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2017-07-15 Immediate Repairs

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Immediate Repairs
Date 2017/07/15
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Medibay
Participants Ultra Magnus, Rodimus
Plot Topsy Turvy
Summary Minimus follows Rodimus to the medibay post-pickup. Soundwave's body is pretty fucked up now y'all.

The scent of ash and copper stains the air as Rodimus is transported from the wreckage of the outpost through Rigard and onto the Lost Light. There, the stench permeates the medibay, nearly overwhelming the base tang of spilled, burnt energon. The most immediate thing the medics set to work to do is not set up an infusion of energon to replace the one that was lost, but rather work around the damage that was done to provide a partial repair for the dampener that was -- uh, let's just say removed. It's not as effective, but it's enough to bring Rodimus out of the agonized curl he's been in. Soundwave's body doesn't curl very well. He looks awful. But he's here!

There are a few things that Whetstone's body makes difficult for Minimus, but arriving in a passionate flurry of energy is not one of them. He has not actually been useful for anything as the medics have transported the agonized Rodimus in his battered Soundwave shell from the spacebridge to home, and he's still not actually that useful for anything aside from intensely garnering status reports from those around him. His ordinarily orderly mind with its neat categories and channels of logic has been flooded with earnest concern only slightly alleviated to find Rodimus (more or less) whole.

Minimus takes a moment to center himself. He thinks about Drift; he thinks about counting to ten. He says, "Rodimus, I'm here," because Rodimus, are you all right? is discarded as stupid.

Despite the cracked shell of the dampener's protections, Rodimus reaches almost desperately for Minimus's hand -- Whetstone's hand, whatever -- to hold it. He's seated -- probably to the annoyance of the medics, but he seems touchy about any more vulnerable position -- on the edge of the slab as the medics work behind and to either side. They'd probably be working in front of him too, but Rodimus pulls Minimus closer and snarls at the first person to raise an objection.

Minimus enfolds Rodimus's hand in both of his. Never mind whose hand it actually is, never mind whose hands he clasps it with. With the contact, of course, his hereness becomes much more than the simple statement: for all that he offers it unhesitatingly, his worry is a raw, dripping wound rent in his cultivated professionalism. The level to which Rodimus matters to him at this point, in the bared relief of their joined hands, is . . . intense. He says, "Please conduct your work around me, gentlemechs. I will move as needed," with gravelly courtesy to the busy medics, who probably find him a little unnerving, at this point.

Anchoring himself on that rock, Rodimus allows his eyes to close behind his visor, and his mouth loses some of its tension where his face is bare. "They knew I wasn't Soundwave," he says, his voice -- rough. Monotone, but rough. Like he's done recent damage to his vocal synthesizer. "But not who I was. I don't know how they knew if they didn't know who I actually was."

Minimus reaches an immediate conclusion, and speaks it: "This was something they did to us," he says in an offhanded way, "but they have limited intelligence of the results." It's certainly what he'd prefer to believe: a booby trap beats an internal investigation into potential treachery any day. His hands press in their clasp of Rodimus's (Soundwave's) hand.

"Oh. Yeah. That would make some sense based on what I overheard before--" Rodimus grimaces, waving his hand back at where the medics are working. "I couldn't catch much. There was so much. Just -- so much." He passes his other hand over his face, then drops it to fold around Minimus's hands. "And with my face." He's just a touch disjointed, failing to fully string together his thoughts as he grasps at them in the flow of noise around him.

Minimus remembers the other Rodimus very well from their brief and harrowing encounter with Swindle and the ... dog hair. He remembers the color scheme and the Ambus insignia. He remembers deriving great satisfaction from smashing his other self in the face with a Magnusian fist. He harrumphs, just a little, the little twitch of a shudder rippling down Whetstone's back. "I've never envied Soundwave his abilities," he says, truthfully. He wonders if they'll have to get ahold of whatever it is the SG!Lost Light did in order to fix it, and works to not make a face.

Shuddering just slightly, Rodimus says, "No. Me either. I thought I was starting to -- I don't know. Figure them out. It's kind of like the Matrix could be." He goes silent just long enough for Minimus to think maybe he isn't going to say anything, then catches back up with himself: "Told Soundwave that." He smiles, only for the smile to break on a hiss as the medics begin to dig into some of the deeper injuries. "He hated that." Suddenly, urgently, he clasps Minimus's hand. "We need to rethink our protocols. He just took Lieutenant and Sunstreaker out like they were nothing. And Sunstreaker's no joke, and he had Whirl's frame."

The pain noises evoke an immediate response, like Minimus wants to lunge and attack whatever is hurting him, or maybe it's some leftover Whetstone knightly instinct-- no, all right. Minimus stands there, composed, controlled. This is fine.

"We need to assess who is most conversant with their borrowed bodies so that we can create a strike team least discommoded," he tells Rodimus firmly, chin lifting. "This was done to scramble us, but we are not defenseless, even if we are ..." He hesitates over word choice, a fool's errand with a telepath holding your hand. Absurd, his mind suggests. Scattered. Disastrous. "...confused."

