A/N2: I HAVE CHANGED THE TITLE AND SUMMARY BUT NOTHING ELSE!!!!! I got tired of calling this Something New, especially when one of my freinds mentioned that a better title would be 'Deja-Vu', considering it's prevalance in the story. Lo, I change the name. Enjoy!
The Osilon Virus
Pain. So much pain.
One would think you would grow used to it after millennia of war and fighting, of having limbs ripped off and plasma shots hitting your chassis, but no pain ever compares to that of what one who has just realized he had lost everything that ever matters, even his own identity.
He had remembered at the sight of the hulking Autobot leader tackling one of his fellow Decepticons off the side of a highway overpass. Only Bonecrusher should've felt that pain, but it was shared by a Dodge Charger for an entirely different reason.
It had been so bad that Barricade – though dimly he knew there was another designation that was supposed to be assigned to him - had to pull off of the highway, abandoning the chase towards the human city of Mission.
Systems blocked for thousands of years were coming back online; a virus charging through his systems was trying to reestablish it's cancerous hold on his CPU. Logic flowed back into his consciousness, Primus-Blessed logic. With it came more pain, though, and though he would later remember the moment and wonder what happened, Barricade – though that wasn't his designation, was it? – transformed, clawing at his chassis over his spark, and screamed, screamed so loud it set off car alarms for miles around.
His designation: Prowl. The black and white mech had always been a law enforcer, even before the Great War had started. He still was, only now, he was also the second in command to the Prime, and the tactician.
And the aft of 47 percent of the pranks the four twins in the Autobase pulled.
This time it was the melee demons, Sunstreaker and Sideswipe. He recognized their handiwork- only they would paint his desk all over with Decepticon symbol in different colors, and rig a bucket to dump metal shavings and glue to dump all over him. Then again, the annoying song set to loop on the speakers in his quarters seemed more like a Jazz and Beat kind of thing. Either way, a set of twins was going to be on cleaning duty for the next three orns.
It had been a long battle. Both sides had many casualties, but the Decepticons were coming out on top, and the once beautiful city of Vos was now in ruin. Prowl had been shot through both legs with a hot plasma round, and a red seeker – Starscream, he remembered through the pain and haziness of energon-loss – had hit him with a higher-level null ray blast that left him unable to even fight from the position where he was.
A big purple cycloptic mech approached Prowl, pulling an uplink cable from his wrist-port. The odds were not good; Prowl calculated only a thirty-eight percent survival, and that was if he could actually fight back in his state. But as he couldn't there was barely eight percent that he would survive the torture-master's treatment.
The cable was plugged directly into the back of Prowl's helm, and then there was pain even more than what he had ever experienced. A single message flashed in front of his optics before he went into emergency stasis.
Warning: Osilon.8 upload complete.
Lord Megatron had been missing for hundreds of vorns. Barricade was selected by Soundwave and Shockwave (whom he detested for some illogical reason) to be one of the landing party to follow the faint ion trail of Lord Megatron along with Bonecrusher, Brawl, Blackout and his symbiote Skorponock, and the traitorous 2IC, Starscream. Barricade didn't respect Starscream, for more reasons than the rest of the Decepticons, even though he didn't know why. Each had a quality needed; His was high logic, though he didn't often use it.
They had been ready to enter protoform mode and be launched from the planet they were temporarily located, when Barricade was approached by Soundwave.
"Frenzy: Eject." he had said in that monotone voice of his. Barricade actually liked Soundwave more than any other Decepticon, partially because he was so cruel, and partially because he used logic so much. Barricade couldn't figure out why, but he liked that.
Anyways, Frenzy hopped out of Soundwave's chassis compartment and onto the larger mech's shoulder plate. Barricade was confused, and as Soundwave was telepathic, there was no need for a question.
"Mission addition: Frenzy to accompany Barricade on search for Lord Megatron. Confirmation?"
Obviously it had been discussed before, and Barricade knew it was no use to argue with the communications officer, so he and Frenzy just nodded.
"You will protect Frenzy with your life, Barricade," said Soundwave as menacingly as the monotone could convey, "Repercussions will take it otherwise."
"I'll protect the little scrap, telepath, just let me do my job," replied Barricade, and though the answer was rude, Soundwave telepathically uplinked to Barricade's CPU and transferred all data regarding Frenzy directly.
