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11 June 2009 @ 10:10 pm
Impossible Illogical Bonds  

Title: Impossible Illogical Bonds of the Spark

Rating: PG-13

Characters: Prowl, Sideswipe, Ratchet, Ironhide, Optimus Prime

Warnings: Off page death of major characters, euthanasia hinted at & mentioned, intimate relationships between robots who use male pronouns to describe themselves hinted at/suggested/discussed, angst and emotionally worn down mechs.

Verse: 2007 movie

Disclaimer: I, in no way, shape, or form, own the Transformers© franchise or the characters it contains.

Summary: Jazz is dead and Prowl’s spark lingers, kept energized first by well meaning friends who do not understand the situation and then by an emotionally compromised Prime.

It's choppy, rough an unbeta'd.


*-*-*-*- = Character/scene change

“Talking on Com link.”

 

Cybertronian Time units used in this story:
Breem: 8.3 Earth minutes

Joor: About 6.5 Earth hours
Cycle: About 93 hours
Meta-cycle: 13 months
Vorn: about 83 earth years

*-*-*-*-

 

He had always known that it was physically and logically impossible. The universe was vast. Phenomenally vast and they in comparison were phenomenally small. And it mattered not what you believed about sparks, be it the Organic Theory or the Mechanical Theory, there was no way, absolutely no way that a bonded spark could or would know that its mate was deceased, let alone the moment it happened no matter where in the universe the two were. Sure he’d heard the stories just as any other Cybertronian had as he had matured. Spark mates, bonded, always knowing when their mate, their other half, was in dire distress, pain or worse; had permanently off lined.   The stories said no matter where either half of a bonded spark was in the universe, be it the same planet, the same star system, different star systems, different galaxies or for even more mysticism, different realities; a spark would always know the fateful moment tragedy struck and leave it’s other half a shattered, lingering-but-not-living mess until all energy within the body was used up and the spark freed.  Unless of course that other half was lucky enough to offline from the shock at that very moment of knowledge. But those were flights of fantasy and mysticism best left for younglings, romantics and entertainment vids. Logically and physically it was just impossible. 

Still, logic had always argued that all stories have a foundation in truth. Logic had also supplied the truthful foundation early in the war. Spark mates indeed knew when their other half was lost when on the same planet. So he could and had in fact conceded that within the same star system was a possibility as well. But multiple star systems apart? The entire galaxy? Those parts of the stories were impossible. They had to be. And that was staying in the here and now and completely avoiding the whole different reality theory.

So it was his logic center that immediately off lined when the truthful reality struck leaving him awash to the emotional and physical pain of a shattered and failing spark. His spark and processors were confused, denying what he unexplainably but intimately and immediately knew to be true. The rest of his processors quickly followed the logic center off line as lost in an internal sea of pain, panic and confusion, his world collapsed. Unaware of his shipmate’s calls and shouts of concern as they grabbed at his fallen body he frantically looked deeper and deeper within, desperately searching for any sign of the light that was the other half of him, seeking for a way to follow.

*-*-*-*-*-

It had been nearly four meta cycles since they had received the broken message from Optimus Prime. Not the full message, but enough that they had been able to figure out the originating star systems general location. And with Prowl still unresponsive and hooked up to a direct to his spark energon feed to keep him functioning they had made the decision to head that way. Prime had had the Autobot CMO Ratchet in his small infiltration unit when he had long ago departed Cybertron.  Getting Prowl to a real medic - nothing against Wheeljack but he was just an engineer - seemed like a good goal. Wheeljack himself had fully agreed. They were all fearful that Prowl had been unknowingly infected with something during their last encounter with a group of Cons only a few cycles prior to his collapse. 

Upon arriving in system and monitoring transmissions from the 3rd planet they realized that landing their ship on the planet would not be possible. That this was the planet was never in doubt. The landing map and coordinates they had retrieved from the broken transmission matched up and they had found evidence of Cybertronian presence within the transmissions emanating from the planet. However their kind were still apparently moving in secret. 

That of course meant descending to the planet in camouflage. Easy enough to pull off for a bot in good condition, which Prowl was certainly not. Normally he’d revel in the chance to show off his skill and match his brother at being able to hit the designated coordinates from as far out as where they had left the ship. Now though, he and Sunny were going to try and take Prowl down with them. Getting Prowl out of the ship had been easy. Wheeljack plugging in and sending the command code to Prowl’s system to change to comet form had been easy enough as well. Beyond that though, he and Sunny had provided propulsion and trajectory guidance till they got caught in the gravity well of the blue green planet, and even now as they approached the atmosphere they continued to insure his trajectory. They had held off transforming themselves till the last possible moment. A tricky maneuver as their transformation could interrupt and throw off their trajectory, but it had allowed better control of Prowl’s form. 

They were close; they would reach the outer atmosphere in two point three breems. Wheeljack had already transmitted their one and only brief message a joor ago stating their number and estimated impact time for arrival. He ran yet another confirmation check on direction to target as well as a sweep checking on Hound and Wheeljack’s positions.

“Sideswipe, Sunstreaker, now.”

