|Ashes to Ashes, Dust to Dust
Author: Mistress Megatron PM
After accidentally encountering a Decepticon, Rae's life is changed forever. She gains unlikely friendships with the Autobots and after a devastating heartbreak, one of them may prove to be more than just the hero of the hour.Rated: Fiction M - English - Hurt/Comfort/Romance - Jetfire - Chapters: 16 - Words: 68,717 - Reviews: 165 - Favs: 78 - Follows: 57 - Updated: 01-31-13 - Published: 03-05-12 - id: 7899419
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
I apologize for the wait when it came to updating this. Thank you to everyone who read and reviewed the last chapter, I hope you enjoy this one. Though, I think you guys will. I also apologize for the length of this chapter. There was no way I could make it shorter.
Information about the pretender technology glared from his computer screen as Jetfire paced back and forth in his quarters. He had scoured the Autobot archives looking for whatever possible information he could find on the technology. He read about what it looked like, how it worked, possible side effects of using the technology. So far, nothing had changed his mind about stealing it. He paced now, trying to think of just how he could possibly steal it and get away with it.
The following evening he had late night patrol duty. While everyone else took the time to recharge, he would be in charge of the security of the base. It would be his only opportunity to successfully take the pretender technology without anyone noticing. However, he felt he couldn't take it without Red Alert eventually noticing that it was missing. A duplicate would have to be made, which wouldn't be a problem.
His problem was he still didn't know exactly where in the med bay the pretender technology was and he wouldn't have time to snoop around the med bay to figure out where it was. Somehow, without looking suspicious, he would need Red Alert to tell him where it was hidden. Jetfire sighed heavily, that would be the hardest part of the process…but he had an idea.
"Primus, Rae, the things I do for you," he muttered under his breath before leaving his quarters and heading to the med bay.
Red Alert looked up surprised when Jetfire waltzed into the med bay late that evening. He checked the time before asking, "Something wrong, Jetfire? It's late, you should be recharging."
"That chip you installed earlier, it's bothering me."
"Bothering you?" Red Alert asked quizzically.
"I've been feeling kind of dizzy ever since you installed it," Jetfire lied.
"That might not be the chip," the Autobot medic stated with a sigh, "Take a seat over there, I'll do a couple scans to make sure your systems aren't rejecting it."
Jetfire complied and sat down on a berth. He watched as Red Alert went over to a cabinet and took out a small device before turning back to him. "Hold still," the medic ordered as he proceeded to run a scan.
The second in command sighed before saying, "I still don't know why Optimus chose me to be your test subject. I mean, why not Hotshot?"
"Hotshot doesn't have a charge."
"When I told him about the chip, he mentioned something about you guys finding pretender technology when you discovered this crashed ship."
"There's no need for anyone to use that."
"Well, if there's no need for that, then there's no need for this chip."
"I merely wish to see if the chip works. It could come in handy you know."
"Does the pretender technology work?"
"Probably, but it's never actually been tested. We haven't had a reason to test it."
Jetfire didn't dare say anything else for fear that Red Alert would ask him why he was so curious about the technology. Instead, he maintained his silence as the medical officer finished the scans. He watched as Red Alert put the device away before asking, "Aren't you going to tell me if anything is wrong?"
"Whatever dizziness you're experiencing is in your head," Red Alert remarked, "There's absolutely nothing wrong with you."
"So I'm free to go then?" Jetfire asked, knowing that he had yet to find out where the medical officer was hiding the pretender technology.
"In a moment," Red Alert stated as he turned back to his superior officer, "Just how much did Hotshot tell you about the pretender technology?"
Jetfire's processor was screaming in alarm that he had inquired too far. Fear gnawed through his circuits as he did his best to keep a calm demeanor. "Not that much," he replied carefully, "He just mentioned you had it. I don't even know where you keep it."
"I keep it in here," Red Alert said, gesturing to a small cabinet, "I don't think it's a big deal if you know. I'll just make it perfectly clear that no one is authorized to use it unless Optimus says so."
"I have no reason to use it," Jetfire casually remarked as he stood from the berth, "Thanks for checking me out."
"Yeah, no problem, have a good night."
"You too, Red," Jetfire stated before slipping out of the med bay, mission accomplished.