The partners were now ready for departure.
Primus, but his little brother was annoying.
Where Prowl relied totally on logic and things making sense, it seemed that Bluestreak solely operated on talking.
Hence the name Bluestreak.
Bluestreak was much younger than his elder sibling, and because of the fact that their framework designs were so close they were sometimes mistaken for creator and created. Prowl often wondered why their creator, Custody, couldn't have been logical and chosen a different frame for his second creation, but it had been his wish that both of his creation's be in the police force, just like him.
But then he had went and been reckless, illogically charging into battle during an ordinary call to a drunken riot without an electric shield. His death, thankfully, had been quick, so he suffered little.
But that still left Prowl, a young mech that was the top in his force, taking care of Bluestreak, who was barely into his youngling stages. And he never stopped talking, not even in recharge.
Primus, but his little brother was annoying.
The memories flashed in front of Prowl/Barricade's optics, which, if anyone could have seen them, would've been pulsating between red and blue. The fragments came in no particular order and made very little sense, but the Decepticon/Autobot knew they were theirs- his.
Then, with a jolt, the Prowl side of the mech's CPU, the one that was becoming more dominant without the virus twisting it, realized that Frenzy was missing. And it remembered making a promise as Barricade, that he would protect the hacker with his spark.
Turning on the sirens hastily, the hurting mech pealed back to the Hoover Dam.
With his siren on, it took only a few Earth minutes to make the fifty mile trip back to the impressive concrete structure (he had been going about ten times the legal limit, and while Prowl was cringing, the virus that created Barricade was also making him enjoy it WAAY too much.) and even less to break back into the dam. With the logic becoming less blocked every klik in the virus addled CPU of the mech, the job was, as the humans called it, 'easy as pie'.
(That phrase almost made the mech fritz out as soon as he used it. Slagged illogical humans.)
It didn't take long to find Frenzy- or what was left of him. The poor bot's head had been severed nearly in two, and the human's had left him in the middle of the floor, but thankfully (or Prowl/Barricade would never have found him) the failsafe device on Frenzy's spark-nodes had activated in time to feed his spark and CPU info to other caches in the casseticon's body.
But that isn't to say that Frenzy was in good shape; He was in stasis lock and only a few wires were holding his cranial unit in one piece. And at seeing Frenzy like that jarred the defense Prowl/Barricade had put up around his CPU to block the memories that were assaulting him; Frenzy was too much like them…
In a row in his office sat four younglings, two sets of twins, known about the Autobase as the 'Fearsome Four'. Not because they worked together, but because when the 'Terrible Twosome' and the 'Musical Menaces' had their prank wars, no one was safe.
And that is what had brought them to Prowl's office that orn. Apparently they had gotten together and tricked Ironhide into setting off a complex prank that included half of the recreation room being blown sky high, Ratchet, Ironhide, Optimus Prime and a few other officers being painted purple and orange, and the whole base rigged to a tune that consisted of hacking frequencies that kept anyone from using their commlinks at risk of being forced to say everything backwards. Several 'bots were already speaking gibberish.
The 'Terrible Twosome's' designations were Sunstreaker and Sideswipe, and no matter what, they were always dangerous- or either homicidal or going to prank again. The 'Musical Menaces' were named Jazz and Beat, and were only dangerous if bored, cut off from Bluestreak, the other twins, the other younglings, or Bumblebee, or if they had sudden inspiration. Usually not as dangerous as the Terrible Twosome, but when combined, or in a prank war?
Well, then the war with the Decepticons was the least of the Autobot's problems.
That brought Prowl back to the younglings in his office, who, to credit them, were looking like they were having the times of their life.
"Are you four aware of why you are here?" Began Prowl, starting off their hearing.
"Oh! I know! I know! Because you're a prick that hates seeing innocent younglings have fun?" Sideswipe.
"Nah, man, 'ts cuz Prowl'r has no 'spec' f'r our 'tistic 'bilities!" Cackled Jazz, and his twin gave him a victorious 'high four'. Prowl could feel his battle computer fritz. Primus, he hated these twins, especially the younger set. They were just so... illogical! At least Bluestreak usually made sense when he blabbered on!
"Would you for once be serious!" Shouted Prowl in the middle of four sets of laughter. "The reason you four are here is because you have possibly caused the biggest non-war related disaster Cybertron has ever seen!"
