Title: Always with protection
Pairing: Prowl/Jazz in the later chapters.
Universe: Bayverse, AU
Rating: PG13, but it might go up.
Word count: ~ 4,200
Summary: Jazz should always use protection when trying to hack the enemy. The consequences are not exactly pleasant.
Author Notes: This is a big story. Expect a lot of twist and turns. Everything will get explained as the story progresses.
Disclaimer: Transformers doesn't belong to me.
Chapter One: When Fire met Ice.
::Ah'm in the command room, 'bots.::
::Hurry, Jazz. I don't know how much time we can give you.::
::Sure thing boss.:: The cameras in the room where already deactivated as a small silver form made its way to the biggest monitor. ::Ah'll delete all of it, but can't Ah-::
::No.:: The command was firm. ::Counterstrike and I will download the needed info, you just stick to your task.::
It was obvious that only officers had access to this place, due to the hard time getting in. It was a dark room, filled with many computers, each used for surveillance. But none compared to the one in the center – it was huge, the screen taking 1/3 of the room. The saboteur was almost anticipating hacking this marvelous piece of technology.
::Why the frag not?:: Jazz asked annoyed as he plugged in, ::Stupid 'cons, Ah can extract the info, why would Ah delete it?!::
::Jazz, do not test me right now – this is not a battle simulation.::
::It might as well be – this is too fragging easy.:: Streams of data started flowing on the monitor and Jazz smirked. Sparkling's play.
::Just delete it and get out, this is not a request. Do this and the AI running their entire base will crash.::
::Yeaaah, 'bout that.:: Jazz effortlessly past the first firewalls on his way, ::Shouldn't it be, ya know? Harder to get to it?::
::It just shows how much confidence they have in their AI system. It has the power to predict battle outcome, and that's something the Decepticons should not posses.::
:: Yup, that's why we should have it.::
::For the love of Primus you insubordinate glitch, just delete it. And don't simply blow it up – it has backups where to hide.::
:: Fiiine.:: Jazz cut the line as it was getting harder to concentrate – the firewalls were getting stronger and more traps appeared, filled with viruses.
"Stupid Nightbeat." Jazz muttered to himself as he worked, "So what if he's head of Spec. Ops. Ah know my stuff, Ah can take ya out, make ya our asset." He glared at the monitor.
"Come on." He tried accessing the same file a couple of times, "Why won't ya open… file P-042229? What the frag is P-04- OH SLAG!" Suddenly, Jazz found himself on his knees, electrical surges passing through him. He didn't disconnect but he was quick to leave the file alone.
Frame still twitching, Jazz stood up just as a huge pair of optics flared on the screen, staring down at him. "Now there's somethin' ya don't see every orn." He stared back at the optics.
Abort now and no further actions will be taken.
A deep, monotone voice boomed from everywhere in the room as the optics kept staring down at Jazz emotionlessly.
"Cute little program, ain'tcha?" Jazz stared back challengingly at the screen, "Ya caused a lot of processor aches for some on mah buddies. Too bad it's the end of the line for ya."
Jazz had heard that the Decepticons possessed some kind of a computer able to predict outcome of battles and create battle strategies. It truly was a masterpiece of technology, an accomplishment for their time. Yet, it was nothing but a killing machine for Jazz – he knew all too well how many of his comrades have perished because of it.
Statement repeated. Abort now.
"Uhhg, do ya always have to speak so boring-like?" Jazz asked as he cracked his neck, getting ready to do some real hacking.
::Jazz, how are you on progress?:: Nightbeat's voice sounded strained.
::Little busy right now.:: Jazz barely had started and he was already assaulted with firewalls and viruses, his every move countered.
::Well, hurry. You don't have much time.::
::Yeah, yeah.:: Jazz was too distracted as the comms went dead, leaving him to work.
"Oh, come on!" Jazz growled frustrated, "That was my best viral cocktail!" It didn't even make the optics on the screen flicker.
Suddenly, another electrical surge hit him, only this time it was accompanied with a virus. Jazz was quick to neutralize it, the virus only able to do little damage to his firewalls.
"Ya play dirty, P." Jazz tried a different approached. He was only able to enter about three folders until he was assaulted again with more viruses.
