disclaimer: transformers aren't mine.
There was no warning
There were so few sounds out in the spaces between the cities that Jazz couldn't help but feel uncomfortable in them but then Jazz wasn't the sort of mech who would let something so trivial bring him down and travel was necessary in his line of work and a part of it he mostly enjoyed.
Meeting new 'bots and entertaining them was his life or at least it had been. A lot had changed in the last vorn or so and some how he got the feeling that things weren't done yet, that more transformations were just over the horizon all he could do was hope that what would take place would be as good as what had already happened.
Not so long ago his world had felt like chaos, always moving from one place to the next and rarely thinking about those he left behind. His life had been far from empty and he had never believed that he was lonely either but when he looked back he realised that he had been. That had changed with a request from Sentinel Prime; his leader had heard his music, liked it and asked him to perform at a ball.
He had played as if his spark had depended on it and loved the attention. It wasn't until he had finished that he really thought about whom he was playing for. Sentinel Prime was a wise looking mech with a presence that he had not encountered before. They had talked briefly and the Prime had thanked him for coming before returning to more important business. A younger, smaller mech who looked just as serious remained behind.
"Prime has asked me to ensure that there is nothing further you require." He stated confidently.
"A cup of high grade would be much appreciated." Jazz answered trying to emulate the formality of his new acquaintance.
The other mech had smiled at that statement and Jazz had been amazed by the change it caused. The stiffness had drained away to be replaced by a good natured and slightly amused look. "He has that effect on most people." He nodded. "Follow me."
Jazz and the other mech wove through the crowd to a long table that ran along one side of the great chamber where he was presented with a beautifully made goblet filled with liquid energon. "How the other half live, huh?" he grinned admiring the craftsmanship. "But I'd guess that you're used to all this."
"Not really, not yet anyway I haven't been in Primes service very long."
It had been such an innocent conversation, no games, no underlying intentions, just two mechs having a drink together and sharing a few stories. He couldn't recall what he had said to make his new acquaintance laugh for the first time but he remembered the sound and could clearly recollect wishing that he could make music like that. So simple, so pure and so spark-blindingly beautiful.
After that Jazz had found himself spending much more time in Iacon, finding reasons to be near the mech who had eventually identified himself as Prowl. Just the thought of the name was enough to make his spark pulse faster, he wished that he could be at home right that moment but he was simply too far away but not so far that he couldn't feel that part of his lover that was now him. They would never be that far away again so long as they both still functioned.
The bond was so new and fresh that he was still learning just how powerful it was. He had been astounded when Prowl had agreed to the idea and not just agreed but insisted that the union be made as soon as possible.
He dragged himself away from his fond memories and checked his progress, barely a mega-mile to go before he reached Uraya where he hoped to find a cup or two of energon and a re-charge berth. He could just about make out the towers of the city on the horizon and the sight spurred him on. A short refuel and he could be on his way again and back to Iacon at about the same time Prowl would be finishing his duty.
A few short breems later he entered the city-limits and transformed, walking was slower but he considered it bad manners to arrive in a city without showing his face and he had been in his alt mode for so long that it felt good to feel the ground beneath his feet.
When he looked back on events later he was sure that he would notice a warning, the smell of burning, a sign saying "Jazz hit the floor" or something, anything but he never found it. One moment he was walking calmly to his destination the next blinding, terrifying light and then complete darkness. He had just enough time and presence of mind to deactivate his audio sensors before the shock-wave hit him.
"Jazz." His name, spoken clearly inside his mind but not in his voice. For an instant he was so confused by it that he couldn't answer.
"Prowl?" he thought back. He still wasn't sure if the voice had been real but if it was he could think of only one way it could be.
"What's happened? One moment everything felt normal, the next… I can't explain it but I know something's wrong." It was definitely Prowls voice and somehow Jazz was able to take comfort in it.
"I don't know." He replied. "I think… Uraya just… exploded." Slowly and cautiously Jazz pushed himself up, he couldn't remember falling but there was no arguing with the fact that he was sprawled full-length on the ground.
