THE TRUTH ABOUT CRASHING
This is based off of a plot bunny I found. It enlightens how painful a logic crash can be, as it would be similar to a human having a seizure. And now, this Fanfic will be showing the consequences of continuous crashing, and the unfortunate affect it has on a mech.
Note: I do not write slash. If anything seems like slash, it most definitely is not.
Prowl sat at his desk, datapad in one servo, and stylus in another, his optics trained on the object in front of him, continuously scanning it. During some of his free time, the tactician liked to study old earth artifacts – regardless to what everyone aboard the Ark believed that he hated this planet. His outer demeanor didn't help either.
What he had in front of him was a three thousand year old vase. Due to the fact that he had helped with the recovery of this artifact, Prowl had requested that he be allowed to at least study it, before returning it to the museum.
So, it had been brought to the ship. Not by him for obvious reasons. It was kept in a protective glass case, and he had been enjoying studying the markings around it. It was Egyptian make. He had been in Egypt at one point on a Government Issue, which was completed sooner than expected. So, he made his way to the excavation, after hearing about it a few weeks before. The tactician had offered his help by being able to detect the artifacts using his impressive door wing sensors. They would be picking up the vase today.
Placing down the datapad and stylus, he sighed, optics still trained on the artifact. He wished that he had had more time to study it. Human history was far interesting than Cybertronian. Optimus was the history lover of his home world. But he preferred earth in that case.
A slight knocking at the door drew his attention. There was only one being that belonged to. He signaled the automatic opening of the door, and an organic male strode into the room with dark brown hair, wearing a dark blue suit.
The SIC nodded at the man. "Hello Mister Jacobs. You are here for the vase." It was more a statement than a question, but the human nodded nonetheless. Walking over to the desk where the artifact was, Jacobs found that the desk was far too high to try attempt climbing onto. He sent a glance to the Autobot who immediately understood. Standing up, Prowl bent down to the human, offering his servo. The organic stepped on, and was brought to the glass case. He picked it up, and was lowered to the ground once again.
Mister Jacobs did look uncomfortable holding the artifact, but nevertheless expressed his thanks, and left.
Prowl picked up the datapad and walked over to the large array of shelves on the left side of his office, where bookfiles and reports resided. His optics scanned the shelf before they fell on the section he needed. Bending down slightly, the Praxian labeled the datapad and put it in alphabetical order with the shelf number. Neat freak.
His task complete, the tactician noted that he had not refueled in three weeks. His energy levels were lower than normal, and he did not want to be confronted by Ratchet about not refueling or recharging – again.
Wearily accepting his fate, the Praxian made his way out of his office and down the hall, the long trek to one of the worst places on this ship.
The rec room was an evil place. And the officer's energon dispenser was currently under maintenance – as it apparently always is.
Sighing, he continued down the corridor, passing several mechs who paid him no attention. Exactly how he likes.
While walking, a sharp pain went through his processor. Prowl paused as he mentally surveyed what had caused such a thing. It originated from the broken code which resulted in his glitch. And it was…
The connection seemed to be… righting itself. Fixing. Rapidly. And just like that, his day got better. He finally wouldn't crash every time something illogical happened.
The Praxian decided that he should ask Ratchet about this. The glitch had been thought to never be able to self repair but…
. . .
The humans sat with a group of their more familiar Bots in the rec room. It comprised of Chip, Spike, and Carly. Sparkplug was working that day, so they were left to their own devices. And that was to hang out with giant alien robots.
Of course, nothing much was happening at the moment. Henceforth, boredom. The group of Autobots they were with included Jazz, Bumblebee, Sideswipe, Sunstreaker and Hound. Altogether the room was crowded, as mechs got their daily energon.
The group sipped at the fueling substance, not really having anything to say to each other. They didn't have any battles to talk about, Sideswipe hadn't pulled any pranks in a while, Sunstreaker hadn't attacked one of his teammates – Cliffjumper – in anger, Wheeljack was being very cautious, and Ratchet had been to bored to even bother to throw wrenches.
Only the officers were somewhat busy. A thought stuck Spike. He glanced up at Jazz. "Hey Jazz?" He asked. The saboteur stopped drinking his energon and turned his attention to the human boy, his suave smile decorating his faceplates.
