Chapter 12: Introduction to the human/Alliance colony
From the personal notes of Miranda Witwicky:
I met with Samuel James Witwicky for the first time today. As he is new here, I have placed him in isolation until immunized for the various pathogens to which he will be exposed. My son Willie is allowed to visit until quarantine is over, as he had already been in close contact; Ratchet assured me that Sam is not currently harboring any illnesses. In the meantime, I am providing information on the human culture in the space stations so that this unfortunate man can begin to acclimate a little. I am also authorizing several snacks a day in the hope of increasing his weight. A Psyche will come in to evaluate his mental health as soon as possible.
On exam, I find a tall male. He is underweight, though Ratchet informs me that he gained since boarding the ship. Willie confirms that he and Ratchet encouragedSam to eat every few hours as he eats little at a time. He suffered two injuries during the space battle that my son Willie was also involved in. One was a cut in the shoulder that is closed and healing well. The other is a deep penetrating wound in the thigh, which is also healing well. In fact, these wounds are healing more quickly than the much more superficial wounds Willie received. When I next contact Rodimus Prime, I will remind him in no uncertain terms that he promised to look out for my little boy and he did not keep that promise.
Sam communicates via the antique datapad. He is an excellent mime, and he also uses his hands in a language of signs. Some of the bots understand it, and Willie is learning it. I believe Willie is using it to make comments about others without their knowledge of what is said. I intend to learn the language as soon as possible so I can find out what made Sam break down in silent laughter. I also wish to annoy several people by telling them what I think about them and letting them wonder what I said. Anyway, Bumblebee visits as often as I allow, and translates for me. Watching Sam use his hands to talk is an interesting experience.
He states that he has seldom been in the sun in the last several years. The paleness of his skin confirms this statement. Physically he looks to be in his early twenties. He is well developed, stronger than the norm here, which I find remarkable considering his malnutrition. He has bright green eyes and white hair. I would say that he is quite attractive. At the section of his neck near the shoulders, encircling the entire neck, he has a ring of white indented skin, with signs that he constantly wore something against that part of his skin. He stated that he wore a device he called a collar. Willie described the device as well. I am appalled that such a thing is being used on humans on Earth and if not for the proof visible on Sam's skin, I would doubt the truth of the statement.
There is evidence of a healed wound in the throat, with a scar on the neck, which indicates that Sam lost his vocal cords as a child. The prosthesis is being built at this time and will be ready at the time Sam is out of quarantine. Barbara Epps tells me that Sam needs his voice as soon as possible. She is being something of a nag about the visitation, but in this area I feel we must be cautious. I want him to see a Psyche before he is exposed to our culture. Sam is being very cooperative regarding the situation.
Mulah, Psyche therapist that specialized in human beings, found a totally fascinating subject in Samuel James Witwicky. He was unique.
Sam answered Mulah's questions honestly, via the computer. The truth was fantastic, but Rodimus and William Witwicky believed him. Rodimus was Prime. Mulah understood what that meant better than most humans. William Witwicky did not lie, having had that vice removed from him by his mother. Miranda Witwicky, in addition to being a medic on a par with Ratchet, was the best human lie detector Mulah or any Psyche had ever met, in any species. (She was also a formdable woman. Mulah heard that Rodimus Prime avoided her over allowing her son (who was not only an intelligent adult but a very capable one) to be exposed to battle, let alone face a Decepticon alone and fight other off. The fact that he not only survived but proved himself as capable of holding his own in such a battle did not matter in the least. But the Prime appeared just as Mulah led his patient into a private room. He felt sorry for the Autobot leader when he heard Miranda start speaking.
Mulah read the answers on the remarkably old instrument Sam used to communicate. Then he held out his hand, with its long, thin fingers. Having no idea what the Psyche wanted, Sam slowly reached his own hand out, and on Mulah nodding his approval, put it over Mulah's. To an outsider, they stayed still for several moments, before both broke the contact at the same time.