Despite the fact the duplicate of the pretender technology had been easy to make, it now weighed heavy in Jetfire's subspace pocket. He tried to keep second thoughts to a minimum as he walked through the long halls of the Autobot base, barely concentrating on his patrol. He didn't want anybody around and he especially wanted to make sure the med bay was empty. As he made his rounds, Jetfire was relieved to discover everyone had retired to their quarters for the night.
The Autobot second in command vented a heavy sigh. It had been rather challenging, but he managed to sabotage the surveillance cameras. He had rigged them to simultaneously shut down for approximately fifteen minutes before they would reboot. Jetfire figured that would be just enough time to slip into the med bay, take the pretender technology and replace it with the duplicate, and then leave.
A ping across his comm. indicated there was a security failure, that systems would restart on their own after recalibration. Taking that as his cue, Jetfire headed for the med bay.
It felt like one of the longest walks of his life, but when the Autobot reached the med bay, he casually typed in the key code for the door to open. The door yawned open revealing an empty medical bay and Jetfire entered. He didn't waste any time as he went over to the cabinet where Red Alert said the pretender technology was and opened it. It required a bit of rummaging around, but Jetfire finally found the technology. He took it out and set it on top of the cabinet before placing the duplicate in its place. Quietly, he shut the cabinet and stashed the real technology inside his subspace. He glanced around quickly, and after reassuring himself that he was alone and that no one had witnessed his thievery, he left the med bay.
"I'll give it back," he promised himself as he walked along a lonely corridor, "Once I know Rae is safe."
The spine-chilling sound of bone cracking against bone filled the room.
"You're a dirty whore!"
"I didn't do anything!" a broken voice pleaded.
"Someone said they saw you with Shawn the other night."
"I was here, Micah. What's wrong with you? You've never been like this before!"
His fist came down again.
Rae opened her eyes. She blinked a few times, breathing shallow as the post-sleep haze slowly faded away. Warm sunlight was streaming through the open window and across the bed. Birds chirped without worry, their melodies occasionally faltered by car horns and vehicles driving past with loud mufflers.
A heavy sigh left Rae's nostrils as she stared across the empty span of mattress where Micah slept. He wasn't there, gone to work, his days beginning at 7am. She rolled over before sitting up and easing herself off the bed. She ruffled her hair as she stood up before heading into the bathroom. Rae stripped out of her pajamas, letting them fall into a heap on the floor before she stepped into the shower and pulled the curtain closed.
Without much enthusiasm, she went through the process of cleaning herself. She started with washing her hair before moving on to shave the appropriate areas of her body. When she finished that, she set her razor down before picking up the bar of soap. As the suds made little clouds that streaked down her body, Rae couldn't help but count the bruises on her body. There were a few small ones on her right arm just above her elbow; there was a big, fist-shaped one on her abdomen.
Rae set the soap aside as she allowed the water to rinse away the suds. Life sure wasn't what she had expected it to be since returning to Micah. But, what had she expected? That Micah would suddenly and magically change for the better? That he would never lie, never cheat, never yell, never fight, never hurt her again? He, the man she loved the most, had raped her, abused her, and was nearly holding her captive. She was forbidden from going anywhere besides work and school, Micah reassured her that he had a lot of friends that he had keeping an eye on her when he couldn't, if she so much as tried to leave or tried to love someone else…Rae didn't even want to imagine what Micah would do.
She had to give him a copy of her work schedule every week. He would call at the beginning of every shift to make sure she was there. Rae felt like she was suffocating. Micah was the one who had done wrong, not her, but it was her that was paying for it. Throughout their entire relationship, she always knew Micah was violently angry. He started fights in bars, he started fights with her, but had never actually harmed her, that was, until now.
He would go through her phone to see who her contacts were, to see who she was talking to, he went through every email account she had, both personal and school-related. Rae told him that he didn't need to be afraid that she would cheat on him, but no matter much she begged and pleaded, he wouldn't listen. Instead, it seemed, his blows stiffened and his controlling grip tightened.
"…you're playing with fire if you go back to Micah. You may love him, but you haven't learned that you don't need him."
"Jetfire," she breathed as tears slid from the corners of her eyes and down her cheeks, the running water from the shower masking them.
Even though she desperately missed the Autobot, she couldn't see herself going back to the Autobot base to live. She felt like she had burned too many bridges. And with the way Micah monitored her now, it would be nearly impossible to visit.
