SERIES: Imperfection Deviation
RATING: PG-13 (R for the very last scene and some strong f-words throughout the fic)
DISCLAIMER: None of the characters belong to me, sadly. They are owned by people with a lot more money :)
With regular access to the Ark came the equally regular access to the ship's main computer. All the knowledge and data stored in the vessel was slowly but safely transferred to the Autobot base in Nevada, simply called 'Nevada' now, as Yuma and Arctic had lost their 'base' addition.
One of the few humans allowed unlimited and unsupervised access to the data was Will Lennox. He had waited years for this possibility and he used it – to see what the data base contained on the symbols on his skin. The symbols who were too old for any of the mechs to understand or to read. The Ark contained part of what the ancient explorers of the Allspark had collected on its meaning, and there was a very large section on ancient Cybertronian.
It was already late and while mechs like Ratchet and Ironhide were working on their respective projects, the humans had mostly settled down for the night. Night shift had just come on and was doing their rounds. Will liked the quiet; it gave him enough time to just watch the files as they scrolled past him on the screen.
One caught his eye.
Then he copied it to the special laptop Ratchet had configured for human use. It stored immense amounts of data and while it had a wifi uplink, it was none a hacker from this planet could easily crack.
More data files were copied and at around four in the morning Lennox settled down in a corner of an unused area and called up what Ironhide had scanned off his body so many years ago. One had been a list of all the Sector Seven experiments, then there had been something like old Cybertronian texts about the birth of their race – walking history book anyone? – and then there had been the really, really old glyphs. Not cosmic code, just something akin to rune language. It was the language of the first Cybertronians. No one spoke it anymore, but like human scientists had studied ancient human languages, the Cybertronian scientists had found a way to translate the rudimentaries of their ancestors' rather complicated tongue.
Will let the laptop's search-and-comparison program run its course while he tried to understand the texts he now had finally access to.
"Huh," he murmured.
It was interesting. He had never delved that deeply into the actual creation story of the alien race. His main concern had been to learn their language and understand himself. Finding out that one of them didn't mind sharing his spark with a human being did that to a man. Today Will saw nothing alien or strange in his partnership with Ironhide; a few years back he had freaked over the easy acceptance of the mech that they were essentially having what humans would call 'sex' and what Cybertronians titled as 'sharing', which was not sex. Today Will understood. Back then he had nearly lost his mind over the differences.
"Hey, sorry," a voice startled him out of his reading.
Lennox looked up and found Sam Witwicky smiling sheepishly at him. The other man looked sleep rumpled and was clutching a cup of coffee and a notepad computer to his chest. A quick glance at his watch told Will it was eight in the morning.
"Looks like quiet corners are in demand today," the technopath remarked.
Will chuckled. "Yeah, kinda. I'm willing to share."
"No, it's cool. I can…" Sam looked suddenly interested, his mind apparently picking up on something. "Ark data base?" he hazarded a guess.
"Yep. It's interesting. They never really told us much about their origin. It sounds really mysterious and the first Cybertronians weren't really record keepers. Ever read it?"
Sam shrugged. "Not much. Not for lack of interest. It was more a lack of time." He sat down and placed his own notepad onto a couch table.
Lennox nodded. As their resident engineer and technopath, Sam had been very busy lately. First the healing of the Constructicons, then all that was connected to the reconstruction of the Ark, and finally the discovery of Prowl's almost dead protoform in Iceland. The enforced vacation had helped Sam settle a little, but now he was back in business.
The younger man sat down on the banged up old couch that made up the arrangement of comfortable but old furniture that had been collected in this room. No one knew what exactly to do with the space, so it was a general quiet zone for those who needed it, mostly Lennox and Sam.
"According to the texts Cybertron is really, really, really old, but no one knows how old. The mechs launched exploration parties into the core of their world, but they never came far. Some even lost their lives. The Allspark was discovered early on and studied ever since. No luck in translating the cosmic code."
"Which is frightening considering their abilities," Sam remarked.
Will nodded. Prime and the others had easily downloaded and learned all the languages of Earth, could adapt to changes with ease, but the Allspark was a mystery.
"There are several hints at the beginning of Cybertronian life. Looks like the Allspark created the first thirteen mechs that were called 'Primes' and from them a lot of the future generation came."
"But Cybertron was already formed by then."
