Well After Two
Title: Well After Two
Part: The Sixth (Well After Twelve AM)
Fandom: Transformers (2007 Movie)
Disclaimer: No implied ownership, no financial gain, only fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Sam, Bee, Arcee, Skyblast, Camshaft, Prowl, and the mystery guest.
Summary: Arcee glanced down at herself, touching the singed spot on her side. Sam frowned - he hadn't even realized that Arcee had been injured.
Notes: This unofficially takes place in the 'Target Exclusive' alter-continuity of the movie-verse (where Jazz lives and is sporting a sexy G1 redeco, the Decepticons have ties to corporate America, and scouts are everywhere).
Getting to his feet, Sam was happy he'd had plenty of practice in running for his life.
"Sam!" Bumblebee's voice was barely audible over the roar of the engines of the gigantic white... space jet thing that was hovering over them. It made him momentarily think of the Bugs Bunny cartoon with the airplane stopping just before crashing - air brakes. The big white space jet had air brakes...
Arcee was talking quickly in Cybertronian. Sam could see lights begin to turn on in the houses nearby. It had to be well after midnight.
They were still alive, so obviously it was a friendly transforming robot.
Awkwardly, it landed on the sand, transforming quickly and taking all of a couple steps forward to drag Skyblast onto the beach. He (since Sam was fairly sure such a creature would be a 'he') didn't say a word before transforming again and offering a cargo hatch as 'Bee and Arcee stumbled out of the water.
"Come on, Sam," Arcee said. He guessed that she was smiling for the briefest of seconds before she and Bumblebee began dragging Skyblast up the ramp and into the dark cargo-hold of the white space jet.
Grabbing his bag and trying to follow at the safest distance to his ears - Skyblast's legs seemed mostly useless and the sound of metal against metal was painful - Sam followed. He was a little afraid he'd get used to a life with the Autobots and eventually fishing robots out of lakes and being rescued by...
The thought was interrupted by the clang of the cargo door closing and an immediate takeoff that knocked Sam off his feet. 'Bee caught him easily, holding him close against his chest for a few seconds until they were high enough in the air that Sam's ears popped.
Sam swore, mostly without meaning to and just a little because it seemed appropriate.
"We should be at... cruising altitude," Bumblebee said as he set Sam down. "Though I wouldn't suggest wandering around the cabin too much."
"Very funny," Sam said as he looked over to where Arcee was carefully trying to get Skyblast into a sitting position.
"How bad is it?" Skyblast asked as Arcee tentatively touched something that was sparking blue.
"Ratchet'll patch you up," Sam said. "He can do that, right?"
"Yes," Arcee said. "And I believe our current benefactor will be equally helpful."
Sam turned from where he was marveling at the hole in Skyblast's lower torso and froze for a moment before remembering that the pilot had not wandered off - the pilot and the plane were one in the same and could easily do two things at once.
"Rescuer," Arcee corrected as she stood to address the tall, sturdy hologram in the white and red flight suit. "More than once."
The hologram smiled and then looked over at Skyblast and then back to Arcee. "Looks like I missed all of the fun."
"Probably for the better," Arcee said almost softly. "I don't... I'll tell you when we land. Can you look at Skyblast?"
"Needs a few new wires and some paint," the white jet - pilot (Sam wasn't about to interrupt for an introduction) said. "So do you."
Arcee glanced down at herself, touching the singed spot on her side. Sam frowned - he hadn't even realized that Arcee had been injured.
"Arcee?" he asked without meaning to speak. "Bumblebee, are you okay?
"I have sand in places I do not want sand," 'Bee replied as he squirmed a bit to demonstrate. "Otherwise, Sam, I am fine."
"So you're Sam Witwicky," the jet said as he looked away from a slightly closer examination of Skyblast. "It's an honor to meet you."
"Just how long have you been in this system?" Arcee near-interrupted.
"Long enough to begin exploring," the jet replied almost wistfully. "Not long enough to finish."
"Sam," 'Bee said after a few seconds of silence passed between them all, "I'd like you to meet Skyfire, an explorer and scientist."