My designation is P-042229
"Ha!" Jazz leaned on the terminal, his hands shaking, "Funny, are ya annoyed because I got passed yer first layer of firewalls or because Ah called ya that? Yer a funny AI." Jazz smirked as the screen that used to be black in color, covered in binary coding and those red optics staring back at him, turned neon pink – only the optics remained unfazed. As always, if Jazz were to destroy something, it would be done in style. The red optics just kept staring blandly on the pink screen.
"That color looks good on ya."
You will not be able to deactivate me. I am the ultimate Artificial Intelligence ever created by master Shockwave.
Jazz ignored the voice as he focused more on his task.
You and your comrades will lose this fight. I have predicted as much.
"Yeah, Ah forgot ya were clairvoyant." Jazz exhaled heavily with his vents. Primus, this thing countered his every move!
No, I am sufficient. You on the other hand are reckless. Predictable.
Jazz gasped as another set of viruses assaulted him ruthlessly. So this was what the lunatic Shockwave created. The ultimate offense and defense system.
"See, this is where yer wrong. Nothin' in war is ever predictable, 'specially me." With great effort Jazz was able to pass the second set of firewalls. Despite everything, some form of thrill, excitement, past through him as he delved deeper into the coding.
Autobot designated Jazz. New recruit, undergoing Special Operations training under current commander Nightbeat. Information about Jazz is insufficient as more research is needed. Current observation, along with scarce background, states that you are smart and showing great potential.
However- young age, impulsiveness and reckless behavior is detrimental to success. Predicted outcome: Autobot Jazz has 28,0043% chance of survival on the field.
"Oh shut up." Jazz reset his optics. There was no time to deal with the viruses program was pummeling him with; he'll fix them himself later, "Ah swear, listening to ya talk is even more boring than the safety lectures they give me."
Perhaps Autobot Jazz should listen to them.
"Whoa…You have sense of humor?" Jazz asked dryly, "Now that's a first – ya officially win the AI award of the vorn."
Next set of attacks will be lethal. Disconnect now.
"Did you just narrow your optics at me?" Jazz shook his head, trying to clear it, "Stupid AI…"
Why do you insist on doing this? You will not win against me and will probably kill yourself in the process – it is detrimental to the Autobot cause. Every death is a great loss.
Jazz snorted, "Tell that to yer leader." He glared at the screen, "Don't ya dare talk to me about the Autobot cause." Jazz barked, "Ya have no idea what we are fighting for."
And you do? You just got upgraded in your adult frame and are with no actual experience – you fight for a war you have no idea why it started in the first place.
"As if ya know."
"Ah highly doubt that, program." Jazz grinned triumphantly as he passed another set of traps.
Megatron fights for equality. Vorn 259 the Council-
"Spare meh the history lesson." Jazz narrowed his optics, "Ah don't care! All Ah care is that Ah'm here now, it's still raging on and Ah'm fighting in it! I was created 200 vorns later, but Ah know nothing has changed since then! Nothing! Well…not nothing – Megsy changed. Ah think he forgot what he was fighting for with all the power he possessed."
Are you stating you would have joined the Decepticons if you were able to join the war at its beginning?
Jazz's lips tinned, his frown growing, "Yeah, Ah would have."
That is treason.
"No, it's not. Things change, Megatron changed, the Council is no more thanks to Sentinel Prime, but does yer leader see that? Nope. Change is a constant and sooner or later, this fragging war will end, for better or for worse."
Illogical. Why did you choose the Autobots?
"Ah didn't know that they included psych programmin' into ya."
Do not avoid the question Autobot.
"Do not test meh, AI." Jazz rubbed his face, a headache coming strong.
::Jazz, we're rolling out! Get out of there.::
::Gimme a sec, Ah can do it!::
::There's no time! Just leave it! I would rather have you alive – next time we'll try again.::
::There won't be a next time!:: Jazz's vision blurred due to the strain on his systems, ::The AI's good, reaaal good. The 'cons will hide it and we'll never find it then.::
Suddenly, the entire base shook as an explosion rocked the ground.
::Get out, now! That is an order soldier!:: And Jazz knew that when his mentor used that tone, it was best if he heeded it.
"Slag, slag, slag." Jazz backed away from all the files he was able to break in and entered the computer's schematics, "Well, it's been swell P-042229, but Ah gotta go." Jazz smirked when he found where the laser core and memory backs were kept. At least the cons will have a rough time fixing it.
