2015-10-26 Great Repairs
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Rodimus, Ultra Magnus|
|Plot||Remain in Light|
|Summary||Rodimus breaks the Matrix. Don't worry, it's in a good cause.|
With a significant portion of the ship halfway to paralyzed by the effects of Tyrest's off switch, it doesn't take very much convincing for Rodimus to convey to them just how badly they need a nerd squad to get down here and fix things.
He's a little nonplussed that fixing things involves /him/, though.
Perceptor is all something something Matrix something something stabilizing field reinforcement something something strong spark signal and long story short -- long, long story which Rodimus is barely listening to, because so many of the words are so big, they are just really unnecessary, Perceptor, please, he's begging, smaller words -- is he's in Blast Off's place, spark and Matrix bared by the tear of the hood from his chest.
The Legislators are a problem for Grimlock and Tailgate and /others/ to deal with, or maybe have dealt with. Look, it's chaos, don't think about it too hard.
In the first crescendo of pain blazing from his spark, Minimus Ambus is aware of little besides. The fact of the matter is, it's disorienting for a load-bearer to be suddenly without his head, even if it isn't the central head at his core from which all processing is done. Going from darkness and confusion to encompassing agony leaves him with a barrier.
He experiences his understanding of the world around him, as he crawls out of his discarded shell, in a confusion of fragments. He hauls himself up onto his elbows and then forces his way to his knees and then the rest of the way to his feet. He stares in noncomprehension at Rodimus with his torn chest and goes: "Rodimus, get away from that thing," in a voice strained and cracked by pain and consternation, like even in extremis it is his job to keep Rodimus from doing reckless, foolhardy things and in his presently muddled processor he can't figure out what would make you go near the device that Blast Off was being tortured by.
Rodimus can't help himself: he laughs. It's ragged around the edges, but he can't quite seem to stop, even though the laughter sounds as though it /hurts/. What he doesn't do is get away from that thing. Perceptor -- and where'd Perceptor come from, anyway? -- afixes another wire. Rodimus crooks a hand, gesturing Minimus closer.
Where DID Perceptor come from? Minimus stares at him for a long moment like he can't figure out whether he's a hallucination or not. His first step toward Rodimus is almost his last; he staggers, and rights himself again with a groan that creaks from the depths of his miniaturized frame that almost in itself makes him sound bigger than he is. He makes it the rest of the way nearer only in a pain-drunk stumble that is totally without dignity.
"How many layers down do you go?" Rodimus asks in a baffle rather than get to any important point. He eyes Minimus with concern and twitches in a frustrated attempt to help.
"This is it," Minimus Ambus grits out. His forward momentum stops when he has to use the side of the awful machine to hold himself up, and then decides to use Rodimus instead with a grip that convulses awkwardly as he starts to lose feeling in the tips of his slim green fingers. "--The irreducible me. I told you I was a load-bearer. What--?"
"Huh." The ease that Rodimus is trying to project slips into something like panic as Minimus fumbles. "Hey, hey: we're fixing things, okay? That's what this is all about. Perceptor said he can use the Matrix to undo whatever it was that Thingy did. So -- you know."
"It's possible that it will kill you," Perceptor says, just laying out the facts. "It will certainly destroy the Matrix." Not that this causes him to so much as hesitate, of course. This has been discussed already.
It's no surprise to Rodimus, who just talks louder: "Fixing things!! Sit down. Perceptor, help him up." Rodimus waves at a stack of components that have been torn apart to rewire the machine. A seat atop would place Minimus at Rodimus's eye level -- more or less.
It requires Perceptor's aid to get him on top of the pile of components, although Perceptor totally has better things to be doing at the moment than serving as Minimus transport. He balances as carefully as he can once upon it. He clearly has focused on the wrong part of this information from the perspective of someone remaining at ease. He says: "Kill you?" His fist presses against his chest as if he can restore feeling to his extremities by bringing them up against his spark.