"Yeah Spike?" The TIC replied. The male organic hesitated a moment before stating what his question had been.
"Uh… well you're Third in Command so… why aren't you working?" That drew everybody's attention. Optics and eyes locked onto Jazz. He smirked.
"Ah have only ever been in my office once. And that was ta hide from Ratchet. Ah do work… just not very frequently. This is one of those times. And anyway, Prowl usually takes any work Ah have and does it 'imself."
Carly blinked. "Obsessive much?" She referred to the black and white Praxian's near need to work. Sunstreaker scoffed, while Sideswipe silently schemed.
"That mech needs to be taken down a peg if you ask me." The golden twin added his own opinion. Which instantly persuaded his brother to contradict him.
"Nobody was asking you, and if you've forgotten, you aren't that great a social butterfly either." Sunstreaker growled at his Twin, while Hound coughed out the word 'Sociopath'.
Chip sighed in boredom. "Alright, what is there to do? Currently, I think I'd be more entertained if I was at a lecture about the atomic structure of cotton." The other humans agreed.
Bumblebee blinked. "You get to hang out with aliens." He deadpanned. "What else are there that's more life changing and amazing than that?"
Spike raised his eyebrows. "So do you. We're aliens to you guys, so why aren't you having the time of your life?"
Sunstreaker answered. "Because we're huge, and you are tiny and squishy." A silent sentence hung in the air above Sideswipe, which clearly state: And you have just pushed my point home 'Social Butterfly'.
Carly let out a gust of air. "Well there has to be something to do." And Primus really does grant wishes.
In a rare occasion, Prowl came into the rec room. His expression was emotionless as usual, and his door wings were held high. And yet… there was something about him that actually made him seem… happy? Or at least pleased to an extent.
Sideswipe smirked, and the others noticed.
"What are you planning 'Sides?" Hound asked cautiously. The red front liner smiled evilly.
"Making entertainment." Was the simple reply, before he stood up. Evidently, they had all forgotten that Ratchet was in the same room. Sideswipe walked over to where Prowl was getting energon.
"Hey Prowl!" The diabolical twin greeted his commander cheerfully. The SIC withheld a cringe, opting to reply calmly. But the flinch of his door wings gave him away.
"Hello Sideswipe. What can I do for you?" He asked. The prankster smirked. This was just too easy. He sobered up quickly though.
"Yeah. I have a question. You know Pro's and Con's-"
"You've already attempted crashing me with that tactic Sideswipe." The tactician deadpanned. The front liner blinked.
"You were keeping tabs?" It was a strange thing to consider. To think that Prowl remembered each and every time that he had been crashed, and what had caused the crash.
"Yes Sideswipe. And I would thank you not to try and crash me. So far, the day has been uneventful, and I would like for it to remain that way." He picked up the filled energon cube and began to walk away. The red Twin wouldn't give up though.
"Ah, come on Prowl." He intoned. "Its basic tradition to crash you." He was digging himself deeper. "Besides, nothing interesting has happened in the last three weeks." And then there was whining. "Crashing is entertainment for the troops." What a way to admit to your crimes.
The SIC released a cycle of air, his door wings twitching minutely. "Crashing is not a pleasant experience. And as for entertainment, it is very one-sided. Besides which, you should have learnt that by now, crashing me will land you in the brig." To put it simply.
In the background Ironhide huffed, amused.
Apparently, boredom won over straight out threat, so Sideswipe chose the next option.
"Megatron's pink, Shockwave owns seven kittens, Starscream defected to the Autobots, Ironhide has adopted a human religion, Sunstreaker is helping the human community…" He continued his tirade of statements.
But to most of the beings present it was a surprise when Prowl didn't crash. In truth, the Praxian was resisting. His mind ached against the pressure, a pressure that was building more and more. He ground his denta together, and his optics sharpened.
"Sideswipe." He hissed in warning. But the front liner did not let up.
Then, as if in slow motion, a snapping sensation went through his mind, as all of his thoughts and memories just blacked out. He couldn't even shout in pain before he was falling. Everyone was oblivious to this occurrence.
They watched as he crashed to the floor. A triumphant smile graced Sideswipe's faceplates.
