A Transformers Prime Fanfiction
:Warning: Spoilers for Transformers Prime Season 3 Episode 4 "Rebellion"
"I remain unconvinced," Ultra Magnus stated blandly.
Jackson Darby tried to hide his flinch of disappointment at his failure but Ratchet promptly offered a solution. The raven haired youth took a deep breath and approached the communications consol. He couldn't shake the feeling that the massive Autobot was watching him, quietly judging his performance, but every time he glanced at the red and blue mech the calm optics were somewhere else. Jack forced those thoughts to the side and focused on the task in front of him.
Now that he had an assignment and someone was issuing orders it was far easier to concentrate; to ignore the strange shield that separated him from his Guardian. He could feel the palpable difference that the new warrior's presence made in Team Prime and the youth let the infusion of energy and hope buoy him up. The amber and white medic made a few adjustments to the comm. panel and then held his hand out palm up. The human leapt easily up to it and from there to the surface of the controls. Ratchet hovered, one servo over the control, and glanced back at Ultra Magnus. The commander nodded and the medic pressed own. Jack took a deep breath from his diaphragm and focused on speaking as low as he could.
"Decepticon Command! Do you read? We are under Autobot attack!"
There was a tense moment of silence and then Ratchet gave a grunt of satisfaction as the order for the Insceticons to fly out and defend the mine flickered over the comm. channels. Jack glanced to the commander and felt a small odd stab of disappointment when he only spotted the tall blue shoulder guard.
"Autobots, lock and load!" his calm voice filled the bridge of the wrecked Decepticon warship.
The hum of weapons onlining vibrated the humans' bodies and Jack had to suppress a small smile at the look of almost glee on his partner's face as an energy grid leapt to life to form a shield in front of her. Soldiers liked powerful weapons, he mused, no matter the circumstances. The strike teams departed through the groundbridge leaving behind a sudden silence that was deafening. Miko dropped to her knees and perched Japanese style just out of the way watching Raf intently. They younger male was dancing across the controls in perfect rhythm with Ratchet's servos as the two worked to monitor the rest of the Autobots. The raven haired youth stepped back to wait. There was little he could do now.
In the silence and calm however, it was far more difficult ignore the sensations his other senses were feeding him. The energy of the Matrix was a steady burning along the bond that connected him to Optimus, but beyond it something was flickering. There was a hint of a presence he had felt emanating from the star saber, and once before on Cybertron.
"Alpha Trion?" Jack whispered with a frown.
Ratchet glanced at him curiously and the human just shook his head. There was no way he was going to share the growing dread he felt, not when it would distract the medic from directing the battle. Jack braced himself, fixing his face in a worried frown, an easily explainable emotion, and focused internally. There was something happening on the other side of the Matrix he was certain. Ultra Magnus called for the groundbridge to route the Cybertronian reptile and the youth was peripherally aware that the tactic had worked. Somehow he could sense Optimus now, faintly beyond the pulsing energy of the Matrix. Closing his eyes he tuned out the ongoing battle.
A strange incomprehensible feeling swept over him as he observed the interaction. The faint hint of energy that was not quite Alpha Trion grew stronger and seemed to occlude Optimus. Curious Jack focused on the stranger energy and realized with a shock that it was an extension of the Matrix itself. Understanding flickered through his mind as a conversation he had had with the Prime came back to him.
"But what exactly is the Matrix of leadership?" Jack asked staring out at the highway rolling past them.
The Prime had invited him along on an energon patrol and the youth had eagerly accepted.
"The answer to that question is not something even I am aware of fully," Optimus replied, dash flickering in time with his deep baritone. "I have in the past thought I understood it only to be proven very wrong by new circumstances."
"So what does it do for you?"
"Through it I can access the wisdom of the Primes that came before me. It has served to guide me countless times over the eons."
"So it is like a recording of the wisdom of previous Primes."
"It is more than that. They themselves are in a sense contained within."
"But I though Cybertronians were reunited with the Allspark?"
"Except for the Primes?"
"No," an amused chuckle filled the cab of the semi. "We too return to the Allspark."
"But you said the Primes are kept in the Matrix?"
A deep almost scolding rumble sounded.
"And you also said that there is much you don't fully understand," Jack sighed. "So someday you will be a part of the Matrix too?"
The part of the Matrix that felt of Alpha Trion was beginning to merge with Optimus's life force. The human felt his gut twist and it took all of his strength to hide his fear and pain. The Matrix was claiming its share of Optimus Prime to add to the others. There was a screaming in his head that he prayed the others in the Harbinger could not hear as Jack watched as Optimus began to grow indistinct. For an instant the energy of the Matrix seemed to abate and the youth felt his father clearly. A wave of love and regret washed over the bond. Before he could react a gentle voice sounded from somewhere within.
~Forgive me my son.~
Then the energy snapped back into place completely obscuring what was happening beyond from all of Jack's senses. The human staggered and gave a cry of frustration. He clamped his mouth shut and glanced around nervously. To his relief all of the others were intently focused on the battle. He stepped forward and staggered as a surge of pure energy flooded into him. Even as he struggled to maintain his composure he wanted to scream in frustration. This energy he recognized easily. The forge of Solus Prime gave off a very particular frequency that was unique, and a far as the youth knew the hammer was locked solidly up in the most guarded hold of the Nemesis. It should not be causing a massive feedback along the bond he shared with his Guardian.
