Prompt: Bingo Card with the prompts: Champion, crystal gardens, trying to forget, secrets, heroes and villains, first kiss, pets and companion animals.
Verse: Knightformers (robutt version) / Fantasy RPG setting
Warnings:Fantasy so this is waaaaaaaaay messed up and weird and shtuff.
Notes: For the anniversary challenge @ prowlxjazz Atlas is used with permission from my friend Nina. You may want to imagine Atlas as a little noibat.
He was their champion, their most powerful knight, the one who fought many battles in the name of his kingdom and deign heir to the glory of his predecessor and sire. He was the bravest knight, the fastest and a most beloved prince.
People cheered for him every time he strode into battle to protect his people from whoever thought had a right to claim land of wealth from Iacon. He was loved by many both platonically and in more romantic ways. The nobility sought to endear daughters and sons to him, hoping for the prince to find a conjux in one of them.
No such thing had yet happened, the prince's spark was elusive, finding many to be desirable company but none could fill the prince's spark with the happiness and fulfillment he sought in a conjux. He could not see in himself the glittering optics full of love that he could see in his sire and his queen when they gazed on one another.
And now was not the time for him to even think about such trivialities, not when the king and the queen laid in a medical berth, sparks extinguishing bit by bit by the terrible curse of a foe who sought to weaken Iacon and dispose of the symbol of courage and pride the king and queen of Iacon represented before the whole of Cybertron.
As a young spark, the prince saw this kind of tales of heroes and villains with romanticism, dreaming himself to be the hero to save Iacon from the terrible villain, whoever it turned out to be. It had been what powered his dreams of knighthood and for the longest time it had been the way his life had been lived. Until the villain took a shape he could recognize, Lord Starscream, wizard and alchemist with no care in the world but his own desires, and Iacon had long been in his list of wants. Poison or curse, whatever it was the wizard used to weaken the king and queen, the medics could do nothing but to keep them comfortable.
Jazz, prince and heir of the crown of Iacon, couldn't bear to sit and wait for their passing and the crown to be passed down to him like this. Now he rode an abandoned road, wrought with dead mecha-flora, withered from neglect and forsaken by the light of Primus that bathed the beautiful lands of Iacon and even now and again, the dark lands of Kaon.
Long ago, this was a land of beauty, the legends spoke of how wonderful the kingdom of Praxus had been, so glorious it put even Iacon to shame, a land renowned for its mystical crystal gardens where legend had it, any medicine could be made out of those crystals, their fountain's energon could cure any ailment.
Praxus was long gone, devastated by a monster that viciously destroyed it all. Nobody knew the truth about the kingdom, only tales remained that the last few survivors of Praxus managed to cage the creature, chained to the last remnant of the central crystal of the Crystal Gardens. Some stories claimed this monster was once a Praxian himself who lost his spark and was transformed into the horrible creature that laid waste to the prosperous land.
These tales claimed it was this monster who kept that single crystal alive, partly fused to the crystal now this being fed the one remaining crystal, a small hope that this crystal remained pure and able to heal the king and the queen.
No one dared to reach the former gardens where a rudimentary prison was built to keep the monster hidden from the world. Jazz felt it was his only hope to save his parents and secretly delay the time for his own coronation. He wasn't ready yet...he could not be a king just yet. It was a secret he hid behind his mask of confidence and bravado. He couldn't be the new king yet, he was a knight, he was a soldier, a bachelor prince that partied and laughed. He was never going to be a good king.
He rode alone but always alert, with one hand resting on the hilt of his sword, ready to defend himself if need be. Praxus' ruins were every bit as depressing and desolated as he imagined them to be from what the legends described, and his spark pulsed with a mixture of excitement and apprehension when he approached the only structure still standing.
"Here goes nothin'."
Jazz breathed in deeply, despite the air being impregnated with the smell of old age and decay. He dismounted his steed and walked inside. His steps usually were quiet in the halls of Iacon's palace, but in this silent prison, each step echoed loudly. The ground creaked and the walls dripped with the moisture left behind by a storm occurred who knew how long ago. He crossed the halls and corridors, looking for the center of the tower-like prison, wondering just how many centuries old this building was.
He found a fait greenish light at the end of the corridor and approached cautiously, as he crossed the threshold he could see that which he came for, the last remaining piece of Praxus' mystical crystals, tall like the tower itself, and partly embedded into it was a figure clad in black, white and red. Was he even alive? Was that the monster the legends spoke of?
Jazz reached a hand out in marvel just to have it bitten by something small and definitely very much alive. "Ow! Hey, what're you doin'?!" Jazz shook off the little purple bat-like critter that clung to his hand with its fangs. "Stopt that, lemme go!" the prince shook his hand to be able to get the little bat off his hand only to find himself attacked by the purple terror, sweeping and diving around him to try to fend him off.
"I said stop that!" Jazz batted his hands around and managed to land a slap on the tiny thing, sending it against the ground with a pained squeak.
"That wasn't very nice of you." The voice that echoed in the room was like a malevolent purr, sending chills into the prince's spark.
Jazz looked at the being that seemed to be partly hanging from the crystal, its head bowed down as if it had been sleeping. The being's head tilted back a little, its green optics looking at the prince with a mixture of amusement and malice. The little bat flew up to Jazz's face and chittered angrily at him before returning to sit on the being's shoulder.
"It attacked me first!" Jazz brought his hands up, trying to show he meant no harm.
"You are the stranger in his territory, in his view, you are invading his home and his friend." The being, chained and partly merged with the crystal, straightened a little as the tiny bat continued to chitter and hiss at the prince, stopping only to nuzzle his companion's cheek a little. "What business bring you here, prince of Iacon?"
