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2015-03-18 Due Caution

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Due Caution
Date 2015/03/18
Location Lost Light - Command: Rodimus's Office
Participants Rodimus, Ultra Magnus
Summary Rodimus and Ultra Magnus have different ideas about concepts like "careful" and "humor".

Lost Light: Command -- Rodimus's Office


A small plaque reads 'Captain's Office -- Rodimus of Nyon'. There are flames painted around the doorway.


FLAMES.


AROUND THE DOORWAY.


Everything else about the room beyond frankly pales in comparison to that. Yes, the walls are a deep, vivid magenta. Yes, there's a large desk covered with doodles. But there are FLAMES painted around the DOORWAY and really, what else needs to be said?


The hollowed core of a planet floats above Rodimus's desk in holographic projection. Rodimus stands with his hands braced on the desk, all but leaning into the projection. It appears as though he is trying to peer down the tunnel on the projection, although /it doesn't work like that/. It's a picture. He can't really improve the resolution by getting close and squinting. Damnit, he's going to try anyway, though.

Ultra Magnus's shadow only falls over Rodimus and his desk figuratively as he looms up through the flame-decorated door. In reality, the lighting in here does not throw his shade across the image in any noticeable way.

"What do you think is in there?" Rodimus does not startle as he registers Ultra Magnus's presence, because he has no shame, and no guilt. He can't look foolish. He can only look awesome. Leaning not getting him the angle he wants, he climbs on his chair to stand over the projection and look down into it.

Ultra Magnus steps up to the edge of Rodimus's desk, watching him climb on his chair and peer down at the planet with an expression gone remarkably blank. Not needing to stand on top of things to see down atop the projection, he shifts forward, leaning a massive hand on the edge of the desk as he cranes his head to attempt to see past the winged brows that crown Rodimus's head and down the dark image of the tunnel, down which neither of them can see anything. He says: "Probably? A hole."

Rodimus regards Ultra Magnus's shoulders thoughtfully, but whatever bad idea he contemplates, he -- for once -- does not attempt to put it into action. "Yes, but it's all about what's /in/ the hole," he says with a completely unnecessary degree of enthusiasm. "Although -- actually." He pauses, then admits, "sometimes it's not even about that. It's just about finding out. Right? The /journey/. Into a hole. On a cratered, dead planet. What if there was a giant planet-eating vampire floating through space that killed it?"

Settling his weight back to rest across the broad plant of his boots against Rodimus's floor, Ultra Magnus looks away from the image of their new quarry with mild consternation in his expression and says, "Then I think we ought to be glad we're a ship, not a planet." Then he asks a kind of pointless question: "Are you certain this is wise? It doesn't seem likely to have much to do with our mission."

"There might be people down there, hidden in the tunnel, who need help getting off planet," Rodimus justifies. "We need to go closer to be sure. And if it /is/ some kind of weapon or planet-eating monster, I think we need to know so that we can warn others." Very seriously, and with absolutely no hesitation, Rodimus says, "It's our duty as Autobots to check it out. Also, it'll be fun."

"Fff--." Ultra Magnus does not quite echo the word, but then, it's been established before now that he has difficulty saying it. He eyes Rodimus with a kind of bruised tolerance, and then glances away, scowling. "I will not argue with you as to our duty," he says finally, "but enormous destructive weapons or ... planet-eating monsters ... /do/ suggest we proceed with caution."

"Sure, we'll be totally cautious," Rodimus agrees as he slides from the edge of his chair. The way he slips from the edge with a roll of his foot is anything but careful, and far, far from a reasonable step down. He surfs it to slip off the edge and back to his feet, two planted on the ground like a reasonable person. "I told Brainstorm to go all out and impress me just in case."

"You are joking," Ultra Magnus says with absolute certainty in his voice and a weighted frown on his face, as he watches Rodimus's particular and unique descent. He spoils his certitude by following it up with, "Tell me you're joking."

Rodimus leans over to turn the projection off and sits down on his desk, facing Ultra Magnus. He looks puzzled. "Of course I'm not joking. I realize you struggle with humor, but this is my serious face." He even frowns a little.

"You just used Brainstorm and cautious within two sentences of each other. Have you seen what his approach is to safety protocols?" Ultra Magnus taps a fingertip censoriously on Rodimus's desk, frowning down and across at him. His frown is probably larger and more frowny than Rodimus's. His is the seriousest of serious faces. "I'm sure I reported to you that he thought it was appropriate to put explosions on deck in a footnote. In very small type."

"Yeah, but we had way bigger explosions right before so his kind of /were/ a footnote," Rodimus says in a very reasonable kind of tone. He has a certain manner that makes it almost -- /almost/ -- sound sensible. He's got the tone, the posture, the confidence. He doesn't have the actual /sense/, though, that /sensible/ requires. His words are all wrong. "It's not like he blew up anything important. And if we do run into anything, there's no one who could build a better gun!"

"Rodimus," Ultra Magnus begins in a tone that is surely, by now, all too familiar, of a lecture dragging on its boots at the beginning of a forced march through fallow fields of reason, "it's not that I lack confidence in Brainstorm's /abilities/ as a /weapons/ maker. His ability to cause near spontaneous detonation isn't in question here. The /wisdom/, however--"

"Planet-eating space vampire!" Rodimus exclaims, throwing up his hands in a wide gesture as he interrupts with word and action.

Ultra Magnus starts to say something else, in answer to this, and then he kind of sighs and goes, "Indeed," instead. Folding his arms across the wide bulk of his chest, he stares at Rodimus for a moment as though seeking some indefinable missing puzzle piece to slot into place here. "Why a vampire?" he asks, at length.

"The craters are where the fangs sank into the planet, obviously." Rodimus mimes biting into something.

"It's certainly more imaginative than anything Perceptor was saying," Ultra Magnus tells him with a particular dourness. (Surprise, surprise.)

"Perceptor's got a real problem with letting logic limit his perspective." Rodimus leans back with his hands planted behind him. He tilts his head and grins at Ultra Magnus. "I don't have that problem. That's why my ideas are all so great. Anyway, with the scale of things we'll probably need to send quite a few people down. We should work up new shift rotations for that, yeah?" He sounds just a touch tentative as he tries to do something maybe a little responsible-ish, checking it against Ultra Magnus's responsibility databanks.

"Oh, is that why. I had wondered." Magnus's snark would work better on a version of Rodimus whose grin was not so very present in this conversation. He frowns again, or rather, his frown deepens again, since it would be inaccurate to say that his frown ever entirely receded. Glance lighting on the point of the desk where the image used to be, he says, "Yes, I imagine so. Depending on how many personnel you wish to dedicate to this sojourn, we'll want to review the existing roster and make certain no essential duties are overlooked while the shore party is away."

"Okay. So." Rodimus look sat Ultra Magnus expectantly without quite clarifying what he expects.

"I can prepare a spreadsheet," Ultra Magnus suggests almost, /almost/ happily, "of crewmembers with potentially applicable skills and then rearrange the duty roster appropriately when you've chosen your shore party."

Close enough for command work. "Yeah, you do that. You prepare that spreadsheet," Rodimus encourages. He drops from his perch on the desk to pace past Ultra Magnus and in the general direction of the door. "That sounds like a lot of fun. Say it with me, Magnus! Fun!"

Ultra Magnus sighs, "Captain, you know I don't say that word," as he about faces to trail off after him out onto the command deck.

"One day," Rodimus promises. "/One day/."

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