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21 August 2008 @ 11:09 am
Last and Alone - Secret Part 10  
 Last and Alone – Secret
Title:  Part 10
Rating:  T
Characters:  Jazz, the Monolith Team
Warnings:  Mech x Mech hinted at/mentioned occasionally

Universe:  G1-ish/Last and Alone/Monolith
Disclaimer:
I, in no way, shape, or form, own the Transformers© franchise or the characters it contains.  They belong to Has/Tak, No infringement intended.  Any OC’s to my knowledge are solely mine. 
Summary:  Perceptor was once part of a gestalt, but the others were destroyed.  Since he should never have survived the deaths of his teammates, it’s a secret he has kept for thousands of vorns.  Now Jazz is tracking it down.


Part 9 - Secret

Part 10

 

Jazz had thought he had come to understand how Perceptor’s memory files were cataloged and categorized, unusual though they seemed, but now as he found numerous flags and links attached to the memory of the request to return he wondered if he had fooled himself; as the memory chain linked to run separately from the main file chain.  He felt Perceptor physically struggle to free his arm at the same time Perceptor’s defenses rallied for another attempt to get him out.  Jazz countered, remembering he had shattered all Perceptor’s fire walls, making the mech essentially his to control, and so he took Perceptor’s motor control away, forcing the mech to settle at the same time sending his own coding against Perceptor’s internal defenses.  Shock and surprise came from Perceptor as he was forced by Jazz to settle and Jazz felt resignation swirl through the background song of loss and pain, at the same time the defenses collapsed again, unable to offer a fight without Perceptor guiding now that Jazz had taken over.  Still Jazz sped up his search.

*-*-*

“Message from Command, Cav.  We have new orders.”  Cavalier looked up as Slider handed over a datapad with the exact orders before stepping back and giving the condensed verbalized version. 

“We are to discontinue any and all projects, activities and communication we may currently be engaged in and report back to Cybertron.”  Slider paused before adding as expected his own commentary.  “The fools are getting ready to bring a third gestalt online; as if the two they have aren’t enough and they apparently want us and Totality’s guys around for the momentous event.  Like this is something I really want to see.”  Slider finished his tone full of sour sarcasm. 

Cavalier ignored Sliders disrespect since it wasn’t aimed at him.  While none of the team was above throwing the weight of their unclassified Officer’s rank around when it suited them, of the entire team, Slider was the one who even this many vorn in refused to cut the CCC any slack.  He may have accepted what had happened and would never give his team up, but that didn’t mean he had any intentions of being agreeable to the CCC High Command.  

Besides, Cavalier could hardly reprimand his gestalt mate for his less than charitable attitude towards the CCC.  While Cav viewed the attitude as immature and glitched, the sarcastic criticism and dry humor had vorns upon vorns ago become Sliders way of dealing with Command when the team was not in base.  Who was he kidding?  It was Sliders way of dealing when in base as well.  Though when they were in base, Slider had additional ways of entertaining himself at the CCC’s expense, especially if Cavalier didn’t rein in his …enthusiasm.  Then as quickly as the thoughts appeared in Cavalier’s processor they vanished as he finished the written orders and focused on what needed to be done before the team set course for Cybertron. 

He grimaced when he got to Cep and Tonic on his list.  He knew Slider would ask about acknowledging the order.  Seeing as how the current planet of study was of high interest to Perceptor since he was being indulged with the opportunity to satisfy some of that strange interest of his in Organic life forms, non sentient though they were, and same said study had been pushed aside for nearly a vorn for one reason or another, this might just be the time to bend the rules and delay acknowledgement of the orders thus giving him more time to deal with his scout and to a lesser extent, his medic if needed.  As it was his Scout aka his Organics Specialist was not going to be pleased to have this study shoved aside again.  Even for a trip home.  So anything that might help keep him away from of Cep’s and again, to a lesser extent Tonic’s lines of fire when they heard the orders would be worth employing.  

With plan figured out he looked back to Slider.  “Slider, let the others know the orders so they can start making preparations.  We’ll set course in three cycles if we can get Cep and Tonic rounded up by then.”

“Yeah, good luck with that.  Those two are not going to be happy with this.” Slider’s sarcasm interrupted.

Cavalier tossed Slider a glare.  “That’s why you’re telling them.  I’ll have to deal with them soon enough.  Ok?  So go ahead and pass the word.” 

Slider nodded from his position back in the doorway to Cavalier’s office.  “Will do.  Um, should I acknowledge Command that we received the message?” 