Mulah sensed the dread in Sam before they touched, and he radiated reassurance. On contact, the telepath received a burst of painful memories. He endured them, letting the images flow. After a time, he came to the one that defined the change in his patient, and beyond. The truths of Sam's statements were verified immediately, but Mulah had no intention of stopping there. He sensed that this rush was a prelude to something, and he used his control, honed over several decades of dealing with pain in humans and his own people, to wait it out.
Then he found the bright shining being that was housed inside the human, and almost broke contact there at the shock. This was what brought Sam back, in the body of the human teenager he was when he first absorbed it. It was seeking another part of itself, and Sam was its refuge until that part could be found. Sam could not use the power that defined the being. The power could be directed through him without his conscious knowledge. Mulah understood that the shard used to revive off-lined Decepticons drew its power from the being submerged in the human. The Matrix used it to complete Rodimus's transformation into a Prime.
Mulah also discovered that the being was slowly gaining a rudimentary personality, as it began to be aware through Sam, to the point that it would not renew those who killed or hurt Sam. With an effort, he pulled back, and concentrated on Sam.
The human, whose full name was Samuel James Witwicky, thought of himself as Sam. This was always the core personality he renewed with, but as each new life imposed its needs, he adapted his personality to those needs. He was a living example of how adaptable humans could be when under pressure. Sam tended to think of each personality as separate people, organizing his knowledge and experiences that way. This mental technique allowed him to compartmentalize the pain he experienced as those personalities, and kept him sane. Mullah approved, and believed that the being that resided in Sam stored that information as well.
At that point they both broke the contact. For a time they regarded each other. Then Mulah led Sam into the next room. Miranda broke off, and Rodimus sent him a grateful look. Ratchet waited as well, standing in the back of the room. "Yes, Sam is sane," he said through his communicator. "Yes, the information he has provided is true. He is the original Samuel James Witwicky who died in the hand of Optimus Prime. He also holds another being inside him." Miranda started. "I believe, from the power that it controls, this is the All-Spark you have mentioned. " He looked at Sam. "I am going to speak of this, if you agree." Sam nodded. "It chose Sam because he was available and able to hold it. He is not able to use the power himself; he only gives it a refuge. Devices can use that power, if they were either part of the All-Spark, as the shard is, or an artifact made to utilize similar power, as the Matrix is. "He paused. "I would be willing to believe that the shard on Earth is no longer renewing sparks. Sam is too far away."
"Will this be a problem, Sam?" Rodimus asked. Sam nodded. "I got a download from Bumblebee, try to tell me why." Sam's hands moved in their intricate dance. "Yes, I can see that. Sam said that one of the reasons some of the Decepticons stay with Megatron is because they have a way of being renewed by the shard if they are killed. If Megatron no longer controls the All-Spark that is left, he loses part of his power." Sam's hands danced again. "Sam says that when Megatron lost Sam, who was considered Megatron's private property, he lost some of his standing with his people. He's lost Soundwave, who was his strongest supporter. The last sets of Decepticons who came remember being defeated by the Alliance."
"Getting Sam back will give him the working shard again, and help him regain his prestige with his troops," Miranda said slowly.
"And Sam has strong and very unpleasant memories of a Decepticon who was able to pass for human among slaves, and when he noticed that Sam knew him for what he was, he forced Sam to tell why," Mulah added. "Sam, there is no need to feel guilt over this situation, you were in an impossible position. I am making the point that you do have reason to be afraid."
"Then we will protect you to the best of our ability," Rodimus said. "More I cannot promise, Sam, but that we can do. We need what you know, and we want to help you put that hell you lived behind you. We will begin by giving you a voice."
From the personal diary of Barbara Epps:
That old bag Miranda Witwicky finally let poor Sam Witwicky out of the infirmary, with the order-to me!- not to let him talk too much yet. She said that Sam had responded in detail to all the requests for information we have made, and that he needs to get used to using the new prosthesis.
