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Crimes in Iacon

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The music was loud. The bass thumped so hard, it was vibrating the bodies of those dancing on the club floor. It was Jazz’s night off from being on stage mixing beats, and he was drinking and having a grand time in the crowd.

Dancing with a taller, very cute-faced mech, Jazz arched into his dance partner’s touches. The mech leaned in close and shouted into Jazz’s audio. “Another drink?”

Jazz pulled back, huge grin on his lips as he fervently nodded, wanting to keep his buzz going.

The cute mech smiled brightly and then slipped away to presumably go to the bar. While waiting, Jazz continued to dance, and was soon joined by another mech. He wasn’t nearly as handsome as the one that just left to get them drinks, but he wasn’t ugly by any stretch. Lanky and painted in a dark purple, he gyrated his hips in a very enticing manner, which Jazz couldn’t help but respond to. Soon they were dancing close, and the mech gazed into his face, focusing on his visor.

“Love the visor!” the mech yelled over the music.

“Thanks!” Jazz replied with a grin.

His former dance partner returned with a drink, which Jazz quickly took a swig of. He then leaned in close to speak in his audio. “Thanks so much!”

The cute mech grinned, clearly pleased. They then began to dance together again, and he moved away from the lanky mech in favor of the cute one that bought him a drink. He downed the remainder of it, and after only a few minutes more of close dancing while letting his partner touch his headlight and aft a few times, Jazz noticed he was starting to feel dizzy. He tried to ignore the sensation at first, chalking it up to the heat and copious amounts of high grade he’d had. Soon the sensation was too much to explain away, and he was sure he would topple over if he didn’t get some cooler air cycling through his intakes.

He leaned in and spoke into his dance partner’s audio. “Be right back. You want another drink?”

The cute mech shook his head. “Nah, but come right back, ‘kay?” he said, hand giving Jazz’s aft a hard squeeze.

Chuckling, Jazz nodded, then waded out of the thick crowd toward the entrance of the club. He stepped just outside the doors and took a few deep breaths of cooler air. Despite the less crowded situation, Jazz felt just as dizzy as before, if not worse. He grabbed hold of the doorway tightly, trying not to fall over.

“You okay, buddy?”

He turned to look at who spoke, and the entire world seemed to spin on an axis, causing his sense of up and down to go completely awry. He was able to focus enough to see it was that lanky mech he’d danced with.

“Yeah, I think…” Jazz nearly toppled over and quickly grabbed hold of the wall with both hands. “Okay, yeah. Not feeling the best, I guess.”

“I’ve got you,” the lanky mech replied, swooping in and slipping an arm around Jazz’s middle.

“I owe you,” Jazz replied with a laugh. “Knew I had a lot, but never been this drunk before I don’t think.”

“You aren’t drunk,” the lanky mech replied.

Confused, Jazz looked up at him. “What?”

“Should be more vigilant about your drinks. I slipped a little something in yours when you blew me off,” the mech holding him replied.

“Wait, what?” Jazz tried to push away, but he was too out of it to coordinate his efforts.

Scooping Jazz up in his arms, the mech smiled down at him. “Let’s go have a fun play date, shall we?”

“No, no! Lemmie...leeemie go!” Jazz’s speech slurred as his vision started to blur.

“Not for all the energon in the universe.”

The world felt like it tipped sideways, and suddenly Jazz was no longer able to stay online, succumbing to the effects and passing out in his kidnapper’s arms.

Waking, Jazz dimly lit his optics behind his visor. Confused as to why he felt uncomfortable, he looked down across his body, seeing he was lying on a berth with his limbs spread and bound to the corners. Frowning, he squirmed, testing how strong they were. The restraints hardly budged.

“Frag,” he whispered.

The lanky mech from the club appeared in the doorway, holding a container in his hands. “You’ve come around, I see. Now the real fun starts.”

“You don’t gotta do this, you know,” Jazz replied. “Untie me and I’ll show you a really great time.”

Scoffing, the mech wandered over and sat down on the edge of the berth, holding the container in his lap with one hand while the other skimmed up Jazz’s body.  “Nothing you could do untied will compare to what I can do to you like this.”

“Reverse on top? Come on, that’s a fave. I’ve got great rhythm,” Jazz replied, trying to talk his way out of this.

