“Bobby! Come quick!” an excited voice shouted to be heard across the compound, making Master Sergeant Robert Epps quickly end his current conversation about sports, before jogging over to the office his best friend and commanding officer occupied.
“What’s up?” he asked as he closed the door behind him.
There were no need to ask who she was. There was only one woman that could get such a big reaction out of the ranger.
“You sure?” Epps asked carefully. Will and the rest of the autobots had done everything in their power to find out where Sam ended up after Egypt, and get her back to them, or at least on their radar. However, every request and every lead had been a bust. Therefore, when his best friend gestured towards the open email on the computer, he sincerely hoped that the whole thing was not his friend’s eyes playing a trick on him. Somehow his prays was heard. Epps could not help to read the last line aloud in glee.
«PS. Witwicky is on her way, please get those damn robots of my back.»
“I should never have doubted you. That harass technique worked its magic. It took its time, but it worked. Come we’ve got to tell Optimus and Bumblebee!” Will grinned madly, grabbed Epps and started to steer him out of the office before the Sergeant had time to get over the delighted shock.
“Who are they?” Epps asked as they reached the autobot hangar.
“Who?” Will spared a glance at him in confusion before looking around them. He spotted them at just as the Sergeant spoke up again.
“There.” Epps pointed towards four people clothed in all black walking towards them. Then he recognized the woman in the front. “Isn’t that…?”
The ranger had no chance to answer before the group came to attention in front of them and the woman saluted him.
“Sir! Captain Witwicky reports as ordered, Sir.” The woman they had known years ago was gone and in her place was a professional soldier. What had happened to their Sam? Lennox barely managed to mumble out an ‘at ease’ in his shock. It was barely audible, but Sam must have hear it anyway because she turned towards him and a huge grin on her face, and in a blink of an eye the old Sam was back.
“Bobby!” She all but squealed and pulled him into a hug.
“Sam! Where have you been? Are you okay? A Captain? How did that happen? Who is your friends?” Epps rapidly fired of question after question, knowing that he was not the only one that wanted to know the answers, but his friend had not recovered enough to ask them yet.
Sam laughed in delight over the reunion, silently relieved that she had practice understanding fast speaking scientists. “That’s my name, don’t wear it out! Classified, never better, yes, no idea, and I am sorry I seem to have lost all my manners. This is Lt. Josh McCoy, SAS.” She gestured to the tall, red haired man to her left. “Captain Danny Duhamel, 75th Ranger Regiment.” The dark haired man on her right nodded in greeting. “And Doctor Charles Eppes, no relation to you.” A young man with extremely curly black hair waved nervously behind her, and Sam took a step back and linked her arm with his. His nerves seemed to disappear almost immediately.
“Doctor?” Epps asked curiously.
“Not MD, I’ve got a doctor grade in applied mathematics.” the young man explained.
“Don’t be modest. Charlie here is a genius.” Sam praised the man and a faint blush found its way to his cheeks.
“If you say so.” Charlie mumbled.
“We all say so. Now, if you’ll excuse us we have a few robots to talk to. Bobby. Sir.” her smile disappeared when she sent a glance at her new CO before going into the autobot hangar.
“She’s still pissed at me.” Will mumbled quietly. Only Epps knew how much the encounter had really hurt his friend.
Years ago, not long after Sam had flown away in the helicopter and left a lost man behind, Epps had gotten his friend drunk and pulled the truth out of him. And Will had told him everything. How it had hit him like a sledgehammer in those minutes she had been dead; how he in that moment had realized how much he cared about her, how hard he had actually fallen for the young woman that had saved the world and befriended an alien race. That he had been relieved when he got the order that she would stay on base where he could protect her, not thinking about what she would think about the arrangement. Finally, how lost and afraid he felt now when she was gone God knows where. Since then Epps had done his best to brighten his friend’s spirit, and he sincerely hoped that those two could work out their problems.
‘One dreaded reunion over and done with, one to go’ Sam thought. It had not been that difficult to see Major Lennox again. Maybe it was because of the silent support from her team, or the genuine joy she had felt when she met Bobby again. Anyway, it was over and done with. Now she only needed to keep up the cold, but military correct, facade around Lennox for the duration of her stay here. There was no way McKay and his ‘minions’ would not find a way to get Atlantis back to where she belonged; in Pegasus, and then she would be gone. Bye Earth, hello life-sucking space vampires. But first she had to deal with the other reunion she dreaded.