Beat waved a hand nonchalantly. "Psh. N'b'dy died. 'S no' like we blew up Opt'mus, righ'?"
"You put half of the army into the medbay, and five mechs are going to be in stasis lock for the next three orns. Additionally, Perceptor and Wheeljack are going to be extracting those 'sparkles' from the whole base's interior for several weeks! And you all know it is horrible when inside a mech's intakes, which of course, they are. You are only lucky you thought to take Bumblebee with you to your hiding spot, else every Autobot in the base would want your helms even more so for hurting him. What do you four have to say for yourselves before I put you on cleanup duty and in the brig for the next five vioures?"
There was a quick glance exchanged between the younglings.
"Yeah. How 'bout 'dis," said Beat with an evil smile, glancing at the most unstable of the group.
"Shove it up your aft and twist!" Yelled Sunstreaker vehemently, shoving his finger in the air for emphasis.
It took Prowl about three breems to drag the Fearsome Four down to the brig. As he left, he heard four voices in perfect sync.
"We regret NOTHING!!"
Prowl was reading a datapad that had a report on it. Not that he needed to, he had written it himself, and had been re-reading it for the past few breems. He was doing it absently as he pondered the report.
The report itself was on the flurried whispers of war that were cropping up everywhere. As the head of the Vos Peace Corps, Prowl was obligated to make sure that any rumors, even if that was all they were, were stopped. As he had to do that along with being the strategist for hostage situations and also had normal officer duties, Prowl was a very busy mech. Not that he minded, in fact, the only way he could function properly was with something to do.
But once again, among all of the datapads on the desk, Prowl's CPU kept straying back to the one detailing the murmurings of war. Apparently, if the rumors were anything to go by, the Lord High Protector, Megatron, who just happened to be the older co-creation of the Matrix Bearer, Optimus Prime, was planning a revolt, to create a 'better Cybertron'. The next part of the report was... illogical. Megatron wanted all seekers, flyers, fighters and protectorate-class mechs to receive immunity status, and all other Cybertronians were to serve them?
Where did that leave the mechs and femmes in the middle? Prowl's whole family-unit was constructed as protectorate-class 'bots, but many of Prowl's acquaintances and friends were shopkeepers, or communications workers, or some such job as that. Megatron was apparently suggesting a ruthless army, dominating all of Cybertron. Though it was all rumor, Prowl ran every possible outcome in his battle computer.
52 percent of all Cybertronians reporting this were protectorate class. 89 percent were mechs. 2 percent were inebriated. 24 percent read about underground fighting rings every morning. 11 percent were low on energy. 52 percent worked high-class jobs. 66 percent attended or fought in the underground fighting matches. .15 percent had a history of mental illness. And one, only one mech, had commed in anonymously, claiming to belong to this group that was forming, the Decepticons. Also, since the orn before, when he had began working on the case, 79.86 percent of all incoming data streams to Prowl's personal net-link datapad were threats to be carried out if he did not discontinue studying these 'Decepticons'. The factors went on and on.
As he buried his cranial unit in his hands, Prowl ran all data through his CPU one more time before sending the resulting data directly to the Prime himself.
Probability of 'Decepticon' rebels actually existing and forming an army: 89.8234165623-infinite percent. Enough to cause major concern about them. And while Prowl was not religious, he couldn't help but mutter a prayer to Primus.
Prowl was holding his distraught younger sibling. He had just received a call from his commanding officers that his creator was injured and that he should pick up Bluestreak from the youngling center he was at and proceed to the scene as soon as possible.
The 'scene', as he had called it, looked like something out of a cheap, gory horror holo-vid.
There was energon spattered all over the bar, still fresh and glowing. Already dulling mech bodies were strewn across the floor with smoldering holes from plasma pistols littering their surfaces. Every chair, table and counter was damaged in some way, mostly by having been smashed into thousands of small metal pieces.
And off to the side, laying brokenly, was their creator, or what was left of him, in a pool of his own mech fluids.
As the sniper-in-training sobbed over their creator's corpse, Prowl surveyed what had been done. Cause of death: A shard of his spark chamber breaking off and impaling his spark. Other damage: his chevron was torn off and missing, his left doorwing was torn off, an energon dagger wound to the left side of the cranial unit, and there was a huge, jagged slit down the middle of his abdomen plating. Half of the damage was post-mortem.