His kidnapper pulled a tool from the container. Jazz recognized it. It was what medics used to remove plating. He tensed when the mech stuck the flat end where his interface panel was closed in place. With practiced ease, the tool dislodged the paneling, and he pried it off, tossing it to the the floor.

“Oh, a modded spike. Very nice indeed.” He fondled it as he gazed down at the classic flame pattern that adorned it. “Let’s get your valve all ready, though.”

Jazz felt a wave of sickness roil through his tank. “Seriously, I’m really great in the berth. Oh, and no one is as good at sucking a spike as me. So just untie me, and we’ll have a great time. Guaranteed.”

“Good to know about your oral skills, but I can’t risk being bitten. We’ll play how I choose.” Taking out a long false spike from the container, he pushed the head of it just inside the rim of Jazz’s exposed valve. “Normally I take my time, getting a new playmate’s valve nice and ready, but you are so gorgeous…” A wicked smile curled his lips. “I may need to partake in some action tonight.”

“Please… don’t do this…” Jazz replied, his spark twisting in his chest with fear.

“Enough talking.” The mech pulled out a ball gag from the container, and quickly slipped the straps over Jazz’s helm, ball filling his mouth completely. He then began to pump the false spike in and out at a languid pace for what felt like an eternity. It hurt more than felt good, the raw plastic of it rubbing at the barely lubricated mesh walls.

The longer he laid there, the more he began to realize there was no way out of this. First with objects, and soon with the real deal, Jazz was going to be violated and there was nothing he could do about it.

Removing the false spike, his attacker set the container on a table beside the berth. He rifled around. “There it is.” He pulled out a tube of lubricant, and his own array panel opened. He liberally spread the lubricant over his spike, which was already standing on point. “You are by far one of the prettiest ones I’ve caught. I plan on keeping you a few days, so get comfy,” he said with a dark smile.

Jazz bit on the ball in his mouth as the mech got himself into the proper position over him and then carefully pushed his spike inside his valve. His attacker groaned as he slid to the hilt. Jazz whimpered with his mouth full.

“Primus, that is a sweet valve.” The mech then began to slowly slide in and out, making sure Jazz was properly lubricated before he switched up his pace and started to pound away. Placing his hands on either side of Jazz’s helm to hold himself up, he pistoned his hips at a rapid pace, taking what he wanted from Jazz without permission. All Jazz could do was lie there with his spread legs, and whimper. It didn’t hurt, but it didn’t feel good, either.

After several minutes of being raped, his attacker finally reached his climax. He pushed in deep, filling Jazz with streams of hot fluid. With a satisfied sigh, he pulled out and sat back on his heels, focusing on the debauched valve before him. Jazz could feel the liquid from his attacker's overload trickle down his aft.

“Lovely. Just lovely.” The mech tucked his spike away, array cover closing. “Well, I have to get some rest. I have work tomorrow, but when I get home, we’ll play more. This was a wonderful beginning to our play date.” The mech removed the ball gag, and before Jazz could respond, his mouth was enveloped in an unwanted kiss. As the kiss broke, the mech warmly smiled. “This ball gag looks so nice on you.” He then slipped it back in place, shoving the ball back into Jazz’s mouth before he could holler out for help. “Rest up.”

The mech then left the room, turning down the lights on his way out and shutting the door. Jazz whimpered and pulled on his restraints. He tried not to think about the disgusting feeling of fluid between his legs. How had this happened to him? Something in the back of his mind told him this was supposed to happen, though. He was fated to be here, but he shoved that stray thought aside, and started to softly sob. For the love of Primus, he hoped someone would come looking for him...

Time blurred. It had been days, but how many, he had no clue. No windows in this room masked the hour of the day. Jazz woke to his kidnapper standing beside the berth, hands fiddling with something. He tried to focus his optics, and it took a moment to register what looked off about the thin, tall mech’s appearance. His spike was suddenly no longer a long shape, but thicker. Frag. He had a vibrating mod on.

“And you rested well?” the mech asked, fully aware Jazz couldn’t answer in his current gagged state. “Today I wanted to stretch your limits. Possibly force a few overloads from you before our play time comes to an end. I hope you’re ready.” He reached into that same container and pulled out a hand held vibrator, which he carefully began to tie a rope around. Confused, Jazz squinted behind his visor. What was he doing?