You know, if Willie was not the father of one of my children, I'd just cut her off and let Ratchet see Sam for medical needs. Primus knows he's competent enough. But Willie is very protective of Sam and Miranda, whatever other faults she has, is an excellent medic.
The funny part is that Sam sometimes forgets he HAS a voice and uses his hands to talk, which is something else to watch. Willie keeps a small ball in his pocket that he has been throwing at Sam when he does that. I have one like it, a present from Sam, not Willie. Sam's sense of human breaks through in odd places and always catches everyone by surprise. He is very serious most of the time, a product of his years as human soldier fighting what he knew was a losing battle and from being a slave.
Rodimus is insisting that Sam live in the area set aside for the bots for safety reasons. The one thing Miranda and I agree on is that Sam needs to be with people. He needs family contact, and I want to provide that as much as possible. He was deliberately kept from other people, can you believe that? Before he got on the ship and saw Willie, he did not see another human for years! Mulah, the Psych who is working with Sam, agrees that Sam desperately needs human contact outside of work. I spoke with Sarahlee Witwicky, the head of the Witwicky family line, who says that Sam is a Witwicky and therefore is their family's responsibility. He will be staying in the Witwicky family compound for his recovery time out of surgery.
He does look much better since I saw him on the transmission, though the clothes Willie and I got him do help a lot. He was terribly thin then, though some of that was the black outfit he wore. I could not believe it when Rodimus said he had the pet that Megatron wanted, and Sam came into view. Then the Prime put the collar on. I don't think I have ever been so angry before in my entire life as when Megatron stated that Sam was his personal property. I want Sam to work with me, and in the meantime I intend to see that he gets what he needs if I have to boot both Rodimus and Miranda in the rear to do it.
Willie Witwicky packed to go to the Scout for a routine trip. He would be gone for several days; he needed to give the ship a complete check. Rodimus and the general Alexander Lennox wanted to have all the ships ready should the Council decide to begin action. Willie understood, as did all of the security forces and most of the militia, that should Sam be taken by any means, the war was on. While all of them were fond of Sam, the reason for the plans had to do with what he carried. They could not afford for Megatron to regain the All-Spark and begin to rebuild his army
In addition, Sam proved priceless as an adviser for dealing with Megatron without starting active hostilities. Sam told them from the beginning that Megatron intended to keep Earth and begin to undermine the Alliance by weakening them from within. He made a long list of possibilities that his former master spoke about using. Rodimus, Alex, the Psych representatives, and the family heads of each colony took a part of the list and began searching. Fully half of the techniques on the list materialized. As they traced causes, they kept running into dead ends on the computer. Jetfire and Ironhide agreed that the infiltration had a Decepticon signature on it. In the meantime, most of the problems that Megatron's agitators intended to captilize on were dragged out into the open by the various organizations and addressed. Alex Lennox assigned a team to monitor the rest and recheck the list at intervals.
Sam told them from the beginning that Megatron had spies in the form of human pretenders in the space colonies. Mulah confirmed that Sam did have memories of one. Rodimus did not believe that they could pass for human among humans, but he provided Sam with a scanner like the ones the security used to look for weapons before he left the infirmary. Sam routinely scanned anyone he did not know and groups he passed. Within two weeks he had a positive hit; security then scanned after him and got another hit, but too late to catch the one they scanned.
Willie visited Sam often while he was in the infirmary on quarentine. He found that Sam worked better with his mother than just about any being he ever met. Sam told him that Miranda Witwicky reminded him of his mother, except she was a lot smarter. He added, wryly, that she treated him like her child, which was funny when he considered that he was many times her age.
Miranda Witwicky was an excellent medic, but her bedside manner was often worse than Ratchet's when she thought a patient was his own worst enemy. In Sam's case, she saw the pain and marks of long abuse not only in the wounds and thinness, but in his manner. Her manner softened accordingly. Willie called her before they arrived, and told her how Sam helped him, both in the fight and afterward, and asked her to be kind for his sake. Once she had him in the infirmary, she started giving him immunizations for the preventable diseases in the colony. She knew that one particular mix was likely to give him a slight fever and aches, so she included a mild painkiller/tranquillizer with it. He fell asleep while working on his computer, and she could not resist poking around on it when she removed it from his lap.
