Sky Hunger.

Chapter Three.

A/N Thanks to my nurse mother for drilling bone and body part names into me since I was a sparkling…umm…baby…

For a moment, to those on the ground Sam seemed to pause in midair. The he began to drop, arms spread, legs straight out behind him. His body tilted forwards and to one side as the winds around the building and the laws of gravity pulled and twisted at his body.

Sam's cry was briefly heard, and he stretched out his arms towards the ground and lifted his head. To the running Mikaela, it was as if Sam was looking directly at her, though she doubted that he even saw her at that point. Then he hit the ground with a wet cracking sound, and his cry was cut off.

Bumblebee reached Sam as she did: Mikaela didn't need Bumblebee's scans to tell her that Sam was seriously injured. She knelt by him, but did not dare touch him.

His arms were a mess: the bones of his forearms had splintered. Mikaela could see several places on each where the impact had forced the bone shards through Sam's flesh, and his upper arms and shoulders were in such unnatural positions that there had to be further fractures in both places. The side of his face that she could see seemed relatively unscathed, although he was very pale. Bending down revealed that the other side of his face looked as if it had been attacked with a steak hammer. His body was twisted in a painful-looking position and she could see a jagged piece of broken bone sticking at least two inches from the bloodied tear in his denim pants, the leg bending at the site where it had no right bending in a healthy human.

She grabbed for her purse: everyone else seemed paralysed. She took out her mirror and held it near his nose and mouth. The fogging of condensation told her what she needed to know a heartbeat before Bumblebee confirmed it by saying "He's alive but not conscious."

"What is it?" one of her friends asked, followed by an "Is it dangerous?" from another, and she realised that the paralysis was not only down to Sam's leap and subsequent injuries, but also down to the presence of the yellow Autobot scout.

Said yellow Autobot scout had finished scanning and only had optics for Sam, oblivious to his nervous audience.

"He's friendly, damn you all, pull yourselves together and someone call 911!" she called out angrily.

"Already done." Said Bumblebee.

It was less than five minutes later that a very familiar Search and Rescue vehicle drove in through the school gates and drove over in the parking lot, parking by the side. The dark-haired driver got out of the driver's side and a pretty redheaded nurse got out of the back, confirming Mikaela's suspicion. Ratchet was the only Autobot she knew who utilised two holoforms, and that was them.

They walked over and Ratchet stayed in car form, but scanned Sam himself, the male holoform seeming to be the one that spoke.

"He has two hairline fractures of the braincase, a broken jaw and a broken left cheekbone. His left clavicle, left and right scapula, two of his left upper abdominal ribs and one of the right are also fractured. One of the left ribs has punctured his lung. Both of his humerus bones have fractured twice, and the radius and ulna of both arms have splintered longitudinally. All his metacarpals and carpels are shattered."

Mikaela winced: she had trained under Ratchet as an auxiliary medic as he was rather large to treat humans, and one of the first things he had taught her was the bones of the body and the injuries that they could suffer. However, Ratchet hadn't finished.

"His back is broken in two places, his spinal column severed at the waist. His pelvic girdle is thankfully undamaged, as are his femora, but his left fibula has a single transverse fracture."

"What's he saying?" asked one of Mikaela's friends.

"He's telling us that Sam has multiple fractures in his hands, wrists arms, and shoulders, skull, back and one in his lower leg." Mikaela translated shortly. "And a punctured lung." She added.

"His life is not in immediate danger but we must get him somewhere like my med – like the hospital." Ratchet said as Mirage drew up.

At that moment, three jets swooped low over the school: the green and the blue screeched overhead and started performing aerial manoeuvres that drew all eyes in the windows of the building that had not noticed Sam's fall to them, which meant the third plane could turn, fly low, and land near them without drawing too much attention. The canopy lifted and Miles slid out, gong over to join Mikaela.

"Shit! What happened?" he stated.

"He jumped, I don't know why." She told him.

"He needed to fly, he tried to fly even without wings. It has happened to permanently wing-ruined Seekers: it is our way to give them mercy. Shall I do that for you?" Starscream asked, still in plane form. "I can make it quick-"

"No!" Mikaela almost screamed. "That's not our way, Ratchet has said he can live."

"He may not want to live." Starscream said, then began to transform.

Starscream caused a stir amongst Mikaela's friends as he transformed: it was too much for them and, their paralysis broken, they scattered and ran. Starscream regarded them with disdain.

"Why did they run? I am not threatening them." he said.

"Um…maybe they don't like Seekers?" said Miles, not wanting to admit how easily most humans could get weirded out.

Starscream narrowed his optics in annoyance.

"Well, if so, they have no taste: Seeker frames are gorgeous." he said. Then he looked at Sam.

"Oh. I still think it would be kinder to kill him." he said as he saw the condition the human was in.

"No." said Miles, running to Sam's side. "Hey bro, wake up." He said to the prone form of his friend.

Sam suddenly gasped and his eyes opened and he cried out at the pain of his ruined body. He looked at Miles and the others, and agony filled his gaze. Two tears, followed by two more, ran down his face, and then he groaned again. Then his cries subsided and his eyes slid shut: he had blacked out from the pain. Mikaela and Miles looked at each other, feeling helpless and upset.

Ratchet was still scanning, and a look of confusion flickered over the male holoform's face.

"There's an energy buildup." he said. "It's AllSpark energy? It's building fast…" and then the holoform flickered out. "Get BACK!" he ordered, reversing away from Sam, still in vehicle form. Mirage and Bumblebee followed. Even Starscream noted the alarmed tone in Ratchet's voice, and took several hops backwards: Miles and Mikaela were already moving.