Suddenly, Bluestreak burst out, hitting his older brother weakly in the chassis.
"Pwowl! Bwing Daddy back! I pwomise I'll be good, I'll work hard and be a good shootew and I'll stop talking all the time just pwese bwing back Daddy becaws we can't be hewe wifout him we need Daddy! Pwese! Pwese," he sobbed, and his not-yet-overcome speech impediment-glitch made his begging even more piteous, adding to the fact that his large blue optics were streaming out cleaner fluid.
For the first time in a long time, Prowl felt something other than annoyance for his brother, and something more than the cool façade of nothing he normally had - Sadness? Greif? Pity? Anger? - and pulled Bluestreak close.
"I'm sorry Bluestreak. I wish I could, but Father is gone. Look at me," Prowl said softly, turning his sibling's face up to look at his own. "Your guardians at the youngling center may have told you this, but I will tell you again. The leader of Cybertron, Optimus Prime, is the bearer of the Matrix. It is the resting place of all sparks, the utopia that we return to when we offline. While the Allspark houses all sparks to be created and designates such things such as spark partners and what creator deserves a creation, the Matrix is where the sparks come from, and where they all go when they extinguish. I cannot do anything more for Father, as he had rejoined the Matrix, and is with Primus." Though it pained Prowl to say it, the religious outlook o that made Bluestreak feel better, and he pulled away from Prowl to face their creator.
"I'm gonna miss you, Daddy, but you'll be happy in the oo-toh-pee-a, wight? Pwese don't forget us, Daddy. I wove you," said Bluestreak sadly, patting their creator's corpse. A lower ranking officer tapped Prowl on the shoulder plating.
"I'm sorry to bother you sir, but in your creator's legal statements he wrote that you are to be the official caretaker of Bluestreak. Shall I arrange for other plans for the youngling?"
Prowl looked over at Bluestreak, who was shaking quietly with grief, and then narrowed his optics at the officer.
"No. If that was Custody's wish, then that will be followed through."
"Sir, you can't do your duties if-" Prowl held up a hand coldly to silence the mech.
"Do not oppose me, or I will mention your insubordinate actions as family-unit interference to the chief. Understood?"
The officer nodded quickly and ran off as Prowl wrapped an arm around Bluestreak again.
The police-mech sat up 'drunkenly', wiping energon out from under his scent-receptor plating.
So many memories, all at the same time! And each of them brought back a part that had been suppressed for hundreds of vioures, a part that was the real him.
At the very least, Prowl/Barricade's logic was back at full capacity, and it allowed him to approach the situation with Frenzy better.
While neither Prowl nor Barricade had undergone thorough medical training, both knew basic field repair, so he gathered all the smallest earth-metal scraps and an old welder off a table in the back of the archive room.
Quickly he set to work, carefully doing enough of a patch up job that the small Decepticon's self repair systems would fix him up to livable status again. Though it took about four of the earthling's ridiculously fast orns to actually patch up Frenzy's cranial unit, (though it would have been a shorter amount of time without all of the memories bombarding his CPU every few cycles), it took about half an hour after the self repair finished working for the spindly cassette to reboot. During that week long period, 'Barricade' weakened quite substantially. It was still there, just barely, however. The persona stayed, a nagging virus in the corner of Prowl's CPU, what the humans called a 'devil on the shoulder', but slightly worse, making him crave going out and terrorize the 'squishies' and such. Finally, however, Frenzy rebooted.
"C-C-caaadde?" Was the first thing that the small mech vocalized. Prowl almost winced, mentally recoiling at the name.
"Please do not call me that, Frenzy." Frenzy nodded.
"Y-yeah, s-s-sure, Bbbarr-ricadde."
The black and white, identity-crisis-suffering mech shook his cranial unit violently before transforming and opening his passenger side door, allowing the small hacker to get in.
How long they drove around for, Prowl didn't know. His internal chronometer read about ten days, but, illogically, it felt as though it were eight centuries. During that time, however, Prowl managed to somehow regain possession of his own sanity. The only thing left to do was figure out what happened. And, being the second in command of the Autobots for about a third of his life didn't count for nothing.