Another electrical surge hit Jazz, accompanied with a viral cocktail. His form swayed as he fell on his knees, gasping.
You should have listene-
Jazz gave a crazy grin as energon dripped from his lips and stood up on trembling legs, "And ya should have listened ta meh. Ah'm not as predictable as ya think Ah am."
What. Did. You. Do?
The still pink screen and red optics started flickering as the AI tried to deal with the damage.
"Yeah, that's not so pleasant, is it?" Jazz glared at the screen, his smile vanishing, "I simply re-routed the surge, acted as a buffer. Oh, yeah – same goes for the nasty viruses ya sent me."
With all of his strength, Jazz used his claws, ripping the terminal away, exposing its inner workings. The screen no longer had the schematics on it, but Jazz had downloaded them previously.
Jazz blew a kiss at the screen mockingly and without hesitation ripped the laser core and memory banks. The optics flickered out of existence and the screen went black.
Jazz felt his vents exhale the air he didn't know he was holding. "That was intense…" He whispered in a shaky voice and disconnected himself. Never before had he engaged such a dangerous program. If he failed, his entire personality would have been wiped. "Ah just danced with the most badaft AI ever created…"
A second explosion rocked the building, returning Jazz to his senses. He swayed heavily as he tried to walk away. A second attempt made him fall.
"C'mon, c'mon, c'mon…" Jazz gritted his denta and tried to stand up again, "He didn't get my motor functions… tell meh the slagger didn't get my motor functions… so get the frag up!" Jazz tried to stand up again but his legs failed.
"Damn it!" He off lined his optics and searched for his coding, searched his red warnings that he had dismissed at the time, "Where are ya?"
::Jazz! Jazz?! You have 1 breem to reach us or we'll be forced to leave without you.:: Nightbeat wasn't happy but Jazz knew he had no choice.
"Where the frag are ya…." Why couldn't he find it?! It surely wasn't deleted; a virus couldn't have deleted it…could it?
Suddenly, all of the red warnings vanished and beautiful, wonderful code started to flow on his HUD. Jazz cried out in happiness as he found the problem and was quick to fix it.
"There is a God…" He grinned, his luck never fading and wobbled his way towards the exit. He stopped suddenly and turned to look at the dark screen, the terminal below it sporting a huge sparking hole.
"It was fun meetin' ya, P-042229." Jazz turned to leave, this time not turning back.
"Nightbeat, permission to strangle your pupil?"
"Not granted, Ratchet. I prefer him alive."
Jazz grinned at the medic as various cables were still attached to his cranium. The dark, slim figure of Nightbeat sighed tiredly as Ratchet turned to glare at the head of Ops.
"Ah knew ya cared!"
"Hardly, I've spent too many joors training your ungrateful aft." Nightbeat shook his head, "Will he be alright Ratchet? No permanent damage has been inflicted?"
Ratchet looked at the monitor readings again, making sure for the hundredth time that everything was alright, and nodded. "Yeah, he'll be fine. He'll have one Pit of a headache tough."
"Damn right, ouch." The medic bit out, "Do you want to know how many viruses I cleaned up? Well, let me tell you- exactly 152! What the frag did you do?! Willingly lower your firewalls?"
Jazz shifted in his seat, not really interested in the conversation, "What part of the best AI ever created didn't ya understand? Ah never expected it to be this good."
"Yes." Nightbeat said more seriously, "If we knew it would be like this, then we would have sent someone with more experience. But luckily, Jazz was able to destroy it at the last moment."
"That wasn't a compliment." Softbite, the Autobot's current CMO entered the room, "Some orn your luck will run out, scraplet!" The medic growled. Despite his name, Softbite had nothing in common with it.
Jazz visibly flinched as Nightbeat and Ratchet smirked, "Ah thought Ratchet would disconnect me."
"My apprentice worked the entire night cycle to defrag and clean that CPU of yours. He doesn't need to tire himself more."
Jazz was almost tempted to pull the wires out himself, because when Softbite decided, he could be downright brutal to his patients.
"But Jazz." Now the CMO sounded serious, "The damage you received was extensive. The viruses… how they didn't eat away all of your coding, the fact that you are not drooling right now – it's a miracle."