"Yep. Freaky, huh? Someone built that planet and left the Allspark there. Millions of years ago."
Sam shrugged. "I can't wrap my head around dinosaurs on this planet either."
Lennox chuckled. "Same here. Anyway, those thirteen seemed to rule Cybertron for quite a while, then disappeared. Nothing was heard of them. Later on there were only two rulers, a Prime and a Lord Protector."
"Optimus and Megatron," Sam said softly. "The last two."
"Yep. The writing Ironhide scanned off my body has names in it. The program is still translating and looking for references. Seems like even a tiny piece of Allspark contains everything." Lennox looked a bit disturbed at that.
Sam met the dark eyes, something unspoken passing between them. If Will's body truly did contain more than what had already been shown to everyone, the future would be very, very interesting. And it explained why Soundwave was after the hybrid even if Lennox had none of the active Allspark powers.
"I don't recall any of this," the former Ranger said softly. "Nothing at all. If it is inside me, it's not really for me to access."
Sam chewed his lower lip. "Maybe one day?"
"Honestly, I don't want it. It's enough to look like this. The new guys immediately think I'm their lost Allspark and I'm not."
"So you're more of a library," Sam joked.
"Yeah. Probably. With some abilities."
The laptop pinged and Will read over the latest findings, frowning.
"What?" Sam wanted to know.
"Some of the writing on my back is translated as 'matrix'. Matrix for what, no clue. It's not a blueprint for protoforms or Allspark stuff. It's just… there. They could never really confirm the attempt of translation and interpretation from the first Cybertronians. It was passed down from generation to generation and some parts are lost." Will frowned. "Nothing new there. They were abysmal record keepers in the beginning."
"No idea what it might do?"
"But you have it on you. It just recently formed and it's permanent."
Will looked a bit more disturbed at that than before. "Yeah," was the quiet reply. "But I can't control what might be inside me. It comes in waves and nothing has hinted at healing or life-giving so far. My energy doesn't read as Allspark energy at all. My body changed, every cell is different, I'm no longer human, I can amass and release energy, but it's not like I am the cube."
"I know you don't want to think about this, but if the Allspark dissolved inside you to hide in every cell… one day something might happen that's… well..."
Lennox met the serious brown eyes, then looked away. "No," he said quietly.
"No! The Allspark dissolved and I'm not harboring it inside me." Eyes started to flare blue. "You've got part of it inside you, too, Sam! As does Jazz! Think of Stark's changes! He had Allspark code on that strange cocoon and now the glyphs appear on his undergarment. He has markings like a protoform!"
Sam was silent for a long moment, then nodded. "Yeah. When it comes down to it, it's possible. I was hit by backwash, you by the physical remainder of it. We both bear the scars. Tony played around with Cybertronian P-cells and mixed them with the Extremis program."
The two hybrid humans looked at each other, fear reflecting in both their faces. Will finally gazed at one hand, let energy flow over it. The runes rose on the back of his fingers, elegant, alien lines that spoke of what he was.
"One heck of a scar," Lennox whispered, then slammed the laptop shut. "I need some space."
He left and Sam watched him go, unease spreading in his stomach.
It was nothing out of the ordinary for Sam to get a check-up from Ratchet. At least the medic had a higher success rate than with Will. Lennox just didn't scan well. He reflected scans and sometimes painfully so. Sam was still human, to a degree, and his body didn't reflect anything.
Over the last ten or so years Ratchet had kept track of his physical development. Especially after he had developed the technopathy. Regular examinations were set up and a complete body check was the result of hours of letting Ratchet's machines do their trick. Sam had to consciously refrain from logging on to them to keep the boredom away, since Ratchet also asked him, politely, not to reach out for Bumblebee unless he was about to scan this particular occasion.
Sam had early on discovered that following Ratchet's orders got him out of med bay faster.
This time, though, something was different. Ratchet felt 'disturbed' and he was running checks and comparing notes from prior exams.
"Ratchet?" Sam asked softly.
A/N: for the nitpickers, I'm using the thirteen Primes mentioned in the novel to the second movie, not the reduced number in the actual movie. I only saw the movie two times in Iceland, now waiting for the DVD, so I know the book a lot better and fell back on what little information was given there. Since the movie isn't truly part of my 'verse, I'm only using what fits here, what I can mix with my AU characters. Don't expect the Fallen any time soon :P