"Why do my optics hurt?" If the thought hadn't been so calm Jazz would have sworn that it was his. "Jazz tell me what's going on? Please."
"There's so much smoke, I can't see much of anything and it's so dark. Oh Primus. Prowl you need to tell Sentinel Prime about this, tell him to send help and hurry. Uraya is burning and if he isn't quick there'll be nothing left." Panic threatened to overwhelm his sensors as relayed the little he could make out.
"Easy now my love." Prowls voice was so calm, so soothing and so out of place amongst the carnage that Jazz could barely understand him. "Stay right were you are, I'll have someone with you as soon as I can."
Jazz shook his head and regretted it instantly as the pain in his optics increased.
"Whatever that was please don't do it again." Prowl said firmly.
"I can't just stand here when I might be able to help someone." Jazz explained.
"Jazz you're not built for search and rescue. Help is on the way. Please stay where you are." His lover shot back quickly.
"Could you?" He knew that Prowl was right, his slim build and lightweight body armour were all wrong for the mess that smouldered before him but he had to try or he would never be able to forgive himself.
"Then be careful my Jazz." Prowl came back after a moments hesitation. "Stay safe."
The walk into the city wasn't far at all but seemed to take forever and more than once he seriously considered turning around but he knew that if he did there was no where else to go and the memories would torture him for the rest of his life. Most of the buildings in that area had been living quarters and the bodies of their inhabitants were everywhere, not one of them showed any sign of a functioning spark, whatever it was that had caused the blast had superheated the air and the ground and left nothing but monstrous and ghastly half molten debris.
It seemed to him that time slowed to a crawl as he continued through the streets, more than once he was thankful for his light feet and quick reflexes as without them he would have been crushed when fragile walls gave way. He wanted desperately to turn on the music system that was built in to his network and drown out the silence but he was afraid that he would miss a weak cry for help or an early warning of another avalanche so he restrained himself and concentrated on running every sort of scan he was equipped for and hoped with all that he had that he would find something.
He learnt quickly that simply using his optics wouldn't help much, they burned constantly and only worsened if he tried to focus on anything besides which the heat haze and smoke rendered them pretty much useless. The idea of finding his way around the city by touch, scent and sound may have seemed ridiculous to most other mechs but somehow Jazz found that it seemed to come almost naturally to him and another good point that he reminded himself of frequently was that it meant that he didn't have to look at the empty optics of blackened corpses.
Time lost meaning quickly in that Primus forsaken place but Jazz felt as if he had been wondering around for vorns when his patience was finally rewarded. At the corner of a block his sensors detected a faint life sign and he increased his pace to the pile of rubble that all but masked the spark pulse. The twisted metal was still hot to the touch but he had no choice and steeled himself against the pain.
Under the wreckage of what had once been a home he discovered two mechs, the larger would have stood head and shoulders taller than Jazz and was without question dead but his last action had been to protect another much smaller and younger mech. Blue optics looked up at Jazz in absolute terror.
"Primus is praised." Jazz whispered. The younglings eyes widened and he shuffled back as far as he could away from him. "There's no need to be frightened little one." Jazz soothed. "I came here to help."
The tiny mech didn't move as Jazz reached out a hand towards him and Jazz took that as a good sign.
"Jazz. What's changed?" Prowls voice said in his mind.
"I found a survivor. He can't be a vorn old and he's overheated but he's alive." Jazz answered.
"Stay right were you are. I'll be with you soon."
Jazz felt the relief wash over him; he had been so bent on his task that he hadn't even noticed that the part of him that was Prowl was growing stronger. "Well there's good news for both of us." He told the youngling. "Help is here and we won't have to wait long." He moved slowly so as not to startle the young mech and unspaced a small container of energon goodies and held one out for the other to take. "There now, that was easy wasn't it?" he said in a hushed tone as it was taken from him.
He took a goody for himself and they ate in silence, once his was gone the youngling looked up expectantly. "You want some more?" The barest of nods was the only answer. "Well I tell you what. If you come out of that hole you can have another, does that sound fair?"
