so... i went and reread all of these in preparation for posting them (and in some cases that prep work involved coming up with titles...**shrug**), and noticed that most of them had arranged themselves in pairs according to theme. now, my first thought had been to just go ahead and post these in the order i'd written them in like i had replacement:roads, but with my new insights as to their themes, i've decided to arrange them into diptychs and put the paired ones together. an odd format, yes, but i think they make more sense this way...

btw... like were-cars itself, these are 2007movieverse and not compatible with either the second movie or any upcoming movies that may or may not come out before i'm done writing/posting.

and finally, i am continuing to write these since these are my last remaining transformers muses in the hopes that i'll get the others back if i do so, so if you have a question about the were-cars universe in general, please send it to me and i will do my best to write a short story that answers the question. no guarantees, but the attempt will be made.

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overall warnings: oddness and supernatural implications

further warnings for this story: none

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Were-Cars Diptych One: Aftermath of Telling

Story One: Names

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Eventually Mikaela did approach Ironhide for detail of what happened after Rhythm disappeared and Prowl took control of the Iacon Track.

Ironhide stared at Mikaela just a bit confused, trying to figure out why Jazz would have changed the names of some of the characters in the story. Most transformers knew what had happened in Iacon that began Cybertron's spiral into war, and Ironhide was not surprised that Jazz had done his best to fill in the blanks and add embellishments to make a good story for their human friend.

"What's wrong, Ironhide?"

"Nothin'."

He wandered away before she could correct him and insist he explain in that annoying, distinctively human way.

He found himself at the shooting range, the way he always did whenever he wanted to think without being bothered. No one would interrupt him for anything less than a full Decepticon attack while he was concentrating on lining up his shots perfectly to kill the targets with the least amount of ammunition. He didn't want to be interrupted while he was trying to figure out the sneaky little fragger's thought processes.

Most of the names were easy enough. He simply translated the English word into Cybertronian and added the appropriate name-alteration for the character's home city. Jazz had unsurprisingly chosen an almost literal translation for Prowl's name - all Ironhide needed to do was add the Praxan suffix to the Cybertronian translation. He'd been slightly more poetic in choosing Sunstreaker's and Sideswipe's English names so Ironhide actually had to go attempt three different translations for Sunstreaker and four for Sideswipe's before the addition of the Kaonex prefix-suffix combination gave him the correct names. Red Alert's took a bit longer since it was an English compound with an idiomatic meaning different than the definitions of the two words alone, but it still fit easily once the Iaconian suffix was added.

Redline gave him some trouble - no matter what he couldn't get a Cybertronian translation to match with the Iaconian name of the mech. While it was common knowledge now that Redline had originally been from Kaon, it was by an Iaconian name that Ironhide had known the mech, and it was that name which had been recorded in the histories. "Red Streak" or "Red Blur" would have been a better translation. Frustrated he added the Kaonex name indicator to several translations of "Redline" and found a more aggressive sounding Kaonex that name did match an idiomatic English meaning for "red line". He didn't know how - or if, really, since Ironhide didn't know what Redline had been called in Kaon - Jazz hadn't known Redline's Kaonex name, but it wasn't impossible the sneak had found it somewhere.

But ... the characters Jazz'd referred to as "Orion Pax" and "Melanthios", like Ironhide, already had English names - Optimus Prime and Megatron, respectively - and Ironhide could see no reason for Jazz to have come up for different ones. Eventually he came up with "The Limits of Peace" as a suitable translation for Orion Pax, which with the Iaconian suffix added, did sound like Optimus's name from before he was Prime. Jazz should not have known that - a Prime's former name was erased from all records. The only translation he could find for "Melanthios" was "Black Flower", which quite simply didn't translate into Cybertonian - Cybertron did not have plant life at all.

Growling, he tried to think in the tangental symbolic way Jazz sometimes favored. Trying to find a meaning to the phrase "black flower" was no help at all - it was commonly used but held no significance - so he looked up the symbolic meaning of the words individually. Black was commonly used for mourning and represented death. And flowers had so many symbols it was just ridiculous. He was just about to give that up as a useless exercise, when he found that white flowers were sometimes used to represent peace. He toyed with the idea that a "Black Flower" had been meant as "the Death of Peace". It would fit Megatron well, he finally decided, but didn't feel right for Jazz's sense of symbolism.

Black... was also the opposite of white. So maybe "The Opposite of Peace". That would make the name translate as "War". But there was something about the Cybertronian word for "opposite" that made him think that wasn't it. He changed it to "The Opposite of Pax" - as in the person named Pax - then put it in Cybertonian. The word "opposite" had had a few different regional meanings when it came to referring to people. In Kaon, a person's opposite was his enemy; in Iacon, he was your brother, and Megatron had been a resident of and held a name from both. In telling the story to Mikaela, Jazz had named the person everyone knew as Megatron "The Brother/Enemy of Orion Pax".

Pleased at figuring out his friend's thought process, he turned his attention to the last name: Rhythm. He found over ten different usages in English and generated over thirty translations into Cybertronian. None even came close to the Iaconian name of the person he'd known. And when he tried the Kaonex variations, like he had with Redline's, none of them even made sense. One did sound familiar and he added the Praxan suffix to that one. Very familiar. Slowly, not quite believing it yet, he pronounced the Praxan name with the slight Kaonex accent, the way the name's owner always did and insisted others also use, saying it made the name sound less ordinary.

He'd changed his alt form somehow, before joining the war effort, and had to have hacked the networks so his record numbers wouldn't give him away.

But that explained quite a bit about Jazz.

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"What the frag is eating you?"

Ironhide whirled around in surprise, activated cannon aimed at the source of the interruption. Ratchet just tilted his head as though to ask if Ironhide was going to shoot him, and if he wasn't it was rather stupid to keep the cannon charged like that.

Ironhide bristled and growled in response. No he wasn't going to shoot the medic, but he'd have no problems if leaving him prone in the dirt plus a few dozen dents if the medic didn't back down. Ratchet scowled, and with an offended air, he took a half-step back and averted his eyes. It wasn't a full submission, but it was enough. He didn't really expect Ratch to be all that submissive anyway.

"What d'ya want Ratch?"

"I want to know why you're out here blowing rocks into their component quantum particles. I know you're a triggerhappy glitch, but seven hours is a bit much. Even for you."

He shrugged in response. "Just trying ta figure out how Jazz thinks."

Ratchet laughed out right. "Good luck with that. No one knows how Jazz processes."

"Prowl comes close."

"Prowl's processors are almost as fragged as Jazz's, just in a different direction."

Ironhide had to concede the point. Still that wasn't a bad thing - the ability to out think others without being out thought in return was what had made both mechs the best at their jobs as Autobots.

"So what in your musings on our cross-wired comrade brought on the urge to decimate the landscape?"

"Didn't want to be interrupted, is all," Ironhide growled out, reminding the medic that that was exactly what he'd done.

The scolding was ignored. Primus, Ratch could be obnoxious. "And?"

The black mech spun his cannons back into place as a resigned gesture. "Jazz told Mikaela what happened in Iacon just before the war. 'Cept he changed up a lot of the names and I was trying ta figure out why."

"Did you?"

"Yeah. Don't know what I'm gonna do about it though."

There was an expectant pause.

"Are you going to share?"

"No." Ironhide shoved past the medic to stomp back toward the base.

Ratchet huffed, then called out to the retreating form, "I'll just go ask Jazz then."

Ironhide ignored him. Just try, he thought, if he didn't tell me or Optimus, he sure as slag aint gonna tell you.

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End Names