But the minor victory could only be reveled in for a few astroseconds, as Ratchet's clearly angry voice resounded about the room. "Slaggit Sideswipe! A crash is not a pleasant experience, when will you learn that?!"
The red twin pretended to consider it. "Hmm… I don't know. Maybe a few more vorns." The humans and Bots snickered at the unconscious SIC. The only interesting thing that has happened that day. Watching him crash.
Ratchet scowled, but went to bring Prowl out of his crash, grumbling while everybody watched in amusement. That amusement dissipated when the medic went quiet, concern gracing his normally intimidating features. That was the first worry.
Prowl remained deathly still on the ground, the back of his helm opened for the repairs. The thing was though, he wasn't waking up. Even though Ratchet had reconnected everything like normal.
On closer inspection, the CMO's optics widened as he saw the burned out connection between the tacticians CPU, battle and logic computer. In short, his mind had entirely cut off. There was absolutely no activity.
"Jazz!" The Hatchet snapped. The saboteur was there instantly out of fear for the medic, and worry for his friend. "Help me get him to the med bay." Closing up the Praxian's helm, they both lifted him up, and made their way out of the rec room.
All was silent, till Ironhide spoke. "Congratulations Sideswipe. You just broke Prowl." Carly smirked at those words.
"Took you the entire war, but you cracked him. Tell me, how does it feel to know you've accomplished such a feat?" And reporter acting is added into the equation. Sideswipe straightened in pride, going along with the charade.
"It feels…" A thought struck him and immediately any victory or happiness fell from his mind and expression, as horror took over. "Slag it to the Pit! I broke Prowl! I am never getting out of the brig for the rest of my existence. Crashing him is one thing, but actually breaking him?! I am doomed." And this was entertainment. Laughing at other beings misfortunes.
In the med bay.
Ratchet and Jazz lay Prowl on a berth. The TIC stood back as the medic got to work. But his worry only grew when the CMO began connecting many, many wires to the Praxian's helm.
A loud curse drew the saboteur out of his thoughts. He glanced at Ratchet who was glaring at… well nothing. That was new. Then he recognized that the medic was connected to the Praxian's mind.
His worry peaked further.
Prowl had always had processor problems, what with his logic computer. The glitch had been manifesting over the millennia. But now…
It was very serious if Ratchet went to such lengths as to go into his mind. It was not a pleasant experience having somebody poking around in your thoughts. But if it was necessary…
Prowl jolted awake with a startled cry. He looked around, fear gracing his expression. When he realised there was no threat, the mask of neutrality slid back into place. He glanced at Ratchet, where upon he realised that the medic was in his mind.
"Ratchet." His tone was hard. "Get out of my mind."
The CMO complied, concern on his faceplates. Ratchet turned to Jazz. "Please leave Jazz. I need to speak with Prowl alone."
The TIC immediately objected. "No way mech. Ah wanna know what's going on-"
"Please leave Jazz." Prowl ordered. The saboteur looked over at his friend, and saw the barely restrained anger under the Bots usually cool façade. While wanting to know what was happening, the spy just nodded and left, waiting outside the med bay.
All was silent in the room, till Prowl – now very subdued – leaned forward. "So… the connection is gone." He muttered. Ratchet nodded.
The SIC placed his helm in his servos, his figure still slumped, sitting on the berth, not wishing to accept the truth. "It was fixing. I saw the code reconnecting." He paused, then brought his optics to look at the CMO. "How long?"
The medic hesitated, not wishing to condemn Prowl to his fate. But he knew that either way, the tactician would get it out of him. "One human week. Then…" He didn't have to finish. The Praxian had been preparing for this moment his entire life.
"Thank you Ratchet. I know there is nothing you can do to stop the process." At that moment, Prowl just wanted to curl up and die. But he knew that would happen in a week when his processors shut off, along with all of his internal mechanisms.
"I could place you on spark support." The medic suggested. But they both knew that that was no life.
"No. But I should-" He was stopped by the alarm going off. The SIC got off the berth quickly, as Ratchet tried halting him.
"Prowl stop! You just find that your connection between processors is gone, and yet you are going out to battle?! That is an idiotic idea, and will put stress on your mind that may hasten the progress!" But the Praxian was already gone.
The CMO cursed. "Slagger!" He made to ready the repair bay for the mass of injured Bots that would be coming in.
. . .
