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Mind Games


Jazz and Prowl battle for control in this mind game they have created, trying to keep one step ahead of the other. But, it is only a game until it isn't and time is running out.

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The decepticon looked in Prowl’s optics, the murderous red visor glittering with insanity as he stepped forwards with claws outstretched. Prowl did not move, though surely such a terrifying sight would have had many running for their sparks. Not that it would have done much good against this mech, who could offline you before you took a single step and was feared by Autobots everywhere and even the Decepticons as well despite belonging to them.

“Ah ‘ave ah mission. Ah don’ know how long ah’ll be gone fer.” The decepticon said, moving his claw around so it was on the side of Prowl’s faceplate. Prowl winced, knowing said mission meant his Autobots would be offlined since no-one could stop his partner, not even Prowl himself.

“Come back.” Prowl said, as he always did when Jazz went running off on another mission. He knew that these meetings betrayed everything the Autobots stood for and that he should have at least tried to hand his partner over all those vorns ago when they had first met. He had not, and now he never would.

“Ya know meh, of course ah will.” The silver answered, reaching up to place a kiss to the side of Prowl’s faceplate ever so gently. Prowl smiled briefly, once before bringing his servo up to the side of his partner’s faceplate and giving it a gentle caress.

“Of course you will.” Prowl echoed and the silver gave one last final grin before stepping away and running off without another glance back at Prowl, who was left staring after him for a few moments before he turned and made his way back to the Ark.

The cycle Prowl’s world went to pit was just like any other cycle. He was sitting in his office working on some datapads, when there was a knock at his door and he started, looking up in surprise. Nobody was due to visit him according to his schedule, so he suspected it was Bluestreak, his adopted brother and so opened up the door expecting to be greeting with a mass of swirling blue and silver.

Instead, he was greeted with the arrogant faceplate of Sunstreaker and Prowl vented heavily. What had the mech done this time? A prank? A fight? It was always the same when it came to the twins, but oddly Sunstreaker was not followed by his younger red twin, Sideswipe.

“Yes?” Prowl said and Sunstreaker vented in his usual arrogant manner.

“You’re needed in the meeting room right now.” Sunstreaker said and Prowl frowned before making a move to follow the golden twin out the door.

“My schedule has not been cleared.” Prowl said meaningfully to Sunstreaker who just shrugged in a way that really irritated Prowl and Sunstreaker knew it.

“Yeah well no one’s has. It’s an emergency.” Sunstreaker replied aggressively as they stepped into the meeting room only to find it in absolute uproar. Prime was frantically trying to give orders to Ironhide who was being held back by Ratchet from going on the rampage and the same thing was happening with Chromia and Elita as Chromia looked ready to kill. Red alert also looked as though he was about to glitch and was screaming frantically at Sideswipe and finally almost everyone had some sort of weapon out and was waving it at someone else.

Prowl vented heavily as he looked around and raised his voice.

“SILENCE!” Prowl said and each and every mech and femme in the room turned to look at him, shutting up instantly. Prowl stepped forward into the middle of the room and gestured for everyone to take their seats. “Now what is going on here?” He demanded, not used to seeing such chaos. About five different mechs spoke up at once and Prowl growled, banging his servo down on the table. “One at a time.” He demanded before pointing at Optimus. “Commander, would you like to begin?” He asked as he too took his seat. Optimus gave a heavy vent.

“Do you recall the mission to infiltrate the base in Polyhex?” Optimus asked and Prowl nodded.

“The one for Mirage and his team?” He confirmed and Optimus nodded in response. “I do.” Prowl replied.

“They have brought back a high-security prisoner. The decepticon Master Spy designated Meister.” Optimus said and Prowl stiffened in shock. How in the name of Primus had they managed to catch him? The decepticon was ruthless, and calculations dictated there was only a 5% chance of someone of Mirage’s and his team’s experience being able to catch him.

“How did we catch him?” Prowl asked and Ironhide vented as he leaned across the desk.

“We didn’t. He handed himself in.” Ironhide explained and Prowl went silent as his logic circuits computed there was almost no probability of that happening.

“What?” Prowl finally asked and it was Elita-1 who began to explain.

“Mirage’s report indicated he just appeared in front of them and handed himself over.” Elita said as she sent the report to Prowl and Prowl looked it over, seeing that what she said was correct. “Then he aided them in their escape.” Elita finished. Prowl’s computer instantly indicated what was probably going on.