It became clear as he wrapped the rope around Jazz’s middle and then looped it around his thighs to secure the vibrator up against the rim of his valve. He then turned it on. The vibrations reverberated through Jazz’s array. As much as he didn’t want it to, it did feel good. His valve slicked in response, and he whimpered with shame. As if being violated over and over the last couple days wasn’t humiliating enough, now this? To his horror, his body responded without his consent, valve tightening with want for something to fill it as the platelets at the entrance of his valve fluffed and swelled against the vibrator. His attacker smiled at that, and began to finger him, slowly sliding two digits in and out. Jazz’s whole body started to quake with an impending overload, and he whimpered louder.

“Once we get going, I will overload you back to back until you’re left completely spent,” his attacker said, clearly delighted with his plan.

Hips rising up as much as the restraints allowed, Jazz made a muffled cry as pleasure ripped through his array. Shuddering, he let the sensation wash through him. The mech didn’t stop pumping his fingers, and the vibrator remained in place. Jazz felt heat flash through his array, and soon his body was quivering all over again. Fraggit, he was going to overload a second time. The mech sank his fingers as deep as possible and rubbed at the swollen platelet area around Jazz’s valve entrance with his thumb just below the vibrator. That was enough to push him over the edge, and another overload claimed his frame. The same forced overload happened at least two more times, until Jazz was left panting and on the edge of passing out.

Removing the vibrator, his attacker then carefully nudged his spike encased in the mod piece just inside the rim. It not only make his spike thicker, but would vibrate and stimulate both of them. It was meant for partners of vastly differing sizes, and not for a valve Jazz’s size. Pushing it in, Jazz cried out around the ball, enduring a sharp pain from being stretched so much. His only saving grace being the multiple overloads that had lubricated the mesh walls now straining around the mod.

Soon he was being pounded into with the mod between them. It vibrated against the mesh of his valve, and he shivered as pain and pleasure both wove their way through his array at once. He was going to overload yet again, and his faceplates heated with embarrassment and shame.

“Oh, this is heavenly!” hIs attacker cried out.

Jazz whimpered and moaned, pleasure overtaking the pain in a horrifying moment. He overloaded, and so did his attacker, fluid spilling into him yet again out the end of the mod. Sagging his posture, his kidnapper hummed approvingly then withdrew.

“See? Aren’t you having a wonderful time?” the mech asked as he laid on his side next to Jazz. “Wish I could keep you longer. You are so lovely, and I don’t think I’ve enjoyed myself this much in a long while.” He ran a hand over Jazz’s body slowly, gazing at the curves of his frame with lustful optics. “All good things must end, though.”

Jazz was exhausted and he hadn’t fueled other than a handful of high-grade energon gels that had been stuffed in his mouth at some point during his capture. An end, even one that included his death sounded pretty fragging fantastic right now.

The mech got up and circled the berth, picking up the tool meant for removing plating. Jazz frowned around the ball gag in confusion as the mech worked to remove a panel off his helm. “Be right back. Don’t move,” the mech said with a chuckle as he poked Jazz’s nose with the tip of his pointy finger.

A moment later he returned, rolling what looked like a piece of medical equipment to the side of the berth. Panic started to set in when he saw his attacker pull wires from the top console and begin to carefully clamp them in place against areas of his exposed processor. Once he was done hooking Jazz up, he turned on the monitor. Jazz surmised from what little he could see that this was a processor mapping system. It was used to locate glitches in mechs for medics to fix, so what was this aft doing with it?

Looking back at Jazz, his kidnapper sadly frowned and pet his chestplate. “I need one more time with you. Just one. Then we’ll end things.” He reopened his array and moved overtop of Jazz. He slid into him slowly and stayed buried there for a long beat. “You fit so much better than most,” he crooned.

Jazz would’ve purged at that had his fuel tank not already been empty.

Then it started yet again. The rhythmic thrust, the soft pants, the hard spike throbbing, and the unwanted kisses and nuzzles to his cheek and face. Soon it reached a crescendo, and his attacker cried out in bliss, depositing more hot fluid inside Jazz. Pulling out, he smiled. “I’m so tempted to keep you…” Sadness flitted over his face. “But, I don’t live here alone, and my lover will be returning from his business trip tomorrow. He cannot find you here, or my secret trysts will be exposed.”

