Mikaela watched in wonder as Optimus Prime approached the humans treating Sam. Major Lennox came up behind her shoulder and said in a low voice, "And I thought he was impressive before all this."
"I know what you mean," Mikaela answered, still following Optimus with her eyes as he crouched down to speak with Sam. "When I heard that we'd lost him, I just…I don't think I'd ever felt more disheartened in my life. And then to see him come back from the dead."
Lennox half-laughed, shaking his head. "I'll remember that moment 'til my dying day. The whole world changed right then and there. It's not like we were exactly BFFs before, but now…I don't know how to even approach him or what I would say."
Mikaela smiled a little. "There's something more than grandeur surrounding him."
Ratchet crouched down beside them. "There is indeed."
"What do you think it feels like?" Mikaela asked, looking up at the medic. "Dying like that and then coming back?"
"Well, not having any personal experience myself, I can only speculate, but painful comes to mind. And disorienting, I should imagine, though come to think of it, he didn't hesitate at all. From the moment he regained consciousness, he seemed perfectly aware of what must be done."
They lapsed into awed silence, remembering.
Lennox was the first to break it. "How does his…resurrection change things for the Autobots?"
Ratchet settled into a lower crouch, his expression introspective. "Not much. We'll keep a closer optic on him, I think. And prepare for what's to come as best we can. As stunning as this all is, Megatron and Starscream both got away. This war isn't over, as much as I wish it were." In a softer voice, he said, "He's already suffered so much."
Lennox frowned at the thought. "But they'll be intimidated at least, won't they? I mean, they pretty much ran away with their tails between their legs."
"Yes. I think today's events have bought us some much-needed time. Time to observe how his…return will play out. I have no idea how this will change him physically."
Lennox gestured to the heavily-armored Autobot leader. "I think it's kind of obvious, isn't it?"
Ratchet looked down at him in surprise. "You noticed it, too?"
Mikaela gave the Autobot a wry smile. "It's pretty hard not to."
"I'm impressed. I thought only my systems would be sensitive enough to pick up on the subtle changes." His gaze, like the others', was drawn to the triage again. "They're so…indistinct, but I can't help feeling like this is just the beginning. So many questions that only time will answer. How it will impact his life. His growth. His relationships with others. Especially yours, Mikaela."
The humans both turned to stare up at Ratchet. The Autobot's gaze was still distant.
"Mine?" Mikaela stammered. "His relationship with me?"
Ratchet was unruffled. "Of course."
Lennox looked over at Prime and then at the boy standing near him. "Are we all talking about Optimus?"