“There is a very high probability he did that to get into our base and will over-ride security and offline us.” Prowl said and Ironhide glared at Ratchet.

“What did I tell you? If Prowl says that it means it’s basically going to happen so we offline the little band vented as he realised something.

“We can’t just execute a mech. We are Autobots and we would need to have a trial first.” Prowl reminded them and Ironhide leaned backwards, still looking annoyed. It was Chromia who leaned forward next.

“Prowl, I know it’s not the Autobot way but Meister has killed hundreds of Autobots and thousands of innocents. He’s dangerous and to keep him alive on base is basically suicide.” Chromia pointed out. “In the interests of safety, it is logical just to shoot him and be done with it and any trial would find him guilty.” She finished and Prowl vented heavily as he knew Chromia was right. To his surprise, Prime spoke next.

“We are Autobots and execution is not our way until we have had a trial which is held by this council.” Optimus said and as Ironhide moved to interrupt him he held a servo up to silence Ironhide and continued. “However, Chromia is right. Any trial would find him guilty so do we wait for a trial or offline him now? The decision does not fall to the council, but to Ratchet.” Optimus said and Ratchet stirred in surprise as everyone looked at him.

“Why me?” He asked tiredly. Ratchet almost never spoke in meetings unless it was something to do with medics or something he had a strong opinion about. Prowl also noted that it looked like he would be enforcing Ratchet’s recharge hours later as the medic really did look like he was about to fall over.

“Because you are the one who treats the casualties of Meister and therefore it is you who knows best about what kind of injuries he inflicts.” Optimus pointed out and Prowl nodded – he had reached the same conclusion as Optimus. Ratchet thought it over, reaching up to rub the bridge of his nasal plating in exhaustion as he did so before he next spoke.

“Meister … is a very savage mech. Everything he does is to inflict cruelty and suffering before his victims offline in the most painful way possible. I have only ever been able to save a handful of his victims. However, it is not the Autobot way and if we interrogate him we may learn information about the Decepticons we did not know previously and like Chromia said, a trial will find him guilty and he will be executed.” Ratchet said and Prowl knew that although Meister was not likely to break and give them any information, it was worth a try.

“I am not suggesting we act stupid though and leave him with normal security. We double, even triple the number of guards if we can spare it and increase our code defences around his cell.” Ratchet said to Prowl and Red Alert in particular and Prowl nodded, making a note to do that as soon as possible.

“Are we all in agreement then?” Prowl asked around the table and after nods and murmurs of consent, he began making the necessary arrangements to the schedules. “Twins, you have the first watch.” He said to the twins who had been guarding the meeting door. Officially, the twins were not part of the council but they acted as guards and so overheard everything that was said. It was a precaution of Prowl’s after the meeting room had been attacked once and many of the key leaders nearly offlined.

“It is decided then. This meeting is ended. Dismissed.” Prime stated and everyone began to file out but not before Prime stopped Prowl with a hand to his shoulder plating. “You are aware it is you who will be interrogating Meister? With anyone else it would be dangerous.”

“I calculated as much Prime, and my safety will not be overly compromised.” Prowl replied as he knew he was the logical choice for with anyone else, Meister could processor-wash them but with his highly advanced logic circuits it would be impossible to do so with Prowl. He also knew that if Meister attacked him he would have a higher chance of survival due to his Circuit-Su skills.

“If you are ready then, I would request you clear your schedule as soon as possible as the sooner we hold a trial, the better it is for all of us.” Prime said and Prowl nodded, seeing he could actually clear his schedule at that exact moment.

“I am available immediately and will make my way down to the brig.” Prowl answered and Prime nodded before Prowl turned and did just that. When he got there, the twins were already standing guard outside the only door which was the only way in and out of the brig. They nodded to Prowl as he passed and stepped into the brig, going over to the occupant of the only cell.

Meister was still in there, amazingly. What also unnerved Prowl was the fact he was not doing anything at all, merely standing and facing the camera in silence with a wide grin on his faceplate and Prowl guessed it was to see if he could unnerve the twins. When Meister saw Prowl, he instantly turned that grin on him and Prowl noted it revealed his incredibly sharp fangs. For anyone else, it might have been terrifying to see the so called ‘Master of Offlining’ grinning at you, but for Prowl Meister would have to do better than that.

“Nice tah see yah. Ah wondered when they’d send ah interrogator down tah see meh.” Meister said, pulling up a chair before collapsing into it. Prowl pulled one over and did the same, knowing that although Meister couldn’t touch him through the energy field he could hear him and vice versa.