Like Ratchet before her, she read the memoirs, and by the time she finished them, she was crying without shame. She shut the laptop. The next day, she contacted her daughter and the Psyche she used for more difficult cases. She found in both cases that someone had already spoken to both of them. Willie talked to Sarahlee Witwicky, both as her brother and as Sam's advocate, and Barbara Epps had spoken to Mulah. Both promised, to both parties, that Sam had priority.
As a result, Sam spent the two weeks of his convalescence in the heart of the Witwicky family compound, with the youngest children and their caretakers. Willie worried about how Sam would handle that. Sam, after all, never dealt with children. Two weeks later, Willie accompanied Sam to a meeting with Rodimus about living arrangements now that Miranda deemed him ready to face the 'brave new world' as Sam phrased it. Sam insisted that he be able to stay with the family at least two days a week, an arrangement that Sarahlee approved. Rodimus agreed with the condition that Bumblebee be there to guard Sam. Bumblebee and Sarahlee agreed to the terms.
Willie and Barbara Epps both ensured that Sam had social contacts. Sam made a lot of friends because he had the computer and music player. His music was 'antique' and 'different'. People listening would ask for a download. Singers adapted the songs to the current language, or used new words to the tunes. Willie also discovered, to his everlasting entertainment, that Sam was getting a lot of female company. He was not at all jealous. He did his duty in fathering two children, and he had a close relationship with Barbara Epps. Sam's female company tended to be mature and plumb. He told Willie that slave women died on the average even younger than the men, and no slave ever got plumb.
Months passed. Sam gained a little weight. He fell into a comfortable routine with the family and the bots; he worked regularly with Barbara Epps and with the Council Security committees.
Willie left on his trip with the Scout; Sam and Barbara came to see him off. He watched them as they left. At the same time, he had to wonder when the trouble would start.
Sam refused to sleep with any woman that was fertile, and he told Willie never to tell anyone of their relationship. "I would love to claim you as my son," he wrote. "But any child of mine is at risk. Besides, I never raised you. I am your friend, and that might be dangerous enough." Willie told him the truth, that he could not admit it without getting into a load of trouble. Hacking the government files was a major crime. When the security experts discovered how much the Decepticon spies were getting into the computers, they went ballistic, and Sam gave Willie a "now I understand" look.
Sam never stopped being afraid. Willie knew that he worked with Mullah on what to do if he were recaptured, and he knew that Sam told Rodimus that if anyone had a choice between seeing Sam die and seeing him captured, to let him die. "I will come back somewhere," he said, in his mechanical voice. "Let me take that chance." So Willie went on his trip and hoped that nothing happened in his absence, and made the Scout- and every ship he could get to- ready for the battles he feared were coming.
Cykill and his two fellow spies came to the colonies some years ago, and they took some time to integrate into the human society. It took a while for him, Dead End, and Sideways to break into the computer and create a believable background. They managed to acquire positions where they worked at their apartment through the computer. Of course their work was excellent, and they earned enough credits for comfort and enough clearance to allow access to the computer systems.
CyKill integrated enough to actually go out and mingle with humans, and he obtained a human contact which not only allowed him to indulge his 'perversity' but gave him the human perspective on much of the information they gathered. His little pet was not a politician himself, but was attached to one that he was ridiculously loyal to. CyKill did not intervene with his pet's attachment to his family, either, as that gave him some insight into those matters as well. In return, he helped the pet with work on the computer he occasionally brought home to do.
Orders arrived to seize and return Megatron's pet under any circumstances manageable. CyKill and the others were shocked when they discovered that included breaking their covers. Then CyKill saw the pet, and got a jolt when he saw just how much this Samuel James Witwicky resembled Noisy, the mute slave who taught him so much when he was still learning his form. The next time he went to make a report, he had a long one.
