Birth of a Fighter
The All Spark Adult
Chapter 5: Birth of a Fighter
Thanks to my betas Faecat and Flame.
Xander stood in the middle of the gigantic bunker that the Autobots called ‘home’. Around him were all of the Cybertronians and Terrabots - in their primary forms - arranged in a circle with the twins, Hellfire and Iceflame, on one side and Ironhide on the other, visually bridging the gap between the two cousin races.
It was a Friday night, so Xander had been ‘allowed’ to stay overnight by the major. Xander hoped his deception would be forgiven when it eventually got out, but he did acknowledge to himself the many-times-over proven saying: ‘Better safe than sorry’. If the worst came true, the foundational lies he had told today would have a good chance of keeping them all alive and out of a laboratory. At least, that was his hope.
The cool night (and cold concrete floor) of the desert seemed to soak through his clothes, skin, and invade his muscles, making his very bones ache. It was an illusion brought on by stress and nerves, he knew, but the mental assurance did not decrease the chill. The reason for his nervousness was obvious since he was about to address (and order about) four beings that he didn’t know and could easily squish him to a pulp. However, the reason for his stress was harder to comprehend or contemplate even to himself. Perhaps later when he didn’t have eleven people waiting for him to start talking he would brood about it.
Taking a deep breath Xander began the meeting. “The first thing needed is to give you all the updated rules. If you find a reason to change them, tell me and I’ll think about it. Rule 1: No killing humans. This is non-negotiable. Rule 2: Do not show your bipedal, or quadrupedal in your case Gadget, form to any uninitiated humans. Everyone who already knows is okay. However, this rule can be thrown out the window if, and only if Hellfire,” Xander gave the Terrabot that had looked like it was about to speak a dark look so and it held it’s peace, “you have to transform to protect humans. Three: No eating human food. I don’t care how good it looks, it’s not good for your systems and it’s a devil to clean up. Everyone understand?”
He waited for some sort of acknowledgment from every robot, the Autobots taking cue from their cousins when the silence stretched after their nods. “Okay, during the week I’m going to be setting up a secondary base in the Colorado Mountains just in case this all goes to hell in a hand basket. I will be needing Angel, Gadget, Cradle, and a fighter that can fit into her trailer for the beginning stages. You can pick among yourselves who gets to be the fighter. But that is Monday’s issue, we have two days to get a lot done. The first and main is Jazz. This is Freecare’s area and I’ll let him take over here.” Xander looked at the ‘bot, nodding for him to speak.
The Terrabot medic’s voice was like it always was: calm, logical, and deep in a slightly soothing way that left no doubt he could command with the best and, if needed, over a battlefield. “It will be best to do tonight while the humans are sleeping, if possible. We can tell the humans that Jazz’s resurrection was due to knowledge that I had that Ratchet did not. This will take the mystery out of the process and avoid any awkward questions. I will need Jazz laid chest up on a flat surface with a comfortable place for Xander to lay beside him, the closer the better. The room will need to be kept at a steady 24.5°C (76.1°F) to make this as effortless as possible.
“You also all need to realize that there is no guarantee Jazz will return, or if he returns that he will be as he was. I can only promise to do all in my power to help him into this plane. It is his choice whether to resume his former life.” Freecare inclined his head slightly to indicate the conclusion of his speech before falling silent.
“Hopefully it will work but even if it doesn’t, tomorrow I need to study as much information on the Cybertronian physiology that you can give me. Specifically, how you store memory, your CPU, ICN, armor alloys, and how you encrypt/decrypt software and programs. I know that I’m asking a lot but it is necessary to get all of you in a better condition. At the moment, the Terrabots are behind the Autobots in these areas. Eventually, you all will run into something that none have come across before and you need to be ready for it.” Xander paused as he realized that this was one of the stresses making him cold, the idea that he would lose one of his family, for whatever reason.
