Will sighted as he looked out the tiny window in his office and watched Sam and the reddish dog play with his daughter. It had become a habit to keep track of where she was, and every time she was close by he had problems keeping his eyes off her. He could not believe that after all these years she was finally back with them.
He knew that she was still angry with him for what he had done in the past, and he understood her reasons why. Even back then, after he had a chance to think about what he had done, he understood it. However, that did not mean that he had liked it. Not then, and not now. Not that Sam had done anything wrong, that was a huge part of his problems; she acted like the perfect subordinate around him. All ‘sir’s and respect, while together with others she smiled and relaxed. And that was hard; it was hard to see the woman he loved open up and interact with everyone except him. A couple of times he had wondered why his eyes did not change color to green in response to all the jealousy that threatened to drown him. He knew he sounded desperate, even in his head, but he could deal with it all if only to be in the receiving end of one of her smiles again. But that did not seem likely to happen.
It might have been easier if it had only been Epps and the soldiers she had known from before that she warmed up to, but that was not the case. Even the greenest recruit received welcoming smiles from her. On various occasions he had had to fight the urge to walk up to her, throw her over his shoulder and yell ‘mine’. Something he absolutely knew would not be received well or resolve anything. He would probably only get his ass kicked and a court martial, and he figured that was if he was lucky.
However, that did not stop him from wanting to claim her and feeling jealous of everyone she spent a majority of her time with. And that included Epps and Annabelle. Epps was his best friend, and happily married with children of his own. And Bells, for crying out loud, was his daughter. How much more sad could it get? That did not mean that he did not like that Sam and his precious daughter was getting along. In fact, he loved it. He just wished he had a chance to join them some of the time.
He was lying when he said Sam smiled and was nice to everyone. There were one more person that received the same treatment as him. Cold, distant and professional. Optimus Prime was in the same boat as him and they both knew perfectly well why that was. It had been a bad decision, but he could still feel the paralyzing terror he had felt as he watched the blast sent her flying. The desperation when he frantically let training take over and performed CPR. How something had died inside him when the Medics called it after shocking her multiple times. Finally at last the all-consuming joy when the Primes gave her back to him and his promise to do everything in his power to keep her safe. The order from above had been like a gift from heaven and he had been filled with too emotions to think clearly. However, he had paid for it dearly.
The woman he just realized that he loved had left for an unknown military base, doing God knows what, for years without contact of any kind. However, what had been hardest to lose had been her friendship. And it still was. He had felt hope when she walked into his office her first day back. Hope that she could do the unthinkable and forgive him, and they could go back to the friendship they had shared. Sighting again when his two favorite girls moved out of his field of vision, he thought back to that meeting.
The knock on his office door was not strictly necessarily since he had a literary open door policy and as long as the door was not closed anyone could drop by if there were something they wanted to talk about. The knock in itself indicated that it had to be one of the newbies and Will held a secret wish for whom it could be, a hope that was fulfilled when he looked up and saw the beautiful woman standing in the doorway.
“Sam!” Will smiled delightfully and gestured for her to come inside and sit down.
“Sir.” Sam’s polite greeting quenched the hope that had blossomed when he had seen her. His hope of getting her forgiveness and having things between them going back to how it had been before Egypt.
“Sam,” Will started when his visitor did not make a move to start any conversation. “Is there anything I can do for you? Or your team? If there is anything, I’ll do whatever I can to do it. Anything.”
“So if I have a politician I don’t like, you mind kicking him off a plane for me?” The breathtaking smile Sam sent him was enough to make his head spin, but somehow Will managed to form a response.
“A politician? It would be my pleasure.”
They shared an evil smile before Sam’s face suddenly turned blank, almost as if she suddenly realized who she was with and turned off a switch.
“Actually Sir… I was curious about NESTs regulations concerning pets. Canine to be precise.”
“You have a dog you want to bring with you?” Will clarified and he could have sworn that he saw amusement in her eyes for a second.
“Four. And they are highly trained. They are part of my team and are trained to go with us wherever we go or whatever we do. Search and Rescue, guard duty, negotiations, birthday parties and baby sitting duty to name a few.” Sam had been ticking off points on her fingers, and when she came to the two last ones, her eyes flared up with amusement again and this time Will was sure.
“That’s quite… broad training.” Will finally settled on. Sure, the dogs sparked some curiosity in him, but he had already decided to give Sam the go ahead. He just wanted to keep her with him for as long as possible.
“They are highly intelligent. If the situation requires it, they can be deadly. But at the same time I, and the rest of my base, trust them explicitly. More than once they have been watching my one year old godson as he slept.” Sam probably did not realize that as she talked about the boy a soft smile had formed.
“What’s his name?”
“TJ. Or Torren John if you are going to be formal. Something Teyla’s people often is.” Sam chuckled lightly before sobering up. “About those regulations…”
“It’s no problem. As long as they aren’t involved in anything I think they’ll be just fine.” Will interrupted her.
“Thank you!” She beamed at him and that in itself was worth it for him.
“My pleasure.” he mumbled as he stared after her retreating back.
The dogs, if you could call them that… they were huge, had not caused any problems and each time he saw Sam together with one of them he knew he had done the right thing. Any fears he had had went away the first time he saw one of them together with Anabelle; those dogs were extremely careful and treated his daughter as if she was made of glass. Not to say that he had not been terrified when he first saw them together. But he still had a feeling there were something more to the dogs, and the rest of the team, than any of them knew. He just did not know what.
There were someone else that had the same feeling, but unlike Will he was pretty sure he at least had an idea what that ‘something’ was. Then again Ratchet did have a small advantage over everyone else, since he already knew that there were something up with AT-5, as Sam called her team.