"My lord, I must tell you that your pet has been making some strange claims and the Psyches, Autobots, and the human history authorities are endorsing those claims," he said, uneasy about how the report would be received. He went on to explain that Samuel James Witwicky, whom everyone called Sam, stated that he was in Optimus Prime's hand when the Prime pushed the Cube into his chest, and absorbed part of it. For this reason, when Sam died, he came back, in the form he absorbed the Cube in. He claimed that he worked with the resistance until it was overcome, and was a slave afterward in several different lives. He reported that he died eight different times, and worked different jobs as a slave, the last being Megatron's personal pet.
"And what do you believe?" the master demanded.
"He strongly resembles a slave I worked with when learning to use this form," CyKill admitted. "That slave was mute. My lord, I do believe him, and more importantly, the authorities accept his claim. They say that Rodimus received an ancient artifact, the Matrix of Leadership, from Sam and that Sam was not able to use it, but that it drew power from him to make Rodimus into a full Prime. That is why he was able to defeat Soundwave. "
Silence reigned for a time, before Lord Megatron said heavily, "The shard has not worked since he left. Soundwave deduced this situation before Jetfire helped Ratchet escape with my pet. Soundwave had already confirmed what Sam is saying now. You understand his importance. You must bring him back."
"This will be difficult, my lord," Cykill told him, frustration strong in his voice. "He is in demand everywhere. Rodimus has him under his personal protection. The Witwicky family has claimed him as their original Sire. He works with the archivist here to record history. He is constantly guarded; if he is in a compound, there is a bot on call near every exit and entrance. He works with the human Council member who is in charge of diplomacy, and she is a carefully guarded as he is. "
"I am well aware of that." Megatron did not say that Barbara Epps was neatly dealing with every claim he made much more easily than before. He was sure that Sam helped her. She angered him enough that he made a threat, one he had no intention of following through on. "Can you not find a way to get to him when he sleeps?"
"He is never alone when he sleeps! Women run the human section of this colony. When they found he was exiled from his own kind, they started comforting and it seems a new one comforts him every night! He has one Pit-spawned reputation as a lover, and his body is in its breeding height."
"Offspring?" Megatron would like to have offspring from his pet without having to compromise his own sentence of exile on Sam.
"Not a chance. He's choosing only females who have done their reproductive duty and have their ability to bear children blocked. He said to the human diplomat that he is a target, and any offspring will be a target, so he won't risk children."
"He is wary of anyone he does not already know. He has a very healthy fear of being recaptured." CyKill did not blame Sam. He was important, at least now; he was safe from discipline; and he had his human needs met in ways that slaves born on Earth now could not even conceive. Most importantly, he had a voice and the freedom to tell what was happening on Earth.
"Is he urging the colonies to attack us? To free the slaves?" Megatron expected to hear that Sam was campaigning for attack.
"No." CyKill was eager to give the one piece of good news. "He says that in regard to Earth, he cannot say what the Council must or must not do. He does want the situation of the slaves improved, but refuses to endorse a plan of action." CyKill did not say that Sam did not need to. There was a faction that stated openly that Sam's news was all the reason they needed to retake their home world, and who lobbied ceaselessly to begin preparations to invade.
"He is wiser than I thought." Politically, Sam had a much better chance of gaining assistance for the slaves if the colonists felt the idea came from within their ranks. "Find a way to bring him to me. I will make arrangements for you to receive assistance and an immediate supervisor to report to. He will work with you on a means to confine and safely deliver my pet back. I want him in as good condition as you can manage. He must be able to repair himself and sane as a minimum. And Cykill- he had better remain unmolested. Do you understand me?"
"Any punishment of my pet is mine alone to give."
CyKill knew that Megatron would not stop until he had his pet back in his hands. CyKill felt a moment of pity for Sam Witwicky when that happened.