Verse: AU WFC in which the war has never happened.
Characters: Jazz, Freezon, mentions of others.
Contains: Plot advancement.
Summary: Jazz pays a friend a visit and gets some answers.
Notes: INFO DUMP AHOY.
Information was not hard to come by on Cybertron, one just had to know where to look for it. The first place to come to mind for Jazz was the Hall of Records for they compiled and cataloged every single message that passed along the Communication Grid before uploading it onto the Cybertonian DataNet. The Hall was forbidden to anyone not of the Sorter caste however, and not even Jazz’s high status would allow him to ever wander its halls again.
The next choice then would be the DataNet. The DataNet was a massive collection of information concerning anything and everything that had ever happened on Cybertron. It was free for any caste to browse and seemed like the most obvious place to collect information but Jazz knew from his friend Orion Pax that not everything was put up for display on the Net. Pieces of information could be heavily edited before being uploaded or even removed all together if enough credits were passed along to the head Sorter of that section of information. Jazz figured that if the mech he was hunting for had the power to demote an Enforcer, he had more than enough credits to erase the mysterious incident from the records.
The third option was Jazz’s preferred method for gathering information - talking with Cybertronians in the Entertainer caste. That caste, when Jazz had forayed in it some time ago, had known everything that was current news on Cybertron, even information that failed to be uploaded onto the DataNet…although those bits and pieces of news were kept to whispers in dark rooms. Jazz had contacted an old friend in that caste a few orns ago and now he hoped that his friend had been able to dig up the information he wanted to know.
To that end, Jazz paid a visit to the Polyhex’s News Hub. The Hub was located in the bustling downtown, a giant globe of varnish metal that glittered in the castoff light from nearby buildings and the far-off star Cybertron loosely orbited. Hundreds of satellite dishes sprouted from the top like concave growths, the biggest ones manned by Broadcasters that catalogued and managed the torrential amount of data streaming into and out of the Hub.
The automatic doors slid aside as Jazz walked up the entrance way. Metal flooring engraved with geometric designs paved the lobby where a sole mech sat watch, ignoring the advertisements and newsreels that littered the air in favor of rapidly typing at the desk’s computer. The glyphs displayed on his shoulders spelled out that he was in the lower rungs of his caste.
He looked up when Jazz breezed past the desk, a protest forming before he noticed the Pleasure caste glyphs adorning Jazz’s shoulders. Jazz blew a kiss and the assistant giggled, shooing Jazz towards the elevator doors without asking for his business. There was only a few reasons why a mech in the Pleasure caste would visit the Hub and the assistant obviously thought his services had been requested. Jazz didn’t bother correcting his assumption.
The elevator carried him upwards to a floor just shy of the top. With a cheerful ding to send him off, Jazz continued his journey onwards through the bland corridors until he reached a dead-end. His destination was located on the left and he didn’t bother to announce his presence before he entered the office.
“No, I don’t want that article to be on the first page! Do you really want first-time readers to think we’re just a sordid gossip article sticking our sensors into whatever messed up relationships we come across? Put the one about the trine on the cover - I know what I’m doing Natron, just do it!”
Jazz chuckled into his hand as the femme violently shutdown the comm. link and rubbed at her visor.
“Your frame-brother still giving you grief over your article picks?”
“Jazz!” The femme snapped her head up in shock. Her surprised look was quickly overtaken by one of annoyance as she took in the grinning Alpha. “Didn’t we have a conversation about you calling in before you visited?”
“Sorry Freezon. It musta slipped my processor,” Jazz replied, not sounding sorry at all. He brazenly leaned against the messy desk the femme was sitting at.
“You’re going to give me pump failure if you keep popping up like this. I’m not built to handle much excite, unlike you.”
“And dealin’ with Natron on a daily basis already fills up your excitement quota. Ah know. It’s good ta see yah again.”
“Likewise.” Freezon clasped her hand with Jazz’s in greeting but the smile on her face faded as she settled back into her chair. “But you’re not here to catch-up on all the latest gossip. What have you gotten yourself into this time, Jazz?”
Jazz relocated his person to one of the utilitarian chairs placed before the desk. “I’m not quite sure. Ah’ll need you to clarify just how deep Ah’m diggin’ myself before Ah can tell yah.”
“Don’t try to make light of this. I’m worried for you, you lug nut,” Freezon said as she reached into her subspace and pulled out a datapad. “Here’s everything I could gather on what you asked for.”