There was something in Bumblebee's tone that was unspoken and Sam was surprised that he caught it. But he considered Bumblebee amongst his closest friends, so he was supposed to notice little things... Yet Sam couldn't help still feeling mostly in the dark. So much was being tiptoed around and usually the Autobots didn't tiptoe.
Skyfire - the pilot version - glanced down at his hand before offering it to Sam. A little curious, Sam returned the gesture without expecting the firm, friendly handshake.
"Hey!" Sam wasn't really sure how he'd managed to say anything - he was fairly sure his mouth was just hanging open. Unless he'd seriously made a mistake and there was indeed a pilot involved, Sam knew he'd just found an exceptionally skilled holo... creator. He'd have to think of a word for that.
"A third form, if I may call it that, is exceptionally useful due to my size," Skyfire explained as he released Sam.
"Then get over here and fix me," Skyblast interjected. "Or at least disconnect a couple of sensors - this is starting to hurt."
"Sam, could you help me with that?" Skyfire asked as he rested a hand on Sam's shoulder. "Unfortunately there's a line-of-sight rule with this pseudo-body."
"I know," Sam said. "Arcee explained it to me. Was it you that she was stranded with?"
Skyfire nodded. "That was an unpleasant yet fruitful learning experience. Now, if you'll just go over to Skyblast and reach up into that nasty hole... Don't worry about burning yourself - the lake should have taken care of that. Perhaps he's accumulated some local aquatic life, however..."
"I am not full of aquatic life," Skyblast shot back. "And don't just grab things inside of me."
Sam frowned and glanced back at Bumblebee. But 'Bee was distracted - he seemed to be having a silent discussion with a very upset looking Arcee.
"Maybe I should have you disconnect his vocal processor instead," Skyfire commented as Sam began to climb up onto one of Skyblast's useless legs. Skyfire was right about one thing - there wasn't much in the way of heat coming from Skyblast's body. In a way, it unnerved him.
"What am I looking for?" Sam asked as he inched a hand towards the jagged gash in Skyblast's side.
"Something that feels like an embryonic chicken - an egg," Skyfire said. "With clips on either side..."
Sam reached up inside, feeling a couple of things that really didn't feel like anything he could describe until he happened upon something he would have described as less of an egg and more pear-shaped. But it had clips on either side.
"Think I have it," he said just as Arcee gave up on silent communication.
"I... I just couldn't believe what she was saying!" Arcee cried. "I wanted..."
"You refused an order," Bumblebee stated in a tone that made Sam freeze. He knew that 'Bee was a respected soldier and unit leader - he just hadn't yet gotten to actually witness that side of him.
"You're not my..." Arcee paused before lowering her gaze. "Yes, sir. It won't happen again."
"Just undo the clips and pull," Skyfire instructed coolly, forcing Sam's attention back to the literal task at hand.
"And do it quickly," Skyblast added. "You're touching some very personal wires."
Wincing, Sam forced the clips apart and began tugging as Arcee said something in Cybertronian.
"What did she say?" Sam asked softly as the unit began to separate.
"Everything else will be said on the ground," Skyfire replied. "I suppose that would be safer."
"I don't know anything more than you do," Sam said as he wiggled each side a bit, leaning up against Skyblast fully and wishing he could actually see what he was doing. But he could feel, which was more than what Skyfire could do...
Finally, the unit popped apart and Skyblast let out something akin to a sigh.
"Now get your hands out of there," he muttered a moment later before offering Sam a hand down.
"Sorry," Sam said quickly as he climbed back down to stand beside Skyfire's hologram. "You feel better?"
"I feel like I can't feel my legs, which is somewhat worse than just not being able to use them," Skyblast said. "But it doesn't hurt as much."
"And you aren't on fire," Sam added, earning a quizzical look beside him.
"Hmm. Sam, I believe you'd best return to Bumblebee's care," Skyfire said after a moment. "I'm going to begin our descent in just a moment and if you thought going up was bad..."