Ratchet did not know exactly what they were, but he had been doing extensive research on the web and he thought the closest correct categorization would be werewolves. Or maybe more likely as they said in those teenage vampire books… shape-shifters. No one else seemed to be suspecting anything. Sure the team was practically wrapped into a blanket of mystery, but there were no one that thought anything like this could be a possibility. But quite frankly he was amazed that none of his fellow Autobots had caught on. It was just so obvious!
- You would never see all four dogs -wolves?- at one time. They could be seen alone or together with one, or at most two, of the others.
- Each animal shared similarities with one of the humans on AT-5. Phoenix was the only female and shared Sam’s brown eyes and Sam’s hair color. Gauss had black fur, just like civilian doctor. He was even named after the prince of mathematicians, Carl Friedrich Gauss. The other black wolf, Ares, had Duhamel’s electric blue eyes. And Shadow, the fourth and last dog, had the fourth member, McCoy’s, green eyes and russet colored fur.
- None of the dogs made an appearance at the same time as the team member they resembled. Ex. Phoenix and Sam were never be seen together. Eppes could be seen with every wolf except Gauss, etc.
- This was the one point Ratchet didn’t blame anyone else for not noticing since he was pretty sure he only did because of what Sam had told him, but Sam and her friends were among the first to get up in the morning and the last to bed in the evening and they never looked fatigued. Sure some could say they took naps during the day, but he had found himself keeping an eye on them and he had never caught them doing it.
Ratchet was hoping Sam would confirm his suspicions at their next lesson, but he had yet to find the right way to ask. It was not as if he could just blur it out in the middle of one of the translation lessons. In the end none of his worries mattered; Sam was the one to bring the subject up.
“I’ve noticed that you’ve been a bit distracted lately. Let me guess; you’ve noticed something new and you’ve got more questions?” Sam asked. “You know you can ask me anything. I can’t guarantee an answer, that’s all depending what kind of question you ask, but you can still ask them.”
“The… dogs… You and your team… You are Phoenix aren’t you?” Ratchet finally said, after multiple failed attempts to put his thoughts into words.
“Yes I am, and yes my team are Ares, Shadow and Gauss.” Sam chuckled as she answered the flustered Mech.
“What are you?”
“Humans, with a few upgrades. I guess you could call us werewolves, or shapeshifters, but we still think of ourselves as humans.” Sam shrugged.
“That lab accident you mention the first night…” Ratchet trailed off.
“As I told you then; it changed me and my team.”
“How?” Ratchet, always the Medic, was interested in knowing the specifics in case he needed to treat any of them on later occasions.
“We don’t get sick, ever. The entire base once caught something that the locals called a children decease, but that caused the grown-ups that had never had it to get amnesia. Luckily we, I guess you can call us wolves for lack of better terms, weren’t affected and with help from the locals we reversed the affects and brought everyone back to normal.” Sam explained. “We’ve also got increased stamina. Heal faster than normal if we are injured. We can go days without sleep, and need less sleep and rest than normal humans.” Sam was quiet for a moment. “Do you know about the TV-series ‘Dark Angel’? We are pretty much like those ‘transgenics’. Stronger, faster and all that. Only we’ve got it from being able to turn into a wolf at will instead of a mix of animal DNA.”
Sam gave Ratchet some time to look up the mentioned TV-series before continuing. “Then it is our wolf-form. It’s basically the same as human, except for our senses and ways to communicate. Our senses as humans are incredible, but that are increased tremendously as wolves. And we can kind off talk to each other. I know some of the young lieutenants have been reading the Twilight-saga, but it’s nothing like that. We can’t read each others minds, we have to ‘talk’ to each other if that makes any sense.”
“I… I think I understand. You have to make a conscious decision to speak with someone else. Maybe something similar to our comm-channels?”
“Mhm, that sounds about right.” Sam agreed. “And then we come to all the legends. No, we do not need a full moon to transform. No, we do not eat human hearts. No, we do not shed fur when we go from wolf to human. Silver is no different than any other metal, a silver bullet does the same damage as a normal one. We don’t go all ‘wild beast’ once a month. Have I forgotten something?” Sam sighted in frustration, and the mech assumed everyone that found out about her and the wolves asked these questions.
“No I don’t think you have.” Ratchet chuckled. “All I really asked for was to know if there were anything I needed to be aware of as a medic.”
“Oh. Nothing really. No illness, wounds heals very fast. Blood type doesn’t mean anything if we need transfusions, I think the doctors believe we are universal donors, but they are not finished with all their tests yet. We can go long times without food, but we can also eat a small mountain in one sitting.”
“Any allergies?” Ratchet asked, filling away the information in a safe, password protected file.
“None.” Sam answered smug. “Danny used to have peanut-allergies, but it’s all gone now.”
“Hmm. Interesting.” the Medic grunted.
“That’s what our doctors said too.” Sam chuckled. “But to change topic entirely… do you mind teaching the rest of my team basic Cybertronian? They don’t have ‘help’ from the AllSpark, but I believe they might be able to pick up some with our additional ‘gifts’.”
“That sounds… acceptable. I would love to get to know your friends better.” Ratchet replied.
“You just want them to tell you embarrassing stories about the time I’ve been away so that you’ve got some leverage on me.” Sam laughingly accused.
“Perhaps.” Ratchet chuckled. “I am sure they’ve got quite a selection.”
“Sure, sure.” Sam did not bother to protest the claim when it was true. Luckily for her most of it was classified and/or the others also played a big part in it. “What about us getting back to the lesson now?”
“Is that a blush I am detecting?” Ratchet teased before sobering up. “Okay, I want you to try to translate this…”