"B-b-barric-cade? You've b-beennn ac-acting really weird since you-you fixxxed mme. Wha-ats up," asked Frenzy with uncharacteristic tact on the ninth straight day of driving aimlessly around the country. He hadn't mentioned about how his partners optics had turned blue, or how they had to stop every so often as Barricade 'glitched out', or how when his partner recounted the events after his demise he had seemed cool and logical, and almost kind of happy, but this was the time, as Barricade had removed the Decepticon sigil from his doors, so he brought it up tentatively. The large mech's answer seemed to change the subject, however.
"Do you recall the terms under which I joined the Decepticon Army under Lord Megatron?"
Frenzy seemed to do what the humans would consider 'sweat-dropping'. "N-n-no. Dddidnnt you join u-up in Pra-praxu-uss? Befor-ore the Global Outbreak?"
"Not according to the files I have. According to these, I didn't join until the second battle of Vos. Why do you say Praxus," asked Barricade coolly. Of course he had no such files, but he took advantage of his interrogation skills and memories to try and get the truth. And, as Prowl had predicted, the jittery hacker became completely still before resetting his optics.
"D-d-do you remem-member Be-eat, the saba-abateur?"
"Yes, she was a very skilled femme, in sneaking around, hacking, and close combat. Why do you bring her up? She was just a youngling," replied Prowl.
"Not ju-st a younggliing. Sh-eee st-arted the test phphphases for one of the biggesst projectts of the Decep-decepticon cause. She had oririginally beeen aan Autobo-ot. You mi-ight no-ot remem-member, but she-she wasss tha-at now-dead auto-autoscum Ja-azz's younger twitwin. Spa-ark twitwin," said Frenzy carefully. "She-e became the fififirst subject to sucsuccessfully-eee incorpe-ra-tteee the Osi-osilon Vivirusss and live."
Prowl smirked inwardly, Decepticon programming showing for a fraction of a second. Now they were getting somewhere. "And what exactly is the Osilon Virus?"
Cringe from Frenzy. "The Osilo-on Vi-virus wa-as ussedd to forci-forcibly converrrt Auto-autobotsss a-and Neu-neutra-als inttto De-ecepticocon's. It rewrottte the-ir mainfra-ames and en-encoding, a-and usually incre-creased their power levvvells by ababout te-en percent, th-though i-it alssso drdrdrained their processssing ababilitities subsubstantially. It alssso pu-ut thththe subjeject into sta-a-asis lockkk long en-enough for ththe Constructiticons to rebuild the-them into a more fitting fo-orm. Then the-ey wouldd be onli-lined aft-err beinng reprogrammed wi-ith nnnew pa-asts."
"Did that not create tension between the new and old troops?" Throughout the 'conversation' (interrogation?) Frenzy had gotten more and more anxious, almost, the modified charger thought pensively, like a young sparkling that had accidently killed his sibling's pet petro-rabbit and was trying, and failing, to keep it a secret.
"N-no. Pa-art of the plann Lo-orddd Mega-egatron came up wi-ith. I hackcked into other mech's systememems wi-ith the he-elp of Sounddwave a-and impla-a-aanted correctct backgroundinfo-fo. The viru-us waas flawless, u-up tooo a poin-oint, because of the wayayay tha-at 'Scream-mer, Soundwa-ave, me an' Mega-egatro-on desi-igned i-it," responded Frenzy.
"At what point did the virus break, Frenzy," asked Prowl, resolving it was his last question as he already had all the information he needed.
Frenzy's optics darted around the interior of the car nervously before he answered. "A severerere, comple-ete situ-ituation where you kno-ow you areare abou-out to offliine wiiith no doubt, ororor wha-at humans ca-all 'déjà vu'. On the ba-atlefeilddd the sububjects tha-at broke freeee we-ere killed instantly be-ecause of the pai-ain, a-and our CPU's ke-eep déjà vu to-oo thehe bare mininimum."
"Thank you for your cooperation, Frenzy. I believe you have been asking to go to a human amusement park, so I will take you." Prowl gave a thrum of his internal systems.
"Why diiid yo-ou need tototo kno-ow allll thi-is, 'Cade?" Frenzy's voice wavered from the fear he held for he already knew the answer.
Prowl pulled to a stop on the deserted back road, let Frenzy out, and transformed.
