Welcome to the Memoirs of a Really Old Guy, where I indulge my obsession with the world's oldest pain-in-the-ass Immortal by writing out a few of the plot bunnies he inflicts on me. I doubt any of them will ever be fully written out, as that would involve actually watching the entire Highlander series for research purposes, and I'm not sure I want to put myself through that. I don't suppose it comes in a book form? Anyway, if any reader happens on this and feels the urge to continue one of these, contact me and I'll give all my permission and blessings.
More Than Meets the Eye
(Highlander/Transformers: 2007 Movie-verse)
Disclaimer: I own nothing pertaining to the Transformers or Highlander franchises.
The AllSpark was gone.
It was only days after Mission City that the loss truly sank in. The centerpiece of their war, the thing Cybertronian had fought Cybertronian for, vorn after vorn, the very tool of their creation… gone. Gone in what, had it not been for the AllSpark's presence, would have been nothing more than a minor skirmish on an unimportant planet in the far reaches of the galaxy.
Though still mired in their shock, the Autobots did not spend those days idly. Optimus Prime engaged in seemingly endless negotiations with Secretary Keller, and through him the President of the United States. Optimus wished to use Earth as a rendezvous point for the scattered remnants of the Autobot forces. The humans weren't about to allow giant alien robots to go gallivanting about their country without limiting their movements as much as possible, especially when they were so determined not to let on to the general public that said giant alien robots even existed.
Such a pity, that "swarm of meteors" that had wreaked such destruction on Mission City. The news channels were full of sob stories and very carefully edited videos of the incident. Anyone who claimed anything different had happened was being dismissed as a crackpot.
While Optimus negotiated, the other three Autobots continued about their duties. The damaged parts of the city had been evacuated, allowing Ratchet and Ironhide to assist in combing through the rubble for any more survivors, and cleaning up as best they could. Once a couple of days had passed, though, news crews and recovery workers could no longer be kept out, and the two Autobots were forced to go to ground, so to speak. Ratchet's alt mode kept him busy enough as one of the city's ambulances. Ironhide found himself, amidst much grumbling, acting as chauffeur for the few soldiers who knew about them. It was awkward at first, neither party quite sure what to make of the other, but it wasn't long before the Topkick and the soldiers were comfortably talking shop.
Bumblebee, of course, was fulfilling his self-appointed duty of standing guard over Sam Witwicky. The human child spent the first few days after Mission City kept under observation in a military hospital, with an anxious Camaro camped out in the parking lot. With as many times as Sam had been tossed around during the battle, the doctors were concerned about internal bruising or bleeding. Sam had come through remarkably unscathed, though, and with only bruises and scrapes to show for it, he was finally released to the custody of his increasingly shrill parents. Neither of whom knew the true events surrounding Mission City, and who were very confused by "the government's replacement" of their son's beat-up old car with a concept Camaro worth a significant fraction of a year's pay. The Witwickys, still worried about their son, refused to let him out of their sight for another couple of weeks.
All in all, it was quite some time before Sam and Bumblebee could meet up with the other Autobots on Lookout Point. It was an incredible relief to be out of the house, and both of them had been looking forward to seeing everyone again, but their almost giddy mood disappeared when they found Ironhide missing, and Optimus and Ratchet deep in serious discussion.
"What's up?" Sam asked, looking up at Optimus. "Did more Autobots show up? Or Decepticons?"
"No, Sam, it will still be some time before any others arrive. Even those who might have already received my message must still travel to your planet." Optimus knelt to make discussion with the human easier. Bumblebee had mentioned that being forced to continuously look up at the much taller Cybertronians could cause physical discomfort for Sam's species. "We were speculating at the possible causes for some data that has recently come to light."
Sam leaned back against Bee's leg, one hand absently patting it. "Yeah? Interesting data, or worrying data? I take it it's not, you know, the world's-about-to-end data, 'cause I'd think there'd be a lot more panicking going on if it was."
He heard Bee chuckle above him, a quiet chirping sound, but Optimus just shook his head. "The data is very interesting, but potentially a cause for concern. Are you aware that the AllSpark emitted a very distinctive spectrum of energy?"
"No…" Sam frowned. "Wait, if it did, why couldn't you guys just track it that way? Why all that stuff with the glasses?"
The Autobot shook his head again. "Normally, we could. However, your atmosphere has some very unique properties, and the AllSpark's energies resist dissipation to begin with. That is part of how our Sparks are formed. The AllSpark was present on your world for so long that its energy suffused your atmosphere in an even enough fashion that its presence could only be narrowed down to this continent."
Ratchet spoke up for the first time, and Sam shivered as he realized the 'bot had been distracted with running scans of his person. He hated it when Ratchet did that- or, at least, he was coming to realize he hated it. "That energy has lingered unexpectedly in certain areas of your world. You yourself were one of these places, but it has mostly since dissipated in your case. I project the energy will be completely gone within another two weeks."
He knew he was gaping, but he couldn't help it. "What!" Sam yelped. "And just when were you going to tell me this?"
"It could not have harmed you, Sam," Optimus soothed. "I requested that Bumblebee monitor the situation just in case, but we truly believed no harm would come to you, and that is indeed the case."
"I'll take care of you, don't be sad, don't be blue," Bee sang in agreement.
It still wasn't okay. It really wasn't okay. But that was going to be a really long discussion, and Sam had a curfew. He wasn't going to spend the first free time they had in an argument. "Later. We'll come back to that later. You said there are some places it's still hanging around?"
