2015-04-24 The Exercise of Judicial Authority

From Transformers: Lost and Found

The Exercise of Judicial Authority
Date 2015/04/24
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical - Medibay
Participants Grimlock, Rodimus, Ultra Magnus
Summary Grimlock has no idea what's going on, but that doesn't stop the others from badgering him about it.

Lost Light: Science and Medical -- Medibay

Red crosses on the door identify at a quick glance the medibay. Inside, the forward medical bay contains a half-dozen slabs lining the sides of the room where the medical staff can take care of patients. There is a central slab as well, but the winches and pulleys, carts of tools, and life support machinery is all designed to be easily reconfigured to support any number of patients at any of the seven beds.

At the back of the room, there is a large work station dominated by a large screen that includes two holoemitters. Two doors at the back of the room lead to cold storage, where patients in need of better care than the medibay can provide -- rare as that is -- can be put into stasis. Offices for the medical officers are on the other side.

The difference is rather -- dramatic. Damaged Grimlock is kind of quiet but curious, protective but unsure why. It's taken several surgeries for Ratchet to patch up the damage to his brain module, but now we have a Grimlock who is definitely not quiet. "I don't know why I have to sit here and /wait/ for anybody," he's complaining loudly, his size somehow even more overt now that he clearly knows how to use it. "Y'say you got some Autobot Captain ~Rodimus~ but then you got /Cons/ here -- don't you lie, I scrappin' saw 'em--" Poor Ratchet.

"Yeah, that's complicated," says Rodimus as he sails in with arms flung wide like he expects Grimlock to hop down and snuggle. (He doesn't really expect that.) "But here I am, so hurry up, I want to get your story out before Ultra Magnus comes down after my aft wanting to get protocol all over things. Thanks, Ratchet," he says as he hops up onto a slab next to Grimlock. "I can take it from here. Wow, but you did good work. Hey, Grim."

Grimlock looks briefly aggravated at having his tirade interrupted, but at least this time when he looks at Rodimus, he definitely recognizes him. To a -- certain extent. "You're here what? Where's this Rodimus, and what are /you/ doing here?" Hey yourself.

"I'm Captain. I'm Rodimus." Annoyance flickers over his features as he recognizes the, ah, issue. "And don't say it, okay? It's Rodimus now. Even Optimus calls me that, so it counts. Happened while you were all AWOL or being tortured or having your brain fried or whatever."

Grimlock says it. "You're Hot Rod." The big Dinobot peers down at him. Distinctly down, leaning forward and everything. Little Hot Rod.

"He's in charge, Grimlock." His appearance heralded by this lowly delivered intonation from the doorway, Ultra Magnus strides into the room on long steps, heavy boots clanking as he slants a look across the medibay towards them. He nods to Ratchet as he homes in on the pair of them.

"Rodimus," the little red Autobot is /delighted/ to correct as he leans right back up at Grimlock. He sets his hands on his and hikes his shoulders, spoiler prickling. "/Captain/ Rodimus," he adds with some relish. "And you--"

Startling when Ultra Magnus sneaks (totally sneaks, probably on tiptoe) into the room, Rodimus pivots to stare at the door. Then he grins back at Grimlock. "See?"

Then his face falls. "Drift was supposed to stall you!" Rodimus tells Ultra Magnus in dismay.

"Rodimus," Grimlock echoes with clear, skeptical disdain. He looks up at Ultra Magnus, expression darkening, and then back to the good captain. "Who in Primus' names gave you a /ship/?"

"Yes, I know. It was a rather transparent effort. Especially as Ratchet had already informed me the patient was awake." Ultra Magnus gives his commanding officer a look that, in and of itself, might even border on insubordination: it narrows along with the firming of his jaw, signpost of deep irritation. Shake of his head slight, he does not go into how he circumvented Drift's efforts to keep him away; instead, he looks up at Grimlock.

"Regardless of where the ship came from, Rodimus is in command," he says mildly. Widening his stance slightly, he folds his hands behind his back, heavy plate of his brow furrowing as he eyes the massive Dinobot before him. "And, technically, you've been handed over to him for judgment on several galactic charges."

"Drift, actually." Rodimus grins. "Nice, right?" Good luck beating that birthday present. Ever. "Yeah, so -- galactic charges, custody, et cetera, et cetera, so I need to hear the whole story. I'm questioning you. Let's have it."

"/Galactic charges/," Grimlock scoffs. It seems difficult for a Cybertronian to scoff, but he manages. "What're you even talkin' about."

"We found you imprisoned at a Council outpost," Ultra Magnus states in remarkably neutral tones. "You appeared to be suffering from damage to your processor, but now that Ratchet's sorted you out, the question is how you got there. You were charged as an accomplice to the escape of some fugitives." He doesn't even bother to mention gross property damage at this point. Because. Well. Would you?

