(A/N: A brief AU to the episode Predatory where Arcee doesn't make it in time to save Jack from Arachnid. Yes I watch Transformers Prime and proud of it! ENJOY!!!)
Jack Darby had just blown up a Decepticon spaceship and the Decepticon that piloted to Earth with the intention of making the human race extinct. Then to add insult to injury to objective, the Decepticon planned to have a head of one of their own on a wall as proof the species even existed.
Namely Jack's head.
Breathing a sigh of relief, the 16 year old human saw the remains of the ship burn away into melted remains, and went to get his Autobot partner Arcee. Jack only hoped that the femme was okay since she and this femme of a Decepticon had quite the painful history together. From what he could make out from their conversation when he tried to free Arcee from the webbing that pinned her to a rock wall, this Decepticon by the name of Arachnid had killed his partner's past partner Tailgate during the war for Cybertron. It had left a deep wound in the femme Autobot's mind and Jack knew she was even now still healing from the event. Her partner before him by the name of Cliffjumper had been lost a few Months ago practically within a few days prior to him meeting her.
A growl from above him made Jack stop walking away from the ruined Decepticon ship and looked up to find Arachnid had not perished like he first thought. She was dented, injured, burned, and leaking energon...but she was very much alive.
The femme Decepticon with spider like appendages looked like she was currently in a state between pissed off and pleased. Was that even remotely possible?
Before Jack could even contemplate such a thing, Arachnid shot webbing from the palm of her hand, and trapped the young human to a tree. She then leaped down, transforming into her bipedal form, and Jack could see just how badly hurt this psychotic femme really was with those glowing pink eyes show the desire to mess him up.
"Well played Jack. You managed to blow up my ship and my collection of trophies. I am very impressed. I don't think anyone else among your species would have come up with such an idea to do this much damage. I'm beginning to see why Arcee is so protective of you Jack. I can almost feel a sense of regret after I rip your body open to see just how you function. Almost!" said Arachnid grinning with her metallic tongue licking her lips at the idea.
"I'm guessing I should be flattered by that?" questioned Jack with Arachnid letting out an amused chuckle while her fingers now mere millimeters from touching his face and then leaving their mark on him.
"You are smart Jack. I underestimated you in that regard. You're a bit too bold though, but you're not the first to talk like that before I cut through them, and what sense of pride they might have had in themselves," Arachnid shot back while running her finger down to his neck, not quite touching him, and saw him looking back defiantly.
"I'm not afraid of you," Jack shot back, but his voice told her otherwise, and the femme Decepticon grinning even further.
"Many have said that to me when caught in my web Jack. Many more have paid for that mistake too. Arcee included," replied Arachnid with Jack breathing a bit heavier now.
"She's a lot stronger then you give her credit for," Jack shot back while he hoped beyond hope that his talking would by Arcee the time she needed to get here.
"We'll see about that after she sees your body torn open and all the things that make up your inner works spill out on the ground. I wouldn't be surprised if she snuffed out her own spark once the memory of your remains is forever burned into Arcee's optics," said Arachnid with Jack gritting his teeth in anger.
"Not before she snuffs out yours Spider Bitch!" countered Jack with Arachnid scowling at him now raised her arm back to strike him.
"I was going to tell you this was going to hurt so you could brace yourself for the pain Jack, but just for that comment...I'm not!" said Arachnid before she lashed out at him.
It wasn't long before Jack was screaming out in pain that echoed throughout the forest.
"Jack! Jack!" called Arcee, as she followed the source of her partners scream, and the fear within her very spark at what she might find when Jack was discovered.
She had already lost Tailgate at the hands of Arachnid and the wound had never healed after so many years following the event. It had left an invisible scar that no one could see and those that knew of it were but a mere handful with the majority of them being those on Team Prime that were Cybertronian. Jack was the only human to know about it thanks to Arachnid bragging her stupid motor mouth about it like Megatron would do if he were ever able to snuff out Optimus Prime's spark. While Jack had wanted to support her in this moment where demons from the past had come forth to haunt the femme Autobot once more, the boy was unfortunately out of his league, and was incapable of defending himself against Arachnid.
