they were using his hood as a seat.
Optimus Prime stood near them, Ratchet sitting in his alt mode relaxing, thinking deeply about Jazz. Jazz had been a great loss for them. He had known him for what seemed like forever and Megatron ripped him apart, literally, terminating his spark as he had done so. He had remembered hearing Jazz taking on Megatron, remembered the words, and the only words that rang through him stabbed him like a hot knife.
No! I want two! The voice blared in his mind over and over again, Ratchet had hoped that Jazz was alright, but later found him lying on the ground, decimated. Ratchet was always repairing others that were injured. It was his life's calling and he treasured it. This came a moment when he could not fix his friend and it weighed heavily on his mind, causing him to be somewhat bitter for awhile. Ironhide had been beside him, but no one but Prime felt his anguish. Bumblebee joined them tonight and he was silent, buried in his own thought, watching his commander prepare to send a message across the vastness of space.
Prime had also heard the words uttered from Megatron as he tore the smaller bot in two, and in his own way, he felt his spark extinguish. Being Commander of the Autobots and the keeper of their most prized possession, he had a special psychic link to all of his members, including those possible still out around the galaxy. He looked to the cosmos while the sun set, hoping someone would hear his call, sending the message with enough power to scatter from Earth out across to at least the distance of the Galaxy Andromeda,
"I am Optimus Prime, and I send this message to any surviving Autobots taking refuge among the stars, we are here, we are waiting."
No one saw the Decepticon Starscream head for the stars, through the atmosphere at lightning speed. They had not found Starscream in the wreckage, so they knew he was around somewhere, and it isn't like he could hide very well anyway, one unaccounted F-22 Raptor would be noticed immediately by the military. Barricade and Scorponok had also turned up unaccounted for, and the government figured the rogue Decepticons were running wild on the planet, but no one knew where as of yet. They figured the
rogues would turn up, however, they couldn't possibly stay hidden. Prime was still curious however, why Starscream hadn't tried to claim the Allspark for himself, knowing his leader had fallen, he knew the seeker for many millennia and knew he would try to overthrow Megatron whenever he could. This was however, baffling to say the least.
The story doesn't start here, however. It starts a few days afterward, when Prime had been parked out front of Sam's house. He had been half online, keeping his wary eye out when the message came to him, it was crackled and broken, "Optimus Prime, do you… me?"
The entire truck shook as he came online, unsure if perhaps he was dreaming, then he heard it again, "…timus …rime, do you… read?"
He responded quickly, not wanting to hesitate, knowing the voice well, "Prime here, go ahead,"
"Prime… we are … weeks out, there are 6 of…, maybe more. We are in sector …8 of the southern globular …ster, a planet … from you, we have been ho… planets, can you hear … Prime?"
"Yes, yes, I hear you, you're breaking up."
"Communications … low, our... ergon reserves … low," the voice informed, "how shall we …ceed?"
"Enter as you will, soldier, aim for the coordinates of the planet Earth that I give you," Prime eagerly awaited a reply, which didn't come, "you hear me?"
"Yes, … rime, we … you,"
"It's called Tranquility, Nevada, I will transmit the information as you get closer," Prime responded.
"Very well, …streak out," silence and static were all that were heard from then on, and Prime was getting excited. But if there were other Autobots, were there other Decepticons also? There were so many questions that needed answers, yet Optimus didn't have them. He was still consumed with this new planet thing. It was very different here indeed, even to how they cared for themselves. They found the atmosphere bearable, but needed constant upkeep which required baths. Prime wouldn't let his team in on this quite yet, he wasn't sure how they took to such things. They had no reason to go back to Cybertron, and so Earth was their new home.
The small shard of Allspark that Prime grabbed from the dead body of his brother wasn't enough to sustain the life on their planet, and this he knew. He had held onto it, hoping that there was something he could do with it. Perhaps bring Jazz back? He wasn't sure. Just the thought of Jazz made him shudder, very upset by his First Lieutenant and friend's untimely death, yet he was joined with Sam and Mikaela and now there were more on their way. Hopefully the Allspark shard would prove useful, even though it was so small.
The government had made the announcement that the bodies of the dead Decepticons were now at the bottom of the 7 mile deep Laurentian Abyss. A few less Decepticons he had to worry about, yet a lot more he knew about that were unaccounted for. He started his engine, debating on somewhere to go. His thoughts were where the others were. Perhaps they had remained on Cybertron to salvage what was left of it. Maybe they were on a different planet? He couldn't be sure. His engine woke Sam from his sleep as he heard him rumble, idling. The kid wanted to get up, but his side hurt him so badly, he was stuck to the bed, and he cried out in pain, alerting his mother and father, who came running, "Sam? Are you alright?"
"Uh, yeah, yeah, I'm fine," he said, moving to sit, but not making it far before flopping back to the bed in pain, "No, you, what's wrong?"