Prowl strode into the hangar where Autobots were awaiting orders from their Prime to move out. He spotted Jazz conferring with Mirage and Bumblebee. No doubt planning some form of sneak attack.
He went towards where the Prime was standing, speaking with Ironhide. He was intercepted however, when the familiarly annoying face of Sideswipe stopped him, his brother further away, being the smarter one at the moment. Big surprise there.
"Hey… Prowl." And this was a front liners attempt to miss out on brig time. "Uh… no hard feelings on crashing you right. I know it was a stupid idea, but it definitely boosted the troop's spirits-"
"Get out of my way Sideswipe. We are currently going into battle and I honestly don't want to hear you at the moment." Prowl attempted to move by the red Bot, but was once again stopped.
"Oh come on." The mech moaned. "I gotta get points at least for making everybody less bored. That way they were more awake for this attack. Can't you not send me to the brig, or at least cut down on the sentence? I'll do anything-"
"I'll clean the wash racks instead of the brig." What a sacrifice. "Just please don't make me go back down there. I swear there are things there, and its making me paranoid every time I go into recharge. You wouldn't want me turning into Red Alert-"
"Sideswipe move before I decide to turn you into a pool of slag!" His acid pellet riffle was brought out to push that point home. Hey, he was going to die. Might as well drop trying to remain in control of his emotions. The front liner backed away.
He arrived beside his commander. "Sir-"
"Prowl." Optimus stopped him. "Ratchet has informed me that you are not to be allowed on the battlefield. He did not elaborate on why." Ironhide stood behind the Prime, arms crossed over his chassis. They were both surprised when the Praxian scowled and his engine revved.
"Ratchet is a fool. I shall be going out there on this day. And I will fight." There was no room for discussion as he turned away, door wings flared dangerously. The authority in his voice was even more so surprising, as he had basically just disregarded his superior.
After a brief pause of the two surprised mechs, Optimus issued the command. "Autobots. Move out."
. . .
The battle was raging. Prime was fighting it out with Megatron, while the Twins attempted their jet judo. When will they just give up?
Evidently, Prowl was thinking the same thing /: Sideswipe, Sunstreaker! Those were not your orders. You were to assist the minibots:/ Anger was visible in his tone. He got no reply from the two.
Groaning, he shot at a Decepticon attempting to get the drop on him. This was the 'Cons new strategy. Take out the Tacticians.
Smokescreen and Trailbreaker were further away, also relaying their own orders, but without much response. All in all, the Autobot troops had decided: What the hell! Let's just run in and disregard any and all orders from the mechs trying to keep us alive.
Prowl watched as mechs went down, and a sharp pain shot through his processor, constantly reminding him that he would die. He spotted Jazz coming up behind Skywarp. But as was it in the Con's name, he simply warped away.
To say that the tactician was ticked off would be an understatement. Growling lowly, and accepting his fate, he acted on impulse, running out from his cover, and tearing across the energon stained battlefield. If they weren't going to listen to him, he wasn't even going to bother with them.
He ran out, firing at any enemy that got in his way. They went down with holes in their chests, armor being eaten away by the acid. Megatron had gotten in a lot of new troops. All who were now experiencing death.
He was about to take aim for a seeker flying above him, when he was shot in the servo – you wonder who sucked so much at aiming that they didn't simply shoot him in the chest – and his weapon dropped from his servo, broken.
Prowl glared at the Decepticon who destroyed the weapon. The Con had a triumphant look on his face – You actually wonder why. He didn't kill Prowl, he just disarmed him – but that look was gone as a moment later, as his head had been ripped from his body and thrown at an oncoming Con, momentarily distracting that mech. Enough for the Praxian to tear both his arms off, take his weapon, and pull his spark out. Ah violence.
Energon that was not his own, now covering him, Prowl inspected the firearm he had killed for. It was a plasma cannon. Very effective.
He took aim once again. The seeker fell to the ground with a pained howl. A dark smirk graced his faceplates, as his optics darkened and he fell back into the killing spree he had grown accustomed to on Cybertron, but had stopped since coming to this planet.
Drawing in a vent of air he began running again, shooting like a madmech – or like Ironhide. His enemies fell with screeches of pain. Music to his audio receptors. He may always appear as though he had mercy, but that was just part of the façade. He was as bloodthirsty as the Decepticons and as trigger happy as Ironhide. Except he hid it with well controlled training.
