We are a literate, intermediate to advanced AU Transformers RPG Based off of the first season of TFP with dashes of other incarnations sprinkled here or there. Characters from any continuity are welcome however must be restyled to match the TFPrime universe.
Active, with ongoing plotlines, we are always willing to integrate new characters into storylines once incorporated into the setting.
The loving touch against her chassis, less than a yard between Jazz’s mouth and where the sparkling lay static and unlit, lanced through Cleaver’s core with painful intensity. Like Ironhide, Jazz gave so easily, but he was speaking on behalf of a cohort who wasn’t present. Who she didn’t understand. Most significantly, he was speaking without knowledge of the true extent of her crimes, and the guilt at letting him make such promises without knowing was agonizing.
Lie of omission were as bad as lies, she had learnt. They cut as deep and festered for the hiding.
Cleaver shook her helm and grabbed Jazz’s shoulders, forcing some distance between them so that their fields – all three of them – weren’t quite so intermingled. “No – you can’t promise that. Not when you don’t know.”
The mere thought of the admission sent a shudder of a glitch through her systems, optics shuttering and vocaliser leaking a subsonic keen she couldn’t contain. “Y-you don’t know me, Jazz.” She thought of Sideswipe, and her backstrut curled with an erratic surge of charge. She thought of D16-N05 guttering out but saveable, cradled in a miner’s arm. She thought of Ironhide and his holos of Bluestreak when zie fit into his cupped hands.
“Primus help me, if you knew what I’ve been… If Ironhide knew what I’ve done…”
Jazz was well aware (though most Autobots, including Prime, seemed to forget it readily enough) that he was Not a Good Mech. He was also well aware that most mechs judged others on their pasts. That they would never forgive horrible things you've done, full stop. Maybe that was the way it should be. Maybe that's how consequences were supposed to work.
It wasn't how Jazz worked, though. He'd DONE those horrible things. Just about every crime they had a name for and a few they didn't, Jazz had done, usually willingly, always fully aware of what he was doing and how terrible a mech it made him. Even worse, and definitely something Prime often forgot, HE WOULD DO THEM AGAIN. In service to the cause, in service to their race, given the right circumstances even against Prime's wishes...he would. Maybe he was arrogant, thinking he knew best. Maybe he was just four steps behind Megatron down the road to madness. Jazz was never sure. He was, at core, an empty piece of scrap with precious few morals.
And yet. He was useful. He could support and love and fight the good fight, and he knew that he'd rather snuff his own spark than work for the wrong end again. And that, he'd long ago decided, was enough. It was enough for him, and it was enough for those who were like him.
It was enough for Cleaver, and Jazz's field was glacially calm and reassuring as he let himself be pushed back but not away, his hands curled tight around her forearms.
He could SAY that, but he doubted that it would mean much. Not when Cleaver was fighting her own meta. It was obviously something she'd been condemning herself for for vorn and vorn. Best to show by doing. One terrible mecha forgiving another.
"Then tell me," Jazz said. "C'mon, hon, let it out. Drag it out into the light. Willin' to bet I won't react the way you're expecting, and 'least then you'll KNOW." He squeezed her arms in reassurance. "You're the medic. Yank it out so it can heal, eh?"
Cleaver was silent for several minutes, just absorbing Jazz's calm and encouragement, both wreathed in protective support and love. In the jungle, cicadas clicked with such frequency as to buzz around them. The Earth moved a further 4467 kilometers in its orbit around the Sun.
Let it out.
The rational, objective part of her processor that wasn't frazzled and glitched past the point of reasonableness knew that D16-N05 wasn't solely her fault. She'd been a tool of a corrupted system, obeying the rules to make up for a previous discrepancy. When D16 turned revolutionist, she'd gone to try and atone again for that death - and a hundred others - by keeping him alive and on the Grid. Cleaver had had Megatron's energon on her hands innumerable time, been up to her elbows in his tattered mesh, and brought him back from the brink of deactivation more than once.
Fortress Maximus's face flashed through her mind, the embittered rage and despair in his optics so powerful it had forced her backwards. How many had wished for such a chance... Megatron's spark in her hands, body vulnerable and mind locked in stasis - a regular state for the gladiator, and once again as a warlord. She could have ended the war with one more death. One more arrogant act of believing that she had the right to decide to kill someone.
She hadn't known on Cybertron. Not that D16 would take the death of his child as a catalyst for madness. Not that Megatronus had no intention of peace after reaching the Council with Orion Pax, an army ready and awaiting his command in the wings.
