Title: Rising Sun, Falling Star
Chapter Warnings: Bad language
Disclaimer: I do not own Transformers, the any quotes or lyrics, or song titles in anyway, shape, or form. Basically, nothing you recognize is mine.
Chapter 5: I'm Not Me
Sanity is madness put to good uses. -George Santayana, Little Essays
Sam felt his body flush before going painfully cold at the bureaucrat's words, his pulse pounding painfully in his head as his thoughts chased each other, 'They can't do that. They can't just kick the Autobots off the planet! They need a home and we need them, they're our friends! I don't want to loose Bee! I can't lose Bee!' The world felt like it had started spinning as everything became glaringly bright and painfully loud, the pain in his head became worse and there was a sharp metallic taste in his mouth, 'No, no, no, no.'
"No." It took him a moment to realize that he had spoken the word aloud as world snap back into focus. He also realized that he had climbed up to where Will and Galloway were.
Galloway sneered at him, "You don't have a say in the matter."
"You have the power to shut down NEST." Sam stated calmly as if Galloway had said nothing, his voice sounding very far away to his ears. He felt strange, sort of disconnected, as if it wasn't him that was speaking but it was him that was speaking, him but not him. "I can see you having the power to banish the Autobots from US soil but from Earth?"
Sam shook his head and then grab the railing as sense of vertigo hit, "So, do keep in mind that there are other countries who would welcome the Autobots with open arms. Russia I'm sure would love to have the 'Bots on payroll, China as well and given the amount Mecha Anime there is, I bet Japan would be thrilled to pieces with the Autobots and those are the ones I can name off the top of my head, I'm sure there's others." He squeezed the railing, feeling the metal give under his hand, trying to focus. "I'm not even going to mention the paranormal enclaves scattered across the globe that are not associated with any of the human countries or located on any map."
As the significance of that statement sunk into the pen pusher's brain, Optimus made his own comment, "We have fought side by side on the battlefield with the soldiers of NEST for two years and wish to continue to working with them. If you banish us from US soil, we will respect your choice to refuse our help…even when the Decepticons attack."
'Liar, liar, pants on fire!' Sam bit the inside of his mouth to keep from giggling as statement struck him as funny for some odd reason. Probably because he knew that Optimus would swoop in and save the day even if they did kick him off the planet. It was just the way he was. However, giggling would not only be inappropriate, it would undermine the seriousness of that statement.
"If you would share your advancements in weaponry," Galloway tried again, "we could fight the Decepticons on our own."
"No, we couldn't," Sam said, bringing the attention back to himself, "The United States has one of the best military forces in the world with brightest and the bravest soldiers in their ranks. One of the reasons they are the best is because they know when to ask for help." He ignored the strange figments dancing at the edged of his vision, "If Decepticons were merely another human enemy, I know our boys would kick their collective asses and send them home crying without breaking a sweat." Sam paused as he heard some light chuckling, "Nevertheless, the Decepticons are not another human enemy and are unlike anything seen on earth."
"So what are we suppose to do, just roll out the welcome mat for a bunch of NBEs who've destroyed their own planet?" Galloway argued, pointing at Optimus, "He's already sent out an open invitation to any of his kind to come to earth. Without permission, I might add."
"Actually," Sam replied calmly, "he did have permission."
"Lady liberty," Sam replied with a sickly smile, "To paraphrase: Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. No where does it state that you have to be human or organic." He took a deep breath as his heart felt like it was pounding through his chest and his eyes were going to fall out of their sockets, "Whatever else the Autobots might be or will be in the future, at this moment they are homeless, refugeesin need of a home, intergalactic refugees, true, but refugees none the less."
Optimus watched the proceeding with his normal calm, unruffled air with a hint of pride in his stance. Will grinned behind Galloway and gave Sam a thumbs up in approval. Galloway himself just stared at Sam, obviously not expecting some 'punk kid' to challenge and trump him.
Sam just smiled, swaying slightly thinking, 'Maybe I should chew on dead Decepticons more often.'
Ratchet was a cranky old mech with a hot temper that hid a compassionate spark. Strangely, Bumblebee found his grumpy demeanor comforting, reminding him of his sparkling days when his worse injuries were metal dings and paint scrapes, back when Ratchet make everything better in a few moments with his usual grumbles, nagging and snarky comments.