Jazz took the datapad with a ‘thank you’ and wasted no time turning it on. It took him only a moment to read through its sparse contents.
“…Frag. You sure this is right?”
“Are you forgetting who you’re talking to? Everything in that datapad is correct. I‘d sooner throw myself in the smelting pits than to pass out false information.”
“I know, I know. But still, a Councilor? Wasn’t expectin’ that.” Jazz vented a long whistle as he looked over the data again. A Councilor with connections to the illegal gladiatorial combat pits was nothing new; it was the additional information that made Jazz’s spark lurch with unease. Half-dead arena fighters being carted off before they received the finishing blow, low level caste mechs disappearing in the middle of the night, frame parts found ripped off in alleyways around the arena - none of those things were normal for any gladiatorial pit. Something rusted was going on in Iacon and the enforcers Prowl and Streetstar were the only ones Jazz knew of that held more answers.
“Ah really owe you one, Freezon. It couldn’t have been easy ta get this info’.”
“Oh, none of that now. I did it of my own volition. But I’ll tell you right now that absolutely nothing you say won’t make me stop worrying about you until this entire,” Freezon gestured in a circle above her head, “fiasco blows over and you hopefully come out of it still functioning.”
Jazz snagged her hand as it was coming down and brought it to his lips for a gentle, teasing kiss. “You worry too much, Freezon. Everythin’ will turn out alright, you’ll see. Remember the time when Ah told you Ah was gunnin’ for the Alpha caste rank? That turned out well.”
“Yes, so well that the title went straight to your head.” She poked a finger at Jazz’s chin.
“You wound me, femme,” Jazz said in mock injury as he placed his other hand on top where his spark chamber was located. “Is this anyway to treat an old friend tryin’ to reassure you?”
Freezon’s answer, no doubt full of sarcasm and hinted worry, was lost before it emerged as Jazz’s comm. link chirped for his attention. The Alpha grimaced, his apology waved off by the femme as she took back her hand and motioned him to take the call. He did so only reluctantly - Jazz had told his caste members that he had wanted no disturbances while he visited with his friend. Unfortunately something too big to ignore had come up and his attention was required.
“What is it?” Jazz not quite snapped at the other person on the line.
“My apologies for disturbing you, Alpha Maestro, but an important guest has arrived asking for you.” It was Hound. He sounded contrite and annoyed for having to call.
“An enforcer Captain called Streetstar. He says that you invited him to come over whenever he was in the area.”
Jazz stifled the urge to groan aloud but couldn’t stop the palm of his hand from meeting his face. Of course Streetstar would stroll up to Polyhex’s pleasure flat at the soonest opportunity to cash in Jazz’s vaguely worded promise. Streetstar didn’t seem to be the type that liked waiting, instead preferring immediate gratification, and Jazz should have been expecting the Captain to visit sooner rather than later. But there had been things to do and information to gather and he had put his invite for the corrupted enforcer to the back of his processor.
Across the desk, Jazz could hear Freezon trying to silence her laughter. He gave her a baleful frown after removing his hand but that only notched her amusement up a few more pegs. Jazz settled for ignoring her shaking frame while he finished speaking with Hound.
“Right. That mech. Tell him that I’m on mah way back and provide whatever entertainment he wants ‘til I arrive.”
“Of course, sir. Is there anything else?”
Jazz replied with a negative and said his goodbyes before turning the link off and giving Freezon the brunt of his attention again.
“I see that you’ve taken more cubes than you can finish again,” Freezon teased.
“Hey, Ah’ve got this all under control,” Jazz said with all the wounded dignity at his disposal. “Ah’m going to haveta cut our meeting short, though. Got to take care of a guest that’s dropped by suddenly.”
“I understand,” she said as they both rose from their seats. They clasped hands again, this time in parting. When Jazz went to take his arm back, Freezon, frown in place, refused to let go.
“Seriously, Jazz - be careful. I’ve got a bad feeling about this.”
“Me too.” Jazz had no illusions about what he was getting himself into. Anything that dealt with the gladiatorial pits was bad news, the Councilors even more so. Most of the Iacon’s local Enforcer caste couldn’t be trusted - the likelihood of bribes and black mail made them part of the problem. Aside from a few trusted friends like Freezon, Jazz would have to smoke out and take down the corrupted Councilor on his own. He knew that he didn’t have to do this but his conscience wouldn’t allow him to leave this problem to fester and mortally infect other castes.
Besides, if he didn’t deal with it, then who would?