Chapter 2 :Megatron confirms that the feral human is Sam, and reacts in his own way.
He knows, Sam thought, shaking. He had no idea how Megatron knew that he was indeed Samuel James Witwicky, when he was supposed to have died in Mission City, but the Decepticon leader knew. What would he do about it?
In all his lifetimes, he never came close to the Decepticon leader. He remembered defying Megatron, and that being's amused response, "Oh, so unwise," before the stone underneath him crumbled. He remembered falling and hitting something, and hearing Optimus saying something, before that memory faded. At the time, Sam believed what everyone else did- that somehow he survived the fall into Optimus' servo. Optimus thrust the Cube and Sam's body into his chest, destroying most of the Cube. Megatron reached him before the All-Spark was completely destroyed.
Sam's mind snapped back to the present. When the cassettes hauled him from the edge of the gap, Sam refused to walk, and they dragged him. His skin stung with all the small cuts and bruises he got from that little stunt. When they considered the lesson learned, they stopped and let him get up. They paused for Sam to get water and void. They never let go. They moved slowly enough he managed to keep up. They must have orders to keep him intact.
So, the Decepticons figured out he lost his voice. Probably thought he would have screamed or begged by now. He wondered how Megatron intended to get answers to the six million questions the Decepticon leader likely wanted to ask from his mute prisoner. He wondered how he would answer if Megatron did find a way. Somehow he thought "How the hell should I know?" would not go over very well.But after asking the more or less rhetorical questions, Megatron simply switched Sam from one hand to another and rested that hand against his chest plates. That held the human securely without hurting him. Sam considered trying to break free and jump. He stirred, and the servo tightened. He was too tired to struggle. Instead, he listened as Megatron commended the smaller 'cons that captured of him and dismissed the patrols
Sam estimated that he spent most of two days walking, between when he checked his traps and looked for edible plants to now. Between that, the lack of sleep and the time he spent fighting those triple damned 'cons, just not moving was a relief. Held against the warm metal of Megatron's chest plate on one side and his hand on the other, Sam figured he might as well enjoy the rest.
Megatron issued orders for cleanup, for the contents of the human's hiding place to be cleared out and brought to him and the place set up to be destroyed. He gave orders for several subordinates to meet him in his office. He sent word to the facility to send what a human needed for several days. He made it clear that what they sent better be the best of its kind or the best they could get while better was arranged for.
The human presented him with a mystery that he was determined to solve and a challenge he intended to surmount. When Sam stopped moving, he glanced briefly down at the small cool body pressed against him. The human's eyes were closed and his chest rose steadily. Satisfied, the Lord Protector headed for his office.
Sam woke to a rumble that was a Cybertronian sound of amusement, as he was placed on some kind of metal surface. He swayed but managed to stay on his feet. Large warm metal hands turned him so that he faced the Decepticon leader he had not seen in many, many generations. A clawed finger pushed his chin up. Green eyes met red optics. "Your hair is white and your voice is gone," Megatron said thoughtfully, "but otherwise you are the same boy I knocked off a roof, almost two vorns ago. We have a mystery, do we not? I saw your dead body, and yet you are in remarkable shape for a corpse."
"It cannot be the same human, master," a cold voice said from behind Sam. Megatron looked over, and Sam turned. The Decepticon had a mask over his face. Behind him Sam saw the smaller robots that had hauled him out of the mine. "Frenzy told me that he was like 'Ladiesman217' but humans do not live so long."
"I am aware of that, Soundwave, but we need to know," Megatron stated firmly. The hands that circled Sam loosely before tightened and lifted him into another set of hands. "Be gentle. I want him sane."
"As you say, my lord." The grip on him was firm but not painful. What in the devil is the Decepticon going to do, he wondered, when he felt the presence in his head. So the rumor he always scoffed at was true. Soundwave was a telepath. The questions were not so much words as communications, but he understood what they wanted. Who are you? What are you? What happened to you?
Didn't want much, did they? Sam gave Soundwave the information in a burst of thought, not logically organized and filled with the confusion he always felt when dealing with his situation. Here, Master Cold and Logical, try figuring this out, since I can't!
He was Samuel James Witwicky. At different points, he had been Sam, then Wick, then variations of his affliction names like Mute, Noisy, Quiet. The last lifetime it was White. What was he? Boy, then Autobot liaison, then supply/ acquisition for the resistance as well as fighter, then leader when there was no one else. He was a slave in the mines once. He worked in farms, factories, once a rotating clearing crew, once construction.
