Title: Reunions, 3/?
Author: Stormy1x2 (traveling_storm)
Word Count: 4071 (approx)
Warnings: Mild spoilers for G1 season 2 Transformers, but nothing overtly specific.
Summary: A chance meeting in Bali, a battle and a kind of reunion, though none of the people involved have actually really met before. :D
Notes: Done for LJ's fanfic100 community, prompt #44: circle.
Reunions, Chapter 3
All in all, Jazz considered thoughtfully, things weren't going that badly.
The twins had hit the Constructicons hard with their initial assault. Hook was offline, and Scavenger was missing an arm. The rest of the Constructicons were still putting up a fight, but at least they didn't have to worry about the combiner team forming Devastator until Hook came around, and by that time, Jazz was hoping both sides would be heading home to lick their wounds.
Hound and Trailblazer were firing on the circling jets overhead. Trailblazer's force field was taking a pounding from Starscream's cluster bombs, and Skywarp had unfortunately figured out how to bypass the field, which meant 'Blazer had to drop the first and reform a second shield around his partner and himself and expand it out again, pushing Skywarp back. The good news was that Skywarp kept crashing into the field when that happened, and his crumpled nosecone was a telling sign of how effective the tactic was. The downside was Trailblazer couldn't keep that up forever, particularly not with Screamer's bombs going off in all directions.
Thundercracker had broken formation with his triad and was trading shots with Bluestreak. The gunner had the advantage with distance shooting, but he needed a few seconds to set up his kill shots, and Thundercracker just wasn't giving him that time. Starscream was heralded as the fastest seeker ever created, but Thundercracker was no slouch himself, and his swift dives and swerves were playing havok with Bluestreak's targeting systems. Ironhide had broken away from Trailblazer and Hound and was doing his best to help shut the jet down, but his cannons, though far more powerful than anything the 'Cons were throwing at them, took the longest to charge between rounds, which gave Thundercracker plenty of time to swing through on another strafing run.
Jazz wanted to go and help, but he had his own hands full with Soundwave. The communications specialist was a powerful fighter, almost on par with the twins in some respects, and it was taking everything Jazz had to stay in the game. Soundwave not only used conventional 'Con weaponry, but he also had the advantage of being able to twist and manipulate radio waves and sound vibrations, and twice already Jazz had been sent to his knees from a barrage of high-pitched sonic screams going off directly in his audios. It was a concentrated attack that took a fair bit out of Soundwave, but it took far more out of Jazz.
::'Bee, I officially don't give a slag about Ravage anymore:: he sent strongly through their internal radios. ::We could really use the help!::
There was no answer, and Jazz frowned. Automatically, he sent a message to Windcharger, the only Autobot not currently directly engaged in battle, as a test. He didn't want to disrupt anyone's concentration while in the middle of a firefight. Despite being famous for their animosity, Cliffjumper, Brawn and the Twins were delivering serious punishment to the remaining Constructicons. Windcharger was holding back, guarding a small village that was dangerously close to the fighting. Jazz received a call from him just as he blasted Soundwave with some waves of his own, channeling as much sound vibration as he could through his powerful speakers, and was rewarded with the sight of Soundwave backing up a step. Following up with a few shots from his guns, Jazz sent the message to 'Bee again, but there was still no answer. Glancing up at Soundwave, he grimaced. If the radio was out, at least for distance, then he'd bet credits to energon that Soundwave had set up some sort of barrier to prevent them from calling for additional back up. He beeped 'Charger back with a ::Just checkin'!::, and was grateful for the instant response he got. Short-range seemed online. That was something to be happy about.
The Constructicons were out of the fight, for the most part. Cliffjumper and Brawn advanced on the retreating 'Cons, but the Twins broke off and headed for the main firefight. Jazz toyed with the idea of ordering them back, but then decided against it. They wouldn't listen, and besides, someone needed to shut down that fragger Starscream.
Sunstreaker had shifted to car form and was racing across the grassy plain, drawing the F-14's attention and subsequent fire. Starscream swooped down, obviously intending to fire some close-range missiles, and that was when Sideswipe struck. The red Lamborghini, racing behind the two of them in alt form, careened up a natural incline in the landscape and pushed off, launching himself into the air. Mid-leap he transformed, and his jet pack fired in the air. The added momentum brought him even with Starscream who had slowed a fraction to take aim at his yellow sibling, and with a whoop that could be heard all over the battle field, Sideswipe landed hard on the jet's back. Utilizing his piledrivers, he set about systematically reducing the plane's fuselage to scrap, slamming his fist hard into the plane's windshield.
