Title: Consort - Prologue
Author: Femme4jack
Rating: R (this chapter), NC-17 overall
Continuity: AU Fusion of G1 - Bayverse - IDW - and others (in other words I'm picking and choosing stuff I like and making slag up)
Characters: Optimus Prime, Jazz, Ironhide, Mirage, eventually Optimus Prime/Mirage Summary: The Matrix of Leadership contained the wisdom of all the ages. It was also cruel.
Notes:Prologue for story being written for White Aster for her winning bid on the Help Somalia Auction on livejournal. Folks who are reading my other WIPs, I haven't given them up, but I need to focus for a time on the two charity Auction stories for the lovely people who were kind enough to bid on them.

At White Aster's request, this story will hold some elements in common with Claiming the Dark Singer, a WIP on hiatus I coauthored with Gatekat (current story is not the same storyverse as that WIP). This story is linked on my profile. White Aster wanted a Prime who struggles with desires that in another age would have been his right, claiming Mirage as a consort.

Warnings: Story will eventually contain violence, dubcon elements, explicit intimacy (sticky, tactile, field, spark, pnp), dreams with very dark themes (snuff, noncon, violence), and eventually, fluff. Please heed individual chapter warnings.

It was often said that the all of the wisdom of the ages was contained in the Matrix of Leadership.

What wasn't said was that the Matrix was also cruel.

When Cybertronians chanted the hallowed names, they sang of seven. The great ones. The deliverers who were the Voices of Primus: Primon, Prima, Nova, Guardian, Zeta, Sentinel, and now, Optimus. But the current bearer of the Matrix knew there had been many others. Designations deleted from the annals of history, to be forgotten and never sung of again. Like the great Primes, their sentient memories spoke from the Matrix. And not only their memories, but their ambitions and their appetites. And oh how they longed to live again, through the new vessel who bore them.

Sometimes the great ones who were celebrated in verse were no better.

There was a reason, Optimus now understood, why power had been divided and the position of Lord High Protector had been created. A Prime with a spark that was strong enough to bear the Matrix, was not a being one wanted with an army behind him to enforce his will should he be led by the Matrix's appetites rather than its wisdom. The Lord High Protector was charged with defending Cybertron against all of its enemies, including the Prime, if he became dark.

"The voices will eventually quiet," Sentinel's Lord High Protector, Alpha Trion, had promised the dock worker who had spent his first orns as Prime writhing in agony as the Matrix wove its symbiotic connection, expanding and changing his frame accompanied by the seductive whispers and promises of pleasure and power that would make all the pain worth it. "It is your spark that makes you a Prime, not the Matrix. It gives you strength and wisdom, yes, but the goodness within your own spark will quiet the old ones who should no longer speak. They will test you at first, see how far they can push you, try to turn you into their servant rather than serving you. Pass through the fire of their forge and you will truly be great."

Orion Pax had been a peaceful mech, kind sparked, patient, with an inner nobility of one who knew a hard orn's labor and the simple joys of refueling and friendship at the end of it. Alpha Trion had recognized his spark as being that of a Prime the first time he touched his damaged shell. When he merged with the spark, as was his duty, he found one far more noble than the Prime he had served, though, the Lord High Protector had to wonder if that was simply because Orion's spark had not yet touched the Matrix. Orion, Alpha Trion hoped, was strong enough, and good enough, to access the Matrix's power and wisdom without falling prey to it, or becoming apathetic and cynical as Sentinal had. And Optimus had proven Alpha Trion correct. Even with an army behind him, Optimus had led with selflessness, compassion, and justice rather than using his power to feed the desires of his predecessors.

That did not mean it was easy for him. Or that the voices were quiet.

Optimus roared as his spark swelled in something like an overload. The power surge filled his limbs with new strength as his great spear, glowing bright with the energy of his own spark, sliced yet again through the thick armor into the internals of his foe, then deep into the wall beyond. The other mech twitched feebly, and Optimus grunted in disdain. Too easy. Far too easy. This slag heap did not deserve to bear the prize in his chest, and Optimus had proven it in front of the council, who had silently watched since he had entered to contest the young Prime's recent ascension to his more powerful creator's position. That several of them had funded Optimus's own forging, then later his upgrades and training, would be rewarded when the time came. That was, if they remained loyal to him.