What happened to him? How many hours did they have? He woke up after that first death in a hospital, surrounded by beeping machines and unable to talk. No one knew why he was missed in the first sweep of the hunt for the living. They discovered him when the hunt began for bodies.The fall destryed his vocal cords, they told him. His hair roots showed white not a week later. Though it was still thick and healthy, his hair never regained its color.
When he died again, he discovered that he came back. He always woke somewhere, sometimes clothed and sometimes not, back in the body of a gawky teen male. While his hair was always white and his voice gone, he lost all his scars. His memories remained intact; in fact, he never forgot anything. Lately, he considered that a curse. Considering how violent and hopeless so many of his lives were, he wished he could find oblivion. That was denied him and he had no idea why. He was like the titan in the Greek legend who brought Mankind fire and kept getting his liver torn out, regenerated, and torn out again. When would some kind of Hercules free him?
He never knew where he would come back. In the old base, he mapped out where he woke, and realized he was always somewhere closer to here from where he died. Whatever was bringing him back had some kind of goal. Too bad the damned thing could not just tell him what the hell was going on. Ironic, wasn't it, that it seemed to be as mute as he was.
Then the presence in his head left, leaving behind a monumental headache. He wound up on the metal surface, on his knees with his head bent to the ground and his arms around his head, hoping that not moving, not seeing and not hearing would help the pounding in his head a little. If it had not been so long since he'd last, eaten, he would have thrown up.
Megatron saw Soundwave place the human down carefully and pull his hands away. Sam curled up in a tight ball, arms over his head. Soundwave did not look like he was in much better shape, even with the mask covering his features. "Well?" the master demanded. "When will you try?"
"I have received a large amount of information in a very short burst, master," Soundwave stated. To his astonished master, Soundwave sounded unsettled. "He is the Witwicky boy. I would demand his death except that it seems it would do no good to kill him. If I understand the twisted mess inside his processor correctly, he has died several times." Megatron looked at the human on his desk, curled into a ball."Each time he returns in the body you see before you. All memories are intact from his entire span of life. He remembers dying at your hand. He lost his voice at that time. He has no inkling of the process, only that it occurs." He shuddered, reeling from the bitterness and pain in the boy's mind.
That was the biggest emotional reaction Megatron saw in Soundwave since he met the communications specialist. What in the Pits did the boy have in his head? "So he had been hiding as a feral human all this time?" Megatron wondered aloud.
"No, master. He has been a slave several times, in a variety of jobs, and each time with a different name, it seems. He fought with the Autobots and the resistance. The amount of information in that small processor surprises me, but the information is very illogically organized, and I cannot sort out which memories belong where in any kind of timeline. The human mind is illogical. This one's is the worst I have encountered."
"Is he insane?" Megatron asked. He reached over and scooped the human into his hands. Absently, he stroked a finger over Sam's neck and back. Sam untwisted from the tight ball and lay still under the petting, no longer in any condition to register protest at being handled.
"No. He is well aware of reality. There is simply no logic to the way his memories are connected, and he has more memories, in great detail, than most humans. Should the Autobots find him, he would be very dangerous."
"Rest assured, Soundwave, that I have every intention of keeping my human safely contained. I want the information you just provided me kept quiet for now." He dismissed the communications specialist. Megatron received a call that one of the supervisors from the nearby school arrived with the supplies Lord Megatron requested and was ready to evaluate the human.
Sam, placed on his feet again, steadied and glanced at the new 'con coming in the door. Strangely enough, when Megatron ran his warm finger down Sam's back and neck, the rubbing forced tense muscles to relax and the headache subsided somewhat. The 'con was carrying some kind of case with him. "My lord, "he said, still standing by the door. "I was sent to bring supplies for a human?"
Megatron waved him in. "I asked for someone who is familiar with humans, to look at this one. We just found him and he does not seem to be capable of talking. He has made no noise even when hurt."
The supervisor knew that this was the human found in the woods. "Come here, little one," he said. Sam glanced at Megatron and walked over warily. At a closer look, the supervisor clicked in annoyance. "My lord, until he's cleaner, I can't tell much. He looks like he's rolled in dirt, and those coverings are ruined.
About two hours later Sam was clean, dressed in clean clothes, examined and eating. Megatron found the process highly entertaining. Sam cooperated when the supervisor began undressing him. He could not get clean fast enough. He stood still as the supervisor daubed his small injuries with ointment as the supervisor looked him over, or to having his hair cut until his ears, neck, and forehead appeared. He looked unhappy when his clothes were taken away. He did not like the exam at all, which the supervisor expected and dealt with firmly. Done, the supervisor gave him clothes, and when he dressed, pulled out a packet and gave it to him.
