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Sam's standing alone at the edge of the carrier. Optimus had been with him earlier but now the Prime was conferring with the rest of the Autobots. The sun was dipping below the watery horizon and although Sam's family and Mikaela had joined Sam for short spurts, they left him to his thoughts.
That's okay; Will's not planning to take up a lot of Sam's time. He just needs a moment. The Army Major walks up to the kid's side and stares out at the darkening sky.
"You thinking about it?" Will asks, looking at him out of the corner of his eye.
He's not asking if Sam's thinking about the recent events in totality, although Sam probably was and if Sam needed to talk Will would be there, but there is only one thing Will's really asking about.
Sam looks back at him without turning his head. "I'm thinking about it."
It's not a no.
Will tries not to smile and grips Sam's shoulder in support. "I'll leave you to it then."
Will turns and walks away, Epps is watching him, waiting, and he can feel the smile widening.
. : - : .
Graham doesn't know what he was expecting when he joined NEST. Though there had been rumors of a large cover-up and the speculations rampant in the general populations of alien life forms. Even with the quiet whispers of government personnel that said there was possibly a grain of truth to the rumors, it sure wasn't enough to prepare him for the site of a large motor vehicle shifting and unfolding until it stood up and up and up. The childlike glee in Lennox's eye that he didn't bother suppressing showed how much the Major had anticipated the initiation and the gaping awe of the new recruits.
Graham likes it here; there are soldiers from different countries and Lennox is one of the best commanders some one could have. Everyone is a dedicated and efficient soldier; Lennox runs a tight shift, strict but also likable, understanding, fun to be around, and loyalty inspiring; Lennox pushes himself just as hard as he pushes the soldiers, even harder sometimes.
Graham worked to get to where he is, he came in with recommendations from the United Kingdom Special Forces that placed him somewhere the middle of the totem pole, but he pushed himself until he found himself here, in the lead team of NEST directly under the commanding officer Major William Lennox.
It's a great honor to work with a man who truly believes in what he's doing.
Lennox is smart and funny and bucks against authority when it countermands his objectives but their reporting General trusts Lennox, believes in Lennox and trusts him to make the right decisions.
Graham respects, admires, and is a little bit in awe of his commanding officer. William Lennox is magnetic; he pulls at you and makes you believe in yourself because he does, because Lennox does not command incompetents or fools.
Lennox bucks against constraining authority but that doesn't mean he doesn't follow the rules. He obeys when the order is given by legitimate and knowledgeable authority. William Lennox has respect for his superiors when they've worked to put themselves there.
While Lennox is a laid back commander when they're not in the field, he respects the regulations. Except sometimes select members of the NEST, leaders of the other teams and units, would be exchanging witty criticism with the commander and shoot back "of course, Captain."
And Lennox would only reply amusedly, "I'm a Major now."
It's only with select members of NEST. One time someone else tried it, and the smile Lennox gave was tight and disapproving, and no one else tried it again. People become aware of the ambiguous floating 'Captain Lennox's team.
They can read the report, listen to the debrief, but that doesn't change the fact that they were not there; doesn't add the missing details or the deliberately hidden truths.
The Qatar Base was annihilated, for a period of time it was thought there had been no survivors. Captain Lennox's team had been pursued and attacked by an unknown enemy in the sands. The team made contact and was flown back state side, and all the information was locked down and put under top secret. Mission City never happened.
There was an Agency which didn't exist and Lennox has a reprimand for threatening a special agent, but the names of both the organization and the agent is not written down anywhere.
Mission City never happened.
The details to that blacked out file lies only with the Secretary of Defense John Keller, The Joint Chiefs and the President.
There are a thousand and one speculations on the internet about what happened that day; ranging from conspiracy theorists to the residents of Mission City who posts their recollections.
This is what Graham found out, the facts that are real: Aliens are real. They brought their war to Earth. The deciding battle was fought in Mission City. The Allspark was destroyed, the leftover fragment guarded under state of the art protection. Some Decepticons survived and more would be coming.
Anything else is mere speculation because no one will confirm anything.
But there is a specter, something unseen but exists. All the Autobots are accounted for in the NEST hangers, except one - a yellow Camaro which visits from time to time to report in person to Optimus Prime. The Autobots greet him like a beloved comrade; Lennox like a valuable friend.