"You wear your family's crest. It has not changed since the dawns of its creation. Iacon used to be an up and coming city, I guess it still stands to this day." The being spoke always through a fanged smile that was neither kind nor welcoming.
"I see...you really are as ancient as I was told." Jazz grimaced as the little bat hissed at him again, as if taking offense of the comment in behalf of his friend. "I came to look for this crystal. I was told it has the power to heal any ailment. I need it. Iacon needs it."
The being tilted his head a little. "Why would Iacon need this?"
"The monarchs have fallen ill due to a curse, they need this crystal's power. I have to heal them...I'll...just be takin' a piece of it and take my leave, didn't mean to disturb you or your friend..."
Jazz blinked behind his visor. "Sorry?"
"My name is Prowl. My friend's name is Atlas."
Jazz wasn't sure what to think of this creature just yet. "Oh! Uh...nice to...meet you?"
"The crystal won't heal them. This crystal hasn't been nourished properly in centuries, I am all that has kept this crystal existing." Prowl's smirk grew wider and more sinister. "I don't think you'd want that kind of thing going to your parents."
"I have to find a cure...what can I do to nourish this crystal?" Jazz refused to let go of his one remaining piece of hope. He wasn't ready to be the king yet.
"Nothing that would renew its properties before your parents perish, I am afraid you are out of options." Prowl shrugged, rattling his chains. Atlas flew away from his shoulder and picked something that looked like a bowl made of crystal, it was heavy but the little bat seemed to be stubborn an carried it over to a puddle of energon he filled somewhat and carried it over to Prowl. Prowl humored the little bat and drank the offered energon, though he really didn't need the sustenance anymore.
"I can't accept that!" Jazz couldn't help himself and stomped his foot on the ground out of frustration. "They can't die, not yet. You've got to help me, you must know something that can heal them."
Atlas flew to deposit the bowl back by the seemingly never drying puddle and flew up to Jazz to hiss at him again before taking his place back on Prowl's shoulder. "I'm sorry, little prince. I am afraid I cannot help you. As you can see, I am a little...tied up." Prowl grinned again, nodding towards the crystals that had stabbed through his hands, keeping him immobile for centuries.
"I'll free you, then." Jazz stood his ground. "Help me heal my parents, I'll give you anythin' you want." A frown could be seen around his mouth, one that probably would have been seen on his optics if the visor did not obstruct them.
"What makes you think I would help you if you freed me? Haven't you paid attention to the tales, little prince? I am not to be trusted, I could betray you at any time. Maybe I'll even eat your spark." Prowl bared his fangs with a cruel grin.
"Just who are you? What are you? The tales say you used to be a praxian before, what happened to you?" Jazz was surprised to see Prowl's smirk fade into a scowl, one that spoke of a past that still seemed to haunt this being even after centuries. His optics closed, darkening his face as if he was trying to forget, fight back whatever memories the prince's questions roused from the darkness of his mind.
"I used to be someone else a long time ago It doesn’t matter now, I’m not that person anymore. The past is the past, I won’t mourn that which is long gone." Prowl looked back at the prince, but his smirk was gone. Atlas made soft chirruping sounds, nuzzling his face as if trying to offer comfort. "I wasn't good enough for the ambitions of others, I was in the way of their desires and objectives. They tried to kill me, instead I was turned into what you see now."
"You killed everyone in Praxus because a handful of people betrayed you?" Jazz frowned, he'd never experience that kind of anger or betrayal, he couldn't fathom ever experiencing such murderous rage.
"They took away my life, I took away the object of their ambition. Seemed fair to me at the time." Prowl shrugged. He closed his eyes again, pushing aside the memories of his life as a mortal being, a young king trying to be fair and kind to his people...no, he wasn't going to dwell in the past, that mech was gone. This was him now and forever. "Very well, little prince. I will help you on one condition."
"What is that?" Jazz felt like he was making a deal with a devil and hoped he would not regret his decision.
"After your parents have been healed, and after you rid yourself of the thorn threatening you and your kingdom, little prince...I will claim one thing from you?" Prowl's smirk returned to his face.
"Release me and I will tell you." Prowl purred, the malevolence of his voice somehow didn't feel real. Atlas fluttered off his shoulder and squeaked towards the seal in the middle of his chest, holding down the chains, advising the prince how to release his friend.
"...Fine." Jazz gestured for the little bat to give him room as he unsheathed his sword and slashed the seal across the middle, breaking it. Just then Prowl's chains broke as his legs cracked and kicked the crystal that had grown around him. Released, the creature hovered above the prince as Atlas fluttered around him with delighted squeaks, rubbing his head against Prowl's cheek. Prowl stroked the little bat's head affectionately as he looked at the prince that gawked at the sight of his full form.
"Let us seal the contract, then." Prowl spoke as he approached the prince, green flames ignited at his sides, like ghostly souls bound to him.
Jazz stepped back on instinct as his chin was cupped by the being's clawed hands. "When the time comes, I will claim one thing from you." Prowl repeated. "Your first kiss."
Jazz frowned. "Are you going to steal my spark with it?" Jazz tried his best not to show indignation at being correctly guessed as being inexperienced in the matters of love or romantic affection.
Prowl chuckled eerily and leaned his face towards the prince's, pressing a chaste kiss to the corner of the prince's mouth. "Maybe."
Atlas sat atop Prowl's helm when he pulled back and pointed a wing forward, releasing a cry that seemed to be a rally to move onwards towards their adventure. "The contract is sealed, young prince. Let us go then...I'll show you the way."