"What is that?' the Decepticon leader asked.
"Food," the supervisor said. "That's what we give the trainees for their first meal. " Megatron nodded as Sam opened the package and began to eat. "I do not believe he has ever worn a collar, master, but he is familiar with being ordered and handled by one of us. I would say he lost his voice to an accident of some kind when he was very young. Otherwise he is healthy and strong. He is about the age of the trainees at the facility, I believe. " He voice took on a irritated note as he added, "Some lazy aft probably abandoned him. Stupid for such a minor flaw."
Megatron noted that Sam finished his meal. "Look at me," he commanded. Sam looked up. If he did not know better, he would think the young human was just another slave-once he had a collar. "If a patrol found him in the woods, looking like he did, and brought him to you, what would you think and what would you do? Assume that the patrol had already requested information and got none."
"Process him," the supervisor said promptly." "Here we would send him to one of the factories. There are jobs where the flaw would not matter because with the noise, they have to use hand gestures anyway. " After showing his leader the rest of what was in the case, the supervisor was dismissed.
"So has that happened to you?" the Decepticon leader said to the boy he had killed some time ago. He meant it as a rhetorical question, but Sam nodded."Working in a factory or being found and processed?" Sam made a gesture of bringing his hands together. "Both?" The human nodded again. Megatron thought that there had to be a better way to communicate, just as he got an internal message. He drew Sam into his servo again and gave Hook permission to come in.
Sam followed the Decepticon leader's gaze. Two Decepticons came in; Sam knew one as Hook, and the other was a drone. From the look on his face, Hook remembered Sam. The construction Decepticon came in with some kind of metal mesh. Megatron moved so they could watch. Sam's heart twisted as Hook started to build a cage. The drone dumped off trunks. Megatron dismissed him. Hook finished with the cage, an area in the corner enclosed by the mesh. The top lifted. Megatron placed Sam in it, along with the case the supervisor brought in. "Get settled," he advised.
Sam looked into the trunk to find a sleeping pad and several blankets. He saw other stuff, but that was all that interested him at the moment. Clean, with a full stomach (granted, the food tasted like cardboard, but it was still food) and with all of maybe an hour's worth of sleep after two days of constant movement, he fell onto the pad, covered himself completely with the blankets, and went to sleep.
Hook produced a set of plans based on the information his master gave him. Megatron looked them over, compared them to what he thought the human would need and what he wanted him to have, and approved.He noticed the looks Hook kept sending to the temporary holding. "Why are you so curious? "he purred dangerously.
Hook gave him a startled look. "The boy reminds me of a human I fought far back in the war, my lord. I wonder if it could be a remote offspring."
"Why would you remember a particular human?" Megatron asked. There had to be a reason Hook remembered one human out of the thousands he killed in the war. "Did he give you that good of a fight?"
"It was back in the years of the war, right after the third wave. Back when they still had some weapons that could do real damage. He and a female with him took out Starscream and his trine mates, and two in my unit. None of them could be revived. " Hook shivered. "We lost five in that one fight, to two trained human fighters. Hard to believe when you see slaves now."
Now Megatron understood. Starscream and his trine were damned tough together. They had taken out more Autobots than any other group Megatron had, which was why Megatron had not killed them despite Starscream's slagging backstabbing.
"All of us were damaged. The humans could have been a breeding pair." The builder picked up the plans and rolled them. "His skin was darker, but otherwise he does look like that soldier. " Hook gave his master an approving look. "What a delicious irony. The feral descendant of the one who killed Starscream, caged. I like it. That's an unusual name."
"I call him after the human that tried to hide the Cube and died. I offered to keep him as a pet if he gave me the Cube, and he defied me." Megatron was pleased at the idea for his pet's name. "I intend to tame him, the way I would have tamed that one." Amusement lit the red orbits, and Hook was glad that amusement was not aimed at him. For a short moment, he pitied the human in the corner. "Sam is much like the humans used to be. Intelligent. Defiant. Creative. " He looked at Hook. "But, being mine, he will have the best." Hastily Hook agreed, and left. Megatron reluctantly returned to his neglected work.
Sam watched Hook come and go over the next several days, and heard noise through the door. Trying to guess what the construction 'con was doing helped the boredom. In the woods Sam worked his butt off just to survive. Once he woke, he paced the cage constantly. He missed food with taste and the smell of fresh air. Almost daily, Hook stood and studied him. Sam cast his mind back to those long ago days, when there was hope of pushing the Decepticons out. Hook witnessed his second death.
