The Witwicky Heist.
A/N: Thanks to KDZeal's story "Part Of None" for a major part of gestalt theory.
"How much longer do we have to wait?" Judy asked in annoyance.
"Simmons said he was diverted to investigate reports of a body." Bumblebee said. "There were also reports of somebody falling from the sky, so he should be able to tell us what's going on soon."
"Here they come now." said Ron, who had recognised Ironhide's and Ratchet's distinctive alt modes. At that point, Bumblebee's radio crackled to life. Ironhide's unmistakable voice spoke.
"A recovery team from Simmons and Banachek's organisation is being sent out. The remains were not immediately recognisable, but associated paraphernalia suggests that they are the remains of the missing researcher, Professor Wesson."
"Drat." said Judy. "I had hoped to kill her myself."
"Okay Ironhide." Bumblebee replied. "We continue on?"
"Yes." said Ironhide.
Three brief pulses of AllSpark energy had helped Ratchet, Bumblebee, and Ironhide narrow down their search area to a narrower area, but since then there had been no further indications as to where Sam was, they had aimed to head for the area the pulses had originated at - they had all occurred in the same place - and then try to track Sam from there, all going different directions if need be, unless they got further information or indications of his location.
It was fifteen minutes before they reached the location. Two cracked indentations in the asphalt were identified by Ratchet as impact foci from two Cybertronian feet landing there. All the evidence pointed to Starscream as being the mech in question who had landed here. By now, there was no sign of Sam or Starscream. Bumblebee turned on his scanners.
"Ahead of us! There's a human with traces of AllSpark energy about him! It's Sam, it has to be!" he said, starting his engine again and accelerating, Ironhide and Ratchet following closely behind a moment later.
"Be careful, Bumblebee, if he's had a run-in with Starscream, he may be extra wary of sudden approach." Ironhide cautioned him.
A few moments later, they could see Sam ahead, slightly illuminated by their headlights. He was currently unaware of their presence. The humans got out and the Autobots converted to their 'bot form. Simmons and Banachek walked forwards, Lawson following awkwardly in tow before either Ironhide, Bumblebee, or the Witwickys realized.
"Heya, Sam, how you doing, kid?" Simmons announced as he strode towards the teen with a friendly smile on his face.
Sam's reaction was an abrupt turn, hands raised, slightly crouched, as if he were anticipating an attack. Then he raised one hand towards Simmons, Banachek and Lawson. Simmons was suddenly sent flying through the air to land ten feet away with the wind knocked out of him, while Banachek and Lawson abruptly found they couldn't advance any further.
Sam backed away, watching everyone warily, as Bumblebee said "Nobody move!" The Autobot scout turned his head to where Banachek and Lawson were futilely trying to push against the invisible barrier ahead. "Stop it, both of you." He looked to where Simmons was trying to get up. "Stay down. He's frightened of you."
"How do you know? Your special connection with the Cube-energy?" asked Simmons disparagingly.
"Simmons, don't be an ass, the kid's body language makes that quite obvious." Banachek said quietly. Simmons looked about to argue the point but Banachek gave him a look and he subsided. Banachek looked back towards Sam. During the NBE-1 incident, he had developed a tenuous rapport with Sam, and afterwards had worked on keeping that tenuous connection open, and strengthening it. It was time to see if that rapport still carried any weight.
Banachek took a step back, raised his hands, and slowly got down on his knees.
"Sam, it's me, Banachek, I mean you no harm." He said calmly. He gave Lawson a look, caught his eye and jerked his head back. Lawson took the hint and backed off further, while Simmons stayed frozen in the half-crouch he had gotten into when picking himself up from where he had been thrown.
AllSpark/Sam eyed the researcher warily.
"What are your intentions towards us?" he/they asked.
"Us?" asked Banachek. "You mean yourself and the Cube energy, Sam?"
"We are one." Stated Sam. "We will not allow you to harm us as the other did."
"Banachek, company." Murmured Simmons as he saw several of the now-living lab machines and S-7 SUV's that had left with Sam approaching from various directions. It seemed they had dispersed a little on the journey, but now that the Cube/boy fusion was feeling threatened, they had come back to defend him if need be.
Banacheck nodded slowly: he had seen them.
"Sam – or whatever you are now – I swear to you I mean you no harm. I give you my word, and my word was good when I took you to the Hoover Dam, right?"
"We cannot be sure, your word then does not guarantee your word now. You have one of those amongst you who harmed us." He said, looking at Lawson.
"He is with us so we can watch him. He will be punished for what he did, he and Doctor Wesson went against orders in their treatment of you." Banachek said.
Bumblebee took a step forwards and AllSpark/Sam tensed, both components of his mind assessing the yellow Autobot scout. Bumblebee stopped, spread his hands, and gave a small warble of encouragement, and AllSpark/Sam relaxed.
"You are one of the Sensitives." He stated. "We speak through this one now, there is no need for your translations."
"Maybe you do not trust Banachek, even Sam was rightly wary of him, but if you look in the memories of Sam, you will see there are two amongst our number whom Sam trusts completely." Bumblebee looked back over his shoulder and waved Ron and Judy forward.
"Sam?" Judy said, walking over with one hand outstretched. AllSpark/Sam tensed and then relaxed a moment later.
"You are – the parental unit of our organic form?" he asked.
"Who are you? You're not Sam, are you?" She said.
"We are one, we are together, in this body." He replied.
"Please, I came looking for my son. Please let him go." She said. "He's my only child."
