Czerwony Rozpacz - Chapter 1
The neon rain finally passed over as Jazz, a veteran from a war long past, sped down the wet highway. Traffic wasn't too bad and he was making decent time, despite the unexpected rain. The sol peeped through the sulphur clouds high above him, and Jazz could not deny that it was a pleasant view, considering he was on the northern hemisphere of Cybertron. Growing up on the southern side of the world wasn't the best place to appreciate the sol, since it rarely shined down there.
A sound from his comm unit brought him back to attention, and he quickly answered the call. "I'm on route," he said instantly, knowing full well who would call him out of the blue.
"Noted," came a cool stoic reply. "Just to confirm, they are expecting you in exactly twelve minutes, and they want to be impressed. I assume you have the credentials?"
"This is me ya talkin' to," retorted Jazz, with a little cheek. "Everythin' will go as planned. I got this. I'll call ya later."
He hanged up, knowing he'll get another call in about an hour, despite his promise. He continued driving down the damp highway, turning off at the next junction, driving through a bright city, getting closer to his destination. A few more turns down the city streets, he spotted a sign that told him he was going in the right direction.
"Welcome to the Towers."
Jazz still could not believe that he was entering the famous city, named for its tall and majestic towers. Mechs like him were frowned upon in a city like this, as it was home to the most egotistical and narcissistic society, on all of Cybertron. Being there, however, made one forget it was home to such a community of vain Cybertronians. The Towers was a whole city was made up of towering buildings of metal and glass, stretching up so high, they almost breached the stratosphere. Walkways and roads were built around the gigantic buildings, allowing its citizens to travel from any level anywhere. In fact, some say that if you were in the middle level of the city, you could see neither the top nor the bottom of it.
Continuing with the last leg of his journey, he eventually reached a manned security gate, where it prevented unauthorised personal from entering a certain group of towers. Converting from his vehicle mode, he was approached by two security guards.
"Primus, even their security force is all dolled up," muttered Jazz, as the guards approached him, noticing how shiny their armour was. Pretty to look at, but it wouldn't last a second in combat.
"What is your business here," demanded one of the guards.
Jazz held up a pass, smirking a little. "I'm here for the Mortal Sol," he replied coolly.
The guard gave Jazz a funny look, before he gave the pass a quick look over, gasping aloud after reading its contents. He motioned the other guard to open the gate, and ushered Jazz in. "They're expecting you," he said, pointing towards the entrance of the nearby tower, "let them know at the front desk. They'll take it from there."
Jazz thanked them silently and walked onwards, knowing he had plenty of time left. He climbed a set of steep chrome stairs, ignoring how some passerby's stared at him with shock, and entered the building. Inside one of the towers, that gave the city its name, Jazz found that the inside was almost as beautiful as the building outside. The floors gleamed of cleanness, awe inspiring statues were put out on display, glowing crystals dangled from the ceiling, exotic plants decorating the vast foyer, but the stench of the fragrant rich wax nearly made Jazz purge. All around him, mechs and femmes rushed about, going about their daily business, all of them with ridiculously bright paintwork, and over the top frames decorating their bodies. No other place like this existed anywhere else on Cybertron, and from his first visit, Jazz could see why.
Making his way over to the main desk, many turned their olfaction sensors up at him, sneering in disgust, and gasping when they nearly made contact with him. Ignoring them all, Jazz leaned against the main desk, giving the femme sitting behind it one of his best smiles.
"The names Jazz, sweetspark," he announced, "I'm here 'bout the Mortal Sol."
The secretary gave him a polite smile, before checking the pass Jazz held out for her, and the data on her computer system. "Jazz of Tyger Pax?" she confirmed, "you're early. I'll let them know you arrived, in the meantime, please have a seat."
Jazz chose to stand and wait, leaning against the desk and observing the main foyer. On the walls and hovering overhead were a large number of advertisements, each one displaying a fair model and the product they advertised. Some promoted perfumed body wax, others promoted racing wheels, and one of them even promoted the featuring model. Gazing around some more, he spotted a blank one, that simply stated,
"Coming soon. Beauty Immortal."
Jazz could only assume that it was some brand of perfume, or something.
