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Half-Life (3/?) [Jul. 29th, 2007|05:44 pm]
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Title: Half-Life
Author: darkfire_blade aka Hellsfirescythe
Fandom: Transformers 2007 movie
Rating: PG-13 for violence and language
Characters/Pairings: Jazz, Ensemble
Summary: Re-awakening Jazz with the remaining piece of the Allspark had been the easy part. Dealing with its consequences and the aftermath of Mission City would open a whole new can of worms.
Notes/Warnings: post-movie, contains spoilers.

Chapter Three: Infiltration

Autobot med-bay in Headquarters, outskirts of Tranquility, Nevada

"I would like an explanation, Prime. Right. Now."

Frustration was practically rolling off the Autobot medic in strong waves. He could feel his internal temperature rising with each passing second as Optimus refused to meet his visual receptors. Ratchet tapped one finger against his crossed arms and his mouth tightened further. "Neither of us are leaving this room until I get it. If it has anything to do with Jazz's condition, I need to know. Now."

"It's...nothing. Just an old mech's worrying," sighed Optimus looking decidedly uncomfortable.

Ratchet hissed with a sound akin to steam rushing out from a press. He flipped a nearby switch on the computer counsel. The lights that had previously been muted in the OR flooded the spacious room, allowing the one-way window to become fully operational. Ratchet flung his arm, pointing at the glowing restrains newly placed on a prone Jazz in the middle of the OR.

"That's nothing, Optimus? Tell me that's nothing. Tell me there's no reason for an in-stasis Jazz to suddenly jump off that berth weapons charging. Tell me there's no reason for the Decepticon coding to be mutating and breaking through MY anti-virus coding!" growled Ratchet. "I know there's something you're not telling me, not telling us."

The Prime started in his silence, shock flooding his stance and expression. "Jazz did what? How did you stop him?"

"I tackled him, in my own med-bay and forced him back into the OR. His defenses weren't so active, almost as if he wasn't used to his own body," Ratchet stated simply while casting a sideways glance towards Optimus.

Normally staunch and a pillar of strength, Optimus Prime now looked troubled, as if his greatest fears have been realized. Those great shoulders fell as Optimus strode slowly towards the window, gazing in upon Jazz. Ratchet almost felt a twinge of sympathy for his leader over his annoyance.

"It's...it's as I feared," sighed Optimus. "Megatron was stronger than I gave him credit for."

"Megatron? That's what Jazz nearly said! How can this be?" sputtered Ratchet, rushing over to Prime's side to look at his patient. Jazz lay motionless, optics dark. "He entered stasis-lock protocols himself, you know? I was right in the middle of fastening his restraints, it was as if he suddenly came to. He gave me this look of utter terror before initiating his sequence. I-I don't think I can ever forget that look."

"I...I was reckless. After finding that piece of Allspark, after Jazz's death...I was selfish. I didn't think of the consequences or what might have happened to the piece due to the place I found it in," Optimus's hands formed into fists. Ratchet could easily read his commander's rising heat signature, Optimus's electromagnetic field flickering wildly in his frustration.

"Where did you find the shard of Allspark, Optimus?" asked Ratchet gravely.

There was a moment of regretful and guilty silence before Optimus responded, head bowing against the window. "In Megatron's extinguished spark-chamber."

Ratchet resisted the urge to snap at the Prime or deck his leader for his stupidity, but it was just as much his fault as it was Optimus's. The decision to bring Jazz back to life wasn't solely made of a decision of Optimus. They, the remaining Autobots, all had their word in the process. So eager were they to bring back a fallen friend that they didn't think to ask any questions. They had the Allspark, what more was there to do? To happen?

"I managed to quarantine the coding...the anti-virus isn't working. If that code really is what we think it is -Megatron's core programming- I don't know how long we have for the wall to hold," said Ratchet. "Jazz is beginning to run out of extra storage space. If the sequence grows large enough, his memory bank will automatically begin purging data to make more room."

"If Megatron has the strength now to control the body while Jazz is offline, we have to be prepared for the situation in which he gains enough power to take over Jazz's cons-"

"It's not going to happen," snarled Ratchet.

"But we have to be prepared. Hopefully it's for nothing," rumbled Optimus.

He hung in that dreaded limbo again. Darkness, nothing, silence...well, near silence and near nothing. Jazz shivered as a phantom clawed hand brushed against his chassis in a mocking imitation of a lover's caress.

"Quit playing around, bastard," Jazz spat out.

"Ah, First Lieutenant Jazz, your helplessness disgusts me so," Megatron's voice was like a distant rumble, disdain dripping from its surface. "Where's your fight that I so enjoyed last time we met in the corporeal world?"