Starscream lived up to his name, screeching in pain and fury as glass flew into his cockpit, embedding itself into the delicate circuitry. He began a steep dive, twisting into a series of barrel rolls that had Sideswipe clenching his legs tight around the body of the jet, waving one hand in the air as he shouted out a jubuliant 'Yee-HAW!"
The plane tried to pull out of the dive, but Sunstreaker was there to meet him, aiming a direct burst of laser fire at the plane's vulnerable underbelly. Another agonized wail came from the jet, and thick plumes of smoke erupted from his wounds. Sideswipe leaped clear as Starscream hit the ground hard, plowing a wide trench deep into the earth, sending a spray of dirt and debris at least fifty feet into the air. Before the twins could catch up though, Skywarp, ceasing his attack on Trailblazer and Hound, suddenly appeared at the side of his downed leader, and seconds later, they were gone, warped away.
The battle wasn't over yet though. Laserbeak, Buzzsaw, Ratbat, Frenzy and Rumble had emerged from the cavern where they'd been collecting the rubies, and had launched themselves at Jazz in retaliation for his attack on their creator. Laserbeak, Buzzsaw and Ratbat took to the skies. Jazz managed to hit Frenzy directly in the exposed wiring between his chest plates under his right arm as the smaller Con had raised his gun to fire, but Rumble suddenly began pile-driving the earth, creating both an instant earthquake, and a dangerous crack in the ground that began to grow and twist, snaking its way towards Jazz.
::Jazz?:: Windcharger obviously wanted to join in.
::Protect the humans!:: Jazz repeated his earlier order. He'd handle this until Bumblebee showed up. But the humans hadn't asked for this, and he would not risk their safety. ::Much as I hate givin' 'em, it's an order, 'Charger.::
::...understood.:: Windcharger sounded both angry and resigned. Jazz grinned wryly even as he dodged the hole in the earth that was trying to swallow him up. He'd have to smooth over a few ruffled feathers after the battle was over, but that was nothing new, really.
Just then, Ravage leaped out of the jungle beside them. The cat was leaking oil from its front legs, and sparks flew from its damaged underbelly. Jazz was startled - and utterly amused - at the fact that Ravage seemed to be missing a good chunk of his tail. Obviously 'Bee had found the Decepticon during his recon and delivered a few solid hits. Still, battered and beaten, Ravage was nonetheless ever protective of his creator, and he leaped in front of Soundwave, hackles raised as he snarled his challenge to the Solstice.
"Ravage, disengage and return," Soundwave suddenly ordered. His tone was monotonous as it always was, but there seemed to be a thread of steel woven into them this time. Soundwave was a cold mech, but Jazz figured if the 'Con had a soft spot for anyone, it would be his cassettes. Ravage growled, but Soundwave repeated the order, and Jazz watched as the cat reluctantly turned around and limped back, transforming to cassette mode.
Now! Jazz seized the opportunity and fired at Soundwave as the 'Con opened his chest cavity to receive Ravage. Jazz's aim was true, and Soundwave staggered back, smoke curling from his chest plates. Ravage was knocked aside by his creator's flailing, and hit the ground hard.
"Nice shot!" Sideswipe shouted. He was assisting Bluestreak and Ironhide with Thundercracker, no doubt looking for an opportunity to play a little more 'jet judo', but they always seemed to keep an optic out for Jazz. But where was Sunstreaker?
"Eat molten slag, Decepticon scum!"
Ah, there he is. Jazz grinned behind his visor as the yellow Lamborghini came charging out of the jungle he'd circled through in an attempt to hide his approach. His aim was impeccable, as always, and Frenzy and Rumble stumbled back, suddenly sprouting energon in a few places energon was not supposed to be seen from. "Thanks for the save, Sunny!"
"Anytime Jazz." Sunstreaker smiled viciously, a cold look in his bright blue optics. "Shall we?"
"Oh, please - let's!" Jazz and Sunstreaker opened fire. The cassettecons scattered.
"Did I hear somebody ask for a miracle?!" Disney's Mushu shouted, and suddenly the jungle foliage parted in the path of the familiar custom Camaro that barreled through it. Bumblebee screeched to a stop, whirled around, and then charged a still-stumbling Frenzy, crashing hard into the 'Con and plowing him down.