"Jazz of Tyger Pax?" Hearing his name, Jazz looked around until he spotted a petite femme rushing towards him. "A pleasure to meet you," she squeaked, skidding to a halt before him, "I am Glyph, junior assistant to Quadocular, the manger of the Mortal Sol. We weren't expecting you to arrive early."
"Only by a minute, sweetspark," chuckled Jazz.
"Well here in the Towers, a minute less or a minute more makes a huge difference," giggled Glyph, trying to be friendly. "Follow me please."
Letting her lead, Jazz stuck close with the small femme, following her through the foyer and down a long hallway. "He's in the middle of a shoot, but it shouldn't be an issue if we wait on the set," explained Glyph, guiding Jazz into an elevator.
As the elevator shot upwards, the glass interior gave Jazz a wonderful view of the city. "It wouldn't surprise me if this sight never tires ya," said Jazz.
"Only if you were born here," responded Glyph, with a smile. "Fun fact: this entire Tower we're in, is owned by Pulchritudo INC. Most corporations and businesses only own part of a single tower. The fact that Pulchritudo INC owns a whole tower, makes them one of the most powerful corporations on all of Cybertron."
"Cool," replied Jazz, trying to sound interested.
"In fact, Pulchritudo INC is attempting to take control of another tower; the Prima Tower," continued Glyph, "Prima Tower used to house three hundred and eighty one companies. Pulchritudo INC now owns two hundred of those companies, and it is believed they'll have the whole Tower in about one hundred years."
The small femme continued to talk Jazz's audios off, until they finally reached their destination. Leaving the glass elevator, Jazz now found himself in a long white corridor, where even more mechs and femmes dashed about, disappearing and reappearing from rooms with red lights above them. Some of them were pulling rails of flashy garments, whilst others carried boxes of expensive paint, and some of them were just holding heavy duty briefcases, as if their lives depended on it. There were orders being barked, angry questions demanding answers, and inquiries being fulfilled with little praise. Jazz swerved in and out of the chaos, letting Glyph guide him through all of it.
"It's even busier up here, than it was down below," snorted Jazz.
"This is the busiest studio in this entire building," explained Glyph, "and this isn't busy. We're actually quite chilled out at the moment." Jazz found that one even harder to believe. It was like a war zone up here, and he fought in one.
After some more ducking and turning, they reached a studio door. The light above it was lit, and a sign next to it stated, Studio 85: The Mortal Sol. Glyph used a pass to unlock the door, and ushered Jazz in, with urgency. As soon as he stepped in, she closed the door.
"Please keep quiet whilst we're in here," she whispered. Jazz gave her a thumbs up and followed after her as she lead on, trying to be as quiet as he could.
Inside the studio, there was a lot to be seen. It was a large room, with hundreds of lights adorning the ceiling, and crammed with so many things. In one corner, 'bots were arranging garments, quietly discussing among themselves which one would be suitable for the next shot. In another corner, a group of important looking 'bots were surrounding a large table, studying photos and organising them. Some of them would agree on one and store it in a sturdy case, but the ones they didn't agree on were put into a pile for possible destruction, or maybe it was a yet-to-be-decided pile.
Walking in further, he spotted a long table filled with sweet looking energon treats, where 'bots were either replenishing or eating from it. There was also music playing from somewhere, and every now and then, Jazz would detect a flash coming from somewhere. He followed Glyph round a corner, until the small femme told him to wait.
Looking up, he saw the source of the flash; a mech holding an expensive looking camera, and constantly taking photos, whilst shouting words of praise to someone. He couldn't see who he was photographing, for a large screen was in the way. Nearby were a collection of chairs, some of them were occupied, and one of them had a sleeping insectibot on it. Sitting next to the sleeping beast, was a tall dark blue and silver mech, with two pairs of turquoise optics, hidden behind a unique set of glasses.
Glyph walked over and talked to the seated mech for a moment, pointing towards Jazz. Without uttering a word, he slowly rose from where he sat, and approached Jazz with a calm but strict smile. "You must be Jazz of Tygar Pax," he said, extending a dark hand towards him, "I must say, you are rather early for the meeting. We were not expecting you, until today's session was completed."
Jazz smiled as casually as he could, whilst shaking the open hand. "I prefer to be early," he replied. "Gives me the chance to learn of my surroundings."