It was the reason he was here, the reason he kept designing and building new, more advanced chips. On the surface it was to help the Terrabots help him, memory chips for Gadget, radio receivers/transmitters for the twins, armor for Angel, all of it to better help him. But it wasn’t, not really. Xander didn’t want to lose his family.
Xander’s earliest memories weren’t what an adult should experience, let alone a child. Dodging beer bottles, hiding in plain sight from drunken fists, finding the places crumbs fell to fill a growling belly. His biological parents were the reason he supported making passing a psychological profile mandatory before anyone could have kids.
But all of his worst memories were confined to the memories preceding Angel. His first Terrabot was a complete accident brought on by a broken heart, and it was the best thing that could have happened to him. Angel became his real father. The one who sang him to sleep, held him through nightmares, encouraged him, taught him, helped him past heartache and betrayal. A robot succeeded in making him a man, ready for the outside world, where a human failed. And the death of that robot succeeded in pushing him over the cliff into the shadowy world between reality and insanity.
Xander knew that in the years since Angel’s resurrection he had become just as attached to the other Terrabots, and that the Autobots would become his family too. He came to Deigo Garcia, overriding his desire to prevent further harm to Gadget by building a better memory chip, because he wanted to have that feeling of loss he had gone through with Angel to be as short as he could make it for the Autobots and their family member Jazz.
The head of the Terrabots was so scared of losing those he loved, he would do anything in his power to take care of them, and he took a few seconds to accept that simple fact.
It was a statement that would cause many to shiver without knowing why. For this person, this human that had ceased to be human at such a young age, adopted from an abusive family by his own creation, had enough power within him to remake the world. At the moment, his power was ruled by his own imagined limitations and self-imposed rules.
However, everyone has a breaking point. He had reached it once before with the death of his father and had created a robot to do the impossible, but that incident had occurred when the All Spark was in pieces and divided by species and distance. Neither of which were still applicable.
“Alexander?” Cradle’s gentle soothing voice broke into Xander’s thoughts, making him blink and look at her. “Are you alight dear?”
Xander gave her a soft smile and nodded, “Sorry, my mind wandered. Where was I?”
“You were listing the things we need to do in the next two days. You got to Jazz and getting you hyper from idea overload.” Iceflame chimed helpfully, her wording making Xander and some of the others laugh at the mental image.
“Right, well I think that’s it. At least for the moment. Any questions?” He paused for a long moment, “Then Freecare is temporarily in charge. Call me when it’s time to play conduit, I going over here to think.”
::Optimus?:: Bumblebee broadcast across the Autobot communication network, allowing the four present to hear and join the conversation if they wished. ::Are we really taking orders from a human? Even if he is the All Spark, his rules don’t make any sense. Why would we eat human food?::
Two of them were gathered against one wall of the gigantic atrium, facing the Terrabots who happened to be gathered at the opposite wall. Ratchet and Optimus Prime were out of the room getting Jazz’s body. None of them trusted the Terrabots enough yet to do such a personal task.
Optimus’s voice over the com-link was as comforting as he could make it, even with the news he brought. ::I can sense the All Spark energy within him. He is a Human All Spark. However, from what he has said, I do not believe that he has access to the memories of the All Spark, if it indeed had them. The boy is thinking with almost two decades of human society, culture and their limited knowledge as his only guidelines. He does not understand Cybertronians at all.::
The leader of the Autobots came in first, holding Jazz’s upper body, walking backwards into the room, with Ratchet carrying the feet. With gentleness deceptive for their size, they lay Jazz down in the middle of the floor, parallel to the walls and head pointing toward the bunker doors. Optimus then joined Ironhide and Bumblebee while Ratchet took a few moments to scan Jazz to make sure he was physically perfect, with not even a wire out of place.