Micah had wanted to take her out to the club tonight. Rae knew it was because he wanted to drink and see his friends, but if he was distracted…
"I will try my best to come see you, Jetfire," she stated as she turned off the water and wrapped a towel around herself, "For both our sakes."
When Caliburst was summoned by Jetfire to his personal quarters, the Minicon knew that whatever it was the Autobot deputy commander wanted, it more than likely concerned Rae. He was not surprised when he entered only to see the Autobot was clearly distressed about something. The Minicon waited for the door to close before saying, "You wished to speak with me?"
Jetfire vented a sigh before saying, "Yes, look, whatever is said in this room needs to stay in this room. Call it classified, it's that important."
Caliburst tilted his head to the side, "Have you done something wrong?"
Jetfire stiffened before laughing weakly, "What makes you ask that?"
The Minicon shrugged, "You're clearly agitated."
"Look," the Autobot remarked, "Do you promise not to tell anyone?"
"Were you aware that when this ship crash landed on Earth that it was carrying pretender technology?"
"Yes,"Caliburst answered, "We brought it in case we came into contact with a planet that lacked machinery. We didn't want to scan organic life-forms, it is too risky."
"Yes, I know, you scan something organic to transform into, you become partly organic and you can never reverse it. The pretender technology allows you to become an organic safely."
"You discovered it?"
"I stole it," Jetfire admitted, "Optimus and the others found it prior to my arrival here. I was hoping I could use it to convince Rae to come back to the base."
"You cannot force her to come back."
"I know, I'm not trying to. It's just…I want her here where I know she's safe."
"Perhaps you care too strongly for the girl? I miss her company as well, commander, but don't you think you might be taking this too far?"
"She needs to know that she is welcome here, that she is not responsible for the bad things that happened to Hoist. She doesn't know he lived, she doesn't know Starscream betrayed the Decepticons and brought the Star-Saber Sword and Skyboom Shield here so that we have protection against the Requiem Blaster. She needs to know that things are okay."
"A comm. call wouldn't have sufficed?"
"I'm afraid if I call, Micah will catch her talking to me and possibly punish her. I need to do this in person."
This time, Caliburst vented a sigh, "I suppose you need my help?"
"I spoke with Rae earlier this week; she said she is going to that nightclub you took her to tonight. She said she would try to sneak away, but I doubt she will be able to. All I'm asking is that you will give me a ride there."
"I will help you, but if you get caught, I had no knowledge that you stole the pretender technology."
"You got it, Caliburst. Thanks a million."
"You are welcome, but before I report back to my duties, I would suggest one thing."
"You're going to need some clothes." And with that, the Minicon left the room.
"Oh, that's so cute!" Alexis remarked as Jetfire explained his story to them.
"So, Optimus is really letting you use the pretender technology in order to make sure Rae is safe?" Rad questioned.
"Yes," Jetfire replied, optics shifting nervously, "I have a way with the big guy."
"This is so cool!" Fred exclaimed excitedly, "I would've never guessed you guys could become human!"
"Keep it down!" Jetfire remarked, "Optimus has strict orders that nobody else knows about this except us in this room."
"No worries, dude," Carlos stated, "Our lips are sealed." And he pretended to zip them shut.
"So, clothes?" Alexis asked, getting things back on topic.
"Yes," the Autobot stated.
"Well, I think we have enough money between us to buy you some outfits," Alexis said, "Thing of it is, we're going to have to get your sizes. So, you're going to have to use that technology to become human so I can get your measurements."
"Wait, what if he's naked after he uses it?" Billy asked.
"Uh…" Jetfire said as he took out the technology, "Cover your eyes." He waited as the kids did so before looking to the pretender technology. The technology itself was pretty simplistic in design, two golden bracelets that fastened to one's wrists. Carefully, he slid a bracelet on each wrist and watched as each automatically tightened. I hope this works…
He pressed his wrists together, causing a brilliant white-light to suddenly engulf him. The light only lasted momentarily. When he looked out, Jetfire noticed that everything was considerably smaller. He blinked as the humans looked at him, dumbfounded looks on their faces. However, Billy was quick to recover as he mused, "Well, at least you're not naked."