"My side hurts, that's all, just a little injury I got from earlier," he said, trying to get them to ignore it.
"Lift your shirt, Sam," Judy demanded, watching s he did, his entire side was black and blue and yellow, and his ribs didn't look right, "God, Sam, you're hurt, look at those ribs! We are going to the hospital now!" she claimed, and went to stand, having Ron help him up, "I got a ride, mom,"
"Oh yeah? You gonna drive yourself?" Ron asked, still wanting to know about the Camaro that parked in his driveway.
"Yeah, I can drive myself," Sam claimed, getting furrowed brows.
"Oh no you don't, young man! You are coming with us, now!"
Just then Sam heard the engine of the truck as he pulled away. He looked to the window, knowing he wouldn't see the semi, but wanted to know where he was going. He went to move away from his parents as he heard the engine get more distant, but his parents held him firmly, walking him down the stairs as he tried to fight his way away, but weakened with pain, he wasn't successful. Ron helped him into his car and then looked, he was blocked in by that Camaro.
"Sam where on earth did you get that?" He finally asked, as it stared him in the face.
"I.. Uh," He was surely stumped. It's not like he could come out and tell his dad that he bought him a robot Camaro. He stared at the Camaro for the longest time, "It was given to me to replace the Camaro that I lost during the fight."
"What fight, young man?"
"Uhm.. eh." Sam was again lost for words. He raised a brow at Bumblebee and moved to stand, blowing a sharp breath, "I'll move it." He said painfully making his way to the yellow bot, "Sam, you need to get to a hospital." Bee nagged.
"Yeah, Bee, I know, my dad is taking me there now, I need you to move." He sat in the driver seat, but was in no condition to drive, Bee moved for him, making it look like the kid was the one driving, "Good," Bee said as he parked on the road.
"I will see you later, huh, Bee?" Sam said as he made his way painfully out of the driver seat and to a stand, shutting the door. He didn't need a response from the car as he saw his dad pull the nose of his car out, "I want answers young man, after we get you checked at the hospital," Ron demanded which made Sam slunk down in his seat. Well there is nothing harder to tell your parents than the fact you have 4 alien robots hanging around, one being your car. He swallowed hard as he fought his mind to find a good enough excuse without blowing the Autobots' cover, but it was going to happen, sooner than expected. Ron turned the car onto the street, headed for the hospital. He didn't catch the fact that a Fire Rescue Hummer H2 was behind him the whole way, even until they pulled into the hospital. It parked not far from the Emergency center and waited for the kid to get done. He scanned Sam the entire time he was there, making sure he was going to be ok, alerting Optimus of how the child's health was.
Ironhide had been with Prime and Optimus had been given a trailer where he carried the precious cargo of his friend. He wasn't about to let this trailer go anywhere without him being the one to lead it. No one could get into it either. He wanted it this way. The cantankerous GMC followed the semi to the hospital where they all met, including the Camaro, which caught Ron's attention when he looked out the window, finding the car sitting in the parking lot alongside the semi and the Hummer. He tilted his head, and let out a small chuckle, wondering himself how in hell the car made it's way to the hospital.
"Will he be alright?" Ironhide asked the CMO.
"Yes, he will be fine, but I must tell you that his father is might suspicious, he's been eyeing us for a while now."
"We will let Sam handle it," Prime interrupted, "In the meantime, I have some good news for you all," he said gently, "I received a message from some of the other Autobots. Their message was pretty broken up but they said they will be here within a couple of weeks,"
"Who, Optimus?" Bee asked, excited to know there were others so close.
"I don't know, but I was talking to Bluestreak earlier, and he said that there are 6 that he knows of on their ways here, possibly more,"
"Good!" Bee said happily, "this means we will once again be grouped?"
"We can only hope, Bumblebee." Optimus said softly, worried.
"Wonder who else is with them?"
"I wish I knew, but I can only speculate. Bluestreak left Cybertron with Prowl and the twins."
"What?" Ironhide interrupted with a grunt, "You mean to tell me Sideswipe and Sunstreaker are on their way also?"
"Oh, great." The GMC silenced, remembering how him and Ratchet were usually the brunt of the twins' jokes, usually being humiliated by the two. The truck rumbled but otherwise sat there silently.
"Ironhide, you can't think they will only target you two," Prime said.
"Oh? Why not? When there were a lot more of us they still chose to perform their devious artwork on me and Ratchet – especially Sunstreaker, so what makes you think with lesser of us that they won't?"