Ironhide spoke next, ::That is the reason Xander wants so much information on our physiology. He created the Terrabots with only human knowledge, he wants to correct his mistakes. It explains why Hellfire and Iceflame have such slag for weapons.::
::Yes, he made them to the best of his ability. The Terrabots function quite well for the quality of materials available to him, but from the limited scans I was able to perform, none of them would survive a battle with any Cybertronian. They simply do not have the capacity,:: the Autobot medic said solemnly.
::So why are we doing what they say?:: Bumblebee ask again, confusion clear in his voice.
Optimus answered, ::Out of respect for the moment. He is the All Spark. I do not expect this…procedure to be a success. When it is done, Ratchet, you will do as he asks and provide him with information, and I want Ironhide to go with them as he sets us an alternate base of operations, to protect him if they are attacked. Slowly, we should show all of them exactly what it means to be a Cybertronian, and an Autobot more importantly.
::He is the All Spark, a part of our culture and beliefs. We have been fighting for him for millions of Earth years, and we will continue to do so. He does not lead us, we can chose to go against him if we wish, just as the Decepticons did. We do as he asks out of respect for what he is, what he is trying to become. Until the time comes that he proves he is not limited by this planet’s primitive environment, that is all we will do.:: Prime’s voice was just as solemn as Ratchet's as the medic finally joined them in watching the Terrabots, and brooked no argument. ::He will be like your Sam, Bumblebee. Someone to be protected and to be encouraged.::
Angel and Iceflame brought a pile of army blankets they had appropriated from the other building and set them down next to Jazz’s body before standing next to Requiem and Cradle. The room was silent except for the occasional sound of moving metal against concrete, since no one spoke aloud. All of the Terrabots were silent, unable to communicate without speaking, and most were tense with unease. Angel especially, with Gadget on his shoulder, and Cradle practically vibrated with their worry.
Freecare knelt at Jazz’s head, facing his feet, reaching out to move the blankets up the body toward his position. By this time, all of the other robots were watching the Terrabot medic work from their places by the walls. The only ones of those gathered around the perimeter who knew what was going to happen were the twins and neither had ever voiced the story of Angel’s resurrection in the many years since the incident. Both were even tenser than the other Terrabots, the two of them sitting side by side on the floor with their backs against the wall, facing Freecare.
Finally Freecare seemed to get Jazz and the blankets the way he wanted, all of them in a palate on the side of Jazz closest to the Autobots, and spoke, “All Spark, your presence is needed.” The shift to the formal speech when all of the Terrabots had worked so hard to be informal drew a concerned look from several, but he ignored them all.
Xander, who had been sitting in a corner of the room since the previous meeting disbanded, sighed softly before getting to his feet and making his way to the pile of forest green wool. He laid down lengthwise, parallel to Jazz, with his head toward Freecare. He took a breath and spoke in a quiet, slightly shaky voice that, despite its near whispered volume, could easily be heard by all, “I give you, Freecare of the Terra Robots, permission to do what you must to attempt to bring the soul of Jazz of the Autobots of Cybertron back to once again reside on this plane.” He took another shaky breath before he closed his eyes.
Freecare looked up at the two groups in turn and his voice was as hard as stone, “Under no circumstances are any of you to approach us until it’s over.” He gave a glance to the Terrabot side of the room, “Requiem, you have my permission to do any and all that is necessary, including violation of the Rules, to prevent anyone, human or not, from touching either myself, Xander, or Jazz during the duration. Do all of you understand?”
::He just gave the order to kill if anyone tries to touch them! What in the slag are they going to do?!:: Ironhide exclaimed in surprise. All of the Autobots watched as the Terrabots nodded slowly but surely.
::I don’t know.:: Optimus said quietly, then to the room at large, “Is this dangerous?”
Freecare gave a snort of contempt. “Ironhide had no idea what he ask for, but since my creator agreed and gave me the order to perform my function, I can not disobey. If you can’t control yourself, then I suggest you leave. Right. Now. Yes, Optimus. This is dangerous.” His focus was solely on the four of them, and waited expectantly until all of them had nodded that they could control themselves. They wouldn’t leave their All Spark in such as situation, they would endure with him.