"You stay away from the others, punk! This is between you and me!"

A half-way amused chuckle fills the space, making Jazz feel like as small and insignificant as a bug. "This seems rather one-sided to me, Autobot." Phantom claws rake down Jazz's back, provoking a choked grimace. "We can play later, your medic friend is quite impressive. But I'm afraid he'll do you no good."

Choice human and Cybertronian curses made their way out of Jazz's vocalizer, but Megatron's presence no longer appeared in the void.

"Bee, I'm fine! You can honestly let go now," grumbled Sam from his perch in the Autobot scout's hand. Mikaela looked down apologetically from her own spot on Bumblebee's shoulder.

"Random wobbling usually doesn't bode well in health for your species," Bumblebee pointed out quietly while walking quietly down the halls of Autobot headquarters.

"Just a bit too much crowd surfing okay? I mean, I've got motion sickness...not enough to keep me off killer rides of course. I love roller coasters, right Mikaela?" Sam protested, frowning when Mikaela just smiled and laughed. His heart skipped a beat. "Sure, yeah. Just leave me hanging here why don't you? See if I ever try to help you out with giant alien robots again."

Mikaela offered Sam a heart-melting smile, something she hadn't done often for the last few days. The fact that she was looking more and more distracted every passing day was starting to worry him. But right now, right now things seemed back to normal, he really should catch colds more often then. "Alright Bee, give Sam a chance here. He probably ate something bad at one of the food stands. Anyways, I thought you said Optimus told you to bring us home."

"Ratchet can give you a brief scan to tell us what's wrong. Then I'll decide between sending home or going to the hospital. If my sources are correct, that's where you humans go when feeling unwell, right?" Bumblebee made a turn to an alternate corridor, ignoring Sam's valiant protests.

"Look, big guy. A few days ago? That was just a cold. I'm all better now, see? All better!" Sam gestured wildly as if that would illustrate his status of health to his large guardian. Oh great, now he looked even more stupid in front of Mikaela. What other protests he had lodged in his throat died down when the med-day doors slid open for them revealing Ratchet and Optimus Prime on the other side. "Um, hey, we crashing something? -Whoa!" Sam and Mikaela both clutched at their ride as Bumblebee lurched forward.

Sam blanched as he caught sight of the figure through the OR window. Sure he's seen Jazz like this before, still and lying on that metallic slab. But...something curled in the bottom of Sam's stomach when he saw the glowing things strapped around Jazz's limbs and mid-section. A gasp from Mikaela mirrored his own shock.

"H-hey, what's going on here?" Sam squirmed in Bumblebee's grasp as the bot's hold grew marginally tighter. He sees Bumblebee nodding, as if echoing his question.

"We just needed to secure Jazz in case of any accidents," says Prime, his voice soothing Sam's worries. It would have worked if not for the brief look of...something (outrage?) that flashed across Ratchet's features. He wasn't sure, reading the facial language of different transformers isn't something Sam had gotten himself well-acquainted with yet. "Bumblebee, I thought I told you to take the humans home."

"I wanted to get Sam looked over by Ratchet," muttered Bumblebee, still not looking away from Jazz's bound form.

"I'm find, Bee. Honest," Sam offered an awkward smile and gently patted his guardian's hand in what he hoped was a comforting gesture. Bee's grip loosened and Sam clambered up to join Mikaela on the Autobot's shoulder.

"You don't have to take us back right away. Sam's parents still think that we're going to be at the concert until tomorrow," said Mikaela. "We can wait till then."

"Yeah, we can make ourselves at home here. No biggie," Sam shrugged.

Large blue optics shined brightly as Bumblebee's head turned to regard his two charges, Sam couldn't help but fidget under the Autobot's gaze.

"Thank you, Mikaela, Sam."

"I know that you're worried about Jazz, but letting the humans stay here can be disastrous," Ratchet had chastised not long after Sam and Mikaela had vacated the med-bay to find somewhere suitable to spend the night in the Autobot base. Now, internal chronometer clocking near midnight, Bumblebee found himself still watching over Jazz's still form. Not too far away, he could hear the low whirr of fans as Ratchet dozed on a berth shoved into the corner of the med-bay.

The dimmed lights of the main room only served to make the view into the bright OR all the clearer. Bumblebee shuddered and glanced to the south wall, hoping for some comfort in the glow reflected off the warped surface of the Allspark shard. There it was, all that was left of their civilization, of their world. Suspended in its hollow, the shard turned lazily.

"It's beautiful, isn't it?"