"Arcee?" came the weak reply from a weak human male voice that made the femme Autobot almost hesitate in her advancement to the source of Jack's voice.
As she got closer, Arcee could see crimson liquid flowing like a small river down from a tree, and looked around it before gasping at the sight of her partner. Jack had been torn apart by Arachnid like the femme Decepticon more then promised Arcee she would do. His left arm was torn off, the right was dangling at an odd angle, his usually handsome (for a human) face was missing nearly half of its flesh one side, and the other was fairing no better with deep lines of flesh marking him like Arachnid had done to her during the time being "interrogated" by the femme Decepticon back on Cybertron. She knelt down in front of him, the sight of the various organs Arachnid had removed from his body made the femme Autobot want to throw up her most recent intake of energon, and knew Jack time was short.
"Jack I'm...I'm so...," said Arcee while reaching out, but was hesitant to touch him, and quickly looked around for Arachnid should the Decepticon still be lurking around.
"Its all right Arcee. Its not your fault. It was mine. I let down my guard after I blew up her ship. She caught me by surprise and I tried to stall her with a conversation. She really went all out on me too. I think she resented being called a Spider Bitch and wanted me to pay for it first," said Jack with a pain filled smile appearing on his destroyed face and Arcee looked even sadder.
"It was mine first. I failed to get free sooner. I was wallowing in my own self-pity and the loss of a partner who died years ago in the past. I should have been focusing myself here on the present. On you," countered Arcee with her hand touching the less damaged side of Jack face.
"How about we share the blame? There is no harm in that, right?" asked Jack while he could feel himself getting weaker and could feel tears running down his face.
"If that's what you want," answered Arcee with while she stared into his eyes and could tell he was afraid of dying so soon in his young life.
Arcee understood that look all too well. She had been the same way when coming online and had a few near death experience herself. But unlike herself, Jack was dying right here, in front of her, and the femme Autobot could do nothing to stop it. Even if she got in touch with Rachet, the Doc wouldn't know how to save the human boy, or patch up any of his injuries to help prolong Jack's life long enough for those that did to do it.
"Tell the others I'll miss them. Tell my Mom that...that its not your fault. That you aren't to blame for this. I know she's going to want answers. I don't want her to be told a lie about how I died. My Mom needs to be told the truth about everything. Promise me that you will tell her. Please!" exclaimed with Arcee holding him gently now with both hands and looking right into his dying eyes.
"I promise Jack. I swear upon the AllSpark I will keep my promise to you Jack," said Arcee with Jack smiling at her again.
"That's my girl. Goodbye...partner," replied Jack before life left his eyes and his head slumped forward in her metal hands with the on his face staining them.
"Good...partner," replied Arcee while giving his forehead a kiss though why she did that even the femme didn't know.
"How sad! Such a spark dimming moment. I'd cry for you, but I don't really care to make the effort, and I am the source of the human dying," Arachnid remarked from her position in the tree while seeing the whole thing from her perched position.
"Arachnid!" said Arcee in a deathly quiet voice while her blades came out of her arms with her enemy descending from the tall trees.
"I put him through a great deal of pain in such a short time. It took me a while to make him scream. I wanted to make him beg for mercy, but Jack wouldn't no matter what I did, and he even stayed quiet when I started asking for information about the location of the Autobot base. I planned to sell such vital information to Megatron in exchange for a place to stay, maybe a few supplies, or a even ship I use to travel to a better planet. But Jack surprised me. He took all the hits and mocking words I threw at him without giving away anything to me that I could use to bargain with to Megatron. Such a pity and a waste of a good human toy to play with if you ask me. Oh well! At least Megatron will be pleased to know one of Prime's loyal soldiers has taken a severe blow from suffering such a heavy loss," explained Arachnid with Arcee glaring at her with barely restrained fury.
"Shut your mouth...or I'll make you!" exclaimed Arcee with her arms shaking now with her hands becoming fists while fighting the urge to turn them into blasters and just fire at the Decepticon femme with everything she had.
No! This had to be done up close and personal...just like Arachnid had done to Jack!
