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12 March 2009 @ 09:28 am
Holding Out For A Hero - Bonus Scenes #5  

Title: Holding Out For A Hero Bonus Scenes #5

Rating: NC-17
Characters/Pairings: Prowl, Flex, various others - some canon some not. 
Warnings:
Intimate acts between robots who use male pronouns to describe themselves hinted at, suggested, or discussed. Robots purposely getting way way drunk.
Universe: WW and G1 mix
Disclaimer: I, in no way, shape, or form, own the Transformers© franchise or the characters it contains. They belong to Has/Tak.

Summary: Prowl has known the death of friends and comrades in this war before. Growing up in the care of Special Ops mechs insured it. But this is the first time it has hit so very close to the spark.

HOFAH - Bonus Scenes #4 - Commander  

Bonus Scenes #5 - The Compass Rites

Summary: Prowl has known the death of friends and comrades in this war before. Growing up in the care of Special Ops mechs insured it. But this is the first time it has hit so very close to the spark.


Prowl on lined to a throbbing ache throughout every one of his systems. Everything ached. Chassis, processors, optics, audios, vocalizer, servos-wait he’d covered those with chassis, fuel tanks. Oh yeah, couldn’t miss those. Why was he feeling this way? He checked his chronometer. Fourteen joors to a cycle and it was already into the seventh joor of the cycle? That could not be right. And he ached all over. Wait, he’d covered that hadn’t he? Then the shift of a body next to his had him on lining his optics, jerking upwards and at the flash of yellow armor on one side of him he scrambled over another body with red armor on his other side to get off the berth. As his feet hit the floor the room spun as optics lost focus and he swayed, forcing him to grab the edge of the berth as motor function reacted poorly before both stabilized somewhat. 

“Prowl?” The question was soft, concerned, but Prowl didn’t register it.

What the Slag was wrong with him? He had never allowed himself to drink so much as to become cratered while drinking. Overcharged yes, but not completely cratered. And certainly never, never, to the point of energon poisoning which it felt as though his systems might currently be working their way back from.

He forced his CPU towards the degraded files of the past few joors. The Compass Rites. He pushed away from the berth and took two steps before he sank to his knees. 

“Prowl? The call a little louder this time, concern very evident.

A second voice responded to the first “Sides let him be. Remember what Mirage said.   It might take a few kliks for everything to settle.”

His entire frame shivered as his processor sorted through the memory files.  Flex. The Commander. The Compass Rites.



*~*~*~ [Approximately 1½-2 cycles previous]*~*~*~


Hound accepted the datapad from the unit’s communications officer and turned it on. There were two files. Hound chose one and opened it, then frowned in puzzlement.   What he was seeing was encrypted.

“You’re sure this is for me?”

“As sure as I can be. The headers all indicated it’s from Special Op’s, but it was addressed for you. If there’s a mistake it’s not on my end. Looked like the files were encrypted, but I don’t have Op’s ciphers. Still, the security protocols all checked out. Can you not open them?”

“Hound smiled with a light laugh. “And why would a Scout know Op’s encryption ciphers?”

The Communications mech fidgeted looking uncomfortable and trying to decide if he should say what Hound knew the mech wanted to. Hound chose to save the communications mech the embarrassment. “Just because I have an understanding with one of them does not mean they are giving me the encryptions for the entire department.” Hound thanked the mech as he turned and left but his processor was flying. He did have knowledge of one very special set of Op’s ciphers, but it was nothing he would ever admit to any mech. As soon as he was alone he plugged into the datapad. Astroseconds later he opened the first file.

Three simple lines appeared. The first read ‘Compass Rites.’ The Second had two mechs names. ‘Flex and Impact.’ The third listed a cycle and time.

Hound sighed. Not good news. He opened the second file. This time a single line appeared – ‘He should bring a couple of bodyguards.’ Hound puzzled over that for a moment then nodded to himself, deleted the second file and went to find his Commander.

/\/\

Prowl stared wordlessly at the three line message. Ignoring Hound he called to the other mech present. “Corporal, have Ricket report immediately. Then he looked up at Hound as the Corporal nodded and quickly left the ruined building Prowl was currently using as his units headquarters. “I assume you are already carrying full kit so you and I will leave as soon as I inform Ricket he’s taking the Command for the next few cycles.

