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Not a beater
Just a busy bee
22nd-Oct-2007 02:48 pm

Jazz had managed to get himself regestered in the newest crop of police recruits. He could still remember how the training Sargent had introduced him.

"Men, this is Jazz." The greying human had said, indicating the sleek little silver car sitting next to him. "You may remember some things that happened in a certain city a couple months back. Jazz was there. Are there any questions?"

A dark-haired guy lifted his hand. "Uh, is this a joke?"

"Aw, c'mon, man, I ain't that funny lookin'." Jazz chuckled, bringing instant silence to the big room and a sudden fixation on him of every eye in the place.

"No joke," said the Sargent evenly. "I'm dead serious. This is why you had to sign those confidentiality forms before you got into this class."

"So...." A tall black woman tossed her head absently, as though to flip her tightly bound hair back over her shoulder. "We gonna be playing with an ET."

"Something like that," said the Sargent. "He's here to help with your training as well as to work toward becoming a member of the force."

"I can live with that." She shrugged. There was a chorus of agreement from the others.

Over the next couple weeks Jazz had worked closely with the trainees, forging bonds of friendship with many of them despite never leaving his car mode. They came to refer to him as the sweetest ghost car on the Force, and he even found himself invited to a couple of parties. The black woman who had spoken up at the start had a similar personality to his own, and the two of them were soon engaging in the comfortable camaraderie and outrageous flirting that only best friends of a certain character can achieve. Part of the special class included a week of training in the desert, and Jazz was there for that too.

Which is why one desert evening he was sitting on a slight rise with his best friend comfortably cross-legged on his hood, watching as the setting sun painted the sky with scarlet and gold.

Latitia tossed her braids back over her shoulder and leaned back against his windshield. "Sweet show. God's gotta way with colour."

"Hmmm," he said comfortably, contemplating a streak of glowing white that cut across one corner of the display. "He gotta way with everything, baby."

She shook her head and contemplated bare toe prints on his paint, then watched a night bird of some sort fly over. "I ever gonna see what you really look like?"

"What? I not handsome enough for you?" He chuckled and absently played a Toby Mac rap number on his stereo.

She smacked him and chuckled herself. "Maybe I wanna see the ugly side too."

"Baby, you tore my heart out. I love ya so much and you go callin' me ugly?" Jazz did his best to sound grieved.

"Just don't go bleedin' on the ground. We got enough oil stains out here." She stretched out and put her hands behind her head.

He bumped his hood slightly, chuckling again. "You owe me."

"I know." She sat up and gave him another smack, then gently smoothed the place she'd hit. "Dumb bet, anyway."

"You just sayin' that because you lost." He purred a little.

"Yeah, so?" She shook her head and grinned. "I'm glad you're not human."

"Huh? Whyzzat?" He perked and listened.

"Because all this flirting would'a turned my head and got me off track." She stretched and returned her attention back to the waning sunset.

"Oh...." He rumbled to himself a bit and fell silent.

Neither of them had any idea of danger till a bullet hit Latitia in the shoulder and knocked her to the ground.

"Tish!" Jazz shifted without thinking, standing over her protectively as he scanned the desert for the source of the attack.

She looked up at him, blinking with pain. -He's beautiful....-

That was her last thought before the missile hit Jazz in the chest and the night exploded into fire.


Bee beeps absently to herself as she pulls up to the compound, Sam in the driver's seat and Jazz somewhere behind her. Honey curles in the backseat, sleeping soundly.

The yellow Autobot feels content. It's a good day.

"Hey, there's a police car in the courtyard." Sam frowns, feeling suddenly uneasy.

"Huh?" Bee stops beside it, opening the door so that her friend can get out and so that he or Jazz can get Honey. Then she shifts herself and looks up as Prime comes out of the hanger.

The Autobot leader's face is grave. "Bumblebee, Jazz, Sam...."

"What happened?" whispers Sam. "Mom and Dad?"

"No, your family's fine," says Prime heavily. "It's... it's Jazz."

"Jazz?" Bumblebee looks instinctively toward her sparkmate. "What...?"

"He's dead."
22nd-Oct-2007 10:31 pm (UTC)
Jazz gasps and tightens his hold on Honey and quickly coming up on Bee's other Side that doesn't have Sam on it. "What happened? Was it a Decepticon?" He's falling into his own rhythm from when he was the second in command.
22nd-Oct-2007 10:39 pm (UTC)
"From what they've told me it was... humans." Prime's voice is heavy as he bows his head.

"Why would humans wanna hurt Jazz?" whispers Sam, his eyes large and young as he leans against Bee's leg and wraps his arms around it.

Bee's just standing there, stunned and numb. The friend she nearly died to save is gone....
22nd-Oct-2007 11:00 pm (UTC)
Endeavour steps out into the courtyard. She just heard about it herself, and she's in a mild state of shock, mostly because this feels all too familiar. Sure, 'Uncle' Jazz wasn't her favourite 'Bot of the bunch, but he was still part of the gang that had taken her in. She'd come to regard him almost as a sibling.