The Camaro rolls straight into the hanger to speak with his fellow Autobots, but sometimes Lennox goes in to join them, and Epps. And some times one of them, those that had been with NEST before the beginning.
He is guarding something, but no one will clarify what.
Lennox has been seen leaning at the side of the car, speaking softly, and Epps will join him. The Camaro replies in broken spurts from radio broadcasts instead of speech like the other Autobots and the command officers just laugh.
Once Lennox asked "How are you doing?"And the yellow Camaro answered, "-killing time, we were young and restless, needed to unwind." before Master Sergeant Epps herded them away and out of hearing range. Lennox always tries to make time to speak with the Camaro.
Once, in a rare occurrence, Lennox went on a ride in the Camaro but the Major slid into the passenger seat. There was no talking, no negotiating, it seemed – known.
There is something unsaid in the silences between the old Captain Lennox's team, the unaccounted Autobot, and the denial from Optimus Prime and William Lennox for an appointment of an ambassador between the Autobots and humans.
Something exists in the amorphous space of everything unspoken; all of the soldiers know it. None of them received a recommendation to NEST by being unobservant.
Then the situation with the Decepticons escalates: Shanghai is evacuated, Optimus Prime records a message which reveals part of the enemies' larger plans, and the President appoints a liaison.
This is what Graham knows: Optimus Prime takes off one day, no one will reveal where he's gone. Mid afternoon all the Autobots roll out, without any orders from the NEST command. Major Lennox receives a call and the greatest Autobot they had ever known, who no Decepticon could take down, is brought back to the hanger in body only. Optimus fell in battle being outnumbered by Decepticons.
Optimus Prime is not a stupid nor overly prideful leader, he knows the knowledge of calling for back up and surviving to fight and win the war another day.
No one will reveal what Optimus died protecting.
While NEST is on orders to stand down, Major Lennox receives another phone call. Lennox and Epps speaks with the pilots alone and then quietly tells the rest of the soldiers that they are going to be heading to Egypt on the words of an unnamed source of intelligence. The word 'kid' ripples quietly through the members who had been under Major Lennox's command when he had been a Captain, and suddenly even if the rest of NEST won't follow, Captain Lennox's team is willing to risk their careers and lives to move 10 tons of dead robot half way around the world.
Right before battle commences on a terrain of hot desert sand in the middle of nowhere, Major Lennox reveals a name: Sam.
Sam, like the one that the Decepticons and the whole world are looking for. Sam, who is an unknown to NEST but not to the Autobots and the field command officers. Sam who is a civilian but carrying something intergalactic aliens are willing to go to war over.
In the land of sand, storm, and battle rain the precious cargo approaches.
Graham shoots and shouts, gives and follows and passes on orders from his commander and Lennox is running towards two civilians that have no reason to be present. The boy breaks away, running across the sand and is brought down. Even as Graham is struggling with the father, Lennox is pressing on the boy's chest with a fierce desperation – a refusal to believe that the boy is gone.
Graham knows the boy was clinically dead, the medics weren't able to restart his heart with electric pulses, but when they've given up – he stands and walks anyways. In the boy's, Sam's, hands a double horned object that does not originate from Earth glows. The resurrected becomes the resurrector as the dead boy climbs over the body of a fallen comrade and brings him back to life.
This is what Graham sees: a few days after the battle with the Fallen when everyone is regrouping from the upheaval, the yellow Camaro rolls into the Nellis Air base towards the hanger. Instead of transforming straight into its bipedal form like the other Autobots are, a car door swings opens and for the first time someone exits from the driver seat.
Sam Witwicky, freshman college boy and recent international fugitive, gets out and stands relaxed as the yellow automobile twists and turns and unfolds up and up into its other form.
Major William Lennox, Field Commander of NEST, pauses in his current task and then strides across the wide space towards the hanger, where the boy and his Autobot are being greeted.
"Sam!" Lennox is smiling, and so is Epps even as the Master Sergeant shakes his head, watching the Major clasp his hand on the shoulders of the young man.
The joy in Captain Lennox team's eyes is luminous.