By that time the Autobots had left Earth for two decades. Bumblebee begged Sam and Mikaela to come with them; he said that Ironhide was making the same offer to Will Lennox and his family, and the others to more humans. They were trying to lure away the Decepticons, but wanted to have humans with them just to ensure the survival of the race. Sam and Mikaela talked it over, and refused.
Sam did not officially join Sector Seven or the armed forces; instead he worked as a civilian employee coordinating the Autobots when they were on Earth. That job morphed into logistics. He worked with Will constantly, as did Mikaela. They married as soon as he turned twenty-one. There were no children. He learned self-defense and weapons. Mikaela's skills with mechanics were a godsend. Her father joined as soon he got out of prison, and worked with them until he was killed in an attack.
God, the deaths- they were in a war, and they knew it. When the President died, killed in an assassination by some damned idiotic neo-Nazi group, the vice president yielded to the groups that wanted to negotiate. Megatron had a fine time playing with them. They turned over Sector Seven to the Decepticons, all of them, an act of treachery that caused half the armed forces to break away and join the organizing resistance. The Secretary of Defense sent out orders the moment he heard those orders. Every little piece of weaponry that worked against the mechs disappeared from the warehouses, along with the ammunition. Sam remembered the pain in the ass coordinating that little piece of necessary theft. Simmons got all the information they had on Megatron and any other aliens to Sam and Bumblebee before he was taken into custody; Banachek did the same with Will with the weapons and special items.
On the day that Seymour Simmons and his fellow agents died in various messy ways in front of a horrified nation, Will, his squad, Sam and Mikaela worked on organizing the resistance. Sam's parents and Will's family, along with the families of the other soldiers and agents, came with them. His parents died natural deaths, his father a heart attack, and his mother a septic gallbladder. They worked for the resistance until those deaths, supporting their son.
The Decepticons destroyed the government, and the armed forces that remained under the command of the stupid and power hungry. The population of the United States and Canada dropped by half in two years as the cities died. Sam believed that the other countries in the world faced the same problems, but his war was in North America.
Guerrilla tactics worked much better than large-scale maneuvers. Many, many ordinary people helped, even if all they could do was feed the resistance fighters. That offset the viciousness that the loss of law and order caused in so much of humanity. One by one the different resistances killed the Decepticons. What was left of the All-Spark did not always work to revive the off-lined. The resistance fighters learned to aim for the spark or to blow the bodies to bits if possible. They were on the verge of a final push to finish the last feww when the reinforcements arrived. Wave after wave of Decepticons came down. While they became steadily more organized, they began systemically spreading chaos with what was left of human civilization. Humans fought-how they fought!- but slowly they were beaten down, until only a fraction were left alive.
Sam remembered when Starscream took out Will. The jet kept circling the base, certain he was close but never pinning down the exact location. Will confronted Starscream as the base evacuated, under orders to get the hell out no matter what happened to him. "I'm dead, "Will said to Sam and Mikaela when they protested. "Sarah and Annabelle went with Ironhide. You guys are the only hope we've got left. Let me go out doing something useful." They honored his choice, watching while Starscream played with Will until everyone was gone. Mikaela and Sam were the last to leave. Her aim was better. Mikaela made the mercy kill, and then they took off.
He remembered taking down Starscream and the two in his trine that came to join him in the wave of reinforcements. Skywarp and Thundercracker were as nasty as Starscream, though not as smart, and Skywarp's teleportation was a morale crusher.
Sam and Mikaela were delivering ammunition to scattered dumps when Sam died the second time. They stopped to get water. Sam saw the ground 'con too late. Sam got him down with a bazooka. "I think he reported," Sam said in his mechanical voice.
"Remember the pact," Mikaela said. She was almost three times the age they were when they met, and she looked it. Her hair was as white as his; her face tanned and beginning to show some wrinkles. She was grim and tough and he adored her still. Sam, as tough as she but not as worn, only nodded. The pact was that you did not allow a fellow soldier to be taken alive. Resistance soldiers were killed in agonizing and lingering ways as publicly as possible. They headed for the only shelter they knew, an old antiaircraft dump. They saw a jet above them but it did not fire. Mikaela scrambled out of the truck and prepped the weapon as Sam got the truck under the shelter. They loaded, and Sam stacked more ammunition as she began the lookout.
He tripped and fell against her, and the weapon went off, just as Skywarp appeared. It took the teleporter directly in the spark. Mikaela shrieked in surprise and triumph, and Sam scrambled up to stare in shock. Then they loaded as fast as they could, hope rising. They had one, could they get another?