With more secrets divulged, and this stupid mech’s face etched into his memory, Jazz figured he was about to be killed. Resigned to that fact, he relaxed and awaited this ‘end’ he’d been promised.

The mech turned back to the medical equipment, and his fingers started to fly over the keys. Looking at Jazz, the mech dimmed his optics. “I will miss you.” His finger stabbed the console and whatever he’d programmed the medical device to do carried the signal over the wires and right into his processor. In the span of a second, Jazz’s whole world went black.

“Another one?” Prowl scowled at Ironhide.

“Yeah, he’s in the medical center.” Ironhide frowned. “Ratch said we should come by to take the vic’s statement whenever.”

“He remembers nothing, like the others?” Prowl asked.

“Doesn’t remember a fraggin’ thing,” Ironhide replied.

Pushing his seat back from his desk, Prowl got to his feet. “Then let’s see how he is faring, and if there is anything to glean from his moments leading up the black hole in his memory.”

They left the enforcer station, and walked toward the medical center.

“This makes twelve mechs, and no breaks in any of the cases. I dunno how this sick slagger is doing it, wiping their memories out,” Ironhide grumbled.

“My guess is, he is a medic or has had medical training. There really is no other viable explanation,” Prowl replied.

Reaching the medical center a few blocks away, they took the elevator up to a special wing meant for mechs who had endured various types of trauma.

Ironhide led the way to the room of the latest victim. “Betcha a pitcher of high-grade he’s as clueless and unhelpful as the others.”

“We shouldn’t place bets on victims, Ironhide.” Prowl then moved his doorwings into a lower, more respectful position as they reached the open doorway. “Besides, you never know when we might finally get a break in these cases.”

Ironhide chuckled a little at that. “For a realist, you can be pretty optimistic sometimes.”

Peering into the room, Prowl saw a black and white mech sitting on the berth with his legs pulled up to this chest, essentially curled up in a ball. Wires connected his partially exposed processor to scanning system. Ratchet stood at the monitor, zooming in on the various scans, examining them carefully.

“Ahem,” Prowl said, trying to gain the medic’s attention.

“I’m busy.” Ratchet replied, squinting at the screen.

“As are we all.” Prowl stepped into the room, looking at the victim. “I’m Prowl, and this is my partner on your case, Ironhide.”

“I know I said he was awake and you could drop by, but I said that like all of five minutes ago.” Ratchet finally looked away from the screen and narrowed his optics on Ironhide.

“We’re eager to interview ‘im. You said it was okay,” Ironhide replied.

Prowl ignored the two of them since they often bickered. He moved to carefully sit on the end of the berth, matching gazes with balled up mech. “If you are up to it, would you be willing to answer a few questions?”

The mech shrugged. “Sure.”

“Well, first, what is your name?” Prowl asked.

“Jazz,” he replied.

“Are you from Iacon?” Prowl asked.

“Nah. I’m from Polyhex.” Jazz fingered his leg and dropped his gaze to the berth.

“What is that?” Ratchet frowned and then started to furiously type notes into a datapad in his hand.

Prowl glanced at the screen, but he knew nothing of the intricacies of their processors. The scan meant nothing to him.

“You see who did this to you?” Ironhide cut in.

Jazz pulled in more on himself and shook his head.

Prowl held a hand up to stop Ironhide from asking anything more. The two exchanged looks, but Ironhide backed down with an annoyed sigh. Refocusing on Jazz, Prowl carefully folded both hands in his lap. “Are you here visiting Iacon?” Prowl asked.

“Yeah. I’m a music mixer, MM. Been mixing at the Blue Cube dance club,” Jazz replied.

Prowl’s optics darted to the visor on the berthside table for a moment, then back to Jazz. “Is that a specially modified visor? One that records, perhaps?”

Jazz shook his head as he looked at it. “Nah. Just this cheap one I got in Polyhex. Thought I looked cool with it. Makes me stand out when I mix on stage.”

Prowl nodded. “Where do your memories start to reach a gap?”

“Lost track of time, but I think it was a few days ago? I was in the club dancin’. It was my night off, and I was having a good time. That’s all I remember, really.” Jazz frowned. “Not what’cha wanted to hear, I bet.”

Sadly smiling, Prowl very lightly pressed his hand over one of Jazz’s. “It’s a place to start. Thank you.”

