Warnings: Fantasy so this is waaaaaaaaay messed up and weird and shtuff.
Notes: Birthday and Christmas gift for wicked3659 I hope you like.
Recommended theme for this chapter: Here.
It was true Orion did not have many enemies to begin with and the unification of the city states into one true empire under Sentinel Prime ensured animosity remained to a minimum. Yet, Jazz had been serving as Orion's bodyguard since the young Pax raised to the leadership of the clan, and he took his duty to him very seriously.
Ironhide was the leader of their military and security units but even he was too busy to personally protect and care for the physical well being of their Daimyo, so Jazz was always going about, setting up traps for the unsuspecting and many times, sitting quietly on a corner while Orion worked.
At the same time, Jazz hated routine, he was a mech that liked new experiences and who thought on his feet rather than plan every single second of his day. He knew where Orion was to be found all the time, where he had to go and what he, as his body guard, was supposed to do.
His favorite times of the cycle were when Orion and himself could spend time sparring, the lord of Rodion was as skilled a fighter and stronger than many in his army if not more, so he really didn't need protection from Jazz as much as other lords did from their own bodyguards. It allowed him some spare time to engross himself into other activities, such as espionage.
Jazz preferred to call it 'gathering intelligence' and learning about the whereabouts of their neighbors, but there was always a certain thrill to his activities. Many were personally obtained but he also relied on trustworthy friendships that could get him wind of the hows and whats of other cities.
Sometimes, whenever Orion would go out on diplomatic trips, Jazz would find ways to get mechs to share a little too much information with him, most of the time by giving them one too many mugs of engex or energon wine. Other times, even his people skills would fail to get him out of some situations that tended to embarrass Orion, like the few times he forgot to engage his fuel intake modulator and ended up as cratered as the mechs he was trying to get information from.
More than once, Orion had to barge him out of local prisons where he'd been shoved for 'taking advantage' of mechs from the noble classes. Jazz would categorically deny any wrongdoing other than getting too charged and proceeding to fall flat on his rear, out for the count. Jazz often joked he was a terrible date to go drinking with as he'd fall asleep after one too many drinks.
Still, his pride stung after every time he'd been dragged out of a prison by Orion, who far from being angry or upset just found the mech's antics to be too amusing, teasing his ninja bodyguard on being far from stealthy and deadly in his search for meddling where he wasn't called.
Today the routine was going to be different, though, as Orion and his security detail prepared for a trip to Iacon, the capital city of the empire.
Millennia ago, Cybertron was divided in small city states constantly at war with each other, either due to cultural differences, conflicts of interest or simple ambition to expand beyond their frontiers. Cybertron was ravaged by the wars and the never ending scorn between the different cities, bringing their kind to the edge of extinction.
The official word as recorded by the scribes was that Primus, sentient core of the planet, was in despair at the constant warring of its children and delivered a piece of its own essence to a chosen one, Nova of Iacon, the herald of unification.
This object was called the Matrix of Leadership by Nova, which empowered his body and enriched his mind with wisdom and skill. Nova, now adopting the title of 'Prime', led one more war to unite all the cities into one big empire. His forces defeated one by one the cities that refused to be absorbed into the empire and challenged the truth of Primus' chosen one.
When all cities were united into one empire, Nova, who sustained great injuries and exhausted his spark with the power given by Primus, began to lay down the foundation of the new government, calling forth all the lords of each clan, those who allied to him willingly and those defeated, and formed with them a council that deliberated for a whole stellar cycle, creating the laws that would rule this new empire and distributing the lands to be governed by the clans who would in turn report back to the central government of the Prime.
Nova's reign allowed Cybertron the peace it had not enjoyed ever before and the Prime was hailed as the true guiding hand and heir to Primus' wisdom. But attaining this peace took a lot from the reigning Prime and soon he declared he would be rejoining Primus in the essence of the Allspark.
Nova had but one heir in his clan and he allowed the Matrix to weight him and decide if he was worthy of being the next Prime. Sentinel rose to the challenge and the Matrix nestled itself within his chest, bonding to his spark's core and thus a new Prime was elected.
Sentinel Prime was the ruling Prime since the days of Nova and maintained the peaceful world his predecessor had helped to create, and he oversaw the empire and dealt with any disputes or discontent amongst the clans and cities. Every two or three stellar cycles, he would call every Daimyo to a meeting where the state of each city was brought up and measures were taken to ensure the states were at peace and well funded.
This meeting wasn't going to be about the same issues...this meeting was for Sentinel Prime to designate a successor. He wasn't as old or ailing, but he felt he needed to begin to prepare whoever would be the next Prime to fill a spot that carried a heavy weight and important responsibility. Sentinel had no heirs of his own that he could pass the Matrix to, so he decided his successor had to be one of the lords reigning the cities.