With Jazz' help the juvenile extracted himself from the mangled remains of his home and looked up again, optics wider than ever and facial expression rather more guarded than Jazz would have liked.
"My friends call me Jazz." He introduced himself after a while. "What do yours call you?" No answer. "Well I guess that was just me being optimistic." Jazz muttered. "I'm that kind of mech you see but I don't want to call you youngling, that used to drive me crazy when I was your age, it always sounded patronising to me. So how about I call you Blue for now? That gives us something in common anyway; see we have the same colour optics."
Blue nodded his agreement and smiled slightly with his mouth full of the third goody Jazz had given him. "Well Blue another mech is gonna be with us soon, his name's Prowl and you mustn't be scared of him. He's gonna get us out of here."
The younglings optics twitched to the hole he had crawled out of and the dead mech he had left behind.
"I know Blue but I was too late to help him." Jazz admitted. A sob escaped the young mechs vocaliser. "I'm sorry Blue. I really am but there's nothing we can do." Acting more on instinct than anything he had been taught Jazz scooped him up in his arms and held on to him both comforting and taking comfort.
"Jazz." A hesitant voice called softly.
For a moment Jazz didn't dare believe that he had been found but the sound had unmistakably been recognised by his audio sensors rather than from somewhere inside his cortex so he looked up.
"Jazz thank Primus your safe." Prowl grinned his relief clear on his hansom faceplate. A moment later he was in his lovers arms despite the young mech on his lap. "And you seem to have found a friend."
Blue optics looked up lazily from the small gap between them.
"Blue, I'd like you to meet Prowl, Prowl this is Blue."
The little mech smiled but made no attempt at speech.
"I haven't heard him say a word since I found him. I think he's just been too badly scared."
"I can't detect anything physically wrong with him." Said a new voice startling both Blue and Jazz.
"Jazz, Blue this is Ratchet, Primes own physician, Sentinel sent everyone that he could once I told him what had happened and I knew you were hurt so I brought the best." Prowl explained quickly.
"I'm fine." Jazz said quickly.
"I'll be the judge of that." Ratchet snapped. "My scanners have detected a problem with your optics."
Prowl pulled back slightly to look at his lovers face. "What happened?" he asked softly. "And no more dancing around questions."
"I was looking right at the city when whatever it was happened." Jazz admitted.
"The heat of the blast fused his optic sensors." Ratchet diagnosed. "He's lucky he can see at all."
"But you can fix them." Prowl demanded his fierce gaze shifting to the medic.
"Optics are tricky Prowl but I assure you that I will do everything possible. In the meantime I want you to take these two back to Iacon. I may still be needed here for a while." Ratchet explained quickly.
"There's a transport waiting for us just outside the city, are you able to walk?"
"More than, lead the way." Jazz smiled.
The trip back to the capital city was long and quiet, Jazz was exhausted and with Blue still curled up in his lap he slid into a light recharge cycle. Prowl watched his lover anxiously all the way home, noting every dent and scratch and thanking Primus that he still had a lover to watch.
"We'll be landing soon." Prowl said as he shock Jazz softly.
Jazz had already picked up on the changes in the engine pitch and was waiting for the last possible moment before he on-lined his systems again. A slight jerk told him that they were on the ground again and he forced himself to move.
"What's going on?" Jazz asked as they stepped off the transport. The usual peace of Iacon was completely shattered. Everything seemed too loud, too bright and mechs seemed to be running everywhere.
"I was hoping that you'd have had a chance to rest a little more before I explained everything." Prowl said flatly. "What happened in Uraya wasn't an accident, a mech came to see Sentinel while you were away, he wanted power and threatened to take it by force. Sentinel tried to have him arrested but he escaped. We had no idea what he was going to do or where he was until I spoke to you."
"You're telling me that there is going to be a war!" Jazz exclaimed. Such things were almost unheard of, violence of any kind had seemed all but impossible to him and were told of only in the oldest of stories.
"I'm telling you that it's already begun." Prowl said slowly.