Sam suddenly seemed haloed in a blue-white energy too bright to look at, then was swiftly obscured by it. The white glow/haze became a dome of light, the edges racing along the ground of the parking lot, swallowing up the cars in its wake, although it didn't seem to swallow the school building.

A blue lightning snaked out after the fleeing figures, and made contact with Starscream, who barely flinched, but Mikaela stumbled and fell to her hands and knees. She was abruptly swallowed by the wall of light. Then the lightning was absorbed by the white dome - which stopped its advance - and they stopped running and watched, the four Cybertronians on the ground scanning as the two in the air kept the humans in the school from looking down.

Miles had turned back to go back in after Mikaela but was stopped by Bumblebee, who barred his way with a careful hand.

"We gotta go back for Mikaela!" he cried, trying to get past.

"No!" Ratchet said. "We do not know what that energy might do to either Cybertronian or organic life. How can you help her if it damages or kills you the moment you make contact?"

"What if it's not dangerous?" he argued.

"Then she's okay and doesn't need rescuing." Ratchet countered. Miles subsided: Ratchet had a point but he didn't like it. One glance at the look in Bumblebee's optics confirmed that he didn't like it either, but was still not budging. Miles supposed that in war you sometimes had to do things that went against your instinct, and patted Bumblebee's hand. How many times had Bumblebee been forced to leave those he loved behind, as much as he had wanted to go back, he wondered, turning back to look at Ratchet.

Ratchet was scanning Starscream, the green beams playing over the Seeker.

"Why are you scanning me, Autobot?" he asked.

"You were hit by some of the energy discharge: I am checking you were not damaged by it." he said. "So far my scans suggest you were unharmed."

"It tickled." said Starscream. Ratchet quirked one plate-eyebrow but passed no comment.

He finished his scans. "You are undamaged." He said, then turned with everyone else to watch the glowing dome.

It was shrinking, fairly rapidly, and fading, and as the glow receded, a human figure became visible, crouching on the tarmac. It was Mikaela. Miles ran over and helped her up: she seemed shocked but unharmed. There was also something else apparent.

"Weren't there cars there before?" asked Miles.

"Yeah, including Trent's, so where are they?" Mikaela mused. She looked down.

"Hey, my belt buckle's gone!" she said.

"So are your earrings." Said Miles, pointing. Mikaela raised her hand to her ear: sure enough her gold-coloured hoops were missing. Further checking also revealed the absence of her watch, the studs of her jeans, the studs and chains from her leather cuff, her cell phone, and the clips on her coin purse. In fact, it seemed that anything Mikaela had worn or held with metal in it had been affected: the metal was absent.

The glow had receded further when they had finished inventorying Mikaela's possessions, so they could see that at the centre of the glow was a brighter area. They carefully paced the glow as it shrank back down.

The glow was almost completely faded, and they could see no sign of Sam at its heart, but what was obvious was the figure that lay in its place. It looked like, exactly like…but it couldn't be…

"Starscream?" queried Mikaela, looking from one identical Seeker to the other. "But…it can't be…Starscream's here with us…" Suddenly her brain caught up with her mouth and she made a leap of logic. It didn't completely make sense and she still didn't understand how, but maybe it was…

"Sam?" she asked as the Seeker scrambled to its feet.

Bumblebee suddenly picked her up as she heard the Seeker's engines fire up: Starscream had already grabbed Miles and was retreating, and Ratchet and Mirage backed off as well. As Sam took off vertically into the air, Mikaela saw why they had been pulled back: Sam's jets would have killed them otherwise.

"He didn't even see fit to warn us to get out of the way?" she said, hurt.

"He just didn't think about it. He needs to fly. it's the only thing on his mind. He's needed to fly for a long time: don't expect him to wait any longer now he can." said Starscream. He put Miles down.

"I'm sorry, I think I'll join them. Also, Sam needs to go into his alt-mode: he's going to draw too much attention like that. He motioned them back with his hands, followed Sam into the sky, flipping into jet-form as soon as he'd cleared the ground.

"Well, at least that explains the cars, and your metal, Mikaela." Ratchet said.

"Does it?" she asked. Ratchet nodded, as they watched Sam abruptly flip into F-22 form.

"Yes. The AllSpark can, it is true, create metal from it's own energy, it is a simple conversion of energy to matter but it requires a lot of energy to do." He explained. "It's far more energy efficient to take existing materials and change them into what you need." he said. "The non-metal parts of the car were changed to metal, and the metal was used to build Sam's new body."

"What about fuel?" said Mikaela as they watched the four jets weave intricate patterns about each other in the air. "I presume he's using some sort of fuel?"

"The fuel in the cars was converted too, to a form he could use." said Ratchet. He gave a short laugh. "It appears your school is getting a private air display."

Mikaela looked up at the building: faces crowded the windows, all watching the sleek Seekers dancing around each other and weaving between each other, doing rolls and turns and spins. She could have been doing a naked dance below and no-one would have seen.

After a while, one of the Seekers peeled away from the others, and the other three went off in a different direction.

"Sam is ready to land now: I directed him to go to Base and warned everybody - particularly the Twins - to expect him and not to shoot." Ratchet chuckled. "I think now we should all head back. Optimus will have to alert the Government and pull some strings to get property replaced and a cover story to explain Sam's absence."

Mikaela nodded as she got into Bumblebee. Oh yes, lots of stuff would need to be done, and that was just the beginning!