Jetfire looked himself over. His armor had adapted to the transformation and he was wearing a suit of his armor. He wore a helmet that resembled his helm, shaggy locks of fiery red hair protruded from the helmet and streaked across his forehead. A mask that was connected to the helmet covered his mouth. After a moment, he looked back to the humans saying, "Looks like it worked."
Alexis nodded, "Yes, but you're going to have to take off some of that armor if I'm going to get accurate measurements."
"Right," Jetfire mused as he eased the helmet off his head, revealing his mouth. He had a stubbly goatee that matched his fiery red hair. However, it was when he heard the kids gasp that he immediately slapped a hand over his mouth.
"It's okay!" Alexis said, "We won't tell anyone, will we guys?"
"N-No," Fred stated.
Slowly, Jetfire released his hand, revealing the ominous scar that split through the right side of his lips, permanently disfiguring him. The scar started just above the right side of his top lip and carved and ugly path downwards to his chin. The Autobot studied their reactions carefully before asking, "Think my chances are blown with Rae if she sees this?"
"No, not at all," Rad stated, "It's not that bad."
"Really, it's not," Alexis added, trying to reassure him, "Now come on, you need to take the armor off your top."
Jetfire complied, taking off the appropriate amounts of armor so that Alexis could take the measurements. Less than fifteen minutes later, she had all the measurements she needed and allowed Jetfire to put his armor back on and return to his true form, face concealed once again.
"Okay, we'll go get some stuff for you," Alexis said, "Anything particular that you want?"
Jetfire thought about it for a moment before saying, "Something nice."
"Oh, I just thought of something," Carlos stated, "You're probably going to need an alias, just in case. Maybe Jeffrey?"
Jetfire shrugged, "That'll work, I suppose. But let's go get my clothes, okay?"
"We're on it!"
The Autobot second in command watched as the kids scampered out of the room. He vented a sigh. He hoped all this trouble would be worth it.
Rae felt relieved once she stepped inside of the nightclub, Jenna and Michelle at her sides, Micah close behind. It felt normal, her, Jenna, Michelle, and Micah used to go out like this frequently prior to when Micah cheated. But now, it was an escape. Micah couldn't hurt her here. She might be able to get away from him here.
"Come on!" Michelle exclaimed as she grabbed Rae's wrist as well as Jenna's, "Let's go dance!"
Rae glanced back at Micah who nodded and said, "I'll be at the bar."
They parted ways, Rae felt grateful that his overbearing presence was off her. Michelle led them onto the dance floor, wanting to get into the heart of the crowd. Rae watched as her friends bumped against and swayed with the rest of the dancers. She attempted to look like she was having a good time, but Rae just couldn't get into it. She was grateful that Jenna and Michelle weren't noticing.
A sudden jerk to her arm caught her attention. Rae looked over to see Jenna had pulled her arm. She was pointing to the entrance, excitement dancing across her eyes as she said, "Look at that hunk!"
Rae saw a striking red-head make his way into the club. She had to do a double take. Whoever the man was, he was absolutely stunning. He was wearing a dressy black shirt; he had the sleeves rolled up to the elbow. The black shirt was loosely draped over gray jeans. "Wow…" Rae breathed. She quickly shook her head before turning to Jenna, "Well, he hasn't seen us yet. You're single, go mingle!" And she gave her a small push towards the man.
"Finders, keepers!" Jenna exclaimed as she went to go talk with the man.
Rae shook her head and went to go make conversation with Michelle when an arm wrapped around her waist and hips grinded against her backside. Cold lips pressed against her neck before a voice whispered, "How's Ra-Ra?"
"Fine, Micah," she replied, unwillingly dancing with him. She sighed; hoping things were going well with Jenna.
Jetfire saw the female approaching too late. He had managed to escape a few since entering the club, but it seemed like it would be impossible to avoid this one. He was rather surprised about all the attention he was getting from the females, they weren't horrified by his scar, instead it seemed they were more intrigued by it. He watched as the female stopped in front of him, a smirk on her face as she said, "Hi, my name's Jenna."
"Uh…Jeffrey," Jetfire replied, not liking the way the name rolled off his tongue.
"Are you an alien?"
The Autobot thought he would experience a spark attack. She couldn't possibly know, could she? He swallowed as he tried to keep his cool. "Uh…no, why?"
"You just abducted my heart."
Jetfire was so relieved that he couldn't roll his eyes at the awful pickup line. Instead, he faked a laugh and asked, "What's a nice girl like you doing at a place like this?"