"This wasn't supposed to be a strike team." The clench of his hand lends Rodimus's words urgency where his voice fails. "They weren't supposed to be there." He seems to find it very important that Minimus understand that he didn't go looking for a fight if the directness of his ... visor ... and the strength of his grip is to be understood.

"I know," Minimus says. He totally knew. There's no way an away team leaves the ship without Minimus reading about it somewhere. He is the ghost in the administrative machine, following the rest of Command around and dotting their Is and crossing their Ts and making sure everyone carries the one. "That is why we need to create one." His frown intense, he says, "They have made it plain that this is going to have to be the hard way."

That reassurance allows Rodimus to shed a measure of tension, and his grip loosens to something a little less desperate. A little. "Right. Talk to Brigade about it, I guess. Talked to him before but -- we need to do more. We fell out of the habit of war too easily."

Some of you did, Minimus thinks but does not say as he goes, "Mm," rubbing his thumb over Rodimus's (Soundwave's) knuckles. "These aren't warriors, Rodimus. They're pirates." His condemnation is casual, but his certainty is clear. "Pirates ... criminals, with admittedly unusually large weapons." When you have a hammer, everything begins to look like a nail (ha) -- and Ultra Magnus, Duly Appointed Enforcer etc., is a very large hammer.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Chirolinguistic: Success. (6 7 4)

The fondness that softens Soundwave's features is frankly a strange thing to have turned down on Minimus, even if that's Rodimus's spark providing the warmth. He shifts the grip of his hand to take Minimus's and press words against his palm, stroking lightly with the tips of his fingers and adding emphasis in the tangle of their fingers: I'd be lost without you.

<FS3> Ultra_Magnus rolls Chirolinguistics: Good Success. (6 8 8 4 5)

The frisson of reaction comes warm and quick as the shape of the contact. He knows that it's true, like, professionally, but it still warms him to his spark; the shade of smile on Whetstone's features is less weird, maybe, than it arriving with permission on Minimus's, though the context does add that extra oddity. Good thing I'm not going anywhere, he shapes across the familiar-but-still-not-the-right palm, rather than dwell on his own heartstopping terror in those seconds when he thought he might have lost Rodimus.

Rodimus reaches to cup Whetstone's helm in his hand, tangling the fingers of his other hand in a lace with those he holds. Only that strangeness, the reminder that it's Whetstone's body he touches, keeps him where he is. That -- and probably the medics. Them too. He drops his hands a moment later, lifting his head with a sharp inhalation. "You'd retreat if I ordered, right?"

"Of course," Minimus answers almost reflexively. Rock is hard, water is wet, fire is hot, Minimus follows orders. It's possible there are circumstances where he would consider not following orders -- like, life-saving circumstances -- but really. He frowns intently into Rodimus's face as he settles his weight back on Whetstone's heels. "I don't violate orders," he says. "Did someone violate your orders? In the heat?"

"Rung. He almost -- it was almost the two of us." Rodimus begins to shiver, armor clattering, but the set of his jaw is hard and his lips firm with anger. He's probably not mad at Rung. "I needed my crew safe. If he was there because I messed up--."

There are so many avenues of physical comfort that feel distinctly unavailable, and all that is left to Minimus is the earnest, steady clasp of his hands. It seems an imposition in the extreme to start trying to headbump or express intimacy physically with these haphazardly borrowed bodies. He would clasp Rodimus whole-body and defend him from his own uncertainties if only he could. Instead he says, "Rodimus, what exactly are you trying to blame yourself for at this point?" with a very mild dourness in his tone that threatens worse in Rodimus's future.

Rodimus shakes his head, a soft and helpless smile curving Soundwave's lips. "Next time's gonna be a lot different," is all he says instead of further risking the dragon's wrath. Wyverns. Whatever.

"Very well," Minimus allows, but he does nothing to withdraw from his grasp of the hands he clasps. He does shift to the side to enable one of the medics to get better access to Rodimus, a quiet frown tugging his mouth even as he watches Rodimus's -- Soundwave's -- face. He tries not to think about how strange this still is. "There are definitely some who are better adjusted to this than others. We will ensure that it is different."

Give a medic an inch and they'll take a mile: given better access to Rodimus, they want more, they want access to his entire front and that's time for Minimus to step back then. There's a lot ... going on ... with that dock that needs to be dealt with. Loosing Minimus's hand with a reluctant grimace, Rodimus looks immediately overwhelmed, then says -- "Brigade. Talk to him. Strike teams."

"I will," Minimus promises. He flexes and curls his fingers like he might be about to force his way back in, but that's not rational. He ducks his head -- not his head -- and his lips flatten as he says, "Now? That is." He hesitates. He could stay and hover here uselessly or he could go off and do something constructive. The right answer is clear.

<FS3> Rodimus rolls Fortitude: Good Success. (4 4 7 3 3 8 4 4 1)

Without Minimus to anchor him, Rodimus seems far less likely to be able to pick his thoughts -- or his words -- out from the noise. But he still looks for him, past all the helping hands, but without anything to help him find his answer. Then -- he fingerguns. Pow. "Nuke them."

Minimus smiles at Rodimus with Whetstone's mouth. He salutes, and then turns and strides out of the medibay.

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