"Tray tables in the upright position," Sam said with a nod. He was a little wary of going over to Bumblebee, who still looked just a little irritated. Without being able to hear the entire fight, he couldn't pick a side. They were probably both right, anyway. Whoever the female Decepticon was, they each obviously felt quite strongly about her.
Bumblebee picked him up a moment later, holding him in a friendly 'everything is okay, really' way as Skyfire's hologram bowed and vanished. A second later, they began a downward dive that lifted Arcee clear into the air and sent Skyblast across the hold. Sam grabbed onto Bumblebee and closed his eyes as he felt Bumblebee shift as well. He was glad he hadn't eaten anything in the last few hours, because his stomach was currently trying to relocate itself several hundred feet above his body.
The telltale crack of metal against metal made Sam open his eyes and glance over to see what had happened. Instead of anchoring himself, 'Bee had grabbed onto Arcee and was keeping her from crashing into the back of Skyfire's cargo hold.
Sam let out the breath he didn't know he was holding when they leveled out a moment later to make a nice, soft landing.
"You haven't had passengers in awhile, have you?" Skyblast grumbled once Skyfire came to a full stop.
"Are we in Pennsylvania?" Sam asked as Bumblebee set him down. He let go of Arcee a second later and she was the one who walked over and gave a firm bang on Skyfire's rear door.
"These are the coordinates that Arcee gave me," Skyfire's voice echoed as he released his cargo door. "And considering that Prowl is about to shoot me, I'd assume that we're in the right place."
"I'm already hurt," Arcee said as she stepped onto the ramp. "I'll go first. Hopefully Prowl will... ask questions before shooting."
"I don't feel better," Skyblast said as he rolled a bit and tried to crawl towards the night air.
"Prowl?" Arcee called as she kept walking. "We need your help. Skyblast has been injured."
"What happened?" Prowl asked as he stomped into the cargo area and finally lowered his gun when he saw Skyblast.
"Long story," Sam said. "I'd like to hear it too."
"It's complicated," Bumblebee said. "Optimus needs to know first."
"No he doesn't," Arcee quickly stated.
"A little help?" Prowl asked from where he'd managed to get Skyblast half-hoisted onto his shoulder.
Sam was happy to see Melissa waiting at the end of the ramp, peering curiously upward.
"What's going on?" she asked as Sam walked by her.
"I don't know and no one seems to want to tell me," Sam said. "C'mon. They can handle it."
"So how was your day?" Sam asked. "I think you can take a guess about mine."
"Sam, are you okay?" Melissa questioned as she ran a couple of steps to catch up to him. "What - who is that?"
"That's Skyfire," Sam said as he stomped towards their temporary residence. He hadn't noticed at first, but Skyfire had set them down at the far end of the field. And the lot was disturbingly empty, save for Ratchet who raced by them a few seconds later. "Where is everyone?"
"Exploring," Melissa replied. "Everyone was getting the robot equivalent of cabin fever. Wasn't pretty."
Sam almost smiled, forgetting how frustrated he was for a moment before realizing that Melissa was probably dealing with the same thing.
"We were attacked," Sam said flatly. "By some Decepticon. And then Skyblast - he's the little jet - tried to save us but ended up in the lake. Skyfire rescued us."
"Sounds exciting," Melissa commented. "I mean, Skyblast will be okay, right?"
"I hope so," Sam replied. "I think so. I just want to know what's going on."
"Hmm. I can access a partial NBE database," Melissa said as she glanced back across the field. Sam followed her gaze just in time to see Skyfire transform. "Though I know he's not in there."
"Prowl wanted to shoot him."
"I know. I was talking to him until just before you arrived. Then he just jumped up and headed off, powering up his guns as he went." Melissa paused, watching for a minute as Skyfire cautiously sat down and started assisting Ratchet with Skyblast. "Didn't really say anything, either."
"Incoming," Sam said when he glanced back towards the road and saw a half-dozen sets of headlights. "Maybe we can finally find out what's going on when Optimus arrives. Where did he go, anyway?"