The unexpected statement made Bumblebee jump, his arm cannon was half-engaged when he spotted Ratchet propped up by one arm in his berth. Bumblebee's arm cannon retracted accompanied by a sheepish emission from his vocalizer. "Didn't know that you were awake, Ratchet."

"Recharge is difficult to attain properly with mechs moping and sighing within a thirty-feet radius," Ratchet responded, the light tease eliciting a small noise of protest from Bumblebee. "You were looking at the Allspark shard?"

Bumblebee nodded slowly.

"I suggest that you don't look for any hope with that any longer. It's as good as gone to us now," Ratchet grunted as he pushed himself off the berth to walk towards the scout.

"But it brought Jazz back to us, it can't be of no use," protested Bumblebee, the centuries and millenniums of awe for the Allspark still tightly ingrained into him.

"Yes, it brought Jazz back, but at what price?" Ratchet changed course and made his way slowly to the OR window. "Optimus is going to have a debriefing on this first thing tomorrow, but, I feel that I should tell you now."

"Tell me what?"

"The Allspark is gone to us, Bumblebee. We can't use it. It was found in Megatron's spark chamber," said Ratchet. The confusion in Bumblebee's expression must have been evident, for the medical officer continued. "Megatron has a strong will to live, to conquer. He wouldn’t give himself up easily. His coding is now mixed into that of the shard. Anything brought to life by it will inadvertently..."

Bumblebee didn't hear any more of Ratchet's explanation as he stared in horror at Jazz's body. A flinch rolled through the scout's frame as Ratchet's hand clamped down firmly on his shoulder. "I'm sorry, Bumblebee."

"Is there anything we can do?" 'Is there anything you can do?'

"I'm working on it, Bumblebee. My mind has churned through hundreds of possibilities and through every simulation, none have worked as of yet. "I'll find something though, I promise. We won't be losing Jazz again."

Such a promise is something Ratchet shouldn't be making, even Bumblebee knew that. But he allowed those words to take root and nodded.

"Go get some recharge, Bumblebee. You have a busy day ahead of you tomorrow," murmured Ratchet. Bumblebee resisted for a moment as Ratchet's hand pushed him lightly towards the med-bay doors. He took one last look in Jazz's direction before following Ratchet's lead.

The doors to the med-bay slid shut with a definite hiss, leaving Ratchet and Jazz the sole occupants once more.

"I hate to think of Ironhide's reaction when he hears of all of this."

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(Deleted comment)
[User Picture]From: darkfire_blade
2007-07-30 04:26 am (UTC)
Jazz ain't gonna back down with out any fight! Right Jazz? ...Er...Jazz?

Hmmm, he's a bit of code, but that's sentient evolving code. Even though Maggie and Glen might be able to identify it *if they can tell the difference between Meg's code and Jazz's code* stopping it would be another thing entirely. In the movie, the only way the humans could stop it was physically. Ratchet might be able to help, but seeing how his anti-virus isn't quite working...^^

We'll see.

Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: purajo
2007-07-30 02:07 am (UTC)
Dammmit Jazz! You bloody fight that SOB!!

Sure he's a little guy, but being little has never stopped him before, so he'd better put up a nice resistence and show Megs that he's not one to be messed with, let alone invaded.

And yes, Ironhide's reaction should be interesting... wait... he's not going to try and shoot Jazz is he?
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[User Picture]From: darkfire_blade
2007-07-30 04:28 am (UTC)
Jazz: You damn right I'm gonna fight that SOB. You're going down Megatron!
Megatron: *just lands on Jazz*

Okay...maybe that's not how it's going to go ^^ But yeah, Jazz go!

No shooting Jazz. I can assure you that much ^^

Thank you!
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[User Picture]From: drharper
2007-07-30 09:51 pm (UTC)
Ooooo, boy! Right on schedule, things are going to the Pit in a handbasket.


And a double "DOH!" here. One for Optimus not thinking to mention where he found that fragment and one for Ratchet for not thinking to ask. Bad medic! No biscuit.

Sam, Sam, Sam. Typical male. Ignoring really worrisome symptoms until they're freaking out of control. Of course, a little pot calling the kettle black here. Even though I'm female, it takes an act of Congress to get me to see my colleagues in medicine for myself. :)

But it does make me wonder just what will turn up when Ratchet DOES get around to scanning Sammy-boy. ;)
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[User Picture]From: darkfire_blade
2007-07-31 02:33 am (UTC)
Ah, they're not quite close to the Pits yet, I'll tell you when we're getting there. ^_-

Well, Sam honestly feels fine right now. It was a pass and go kinda upset feeling. Add to the fact that he's more thinking of Mikaela right now. But...that's more for a side-story that's been spawning in my head...

^^ we'll see

Thank you!
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