Ricket, a green with black minibot and Prowl’s Second arrived and Prowl waved him further into the room. "Myself and Hound will be leaving for Iacon immediately. We have something to attend to during the next cycle. If we are not back, or you have received no word from us in five cycles, contact Iacon for further instructions. Questions?”

Ricket, well used to his Commanders ways didn’t expect to gain any knowledge from his query, but he still asked. “I don’t suppose you’ll tell me what’s going on if I ask?”

“It’s personal business.”

He sighed in his own head. “Then no. I have no questions Sir. Safe travel.”

Hound spoke up then. “Sir, shouldn’t we take a couple of guards as a safety precaution. We don’t want to make it too easy for the Con’s if we encounter any on the way. And an Autobot Unit Commander would make a nice prize and you doubly so.” Hound paused as if thinking over the unit’s warrior contingent then continued. “Sideswipe and Sunstreaker perhaps? Those two are easily worth double their number in a fight.”

Prowl flicked and optic at Hound for the suggestion. He highly suspected Hound was using guards as an excuse for Prowl to bring those two warriors in particular. Prowl’s past personal history with those two and the overall situation at hand strongly suggested Hound had received more than the simple three line message he had given Prowl. The suggestion however was also a valid caution and with the suddenly perky expression from Ricket, Prowl knew his second thought guards were a wonderful idea. Perhaps not so much for his Commander’s safety in this instance as for the fact that he wouldn’t personally have to deal with the twin warriors for five Primus-be-blessed cycles.

Prowl had stared at Hound long enough to make the Scout nervous and confuse Ricket who could sense something else was going on besides what the simple suggested precaution indicated. Prowl made his decision, for better or worse, however it might turn out. “Very well. Hound round them up and meet me at the edge of camp, we leave in a breem.”

/\/\

The foursome had bivouacked for a joor to allow a quick cube of energon and almost three quarters of a joor recharge, while they each rotated through a one-quarter joor watch. As the four drank the energon, Sideswipe questioned the sudden trip to Iacon. Prowl had chosen not to answer, but Hound had offered some information. 

“We are heading back for a Special Operations… ceremony. That’s probably the best way to describe it to outsiders. They call it The Compass Rites. I don’t know why, so don’t ask. Truth is I don’t think there’s a mech alive still who could tell you why it’s named that. Anyway, when a veteran operative is killed while on a mission in the line of duty, the surviving operatives hold what they call The Compass Rites. Beyond a small bit at the beginning it’s hard to describe what exactly happens. You just need to be there.”

“And all operatives participate in this ceremony?”

Prowl cycled air harshly through his vents. “Hardly. Only those who have earned the right to the Compass Room itself.”

“And you and Hound have earned this right?”

“Yes.” Prowl answered, a hard edged tone to his voice. Then Prowl stood up. “Recharge, I’ll take first watch.” And he moved off into the shadows.

“Hound?” Sideswipe questioned softly.

“This will not be the first Compass Rites either myself or Prowl have attended. But it will be Prowl’s first time as a Primary participant to it. I believe that Jazz and Mirage intend to offer you two an invitation to attend. If that is truly the case, then you will be only the second outsiders ever offered such an honor that I know of.”

“Ok, and that means?”

“That’s up to Jazz or Mirage to explain.”

“Not that. What did you mean by Primary Participant?”

Hound wavered. Just how much did he have the right to reveal about this Special Ops activity? It had been vorns after hooking up with Mirage that he had even heard the term let alone participated. Now though he’d taken the Rites role as Confidante to Mirage several times which allowed him a little more understanding. “Primaries are usually mechs who were closest to the deceased. Longtime teammates, longtime friends, co-creations even, if they both went into Op’s. This time, the deceased are a mech named Flex and the Special Op’s Commander himself. Jazz and Mirage became Prowl’s official guardians shortly after his creation, and Impactor, the Ops Commander was close as well. Flex though, in some ways may have been even closer to Prowl than his two guardians. There are something’s you can talk to a friend about that you would never talk with a creator or guardian about. Now, Prowl’s been attending these rites as a Confidante participant since he reached his adulthood but this time, he’ll be a Primary; he needs to be a Primary. If the rites work as intended, he’ll be better for it next cycle. The way he locks his emotions away, he more so than many mechs needs this. And he’s probably long overdue.” 