“Hmm.”  Cavalier paused to think about how long he wanted to delay that message. “It’ll take us nearly a stellar cycle pushing top speed as ordered to get back and if Totality is where I think they are, they have a bit more time than that.  No, you can send acknowledgement once we’ve got Cep and Tonic all packed up.”

Slider smirked as he tossed Cavalier a lazy salute before disappearing.

*-*-*

“I’m telling you Tonic, something is very wrong with this new gestalt their getting ready.  Twistline has been hinting at ‘issues’ and if there really is no problem, why summon both teams back for this?  It’s not like they don’t know what they’re doing this time around.  Two successful teams would suggest otherwise.”

“Foist, if you’re so worried, tell Cav.  He’s going to hear you anyway at the rate you’re going if you don’t lock some shielding walls in place.  Your broadcasting so clearly, I’d hear you if I was back on Cybertron this very moment.  I’m surprised the rest of the team hasn’t popped in.”

“I need to shield?  If you can hear me so well, but the rest can’t I’m not the only one who needs to strengthen some shields.”  Was the sarcastic response.

“Yes, well I have an excuse at the moment.”

“And I don’t?”

“Fine, we both need to reinforce.”  Tonic finished off exasperated

“So, back to Twistline’s correspondence and us and Totality being called home for this event.”

“Frag Foist!  Talk to Cav!”

“You know how he feels about me playing around with the labbie.”

“Yeah, well he ought to be grateful one of us is willing to.”  Tonic huffed.  “Tell him your concerns.  Tell him about your theory and the blasted rifle.  At most you have until we merge next.  Then he’s going to know anyway.  And I for one would rather not have Monolith off balance when we do.  Especially if the next time we merge is because of…” and here Tonic paused to wave his hands in the air “whatever situation we’ve gotten into.” He finished.

*-*-*

“And here we are fellow bots, home sweet home.” Said Gazer as Cybertron appeared in the view screen.”

“Is Totality’s team in system yet?”

“I’m pulling the logs from the boundary buoy’s right now, give me a moment.  Doesn’t look like it; I’m seeing nothing on the Explorer within the last 2 cycles.  Looks like we beat them.” Slider finished with a smile and flash of his optics behind his visor.

“Then we’ve just saved Tonic’s high-grade and earned ourselves a batch of Kite’s.”

“Praise Primus and let’s land this thing.  It’s time to party!”

“You say that every time we come home Slider.”

“That’s cause it’s the truth.  And what?  You’re just going to tell me not to fritz the base systems to badly.  I mean what’s the fun in coming home if I can’t play one way or the other?”

“And, thinking of that, Slider, don’t fritz with the base systems to badly this time.”

“Yeah, yeah, it’s not like they can do anything to me anyways.  But for you Cav, I’ll behave.

“Yeah Cav, just so long as you get him to a bar quick enough.” Perceptor added dryly.

*-*-*

“You and your team made excellent time getting back.  We weren’t expecting you for another five cycles at the earliest, based on the departure time listed in your message.  We appreciate it.”

“Yes, yes, we’ve heard it all before.” Cavalier’s responded to the CCC low level junior Officer, who had met them upon the Seeker’s landing.  “We’re heading out for the next couple of joors.  I expect to be notified as soon as the Explorer’s team arrives.  Thank you.”

Cavalier turned and stepped over to where the rest of the team waited in their alt modes for him to join them.

“O..Oh wait, I..I don’t think they w..want you leaving right now.  You just got back and I… Well I was told that as a Deep Space Explore Team you’re supposed to report to medical for check-ups! And I’m supposed to make sure you go.”

Slider and Foist revved their engines in annoyance as cavalier turned back to the unlucky junior Officer.

“Yes, well we’ve been doing this for around 6000 vorns now.  Which I am sure is a good 5000 vorns more than you’ve been online.  We are well aware of the procedure and we’ll get to medical when we’re good and ready.  No offense, but they know better than to send some junior lackey to greet us if they want us around for any length of time.  You are currently looking at a Deep Explore Team who has been away from home for seven meta-cycles and not seen any other Cybertronians but ourselves for nearly three meta-cycles and right now we’re good and ready for an energon bar.  Now, do not forget to inform me when the Explorer arrives.”  And Cavalier turned, transformed and took off his team immediately around him.

“You going soft Cav?  You were almost nice to junior there.”

“Almost?  I thought I was nice.”

“Too much intimidation cost you the full nice and gets you almost.”  And thru the bonds he felt the equivalent of a playful tap on the shoulder from Foist even as Slider lightly tapped his rear left panel for real.