The four optic mech shooed Glyph away, before responding. "Very smart, very smart indeed. I'm certain my dear Glyph has already told you, but a second more or a second less can make a vast difference here in the Towers." He bowed his head before continuing, "Well, I am Quadocular, the manager for the Mortal Sol."
Jazz studied his appearance for a brief moment. The mech reminded him of of those organic insects he read in data pads, not the hideous ones that made him queasy, but rather the pretty ones. He also had the strangest set of limbs Jazz had ever seen. From the elbow down on his arms, his forearms branched off into two separate limbs, making it look like he had four arms. His legs were doubled jointed, his pedes appearing sharp but delicate. All of his limbs decorated with thin metal quills, and polished until Jazz was able to see his reflection upon them, his black and dark blue colours looking majestic upon his slim frame. Given his unique appearance, Jazz could only wonder what kind of vehicular mode the mech had. He seemed calm and looked friendly enough, but this was only their first meeting.
"He's almost done," said Quadocular, standing back up, "you can watch if you like. Just please don't make any sudden moves beyond that line-" Jazz spotted the long black and yellow line upon the floor "-because the last thing we need is for someone to distract him." Jazz gave him a silent acknowledgement, slowly following him around the large screen.
The photographer continued to snap pictures, and continued to give out sickening praise. Peeping round the screen, Jazz spotted a flash of yellow, and his optics landed upon something quite stunning. "So that's the Mortal Sol, huh?"
Standing alone, completely surrounded by white, a young mech posed before the camera. His frame was a brilliant golden yellow, with hints of black here and there to make his bright paintwork stand out. His was a medium build, with a neat but glorious helm design, and a pure white face filled with charm. The way he moved was enchanting, elegant, and graceful, and every pose he made was worthy of praise from the photographer.
"Isn't he just splendid?" sighed Quadocular, clasping his hands in admiration.
Jazz wasn't certain how to respond, so he just nodded his head in agreement. "He certainly knows how to work it," he said.
"He's the best model we've ever had," gloated Quadocular, "with over seven hundred sponsors, holding the top model title for over six centuries, and getting a role in an upcoming movie dedicated to the Towers first model, he truly is a blessing to us here, at Pulchritudo INC."
"A movie? I guess he'll be real busy," pondered Jazz.
"He's a model, my good mech," chortled Quadocular, "he's always busy."
A loud ringing sound filled the air, and someone shouted, "alright, that's a wrap! Pack it up so we can go home!" The studio was suddenly filled with movement, as everyone began to clear up from today's activities. The photographer put his camera away, after handing the card holding all of his captured pictures, to his assistant. The garments were stored away in the blink of an optic, the tables were cleared in a matter of seconds, and there were already cleaners buffing the floor. A group of mechs, carrying towels and bottles of expensive energon, dashed towards the yellow model, handing him what he needed.
"You were wonderful, sir!" they shrieked, being careful not to stand to close to him. "You were spectacular!"
"Aren't I always?" boasted the model, strutting off the set.
Quadocular excused himself from Jazz's presence, and walked on over to the Mortal Sol. Before Jazz could join them, his comm went off again. Sighing in annoyance, he discreetly answered the call. "Call me back later," he hissed, "I'm in the middle of somethin' and you're not helpin' me!"
"Apologies, but I forgot to mention this," came the stoic voice from before, "no matter what you do, do not touch the target. I repeat, do not make any physical contact with him."
From the corner of his optics, Jazz spotted Quadocular walking back towards him, with the model. "Noted," he said, before hanging up. He turned round to face the two mechs, smiling as if nothing had happened.
"Jazz, allow me to introduce the Mortal Sol," announced Quadocular, "young sir, this is Jazz of Tygar Pax, your new bodyguard."
The model stepped forward, eyeing Jazz with vigilant optics. "You're quite robust, aren't you," he mused, slowly circling Jazz.
"Is that an issue?" asked Jazz.
"No, it's a good thing actually," responded the model, "before, they sent me lanky fools who wouldn't know the first thing about basic defence, if you smacked their faces with a manual." He stood in front of Jazz again, staring up at him. "Apparently you were the top of your class, at the defence academy. Think you you can handle a crowd of love struck fans?"