The twins wanted to know more but Hound shook his head. It wasn’t his place or right to explain the world of Special Op’s. Even after vorns of being with Mirage he didn’t fully understand it himself, nor did he want to. Still he knew enough to know there would be enough mechs willing to act as Prowl’s Confidant for this, so this move by Mirage and Jazz if his hunch was right was a bit surprising. Hound was sure that Jazz and Mirage were hoping these two warriors - outsiders with no ties to Ops other than they had at one time been casual berth partners with Prowl – would take the Confidant role for Prowl. And that role still had to be explained to them. Yes it did tell Hound a lot; he hoped it was the right decision. “Time to recharge, our turns at watch will come all too soon.

/\/\

Even with Hound’s top speed being significantly slower than Prowl’s or the twin’s top speed, the four made Iacon and Autobase with almost three joors to spare before the time indicated in the message.

As the four transformed just inside the base Prowl looked at the twin warriors, his normal carefully controlled neutral expression on his face. "You have the remainder of this cycle and all of next cycle off. We’ll meet here at first joor the cycle after to return. I’ll ping you with your quarters assignment when I get it.” Prowl paused then and the features on his face slipped briefly from neutral to strained before he continued. “Sideswipe, Sunstreaker. I am warning you right now. I will have absolutely no tolerance for any misstep you two might even be considering while we are here. Do not test me this time.” And with a quick nod at Hound, Prowl turned and headed further into the base.

The twins watched him go then turned to Hound. “So, when do we meet with Jazz and Mirage and get this whatever it is figured out?” questioned Sideswipe.

“Yeah, because those last five joors have got to be the most uncomfortable joors I can remember spending with Prowl in just about forever.”

“You’re complaining about getting one and a half cycles leave?”

“Quit dancing Hound. You know or suspect something more than you’ve told us. It’s all in your attitude towards us. It’s changed since this trip began.”

Hound sighed. “You’re here because as I told you, it was requested. I suspect it was requested because in the past you two and Prowl have shared a berth.”

And the twins immediately went on the defensive. “Whoa, whoa, whoa! The last time we shared anything was before he became a Commander.”

“And even if we had spent time with him since becoming Commander we certainly have not since we were transferred to his unit.”

Hound raised his hands in a placating gesture. “Easy, I know very well Prowl’s keeping your relationship…”

“We just said we don’t have that kind of relationship with him!” Sunstreaker interrupted with a snapping tone.”

Sideswipe looked at his brother, then in a calmer tone to Hound “Look, don’t get us wrong, we’d love to still have it, but we don’t. So whatever Jazz or Mirage think we’ve done to him, we didn’t.

And the easy going Hound snapped back. They didn’t have time for this and this shouldn’t be his job to explain. Not to mention the Rites would begin in under three joors and this needed to be decided by then. “Oh for the slagging love of Primus, you are not in trouble. Now enough of this or I’ll pull rank on you.” Hound paused, then in a calmer tone continued. “Look, please just come with me to see Mirage before you go jumping to conclusions. Then after you hear him out, you can head off to your own devices if you so choose.”

“Why not Jazz?”

“Because I suspect that is who Prowl has gone to see.”

/\/\

Sideswipe and Sunstreaker winced as they once again turned their audios down a notch. The music continued its slow but steady increase into the pit slagging primus painful ranges. The joor had started out solemnly enough. Nearly sixty Special Operations operatives plus Hound and Prowl and themselves in the same common room where they had seen Jazz’s promotion to Commander and Prowl’s promotion to Captain that one night all those vorns ago. The front wall, which had appeared plain the last time the twins had seen it, glowed this evening with a large elegantly painted non-electronical compass in its center. All around the compass, spreading out in all directions along the wall names were painted. Each name was called out loud one by one through the entire list and a chant had been sung. Then Prowl stepped to the wall and in his neat, precise writing, added the glyphs for Flex’s name to the wall. Jazz followed and added Impactor’s. 