Jazz whistled. "Nice one, Bee!" Bumblebee's doors opened, and Sam got out, followed by a woman with red hair that Jazz didn't recognize - and then a form that he did. "Is that... Mikey?"
Sam ran over, followed by the woman and the turtle. Buzzsaw swooped down and tried to pluck him off the ground, but Bumblebee fired a quick shot that singed the metal bird's wings, and Buzzsaw swerved to the side before climbing again. Sam made it to Jazz's side and touched the small but jagged cut in Jazz's armor. "Jazz, you're hurt!"
"Nothing a little field repair won't fix," Jazz replied. He kept a wary optic out, but Bumblebee and Sunstreaker seemed to have the situation in hand. "Can you stop the energon flow from my reserve line? I can feel it leaking."
"No sweat." Sam dug into the backpack he carried when traveling with the others, and pulled out a jar of black fluid. "Have you ready in no time."
Jazz looked at the two 'people' that had accompanied his friend. "Hello, Miss." He smiled at her. "I'm afraid you're not catching me at my best." The woman smiled tentatively, obviously shocked. But the turtle was watching the sky with a frown on his face. "You're not Mikey."
"I'm Leonardo," the turtle said, switching his gaze for a minute. "Sam said your name was Jazz. You were one of the ones that helped my brother escape a few months ago."
"That would be Sideswipe, really," Jazz said. He jerked his thumb at Sunstreaker, who was still trading shots with Laserbeak and Ratbat with Bumblebee. "The twin of Sunstreaker there. What are you doing here?"
"Long story short, getting a giant ruby," the woman said. "My name's April, by the way."
"Pleased to make your acquaintance." He held out his hand to take April's and bowed his head at her, gently touching his thumb to the back of her fingers. Jazz grinned as the woman blushed.
"Incoming!" Sunstreaker shouted at them.
Jazz's head shot up. Buzzsaw was coming back in, obviously trying to take advantage of their inattention. He fumbled for his gun, but the bird was already inbound. Instantly he grabbed April and Sam and crouched low, covering them as best he could. He reached for Leonardo too, but the turtle suddenly darted forward with a speed that was astonishing for a being carrying a shell that had to weigh at least forty to sixty pounds. He sprang into the air, and light flashed off the two swords he had pulled from his back. He was moving too quick for humans to see clearly, but Jazz's advanced Cybertronian circuitry recorded every nuance, every move, and he watched, spell-bound as the turtle did a beautiful slice-and-dice on the cassettecon.
One wing was sliced through completely, falling to the ground with a loud crash. The other sword scored a direct hit on the joint between Buzzsaw's neck and his shoulder. Buzzsaw wailed in pain as he fell to the other side, leaking smoke and energon. He hit the ground a second later, spraying them all with grass clumps and mud. He lay on the ground, twitching in pain.
Jazz blinked his optics. "Whoa."
Leonardo landed and bounded lightly back to them, setting up a protective stance again. "Finish repairs, Sam," he said calmly, still scanning the terrain for more threats as nonchalantly as if he did it every day. And maybe, Jazz thought, amused, he did. "I'll stand guard."
Sam nodded, grinning widely. "I am so glad we brought you along."
"I know a thing or two about electronics and engineering," April volunteered. "Can I help?"
Jazz watched as April joined Sam in learning how to apply quick field repairs, and then scanned the scene himself. Hound and Trailblazer were fine; in fact, they were heading his way. Starscream had been badly damaged, so he wasn't surprised that the Decepticon Air Commander was gone, but Skywarp had failed to return, and so even Thundercracker had given up, falling back with the Constructicons. Bluestreak, Ironhide and Sideswipe were heading in. Brawn and Cliffjumper were finally backing off the beaten Constructicons who were already in the air, dragging their wounded behind them. Windcharger would be heading back in a minute too, now that the main fight seemed to be over.
That just left Soundwave and his cassettecons, two of which were already severely damaged, three if you counted the flattened Frenzy. Soundwave was looking at the incoming bots, and suddenly he issued a calm, "Decepticons retreat."
He gathered up Ravage, and summoned Buzzsaw's separate parts to him using his magnetic shield. Rumble was fine, Jazz could tell - only superficial damage, and he picked up his brother. Ratbat and Laserbeak were still able to fly by themselves, and they were already specks in the distance. Soundwave threw himself after them, even as Sunstreaker raised his gun to take one last potshot. Jazz flagged him down.