Prime didn't have an answer. He chuckled silently so that the older weapon's specialist didn't hear him, it was true, the twins chose the older bots to pick on along with the minibots, knowing better than to use Prime as a subject of their pranks very often, but taking it out on Ratchet and Ironhide, sometimes Prowl. Oh how he remembered hearing Prowl yell across the base on Cybertron when the twins had painted his grey yellow and his black purple. Poor Prowl. The twins had a lot to learn, and they weren't the only sparklings who were troublesome. There was a few others that were younger, and having Bumblebee being one of them on Earth, he had something to do. Hot Rod, on the other hand, was one of the most stubborn and hot headed Autobots ever enlisted under the command of Prime and sometimes he regretted bringing him in, as often times he jumped into the heat of battle, often not paying attention to the dangers that were posed to himself or others around him. Now, wasn't the time
to worry about that, however. Optimus had a sick boy to look after, he was sure. Even though Bumblebee was given the honor to care for Sam and protect him. He decided he would invite Sam to sleep in his bunker until he felt better, knowing he was in the safest place possible. Who was gonna argue with a 40 foot tall robot that transformed into a semi that no one with brains would argue with on the roads?
Hours had passed and Sam appeared outside of the Emergency room, he was bandaged and limped strangely, spotting Ratchet immediately under the lights of the parking lot. He walked to the Hummer and leaned on the door, "You guys alright?"
"We are fine, Sam, how are you?"
"I hurt. My Ribs are broken." Sam replied, letting his arms painfully to his sides, "My dad is suspicious of you guys, you know."
"What are you going to tell him?"
"The truth?" Sam asked almost sarcastically.
"You think he can handle it?"
"And if he doesn't?" Sam huffed with a chuckle, "He might blow a gasket, but what is he gonna do? Forbid me from seeing you guys?" He jested with a laugh, "which I won't let happen."
"I didn't know humans could blow gaskets. It's not in any of my data or research on the human anatomy."
"Er… I… That's not what I meant, Ratchet." Sam tried to explain this one in terms he hoped the bot would understand, forgetting that they still had much to learn about each other. Obviously they didn't haven't learned any American slang yet, "I mean that he is going to be really surprised, mad, upset,"
"Ah, thank you, I was confused for a moment there," The hummer chuckled, "I would like to keep an eye on you, Sam, at least for a little while." Ratchet said sternly, scanning the kid.
"I as well!" Bee interjected, making himself well known, "You're my partner, Sam."
"How about you rest in my bunker, Sam?" Optimus offered, getting curious questions over their internal link.
"My sleeper – I think you humans call it. You can even invite your father to ride with us back to your house."
Sam raised an eyebrow, he wasn't sure how to ask, but tried anyway, "How am I going to get my father in you? I can't just tell him 'hey dad, let's get in that semi!' you know,"
There was an almost inaudiable grumble, "Try, Sam, if he is going to be introduced to us, why not let him ride with me and you?"
"Um…" Sam was at a loss for words yet again, "Optimus, he doesn't know how to drive Truck."
"Truck, semis?" he said with a raised octave in his voice, "Same thing, anyways, he will be coming out soon," Sam told them. There was a lot they needed to learn if they were going to survive in the society. And that included how difficult the English language really was.
Just then, out of nowhere, a man appeared in the semi's driver side seat, looked down at Sam and winked, "It startled Sam, making him jump, causing him to wince in pain, "What?" he ask, not as a question, but more as a shock. Similar to the way he had reacted to Bee's change. The man was well built, about in his upper thirties with strong features that somewhat resembled his Cybertronian form, and hair that was light brown.
"It's called a Holo-Form Sam," Ratchet explained, "It's easier for us to hide among your kind with drivers. We can move about 500 yards away from our bodies before we lose contact and vanish. But we are completely solid, as you or any other human, for that matter." Ratchet stated matter of factly.
Footsteps came from behind Sam, and he hunched slightly, knowing it was his dad, "Sam, what are you doing?"
"Uh… standing here?" He asked, somewhat staggered on his words that he had almost been caught.
"He was talking to me, sir." Optimus looked down from his cab door. Saved by the holo-form.
"Who are you?" Ron asked, his hands at his hips. His voice was more an accusation than a question.
"I am a friend of Sam's, I heard he got hurt and came down as quickly as I could. My name is Op-" he stammered, "Optimus."
"Odd name," Ron huffed, "why did you have to bring a full sized semi truck? Don't you have a smaller vehicle to drive?" He asked, confused above all.
"No." No the dry reply, "I was going to ask Sam if he wanted to take a ride with me, you are more than welcome to come also," Optimus said, trying to sound as human as he possibly could.
"Why?" Ron suddenly asked, his eye twitching, debating the intentions of the truck driver.
"I have a bed in here," Optimus smiled slyly, "He could rest."
"He needs the rest," came a voice from next to the truck, Ron was caught off guard by the extra voice, pivoting on his heel to the source, which happened to be a Bright yellowish-greenish Fire Search and Rescue H2 Hummer. The man perched in the driver seat was gruff, for sure. His face looked slightly worn, and hard. His hair was dark, almost black, he looked to be older than Optimus but not by much.