Then the music and high grade had started. As the joor progressed the music had gotten louder, harder, harsher. It had a desperate frenzied quality to it. For Sideswipe and Sunstreaker it had long ago reached a point as to be unnerving, knocking at their processors, and rattling deep within their systems, its tones shaking the frequency of their very sparks. The drinking had progressed in the same way, faster, harder, hasher. It was easy to tell the Primary’s as Mirage and Hound had described them. They were the mechs who like Jazz, Mirage and Prowl were drinking heavily of the strangely green hued energon and moving in a seeming daze as that energon attacked their systems. 

The twins had tucked themselves away in a back corner slowly sipping cubes of midgrade provided by Hound as they heeded his warning and Mirage’s politely suggested order to stay away from the high grade this night. And while plenty of mechs were drinking more normal colored high-grade, it appeared that they and Hound were the only mechs present staying away from the heavy and heavier stuff this night. The twins shared a thought between them wondering how this wild music effected over energized systems. It was certainly harsh on their normal systems. Prowl had steadfastly ignored them the entire night; not that they had expected anything different after talking with Mirage. Finally Hound appeared in front of their relieved optics and beckoned for them to follow.

The trio didn’t speak until they were in the Op’s Halls residence section and outside Prowl’s quarters. Even then the heavy, hard, harsh music filled the air, rattled the walls and grated on their systems, attempting to rip into their very sparks. 

“You two are okay with this?”

“It’s fine.”

“You don’t have to do this. Like Mirage said, there’s plenty of Op’s mechs here who can do this.”

“Would you let someone else be there for Mirage?”

“My relationship with Mirage is not quite the same as yours and Prowls. That aside though, if I couldn’t be here for Mirage this night, and there have been times when I couldn’t be here, it eases my spark knowing that Ops takes care of their own, and Prowl has belonged to Ops since his very first vorns.”

“We’ll all be fine.”

/\/\

It was another half joor before Prowl returned to his quarters. Or the ghost that resembled Prowl. Sideswipe was pretty sure he’d never seen a mech so cratered that it bordered along the edges of energon poisoning; and certainly never Prowl. Yet he knew that several other mechs at the ceremony were likely in no better shape than Prowl at the moment, Prowls Guardians included in that group. All of them had been drinking steadily from the green tinted cubes of energon. That Prowl’d even found his quarters was impressing Sideswipe.

The twin warriors watched with a cautious wariness their one time - and not nearly enough if they had been allowed a say in it - occasional berth mate. Mirage, in explaining the immediate post condition of participants of The Compass Rites had told the twins it was impossible to tell how a mech would react from the specialized energon and the music that would be used all night and that Primaries needed to be handled carefully. Some interfaced, some screamed and fought and broke things, some fell into shaking sobbing heaps until recharge claimed them, some created amazing works in Art or Music. How a Primary would react was not necessarily the same each time.  He’d apologized politely and profusely for being so forward and requiring such an answer on such short notice, Jazz had felt Prowl would benefit most from their presence as his Confidant rather than an op mechs. Prowl kept his emotions locked away tight. The twin warriors had at one time breached those barriers and The Compass Rites were all about emotion. Even as he was asking them to take the role, Mirage repeatedly told them they could decline. There were plenty of mechs who could fill the role he insisted. This was not the best way to introduce and outsider to Special Op’s. They had repeatedly refused the option. 

Now Sideswipe moved cautiously towards Prowl, offering the black and white mech a careful hug. “How are you doing?”

Prowl looked at Sideswipe with no recognition in his optics as they flickered briefly lost to the beat that raced through his systems. He opened his mouth to speak. Then instead he shook his head and suddenly he was clinging to the red warrior his frame shaking with sobs. To Sideswipe Prowl’s frame felt overly hot and his systems hummed at a far higher level than normal. “I…I… Prowl shook his head and whined as he rolled his head in denial and pushed away only to step back into the chest of Sunstreaker who had stepped up behind and now wrapped his own arms around the white and black mech before looking over to his brother.

Sideswipe stepped forward. “Prowl you gotta let this out somehow or it will destroy you. You especially who lock everything away.” Prowl shook his head trying to deny the rush of emotions, the hate, the fear, the helplessness, the loss, the need for revenge, joys of friendship and love, abhorrence, the shock as positive and negative emotions swirled within him. Emotions brought forth by the energon and music this night.   He leaned back into Sunstreaker, turning his head from the red warrior in front of him. 