"I can see why you chose him for a partner Arcee. He was brave to stand up to me in his own way. Smart too! No one else on this planet would have come up with the idea to use the energon leaking from my ship to make it blow up. And let's not forget how brave Jack was when I sunk my claws into his flesh. I didn't like being called a Spider Bitch, which I'm sure you know, and could tell from ripping half his face off," gloated Arachnid while Arcee turned fully to face her.
"That's because you are a Spider Bitch! One that should have be crushed Mega Cycles ago!" exclaimed Arcee with Arachnid frowning at her.
"Don't call me that term again Arcee," commanded Arachnid with Arcee not being in the mood to comply.
"What term? You mean Spider Bitch?!" asked Arcee while emphasizing the words she knew Arachnid hated.
"You're going to regret that Arcee. Just as I'm going to make you regret taking a human for a partner and not radioing your fellow Autobots for help," said Arachnid while letting out a sickening howl like sound from her throat and Arcee more then ready for a fight.
"Then come at me...Spider Bitch!" exclaimed Arcee with the two rushing the other and the clash between them was on.
Arcee stopped herself outside the gate of Jasper Cemetery, her holographic rider had kept the fact she was not human a secret from the public, and scaring them out of their minds. After the battle with Arachnid happened with the Decepticon femme dying, Arcee was able to collect her thoughts after personally ripping out the spark chamber of the femme responsible for taking so much, and giving little back. Even Arachnid's death had done little to ease the pain she felt from losing Tailgate years ago and Jack just recently before the final confrontation with the psychotic spidery femme. For a long moment, time stood still around Arcee after the kill, and wondered what she should do now that she had her closure.
It wasn't until Arcee saw Jack's dead body on the ground did she know what to do.
After calling for a Ground Bridge, she asked Optimus to step through with Rachet, and wouldn't respond when asked the horrible "Why?" that followed by the Autobot Medic. She couldn't tell them. Not with Miko or Raf possibly being at the base. She couldn't tell them like this. It had to be done in person. But how exactly do you tell two children their friend was killed, and horribly at the hands of a Decepticon that took pleasure in the fact? When Optimus and Rachet came through the Ground Bridge, they saw Arachnid's dented and leaking body before seeing Arcee shake her head, and point to Jack's bloody body. Rachet could only gasp, as he walked over to Jack slowly, hesitantly, and clearly wishing this was some kind of holographic illusion being played on their optics. Primus knew she wished it was too, but it wasn't an illusion, and soon heard Optimus's command to tell him everything about what transpired. His tone telling Arcee not to leave anything out in regards to the events that caused this outcome.
So she told them. She told them everything. The ship crashing, finding out it belong to Arachnid, being unable to contact base, and the inevitable confrontation that took place with Jack paying the price for her failure. How he asked her to keep the promise in telling his Mother the truth about how he died. How she swore upon the AllSpark to keep the promise. How they said their goodbyes, even revealing the kiss to his forehead, and the brief moment of crying that followed before telling how Arachnid had been hiding in the trees waiting for her. How they fought. How the Spider Bitch had lost and yes she called Arachnid that when giving the report without hesitation too!
Optimus said nothing to her when she gave the report, as he looked from her to Jack, and saw Rachet come over to give his assessment of the dead boy's injuries. As Arcee had told Optimus in her report, the injuries Jack suffered were fatal, and meant for him to suffer before death got what it wanted. Rachet could see that easily before running his scanner over Jack and confirmed no form of medicine or technology (either human or Cybertronian) could have saved the boy.
After that, Arcee fell out of time with Agent Fowler being called in, and being forced to bring Jack's Mother into the picture. The Autobots had kept Jack's body away from Miko and Raf while making sure they weren't around to hear the wailing screams of agony June let out at seeing her only son's body before her very eyes. Even Fowler looked away, as he shed tears, and prayed the boy found peace on the other side. The man had been an Army Ranger, seen his fair share of battles, and saw a lot of good men go down before being returned in body bags. But those were soldiers. Trained to handle battle, conflict, and knew the risk of fighting a war. Jack was 16 years old, in school, wasn't even old enough to shave, and yet had endure the horror of a rogue Decepticon that enjoyed the feeling of ripping other beings apart. He couldn't stand the sight of an innocent child being dead and killed in such a violent manner.