"I don't think I can, I know I can," responded Jazz confidently. "If anyone so much as attempts to touch ya, I'll make 'em leave without the means to touch anyone."
The model broke into a smile and chuckled. "I like him," he declared.
Quadocular stepped forward, holding out a digital sheet. "All is left for you to do is read and sign the contract," he explained.
"Ah, an infamous contract," snickered Jazz, taking it from the four optic mech, "heard these are a real pain in the rear plating up here."
His statement was met with a few sharp glares, but it only caused the model to laugh out loud. A nearby assistant ran over, her face filled with concern. "Sir, please don't laugh too much," she pleaded, "you just had your face treated."
"We're you injured?" queried Jazz, a little concerned.
"Oh no, no," giggled the model, "if I laugh too much, they think I'll ruin my face."
Jazz rolled his optics and looked back at the contract. It was all very standard, with a few things that would make one raise an optic brow, but it was to be expected. He was allowed to freely move around the city, allowed to stay in the Mortal Sol's home to guard him, was granted his own room with a good wage, and he was even allowed to leave to visit family and friends, unless he had to guard his client, meaning he had to drop everything and return no matter what it was.
Considering this was a Towers contract, this one was actually not so bad. Contracts were everything in this towering city, and to break one was like committing a federal offence, punishable by execution. Jazz was warned beforehand about this, so he was prepared to read every line before signing anything. This wasn't the first Towers contract Jazz had to sign, for he had to sign quite a few before entering the city, and a few hundred more before he was granted permission to approach the Mortal Sol. The Towers loved their data trail, no matter what the other cities thought of it.
Once he was happy, Jazz gave the contract his digital signature, and handed it back. "Anything else?" he asked.
"Nope," replied the model, "but I will have to show you where I live, since you'll be staying there with me."
"Really?" That was a little surprising. "Don't I get a handover from your old bodyguard?"
The Mortal Sol gave Jazz a dark look. "He broke his contract," he stated.
That was all Jazz needed to hear.
The walk from the studio to the penthouses wasn't that far. Thankfully all of Pulchritudo INC's models lived and worked in the same tower, and they all lived up on the highest floors. Still, the tower was fifteen miles wide, so it was still quite a walk to get to the nearest elevator that would take one to the penthouse level.
As they walked, the Mortal Sol was constantly on his comm, either confirming something or disagreeing with someone, possibly about photo shoots or sponsors. Quadocular pretty much did the same thing, but he was also holding a leash, with that insectibot scurrying on the other end. The little black, yellow and purple critter growled and chirped as it chased after his owner, it's antennas twitching in a way that made Jazz grimace with distaste. He wasn't sure why, but stuff like that made him feel queasy.
Once the Mortal Sol was finished with his call, he looked back over at Jazz. "There are guides and manuals located in your room, along with your own personal energon storage facility. You are allowed in any room, except mine."
"Anything else.... er, sir?" asked Jazz.
The model chuckled a little. "You can call me Sunstreaker," he said. "I hate it when people address me like that."
"That's your real name?" inquired Jazz.
"Yes. Sounds pretty, doesn't it?" boasted the model.
Jazz didn't think so, it just sounded a little over the top.
When they reached the elevators, another mech walked out of one. Like Sunstreaker, he was pretty to look at, and was surrounded by a group of mechs, so Jazz could only guess that he was a model too. His frame was a dark shade of blue, and his face was a bright shade of red, and he reeked of some overpowering perfume. The blue model was already giving Sunstreaker a foul look.
"So Mortal Sol, I heard you landed quite the deal with a second grade beauty company," he hissed. "Are you getting that desperate?"
Sunstreaker merely glared at him as he entered the elevator. "My image deserves to be on everything, Blue Flame. Why ask? Are you not happy with your ratings? Heard they went down a little." The blue mech gave Sunstreaker an evil glare as the elevators doors closed, behind them. "Primus, that Tracks is such a whiny bitch," muttered the model, leaning against the glass wall.
"His ratings have dropped a little compared to yours," informed Quadocular, checking some data on his personal media pad, "but he is fighting to get a deal with Firestar Motors. If he succeeds, he might overtake you in the next quarter."