“Prowl, you’ve helped others through this, let us help you.” Sideswipe whispered as he stepped closer.

Another whine and Prowl gave in and reached for Sideswipe.

*~*~*~


Prowl came to awareness out of his memory files to find himself on his knees in his quarters in the Special Op’s Hall’s of the Autobase in Iacon. He looked over his shoulder at the two warriors sitting on his berth watching him with concern in their optics and tension in their frames.

He’d known from the moment Hound suggested the two as guards for the trip here why the scout had done it. As Unit Commander he could have refused guards period, or chosen others from his unit. Yet something somewhere deep in his processor had agreed with the choice. What though did it say about the twin warriors that they would allow themselves to be used like this; thrust into such a role as Confidant for The Compass Rites when they – as outsiders – would have had no understanding of what that truly entailed? 

Yet, as Prowl looked within himself he realized that he was at peace. They had obviously succeeded in their role as Confidant. What had occurred last night between the three of them would allow him to remain grounded. It had offered focus and provided relief and a renewed since of direction. This was a war. Friends, mates, comrades would continue to die. He would continue to face harsh decisions in the field that would continue to cost bots their lives and the only way to stay the course was to except the loss and push through to the day peace would find them all.

Prowl shifted to look more fully at the twins.  “Thank you.” 



HOFAH - Bonus Scenes #6 - A Battle Scene 


+-+-+-

So what are The Compass Rites? They are a huge Special Ops drunk fest apparently. Seriously though, there’s more to it than that and I hope that came across in the ficlit a bit. The Rites have three parts. The first is the ceremonial reading of the names on the wall and the adding of the newly dead. The second is the music and the drinking. The third is whatever takes place in private quarters after.

Primary: These would be the mechs who are going to get completely cratered. They’re usually the ones who have been in Ops the longest or the ones who were closest to the deceased.  All Primaries have a Confidante for the duration.

Confidant: These are mechs who partner up with a primary. Their job, aside from making sure the Primary doesn’t lose it and kill themselves or someone else is to be whatever the Primary needs. As indicated/hinted at in the story this can be a huge range of things; from someone to provide an audio or a pair of arms to huddle in to an interface partner to…whatever. As indicated by the title, what happens between Confidante and Primary stays between only this pair unless the Primary chooses to ever speak on it.

That special energon the twins mentioned: Primaries drink it. Yeah, there’s probably some “additives” involved. 



 

 
 
 
okamichanokamichan on March 12th, 2009 05:21 pm (UTC)
Gyah. After last chapter, this was such a pleasure. *purrs* :3 I'm happy with letting my imagination run away with the possibilities of what might have happened that 'night'.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on March 14th, 2009 04:10 am (UTC)
Thank you.
kirin_saga: Hurtkirin_saga on March 12th, 2009 06:53 pm (UTC)
Flex died? *cries*

I love the idea of the Compass Rites. It's amazing and emotional. I love that Special Ops is basically their own society, with it's own culture and traditions and beliefs(?). I bet an anthropologist (or whatever you'd call the Cybertronian version) could spend a lifetime studying the culture of Special Ops and not even scratch the surface.


You forgot some punctuation in a few parts: ("Myself and Hound will be leaving for Iacon immediately.)("You have the remainder of this cycle and all of next cycle off.) and forgot to capitalize Hound's name here: (And the easy going Hound snapped back.)

Another excellent fic.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on March 14th, 2009 04:14 am (UTC)
If it helps, I had a hard time killing him, but...

In this verse for sure, you are right with the Special Ops culture/world .

Thanks. Corrected the three you found and two other problems.
mmousemmouse15 on March 13th, 2009 02:31 am (UTC)
Oh, that was amazing. I love the culture you're creating for Special Ops, and this rite is one of those wonderful touches I just love. I'm so glad Sunstreaker and Sideswipe could and would function as Confidants for Prowl, and they were successful and wonderful about it. Loved this.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on March 14th, 2009 04:15 am (UTC)
Thank you.
bookworm_faithbookworm_faith on March 13th, 2009 09:44 am (UTC)
D: I liked Flex, for all we only saw a bit of him. Am glad the Twins were there for Prowl.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on March 14th, 2009 04:16 am (UTC)
I had a hard time killing Flex off, but...

Thank you.