Soon after, June asked for an explanation regarding her son's life, and his involvement in their war with the Decepticons. She wanted to know everything! From the time Jack came into their lives to the point of his death. Optimus told her just that with Fowler providing an assist every so often while June listened to how her son had done so much in such a short time right under her very nose. Balancing school, his job, responsibilities at home with chores with this! It was amazing Jack hadn't gone insane! June would have by now at this point if she had gone through what he did!
After hearing about her son's actions with the Autobots, June asked Agent Fowler about funeral arrangements, and how Jack's death would be handled. With the government involved with this, it was clear they couldn't put down "killed by psychotic alien robot" on the Death Certificate, and the cost of the funeral would eat away what money the woman had on hand. June and Jack barely got by with money she made working as a nurse and Jack's own part-time job that brought in very little. Agent Fowler had assured her that Jack's funeral wouldn't cost her a dime and he could have the boy's death be made to appear to be cause by an animal attack while out camping. It would take some creativity on the government agents part to make that believable, but Fowler had been in this too long to screw things up.
Now here Arcee was, outside the cemetery of her latest partner to have his life snuffed out at such a young age, and saw his grave marker from her current position. It had been a private funeral with June, Fowler, Miko, Raf, and some of the kids from school who knew Jack while growing up in Jasper. That one girl from Jack's school Sierra asked if she could attend and Arcee had to fight back the urge to transform to terrify the girl in a way that would make the Decepticon's proud. Why she felt that way, Arcee had no idea, but after telling June what she felt when the girl left after getting a yes, the woman smiled sadly, yet knowingly at the Autobot Femme, and just said it would come to her.
Only now after all this happening did Arcee understand.
She had found more then a partner and a friend. Strangely enough...she had found love in Jack. At first, Arcee thought her brain had malfunctioned, or Ratchet missed something with his scan of her when they got back to base after the fight with Arachnid. But June just smiled at her that knowing smile when Arcee had told her what she thought it was after all this time. June didn't want to admit it at first either. In fact, she like Arcee herself had thought the idea of a human, and robot (Cybertronian if you wanted specifics) could fall in love. There was no...physical compatibility between them and the life span of both was vast as the space between two planet from two separate Galaxies. Still, looking back on it, June could tell Jack had loved Arcee too, and not just because was his Motorcycle. She was special to him. Taking care of her. Getting the femme to open up more after the loss she just recently suffered at the time.
The love they had was there. It would never get physical (how that would ever happen was just beyond June) and the chance for Jack's Mother being blessed with Grandchildren (short of adoption) was out of the question. Arcee chuckled at hearing that while Miko had this strange perplexed look on her face at the idea of Jack and Arcee having kids. Knowing the Japanese girl, she was picturing some techno organic child with the ability to transform into something destructive. Primus knows if it were possible, Miko would be one of the first to make it happen in the hopes her child would grow up being a Monster Truck that crushed everyone in its path.
That and such a child/sparkling would drive Ratchet nuts well into its maturity.
"I miss you partner. Everyone does back at base. I just know if you are up there, floating around in Heaven, or whatever place humans call the other side...you're watching me. I'll make you proud Jack. Make no mistake about it. Optimus is even letting the government get more involved in fighting the Decepticons and your Mother is helping Ratchet with the understanding of how the human body works. I think he was disgusted by how your bodies worked at first, but given all the functions of each organ, and the human body being able to do so much...I think he's coming around. We're also making some ground with MECH since Optimus doesn't want to let down his guard with them since they are a potential threat waiting to strike when the opportunity arises. We've even been able to up our energon supplies because the human government was supplied with a means to detect them," said Arcee to the grave stone or rather her holographic human body (with the helmet still on) did while projecting her voice to make it seem like the fake female body was talking to him.
At least my death brought about something good!
"No! Don't you dare say that Jack. What we gained was never worth the price you paid," countered Arcee, as she just imagined how Jack would talk, and found herself answering him.
Apparently humans did this all the times when visiting the graves of loved ones.
I know that too. But if my death helps you guys somehow in the long run...then maybe it was worth the price of my life. If it helps end this war and keeps you guys safe, then I'd do it again.
"Something Optimus would say if he were in your position," said Arcee while swearing she heard Jack let out a small laugh.