“Prowl, Hide, I want to meet with you before you go. We can speak in private in my office.” Ratchet had a funny look on his face. “Just let me get Jazz settled in for some rest first.”

They both nodded.

“We’ll speak again soon, Jazz,” Prowl said, holding the mech’s gaze for a moment before he stood and followed his partner out of Jazz’s room and down the hall toward Ratchet’s office.

“Ratch saw somethin’,” Ironhide said, glancing back at the room over his shoulder for a moment.

“I’m very curious what it is,” Prowl replied as they entered the office to wait. “Hopefully a break we so desperately need.”

After a couple minutes, Ratchet came in and plugged his data pad into his monitor. "That mech has got to be an enforcer."

Prowl canted his head. "Why would you say that?"

"He's not your average mech whoever he is... Look." Ratchet pointed to a line of coding on screen. "His memory core was erased, but there is a back up memory. Everything that would be committed to a memory core is duplicated in this walled off section of his processor."

"That's like the undercover 'forcers. They got special adaptations like that," Ironhide replied.

"Then why wouldn't he simply tell us he's undercover?" Prowl asked.

"Maybe he doesn't know?" Ratchet offered, clearly baffled.

"How can he not know?" Ironhide scoffed at the idea.

Unconcerned with the why, Prowl was much more curious about the memory copy itself. "Is there a way to access the memory without unleashing it back on the victim?"

Ratchet rubbed his chin. "Possibly. Give me a little time to try and extract a copy of the memory. I'll get back to you on that."

“Anything else you can tell us?” Ironhide asked.

“He was raped for several days. I had to make repairs to his valve lining, and he’d only been fed energon gels of high-grade, like the ones rich mechs tend to serve at parties. Same as the others,” Ratchet replied with a frown.

Prowl softly sighed. “He seemed rather traumatized.”

Ratchet pursed his lips. “Well, he was sort of doing alright until I started hooking him up for the scans. He kinda flipped out and it took me and a couple nurses holding him down so I could give him a little something to calm him down.”

That piece of information caused Prowl to deeply frown. He wished he’d known he was questioning a drugged mech. “I would like to come speak with him again, then. In an un-altered mental state.”

“Come back in like three hours, then. What I just doped him up with to force him to recharge will have worn off by then,” Ratchet replied.

“I will,” Prowl replied.

Jazz woke, his optics dimly lighting. He sighed as he looked around the hospital room. He’d come to Iacon to mix music, meet new mechs, and have a good time. This wasn’t in his plans for this trip.

He pushed to sit up, his sore frame protesting the movement. His elbow and knee joints were extremely stiff, but since he didn’t remember the attack he didn’t know why they ached so much. He rubbed around his knee joints, frowning. It was strange to know he’d been assaulted but have no memory of it happening. His valve also hurt, and he knew that meant he’d probably been raped, too. Not that he remembered that part, either. It was like a part of him was just gone. Missing. Lopped off.

Glaring at the processor-scanning machine in the corner of the room, he decided he was well enough to leave. He really didn’t want another invasive scan. Sliding off the berth, he groaned a little in response to the pain of being on his feet. Nothing he couldn’t handle, though. Grabbing his visor, he snapped it in place and then wandered toward the door to his room. He peered out, seeing the nurses at their station down the hall. If he was casual, he could probably stroll right past them to the elevator and get the frag out of this place.

Taking in a deep breath of air, he let it slowly escape his intakes to steady himself. Feeling as calm as he was going to get, Jazz stepped out of his room and sauntered down the corridor unnoticed. Reaching the elevator, he pressed the button to go down and then stood back. “Almost free,” he whispered to himself.

The doors opened and to his horror he came face to face with that enforcer that had come by earlier.

“Jazz?” The enforcer’s doorwings perked up on his back as worry flitted over his face. “Are they releasing you already?”

Backing up a step, Jazz opened his mouth then snapped it shut with a deep frown. Fraggit. Just his luck.

Stepping off the elevator, Prowl gently touched his arm. “Jazz?”

“Just wanted to get outta here,” Jazz admitted with a frown.

“Have you been mistreated?” Prowl asked.

Jazz snorted and mirthlessly laughed. “Not by the medics, no. But I don’t remember anything ‘bout what happened, so I’m no use to you. I just wanna get out of this place. I hate medical facilities.”