"Hanging out with my friends, I don't get to see them much, they're the best people in the world," Jenna stated, "What about you, what are you doing here?"
"I'm looking for someone."
She grinned, "Me too."
Jetfire wanted to face-palm, that wasn't what he had meant. Somehow, he had to get rid of this girl so that he could find Rae. He didn't have time to flirt. However, before he could speak, Jenna grabbed him by the arm and said, "Come on, I'll introduce you to my friends."
He stumbled along behind her as she practically dragged him over to the bar. "Hey guys, this is Jeffrey," he heard her say, "This is Michelle and this is Rae."
Jetfire looked up. Seated at the bar next to Michelle was indeed Rae. He watched as Rae gave a small smile and he felt relief melt through his synthetic heart. He had finally found her. Now all he had to do was somehow get her alone. Then he could tell her who he was and hopefully take her back to the base.
"Nice to meet you, Jeffrey," Rae stated, "Jenna forgot a person though." And to Jetfire's horror, she gestured to the man seated beside her before saying, "This is my boyfriend, Micah."
Micah turned upon hearing his name. He gave Jetfire a smile before saying, "Hey man, how's it going?"
The Autobot refrained from saying what he really wanted to and instead said, "Just fine. How come you guys aren't dancing?"
"Well, we were," Rae replied, to his delight, "But Jenna saw a hunk across the room and decided to test her flirting skills."
He watched a flicker of anger cross Micah's eyes. He leaned down and whispered something to Rae, causing a look of worry to go across her face.
"Well, we can go dance if you want," Michelle suggested.
"You guys go ahead," Micah said, "I got to take a leak. Rae, you stay here."
"And if I don't?"
"You know," he said before sliding off the bar stool and heading towards the men's room.
A defeated look went across Rae's face as she turned back towards the bar, waving her hand dismissively, "You guys go ahead."
"You coming?" Jenna asked.
Jetfire looked to her before saying, "I'll be along in a minute. I just want a quick drink."
Jenna nodded and Jetfire watched as she and Michelle disappeared onto the dance floor. He eyed Rae for a moment before he sat down next to her. "Everything alright?" he asked.
She looked to him before saying, "You might better get out of here before Micah sees you alone with me. He's extremely jealous. He wouldn't hesitate to bust you up."
"I'd like to see him try," Jetfire replied, gently. He felt Rae's eyes studying him and he gave a small smile.
"Your voice sounds familiar," she said.
He fought back a smirk before saying, "You know, this really isn't my kind of place. I'm more of a nature kind of guy. What do you say we step outside and get some fresh air before Micah gets back?"
Rae glanced at the bathroom and then back to him. It would be much easier ditching a complete stranger than it would be ditching Micah in order to sneak away to the Autobot base. "Alright," she said as she stood up. "Maybe you could give me a ride somewhere," she suggested as they made their way towards the exit.
Not wanting to make her feel uncomfortable, Jetfire didn't dare touch her. Instead he led her over to Caliburst who was parked in the parking lot. He watched as Rae's step faltered before she continued forward. "Something wrong?" he asked.
"No," Rae stated as she examined the motorcycle more closely, "It's just that…I used to have a motorcycle that looked a lot like this one."
Jetfire shrugged, "Want to go for a ride? You said something about getting a ride somewhere."
She nodded and Jetfire handed her an extra helmet. He climbed on the bike first. Once he was situated, he felt Rae climb on behind him. However, the Autobot wasn't sure how to feel when she suddenly wrapped her arms around his waist, holding onto him.
The engine started and Caliburst raced out of the parking lot. As they raced through the streets together, Jetfire turned his head towards Rae and asked, "Where did you want to go?"
"Just take me up to the Cosmo-Scope Research Center, I can walk from there."
"There's nothing out there!"
"That's what you think!"
He smiled as they raced forward. About twenty minutes later, they stopped at the base of the mountain. Caliburst came to a stop before powering down. Jetfire removed his helmet and Rae did the same. He heard a breath catch in her throat before she breathed, "The stars are really pretty out here."
"Yeah, kind of like you."
"Why brain? Why? You got to cut this out, Jetfire!"
Rae tossed a smirk at him, "My, was that a flirt, Jeffrey?"