"Then work faster and get me that Sweet Slurp deal," snapped Sunstreaker, "it may be a lousy energon sweet company, but with my image on their products, they'll fly off the shelves. I'll be so far in the lead, he'll need to sign a contract with a third rate beauty company."
"Working on that, and you have to make an appearance at the new Celestial Spa, they just opened in the Solus Tower," continued Quadocular, "they're sending over the usual present tomorrow, along with a complimentary sample of their new perfumed wax. They want your permission to name it after you."
"Only after I tested it. If I detest it, they can name it after Tracks," snapped Sunstreaker. "Have the gift sent to the usual place, and order me some more of that nucleon liquor."
Jazz could only try to zone out as they continued chattering. Was this the life of a model? It seemed so much more stressful than he had imagined. So many appointments, sponsors, and deals to make, it almost made them sound like politicians, trying to battle each other to win the publics favours. He just assumed that all they did was stand around and get told how pretty they were.
"Have you ever been this high before?" asked Sunstreaker, addressing him out of the blue.
"Hmm? Oh no, I don't think I have," replied Jazz.
"Well you're in luck," giggled Sunstreaker, "I live in the twenty thousand section, all they way at the top. We call it the TT sector."
"So you live on the top of this tower?" confirmed Jazz.
"Oh Primus no," snorted Sunstreaker, "all of the models live in the twenty thousand section, which is about two hundred floors down from the peak of the tower. I live at the top of the twenty thousand section, and here in the Towers, the higher you live, the more important you are."
Jazz processed this information. So all of the models of Pulchritudo INC, live in one section of this tower. Since Sunstreaker lived above them all, it meant he was the most important model of them all.
"Do you share floors?" asked Jazz, trying to understand his new home.
"The tower narrows the higher it goes," explained Quadocular, "the models who live in the lower part of the TT section, have to share their floor with the other less popular models. Since the Mortal Sol lives at the top of the TT, where he belongs, he is the proud owner of a five mile wide floor. It is a marvellous penthouse, with seven rooms, all with en suites, it's own spa, an emergency studio, enormous walk in wardrobes, and the largest balcony in the whole building. It even has an indoor Luna garden."
Jazz tried to look impressed. "That grand, huh?"
"Two million years ago, a Prime used to live in it," boasted Sunstreaker.
"You may as well be one, sir," chortled Quadocular.
It was a good thing he was wearing a visor, for he had to roll his optics at that one. Jazz was right about one thing about this place, and that was these models were just awful. He had to shift a little when the little insectibot started to rub up against his leg, the wretched little thing purring and chirping as it did.
They finally reached their destination, and the elevator door slid open to reveal a small, but beautiful white hallway. A large door stood at the other end of the room, surrounded with security cameras and sensors, and a pair of decorative golden statues. Jazz's visor allowed him to see all of the invisible lasers, and he was impressed with how many there were, including additional high tech security sensors. This must be the front entrance to Sunstreaker's home.
Sunstreaker approached the door, clearing his throat before declaring, "The Mortal Sol has returned. With guests." There were several clicks and whirrs, before the door opened. The three mechs entered and found themselves in a large hall. "Home sweet home," yawned Sunstreaker, opening a large set of doors that lead into a beautiful living room.
Like the entrance, it was completely white in colour. There was a large window on one side of the room, giving one a spectacular view of the city. Near the centre of the room was a circular sunken couch, with a high tech media player situated in the middle, and even a game system near it. There were a group of couches on the other end of the room, and next to that was a fancy looking kitchen facility, filled with different brands and different treats. Along the walls were some posters and advertisements, all featuring Sunstreaker, and there were some personal photos on display as well. It was a beautiful home, but Jazz had yet to see all of it.
Sunstreaker stretched a little before turning to Jazz. "Your room is just through that door, down the hallway, and on the left," he informed. "Bob has been using it as a playroom while it's been vacant."
"Bob?" That was an odd name.
"Yes, he's quite a troublesome little critter, aren't you Bob?" Sunstreaker bent down to pet the little insectibot, who purred and growled. "Who's a little naughty critter? You are! Yes you are," cooed the model, tickling his little pet.
"I'll just be in the library, updating your compilation," announced Quadocular, taking his leave.
