2015-03-05 Morale Bonus

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Morale Bonus
Date 2015/03/05
Location Lost Light - Command: Bridge
Participants Rodimus, Ultra Magnus
Summary Rodimus temporarily relieves Magnus of duty and gives him an important project.

Lost Light: Command -- Bridge

No surprise that the captain's chair is central to the bridge, overlooking the stations for communication, weaponry, navigation and so on that are sunken beneath the level of the deck. The displays can be changed as needed, and it is even possible for other stations to be added as the room shifts through multiple configurations. Two rows of large windows form the forward two faces of the room's hexagonal shape; large screens cover the two back walls. Smaller stations, as well as doors to the elevator and to the incident room, are to either side of the room.

It has not been a long journey, yet even in the weeks that they've spent out among the stars there have already been ... things, surely, which give Ultra Magnus cause to pause and reflect on his choices.

Add one more.

The doors to Rodimus's office open. So far, so normal. He strolls down the hall past the planning room overlooking the bridge. So far, so good. He considers the stairs that lead down to the command deck.

It all goes wrong.

Rodimus takes a skipping run up to the surf the banister down with a slip of metal against metal that raises sparks as he comes to the end, vaults off, and falls into a tumbling roll that brings him right back up to his feet as he pops up next to Ultra Magnus on the bridge. "Captain on deck!" he proclaims with the trust of his hands in the air. He turns, expectant of applause, as he studies the others on the bridge.

He eventually receives a few weak claps.

Of those who applaud, Ultra Magnus is not among their number, to the surprise of no one. He watches Rodimus's entry with visible consternation written into the plated brow, the indelible downward curve of his frown. The careful blandness of his features that he so frequently cultivates is missing for a long moment spent contemplating the dignity of his office, and of his officers.

There is a long moment, the light spatter of minor accolades around the bridge tinking like rain on a metal roof, where Ultra Magnus merely stands there and looks at him.

Then, his neutrality (mostly) restored, he stands straight, looks ahead, and states with a completely straight face: "I stand relieved."

Rodimus drapes himself into the captain's chair like a very expensive and brightly patterned throw that just happens to be made of metal. He casts a sidelong glance up at Ultra Magnus. A slow smile lights his features beneath the brighter humor of his gaze. "I bet you do." He steps lightly around any implied irony. He tilts his head up and allows his smile to become a grin. "You know, we have a /morale/ problem. It's up to us to set an example."

Ultra Magnus checks himself visibly from his first response and glances back at Rodimus and his captain's chair. He shifts his weight, clasping his large hands loosely behind his back, and says, "I see." No trace of smile appears on his features. On the other hand, he also appears to have controlled the frown away. Standing planted beside the chair on the wide brace of his heavy boots, he says, "An example of what, exactly."

"Of morale." Or possibly problems. There is room for interpretation. Rodimus continues to grin up at Ultra Magnus with his head hung over the arm of the chair.

Ultra Magnus turns the weight of his gaze more firmly upon Rodimus, lowering his head very slightly where he stands, and says, "Well, you do appear to have an /exemplary/ amount of that."

Rodmius stretches his way back upright with feline satisfaction. "Thank you." He glances across the bridge and then back to Ultra Magnus. "It's still a problem, though." Don't worry, though: he's got a solution. It involves metal, medals, and his face.

"I was under the impression," rumbles Ultra Magnus mildly, rather than pursue the issue of what, exactly, Rodimus exemplifies, "that some of the worst of the doldrums were over with now that we have a better hold on the interstellar geography of our situation."

"That definitely helps." Rodimus glances across the crew bent over their duty stations and then back at Ultra Magnus. "But keeping Autobots, Decepticons, and neutrals of various sorts all pointed in the same direction takes some work, you know? Incentives. Rewards."

"Mmm," rumbles Ultra Magnus. It's difficult to ascribe especial seriousness to something so muted and unspecific as the low hum of a single syllable, but vibrated from the depths of his massive frame, on this particular occasion that sound seems meant to carry great weight. He lifts his head slightly and follows the surveying slide of Rodimus's glance across the current bridge crew with his own.

"In principle I agree," he says at length. "As the whole crew is subject to the same demerits, necessarily the whole crew should be eligible for the same rewards."

"Yeah, totally." Rodimus agrees too easily. He shifts in his chair. He wiggles, unused to and uncomfortable with such long periods of sitting, even if it is a seat /designed/ to make him feel important. There is basically no other function the captain's chair has other than making him feel important. And boy, does it work.

"Stop by Swerve's some time," says Rodimus as he leans forward to try to get a look at what the others on the bridge are doing. The answer is probably their job. "Relax. Set an example. Captain's orders."

Ultra Magnus looks pained, if only momentarily, as he processes this. "These orders are a little contradictory, Captain," he informs his commanding officer in a muted aside.

Rodimus considers Ultra Magnus and flashes him a quick grin. "Well, maybe not all at once," he relents, "but you should give them all a try. Okay?"

It's almost possible to see Ultra Magnus separating these orders out into individual component tasks in a kind of internal outline, just by virtue of his thoughtful expression: item one (1), stop by Swerve's; item two (2), relax; item three (3), set an example (and doesn't he always do that?). He says, "Very well, sir," in a voice that only carries a hint of sigh.

"Good. Now go be relieved." Rodimus flings himself out of his chair to go hang over the shoulders of the officers settling in for the watch. He sets an example.

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