"Or Primus simply likes me?" Jazz suggested making the medics in the room to snort.
"Hardly." Ratchet shook his head, "You shouldn't have been able to gain access to your motor functions, not without deleting the virus. And for that to happen so fast you needed its codes, which at the time, I'm certain you didn't posses."
Jazz shook his head, trying to remember, "Ah don't know. Most of it is pretty fuzzy. It just…happened? Luck Ah guess."
"You are turning out to be my luckiest agent." Nightbeat said. "And I don't mean it as a compliment, because one orn that luck will run out." He turned to look at the medics, "When will he return to work?"
"Ratchet, I would like to hear your prognoses." The CMO loved to quiz his pupil.
Because Ratchet never disappointed, "I would suggest he started work the next orn and took this one off. The headache will only get stronger. If he recharged his systems will recover and it would be like the entire ordeal never happened." The medic in training sighed, "But this is Jazz we are talking about, he will do anything but recharge, so light duty for the next two orns."
"Well, you heard the nice doctors Jazz." Nightbeat started to leave the med bay. "I expect you on monitor duty for the second shift."
Jazz saluted, "Got it, boss!" Until, suddenly he yelped. He turned to glare at Softbite who now held the multiple cables that used to be connected to him.
"Little warning next time." He hissed.
"Next time don't slag yourself up. Now get out of my med bay."
Jazz hopped off the berth, muttering about insane medics and stupid coding.
Jazz stood in front of the Rec Room door, contemplating should he go in, or avoid it.
"C'mon mech, stop bein' such a fledgling. Get it together." His vents took a deep intake and slowly released it. He started to walk forward and the doors automatically opened. As soon as entered, every conversation stopped as all optics focused on him.
"It's just so good ta be back." Jazz muttered to himself and went straight for the energon dispenser.
"Heya Jazz." Blaster greeted him. "Nice to see ya in one piece, mech."
Jazz grinned at him. "Thanks. Ah see things didn't miraculously change in my absence."
"You expected something different?" Blaster sipped from his energon.
"A mech could hope." Jazz waited for his cube to get filled.
"So is it true that ya had over a hundred viruses in ya?"
"Ahhh, gossip, how Ah've missed thee." Jazz laughed, "If yer gonna do something, do it in style, or don't bother to do it at all, as mah mentor would say." He took his cube and turned to search for a table to sit. "On second thought," He returned the nasty looks some of the mechs were sending him, "Ah'm not feelin' too good."
"Ah'll see ya at the comms, pall." Jazz turned to leave, hearing a quiet "See yeah."
The walk to his quarters was quiet, thank Primus. Jazz entered the code and walked in. Like usual, the room seemed untouched, as most agent rooms looked, since they didn't stay too long in them to actually make a mess. Thought his side of the room did posses traces of his personality – the scattered holo cubes, various data pads and an oddly shaped blue crystal.
His roommate, Mirage, was almost never there. Apparently, he was some hotshot spy and got assigned the most dangerous of missions. So Jazz had the room to himself most of the time.
He rubbed his face tiredly, feeling the headache Ratchet mentioned, growing stronger. He plopped himself on the berth and started sipping from his cube. Jazz activated his internal audio system and music started to play. He had around two joors to crash until his shift started. Might as well see what Ratchet tweaked that he wasn't supposed to in his codes. Jazz liked to… improvise, even if it irked the medics.
Not even two breems had passed and Jazz already found several changes made by the medic in training. The most pressing one was about the transformation sequences for his alt mode and hidden weapons. Jazz had his own transformations that saved him quite some time but the risk of putting too much strain on his struts was too high for a medic to allow that, so Ratchet always reset them.
"What?!" Jazz dropped his cube as he sat up straighter. This couldn't be right.
'Access denied' the letters wrote.
"This is mah fraggin' code!" Jazz growled as he read the screen, "Impossible!"
He tried to access it again, but the same denial appeared. What the frag had Ratchet done to him?! He tried overwriting the medic's codes, a feat that not many possessed, but still the access was denied.
Access is denied. That ability is detrimental to your health.
Jazz felt like purging and jumping right out of his armor all at the same time. He jumped from the berth, pressing against the nearest wall. Red optics flared on his HUD as the same cold, monotone voice boomed in his audios, the music having been turned off.