“Prime, Sir. Captain Witwicky reports for duty.” Neither she nor the rest of her team saluted, instead they went straight to parade rest. All autobot activity inside the hangar froze when she uttered those seven words. Everyone knew who Witwicky was. They had been told numerous times about how she defeated Megatron, earned the Matrix of Leadership and revived Optimus Prime.
“Sam is that really you?” Bumblebee was the one that came out of his shock first.
“Hey Bee! Your voice sounds great. Congratulation!” Sam waved, grinned and gave him a thumbs up. Her former guardian was among those she had missed the most. Before she really knew what had happened a metallic hand engulfed her and she was on eye level with the yellow bot.
“You okay? Ratchet! Sam’s here! Where have you been? Are you here to stay? Please tell me you are here to stay!” Bumblebee continued to shoot of questions almost quicker than Sam could follow, and definitely quicker than she could answer. Sam felt that the situation was almost a repeat with the one that had happened outside, only Bobby had needed to breath and Bee did not.
“Whoa Buddy! Slow down some, will ya?” She laughed as she was reluctantly handed over to Ratchet’s hand and the medic started to perform his scans. “I am fine. And you are looking at the new Cybertronian Ambassador.” Bee started to click and whirl exited in Cybertronian.
“She seems to be in good health, but I detect trace from a recent injury.” Ratchet finally told everyone after finishing a long line of scans and gave Sam back to the anxious and impatient scout.
“Just a few cracked ribs and a concussion. No big deal.” Sam shrugged. “I fell down a hill.” She explained when she saw the startled and curious optics around her.
“Fell down a hill she says. Sure. That’s what happens when you are on the run from Wraith and they manage to hit you with a stunner blast when you are on your way down.” Danny muttered sarcastically, but luckily it seemed like the autobots ha not hear him or taken notice.
“Prime, Sir, I need to know if you have any matters that requires my immediate attention?” Sam had resumed her former position of parade rest in her guardian’s hand, as she once again directed her attention to the autobot leader.
“Nothing that is that important. Why don’t you and your friends go and settle in?” Optimus Prime suggested, he had earlier noticed the duffel bags at the soldiers’ feet.
“Yes, Sir.” Was Sam’s sharp reply before she turned back to her former car, “Bee, I want you to meet my team. Captain Danny Duhamel, Lieutenant Josh McCoy and Doctor Charlie Eppes. Guys, this is Bumblebee.”
“Nice to meet you Bumblebee. Thank you for looking after our Boss before we came into the picture.” Josh greeted him and the other two came with similar responses. Bee welcomed them to base and seemed perfectly at ease with the new humans she had brought with her, but since Sam knew her friend, she could tell that he was surprised by the ease these particular humans reacted to the autobots presence with. Most humans would at least be a little stressed and uncomfortable in a situation like this, but her team had not as much as flinched when the giant robots had started to run towards them or grab their team leader.
“Come on guys. Let’s find out where we are going to bunk. Bee? Wanna come with us?” Sam added the last part when she saw how reluctant Bumblebee was to let her go. His optics brightened immediately and he lowered his other hand so that the men on her team could also get a ride with him. And to her pride and joy they didn’t hesitate before climbing into the giant metal hand. She knew that her team trusted each other completely, but it was always heartwarming to see it in action.
“You know, I can get used to this.” Danny grinned as he looked down at the ground that quickly moved bellow them.
“And don’t I know it.” Sam grinned back. “Hey Bobby!” She suddenly yelled when she saw the familiar figure again. “Any idea where we’ll bunk?” She asked when they had caught up with the Air Force Sergeant.
“I am sure I can find you something. Even if it is a cell in the brig.” Epps teased as he stepped into the offered hand; the same hand Sam was standing in.
“I am sure your brig would be an upgrade from some of the places we have found ourselves camping in. Or what boys?” Sam directed her question to Bee’s other hand.
“Yes Boss. A steamy dungeon could be an upgrade, so the numbers are in favor for the brig being much better.” Charlie answered.
Epps started to laugh of what he thought was a joke, but when he saw the grimaces the rest of the team exchanged he quickly quieted down and gave Sam a bewildered stare.
“Here we are.” Bumblebee stated as they reached the human barracks and intentionally or not, he diffused any tension that had arisen after Charlie’s statement.
“Come on guys. You heard the big boss, we’ve got the day of, let’s use it wisely.” Sam ordered sarcastically as she jumped out of Bee’s hand and headed into the building, the others following her lead enthusiastically.