He smiled involuntarily. "No, of course not," he replied, "I can't flirt with you, Jenna would get mad."
She laughed as she got off the bike and set the helmet down. She stood and looked at him as he sat on the motorcycle. "She wouldn't be the only one to get mad," she said.
Jetfire shrugged, putting the extra helmet away, "Micah's going to be mad anyway, considering you left."
"He's on the way out."
"It's either him or me, depending on if I can find a way out."
"I'm sure you've got friends somewhere that'd help you out."
"I don't know, I got to talk with them first."
Jetfire shrugged, looking her over. He needed to tell her the truth and there was no better time than now. "You don't mind if I stick around here for a little bit longer, do you?" he asked.
"No, I'm not in a hurry. Micah won't know I'm here."
He got up from the bike and set his helmet aside. "That's no good," Jetfire remarked as he came up beside her, "He won't know where to go to get his butt kicked."
She smiled, "So Jeffrey, what do you do for a living?"
"I'm a soldier."
"Is that how you got the scar?" she asked.
He blinked, "Yeah, I got that in battle." He flinched in surprise when she suddenly reached up and touched it. He stifled a breath as her fingertips, soft and feather-like, gently traced down the length of his scar.
"I don't think you should be ashamed of it," Rae said as her hand fell back to her side.
"Definitely not, it shows you're a hero."
He smiled, "You're really sweet, Rae."
She returned the smile as a calm silence passed between them. Jetfire went to speak up, figuring now was his moment to tell the truth, but Rae beat him to the punch as she said softly, "You remind me of someone I know."
"Yeah, but you wouldn't know him."
"I think I may have a better idea than what you realize."
She giggled and shook her head, "No. There's no way."
She shook her head again, "I just feel like I've known you all my life."
"My, was that a flirt, Rae?"
"Jetfire, knock it off. Do not forget that Optimus will severely punish you."
She blushed before leaning closer to him and sliding her hand into his. "Do you think Jenna will be mad?" she asked.
"What she doesn't know won't hurt her," Jetfire stated and then paused. He looked her over for what was probably the millionth time, but it seemed like no matter how much he looked, he couldn't get enough. Her hair seemed like it was glowing in the starlight, her eyes shimmered beautifully. He tightened his hand around hers; her skin was so soft, so warm. For a moment, he wondered what she tasted like.
"No, Jetfire. No. Do not lose control of yourself."
"That's true," Rae replied, looking up at him.
"You cannot want her, Jetfire. Tell her the truth; do not disobey a direct order!"
But he couldn't fight it. The way she looked, the way he felt, all of it was overwhelming. Before he had a chance to stop himself, before he had a chance to realize what he was doing, he had stepped forward and gently tilted her face to his.
Rae felt a breath catch in her throat as warm, gentle, but hungry lips met hers. Her mind and heart were spiraling out of control. All of this, none of it was supposed to happen. But this stranger, this beautiful, random stranger with the mysterious scar on his face, he was threatening to sweep her off her feet in just one night.
She tried to keep her thoughts off sex as he pulled her closer, cupping her face between his hands as he deepened the kiss. She pressed her body closer to his as she wrapped an arm around his waist, her other hand became lost in his fiery locks of hair.
"Rae," he breathed when they finally pulled away.
"Don't say you have to go," she said, looking up into his whiskey-colored eyes, realizing how much taller than her he was.
"I'm sorry," he said as he let her go and turned back to Caliburst.
"Wait!" she said, "Can I see you again?"
He picked up his helmet as he looked back to her. He gave a small smile. "I'll find you," he said. And with that, he put on the helmet and sped off on Caliburst.
However, as Jetfire left Rae in the distance, he couldn't mistake the guilt that gripped his spark. Yes, for now she was safe and he would probably be seeing her again very soon, unbeknownst to her. However, that didn't change the fact that he had not only stolen the pretender technology, but he had also disobeyed Optimus' direct orders not to initiate a romantic relationship with her.
"I take it that wasn't part of the plan?"
"No," Jetfire admitted, "It definitely wasn't."
"What happens now?"
"I'm not sure."
"I still think you need to tell her the truth."
Jetfire swallowed as they entered the base, but as he thought back to how he had kissed Rae, he couldn't help but smile. Even though guilt was nearly overpowering him, so was an unfamiliar euphoric emotion.
An emotion that terrified him right down to the core.