Ignorance was not innocence, though. Cleaver hadn't known about Barricade's past, not even his faction, and had rebuilt the monster who'd butchered Shadowrunner's cohort. Her face, so like Maximus's - anger and incomprehension and blistering hated...
Jazz was not Shadowrunner. He'd already forgiven her grievous error, acknowledged that she hadn't acted maliciously. Incorrectly, yes, but not with an intent to harm or put anyone in mortal danger. Kept the situation to herself and tried to resolve it before it caused an upset.
Jazz was also not Ironhide The red mech couldn't comprehend a cohort with secrets and strikingly individual autonomy. The the notion of having that quashed was frightening in its own right.
And Jazz was not Sideswipe. He would not see only the betrayal, but the necessity in a former identity left buried for the sake of survival.
"I was Towers." Jazz already knew that: self-gen was exclusively a Towerling privilege, and the smaller mech just seemed to have a knack for knowing things. "I broke protocol at a shuttle crash - did two transplants on-site without any permission. Got busted down to Tarn and then Kaon."
A pregnant pause filled with rustling plants, humming insect wings and stretching vines. Cleaver pushed on through gritted dente: "I, personally, turned mecha away knowing full well what would happen to them. Hundreds who came in begging." Hand dropping away, the medic's optics flashed to Jazz with something perilously close to anguish. Begging him to understand. To detest her. To walk away. To give her what she deserved, because Primus knew she deserved something. "I'm a healer, a creator, and I condemned sparklings to death. I was a part of the system that the civil war started over."
And then I went on to light the fuse.
Last Edit: Apr 28, 2013 10:52:57 GMT -5 by Deleted
The conflict in Cleaver's field shuddered against Jazz's own: the plea for understanding and the equally strong pulse of repentence/submission/acceptance-of-punishment.
It hurt to see just because Jazz knew how vulnerable that left a mecha: that feeling that no matter what someone did to you, it was only what you deserved.
Jazz had found that no matter what someone did to you, it never really did any good. It didn't bring anyone back. It didn't heal anyone's scars. It didn't undo the pain and loss inflicted. It didn't help Jazz help the Autobots. It didn't even really make the abusers feel any better. And sometimes indulging in revenge just made them worse.
Maybe letting yourself be punished was justice. But the question always was...when had you atoned enough? To whom? If Jazz had let others decide when he was done atoning, he'd be long dead, and who would that have helped?
"Yeah," he said, field serene and accepting. "You were. And you're right, it was an unjust system. It was an unjust thing you did in service to it, and you'd be a different mecha if you didn't feel bad about that. But you didn't have full freedom, either. That system bore down on all of us, made us all fear for our survival if we stepped out of line. Being afraid makes us all do things we're not proud of. Things we'd never do if we had the choice."
Jazz squeezed her vambraces. There were other things to say, but he had the feeling that she wasn't done yet, so all he said was, "I understand, hon."
Jazz's under-reaction was, somehow, exhausting. It eased the tension from her lines, hydraulics downshifting from an insistent tremor with a hiss of hot air. She sank deeper into the moss-soft ground, rotors splayed out at awkward angles across the arching roots and undulating earth.
Cleaver offlined her optics for a few minutes, just, absorbing his serene, patient assurance. Listening to the muted clicks, whirrs and shunts of the mechanisms running around his spark. Synching to some of them, like copying slow breaths.
She had not expected this, in the same way she had not expected him.
Ironhide had already staggered over how different their background social cultures were. Though Cybertron was long dead, and with it the Towers and Guardian hierarchies, elements of the caste psyches still endured. His sprawling and closely linked cohort had been utterly foreign to the medic, and she was still adjusting on the visceral level to how it worked. The instinctive behaviours that were expected.
Autonomy and self sufficiency had been a point of pride as well as a social norm in her distant past. Bottom caste had to group together to survive, work and find their charge. Towers didn’t need to, and thus there was a sense of propriety regarding the sizes of close cohort. Cleaver had known little of Tempest's work, their relationship a Venn diagram of largely separated interests and interactions with a thin sliver of shared living in the middle. She had been closer to Forge, but he had been young and dependent for a long time before flying the proverbial nest.
The thought of the matte-silver sparkling broke Cleaver out of the cold trance. She cycled a breath and onlined her optics, the lenses shifting quietly in concentric circles before focusing on Jazz's visor.
"I killed someone... who could have changed everything. The whole war. Cybertron. And I didn't even notice it, then."