"Who are you?" Ron suddenly asked, eyes darting from Sam to the Hummer and back again.
"Oh, dad," Sam interjected, "dad, he's my friend too. Don't worry about him, he's a good guy." He justified Ratchet quickly.
"What's your name?" Ron asked the man in the Hummer.
"My name is…" he paused, debating a moment before finishing, "Doctor Ratchet,"
"Ratchet?" Ron asked, slightly confused. He gave Sam a questioning look, which got a shrug in answer.
"Sam will ride with me," Ron said, putting his hand softly on his son's shoulder.
"Mr. Witwicky, I really insist that he rides with me. He will be safer."
"Are you accusing me of bad driving?" Ron snapped at the man in the truck. Optimus' face went long, "No, not at all, sir, I just think that he can lie down in my sleeper, he will be in less pain."
"Yeah!" Sam said, "Yes, please dad, come on, please!"
Ron gave Sam a stern look, as if deciding in his mind.
"We will follow you back to your home, Mr. Witwicky. We will remain at your residence until the day arrives."
"It's a free street." Came another voice. That made Ron jump. His voice was deep with a slight accent to it. He looked at the GMC that sat across from Optimus and Ratchet, hiking an eyebrow, he could barely see the driver, since he was wearing black, "Lemme guess, you're friends with Sam too?"
The black haired main in the Topkick nodded, "That's right. He will be under our protection if you will let us."
"He doesn't need protection."
"Maybe you should ride with him, Mr. Witwicky. I insist." The voice had a lower tone, as if it was more of a demand than an invitation. Ron wasn't exactly sure what was going on, and now he was even more suspicious, "Fine," he replied, then gave them all a sarcastic look, "How do I get my car home?"
"We will take you to it in the morning."
"We?" Ron asked, perplexed, "Do you all like travel together or something like that."
"Yeah, something like that." Came the voice from the Topkick, which had a slight sarcastic intone. The truck was dark, so Ron really didn't get a good look at the man, but he did notice all of them had the most entrancing blue eyes. Something was definitely up, and he was going to get to the bottom of it.
"Come on, dad," Sam said as he went to the passenger side of the semi and popped the door open, "I'm sure they have better things to do than explain themselves to you."
Ron nodded. He would go along with this game, and this was definitely interesting. He just didn't know how interesting it really was. And how shocked he would be to find out who the drivers really were.
Sam hopped into the back of the truck and Ron followed, sitting in the passenger seat of the truck. The driver looked at him, "Roll out," Optimus said, as if he was instructing the others to move on. Odd. The one in the Camaro wasn't noticed yet. He was actually not even showing a holo-form. The car looked empty, and he didn't mind sitting back and listening, keeping his watchful eye on his charge the entire time.
Sam laid on the bed softly, wincing as he did. The bed was soft, comfortable, he could fall asleep right here. And that's exactly what he did. He drifted as he listened to his dad and Optimus talk generally. Ron was curious how he was taking some of his answers, but didn't question until he heard a voice from the other come from the truck. Expecting to see a radio, he saw there was none. The man in the truck didn't respond.
"Barricade is behind us!" Bumblebee came across the link suddenly, which made Ooptimus flicker. And Ron saw it, "What in the hell?" He asked, panic rising as the driver looked at him and sighed, "take care of him, Ironhide, get him off of our tail." Optimus said.
"With pleasure. I want him to taste the plasma from my cannons. Ron heard slightly tires ripping on the road even over the truck's engine.
"What's going on here? Ironhide? What kind of name is that?" Ron's panic made him almost stand, he was shaking.
"You need to calm down, there's nothing to be afraid of, we won't hurt you." Optimus failed so badly at sounding human.
"SAM!" Ron suddenly bellowed, and the boy jerked up, wincing and hissing in pain as his father called his name, "Sam wake up! What's going on in here?!"
This is not how Optimus intended to reveal himself or the others to the parental units of Sam. There was a sudden static like noise and then other voices interrupted everyone.
"Opti…, … is Bluestreak, do you read me?"
"This is Optimus, go ahead," was the reply, totally forgetting about the man in his passenger seat. The man flickered in the driver's seat again then vanished.
"…ain, we have visit… on our tai…, about 20 …. Be… d us! They were …potted when Wheel… at a local planet …." The voice came over the Autobot channel, unfortunately for Ron, he heard it.
"This is Prime, there isn't much we can do from here, we will be ready when they arrive."
"Very well, sir, … will try … to get … ere sooner," a haughty voice came. He recognized it immediately, it was Mirage. He had cut in Bluestreak's transmission.
Ron was silenced. He was pale. He was shaking. Primus this was bad.