However, at this point in time there were no grumbles, no nagging or snarky comments inside the med-bay, just the sounds of work being done as he repaired Bumblebee's injuries. This disturbed Bee more than anything else did; long experience told him a silent Ratchet was a concerned Ratchet and a concerned Ratchet did not bore well. He also knew he had to wait until Ratchet was ready to reveal whatever was bothering him, that prodding him before then would do no good.
Finally breaking the heavy silence, Ratchet stated, "I have some concerns about Sam."
So did Bee and to have his thought echoed in medic made it seem worse. The vicious way Sam had killed Hardtop had brought up bad memories from the early days of the war, when Megatron would consume the sparks of his fallen foes. To see Sam do something similar was…distressing to say the least as well as his pointed refusal to talk about it.
"I found something odd during my scans." Ratchet continued, "There are a nanites in his bloodstream."
/Nanites?/ Nanites were the Cybertronian version of a white blood cell but more infinitely complex. Alarmed, Bee replied over the inter-Autobot frequencies instead of sound bites, /Where did they come from and how did they get in his blood?/
"The nanites are made of an odd material I've never seen before, it seem to have properties similar to the metal the Cube was made of." Ratchet replied, voice heavy with concern, "Given those similarities of properties, I would guess he acquired them when he held the Allspark during its destruction."
/Will they hurt him?/
"At this moment, no." Ratchet began putting up his tools to give his hands something to do, "While they are replicating, they're technically dormant and his body isn't treating them as an infection, most likely because they are inactive."
/If they become active?/
"I'm not sure." Ratchet stated, knowing his was distressing the younger 'bot and hating it, "Organics so slagging fragile anyways and Sam's half-breed nature makes him harder to diagnose, simply because there's no way to tell if his system is going react like a human's, a dragon's or something in between. His immune system may attack or continue to ignore the nanites if they become active. The nanites themselves may turn destructive." Ratchet continued hating own ignorance, "The slagging things aren't responding to my attempts at contact so I couldn't disable them if his immune system does attack or even reprogram them if they're destructive."
Bee was not at all happy with that answer and his spark sputtered in fear for Sam, /Is there nothing that can be done?/
"We would have to filter his blood to remove them, which may not even work because we'd have to drain and filter all of it. If we miss even one, it'll simply keep replicating. We could hurt or even kill him by accident. I'll continue researching it." Ratchet sighed and shook his head, "If only we had Perceptor with us, this is more his area than mine." He gave Bee a serious look, "I'll leave the decision of telling Sam up to you, though I feel it would distress him needlessly if he knew at this stage. This means you're going to have to monitor his health closely and drag him here kicking and screaming if you have too."
Bee nodded, /as if I'd do anything less./
Though he'd never admit it, Sam missed Agent Simmons of Sector Seven. The man had been twitchy, paranoid jackass but he had been a knowledgeable twitchy, paranoid jackass, which in Sam's opinion made the difference. Simmons had good reasons not to trust paranormals or the Autobots, reasons that Sam could understand if not agree with. While most of their conversations ended in shouting and name-calling, Sam had enjoyed needling the twitchy Agent. He got the feeling the Agent enjoyed aggravating him as well.
While Sam had yet to forgive Sector Seven for trying to turn Bee into their own pet science project, if their reinstatement meant that he'd never have to deal with people like Galloway ever again, Sam would be their biggest supporter.
"So tell me, how much trouble would NEST be in if Galloway were to suddenly vanish," Sam asked as he set his tray down on the table and all but collapsed into the plastic chair, "say kicking and screaming down a large, scaly throat?"
To say the meeting with Galloway and the JCS had been stressful and unpleasant would have been an understatement. Not only did Galloway succeed in being a complete bastard throughout the proceedings, he made it very clear that he disapproved of not only the Autobots but of the paranormals in general and Sam in particular.