"What the frag, Jazz?"
"We won," Jazz said calmly. "Let him go."
The Autobots closed in, and Leonardo stepped back, looking at them all. Jazz chuckled at the guarded look on the terrapin's face. "Relax, Leo. Everyone here knows the story."
Sideswipe suddenly butted his way over and crouched down, peering quizzically at the turtle. "You're not Mikey," he said, looking slightly disappointed. "You must be Leo."
Leonardo wore a surprised expression as he slid his swords home in their holders. "Did you hear me over Jazz's radio?"
The red Lamborghini shook his head. "Nah, your brother filled me in. Donnie's the genius in purple, Raph's the hothead in red, and you're the fearless leader in blue, right?"
April muffled a giggle as she came out from under Jazz's side with Sam, wiping her hands on her pants. "I'd say they know you pretty well."
"Very funny." Leonardo took a step towards Sideswipe and bowed low to the ground. Jazz was confused, but Sam had a knowing look on his face, and Bumblebee was nodding. "Sideswipe?"
"Thank you for saving my brother." Leonardo's bow was deep and low, his tone respectful. "He would have been killed if you hadn't brought him out of there. I don't know how to even begin to pay you back for that, but I hope the little I was able to contribute today is a start."
It was Sideswipe's turn to look confused. Jazz filled him in. "Leonardo was the one that took out Buzzsaw."
Now the Lamborghini had a look of respect on his face. "Nice work," he said. "And don't bother thanking me or paying me back. Your bro saved my life too - did a field patch-up I needed badly. I'm just glad he's all right."
Leonardo smiled. April coughed. "I hate to break this up, but now what? We've got to get back to New York, and that means we've got to get ready."
"How do you travel, Leo?" Sam asked, curious. "I mean, you'd think someone would have reported seeing turtles in first class."
"Economy, please," April told him with a laugh. "And Leo, well, he's a true money-saver."
"No one checks the baggage compartments too closely. You'd be surprised how easy it is for a ninja to slip past a few guys taking a break from throwing people's belongings around." Leonardo shrugged, casually.
Jazz didn't like that. It was a fifteen hour flight back to New York, and baggage compartments were rarely heated or equalized unless there were pets on board. The first flight over had to have been uncomfortable, at the very least. He opened his mouth to extend an invitation to travel with them - their pick-up was due to arrive within the next hour - but Bumblebee beat him to it.
"Come sail away, come sail away, come sail away with me!" Bumblebee said insistently.
Sam nodded, catching quickly on to Bee's words as a result of two years of translating song lyrics. "Yeah, can he Jazz? There's plenty of room with Skyfire, and it'll save them the trouble." He looked pleadingly at Jazz. Bumblebee widened his own optics.
Now, when had Jazz ever been able to resist the puppy dog look? Particularly when given in stereo? "For that assist you gave us, a ride is the least we can do," Jazz said, agreeing. The twins were hooting with laughter at the easy way he'd caved, but Jazz had lots of experience in ignoring them. Hound looked excited at the idea - no doubt the prospect of talking to what was for him, a new species, was too thrilling.
April looked doubtful, however. "I don't know. I should report in to the government first. I found the ruby, I don't want to get into trouble."
"Ruby?" Jazz frowned. "What ruby?"
April opened the rucksack on her belt, and pulled out a ruby roughly the size of a football. Jazz whistled in appreciation. All of the other rubies the 'Cons had found were the size of tennis balls. Reformed, they would be good for laser cores, but then they'd be impure, and unsuitable as a power amplifier. This ruby though, was big enough to act as a decent weapon in the right - or wrong - hands. "You found that?"
"I was hired to find it," April told him. "The guy got me my paperwork and everything, but it still seems strange to me. I mean, a country giving a foreigner permission to take a precious gem from its mountains? Especially one this size? You'd think their own museums and scientists would want first crack at it." She shook her head. "That's why I'm worried about bringing it back. What if the papers are fake after all?"
"Your visa checked out at the airport," Leo reminded her.
"Yeah, but I haven't tried the other ones yet."
"Who hired you?" Sam asked curiously.
April dug through the bag again, and pulled out a sheaf of papers full of what Sam's dad liked to call legal-ese. "A... Mr Rumboli."
Hound sucked air through his intakes. "Rumboli?" His engine revved.