He double clicked an acknowledgement to Hound, assured himself one last time that he, Sunny and Prowl were all still on the same vector and transformed just as he detected the tingle indicating Hounds hologram coming down making them visable to anyone watching. From this point until impact they were at the mercy of the planet.

*-*-*-*-

He’d suspected something was wrong the moment he had seen the five meteor forms burning their way towards impact out in the desert a mile or so from where he Prime and Ironhide had been waiting. Three of the forms were so close as to be practically on top of each other and certainly a trick to achieve. It was either the result of extreme foolishness or extreme necessity.  The other two were at a more typical spacing for a tight group decent. His belief had been confirmed when they had arrived at the impact sites. Sunstreaker and Sideswipe already up had greeted them with weapons charged as they stood warily in front of a crater with an unmoving untransformed bot inside. The two had stepped aside as soon as designations had been confirmed and quickly ushered him to Prowl.

Now he frowned at the results from the most recent set of diagnostics. Prowl was completly unresponsive and his spark was weak. What energy the spark did have was fluctuating badly and it refused to stabilize. Everything that Wheeljack had told him about the situation, all the results from the diagnostics Wheeljack himself had performed matched his own results. Based on everything he knew, he was surprised that Prowl had survived this long in this condition. The energon feed directly to his spark and not just a fuel line was probably the reason. Wheeljack had been clever with that.   Now though he was running out of options. If this was a virus of some sort, he couldn’t locate it. If he wanted to figure this out he was going to have to go into Prowl’s head and see if by reviewing Prowl’s recent memories he could locate an explanation, or at least a clue. Chances were good that Prowl’s temporary short term memory cache would still have what he needed. Where Wheeljack as an engineer with some medical training and knowledge could stop –and indeed had stopped- at this point and just kept Prowl safely maintained by an energon feed until reaching a real medic, he was a medic. Personally linking to Prowl’s systems was something he could do, was routine in fact to do; he just disliked the next step, the invasion of privacy.

*-*-*-*-*

Spark bonds were interesting things. For advanced as his race was, they were still very much a mystery. That Prowl was bonded to Jazz had come as a surprise to every bot here, himself included.   And yet it probably should not have. After all the two were very opposite in personality and programming; which made them perfect counterparts. Unlike the many sentient organic races and a couple techno-organic he had encountered throughout his long life that tended to, but not always, partner up with like personalities, his people tended to choose partners who balanced themselves out. This meant finding someone who had what you were lacking. Be it in personality, programming, function or some combination of, more-than or less-than the three. He, like the rest of their fellow comrades had seen only what the other two officers had presented to the public optic. Two bots who had no use for the other beyond how useful the other was in whatever immediate situation they found themselves in. The secret had kept them safe for vorns making neither any more of a marked target than the other top Autobot officers.

Still a shattered spark bond was what Ratchet had finally diagnosed. And really, now that he was looking at Prowl with that knowledge, it was obvious the symptoms pointed that way. Everybot here from himself to Wheeljack to Hound saw the signs. With the possible exception of Bumblebee, this was not the first broken spark bonded mech any of them had seen fail. The early vorns of the war had made them all very aware of the price of a bond. 

He growled letting loose another volley of rounds at the distant rock face. The All Spark was lost and morale was sinking fast amongst those bots present. Jazz, one of their most clever and friendly bots was lost and his mate, a very talented strategist and the Autobots overall Second in Command hovered on the edge of death, denied an easy release by Prime himself. Though he wasn’t bonded himself and was grateful he had never felt the need to, he felt strongly that Prime’s stepping in on such a personal medical matter wasn’t right. He was fully aware that Prime’s move had the mechs on planet on edge. Particularly those with bonds. He was sure Prime knew it also.  

The twins, difficult in non-battle situations at the best of times had become outright insubordinate to Prime.  Friendly friendly Hound had landed himself in the brig right next to the twins when he had - very out of character - actually taken a swing at Prime when the discussion that Prime had no right in this situation to deny Prowl release by preventing Ratchet from doing his job had gotten just a bit hot.   Hound’s move had been just a fraction quicker than his, or he would have been joining the three in the brig. However he’d regained his senses just in time and turned his movement into a move to restrain Hound. 

Now Ratchet had finally gone against orders and removed all support.   He might not be allowed to speed the process, but he would not delay it any longer.  With morale sinking fast amongst the small group it was a good move, very much needed to counter the tension that this situation on top of the general unknown status of numerous comrades scattered throughout the galaxy in search had brought forth. He frowned as he thought of the four newest arrivals – a bonded pair who had not been split up, and two singles. They had arrived a month after Prowl’s unit. It was ironic in a way. Over four years with no contact from their kind then two separate groups land less than two months apart. Such arrivals should have been chances for a pleasant reunion and celebration yet had proven anything but with Prowl’s situation hanging over them. He swore as he realized that he’d just categorized the newest arrivals by whether they were bonded or not. This situation was affecting him.

By his spark, he himself could not understand why Prime would deny Prowl what the mechs spark desired. The pairs bond was too well established to be survivable. He’d talked firmly with Prime about it. Had supported Ratchet each and every time the medic tried to get permission from Prime. He could see the fear and anger the bonded mechs carried in their optics. Their worry that Prime might make them linger without their other half should they find themselves in Prowl’s situation. With a frustrated grunt he blasted out another rock formation. The situation was going to get to him as well and he really had no interest in visiting the brig.