Sunstreaker stood back up, shooing his pet away. "So there is a map of the property in your room, you'll need to enter your information into the security system, we can do that later. What else? Oh, I need to give you an emergency pager, and I'm going to need your contact details."
"Of course," replied Jazz, "is there anythin' I need to know about this place? Any other rooms I'm not allowed in? Weak points? Any place a fan of yours could break into?"
The model thought for a moment, and gasped when he remembered something. "Oh yes, there was something I didn't mention to you earlier! I was so caught up in my work I completely forgot. You see, I-"
Before he could finish, Quadocular returned. "Begging your pardon sir, but I just got a call from his highness. Something regarding the new policy."
Sunstreaker released an angry sigh, stamping a lone foot upon the marble floor. He quickly composed himself, and coughed in embarrassment. "I'll be right back," he said, walking off to join Quadocular, and leaving Jazz all alone.
Looking out the window, he heaved as he gazed down at the metropolis. "Good thing I don't have vertigo," he murmured to himself. Bob continued to try and gnaw at his legs, and Jazz continued to try and shoo him away. "Go on, get!" he spat, trying not to touch it. It ignored him at first, but then all of a sudden he scurried off, vanishing through an open door. Jazz was just happy it was gone.
Before he could relax, his comm went off again. He groaned in disbelief as he answered it. "Seriously, can't you leave me alone for one minute?" he huffed.
"I left you alone for one hour," retorted the voice from the other end, "now give me an update."
"Well, I'm in," grunted Jazz, placing an arm upon the window, as he leaned against it. "You weren't kiddin' about these bratty models, and their contracts."
"You signed the contract they presented you?" demanded the caller, "you read it? Did you understand it?
"Yeah, yeah," replied Jazz.
"Good. As long as you obey the conditions in the contract, you'll be able to carry out your investigation," informed the caller, "any progress so far?"
"I just literally walked through the front door," snapped Jazz, curling his hand into an agitated fist. "I'm still not even sure what I'm looking for."
Jazz heard an frustrated sigh from the other side. "All we know is that it has something to do with that model," continued the caller, "we're still digging up clues, but I think we found something. Can't confirm it yet."
"Cool," replied Jazz, "so where is a good place to meet up?"
"Gears Grease Cakes," answered the caller.
"Seriously?" snorted Jazz, a little amused, "you hate places like that."
"A Tower bot will stick out like a sore digit there," explained the caller, "now to get there, you will have to leave the city, but it's right by the border..."
As Jazz listened to the directions, something caught his attention. In the window before him, someone's reflection was showing behind his, someone walking behind him. He couldn't quite see who, but it wasn't Sunstreaker or that four optic mech. Whoever it was, they were red. Spinning round, he just saw someone vanish round the corner, near the energon dispenser.
"I'll call you back," he whispered, hanging up abruptly.
Carefully treading towards the place where he saw the movement, Jazz tried to figure out who it could be. Was it a die hard fan, breaking and entering? A maid? A butler? Sunstreaker never mentioned anything about servants. A thief? A rival model? Jazz bit his lip as the countless possibilities ran through his head. He didn't have his swords with him, for they were still getting processed back at the Towers border control, so hand to hand combat was his option option.
As he got closer, he heard the sound of muffled music. A mini radio perhaps? Audio phones maybe? Peering round the corner, he saw someone was behind the door of the open energon storage. He couldn't see who, but someone was in there, rummaging through the snacks and drinks. He could see the feet under the open door, but that was all.
He edged a little closer, reaching for the door. Plan was simple; pull it open, and threaten whoever was behind it.
Stepping a little closer, he slowly took hold of the door.
He took a deep vent.
Hopefully this was nothing.
It was obviously something, but he didn't know what.
He formed a fist with his free hand.
Exhaling quietly, he counted down from three.
Pulling the door open as fast as he could, and raising his free hand into a fist, he readied himself for whatever was behind the door.
What he saw surprised him a little.
Standing up from a bent position, a young mech in red armour stared at him with a dumbfounded expression. A pair of audio phones were wrapped around his spiky helm, an oil cake was wedged between the lips of his pale face, and in each hand was an energon beverage. He appeared surprised, but also looked annoyed, with Jazz.