"Open," he said with a sneer, not waiting for the pathetically twitching thing to initiate the sequence. He reached into two of the holes the spear had created, and with the power still coursing through him he ripped the plates apart with a shower of sparks and a spray of fluids. The prize hid behind the pathetically guttering spark, but there was something he needed to do first, despite his disdain for the dimming silver light. His hardlines ripped into the other's ports without waiting for them to iris open. The Matrix itself helpfully brought down his foe's firewalls; the hallowed relic no longer deeming the former Prime worthy to bear it, was reaching for its new bearer. Optimus initiated the code that opened his and his foe's laser cores, exposing their sparks, and then crushed their chests together. The Matrix's strength flowed through the hardlines to his own blue-green spark, which expanded, enveloped the dimming silver one. Both conqueror and vanquished keened in an overload that was both agony and ecstasy as the silver spark began to shred, releasing its power into his own before extinguishing completely.

He staggered back, but did not go offline. Regaining his footing, he ripped out the now vacant laser core out of the greying frame and threw it to the floor to lie alongside the grey shells of Prime's guards, before placing both his hands on the prize within in triumph, holding it up for all to see. He felt its call to him, its resonance harmonizing with his own in a seductive song, the light from with the Matrix shining bright enough to short out the optics of those who watched as he placed it within his own chest where it slid behind and slightly under his own laser core, realigning his internals to make space for itself. His shout of triumph turned into the expected shriek of agony as the metamorphosis of his frame and processors began.

Overriding the lock, Jazz burst into to Prime's quarters at the sound of the keening and bellows of agony within. A burst of code irised open Optimus's thoracic port and his own hardline snaked in, initiating protocols that would end the memory loop and online the blue and red mech. Only Primes could dream, they said, as though it were some special privilege and not the horror Jazz knew it to be.

He steeled himself as Optimus onlined and lunged for him in a single motion, partially crushing Jazz's neck cabling as the silver mech went completely limp, docile and submissive, in the strong hand before sanity came to Prime's optics and he moaned, low and quiet, releasing the smaller mech gently on the great berth.

"Primus," Optimus said in barely a whisper. "I was dreaming, but I suppose you know that. Forgive me Jazz."

"Ain't nothin' t' forgive, Optimus," Jazz said, popping out the dents, moving around his helm and shrugging his shoulders to adjust the placement of the cabling that had gone out of line. "Third time in the last decaorn, though, boss."

"The dark ones are becoming more persistent. The more I rely on their skills in battle, the more the awakened think they have right to influence me."

"I wish ya'd just be rid of the thing. Ya don't need the Matrix t' be Prime. It's you we follow, not that relic. We'd follow ya t' the pit an' back as Orion."

"That might be true for those who are closest to me. For you, Ratchet and Ironhide, even for Prowl. But you know it isn't true of the rest of the Autobots, Jazz. And without the Matrix, I stand no chance against Megatron. It is the worst of them that allow me to match him. Without their violence, I would... I do not have the spark for it."

"Then let me help ya bear it," Jazz said, climbing onto Prime's lap and stroking his plating, offering his former function, as he always did. "Let me give ya some light to fight back against the dark."

Optimus wrapped protective arms around his longtime friend and leaned down so that his helm met the silver one. "I will not sully you with my spark, Jazz. The desires of even the best of those that speak from it are nothing I could subject you to."

"Your spark ain't sullied, boss. Never has been," Jazz murmured, his hands releasing magnetic pulses into the tense cabling in a gesture that was soothing.

"But it still might be, and you must be prepared to do your duty if it does. You cannot do that if you become too close. Whatever title Megatron claims, you are my Lord High Protector, at least when it comes to protecting Cybertron from me."

The room was lit only by the glow of their optics and soft light spilling from the portal of the berthroom to the living and and refueling area beyond where Ironhide silently stood guard, having commed Jazz as soon as the noises began. When the fluxes had begun shortly after their latest brutal battle, Prime's command staff had decided that one of them would be in his quarters any time he recharged.

What neither Jazz, Optimus, nor Ironhide knew was that another mech was also present, the finest disruptor shield in the history of their kind active and keeping his presence hidden from even the most highly tuned sensors. So long as he did not have to activate weapons or comms, or any other systems that gave off a signature, he was invisible. His protocols dictated that he report this latest flux to his Lord, as he should have the other two he had witnessed. Fortunately, he long ago had arranged for those codes to run within a specially segmented portion of his processors that were active only when he was in the presence of said Lord. For now, he had made his decision. It was time for the subterfuge to end.

To be continued