*-*-*-*-

It's over.” Ratchet’s tone was short and clipped towards his leader. His anger controlled but obvious.

“Acknowledged Ratchet.”

Prime settled back with a sigh. But within a few minutes was up and heading out of the base. He took off handed notice that it was night and upon moving several hundred yards from the base he allowed his gaze to drift upwards and settle on the stars above. How many more of his bots were out there? How many had received his message?

Prowl’s loss settled as a heavy and unexpected blow in some ways. Unexpected because it had not been known by any bot present that he was spark bonded, let alone to Jazz. Yet the outcome was expected by all since Ratchet discovered what was wrong. It had taken Ratchet a day to figure out the problem. Prowl’s spark was erratic and weak, but no reason for the condition or Prowl’s unresponsive state could be located. No virus, no mechanical failure. Ratchet had run every diagnostic scan he could and finally resigned himself to searching through Prowl’s memory files for a possible answer. It hadn’t taken long. From that point on, with the problem diagnosed, it was just a matter of waiting. All present knew the ultimate outcome, and he had as well. Problem was he had denied it. Wanted it not to be.

He knew he’d been wrong to allow the situation to drag out. Especially when the rest of the Autobots present knew Ratchet could and indeed expected Ratchet to speed the process up; performing euthanasia and off lining Prowl quickly and thereby freeing his spark. Ratchet had openly offered to do the job. His CMO had argued for it actually. And though he knew that the chances of Prowl recovering from this were so low that Prowl himself would not have supported the odds, he had still hoped that Prowl would come around if given time. He was well aware it was a personal and selfish hope. 

Yet... There was a middle ground in Spark bonds where half of the bonded pair could survive the loss of the other half. A newly bonded pair and an exceedingly long bonded pair could not survive the loss of half, but in between, for a period of time, the “youngling” stage of the bond so to speak, half of a bonded pair could survive the loss of their other half. Based on their departure from Cybertron the timing was not right for Prowl and Jazz to have an early stages bond. And admittedly the timing was wrong for them to still be anywhere in the middle ground, though that time span varied from pair to pair. And while Ratchet had said the bond was well established he had refused to listen and continued to hope that perhaps the bond was still survivable. Oh he knew it was rare and the living half had to be exceptionally strong to survive. That Prowl had hung in limbo this long after his lost mate had died convinced him that Prowl was strong enough. That Prowl had been on a direct to his spark energon feed for the majority of that time was an explanation he chose to ignore.

Through it all he was aware that morale had fallen amongst the bots now present on earth the longer Prowl’s spark lingered. A tough road lay ahead to repair the damage he had allowed. The twins and Hound were now confined to quarters and he had refused Ratchet and Ironhide each time they pressed the issue with him to the point that they were ignoring him unless commanded to appear. He was Prime and Prowl had been one of his officers. His decision, unpopular as it was, had held. 

He’d lost Jazz to Megatron; selfishly he had refused to let the deceased Decepticon lord get Prowl as well. The war had cost to many Autobots their lives and as Prime, in a moment of weakness he was unwilling to lose anyone who might have a chance no matter how slim or impossible. Still, now that Prowl’s spark was finally out, he would admit that it had been an entirely selfish decision on his part. One that did not hold with the ideals the Autobots fought for. Yes the road to recovery would be a tough one.

*-*-*-*-


 
 
 
Potential Incarnatesilveriss on June 13th, 2009 03:23 am (UTC)
As sad as this was I have to admit I rather liked it.

I do have one consistent error I think you ought to correct. I had to re-read several sentences because of it and that disrupts the flow of the story.

When describing the general status of the Autobots you use the word "moral". The word needs an "e" at the end. "Morale".

Example: "Morale in the office was at an all-time low."

I hope that was helpful.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on June 13th, 2009 03:52 am (UTC)
Many thanks. I fixed the spelling you caught as well as three other errors that jumped out while looking for them. It's all still pretty rough though.

Again, thank you.
Potential Incarnatesilveriss on June 15th, 2009 03:36 pm (UTC)
*smiles* You're welcome.
mmousemmouse15 on June 13th, 2009 02:59 pm (UTC)
This is sad, yet wonderfully done. I love the description of the twins bringing Prowl's comet form down to Earth, and the anxiety engendered by Prime's wish to keep Prowl on-line. Very evocative stuff you've written here.

ETA: May I put this in the newsletter for this week?

Edited at 2009-06-13 03:00 pm (UTC)
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on June 14th, 2009 03:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the thoughts. I have continued to wonder if I should have taken it beyond Prowl's section as doing so really changed the whole story. Yet, this one nearly wrote itself.

Yes you may put this in the newsletter.
renegadewriterrenegadewriter8 on August 17th, 2009 07:30 pm (UTC)
Poor Prowl! I loved how the crew rebelled against Prime for keeping Prowl away from Jazz. Sad fic but beautiful!
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on August 18th, 2009 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thank you.