2016-07-27 Minibot Boot Camp
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2016-0-27 Minibot Boot Camp|
|Summary||Blackstorm is a harsh drill instructor when it comes to teaching Wheeljack the ways of minibots.|
This spacious, rectangular room serves as the hub for four habsuite hallways that branch off from it on either side. Tinted blue with warm lighting, it's quiet and cozy during most shifts and invariably bustling with activity in the off hours. When the large videopane isn't buzzing with movies, it's being used for what must be aggressive gaming, evinced by the various controller-shaped dents in the wall nearby. A veritable tangle of game consoles flank the shelving unit, some Terran, some Cybertronian, some truly alien - all modded for mechs.
L-shaped couches circle a simple table in a pisces layout. Off to the side are a few more tables and chairs beside an energon dispenser and an over-priced vending machine.
Wheeljack's been hard at work in his lab for the past few days, thanks to the unintentional mass displacement he's put himself, Lieutenant, and Torque through. The changes have made the work frusterating, to say the least-- equipment that's custom-made for your use is a lot less useful when you're no longer the size it was customized for-- but after Bulkhead's help earlier, Wheeljack feels slightly less guilty about pausing to go to the Common Lounge to get some energon.
He avoids taking the busier hallways of the ship to get there-- he doesn't need someone commenting on this new change, or not noticing where he is and kicking him. Last thing he needs right now is to be laid up in the medbay. Now that he's in the Common Lounge, though, he comes to a halt in the middle of heading to his usual energon dispenser, which is now far about his head. He huffs a long sigh out of his vents. "Should have brought the step stool," he mutters.
<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Magnetism: Success. (6 4 1 8 4 5)
As per usual, Blackstorm is any place but where he should be. The minibot clears his vocoder of static to draw Wheeljack's attention to where he is magnetized to the ceiling. A wireless remote is clutched in his grip, and scenes of racing cars are flashing across the holoscreen. The moment that the pilot is distracted by the newcomer, his car crashes into the wall and the words YOU LOSE flash across the screen. As proud as he is of his piloting skills, it is odd that he doesn't even notice it. Forgivable, though, considering the situation.
The minibot's optics flash brightly with curiousity behind his visor. His lip components twitch into the beginnings of a smirk at the odd sight before his optics. "Mecha, I understand wanting to try me on for size, but isn't this taking it a little far?"
Wheeljack yelps and startles when he hears Blackstorm's voice, one hand coming up to clutch at his chestplate. He turns in a circle looking for the source of the sound before he finally thinks to look up, and his shoulders sag when he finally spots Blackstorm up there. "I didn't realize you were here!" he says, shaking his helm.
He ducks his helm sheepishly at the comment. "Would you believe, it was an accident?" he says, shrugging. He isn't quite ready to turn back and try the dispenser yet, so he takes a couple steps to get in a better position to see Blackstorm. It takes a lot of craning his neck to look up at the ceiling.
"Well, I like to make a habit of making your spark skip a beat," he teases. It is rather amazing that Wheeljack hasn't caught on to his endless ribbing, and that secret knowledge makes his lip components blossom into a full-on smile. "Uh, accident? That you can't reach the energon dispenser? I didn't realize you had mass displacement, but why don't you just..."
He trails off, making gestures with his hands to indicate growing. Now he's curious what sort of alt mode Wheeljack has that requires mass displacement, but even he has enough tact not to ask something so rude. "Seriously, mecha, as soon as you can. Not everyone can pull off the small thing, yeah?"
Wheeljack looks, if anything, more sheepish. He's practically shuffling his pedes in place right now. "An accident that I'm this small," he clarifies. "I don't have an integrated mass displacement device," he says with a shrug. "It wouldn't be a problem, there are plenty of external mass displacement rays and guns and things, but in this particular instance my mass wasn't displaced with a mass displacer. I'm actually not sure yet why it happened." He laughs weakly. "Believe me, I know this isn't for me. I'm working on it."