Sam suspected that it wasn't just his relationship with Bee Galloway disapproved of but that in combination with Sam's half-breed status and that being bisexual (though 'omnisexual' might be more appropriate, given his relationship with Bee). While he would play down his sexuality if it made people he liked or respected uncomfortable, Sam normally didn't care what most thought of him, especially not some stuffy pen pusher. However, this pen pusher could not only make his life miserable but for his friends as well is what made all the difference.
"First, don't say things like that." Will scolded lightly as he took his seat, "The last thing we need is for that to be misconstrued as a death threat towards a superior-"
"He's not superior to me, he's merely higher ranking than I am." Sam interrupted, gesturing with a fry. His headache was gone and the world no longer felt like it was spinning, "I'm not threatening him Will, but a lot of people won't put up with kind of attitude for long. He's either going to get hurt or end up a meal if he doesn't pull his head out of his ass."
The meeting had ended about thirty-minutes ago, which, while unpleasant as hell, hadn't been a complete disaster, however. Between Sam and Optimus, they managed to gloss over the Twin's stupidity and also got the 'quarantine' time for the other Autobots all but eliminated. Will had basically dragged Sam to the almost empty cafeteria (the correct term, he supposed, would be mess hall since they were on a military base) afterwards, stating that he looked hungry and would need all his strength meeting the other Autobots.
'He was probably worried I would eat Galloway,' Sam thought, shivering in disgust, 'Yuck! As if. '
The mess hall's menu catered not only to humans but to non-humans as well. Out of respect for Will, Sam kept his dinner choices to the human menu since the other feature items that human wouldn't very appetizing such as various types of raw meat that were heated enough to simulate living body temperature. He did however get a large slice of blood-chocolate cake. It wasn't as good as his mother's (who enriched her batter with sheep's blood rather than cow or chicken) but it was still pretty good.
"Eating a government official would definitely be a disbanding offense I think," Will replied, taking a sip of his drink, "not to mention that whole going-to-jail-for-murder thing."
"With all the shape-shifters here, we could make it look like wild dogs got into his office, then it would be an act of dog." Sam smirked before becoming serious again, "Joking aside, couldn't we, I don't know, send a video tape of his asshole-ry to the President with a note saying 'Do something about your boy before he ends up the blue plate special?'"
Will snorted in amusement, "That's an interesting idea but I don't think it would work."
"How about a sexual harassment complaint?" Sam asked as he rubbed the back of his neck trying to loosen the tense muscles, "He seemed way too interested in my and Bee's relationship."
"He could claim he's concern with the relationship because of Bee's classified status and the possible security risk if you two broke up." At Sam's offended look, he pointed out, "People do stupid things after a bad break up."
"You have a point," Sam conceded, sighing, "So I'm just to ignore Director Dickhead saying that I'm an Alien Sex-Toy?" Though he hadn't stated it that bluntly, Galloway had heavily implied that Sam was assuring the Autobots cooperation with his body. That is to say, he thought Sam was sexing-up all the 'Bots, not just Bee. While part of Sam was both amused and flattered to be thought of as that good, another part was annoyed the odious official thought he had a right to make such comments and yet another was traumatized that Galloway was thinking about his bedroom skills
"At this point, I'm sorry to say it would probably be best," Will's shoulders slumped, obviously as unhappy as Sam was, "He has too much power and NEST is in a precarious position at the moment."
"Meaning if we're too much trouble they'll shut us down."
Thoroughly annoyed with situation, Sam could only comment, "Well, fuck." Rubbing his temples, his pulse pounded through them as his headache threaten to come back, Sam asked, "Don't take this the wrong way but how in the hell did you humans become the dominate species on the planet?"
"Because….we are so very pretty." Will gestured to his face with a smile, "Look at that chiseled jaw."
Sam chuckled, "You have no idea do you?"
"Not a clue." They both had to laugh over that until shouting shattered the light atmosphere.
Sam and Will abandoned their food as they raced to the door. They were greeted by the sight of a giant alien robot having what looked to be a complete freak out. It didn't appear to be an attack, since he wasn't actively going after anyone, racing full speed one way then jerkily changing direction while yelling something in Cybertronian. Several smaller transformers, (dark blue, purple and pink respective) were trying to slow him down or at least keep him from hitting something that were join by a larger electric blue one.