*-*-*

“Well, well, well.  Look who finally made it home.  Took you mechs long enough.”  Slider called to the six mechs coming down the Explorer’s ramp.  “A mech might think you don’t want to hand over Kite’s high-grade.”

“Slider, why don’t you go glitch somewhere.”

“Spinster, I missed you to.”

“Would you two knock it off?”

“Yes please, we need to get to an energon bar.” Rockshot added as he shoved passed his teammate to clasp forearms with Cavalier.  “Good to see you mechs again.”

“Good to see you as well.  What kept you?  You’re more than an orn late.  Command’s ready to glitch.” 

“Good let them.  We took a side trip to the mining colony CCM23.  We caught an emergency message capsule from them half a stellar cycle back.”  Rockshot frowned.

“Everything ok?”

“Hmpf, yeah.  Just a routine glitch.  Some newbie there panicked over something and launched the thing.  We never did get and exact answer on what the panic was about, but then as you know, we rarely do. Then of course we show up and nobody wants to admit it’s theirs.  You know how it is; they don’t want to pay the fine for launching the capsule in error just because a CCC team was actually in range and responded.  But by Primus, if it had all been real, and no one showed up, we’d never hear the end of it.”

“Come on, lets’ get you mechs to the bar.”

*-*-*

Jazz frowned as he came across several holes indicating missing files in the chain.  Then a couple near the missing ones were corrupted to the point of unreadable.  What little he did get was filled with tension and unease.  The damage covered nearly two orns of files beginning just after the Totality teams’ arrival home.  He wished he could experience more of the situation causing the feelings but as much as he would like to see the complete files he settled for the bits and pieces he could get, and then he finally gave up and moved to the next intact memory within the time period as he registered Perceptor’s attempts to pull free. 

*-*-*

Perceptor and the rest of the team stood off to the side of where the technicians were set up to monitor events.  Totality’s team was set on the other side of the techs.  As Perceptor watched, vorns of experience in observation allowed him to see that Totality’s team was as nervous as his own team.  They had all just finished meeting the mechs of this soon to be third gestalt and though never mentioned outright, he was sure that the Totality team was having feelings similar to those of his own team.

Then the labbies had thought it would help ease any fears and calm the third team down if they could meet the other two gestalt teams prior to the first merge.  If it had had any calming effect it was surely felt only amongst the third team and really, Perceptor didn’t think any of those bots had needed help calming down. No, they’d seemed pretty secure with themselves.  As far as Monolith’s team went, their tension regarding this new team had only increased.  Perceptor was sure that several of the third team had been envisioning ways to dismantle him while making it as painful as possible.

Now away from those mechs, his team had sunk themselves a fair bit into their own bonds seeking comfort from each other.  Not enough to be inattentive of their surroundings, but enough to feel the comfort and security of being wrapped in the presence of their mates.

Perceptor’s attention was drawn out to the field where Coderunner was talking with the new team, then he was running back to the labbies and the team was merging for the first time.

Perceptor watched, his team watched, the labbies watched, Command watched, Totality’s team watched.  The tension within his team increased as the astroseconds became nano-kliks, then a klik.  Then the gestalt was formed.  Standing, waiting as the mind dissolution took affect for the first time.  His own team watching, tense.  Were they going to have to fight this gestalt as Foist feared?  Would they have to use the rifle as Cavalier hoped they would not?

“I am Volatilus! Came the resounding roar across the field and Perceptor’s gaze was yanked toward the gestalt a couple nano-kliks before it began the unmerge.  The new and overpowering sensation that was the mind dissolution, no matter how good it felt, preventing a longer first merge.  Unlimited merge time had to be worked into as the individuals overcame the swirl of emotions that dissolution first brought. 

::Oh now there’s a non worrisome name for you.  Do you think they could have chosen anything more volatile than that?:: the sarcastic comment from Tonic, Perceptor was surprised to note. 

::Unstablus?::  Slider of course.

::Unpredictablus?::  Foist, unsurprisingly.

::Ficklelus?:: Cavalier surprisingly enough.

::Explosiveness?::  Gazer, even more surprising than Cav joining.

::Erraticus?:: Perceptor offered his own contribution.

::Ha, ha:: Tonic replied to his teammates. 