<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Climbing: Good Success. (2 8 3 5 8)
Blackstorm goes silent as the grave. His usual smile falters and disappears from his faceplates entirely, the joke quickly wearing off for the minibot. While he's not quite frowning, just the fact he is not falling into a fit of giggles is disturbing enough. Blackstorm tucks the remote under his arm and begins to clamber down toward's Wheeljack's level. In a minute or so, he is standing across from him. Without having to crane his neck cables, Blackstorm can meet Wheeljack's optics. "... Well, this is disconcerting," he remarks with a nervous chuckle.
It does not make much sense, but being the smallest in the room had become almost integral to how Blackstorm approaches the world. Just the thought of all the gratuitous crotch shots he'll be missing while they talk is greatly disappointing.
"Just a bit," Wheeljack jokes. His fins are far dimmer than Blackstorm has propably ever seen them, despite his cheerful tone. "So how's the view?" It's hard to make expressions with a faceplate, but the lack of wink probably means that any implications in that sentence have once again gone straight over Wheeljack's helm.
Blackstorm climbing his way down the wall reminds Wheeljack of his dilemma with the energon dispenser, though. "Oh, mind if I ask you to get me a cube?" he asks. "I'm not exactly as good at the wall crawling as you."
<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Body+body: Failure. (5 2 3 4) <FS3> Blackstorm rolls Climbing: Good Success. (8 4 7 6 1)
As disappointing as this whole situation is, Blackstorm is quickly distracted from it. Noting something is off in his companion's tone the minibot rushes to fix it. The smile reappears on his faceplates as if on cue. "Yeah, not a problem. I like working the wall for anyone who wants to watch. I'll even get you more than a cube, yeah?"
Rushing over, the minibot braces himself against one of the chairs to try and push it in Wheeljack's direction. His frame strains with effort, and he manages to scoot it halfway across the room, but in the end it is too much for him. Pausing, the minibot braces himself on his knee struts and tries to disguise his huffing and puffing. "But... maybe that later?" Resorting to things that are easier, he moves to clamber up onto the counter and begin to get the requested drink.
Wheeljack reaches out too late to stop Blackstorm from dashing for the chair, and he watches, befuddled, as Blackstorm does his utmost best to push it against the floor. "You don't need to put yourself out that much," he says. He's relieved when Blackstorm abandons the chair where it is. He's gotten a new appreciation for how awkward the medium-sized furniture is, recently.
"This works," he agrees, when Blackstorm moves up onto the counter. He takes a few steps back and rises up on his heels so he can track Blackstorm onto the counter. "Thanks, I owe you one," he says. In a matter of moments, the minibot has retrieved a ration from the dispenser. With a thoughtful hum, he sets it down on the table next to him instead of handing it down to Wheeljack. Blackstorm gives a thoughtful hum. That's never a good sound coming from him. "You said you don't know when you can reverse this, yeah? Seeing as you might be stuck this way for a while..."
Trailing off, he leans over the edge of the counter and offers out his hand to the other minibot. "Lesson one of minibot boot camp. Climbing."
<FS3> Wheeljack rolls Climbing: Failure. (2 4 1 3)
Wheeljack stares up at Blackstorm's hand, clearly confused. "Uh... Are you sure? I mean, I know I said I'm working on it, but I really am working on it. It shouldn't take long, I just need to finish repairs, then run a few tests, and I have mechs waiting on me to finish it so I'm not going to put it off or get distracted by another project or..." Wheeljack eventually trails off, when he realizes that Blackstorm isn't going to be swayed here.
"I'm really not sure about this," Wheeljack announces, but he does reach up to take Blackstorm's hand. Things immediately start going wrong from there. His pedes are too big to find points of purchase on the counter sides, and he doesn't use his grip on Blackstorm's hand to any effect. within moments of making the attempt, Wheeljack is slipping and jerking out of Blackstorm's grip to try, and fail, to keep his balance. "Whoa!" he yelps as he goes down. At least it wasn't a big drop.
"These are skills that'll serve you well, minibot or not. Especially if you're a minibot, though," he insists.
He tries his best to keep Wheeljack up, even grasping him with both hands when the scientist starts to fumble, but he isn't the strongest mecha. Before he can shudder an optic, Wheeljack is on the floor. Blackstorm bites his lower lip component, trying to hold back a chuckle at the whole episode, and refocuses his energy into a reassuring smile. "You alright down there? But that brings us to the second lesson of minibot boot camp. Falling."