"Oh…slag…" Jazz breathed. All he could see were the emotionless optics, "YOU!"
I am surprised you didn't figure this out earlier.
"Surprised?! Yer a fraggin' program! Oh Primus…" Jazz felt like ripping his visor out if it meant getting rid of the red optics. "This can't be happenin'…"
Think about it. I was the one that gave you the code that reactivated your motor functions and made sure the other viruses did no further damage.
"It was yer damn fault Ah had them in the first place!" Jazz yelled. "What the frag are ya doin' in mah head?!"
It is your doing that caused this. I would have been destroyed if I stayed in my previous host. Your firewalls were already damaged and your body was weakened-
"Because ya kept electrocuting meh!"
You downloaded my schematics. It was all I needed to transfer myself, insuring my survival.
Jazz slid to the ground, "Ah'm dead. Ah'm so dead – either by yer doing or by my boss murdering me for allowing this to happen. Everyone's in danger with ya here."
The optics on the screen were frightening to look at and Jazz flinched when the voice started again.
I understand your surprise, but I am not a threat to you nor the Autobots anymore.
Jazz stood up from the ground and hurriedly went to one of his data pads. With trembling hands he quickly pulled out an access cable and connected. Data streams started flowing on the screen.
Jazz, you cannot delete me, no matter how hard you try.
And did Jazz try. "Shut up."
I have infuses with your coding which means I am a part of you now.
The program stayed silent, but when Jazz gasped as he tweaked something he shouldn't have, the voice returned.
You have no access, not without my permission.
"This is my own damn body!"
Jazz growled as he tried again, only to fail once more.
You have control over your functions –my job is to make sure you don't deactivate yourself. I said, I am not a threat, Jazz. Please believe me when I say this.
"Ohh, ya did not just use please!" Jazz bit out, disconnecting from the data pad only to start writing binary code directly to his HUD. "Not a threat?! Because of ya, many of my comrades died! And how about the 152 viruses ya gave me!?"
That was before. This is now. I share this body with you. If you get hurt, I get hurt. If you die, I die. My greatest priority by coding is to survive, which means you must, at all costs, survive as well – that is my difference with the rest AI's ever created.
"Ah said BE SILENT!"
You will harm yourself. Stop it.
"Arggggg!" Jazz smashed his fist into the nearest thing he could find, which turned out to be the wall, leaving a huge dent in it. The next moment he stormed out, heading for the med bay. The few bots he encountered were quick to make themselves scarce because of his rigid form.
It will not work. A medic, no matter how good, will not be able to delete me. Not without deleting your spark coding and wiping you out.
"Softbite will fix this." Jazz kept muttering to himself, "He can fix anything. He can do it. He and Ratchet can fix me. They can fix me…."
Or, to ensure the safety of the army, they could wipe you out.
Jazz haltered right in front of the med bay. He clenched and unclenched his fists, a look of uncertainty on his face.
48,832%. Are you willing to take that chance?
The red optics narrowed as Jazz swallowed. One thing united all spies together, no matter Decepticon or Autobot like – they trusted no one but themselves. And Jazz was no exception to this. But, unlike them, now Jazz didn't trust himself either. So what was he supposed to do?
Suddenly, the med bay doors opened and Ratchet walked out, looking surprised to find someone there, "Jazz, is something wrong?" He had already pulled out a scanner when Jazz forced a smile.
"Everything's fine Ratch'. Just…the headache is stronger than Ah thought it would be."
Ratchet sighed, "Which is why I insisted on you taking today off. That's normal. After all, you did get electrocuted a couple of times and swarmed with over a hundred viruses, all in one Joor."
"Yeah," Jazz stared at the optics that only he could see, "Ah figured as much. Hey, is it too late to take the rest of the orn off?"
"No, I don't think so. As long as you inform Nightbeat. I'm surprised you've come to your senses."
Jazz gave a grin, "Ya know me, Ratch'. Always unpredictable."
The medic snorted, "I'll say. Go rest, now."
"Will do." Jazz started to walk back to his quarters.
A wise choice.
"Ah will end you." Jazz said surprisingly calm, solidifying his statement, "Ah will end you."
The optics slowly faded out of existence, leaving Jazz blissfully alone, thought the spy knew he was still there, prowling his mind. He couldn't stop the shudder that escaped.