"I'm not going to let it kill me," Rodimus says with a certainty that he has no business assuring. "I've got too much to do." He glances away from Minimus and out into the middle distance. "This has kind of been a mess, huh? I've got to fix it. To do it right. Self-sacrifice is easy. Fixing, things, though--." He breaks off, looking back at Minimus. "If they aren't too far broken."
Minimus Ambus starts to speak, and then he makes a different sound. It breaks between groan and sigh and could almost be a laugh, a hoarse, scraping, scraggly laugh tangled in his throat. Or a sob. The pain makes that plausible, too. He says: "In my experience," and there's a pause as he reorients his mouth around the words, "to make a mess this great ... takes a committee."
Gaze brightening as he looks at Minimus, Rodimus says, "Yeah. Maybe. But that committee had a captain." Earnestly, he says, "I'll do it right this time. Can't build on lies. Tell the truth--."
That's when Perceptor interrupts him to say, "We're ready."
"I--" Minimus starts to say, and then he is staggered to a halt. It's time now, so there can't be more for him to say. He says: "No more secrets, lies. Me too," in a voice still throttled with the pain that is slowly making it hard for him to even see past the staticky blur. He'll have to explain. Or at least, he's hoping he'll have to explain. Maybe the unanswered question will give Rodimus extra incentive to cling to life.
Rodimus's fingers curl as his arm presses against the restraints holding him in place. It's a particularly futile reach, going nowhere. He slumps back. "I -- yeah." He turns his head just slightly, and nods at Perceptor. "Hit it."
Energy arcs as Perceptor hits the switch. The Matrix (okay, half of the Matrix; an empty half of the Matrix) flares as it catches the light, throwing off the last image of their map that they are going to see for a long, long time. Rodimus spasms, jaw locked in silence, then cries out.
The pain recedes. It's simply gone, as if it never was.
The Matrix shatters with the sound of breaking glass and the machinery goes dark.
Minimus Ambus flinches reflexively as Rodimus wrenches in the grip of the machine and then cries out, his fingers closing in a pair of fists bracing against his knees, and then becomes aware of just how bad the pain really was by its sudden absence. He makes a noise like a soft stutter of escaping air, head bowing momentarily as the sharpness of the pain is replaced by the dull, drained ache of an emptiness more immediately recognizable, and easier to function through.
Then he looks up, past the shards of the Matrix, to hunt for signs of life. He stands, reaching to undo the strap of the nearest of the restraints that binds Rodimus to the machine. He's even smaller now, even less workable as prop or support, but he does it anyway.
Behind a ring of broken fragments from the cracked Matrix shell, Rodimus's spark glows with life in its unmarred casing. Well, mostly unmarred. It might look a little /singed/ right now.
His eyes are dark, but Perceptor runs a few tests and seems satisfied. He gives Minimus Ambus a brief nod and then turns his attention to the rest of the machinery.
Freed bit by bit, Rodimus slumps forward onto his knees. He reaches for Minimus, but puts no weight on him as he stands. Something deep in his systems catches and stutters with a clunk it shouldn't be making. "/Please/ tell me that worked and I /never/ have to do that again."
"It worked." Minimus Ambus is certain enough to say so. Perceptor gave him the nod, and he's not currently in agony, and neither do the others appear to be. It's close enough to certainty for government work. Looking up the length of their height difference from his stance roughly at Rodimus's thigh to hip height, he frowns a little, possibly from the disorienting perspective. "Are you all right?" is a stupid question but it's still the one he hears himself asking.
"Asks the guy who's been decapitated twice in a week," Rodimus scoffs. He rests his hand atop Minimus's head with a puzzled smile, then drops his hand to brush his fingertips on Minimus's shoulder, pushing him forward. "Come on. Let's go find out what happened with the Legislators."
"Technically, I was only decapitated once," some part of Minimus Ambus feels the need to explain. "I'm not sure at what point the head was actually extracted from the armor. That was a bit of ... theatrics on Tyrest's part--" But he suffers himself to be herded back toward the others. At least he no longer is having any trouble walking. There's definitely plenty of puzzle pieces still left to sort out.