Jazz found him to be suspicious, for the stranger was rough and untidy looking, which would arouse any suspicion given the city they were in. He obviously didn't belong here, but what was he doing here in the first place?
Removing the audio phones from his helm, with the fingers of his occupied hands, as well as grabbing the snack from his mouth, the red mech demanded, "who the frag are you?"
"I could ask you the same thing," snapped Jazz, "who are you, and what are you doing here?"
"I live here," spat the red mech angrily.
At first, Jazz was unsure how to answer that, but he was very certain that this little punk did not live here. His appearance was untidy, his accent was off, and he even reeked of street life. "This is the property of the Mortal Sol," declared Jazz, "so explain to me, what a lil' punk aft brat like you is doing here?"
"Frag you, pal," growled the red mech, "you're the trespasser here!"
"I work here, kid," responded Jazz, his temper starting to rise.
"As if anyone would hire some backwater goon, like you," hissed the red mech.
Jazz was about to grab him, when Sunstreaker finally returned. "Sorry about that, I-" he paused when he spotted Jazz with the red mech. "Oh! I see you met my brother."
"Brother?" repeated Jazz, looking back at the red mech, "him?"
Sunstreaker trotted over, until he stood in between the two mechs. "Jazz, this is my twin brother, Sideswipe. Sideswipe, this is my new bodyguard, Jazz."
Twins? Sunstreaker had a twin? He hadn't been informed about that, nor was that information common knowledge, as far as he was concerned. He looked back and forth between the two brothers, trying to find the family resemblance. They were the same build, their faces a little similar, and their armour looked the same in some places, but whilst Sunstreaker was bright and charming to look at, this Sideswipe looked like someone who walked off the street. The only thing about them that looked identical were their optics, both a beautiful shade of blue with dark sharp brows. It was still unbelievable that the famous Mortal Sol had a twin, especially one like this little punk.
"I believe you owe me an apology," sneered the red mech.
"Did something happen?" asked Sunstreaker, appearing concerned.
"This slagger thought I was an intruder," snapped the red mech, pointing a free finger at Jazz.
"Oh you can't blame him for that Sideswipe," chuckled Sunstreaker, "I mean, you are a little rough looking, compared to me, plus I forgot to mention to him that you lived here. He was just doing his job."
That seemed to have angered the red mech, for he shoved his audio phones back on in a huff, and stormed off, pushing past Jazz in anger.
"Sorry about that," sighed Sunstreaker, "Despite the fact that we are both twins, we aren't that similar to each other, mostly in manners."
"Do I have to bodyguard him too?" asked Jazz, hoping he didn't have to.
"Oh no, no," replied the model, "just me."
Soon after that troublesome ordeal, Jazz sat down with Sunstreaker to discuss his new role as the Mortal Sol's bodyguard. After listening to the lengthy explanation, Jazz was quite surprised how easy and laid back his job was. Whilst Sunstreaker was in the Pulchritudo INC tower, he did not require a bodyguard. The only time Jazz was needed, was if Sunstreaker were to leave the tower, and he only ever had to leave the tower when he had to promote a foreign product, or make a guest appearance at some event. Jazz could do whatever he wanted till he was needed, and when he was needed, he had to drop everything and dash to Sunstreaker's side. That and as long as he never broke his contract agreement, everything else was just a drive down the road.
It seemed unusual, as Jazz believed that a bodyguard was required to guard their client no matter what, no matter where. Yet he was only needed when Sunstreaker left the safety of his home tower, and that was it. What was the actual point of his presence? Why was he needed at all? He shouldn't complain, after all this was helping him with his true goal, the whole reason he came to the Towers in the first place.
"The last little thing you need to do, is meet with the CEO of Pulchritudo INC," said Sunstreaker, finishing off his tea. "We will meet with him tomorrow, just before he takes brunch with the CEO of the Ludicrous company. He's always on a better mood when talking with her, so we timed that right."
"Why must I meet with him?" asked Jazz, slightly confused with that part.
"Well, he needs to make certain I hired the right mech for the job," explained Sunstreaker, setting his cup down. "He does it with everyone else, so don't be too concerned about it. Now, is there anything else?"