Jazz didn't like the sound of that either. "Who does Mr Rumboli work for?"
April flicked through the papers, scanning them all for a company name. "Consound Enterprises."
Bingo. "Consound?" Jazz exchanged knowing looks with his team.
Brawn growled. "Decepticons."
Trailblazer nodded. "Soundwave."
Jazz finished it up. "And Rumble." He looked at April again. "I think you were hired by the Decepticons to get that ruby. I have the feeling these little rubies, and this whole excavation project was just a diversion, something to distract us while you went and got them the big prize without anyone finding out."
Sam whistled. "Whoa...just think, Jazz. If you guys hadn't sent me and 'Bee to search for Ravage, we would have fallen for it, hook, line and sinker."
April stared wistfully at the ruby. "Well, I guess I can kiss that bonus goodbye," she groused. "Suggestions, boys?"
"Well, we can't leave it here," Sam mused. "If you report to 'Mr Romboli' that you didn't get it, or it was confiscated by the Bali government, they'll just come back and take it themselves, but in a much louder, more explosive way."
"I agree," said Jazz. "I'm thinkin' we might have to bring this l'il trinket back with us for safekeeping. What do you say?" He addressed this to April, who looked at him in confusion. He winked an optic at her. "Optimus will make sure you're properly reimbursed for finding it for us, and our contacts with the US government will make sure you're safe from legal retaliation, especially when we tell them just how much damage the 'Cons could do with this baby if they got their mitts on it."
April smiled. "I think that's a great idea. And at least this won't have been a total waste of a trip." She shook her head. "Not that it's been one so far."
Jazz smiled. "So that's settled. Anyone else here dying silently while we were discussing the new Ark's paperweight?"
Sunstreaker huffed. "That slagging Bonecrusher dented my armor!"
His twin smacked him on the arm. "Dying, Sunny. Dents are not life or death, no matter how much you insist the world needs your beauty to survive."
Sunstreaker growled and launched himself at his sibling. Yelps and clanging metal could be heard as the two tumbled head over heels across the grass, fists flashing in the fading light of day, and Jazz rolled his optics. "Anyone else?"
Leonardo nudged April and pointed at the tussling twins. "They remind you of anybody?"
April muffled a giggle.
Not long after that, the roar of a jet sounded overhead, and everyone looked up as a huge shuttle hovered overhead, touching down with a softness conventional jet pilots couldn't hope to copy on their best days. "Is everyone all right?"
"Hey, Skyfire." Sam waved. "Hope you don't mind a few extra passengers."
The large white shuttle transformed and looked down on the extra organics standing next to Sam. "Of course I don't mind," he said, smiling with friendly curiosity. "It's nice to meet you."
"Likewise." April said, gaping up at the shuttle. The twins had been larger than Bumblebee, which had been a shock, but Skyfire towered over them all, clearing Sideswipe's chevrons by at least thirty feet. "I'm April. Wow, you're big."
Skyfire laughed. "Big enough to carry everyone home," he acknowledged. His gaze turned to Leonardo, and his optics seemed to widen. "You...."
Leonardo bowed again. "I'm Leonardo," he said pleasantly. "You might have heard the story of my brother Mikey and how he was saved by Sideswipe and the other Autobots."
Skyfire nodded thoughtfully. "I did, and frankly, the story fascinated me. The idea of such drastic mutations ocurring here on earth is just amazing. I'd love to talk to you about it."
"You should really talk to my brother, Donatello," Leonardo admitted wryly. "He's the scientist of our family."
"I certainly hope I get that opportunity." Skyfire looked around. "Shall we leave, then?"
Hound and Trailbreaker came over, good-naturedly dragging two dented and damaged twins with them. "Ratchet's gonna blow a servo when he finds out this damage was caused after the battle," Hound said with a chuckle.
"I vote for not telling him," whined Sideswipe painfully. Sunstreaker nodded rapidly in agreement.
"If you boys behave on the flight home, I'll think about it," Jazz promised, and was rewarded with looks of grateful relief. Then he turned to the others and held up his arm, preventing anyone from stepping forward up the ramp on the transformed Skyfire. "Hey, hey, hey guys! There is a lady present."
April smiled as she accepted his finger to help her up the ramp. "Can I possibly convince you to come home with me to teach these manners to my fiance?" she asked hopefully as she cleared the top step.
Jazz laughed, and then everyone was filing on board for the long ride home.
End Chapter three.
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