Jazz's field pulsed in understanding. He'd killed people who might have changed everything, too. Mecha who might have put the brakes on the war (through just or unjust means...often a bit of both). He'd killed the innocent, too. "Collateral damage", he'd often thought: unthinking cogs in a corrupt machine.
Like Cleaver had been. Like Optimus and Bluestreak and Ironhide and Chromia. Something that Jazz had never forgotten. Every death was an obstacle removed, but every obstacle was a complicated individual, same as him, who'd largely made the best decisions they could at the time. Who was he to say that he had the right to kill them? He didn't. Same as they didn't have the right to kill him, but yet here they were. And if Jazz ever had the chance to kill Megatron or any of the other top Decepticon officers, he'd do it, gladly. It was an imperfect system to say the least.
None of that would help, Cleaver right this minute, though, so Jazz just stepped in closer, his EM field cycling with support and encouragement.
Cleaver didn't say or do anything for a long time, and Jazz remained just as still and quiet. His patience and the steady glow of love and encouragement was like sitting in sunlight.
She knew what he would say, because it would be a reiteration of what he'd said so far. That she hadn't know. That it was the system that had been corrupt, and that she'd been slaved to it. That there was nothing to suggest that some other event wouldn't have triggered that world-changing bent in D-16's mind if she hadn't disregarded Velocity's plea to bend the rules.
D16-N05 had been a statistic. Hundreds of mecha had been put to death with a simple 'no' at the clinic. She'd thought nothing of it at the time because it was common, and that in itself was repulsive.
There was nothing to be done about any of it now. Cybertron was still a dead husk, Megatron was still here and the war was still going.
Cleaver knew what he'd say, and what he'd said and done already was more than enough. She pulled the smaller mech into a tight embrace, plates shifting to better align their mismatched frames, the sour heat from the manufacturing plant bleeding between them. Optics shuttered, she pulsed gratitude for his steady acceptance and love for his wisdom.
There wasn't any thanks needed, of course, but Jazz just said, "Y'welcome, love" and backed it up with a solid wiggle and shift of plating to mesh them closer together.
Forgiveness was such a funny thing. It cost nothing to give, yet everyone held it so dear.
Jazz had been told multiple times that he gave it away too freely. That he forgave unforgivable things. His reply was always that he only gave what he'd been given.
What Would Optimus Prime Do? He should get bumper stickers made.
The instinct, though, was coded into him. Primus knew the streets of Kaon and the Decepticons had done their best to beat it out of him. It was a glitch of his, he knew. One he'd had to work around countless times. Holdover from being sparked as a servantmech, no doubt. It wasn't incapacitating, like Ironhide's could be, but Jazz was fairly certain that wasn't for lack of trying on the coders' part. It was just...there. That tension around his spark that was eased by knowing he'd helped someone else.
It was an instinct, and it was that same instinct that made him judge the shiver of her field and roll his helm to look up at her, palm pulsing soothing magnetics and here-constant-support over the linkages of her neck. "Anything else, hon?"
Cleaver huffed a sound that could have been mistaken for a laugh: a short expulsion of air thick with the release of decades worth of tension. The smaller mech's unquestioning, doubtless and confident acceptance and support changed nothing. She hadn't even told him what had brought them to this point. But it was clear in every way that could not be faked that he wouldn't leave, wouldn't have been horrified if she had told him everything.
Just knowing that was enough. Cleaver didn't need to go through the final agony of saying those names. At least not tonight.
"No," she murmured against his audio, pressing her nape into the therapeutic pulses emanating from his hand. "No, I think I'm done."
Quiet for a moment, then: "Don't tell 'Hide about this. Please."
Jazz stifled a chuckle. Ah, and here we go again....
But it was fair enough. It wasn't the right time for it anyway, with Ironhide patching together his code with superglue.
"I won't," Jazz said, massaging his fingers along the plates of her neck. "But m'warnin' ya, 'Hide doesn't deal well with secrets. It's how he was sparked, not how his first cohort was. I haven't found yet anything he wouldn't forgive--" He tipped his head up to look at her pointedly, "--an' that includes actively killing Autobots for hundreds of vorn, so believe me, I think you're safe. But he hates not knowing. Takes the ground out from under him, makes him doubt. So, I won't tell him, but you might want to. Not saying you can't have any secrets, but if it's going to affect you, affect the cohort, y'might want to give him a heads-up."
He pressed his forehelm to hers. "He might surprise ya. He IS a big squishy energon goodie deep inside, y'know."