AllSpark Sam put out a hand to her. Judy took it and he drew her forwards. He reached out his other hand, hesitated, then placed it on her abdomen, and Judy tensed.
"We will not harm you. One part of us cares about you, and this is our gift to you. We have learned how to manipulate organic substances in order to heal."
Judy felt a warm flush as a blue light flashed from AllSpark/Sam's hand, then it was over as soon as it had begun.
"Now you can create life of your own again. Have another child to replace the one we live in."
"No!" cried Judy, throwing herself into AllSpark/Sam's arms. "I don't want another child, I want Sam, I want my son back, please give him back!" She clung to him, weeping, as Ron moved over, his own eyes moist.
"Please, we just want Sam back, we love him. Give us back our son."
Bumblebee warbled again, drawing the attention of everybody.
"May I speak?" he asked. Judy and Ron nodded wordlessly, AllSpark/Sam said "Yes, of course."
He moved closer.
"From what I can tell, we are speaking more to the AllSpark essence than we are to Sam." He said. Let me use then a Cybertronian analogy. Some Cybertronians share a light mental link that allows them, for short times, to combine and function as one unit, a unit that possesses its own name and a combination mind for the time that it is as one. The Arielbots become Superion, the Protectobots become Defensor, the Constructicons become Devastator, and so on." He said. "However, they will always separate into their separate components as soon as is possible. Why is this?" Bumblebee asked.
"Because they were created as separate units. They have their own function in the world as individual units, they have their own existences to lead." Stated AllSpark/Sam. "To stay combined for too long risks the loss of their individual selves." Bumblebee nodded to show he understood.
"Well, what about the AllSpark Essence and Sam?" asked Bumblebee. "They have their separate functions and existences to lead too, even if they are, by circumstances, forced to share the same physical form. You yourself stated that the two are one. You're the gestalt personality of Sam and the Essence, but they too are separate units. Don't they have the right to be their individual selves as well?" Bumblebee asked.
"We are in danger, we are protecting them both." Stated AllSpark/Sam, looking pointedly at the three S-7 men.
"At the moment, you are a greater danger to Sam than they are." Stated Ratchet. "And to yourself."
AllSpark/Sam looked at Ratchet.
"Explain." He/they said.
"The organic form you are in has limits that you are pushing." Ratchet stated. "Sam has been exposed to the outside air, and had no food or drink for several hours. His energy resources are depleted, he is getting dehydrated and cold, and his feet are damaged from being walked on without footwear to protect them. If you do not care for the body properly, it will cease to function, and Sam will die – and possibly the AllSpark with him."
"Please." Said Bumblebee. "Let Sam go so we can help him. Let him live his life as he was meant to."
"What about them? If we do this, what if they try to take or harm him?"
"I won't let them." Bumblebee said. "I am Bumblebee, appointed by Optimus Prime to be Sam's guardian. If they threaten him, I will defend him."
"As will I." said Judy. AllSpark/Sam looked at her.
"You are not a soldier."
"No," she said giving him a steely look. "but I'm his mother."
"Mothers are more dangerous than soldiers." Ratchet said. "They have more at stake, so will make greater sacrifices if necessary, up to and including their own existence. Given the choice between having to face a fully-powered Megatron or an angry mother, I'd take my chances with Megatron."
AllSpark/Sam looked around at everyone, and then down at the face of Judy, and nodded.
"Very well. The one will become two." He/they inclined his/their head and closed his/their eyes. Then he sagged, and Judy braced to take the weight. Bumblebee moved forwards, putting out a hand, and Judy let Sam sag into the supporting appendage.
He opened his eyes, and said "M-mum? Bee? Dad?" Then he held Judy and shook and cried. Nobody said a word, nobody made a movement, all realizing that the shock and reactions to his ordeal was all coming out at once. Ratchet had moved out and was rounding up the attendant mechs, reassuring them and promising them a safe haven with the Autobots.
"Right." Said Simmons, who had got up and now walked towards them. "There is another of our facilities close by, I'll give Ironhide the co-ordinates and we can take Sam there for Banachek to -." He was cut off mid-sentence as Judy Witwicky gently disengaged herself from Sam, turned, and stepped forwards to deal Simmons one of her head-ringing slaps.
"Sam is coming home with us." She stated as Simmons stared at her, his mouth open, his eyes wide and with one hand raised to his smarting cheek.
Banachek was standing nearby and grinning.
"I think we'd better let the lady do as she said she would, Simmons." Said Banachek. "Let Sam go home with his parents, Reg, we got the information we wanted, we'll have to ask Sam if he'll allow us to do more research. Till then, we should leave." Banachek moved over to Ironhide. "What do you think, big guy?" he asked.
"When a femme gets angry, the wise mech does as she says." Ironhide said. "Discussions and disagreements are best left until she has calmed down." He said, then folded down into vehicle form.
"Give me the co-ordinates of your other establishment and I will drop you off. Then I need to return to the Lennox farm, Sarah tells me I am expected to be at the commemoration of Annabelle's entry into the world, something Sarah calls a 'birthday party.' I have been informed I am not allowed to not attend."
"Then you must attend, Ironhide. I, too, am not one to willingly bring down the wrath of a wiman, particularly of a mother." He said, climbing in the front with Simmons as Lawson quietly got in the back. Judy watched them until Ironhide was halfway down the road, then said "Bumblebee, I think we need to go home now."
Sam stood and moved to a safe distance as Bumblebee obligingly folded down into his car form so everybody could get in. Sam went in the back, lay down, pulled the seatbelts across him, and dozed off, as Bumblebee drove the Witwicky family back to their home.