"Your virus, as you have already told me, is not perfect. I know now that I was infected with it, but have broken free." Prowl shifted slightly, trying to adjust the 'doorwings' that just weren't there anymore. He continued. "I was being used as a tool as Decepticon Barricade, but you know as well as I do, that I am truly Autobot Prowl, second in command and tactical officer under Optimus Prime. Correct?" Frenzy just nodded quickly, and flinched, and Prowl took notice.
"I am a mech of integrity, Frenzy. I have regained my memories, and keep all of my old ones. Do not think that I have forgotten the promise I made to Soundwave vioures ago. I will take you to the humans' amusement park known as Six Flags, and then I will return you to the Decepticons, safely. Now please, I will not hurt you now when I could've done it when I was Barricade," Prowl said, and Frenzy calmed down enough to climb into Prowl when he transformed.
The next eight days were spent at both Six Flags and traveling back across the country towards California. Other than a slight mishap involving Frenzy, too much coffee, and his shurikins in the amusement park, everything was okay. Somehow, Prowl managed to even sneak up to Starscream in recharge and instruct Frenzy to lay on his chassis until he awoke, giving him enough time to get away.
Getting back with the Autobots was a quite different challenge, however.
The Autobots had set up base in the Hoover Dam after clearing it out. Though Prowl knew he was, logically, going to be shot on sight, he walked up to the 'hidden' entranceway, guarded by some humans, and-just his luck- Ironhide.
Before Ironhide could even draw his cannons, Prowl was on the ground, legs in the lotus position, head tilted up, and hands twisted up on his chassis so they pointed towards his spark, thumbs out. The Cybertronian surrender sign.
Ironhide, of course, would have none of it, and just as Prowl had predicted, shot him, rendering him in stasis lock.
The next thing Prowl knew, his systems were rebooting.
Stasis Lock disengaged.
As his optics rebooted, Prowl did a quick full body scan, readouts telling him he was alright- a miracle in itself after being shot by Ironhide- and that all body alterations the Decepticons had forced upon him were gone. The only thing out of place was his internal chronometer, which was pretty well fragged.
As he tried to sit up, however, a big, rough hand shoved him back onto the berth. He stared up into the blue optics of Ratchet, who promptly brought one of his feared tools upon his head.
"No moving. Recharge. Now," The chartreuse CMO barked. "And just where did you get the pit slagged idea that letting Ironhide shoot you was a good idea, Prowl?" The wrench came down upon his cranial unit again, but not with as much force. Prowl almost smiled. Same old Ratchet. A noise off to the side made Prowl turn his head. There sat Jazz, who was supposed to be dead.
Well, Ratchet had told him to go into recharge, but probably not in the way he did- after glitching out.
When Prowl onlined moments later, Ratchet was staring down at him again.
"Yes, he's alive. I don't know how. Mikalea figured it out. Don't think too hard about it, it's already fritzed out Red Alert too," Ratchet grumbled. "I retrieved all the data in your memory banks relating to what had happened after you disappeared in Vos. It clears enough up, at least. Now go back to recharge before I make yeh!"
Prowl reset his optics at the sudden answer of his unasked questions. As he turned his cranial unit to the side to start up the subroutines, he caught another glimpse of Jazz, one of four younglings that made up the bane of his existence. He was sporting several new dents, probably from having made Prowl fritz.
"Yo, Prowler! Goo' t' have y' back, man! I hear th' twins have been workin' on some new pranks la'ley, an' have you hear' the music here on Earth? 'Ts awesome, dude!" Jazz exclaimed, blasting out a rather famous internet video's song. It was loud, annoying, and played just to annoy the older of the two.
Prowl fell into a light recharge, wondering why, if everything had changed, was Jazz still being so immature.
A/N1: So here it is. I've finally gotten to editing and fixing up Something New! Do you like the Prologue? Is it any good?
So, for the full extent of the editing, it'll be more evident in coming chapters, but for the whole story, I'm compressing the chapters (For the most part, two chapters will become one) trying to close plotholes and the like. Mostly small stuff; the plot itself isn't changing or anything. The biggest change will be to the characters. I'm gonna try to make the bot's more in character, and the main OC is getting a bit of an overhaul. You'll see next chapter.
Thanks to all you guys who have been patient with me, and favorited this story. I hope that even though SN is getting updated and edited, it won't change too much. I hope you guys still like it!