"So--" Rodimus kicks his feet where they swing against the side of the slab. "Story. And what was up with the pod? Not that -- what's her name, Swivel? Not that she doesn't seem fine, I guess. Sort of. But not exactly your kind of person, you know?"

"I wasn't no -- accomplice." Grimlock spits it out like it's a dirty word. He'd never be an accomplish. He is in /charge/ of the illegal activities he participates in. He glances between them, taking up too much space in his sullenness. "It's not--" He frowns fiercely, although it's difficult to tell -- how one can tell. With the faceplate. "It's not all -- clear."

Ultra Magnus turns the weight of his frown on Rodimus for a beat, and then says, "You were telling us before about some 'friends' of yours," in a way that is more dubious than effectively leading.

"What? I'm questioning!" Rodimus straightens under the force of Ultra Magnus's frown to consider Grimlock. "You know, it's okay if it's not clear. We've got people here. Memory people."

The bristle is palpable and immediate. "You don't even /try/ to get near my head," he growls at Rodimus, now totally distracted from the actual question at hand.

The bristle is palpable and immediate. "You don't even /try/ to get near my head," Grimlock growls at Rodimus, now totally distracted from the actual question at hand.

"Mm." Ultra Magnus rumbles, his frown fading back to a more studied neutrality as he contemplates Grimlock. "Do you know what happened to you?"

"We just /fixed/ your head," Rodimus shoots back, "so I'd think you should be saying /thank you/ for us getting near your head." Is Magnus impressed with his ability to question suspects yet.

"You mean since you /dropped me off/ on /Garrus-9/?" Um, after Grimlock told Magnus not to give him leniency, but whatever. His gaze whips back around to Rodimus, and he goes very quiet. It's a dangerous sort of quiet, the kind simmering beneath the surface.

There's an instantaneous flicker of Magnus's face. It is a blankness, a reaction come in the complete absence of reaction. Then Ultra Magnus says: "Is that what happened, Grimlock?" His tone of voice is not quite so neutral as his face. There is certainly no sign of remorse to tone or expression, however.

Rodimus looks confused. It is not that unusually an expression for him, really. After a second, dawning realization causes him to go, "No. Oh no." But not in compassionate outrage, no. He goes, "Are you telling me he doesn't remember anything?"

"Did what I had to do. Guess you did, too." For some reason, Grimlock seems to find what Magnus had to do to be less compelling. WHO KNOWS. He turns his gaze to glare at Rodimus again. "Yeah, you sound real concerned, Hot Rod."

"Rodimus," Ultra Magnus corrects almost absently, which, historically, is in itself kind of funny. He then says, "I did my duty, as I will continue to do."

"Rodimus!" is a much more /tempered/ flash from said Autobot. "I'm totally concerned. Hey, I stood up for you! Come on, Magnus, tell him. I'm all exercising my authority for you, Grimlock. I could've just tossed you to a real authority." Which ... says something, doesn't it, his phrasing.

"I dunno, at least they weren't threatening needles in my neck at the first sign of me havin' recall issues," Grimlock growls at Rodimus. "Maybe you should toss me back."

"Rodimus," Ultra Magnus sighs in a very different tone now as he turns the weight of his gaze on his commanding officer, "you /are/ a real authority." It's too exasperated for gentle affirmation, and it must be ridiculous for Grimlock in context, but there it is, and with all the weight of certainty that Magnus brings to bear on anything else he says.

Weird, right.

"We are not returning you to the Galactic Council," he says firmly. "Neither are we forcing you to undergo mnemosurgery without your consent." (Yet.)

Rodimus drops his head into his hands, then splits his fingers to peek at Ultra Magnus from beneath the dip of his head. Authority, right here. He draws /something/ from the reminder, exasperated or not, and drops his hands. "Yeah, okay." He straightens, lifting his chin. "Look, Grimlock: I'm not threatening it," he says, very patiently, really!!!, "I'm just saying we can help. Take your time, okay? But before the Council climbs up our nacelles, I just hope we've got answers."

Grimlock glares at Rodimus some more, because it's one thing he's extra good at. He finally seems appeased enough to settle into a slightly reduced loom. "Right, fine," he grouches. "Like I said, it's not all -- there. I dunno. Got picked up by these -- I don't even know. Other bots. Found me on -- scrap, don't even know where it is. Barely had enough brain. Mess of a planet. Remember a whole lotta dead Cons around." He pauses, thinking. "An' I guess a few live ones."

Ultra Magnus frowns again. "You were taken by Decepticons?" he attempts to puzzle out.

The reduction in Grimlock's loom draws a greater measure of certainty from Ho-- Rodimus in turn. It's easier to act confidant when there's not a growly looming dinobot. "Well, if he was with Decepticons, no wonder the Council wanted them. You'd think they could tell us apart by now."