“Alright. Requiem, I’m starting.” Freecare closed his eyes as he stretched out his arms, palms down. His left hand came to a stop parallel to the floor directly over Xander and his right over Jazz. While his left was large enough to almost completely cover the human, his right was situated perfectly above the place where a spark should have been in Jazz's lifeless body.
At first, nothing seemed to happen.
Then the fluorescent lights began to steadily dim. After several seconds they blinked off and for a few moments, the room was in complete darkness. Just as slowly as the lights had darkened, a white-blue glow began emanating from the three figures in the middle of the room.
The Autobots began to feel a strange sensation, as if their limbs were becoming heavier from an increase of atmospheric pressure and the air began to ionize. Both were barely noticeable in the beginning, but became rapidly apparent. Soon, one by one all those standing fell to their knees, the Terrabots with their primitive armor going first. The charge got strong enough to produce blue-white sparks, then miniature lightning connecting two metal surfaces that were relatively close together, across their bodies. It wasn’t painful, but alarming to watch. At the same time, the glow around the three figures was brightening as well. Now, it was difficult to see any of them through the light, it was so white.
Even with them kneeling, the pressure continued to increase and the charge in the air became large enough to make the blue lightning connect the Autobots themselves, and now it did start to hurt. Like the pain of a static shock though, uncomfortable but bearable.
Suddenly the lightning from their bodies and the metal walls of the building jumped as one to the center of the room into the blinding white light.
Since the beginning, no sound had issued except for Xander’s quiet breathing and the electric hum of energy the static produced. With the single blue lighting strike zapping to the middle a soundless pressure wave exploded outward, pushing all kneeling into the walls behind them. The same lightning produced a sound in the form of a scream.
The scream was from a human throat but it contained so much pain as to be inhuman. That scream voiced a deep debilitating anguish, a keening wail of grief that cut into the soul. And it didn’t stop.
It was with this sound that the pressure suddenly lifted and the Autobots watched as Requiem had to physically restrain Angel. With the absence of pressure, the blinding light disappeared once again leaving the room in darkness, but it wasn’t complete. The blue lightning had formed a ball above and between Freecare’s outstretched hands, illuminating the room.
Jazz lay still, just as he had been before this all started. However, Xander was bent almost in two, his shoulders and feet still on the floor with the rest of his body curved into the air and the Terrabot’s hand. He was still screaming.
The ball of light began to descend slowly. Optimus wouldn’t have thought it possible, but with the movement Xander’s screams became louder, more incessant, and more heartbroken. When the lightning was only a foot from each of the two lying down, it split into two separate lightning bolts. Each slammed directly into their chests. Both bodies went into spasms as the light vanished, placing the room in utter blackness.
Xander stopped screaming.
The fluorescent lights winked back on and all of them got to see the aftermath. Xander lay barely breathing on his palate. Freecare, arms at his sides, was leaning tiredly against the Bombay doors. The Terrabot medic’s voice was barely above a whisper, “You can let Angel go now Requiem. It’s done.”
Angel ran to his son once he was released by the huge robot, gathering the limp body into his arms and holding him close, rocking back and forth. He sobbed brokenly, unable to cry tears but it was still obvious what was making his body shake. “He’s going to be alright, isn’t he?”
Freecare answered him, though even Ironhide could see all the medic wanted to do was go into recharge. “Your son is fine, Angel. He had to use more energy than I thought he would. As soon as his reserves are replaced, he will wake up.”
“How long is that going to take?” Angel demanded brokenly.
“I don’t know.” Freecare had used all his remaining strength to speak. His optics dimmed as he too went into sleep-mode.
All of this passed almost unnoticed by the Autobots, whose eyes were solely upon their comrade-in-arms. They stared in silence, not even their com-link buzzed.
They watched as Jazz’s optics began to slowly glow blue.
What do you think?