*-*-*

And though the team made light of the third gestalt, the undercurrent of worry that Jazz had felt in all accessible memories of this time still carried.  In addition, he could feel unease from Perceptor as well.  It puzzled him and he could find no real explanation in the intact memories.  He moved on.  And the further from this third gestalt the memories went, the ease that was routine returned to the team.  Jazz enjoyed the ride as life continued over the vorns nine hundred plus vorns.  He did take note though that while Perceptor’s team interacted as often as possible with Totality’s team, there was no interaction with Volatilus after the first hundred vorns or so.  In fact, very little information on the third gestalt appeared in the memories.  The few memories he found where someone of the team, usually Cavalier, inquired about the third gestalt only resulted in negative or evasive answers.  So it was that meta-cycles turned into vorns as the routine exploration and checking in with colonies continued.


Part 11.1 - Secret  )

  

 
 
 
kirin_sagakirin_saga on August 22nd, 2008 07:46 am (UTC)
Another update so quickly!

Jazz taking control of Perceptor's movement was unexpected. And Perceptor felt resigned at that... he probably thinks Jazz did it because he didn't trust Perceptor anymore. The link doesn't go two ways does it? Perceptor can't feel Jazz's emotions.

I love how Team Monolith interacts with each other. And how Cav feels about making Cep and Tonic leave early. Have I mentioned that I love Perceptor's nickname?

“You going soft Cav? You were almost nice to junior there.”

“Almost? I thought I was nice.”

“Too much intimidation cost you the full nice and gets you almost.”


I loved that part. And the part where they were discussing the third team's name.

I was a bit surprised though at the length of time between Volatilus' introduction and that fatal attack. I'm probably remembering wrong (I have to go back and re-read previous chapters) but I thought the two events happened at about the same time.

The uplink seems to be coming to an end. I wonder how, when it's over, they will react to each other. I hope Jazz remembers to give control back to Perceptor. And I bet Perceptor is going to have a serious headache from having all his firewalls broken like that.

Another excellent chapter!
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on August 22nd, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
Regarding time frames, you can again take a look at my working notes. They are better at conveying what I am picturing since I have been trying to keep the math pretty general in the story (it’s hard enough working in vorns as it is). The math has been a pit to work with so it is entirely possible I messed up somewhere (a reminder to myself why I need to stay away from “epic” stories, though this has indeed been fun). My intent has always been that the third gestalt is several thousand vorns younger than the first two, who why'll still a good thousand or so vorns separated in age themselves, are still similar in age by Cybertronian standards and have known each other for a very long time by the time of the third gestalt. My notes carry more specifics, but again, for better or worse, I have tried to be general when it comes to math in the story and that may come back to "bite" me. The potential for spoilers in my notes still holds true until the end of the next chapter though, so be warned if you choose to go look. As they are "working notes" for my continued reference when writing this, I found I needed a bit more detail in regards to ageing the gestalts, so added a section to keep my head (hopefully) clear on that.

Thanks, I enjoyed writing the little snippets of the team interacting.

Thank you for reading and commenting.

mmousemmouse15 on August 22nd, 2008 06:52 pm (UTC)
Oh, the snark! Primus, that was great! I love how comfortable the team is with each other by this point, and with the second gestalt team, and you really conveyed how creepy/scary that third gestalt was before you even got the the name. Loads of tension before the merge.

Agreed that this was another wonderful chapter.
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on August 23rd, 2008 05:39 am (UTC)
Thank you. :-)
okamichanokamichan on August 23rd, 2008 06:22 pm (UTC)
(Goodness you're getting these up quickly)

You did leave me twitching at the end of the last chapter. XD

I'm not really big on talking heads, but I think they keep that feeling that Jazz is skimming through Perceptor's files. They're just more interaction between the team, fascinating enough for him to linger, but not too slow what with Perceptor's signs of stress. Then he pauses for that nice long gander at Volatilus' awakening. Nice. :)

I am also enjoying the interaction between the team. They've got a nice dynamic.

(and just what the heck were Tonic and Foist doing anyways? Too distracted to keep their shields in place, hmmmmmm? :3)
cmdrtekkcmdrtekk on August 24th, 2008 04:09 am (UTC)
(end of the quickness)

Hmmmmmm. Just what were those two doing? That their bond shields were weak, and I'm thinking their other four teammates were reinforceing their own. Not that everyone doesn't get the whole picture everytime the team merges.

:-, SICS


Thank you for reading.
snugsbunnysnugsbunny on September 12th, 2008 11:12 am (UTC)
Heh! I'm loving this, the last part with the names for the third gestalt was win XD

Though what is up with that third gestalt, why is it being kept, almost secret from the other two?