He actually laughed as another one fell. This was fun to him. The dark side of Prowl which very rarely showed itself, was out in full force.
Eventually – three hours into the battle – Megatron realised that the Autobots were gaining the upper servo, and that if they stayed any longer, defeat of his entire forces would be inevitable. Henceforth, the famous word that Decepticons use so much.
"Retreat!" He cried, once getting away from Optimus. The Cons began to turn away from the battle. This didn't suit well with Prowl, who actually began to follow, still shooting them.
Several hadn't even begun their transformation sequence before they fell to the ground, dead. Others were shot while in their alt mode.
The Autobots watched as the Decepticons vanished out of sight – but then realised that Seekers were still circling in the sky.
Before they even had a chance to draw their weapons, a plasma beam shot through the wing of one, and then into the spark chamber of another. They fell like bricks.
The rest of the seekers beat a hasty retreat, as the Autobots cheered in victory. Graying frames littered the battlefield, along with lots of energon. Sunstreaker limped over to where most of the Bots had gathered, his brother beside him.
Optimus stood before them, Ironhide – pretty banged up – beside him. "We have won the battle. Return to base." Most of the Bots left while he looked around for his Second in Command, as Jazz walked over to him. Eventually he spotted Prowl. Who was currently bent over in pain, his servos cradling his helm.
Jazz and Ironhide noticed as well. The saboteur was moving first, worried for his friend. Ironhide and Optimus followed, arriving when Jazz bent down to place a servo on the Praxian's shoulder plating.
"Prowl. What's goin' on?" The spy demanded. The tactician was a moment in replying, as pain remained pulsing through his processors.
The black and white drew in a vent before replying, albeit haltingly. "This is… what happens… when the connection between… your processor… is gone."
The three blinked in confusion at his words. "Tha connection?" Jazz asked. Prowl nodded, before he cringed in pain.
"Yes… I should have listened to Ratchet. At least then… I would have had… a week to live."
The SIC then fell forward with a pained moan. Jazz caught him, before gently laying him on the ground, looking up at the sky. His frame was shaking. He continued speaking, now oblivious to the three around him. As if it was almost a comfort.
"I killed so many on this day… and so many on Cybertron. I am sorry I couldn't have ended it sooner." They were somewhat confused on what he was talking about, but Optimus was immediately comm. ing Ratchet on this.
Jazz looked down at his friend, a frown on his faceplates. He retracted his visor, and actual sadness was shown in his optics. He knew his friend didn't have long for this world.
"Prowl-" He tried to stop the mech from wasting his strength with words, but the tactician continued, believing he was alone.
"I would have liked to die on Cybertron… but fate is never fair. There is nothing left for me in this time. Praxus is gone… Cybertron is gone…" His words trailed off as his frame slowly started to turn grey, optics flickering.
The one thought he had before darkness was the realization that it was so quiet. Then there was somebody muttering curses. He didn't know Primus swore.
. . .
Prowl's optics on-lined quickly, and he stared into the faceplates of Ratchet. His sensors indicated that he was in the rec room… and that it was several hours earlier than when he had been at the battle. And that he had been here and Sideswipe had crashed him. So that meant…
"Son of a glitch." He muttered. His mind had just played a virtual reality for him, while he had been under.
"Welcome back to the land of the online." Ratchet growled, his anger at having to bring the Praxian out of a crash evident.
Prowl stood up, and glared – like really glared – at Sideswipe, his door wings flared in an intimidating fashion. Something that nobody missed.
"Sideswipe, you are in the brig for the next four weeks, barring an emergency. Then, you shall clean the Ark, with what humans call a toothbrush. Do you understand?"
And punishments just became cruel.
Sideswipe gawked at him. "Four weeks? A toothbrush? That is way out of line-"
"No it is my decision." The Praxian growled. That shut up everybody. "Anyone who attempts to crash either myself or Red Alert will get the same treatment. Am I perfectly clear?" Nods from everybody. "Good. I do not want to be disturbed for the duration of this week. If anything happens, take it to Jazz."
With that, Prowl left the room, feeling very relieved. He was going to live another day.
Caught you with that one.