"I don't know," Melissa admitted. "The twins just wanted to go somewhere, Camshaft wanted to be somewhere no one else was, um... Ironhide had found something interesting nearby via wikipedia and wanted to go look at it, but Prime... I'm not sure. I was trying to, y'know, do some work."
"I'm really not just here to give car washes," Melissa said firmly. "I'm a government agent. Thankfully, Prowl was almost helpful with my current project."
"Current project?" Sam asked. He could see Camshaft racing towards them.
"Getting everyone processed as 'naturalized aliens'," Melissa said with a giggle. "But without birthdates, passports, hair colors and whatnot, we're going to have to create an entirely new system."
Camshaft came to a dead stop directly in front of them, transforming and standing up to his full height. His gaze crossed the field and he didn't look down while he spoke.
"What's going on? I just received a brief transmission to return. ...Is that Skyfire?"
"Yes," Sam said flatly. "Other than that, I have no..."
"Skyfire," Camshaft echoed. "Now that's something I thought I'd never see."
"Why?" Melissa asked.
"That might be something to ask him about," Camshaft said before transforming back into his vehicle mode and taking back off across the field.
"Okay, if that's what you've been dealing with, I can see why you're pissed," Melissa stated, hands on her hips. "When Prime gets back, I'll make him tell me. We're supposed to be a part of this, y'know."
Sam nodded and they kept walking.
"Oh shit," Melissa said under her breath before glancing over at Sam. "Were you seen?"
"Probably," Sam said. "But after Mission City..."
"Maybe I can teach them to file flight plans..."
The two kept walking in silence as first Ironhide passed them, then Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, then Clocker and Jazz, before finally familiar semi-truck headlights appeared to pierce the darkness.
There was a tremendous gust of wind behind them, almost knocking Melissa over. Sam reached for her arm just as Optimus came to a stop, transforming and looking up at the large white and red robot Sam knew was standing behind them.
"We have another problem," Skyfire said calmly. Sam turned around to see the Autobots slowly inching over from the far corner. Ratchet was carrying Skyblast as if he was nothing more than a child.
"We seem to be gathering problems," Optimus stated. "I met with two other scouts who reported similar scenarios to what Skyblast initially discovered."
"Then perhaps we could use a bit of situational irony," Skyfire said. Behind him, the Autobots inched closer. Still holding Melissa's arm, Sam guided her off to the side. Whatever was going on, he didn't think he literally wanted to be in the middle when it was finally explained.
"Would someone just explain?" Melissa asked as she pulled free from Sam and stepped forward. "It's been a really long day and we're all tired and some of us have been shot at and some of us are humans who are still rather new to all this craziness and don't know all of your drama."
"This is Skyfire," Arcee spoke up from the shadows behind the big 'bot. "Prowl was right to be suspicious of him because for most of his existance he was a Decepticon."
"That's a bit of an understatement," Sunstreaker commented. He and Sideswipe were close together, blending almost into one in the dark.
"Situational irony," Skyfire said as he looked down at Melissa.
"And how is Starscream?" Optimus asked almost casually.
"He's... I don't know," Skyfire said. "He keeps promising that he'll come get me as if I'm still stuck on that damned moon. If he thinks I'm there, all the better."
"Starscream," Sam said softly, instantly conjuring up an image of the new Decepticon leader. And fear.
"Though I suppose I should be upset with him," Skyfire said after a tense moment of silence. "Apparently he's taken another mate."
Sam forgot how to think, and all the pieces hadn't even quite fallen into place yet.
"Unless you've failed to fill us in on some plan of yours," Skyfire continued, "you'd best be upset with your mate as well."
"Elita," Prime said almost curiously. "She's..."
"A very good shot," Skyblast chimed in, not bothering to think before speaking.
"She claimed to be Starscream's new mate," Arcee said flatly as she stepped forward. "I hesitated to shoot her and she shot me. It wasn't a warning shot, either. If Sam hadn't been there, not a one of us would have returned tonight."
"Situational irony," Skyfire said one last time as he offered a hand to Melissa. She climbed up and Skyfire lifted her up to chest level. "Did you have any other questions?"
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