"If places are the correct term. The level of energy is weak relative to the AllSpark itself, but is for the most part stable and falls within strict boundaries. We might have assumed that there were simply geographic anomalies gathering the energy, but the area inhabited by the energy is very small, and is mobile."
Sam tried to imagine that. Maybe if they described it well enough, he could match something up. "Okay… so it's small and moving. How small?"
"The energy is concentrated in a concentric field that varies slightly in diameter, but averages approximately the size of a single building. It is weakest at the boundary, and strongest in an area a little larger than yourself. The speed at which the fields travel also varies, but at least once one has been transported by jet airplane, and transportation within vehicles is common." Optimus projected a small-scale hologram, with a disk of blue light superimposed over the image of Sam's house and yard. The edges were a very pale blue, while the center looked like a glowing, solid sapphire. "We are currently tracking four hundred and twenty-two such fields."
"There is another characteristic that puzzles us," Ratchet added. "Twice in the week we have been monitoring the energy fields, two fields have met and one disappeared, while the other grew stronger by a minuscule amount."
After a minute Sam sighed and shook his head. "Sorry, but I can't think of anything electronic that'd do any of that."
"Nor can we," Optimus admitted. "Ironhide has gone to observe the strongest of the fields, as it is fairly close by."
Sam plopped down in the grass cross-legged so he could put his elbows on his knees and rest his chin in his hands. "If one field is absorbing another… how strong would the last field be if you got it to absorb all the others?"
The Autobots didn't visibly glance at each other, but he still got the feeling they were exchanging meaningful looks over his head. "Still nowhere near the strength of the whole AllSpark, but, perhaps, powerful enough to perform some of its functions."
"The Decepticons- they'll be able to sense the fields too. And they'll go after the strongest one, and make it absorb all the others." Sam didn't ask what functions those might be. He didn't want to hope that it might be able to kindle new Sparks, that just maybe he hadn't doomed his friends' race to extinction when he destroyed the AllSpark.
"Indeed." Optimus nodded gravely.
"We must hope Ironhide reaches it first."
It looked like it was going to rain. But he was out of beer, not to mention something to make for dinner, so Methos muttered a curse to himself and pulled his coat tighter. He really needed to remember to pick up an umbrella at some point, given how often Seacouver's skies decided to pour down on its inhabitants. There'd just been so many distractions lately…
No one knew what was going on. It was as though the very air had changed, and was still changing- Methos had felt it, weeks ago, like both the lifting of a heavy blanket from his senses and the loss of some spark of vitality whenever he breathed in. Immortals the world over had reacted to it, according to Joe, and at first they had all feared the Gathering had come. But time had passed without anything else out of the ordinary occurring, and finally Immortals seemed to be settling back into their normal patterns.
It was still unsettling, though, whenever Methos felt the brush of Macleod's Quickening against his. His range had increased enormously, as had Mac's- though not nearly to the same extent as Methos's- and now he could feel the other Immortal across half the breadth of Seacouver. It was if there had been something interfering with the signal, and now that something had been removed. He wasn't entirely pleased. Sure, it would come in handy as a better first warning system, but Methos worried a bit over the potential loss in accuracy. It didn't do much good to know when another Immortal entered your city, only to then be incapable of avoiding them.
There were damp patches on the sidewalk still from yesterday's rain, and Methos wondered yet again what he was doing living in a place where moss grew on you if you stayed still long enough. Macleod and Joe were here, yes, but it wasn't as though he visited them all that often. The University was decent, but there were other schools of similar caliber in places with much more amenable climates. And as soon as the Highlander had moved in Seacouver became as much Immortal Central as Paris had been. So really, with so many arguments against staying, why wasn't he on the next plane to somewhere tropical? It was about time for Adam Pierson to take a swan dive off the nearest bridge anyway; he really was pushing it, getting sloppy. Too many years in one persona wasn't a good thing for you, it made you sentimental.
A chill ran down his spine, and Methos shivered. Or maybe that was the paranoia talking. Ever since the world had changed- a shift in the magnetic field, or in the composition of the atmosphere, whatever the hell it was- there was a constant feeling of eyes on his back. He might have thought the Watchers had finally tumbled to his little dual identity of Watcher and Immortal and assigned him a tail, except hacking their system (what Joe never knew wouldn't hurt him) showed they were still as clueless as ever. Methos had cautiously brought up the question over a beer at Joe's, and learned that he wasn't the only Immortal feeling the sensation of eyes. With no other proof, he had to conclude it was yet another side effect of the change.
With another glance up at the overcast skies, he set off down the sidewalk towards the nearest convenience store. If he hurried, he might actually get there and back with beer and dinner in tow without even getting damp. It was a fairly forlorn hope, but still possible.
Down the street, in the other direction was parked a black-and-white with an unnaturally still driver. Even if Methos had looked that way, there was no way he could have known its attention was focused solely on him.
A/N: I'm surprised no one else has yet connected the Allspark energy with Quickenings, or recognized the similarities between the abruptness of an animated Nokia phone with a pre-Immortal foundling out of nowhere. There had to be some kind of side effect from the Allspark being on Earth for all those years, after all. Look at what it did to Cybertron. And the Transformers theme song, "more than meets the eye". If that doesn't say "Adam Pierson", I don't know what does.
Obviously, Revenge of the Fallen is being ignored, in no small part because I still haven't gotten around to watching it. The possibilities of the first movie are so much more interesting anyway.
21 January 2011