"I'd like to know that too," she says quietly, her optics focusing on Sam in agreement. She feels like she should say something more... but she doesn't know what to say.

Nobody said much to her when her sister died. It wasn't like she had anything to go on.
23rd-Oct-2007 05:10 am (UTC)
Jazz curses softly and hand Honey over to Bee. "(Daddy ain't fit to hold her right now.)"

"Yeah, boss. Any clues who did it?" Then something flashes in mind. "Was there any one with him? He was working with some officers and had a friend he liked to spend time with, they okay?"
23rd-Oct-2007 05:56 pm (UTC)
"The man who brought the news was unable to tell us any more than that it was an explosion, and that it was human work." Prime watches as Bee holds her daughter close, her body language showing her protectiveness toward Sam as well.

"That's... all they've told us," says the greying human who comes out with Ratchet. "I wasn't out there... and they haven't let anyone who was go yet." He lifts green eyes full of shock and sadness to the newly arrived Autobots. "I'm sorry."
23rd-Oct-2007 06:09 pm (UTC)
Endeavour frowns. "Do you think," she says evenly so as not to arouse anger, "that we're going to find out at any point?"
24th-Oct-2007 03:55 am (UTC)
Jazz crossed his arms over his chest. "I would think that from what my brother told me, it's standard to update the family as the case progresses." He assures Endeavour. "Do you have any other information other than what you have already given us officer?"
24th-Oct-2007 04:15 am (UTC)
"Greg," he said, then shook his head. "If I did I would have told you. We're still waiting ourselves. But... Tish... Latitia Holmes, was never very far from Jazz. She would have been there. I... just hope she's alright, at least."

He squared his shoulders. "Jazz was my friend too, and he was one of us. We aren't going to sit around and let the secret service people run this show."
24th-Oct-2007 06:00 am (UTC)
She nodded slightly, apparently satisfied that nobody was going to let this be hushed up.

"Good to hear."
24th-Oct-2007 05:53 pm (UTC)
Jazz nods and his horns twitch. "Good. If you need any help getting them to unzip their lips, tell us. We still in good with the Defense Secretary, right Optimus?"
24th-Oct-2007 08:57 pm (UTC)
"Yes." Only the Autobots can hear the very slight trace of static and stress in his voice. "Thank you for letting us know, Greg."

Ratchet puts an arm around Endeavour, his optics fixed on his leader. "What do we do now?"

Prime looks at him, then turns to glance at Ironhide, who's quietly cursing to himself just inside the hanger. "Bumblebee, you're on guard duty. Ratchet, you too. Jazz and Ironhide, come with me. Endeavour, will you stay here?"

Greg looks up. "Where are you going?"

Prime shrugs slightly. "To go find some answers."
25th-Oct-2007 10:13 pm (UTC)
She nods. "Yeah. Of course I'll stay. Anything I should be doing while I'm here?"
25th-Oct-2007 10:32 pm (UTC)
"Aye aye, Prime." He gives Bumblebee and Honey both kisses before he rolls out. "Be safe and be careful my girls."
26th-Oct-2007 12:06 am (UTC)
"Carry on with your work," says Prime distractedly to Endeavour, then nods to her, glances at Bee, and shifts himself to follow Jazz and Ironhide out of the compound.

Greg watches them go, then shakes his head and looks up, uncertain as to who's in charge now.

"Thank you," Ratchet says to him quietly, letting go of Endeavour to hunker down and offer the human his hand. "This couldn't have been hard, coming with news like that and finding yourself meeting beings like ourselves."

Greg gave him a finger shake and shrugged. "Like I told Optimus Prime, Jazz was my friend. He would have done the same for me."

Ratchet cleared static from his voice processor and nodded, then got to his feet to find that Bumblebee had taken Honey inside.
26th-Oct-2007 12:10 am (UTC)
She offers Greg the closest thing to an encouraging smile, then slips away quietly into the back of the hangar again.

She wasn't doing much anyway. Still, she turns her soldering iron back on and starts sorting through circuit components.
26th-Oct-2007 12:52 am (UTC)
Prime's thoughts are grim as he pulls to the head of the little convoy. Part of him is wondering if there's ever going to be a place for the last of his people now that their home world is dead. Another is fatalistically wondering who's next. He doesn't show any of this on the outside, but Jazz and Ironhide, who've worked with him for so long, can probably read him like a book.
26th-Oct-2007 04:47 am (UTC)
And the first stop light they come across, Jazz pulls up next to Prime, so close his front well touches the Semi's.

\\No one said it would be easy, Optimus.\\
26th-Oct-2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Prime winces as he starts to respond automatically and remembers that though this is Jazz it's not the Jazz that he's known for so long.

