Title: Epigraph
Rating: Eh, we'll go with PG-13 for allusions to torture. Also, Jazz is kind of insane.
Author's notes: Well, here it is, a continuation of "Crazy." I blame daebereth. Seems like you get a lot of that, huh, babe? XD This is based off of one of my "song meme" drabbles, which is included for refreshing memories/those who didn't read it. :)


Crazy xx Gnarls Barkley

Jazz looked like the pit and then some, laying there on a medbay berth, babbling nonsense. Ratchet is working double time to try and keep up with the systems crashes.

"They didn't--" Jazz starts, and Prowl immediately is there holding his hand.

"Don't speak. Conserve your energy."

"They didn't...getanythin'. Firewalls. They..." He trails off and then Jazz laughs, and the sound is low and filled with static and something slightly wild and broken.

Optimus enters the medbay and walks up to the sole occupied berth. Ratchet is standing next to it, cleaning up his work area. "How is he?" The Prime asks.

"He's in recharge," Ratchet says quietly. "Thank Primus."

Optimus continues looking down at the unconscious saboteur. "How bad is it?"

Ratchet shakes his head. "It is hard to say. His firewalls are a complete mess. He fought them every step of the way." Prime winces. He has never been hacked, but he knows from Ratchet that the experience is invasive and agonizing. Ratchet is looking down at Jazz and doesn't notice. "We almost lost him a few times," the medic says softly.

"Can you tell if they got any information?" Optimus hates asking it, but he has an army to worry about as well as a friend.

"When Jazz came in, he kept saying they didn't, and I'd have to agree. Though his firewalls are a mess, they remained intact until the virus was injected as he escaped." Ratchet pauses and his optics dim. Seeing his friend writhing and screaming when he was usually so vivacious and full of life has taken its toll on him. Optimus notices.

"Why don't you get some recharge in, old friend," the leader says gently. "I'm sure that Wheeljack or Prowl can keep watch for a while."

Ratchet shakes his head tiredly, a slightly disgusted look on his face. "Well, Wheeljack can, in any case. Prowl hasn't been in here since we brought him in."

Optimus' frown is evident in his voice when he speaks next. Jazz and Prowl were very close--there was even a betting pool on when they would finally get over themselves and get together. "Surely he's commed to check up on Jazz." Ratchet shakes his head, and Optimus shrugs. "I'll stop by and give him leave to visit. You know how he deals with worry--he barries himself in work."

"Hmm." Ratchet is still unsatisfied but leaves it alone. 'Prowl will come when he gets over himself,' he thinks uncharitably.

Static interrupts their conversation. Both bots look down to watch Jazz slowly come out of recharge.

"...Prowl?" Jazz whispers. His visor flickers fitfully before fully coming online.

"Hey there, Jazz, it's Ratchet and Prime. Take it easy, okay?" Ratchet's tone is soothing but Jazz doesn't seem to register the words.

"Where's Prowl?" Jazz asks. Ratchet and Prime look at each other, each asking the other without words what they should say. Prime eventually answers, "He's not here, Jazz."

Jazz tilts his head every which way in an effort to find the tactician. His voice is raspy and obviously damaged. "Prowl, they didn't get anything. They--nam Sibyllam qui-quidem Cumis--pendere--"

Optimus glances worridly at Ratchet. "What is he saying, Ratchet?"

Ratchet's face is pinched and worried. "I don't know. He's been fading in and out of lucidity."

"--illi p-p-pueri dicerent--"

Monitors connected to Jazz's vitals begin beeping, and Ratchet springs into action. "His main energon pump--Jazz, I need you to calm down--"

"--Sibylla ti theleeeis--"

Ratchet grabs at Jazz's arm and turns the saboteur on his side to gain access to his overrides.

"--apothanein thelo!" Jazz yells, anguished, and then Ratchet puts him into stasis and all is quiet.

"He was getting himself too worked up," Ratchet explains. "It was causing his energon pump to fluccuate too much." He steps back from the berth. "I'm calling Wheeljack. You," he says pointedly to Optimus, "can tell Prowl to get his aft over here. Jazz obviously isn't going to rest voluntarily until he talks to the fragger. I am getting some recharge."

Optimus smiles slightly at the order from his medic but turns to exit the medbay.


Note: What Jazz is saying is a (slightly bastardized) excerpt from T.S. Eliot's the waste land. It translates as: "I have seen with my own eyes the Sibyl hanging in a jar, and when the boys asked her 'What do you want?' She answered, 'I want to die.'"