“How about we go for a walk?” Prowl suggested, sticking out his hand to keep the elevator doors open.

Perking up a little at that, Jazz stared at Prowl. “Really?”

“There is a very nice little cafe a few blocks away,” Prowl replied.

“Gonna make me come back here?” Jazz asked.

“Do you want the truth?” Prowl asked.

Jazz genuinely smiled, finding Prowl funny even though he was sure it was unintentional on the enforcer’s part. “Yeah. Lay it on me.”

“I am bound by my duty to protect. I will bring you back here if I feel you require further medical attention or observation,” Prowl replied.

“And if I seem alright, I can go live my life?” Jazz asked.

“That is a possibility,” Prowl said, stepping back. “Let’s go for a short walk and see how things progress from there.”

Jazz stepped into the elevator. Worst case scenario, he’d just give this enforcer the slip, but so far Prowl had been pretty straight up with him. Unlike most everyone else who’d poked and prodded at him here, he felt he could trust this enforcer.

Ratchet worked on the memory files he’d downloaded, trying various methods of extraction in hopes of unlocking the memories without having to do so inside his patient’s processor.

Jazz was the twelfth one. Twelve mechs that Ratchet had repaired valve linings for. Twelve mechs with blanked out memories. He didn’t want there to be a thirteenth one.

He was also troubled by the fact that there were duplicated files. This was a software modification that had to be done by a medic trained in processor function, and one reserved for enforcers use only in Iacon. Mucking around inside anyone’s processor could lead to numerous issues, so they were always very careful. Why did this mech who appeared to be nothing more than a young club goer and MM doing with such a modification to his software?

Ratchet huffed and leaned back in his seat, staring at the lines of code. While he was trained in this sort of coding, it didn’t mean he was an expert at it. He needed someone more talented in this field. He popped out the datafile, and got to his feet. There was one mech he knew who might be able to help him.

The cafe was nice. It was cozy, and filled with booths so it felt more private than open bar layouts.

Jazz sipped at his warmed energon, optics dimming with delight at the taste. “So much better than that slag at the medical center.”

Prowl chuckled at that. “Glad you like your drink.” He slowly sipped his own and warmly smiled at Jazz. “How are you feeling?”

“I dunno.” Jazz shrugged. “I know bad slag just happened to me, but I don’t remember any of it. So I think I should be upset, but I don’t feel upset.”

Prowl sadly frowned. “There is a support group started by the first victims. I can put you in touch with them, if that might be of help.”

“Well, I don’t think I’m gonna stay in Iacon, honestly,” Jazz replied. “Just go home. Try and forget any of this happened.” Jazz smirked a little. “I wasn’t trying to make a bad joke, I swear.”

Prowl half-smiled. “As an enforcer who’s been chasing this criminal for almost two years, I would prefer you stay. When he is finally found and brought to justice, you and all the others will be very important in putting him away.”

Jazz fingered his drink. “You’re being awfully nice to me.”

Doorwings lowering a little, concern flickered over Prowl’s face. “I just want to help you and the others.”

“Right, I know,” Jazz replied. He had very little faith in the system, especially if they’d been chasing this mech for two years with no results.

“Would it be alright if I asked a few more questions?” Prowl asked, hope lacing his voice.

“Sure, shoot,” Jazz replied.

“How long have you been a Music Mixer?” Prowl asked.

“Uh, like, forever?” Jazz chuckled. “I like traveling, so I go from area to area, MM’ing at popular clubs.”

“But you consider Polyhex your home?” Prowl asked.

“Well, yeah,” Jazz replied. “Where I was born and bred and all that.”

Pensive look on his face, Prowl canted his head. “In Polyhex, do you have friends and an apartment or property you live at?”

“Course I do,” Jazz replied, confused by Prowl’s line of questioning.

“May I have your address?” Prowl asked. “In case you do return home and I need to contact you.”

“Sure, it’s Alpha Circle, downtown Polyhex,” Jazz easily replied.

Taking out a small datapad, Prowl input the address, saving it.

Jazz leaned forward a little. “Can I ask you something?”

“You may ask, but depending on the information I may or may not be able to answer,” Prowl replied.

Jazz snorted and laughed. “You’re too funny.”

Furrowing his brow, Prowl looked confused. “I wasn’t trying to be ‘funny’?”