"There is actually," replied Jazz, "do you have maids? Butlers? Another sibling I should be aware of?"
Thinking to himself for a moment, Sunstreaker responded with an endless list of his other visitors. "Well you already met Bob, and Sideswipe. Let's see... the cleaners come in the morning, and they have their own passes, I have the metal therapy bots come in after that, and then Quadocular comes to give me my updated schedule, next is the mechs who bring me breakfast, and depending what day it is I get Bob's pamper service, there's also the photographer, and the seamstress with her assistants, along with Glyph, who brings the secondary schedule, and right after her-"
"Whoa, wait," stuttered Jazz, "you let all these bots into your home?"
Sunstreaker laughed a little, finding Jazz's shocked face to be amusing. "Please rest your concerns, for they all undergo severe security before entering my estate. They wouldn't dare let some stranger walk in."
"So they all enter through the front door," questioned Jazz, "or is there another entrance?"
"Ah yes, most of them enter via the servant entrance," chuckled Sunstreaker, "for the record, it was always called that. It's actually near your room, just in case. Only those loyal to the company come through the front door, whilst the others come through the back." Sunstreaker stood up, yawning a little. "Is there anything else?"
Jazz heard all he needed to.
After studying the layout of the property a few times, Jazz was finally allowed to retire for the day. Sunstreaker was kind enough to provide him some energon, but advised him that he would have to purchase his own in the future. It was understandable, and Jazz decided to construct a shopping list of all the supplies he would need. He just hoped his swords would hurry up and arrive, he felt naked without them.
As he walked down a hallway towards his room, a door nearby opened up and out walked the young red mech from earlier, the one named Sideswipe. He appeared deep in thought, and looked like he was in a foul mood as he stormed past Jazz. If Jazz had to guess, he was going out, but where he was going, Jazz had no clue.
"Shouldn't you be in your berth?" asked Jazz, teasing him a little.
"Screw you," hissed Sideswipe, "I'm going to work."
"I guess he doesn't freeload after all," muttered Jazz, continuing on to reach his room. He was going to have to ask Sunstreaker about his brothers schedule, just in case he mistook him for an intruder again.
His room wasn't that far off from Sideswipe's and upon entering, Jazz was pleasantly surprised. It was like his own apartment back home, only much more cleaner and wider. A berth with plush cushions was in one corner, a mini energon dispenser was in another, a door to the en suite, and a large window with a fantastic view, complete with a balcony.
Near his new berth, a large desk was set up, filled with data pads, computer screens, and some funny looking devices. "Is this the security desk?" Jazz examined it further, until his optics landed on a data pad titled, "Celestial Sol Suite: Security Layout." Opening it, Jazz discovered a detailed map of the property, with each room labelled with entry points, potential hazards, and security risks. Clearly the last bodyguard knew how to do his job, though Jazz did wonder what he did that got him fired.
Expanding the data pad open, something fell out and onto the floor. Jazz bent down to pick it up, examining it. It was a smaller data pad, a personal note pad Jazz assumed. Opening it, he found some sort of check list on the first page. The list of names were a bit odd, and all of them hastily written, and the lines that crossed them out appeared forced, almost aggressively. The names that were crossed out were, main entrance, first lobby, second lobby, studio, garden, Sideswipe's room, Pet room, and wardrobe. The next name on the list, that had not been crossed out, was Sunstreaker's room. Along with the check list was a small note, near the bottom of the page, "finding it is top priority. Was informed that it's located here. Must search everywhere."
"Finding what?" pondered Jazz, taking note that the last sentence was highlighted, meaning it must have been important.
The next few pages were filled with dates, timings, and small reminders. Jazz could only assume that the previous bodyguard left this behind. One entry did catch his attention, "celestial suite: 2100: await targets arrival, deliver beverage, await further instructions." What did that all mean? Beverage? Like a drink or something? Was Sunstreaker the target?
"Most likely the old bodyguard also played butler, or somethin' like that," muttered Jazz, dumping the small pad on the desk.
Slumping into his berth, Jazz grunted at how soft it was, before reaching for all the guides and information data pads. It was his first day after all, and Jazz needed to study up on his new home. He needed to fit in perfectly, if he was going to find out who murdered his friend.