“Oh? How did you know you would not be offlined?” Prowl asked and Meister seemed to smile even wider if that was possible.

“’Cause yah are Autobots.” He said as though that explained everything. Prowl accepted his answer though with a nod of his head and Meister brought a sharp claw up and inspected it with a very bored expression. “Wha’ do yah wan’ tah know?” Meister asked and Prowl stared, logic circuits reeling.

“What?” Prowl asked and Meister looked up at him cockily.

“Yah are mah interrogater an’ yah wan’ information. So, wha’ do yah wan’?” He asked and Prowl just smiled back.

“Surely you cannot think I would fall for that. You would never give us accurate information and that is a trick used on new recruits although your decepticons have fallen for it in the past.” Prowl returned easily and Meister leaned forward with interest.

“Oh, ah like yah alreadeh.” He laughed shortly and Prowl looked away, pretending to lose interest.

“Shame that nobody here likes you then.” Prowl returned and Meister leaned back, folding his claws behind his helm and leaning on them though he still looked interested in what Prowl had to say.

“So wha’s going tah happen tah meh?” Meister asked and Prowl shrugged.

“Who knows? I don’t have to say.” Prowl returned and Meister tilted his helm at him.

“Wha’ if ah traded yah some information fer it?” He asked.

“I might reconsider or I might not.” Prowl answered and Meister leaned forward.

“Here’s this then. Tah decepticons are gonna win tah war.” Meister said and Prowl did not react.

“That’s purely your opinion.” Prowl returned easily which caused Meister to snort in disbelief.

“Nah, tha’s fact.” Meister said and it was Prowl’s turn to lean forwards.

“So if the Decepticons are going to win, why hand yourself over to the losing side and help one of our teams to escape?” Prowl asked and Meister stiffened. Prowl inwardly smiled – here was a weakness he could exploit as it evidently made Meister uncomfortable.

“Ah wanted tah.” Meister returned and Prowl raised an optic ridge.

“That’s not an answer.” Prowl replied. Meister sent him a very hostile glare.

“It is. Ah do wha’ ah want, when ah want tah.” Meister growled at Prowl and Prowl just shrugged.

“Yet here you are stuck in an Autobot brig.” Prowl said, now he was getting somewhere.

“Maybeh ah want tah be here.” Meister shot back and Prowl feigned a snort this time.

“Why would you possibly want to be a prisoner to the ‘weaker side’ as you call us?” Prowl asked and Meister grinned.

“Maybeh ah ain’t as much of ah prisoner as yah think ah am.” Meister revealed and Prowl smiled cockily whilst sending the information to the twins and Red Alert that they definitely needed more security.

“As far as I can tell, you most definitely are.” He said and Meister rolled his optics.

“Ah’ve broken outta many places more guarded than ‘ere.” Meister answered.

“Oh?” Prowl asked and Meister grinned as he began to recount all the places he had broken out of.

“Polyhex central brig, Iacon central brig an’ even Kaon central brig. Tah decepticon brig an’ soon enough yah Autobot brig. Ah’m only stayin’ ‘ere as long as it suits meh.” Meister answered and Prowl noted that Meister was definitely going to try and break out at some point and added that as a warning that came with the shifts of guarding him.

“Thank you for your time. I am afraid I must go now.” Prowl said and Meister frowned, pretending to be hurt.

“Wha’, ain’t ah interestin’ ‘nough fer yah?” He asked and Prowl shook his helm lightly.

“On the contrary you are quite boring.” Prowl said easily which caused a displeasured growl from Meister and Prowl added that to the list of things Meister was sensitive about. Handing himself over, and being told he was boring. Leaving the room, Prowl turned to the twins who looked at him with interest.

“I don’t like him.” Sideswipe said and Prowl smiled a little at that.

“He wants that to happen. That’s why he’s smiling at the camera, to unnerve you if he can. Be warned he may try and escape at any time.” Prowl said and Sunstreaker nodded.

“We figured as much from that conversation.” He said, jerking a thumb at the camera feed that allowed them to see everything. As he did so, Prowl looked at it and sighed as he was met with Meister’s grinning face.

“I will see you next cycle at the same time.” Prowl said as he left them guarding the brig and made his way up to Ratchet. He had the downloads of the medic’s reports on Meister but he needed to know if the medic had any extra information which he may well do and so he took a detour to the med-bay instead of returning to his office.

Prowl found it a mercy of Primus that the twins had not noticed the entire interrogation was all a façade.

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