They hear the screams of another robot, and a transform. Thundercracker stood over his trine mate, keening. He lunged at them- right into the next shot. That threw him back, and they reloaded frantically. He got up and came at them again, never the brightest and maddened with grief. They got him again, taking off his head. He fell on top of Skywarp.
They loaded, and gulped water and food. Two, they got two! Two that would never get up again! Sam and Mikaela knew they were dead, but they were together at the end, which was more than they could have hoped for. They took two of the worst with them. That was more than a fair exchange, and if they knew the trines, they might just have another chance…
He gave Mikaela one last hard kiss. He saw Hook and his group approaching, and warned Mikaela. She only nodded, scanning for Starscream. He started to set up the explosives. If they could not get the ammunition out, they would take it with them, and maybe one or two more of the enemy.
Hook knew the resistance's techniques by now. Cornered Resistance soldiers built traps, taking more than one Decepticon to the Pit. Sam remembered catching Hook's optic. "Come out and I'll give you a quick death," Hook called. "You and the femme both."
"Overload yourself, Decepticon," Sam snarled in his artificial voice just as Starscream arrived. The jet screamed what he was going to do to the maggots that killed his brothers.His shots were wild and inaccurate. Sam got the last wire set, got the dead man's trigger in his hand, and waited. He intended to get one more no matter what. When he went, the truck would.
Mikaela cursed; she could not get the weapon trained on Starscream and they could not afford to waste a shot. The jet transformed and instead of shooting, slammed into them. The weapon exploded. Blood and energon splattered over Sam. Starscream fell over, light coming through the hole in his chest where the spark chamber once sat. He slammed into Sam. Mikaela was so much broken meat. His heart tore. He thought then that he would join her fast enough. He could feel his own blood pouring out of wounds in his back and stomach, pinned by Starscream's bulk.
He could hear them coming, charging, determined to get to him before he could set off the explosives. They laughed and sent his body flying, yanking the trigger out of his hand. He heard the explosion before everything went blank.
Hook came out that back room and their gazes caught. For just a few seconds, Hook knew that the same fighter who defied him all those years ago stood in front of him. Then the moment passed, and the human was only a brooding feral human. Hook thought briefly that the human should be collared and put to work, before going about his business.
Megatron did not miss the exchange. When Hook left, he took Sam from the cage and placed him on the desk. "Did you take out Starscream?" he asked. Sam nodded. "You saved me some trouble, then. He was becoming botherson. " He planned to kill Starscream when the humans did it for him. The Seeker was causing more trouble than he was worth.
There were other visitors. One took Sam from the cage and scanned him before putting him back. Others came to see Megatron and looked at him. One poked at him and got yelled at by the Decepticon leader in Cybertronian. Sam concluded that Megatron was possessive.
About a week after Megatron captured him, Sam woke to find Megatron watching him. After he voided and ate something, his captor pulled him out of the cage and put him in a bucket of warm water with some kind of solvent. Taking the hint, Sam cleaned up. When Megatron pulled him out, he handed Sam a drying cloth and an outfit in black soft cloth. Megatron almost vibrated with some kind of anticipation. Sam's heart clenched, and he wondered if he was about to be executed.
He blanked out his expression. He was no longer afraid of death. He was afraid of pain, and he was afraid of being the Decepticon lab rat. He doubted he would be dressed for display for lab work, but in the past the Deceoticons executed Resistance fighters in painful and lingering ways. At the same time, he resolved to give the Decepticons no reason to gloat over him. Megatron caught him in one hand and pulled something out of a drawer. Sam started to struggle, and got the breath squeezed from him. While he gulped air, Megatron put the body harness on him, and hooked a chain onto it. Then he picked Sam up and carried him away.
A few hours later Sam stood at a clearing and watched as the last human base collapsed into a pile of rubble. There was a large gathering there. You were a soldier, Sam told himself. You saw people die. You saw all kinds of destruction. You've seen buildings come down as a construction slave, and this is just one more. He wondered when his turn would come.
"Look at me," Megatron said. Sam turned and faced the monster five times his size. "You have lived freely; you can no longer be allowed to associate with your own kind, and are exiled from them. " He reached down and picked Sam up, and in a motion too quick for Sam to avoid, snapped a collar around his neck, perfectly smooth and cold onyx, solid black and tight enough that Sam could not pull it off and loose enough not to choke him. Sam tested it, feeling the electronics all collars carried, and dropped his hands. When he was still again, the Decepticon leader went on, "I claim you now as my own, as a living reminder of what humans used to be and never will be again