"I really hope I don't end up in a situation where I need them," Wheeljack says, huffing slightly as he gets himself up to his pedes again. "Climbing or falling." At least Blackstorm doesn't burst out laughing at his rather ungraceful descent. "I'm fine," he adds, relaxing a little. Okay, he can see Blackstorm's point, he guesses. He can't always wait for someone to come along and help him get energon, for instance. "Okay, what should I be doing that I wasn't?" he asks, bracing his hands on his hips as he stares at the top of the counter.
<FS3> Blackstorm rolls Reaction+reaction: Great Success. (1 7 8 8 7 5 2 8)
That falling thing? Blackstorm is not joking. He is even gearing up to give a demonstration. Rocking to his pedes, the minibot steps up to the edge of the counter and steps out into the open air. Within a matter of moments, he shifts in the air and tucks into a roll. Clank. He makes it to the ground with little trouble, and the only damage his frame shows are a few new scratches.
He pops up next to Wheeljack with a wide grin. "Like that, see?" he responds. Then he gestures towards the counter. "Let me show you. I'll take it slow, promise~"
Wheeljack makes a sound of surprise as Blackstorm just steps off the edge and lets himself fall. It's not a distance that should hurt him, at least, and sure enough Blackstorm comes out of his roll with only a few scuffs, hardly cause for concern. Still, "You really do like making my spark skip a beat," Wheeljack says, but he's laughing now. For better or for worse, Blackstorm's antics are certainly making him forget about the awkwardness that was weighing him down when he first got into the common lounge.
"You'd better. I don't need to give Ratchet even more reasons to be mad at me," he chuckles. Blackstorm reaches up and nudges his visor onto his forehelm, throwing a wink towards Wheeljack. "I try," he shoots back. "After all, I don't want to prod the testy bear."
Before Wheeljack has a chance to ask what that means, the minibot moves to the counter and begins to brace himself on various hand and footholds. "You watching this? Just follow what I do and you'll be fine. Don't gotta rush it either, yeah? The energon isn't running away any time soon."
As Blackstorm points out the places to grab and move along the counter, Wheeljack is watching intently and nodding along. He may not be practiced at climbing, but he's definitely good at learning and observing, and he's putting those skills to use, nodding along to Blackstorm's instructions, though the minibot probably can't see that from where Wheeljack is standing behind him.
"Right, no rush." It's something Wheeljack has needed a reminder of recently. He waits until Blackstorm has moved up to the top before stepping forward to copy him.
"You got this, Wheeljack," he encourages, peeking over the edge of the counter again. His hand is out, at the ready, in case he has to make a grab if Wheeljack should fall again; however, he is relatively confident that the path he marked out is simple enough most mecha could manage it. There shouldn't be a repeat of the first episode. Hopefully.
"Lots of trouble now, but it'll save you more later."
Wheeljack's focus is on putting his hands in the right place and not falling. He doesn't have the attention to spare for responding to Blackstorm, in case it makes him stop focusing and lose his grip. It's only when he finally pulls himself up over the edge of the counter that he gives a bright, cheerful laugh. "I guess it's worth the trouble after all," he says, swinging himself around to sit next to Blackstorm by the edge. He glances around the room, taking in the place from this vantage point. "This is more like what I'm used to."
The moment that Wheeljack is perched on the counter, the pilot gives a whoop of triumph and swings back to the ground. His gaze shifts up to look at Wheeljack from his new place. That is more like it. This feels much more natural than being able to look him in the optics directly. Had he gone through all that trouble just to put Wheeljack on a higher perch? Yes. But damn, the view is worth it.
"Lesson three," he remarks. And then the minibot ducks around the edge of the counter, pulling out a step stool for Wheeljack to see. "I suppose I could have showed you that from the start, but it wouldn't have been nearly as fun."
Wheeljack's fins go blank for a long moment. He looks at Blackstorm. He looks at the stool. He looks back at Blackstorm.
"You," he begins, pointing down at Blackstorm, "are very lucky I don't want to practice falling." He skootches back from the edge of the counter, turns his back on Blackstorm to pick up the energon cube...
and can't help but shake his head and laugh. "You'd better bring that thing over here!" he calls, moving back to the ledge, "Or I'll never let you test one of my gadgets again!"