A/N: First piece of posted Transformers fanfiction. 07 movieverse, pre-movie. Just one of those biting plot bunnies that can't be squashed. Enjoy.

Transformers is property of HasTak and probably some other people too. If I ownedTransformers, then Jazz would not have died in the movie and I'd be stinkin' rich.

Universal Language

Trapped in the Ark, locked in perpetual orbit on the dark side of the moon, getting caught up in a state commonly known as 'cabin fever', Jazz was bored. He was so bored he was certain that he was going to be feeling the melted bits of his CPU come oozing out his audials at any klick now. He had been lounging in the communications room for the past few joors, keeping one weary optics on the array, waiting to intercept any incoming messages; be they Autobot, Decepticon, or otherwise. He now knew the ceiling consisted of exactly 163 tiles, the floor had 88 tiles and the entire room was 10 by 12 and he could cross the floor in five large steps in either direction.

Now, whenever Jazz claims to be bored, it is usually a good idea to run for the hills, because he will do anything to relieve the boredom. But he couldn't even go bother his comrades. He was pretty sure Ratchet had gone and locked himself in the medbay with an arc welder handy and Jazz wasn't stupid enough to bother Ironhide while he was out on the shooting range. The thought of blowing things up just wasn't appealing enough for Jazz today. And bothering Optimus... Well, you just didn't do that. Spinning the chair around until he threw his gyros off had lost its appeal a while ago, when he'd nearly purged his tank onto the array and hadn't been able to walk a straight line for a full orn. And he had exhausted all the music files he had brought with him and was desperately craving something new; much like a thirsty man craves water.

Frag, he didn't even have Bumblebee to hang out with; not even to bounce random topics of conversation off with. The little yellow scout was down on the moon's planet, doing his job and diligently searching for clues to finding the AllSpark. Distance and the recently confirmed presence of Decepticon Science Officer Barricade kept the transmissions to the absolute minimum. Bumblebee had been planet-side for a few months now, six or seven, when one went by those time measurements. For Jazz and the others stuck up on the Ark, it had been no more than twelve orns in Cybertronian measurements.

This was going to drive him insane.

Bumblebee's second official report had come in -- in a timely manner about ten breems ago -- and Jazz had sent it off to Optimus accordingly. It was full of general things about the planet; like the climate, the state of the atmosphere, its geography, major landmarks of the landmass he was currently scouting out, blah, blah, blah... And things about the inhabitants; little bipedal, organic creatures who called themselves humans and were definitely at the top of the food chain. Included were all the things Bee had discovered about them so far. Jazz had skimmed the report without taking much in, but he thought these 'humans' sounded terribly boring.

Sure they had a good level of technology, but it was vastly inferior to their own. Sure they were smart enough, but they hadn't mastered interplanetary travel yet. They didn't live very long, it looked like, and going from the preliminary reports; it seemed that they were constantly trying to find new and more interesting ways to kill themselves.

Okay, maybe he was being a little biased to his own race, but Primus, he was not looking forward to making planet-fall.

The array beeped with an incoming message. Jazz swiveled the chair around back to the monitors. Ah, it was from Bee. Must be an addendum to his report. Jazz was about to send it in the right direction when he saw that it was actually for him.

Curious now, he sat up a little and opened the message. It was short. Very, very short. One sentence, four words.

"They call it 'jazz'."

And there were almost three dozen audio files attached to the message.

Curiosity piqued to new heights, Jazz sat straight up and scanned the audio files with sharp optics, trying to figure out what Bee had sent him before opening them. Individually, they were fairly small and he couldn't guess what could be possibly packed into files so small, but Bee had obviously taken the time to compile them together, so they must be important in some way. Shrugging, not seeing the harm, Jazz opened the first file.

As the first strains of an extremely high-pitched sound blasted throughout the steel corridors of the Ark, Ratchet upset his mug of energon, sending it crashing to the floor and spilling the thick pink liquid everywhere. He had nearly thrown the book-file he'd been engrossed in too before he realized that was not the alarm going off, as the sound was coming out of the comm. system and the lights were not flashing mauve.

The high-pitched wail degraded into something a little lower-key with the sound of drums beating out in the background, accompanied by certain pitches changing and swinging into other pitches in a very discordant, yet somehow organized manner.

Ratchet listened to this for a moment before it was clear that someone was not strangling a cyber-cat, as the sound had initially registered to him. It was music.

No music he had ever heard before, but music nonetheless.

It was music from the planet.

Ratchet just shuttered his optics and listened to the sounds emanating from the comm.

It didn't last a full breem and the medic was rather disappointed when it stopped. It was sort of... intoxicating. If that's what the humans called 'music'... Ratchet opened a comm line to the one place he could think, where that music had come from.


"...Music-- They have music..." was the semi-dazed response. Jazz sounded like he had been hit upside the head several times and was about to start crying. "I've been sittin' here in this fragging silence for th' past twelve orns when I coulda tapped int' their satellites an' listened t' some music!" His voice rose with ecstasy. "Did ya hear that?! Did ya hear th' polyrhythm?! An' th' syncopation?! An' th' swing notes! They have fraggin' swing notes! There were flattened thirds--! An'-- fraggin' flattened fifths!..." He got the dazed tone to his voice again."It was so beautiful... An' they call it 'jazz music'..."

Ratchet found himself smirking at that.

"It's very fitting, I think." he commented. "Discordant and organized all at once."

"Yeah..." Jazz agreed vaguely, evidently unaware of the subtle insult. Then he snapped out of that daze. "Sorry 'bout that." He added quickly. "Uh... I'll keep it down--"

"Actually," Ratchet interrupted. "Is there anymore of that?"

Wha-- Oh! Yeah, there might! Bee sent up 'bout three dozen files! Do-- Do ya want me t' play 'em all?"

"Please. It's been much to quiet around here lately." Ratchet said, retrieving his mug off the floor.

"I hear that!"

A new sound filtered through the comm. system. It wasn't the straining high-pitches he had heard earlier. The drums were more obvious now, pounding out like a fuel pump beat, accompanied by an instrument that could've been a string instrument, lower bass tones strumming alongside the drums in perfect rhythm, metallic clashes every four beats. It was fast, much faster than Cybertronian music; fitted into the times measurements of this planet.

When it came right down to it, Ratchet knew as much about music as Jazz did about being a medic; as much as Ironhide knew about leading an army; as much as Optimus did about being a spy. But in a rare moment -- moments that were often too far and between -- up in the Ark, locked in perpetual orbit around the moon and beginning to suffer from cabin fever, the four of them understood each other completely.

Let no one ever say that music isn't a universal language.