“I know, which makes you even cuter, honestly,” Jazz replied with a huge grin, which got even bigger when he saw Prowl’s doorwings twitch at being called ‘cute’. “What I was wonderin’ was, is there something about my case that’s different? ‘Cause you and that medic seem pretty keen on me, while your partner didn’t seem to think I had anything worthwhile for you.”

Prowl ran his fingers around the rim of his glass of energon. “Yes, there is more to your particular case. I don’t know that it’s my place to inform you of something medical, however.”

“Medical?” Jazz tensed at that. “Something’s wrong with me?”

“No, nothing like that,” Prowl replied. “I feel odd telling you any of this, though. Especially if Ratchet hasn’t spoken to you about it.”

Jazz frowned and sank into his seat. “I knew you were lyin’.”

“I never lied.” Prowl looked affronted by the accusation.

“You said I didn’t have to go back the medical center, but you’re totally takin’ me back there, aren’t you?” Jazz asked, folding his arms over his chest.

Confused, Prowl shook his head. “I stated that if you required further medical attention I would be duty-bound to return you there. I don’t see how that has anything to do with my reluctance to tell you something about your medical history.”

“It’s code. You don’t tell me somethin’ because you rather the medic tell me, and that means leaving me back in that place,” Jazz replied.

Doorwings lowered and Prowl shook his head. “You are physically healthy. You don’t seem traumatized by the events now that you are no longer drugged, which considering your lack of memory is not surprising. I have seen no reason to return you to the center based on what I previously promised.” Straightening his posture in his seat, Prowl then folded his hands on the table. “That said, you have no residence here in Iacon, and the hospital will provide you proper shelter and care for the time being. In addition, I would selfishly like you to stay on a little while longer in case I need your further assistance.”

Jazz frowned at Prowl. “Medical centers make my plating crawl. I hate ‘em. But I do wanna help if I can. I just don’t wanna stay there.”

“Where have you been staying during your visit?” Prowl asked.

“A friend’s place. But I was supposed to be heading back to Polyhex already and I know his couch is being used by another friend of ours, so he’d be outta room for me now,” Jazz replied with a sigh.

Prowl looked at Jazz. “I would be more than willing to put you up in a hotel.”

“I don’t have that kinda credits on me,” Jazz replied.

“No cost to you, I would pay for it.” Prowl smiled just a little. “Let me help you out. It would mean a lot to me.”

This enforcer was pretty fragging cute, making it really hard to turn him down. Plus, Jazz could really use some alone time someplace like a hotel to get his mind back together. “Okay, but on one condition. You tell me what the medic told you.”

Prowl looked conflicted for a moment, but then he nodded. “Fair enough. But know I’m no medic, so this is just what he mentioned to me… You have an unusual software upgrade for your processor. All of your memories have been copied and stored in a walled off area of your mind. It’s something we as enforcers will use for undercover officers in case they are compromised. What is curious, is that you are not an enforcer. There is no need for such invasive software in your processor.”

“Wait–” Jazz held his hands up. “My memories of what happened to me are still in my processor, just not in my memory core?”

“Yes,” Prowl replied.

Jazz felt a strong pain suddenly flare inside his head, like a processor-ache coming on really fast. He winced and grabbed the side of his helm that was suddenly throbbing.

“Are you alright?” Prowl asked, doorwings lifting up on his back.

Almost as fast as the pain came on full force, it dispersed, and Jazz relaxed. That was odd, he thought. “Yeah, I’m fine. Just a weird pain, but it’s gone.”

“Could be residual from the memory erasure,” Prowl replied.

“Probably.” Jazz sighed. “I got no clue why I’d have dupes of memories. Not sure I really want to remember what happened to me, to be honest. Well, I mean, part of me feels like I wanna know. Like a huge chunk of me is just missin’ now. But if it’s as horrible as I imagine I don’t really think it would help to know?”

“There is no rush to decide about your memories right now. How about I take you to the hotel I have in mind and get you settled in?” Prowl replied.

Jazz nodded. “Yeah, sounds good. I owe you.”

Prowl shook his head. “You owe me nothing. I’m more than happy to help out.”
Having a cute enforcer looking after him was an unexpected bonus. If he was going to be stuck in Iacon longer than he planned, at least he was in seemingly good company.