"They were idiots," Grimlock says flatly. "Far as I can remember. Nobodies. I think--" He frowns again, but it's one of those efforts of concentration rather than an attempt at aggression. "One of 'em got picked up, I think. It was a jailbreak, and I guess I got left behind."

Ultra Magnus's frown changes slightly, in so far as frowns can change in tone and intensity, and his glance in Rodimus's direction probably bears some significance.

"You weren't an accessory, then, you were just a victim. You had impaired judgment," Rodimus says with growing confidence. It falters slightly when he notes the significant glance in his direction. "--right? It's really the Decepticons who were at fault."

Grimlock seems to consider whether 'victim' is preferable to 'accessory;' neither seem to be appealing. "Like I said, guess I got left behind. Think they had to -- leave in a hurry or something. I think. Got left with the -- /oh/." He possibly just remembered the pod.

"There are no 'victims' of a fugitive charge," Ultra Magnus can't seem to prevent himself pointing out, although it is more of a mutter than direct insistence. "You didn't help them to leave? Did you help with the jailbreak?"

"Who cares what the charge was," Rodimus hisses at Ultra Magnus. "It wasn't his fault!" Law. He's totally got a handle on it.

"Scrap, I don't /know/." Too restless to continue standing there looming -- he can't even loom over Ultra Magnus anyways, what's their height difference or lack thereof -- Grimlock starts stomping around the medbay. Ratchet will be thrilled. "I was /braindead/, okay? I remember -- doing what they asked me."

Ultra Magnus gives Rodimus a Look. It might even be a LOOK. "Is this what you think impartial looks like?" He scrapes backward a pace or two, glancing down as he moves back as if to give Grimlock more room to maneuver. He says, "I see."

"I'm being impartial! It just so happens I'm impartially right!" Rodimus insists. "See? He was -- uhm. Look, I bet we can get Ratchet to write a whole thing that will get you out of it," he tells Grimlock like a pal.

"I wasn't breaking anybody out of anything," Grimlock grumble-grouches, despite what he just said. "I don't break out people I don't know." Only his friends.

"Rodimus," Ultra Magnus says, for the how manieth time this conversation? "You can't sit there and tell him how to defend criminal charges you're supposed to judge."

Rodimus pauses a moment, then straightens. With an air of manic brilliance, he says, "I appoint you to the defense!"

"What." Grimlock looks at Rodimus. Then he looks at Ultra Magnus.

"Wh--" Ultra Magnus clamps his jaw over the escape of any other random noises of query. He looks at Rodimus. He looks at Rodimus for passing seconds. Then he says, "I see."

"I can do that, right?" Rodimus asks.

Grimlock snorts. Loudly.

"Considering that I have been the officer in charge of keeping him in custody not once but multiple times, he may object," Ultra Magnus points out, while giving Rodimus a level look.

"Hey, Grimlock, do you object?" Rodimus rolls his head to the side to grin at Grimlock. He looks sure that he's found the solution to everything. "Let's face it, there's basically no one on this ship who knows the law better than he does, and while you might've been in your custody, you know that Magnus will do his absolute best to execute his duty to his fullest if his duty is your defense instead of your arrest. Then I can be judge and I'll make -- hm, I don't know. Drift, maybe, prosecute. That's legal, right?"

Grimlock's answer is, "Who the hell is Drift?"

"Drift has no idea how to prosecute. You might as well give the job to Tailgate," Ultra Magnus points out in tones of high aggravation. "Anyway, it's got to be some kind of conflict asking him to prosecute someone for associating with Decepticons."

"Okay, I'll ask Tailgate," Rodimus agrees and then starts comming him.

Grimlock's next response is, "Who the hell is Tailgate?"

"I wasn't seriously suggesting--" Ultra Magnus starts to say and then breaks off because to finish the sentence would be to admit before witnesses that he wasn't serious about something.

"I better go let him know. Drop any relevant files to his attention, yeah?" Rodimus says as he hops off the slab to go head for the door. All of Grimlock's questions are going unanswered.

"Fine." Grimlock throws up his hands. "/Fine/. You scrappin' idiots just do whatever the hell you want."

"He's going to," Ultra Magnus says grimly, to Grimlock, which is probably a swiftie or something. "In any event, if I am to defend you, I'll need your permission to speak with Ratchet about your medical records."

Rodimus swans out the door to do whatever the hell he wants.

"Didn't I just tell you to do whatever the hell you want?" That's -- /kind/ of like Grimlock giving consent.

"I suppose." Ultra Magnus considers Grimlock as if this lacks a certain something, but then, everything about this situation lacks a certain something. The something is dignity. It's in short supply. Somehow resisting the urge to facepalm noticeably, he clears his throat, and turns to march off to Ratchet's office.

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