//I know, Jazz. I guess I was just hoping for easier.// He watches the last of the cars pass, then pulls out onto the highway and starts toward where Greg had said that the training area was. It was going to take them a couple of hours to get there. //And having the new sparked in what could become a war zone troubles me.//
27th-Oct-2007 02:34 am (UTC)
//Havin' new sparks in general is dangerous, even in the best of times.// He rolls along next to Ironhide, just behind Optimus. //Got any plans about what we gonna do for them while the investigation is going on? We can't all totally quit our jobs, at least not Bee. She is sames on transport to deliver pizza.// Jazz goes silent for a moment then. //Primus send it t' the Pit!//
27th-Oct-2007 03:06 am (UTC)
His brakes let out a sound like a sigh of resignation and sympathy for his friend's outburst. //I can't quit mine, either. Though all of us who work are entitled to time off for the death of... a close family member. And that's what Jazz was. I'm inclined to want to send them to the Nexus... but for some reason I keep remembering when I tried to relieve Bumblebee of the duty of caring for Honey. She and Endeavour wouldn't appreciate being evacuated.//

27th-Oct-2007 03:36 am (UTC)
//No, they wouldn't.// He sighs as well. //What're we gonna do about the kids?//
27th-Oct-2007 04:24 am (UTC)
He takes time to overtake and pass another rig, his holodriver automatically waving to the other driver, as he thinks. //Sam's parents and Mikaela have been taken to a safe house. No doubt they'll want Sam to go there, too. Though I doubt he'll concede. As for Honey... you are her father, what do you suggest?//

He's not going to repeat the mistake he already made with the sparkling.
27th-Oct-2007 05:20 am (UTC)
Jazz doesn't even hesitate. //I'd have to get the finer points hashed out with Bee, but I stay at the base most of the time anyway, so unless we go together some place, I can protect her.//

He sighs as he finishes texting his wife over the comm signal. //And in moment's like these, she and the Hatchet are the best bets.//
27th-Oct-2007 10:45 pm (UTC)
Optimus sends his assent. //And you have capabilities beyond what the rest of us have now, unless I'm mistaken. I've taken time to go to the Nexus myself and scan all available data on hard light holograms.//
28th-Oct-2007 05:08 am (UTC)
//Yeah, though they aren't worth slag if my soda can gets hit. But I can still phase and flicker. I can make my Holodriver solid for a bit.// Jazz hums a moment. //Still feeling it all out.//
28th-Oct-2007 05:30 am (UTC)
//'Soda can'... that's the emitter?// He sparks with interest despite the gravity of their mission.
28th-Oct-2007 11:56 pm (UTC)
Jazz can't help but chuckle. //Yeah, carry it in my glove compartment. Looks like a can so I call it one.//
29th-Oct-2007 12:14 am (UTC)
//Scary,// notes Ironhide unexpectedly.
29th-Oct-2007 01:02 am (UTC)
Jazz laughs again. //Must be if you think it is 'Hide.//
29th-Oct-2007 01:54 am (UTC)
//What if you drop the thing?// The concern's clear in the gruff old soldier's voice.
29th-Oct-2007 03:44 am (UTC)
//Nothin' till I get a hundred yards away. Then I have a...outta body experiance.// He toots his horn. //Don't worry ol' man. I'll be alright.//
29th-Oct-2007 04:00 am (UTC)
//...Out of body experience?// Optimus references the term but still doesn't get it.
30th-Oct-2007 02:49 am (UTC)
//I think, not a hundred percent mind you, that I will most likely zap back to the Nexus.// It's what he is hoping for, anyway.
30th-Oct-2007 03:29 am (UTC)
Optimus feels a chill. //But you're not sure?//

//Scary,// repeats Ironhide soberly.
30th-Oct-2007 03:44 am (UTC)
//Not a hundred percent.// If he were in bot mode he would be giveing his leader a reassuring grin.

He does send some soothing music to them. Well as soothing as Johnny Cash can be.
30th-Oct-2007 03:59 am (UTC)
Optimus is this close to sending Jazz back, but then he gives himself a mental shake. They have their sensors on the alert. Nothing will be able to sneak up on them... right?

//How do your senses compare with your old body?//

Ironhide... has started humming. He doesn't realize it.
30th-Oct-2007 05:24 am (UTC)
//I...pick up sparks now. I can tell when a form of life has a spark.// He thinks. //I sometimes I can see things.//

Jazz smiles to himself and notes that Ironhide likes Cash.
30th-Oct-2007 05:34 am (UTC)
//See things?// Optimus starts slightly as Ironhide blares his horn at a careless passer going the other way.
30th-Oct-2007 06:33 am (UTC)
//I see people I think might be dead.// Is all Jazz says.

Jazz plays another Cash song for Ironhide. //Chill.//
30th-Oct-2007 06:48 am (UTC)
That surprises Optimus, but he falls into silence, absently listening to Ironhide grumble to himself over the channel.

The silence continues as they make their way to where a cordon's been set around a section of desert. Thankfully there's someone there to let them in. They learn about the young woman who died with their friend and teammate, and Optimus and Jazz gather the scattered remains of his body as Ironhide scans for traces of his killer.

Silence falls again as they head home, and it's only broken by Honey's soft beeping as she snuggles with her parents on the bigger couch that night.
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