It was maybe the third major encounter between the so-called Decepticons and the barely organized Autobots. Jazz had been providing intelligence to the hastily thrown together forces the Senate had mustered, only to see that the real chance for survival lay with the resistance growing in the streets of Decepticon-taken city-states. He didn't feel so bad about defecting from the 'real' army in favor of the Autobots, not once he really thought about what he had been doing for most of his existence.
He had always been told that his escorting of the alien trading partners, or of those who had returned after so long was to help those individuals adjust to Cybertronian life. In reality, and Jazz was miserable for not having seen it sooner, he had been one of their many tools to keep the populace in check, allowing nothing to rock the careful rigidity that the nobles had managed to put into place in defiance of Primus's tenets of free choice.
That was how Jazz came to be fighting for the Autobots, even if he wasn't a war-model. His weapons were basic, even if he had managed to get his shielding upgraded from a helpful engineering mech. He didn't like the violence, didn't like that he had helped create this situation. Worse, right now it was hammering in just how wrong he had been, because they were pinned down by the willful violence of a Seeker in silver-gray, highlighted by lurid red stripes.
::Someone needs to get that tri-jet down!:: Those words hammered into Jazz's Spark, roared across the barely secure link between the Autobots from their current commander. It was more than he could stand, as he saw another vicious line of laser fire cut through the hastily thrown together barricade covering them.
::I got an idea,:: Jazz sent back, before throwing himself up onto a landing within reach, starting to scale the rough, broken wall above that and praying to Primus he wasn't immediately seen. His commander must have realized something of his plan, because the Autobots left on the ground started concentrating their firepower more on the jet, which was going to be costly by letting 'Con ground forces close in.
They were trading one evil for another, Jazz knew, but if they could get out from under the tri-jet, they stood a better chance of running for better ground. He scrambled up as high as he dared to, and waited, watching for the next fly-by, all his systems set for the insanity of this little trick.
The Seeker streaked in, and Jazz timed it just so, kicking in his barely effective heel thrusters just long enough to boost his jump. Luckily for him, Starscream was narrowly focused on the Autobots on the ground, and that was what Jazz had counted on to allow him to land forward of the upward fin.
::We get to dance now, handsome,:: Jazz burst across the frame-level comm band, hoping to rattle the Seeker a little.
::The days of dancing are long over, Autobot,:: Starscream screeched at him, making Jazz more aware of how broken that voice was growing with the war. The tri-jet flipped, making Jazz have to dig his fingers in and use the heel thrusters that were going to run out of fuel all too soon.
::Don't have to be, Screamer. Could just as easily be on our side, ya know,:: Jazz told him.
::Star...did I ever lie to you? We don't want the old way either; we just want Cybertron safe from that gladiator's violence!::
Starscream climbed high, throwing Jazz flat against the sharp plates of his frame with the pull of gravity and velocity combined. ::You'd do better to join him, Jazz! He's the one who will make Cybertron great again!::
For just an instant, Jazz's Spark had swelled with hope, for Starscream using his designation, but the words after it sank everything.
::You're blind to what he does, the lives he destroys, the wounds he gives our world!:: Jazz flung back at Starscream.
::Rebuilding always has a cost, Autobot,:: Starscream snarled before executing a series of rolls and loops to shake the thorn pricking at his conscience.
::Well, this mech doesn't like that bill!:: With that, Jazz activated his newest gadgets, a random flashing device that rolled randomly through wavelengths, blinding the optical sensors of the Seeker.
Starscream's vocalizer broke free of the tri-jet form in anguish as his sensor net flared with pain at the light-show dazzling him. Starscream dove, relying on his altimeter to try and find safer ground, and that was when Jazz jumped free of him.
At least free of the physical connection, even as Jazz swore to himself that the past was dead and gone, if Starscream could follow that brutal mech so freely.
Never mind that his Spark ached worse than his frame did from the hard landing.