"Is that someone we know?" Sam pointed to the red one that was having the freak out, not knowing if he should intervene. The red one looked rather dangerous, with huge swords on each arm and wheels for feet. Thankfully, most of the organics were staying out of his way, letting the other Cybertronians handle it.
"Yeah, that's Sideswipe." Will responded, watching as if he didn't know if he should interfere with whatever was happening either.
"Is he drunk?" Sam asked transforming into his dragon form quickly just in case as Sideswipe made another quick turn, sparks flying as he used to swords for balance. Will didn't answer; instead, he grabbed the radio from his belt and began bellowing questions into it.
About that time, Sideswipe-the-freaked-out-transformer's leg just fell off completely as he made another turn. Losing his balance, he fell and his momentum skidded him across the concrete in a shower of sparks. From what Sam could see, the leg didn't look as if it had been torn off but rather dismantled. That's when his sharper hearing caught in the familiar high, giggle-like sound, 'Aw hell.'
"Call Ratchet and some of the witches!" Sam told Will as he started running over to the fallen transformer, "Tell them we have a Gremlin infestation!"
The others had pinned Sideswipe down as best they could, obviously trying not to hurt him or get hurt themselves as he thrashed. The electric blue one managed to disengage Sideswipe's swords so there wasn't any worry about being cut or stabbed by the flailing weapons. When Sam got close to the struggling transformer, one of the smaller ones (pink) trying to hold onto Sideswipe's arm, told him to back off before he got hurt in a feminine voice just as the arm lifted her off her feet. He ignored her, helping pin the arm back down, yelling at Sideswipe in passable Autobot, "English! Speak English!"
"It's-It's-It's-It's tear-r-ring m-e-e-e apart-t-t-t!" Sideswipe stuttered as his body bucked.
"What is he talking about?" The electric blue transformer asked from the other side.
"Gremlins!" Sam answered before commanding Sideswipe, "Tell me where they are!"
"In-in-insid-d-d-e!" Sideswipe answer jerkily. Several panels on his chest moved and slid opened, revealing the creature wreaking havoc on his insides. There was only one that could be seen but there might have been more hidden inside his body. Nevertheless, this one was causing the most traumatic damage however, getting dangerously close to his spark-casing. Unfortunately, the Gremlin was too dangerous to the other Autobots for them to pull the little monster out so that meant Sam would have to do it. However, the opening was too small for his hand or at least his hand in dragon form.
"What do you think we're doing!"
"I have to get that thing out!" Sam climbed into a better position. Waiting until the thrashing eased, he threw himself forward as he transformed back into his human shape as quickly as he could. It soon became apparent that he had not thought this course of action through.
His now clawless hands slid across the slick surface of the metal and he couldn't stop himself from pitching forward head first into the opening of Sideswipe's chest too fast to control. Thankfully, there wasn't an abundance of sharp corners to poke him or razor blade edges to cut him as he managed to stop himself. As close as he was to the spark-case however, he could feel that warmth and vibrant hum of Sideswipe's spark nearby and had the strangest impulse to stroke the exterior of his spark casing, to get a better feel of that wonderful hum that came from it. Sideswipe's body jerking snapped Sam out of the trance, keeping him from breaking what was probably a big taboo.
He saw the Gremlin trying to bury itself in some wires. 'Come here you little cretin!' As Sam grabbed it, Sideswipe moved again, sending him further inside, the high-pitched scream of the Gremlin now echoed more loudly in the confined space as it bit and clawed his hand trying to get away. With a quick jerk, he snapped its neck, killing it before it could escape. As he tried to get out he realized a pair of panels had close on his hips. Thankfully, it wasn't hard enough to hurt but now his feet were straight up in the air. Not only was the blood rushing to his head, he started to feel his claustrophobia rear its ugly head.
"A little help here!" he called out, kicking his feet, "I'm stuck!"
So yeah, I did some rewriting. Dark of the Moon gave me some new ideas for this fic.
As for what's wrong with Sam and the whole issue with the nanites? You'll just have to wait and see.
Sorry if the pace of this fic is a little slow but one of my complaints about the film was that it moved too fast and there wasn't enough story development. It should pick up a bit in the next chapters.