Come on Arcee. I don't talk like a Prime.
"Optimus would disagree. He even confided in your Mother how you were showing great maturity for your age. Even Ratchet mentioned how you were a lot like Optimus before he became a Prime. You have all the making of being one Jack. Its a shame we never got to see it happen," Arcee sadly stated while imagining Jack looking back at her with his own sad expression.
I still say I'm not worthy of being a human version of Optimus before or after he became a Prime. I'm just a kid, who went to school, and had a part-time job while trying to fit in with others.
"And get caught up in an age old war between two robotic factions for this planets supply of energon," added Arcee while hearing Jack let out a nervous chuckle in her mind.
That too. But that's more past tense now. I know its going to be hard with me gone from your life Arcee. But you have still have the others to help you along the way. You still have the other Autobots, Raf, Miko, Agent Fowler, and even my Mom too so you're not alone. It will take time, but this scar along your spark will heal.
"I don't want it to heal. If it heals, then I will forget you, and I don't want it to forget," stated Arcee with Jack letting out another chuckle.
Come on Arcee. After all we've been through in such a short time? You're seriously going to forget about me?
"No. I suppose I wouldn't," Arcee admitted while picturing Jack raising an eyebrow at her.
"All right! All right! I wouldn't forget you Jack! I'd miss you even if the scar Arachnid was able to leave deep in my spark healed," exclaimed Arcee with Jack smiling at her now.
That's my girl.
"You're Mother seems to think there is more to us then just being partners in the field," stated Arcee with Jack smirking at her.
That wouldn't be a bad thing. Would it?
"No. Of course not. At least I'd be more faithful to you then that human girl Sierra. She weeps for a few measly days and already looking for some other guy to wrap her arm around," replied Arcee bitterly.
She's not shallow...I think.
"No. But you think her time for mourning you would have lasted longer," Arcee shot back with Jack sighing.
I can't dispute that with you. I'm guessing you're going to tell me I was wrong to have a crush on her?
"Well...I wouldn't go that far. You being dead kind of gives you immunity from that little statement," Arcee said with Jack looking a bit relieved to her optics.
Who knew being dead had such perks!
"Don't push it smooth operator," Arcee stated in a stern tone.
Fine! Not pushing
"So...what's it like on the other side?" asked Arcee while hoping to get some insight on what human's consider the afterlife when compared to when Cybertronians died.
Its not bad. Its...peaceful. And I can check up on you guys when I can. Seriously though, you need to have Miko tone down her music at the base. Even I can hear it and I'm sure Ratchet is ready to throw one of his tools at her.
"Can't argue with that," stated Arcee since there were times Ratchet nearly dropped some of his tools when Miko was playing her guitar.
"Optimus to Arcee. Come in," said Optimus Prim over the comm.
"Arcee here," answered Arcee knowing that time to get into the thick of the fight once more.
"Decepticons have been spotted at our current coordinates. We need you here. Ratchet will send you to us using the Ground Bridge," said Optimus.
"Understood. I'll be there shortly," answered Arcee with Jack's image giving her a smile of understanding.
Duty calls huh?
"Yeah," Arcee answered with Jack nodding.
Give them a good kick in the aft for me.
"For you? I'll give them a hundred kicks to their aft," replied Arcee with Jack's smile increasing.
I'll hold you to that.
"Of course you will," said Arcee before the Ground Bridge opened up near her vehicle form.
Time to go. Don't forget to visit!
"I won't. And I'll bring your Mom too. It should be a fun conversation," said Arcee before ended the hologram and burned rubber into the Ground Bridge with a purpose.
Arcee may have been too late to save Jack, but that didn't mean the femme Autobot was going to let history repeat itself with the others, and felt her late partner's death gave her the desire to keep driving.
And for Jack...Arcee would keep on driving until she was out of road.
(A/N: Yes. I am a Transformers Prime fan. It has violence, Cybertronian curse words we use every so often in our daily lives after replacing a few letters in each word, and they have death. Granted the last part focused more on deaths for either side of the Autobots or Decepticons, but its still awesome in my opinion. Hope you liked this little break from my usual stuff. Until next time...PEACE!!!)
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