Jazz admitted he enjoyed their trips to Iacon, it was the place to go for the new trends and advancements, and Jazz craved the action he could find in this place, a convergence of all the culture and prosperity of Cybertron. There was a glint on his visor and a familiar grin that a certain lord feared.
"Jazz, please promise me you will behave while we’re in Iacon." Orion sighed in advance, already forseeing his bodyguard would find some trouble for himself.
Jazz's grin only grew wider. "Y’know I have the personal policy of not makin’ promises I can’t keep, boss-bot. Besides, I could get some good intel around here. Might come in handy in case you’re chosen as the next Prime."
Orion shook his head and looked up towards the impressive statue of Nova Prime looming on the distance. "That’s not very likely, Jazz. Everyone is sure Sentinel Prime will choose Zeta. And you’re my bodyguard, I’m not supposed to spend the time getting you out of prison every other trip out of Rodion."
Ratchet, Orion's personal medic and caretaker laughed a little. "Look at it the good way, it keeps your diplomatic skills sharp, Orion."
"Yeah! Primus knows Ironhide ain’t gonna do it." Jazz beamed a decidedly malicious smile towards the old general.
Ironhide was almost as tall and strong as Orion, a seasoned warrior that had served the Pax clan since the days of Nova Prime. "I heard that! You just wait you littl— what the…?" His tirade was cut short when a familiar lord approached the castle of the Prime, followed by a squad of samurai all dressed in proper armor and each one sporting demonic mask.
"Is the circus in town or what? What’s with the masks?" Ironhide scoffed.
Jazz looked up to see Zeta approaching upon noticing Orion and his entourage. "Huh? Oh…that’s Zeta’s security detail. The masks distinguish them as the secret police. Sentinel’s Elite Guard is somewhat based off them." Jazz knew many things about the Petrex secret police thanks to Nightbeat, a member of the Iacon police who was fascinated with them.
"Each member's mask is made to order an' crafted specifically to fit that mech's face. The Petrex hall of records has each mask documented, that's how they avoid anyone tryin' t'pass off as one of the Secret Police." Jazz admitted he'd always wanted to encounter them after all the talk he'd heard from Nightbeat. "Nightbeat told me they wear th'masks not to hide their identity but rather to ensure only trusted members are in the ranks but also to avoid the use of Nightbeat's micro-expressions study techniques along with involuntary movement. These guys can be as still as a statue."
Ratchet tilted his head at the security detail that approached along with their master. "The mask seems to be also a psychological element to infuse a sense of wariness...as far as I know, you're not likely going to see a member of the Secret Police ever unless they have reasons to believe you're up to something."
Ironhide scoffed even more. "I still think they look ridiculous."
"Orion!" Zeta smiled at the other lord and was quick to greet him and his entourage. Behind Zeta stood one of the members of the Secret Police who seemed to be the head of the team, making not a single sound even as he approached.
"Zeta, it's good to see you again, it's been a while." Orion offered a hug and a handshake to the other lord, he and Zeta were often in contact but rarely had the chance to meet in person outside of the meetings in Iacon.
While Orion and Zeta chatted and greeted each other, Jazz's optics looked back at the mech standing behind Zeta, feeling the other's optics focused on him. "See somethin' you like?" Jazz murmured lowly.
Jazz had to fight off the urge to pout at the curt and direct response. "What're ya lookin' at then?"
"You're of the ninja class." The mech's voice had a stronger reverberation, probably due to the mask he wore.
"Yeah, so?" It wasn't like Jazz was making a point of hiding his specialty and talents.
"It's interesting. Not many lords employ your class as bodyguards."
"Not everyone thinks Samurai class are all the rage, mech." Jazz was used to experiencing the disdain of certain members of the Samurai class on other cities, it was believed Ninja were the ones tasked with the less savory tasks, including assassination of those considered a trouble for their masters, and had a bad reputation compared the so called samurai nobility.
The masked mech dipped his head. "I mean no offense. I find the ninja class to be interesting."
"Hm..." Jazz gave a curt nod and turned his attention to Orion, standing closer to him and visibly more tense and staid than usual.
"We should get going now. I'll see you during the meeting, Orion." Zeta waved off the mech and his security detail and turned over to the captain of his Secret Police. "Let's go, Prowl."
The masked mech nodded and gestured with his hand for the rest of the team to fall into formation, escorting their master to his accommodations.
Jazz watched them go. "I already don't like those guys." He crossed his arms and watched Zeta and his detail depart.