Once again shaking his head and making sure he had not disturbed Ratchet Jack was suddenly struck by the silence his mind. His thinking was strangely clear and focused. His priorities crystallized. Arcee was in danger. His friends were in danger. The battle demanded his attention. He staggered forward and stood beside the other two humans straining his ears to catch any sound from the strike teams. Static laced silence came over the comm.s, not even the muffled sounds of battle to let them know what was happening. He fought back the urge to strike out at something, anything Decepticon as adrenalin flooded his systems. The raven haired youth tilted his head to the side and raised a hand to his ear determined to do something. What was happening? He flinched back as the speaker crackled to life at full volume with the calm and satisfied voice of Ultra Magnus.
"All units, Optimus Prime has returned."
That one sentence completely wiped all other thoughts from Jack's mind. Confusion caused his eyes to widen and then it hit him and he pumped his fists high in the air with a shout. The emotions he had been feeling were not his. The bond was clear and free once again and the focus, the determination, and the battle rage he was experiencing were flooding over it from the other end. He exchanged a high five with Raf and grinned over at Miko who was staring at him with a mixture of annoyance and concern.
"I repeat; Prime is alive and quite well."
Even the stoic commander's voice radiated joy. Almost before they had fully taken in the information Ultra Magnus was calling the retreat as Darkmount fell. As they had planned Ratchet opened the preset groundbridge coordinates and transformed. The humans jumped in and buckled up as the amber and white medic roared out of the Harbinger. Behind them the control consol hissed and crackled as the self destruct sequence took hold.
In the cab of the ambulance Jack sat in the driver's seat with Miko in the middle and Raf riding shotgun. The three humans could not stay still or keep quiet; shouting in glee and alternating between high-fives, group hugs and smacking their hands down joyously down on Ratchet's dash. The Autobot in turn laughed at their antics and swerved playfully, throwing them against their restraints.
Jack felt a gentle touch at his awareness and responded by sending back a rush of joy. A faint sense that there was something different about the presence was brushed off. The touch grew to an all encompassing wave of love and the human basked in it. A small perverse part of his mind spoke up demanding to know why he had been abandoned for so long and he guiltily tried to shove it back but sensed his father react to it, felt the sorrow in Optimus. There was one more surge of affection and then the sensation faded. Knowing that the Prime was distracted the human returned his attention to the cab of the ambulance. With an inarticulate cry Jack reached over and pulled Miko and Raf into a fierce hug.
"All right! Everyone out! We are here," Ratchet called out.
The three humans jumped out of the cab and glanced around, realizing that they had pulled into an empty hanger. The structure was clearly Cold War military vintage but was in a state of upkeep that suggested more recent residence.
"Jack, Miko, Raf."
The four met and embraced.
"Mom! Did you hear? Optimus-"
"Yes I heard," the nurse replied with a smile. "It's, it's-" her voice broke and tears welled up in her eyes. The woman laughed and wiped them away on her sleeve.
The roar of landing jets vibrated the concrete around them, joining with the hum of Magnus's engines. The hanger doors rolled open and three sports cars rolled in followed by an SUV and a motorcycle. The bots transformed and darted to their partners and the space, large as it was, was filled with the sound of their excited greetings. Arcee pulled Jack into an embrace and swung him in a circle but released him soon with a knowing smile. The both stepped to the door and peered up at the sky where a single figure circled.
"What is he doing up there still?" Jack asked softly.
"Ensuring that out new location is secure from the Decepticons," Ultra Magnus stated as he strode past into the concealment of the hanger.
"Oh, of course," Jack blinked in surprise at the unexpected answer.
Optimus's presence grew closer at that moment and he eagerly watched the warrior draw near. There was something different about him, not just the obvious physical reformatting. It was as if something with sharp claws had shredded the delicate net of life force and the fine lines of energon had been forcibly repaired into a new template. The Prime was strong but his spark was still healing, the Forge was able to repair the frame, the core of his life would have to heal on its own. All logical thought left as the massive form landed and strode into the hanger. The raven haired youth was dimly aware of, and grateful for, the others stepping back and placing him first to greet their returning leader. Now that the moment of reunion was here, that he was certain that his father was safe, all of the insecurities came rushing back. Why had the Prime blocked him off?
Then the great silver servos swooped down and Jack leapt into them on instinct. He found himself held to the broad chestplates, felt the thrumming of the mighty spark beneath. The bond between them was suddenly flooded with the Prime's deep love and care for his sparkling. Jack pressed his face into the warm living metal and let tears spill from his closed eyes.
"Why?" he whispered softly.
Optimus did not ask what he meant; instead he sent a wave of compassion and pride.
"I believed myself to be bound for the Allspark my son," the Prime rumbled softly. "I could not let you experience the offlineing of a loved one, not again."
"I would have survived," the human protested even as relief flooded him.
"I do not doubt it, but had it been in your power to prevent the suffering of your sparklings, what would you have done?"
Jack didn't answer. He sent a wave of gratitude and smiled as the silver hands tightened around him reassuringly. The human glanced over at the others. For the most part Team Prime was busily ignoring the reuniting but Ultra Magnus was watching them closely with a calculating frown. The human shrugged it off as Optimus set him down and moved to greet the others. His father was home safe and for now that was for more than enough.