2016-08-27 Need a Lift?
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Need a Lift?|
|NPCs||Driver, Swearer, Complainer, Cami|
|Summary||Wheeljack and Brainstorm make some money by sticking their hands in gunk and entertaining some alien's kid. And also by fixing some machinery.|
So, here they are, stuck on a backwater little planet with no fuel in the tanks, and no way to pay for it, with their cards being denied and all. Which leaves the Lost Light crew with few options, made even fewer by Rodimus' insistance on keeping things mostly legal. So, people are pitching in to help.
Brainstorm is not one of those people. He is out of his workshop again (the smudges showing on the lighter parts of his plating hints as to what may have happened that required him to vacate his workshop), but he's not actually done anything to help. Now, it might be because he simply hasn't found anything to do, considering that he's still linger near the port, idly watching a small team of organics manuveur an archaic looking loading vehicle. Of course, it might not make a difference anyways, given his sense (or lack of thereof) of money.
Brainstorm may not be out here to assist, but Wheeljack is. He's been back in his lab for most of their short trip here, but news of their difficulty has been more than enough to drive him out. So he's emerging from the ship now, a toolbox in one hand as he glances around the docks for an open space. He spots Brainstorm first, and waves to the other engineer.
Once he's within earshot, he flashes his fins in a cheerful smile at Brainstorm. "Hey! Doing anything in particular out here?" he asks, glancing toward the organic team that Brainstorm is watching.
Noticing Wheeljack, Brainstorm looks up, returning his smile with a cheerful look of his own "Hey! Nah, I just had some free time, so I stepped out to get some fresh air, see what's going on around here." he nods at the loading crew, consisting of bipedal, four armed, long snouted, grey beings, all adorned in similar looking, blue outfits as they work a box on to the fork of their machine. The machine, despite all of its driver's efforts, seems to be reluctant to simply pick the package up on it's own, forcing the loaders to have to give it a hand by pushing. Finally, the box gets on, the loaders stand back, and the driver lifts the fork off the ground, only to have the base angle down with a loud creak. The next noise translates as a long series of beeps, follwed by a "I told you it wouldn't hold it!" from one of the organics that was on box pusshing duty. The other one doesn't give it much mind, considering that his attention has been drawn to their audiance "What?"
"Looks like there's plenty," Wheeljack observes. He turns away from the loader and the work team toward Brainstorm again. "Hey, any idea if there's some empty space around here to do some repairwork? I figured it's not that interesting, but anything that gets us going sooner is a good thing, so I was thinking--"
Whatever Wheeljack was thinking, he doesn't have time to express it before the forklift cuts him off with a loud creak, and he turns back in time to find one of the organics staring at them. "That thing's not in very good shape, is it?" Wheeljack observes.
"Oh it's in great shape!" grumbles the organic, one pair of arms crossing over its belly to clutch at each other "For the scrap heap that is. Stupid thing's been in need of repairs for months, ever since our only good mechanic kicked the bucket after getting sick with Suinian flu. The one we have left is either getting drunk, already drunk, or hung over. Doesn't help that we got the stupid thing second-hand. Now we're gonna be stuck haulinhg everything by hand, till the boss decides things are going slow enough to warant forking over cash for a new" the organic makes a gesture in the air with one of the remaining hands. From the intonation, that's likely supposed to be an airquote "one." Having ranted to the cybertronians, the loader turns back around to the other one, and the driver, who has now hopped out of the machine to help hoist the package up. They're not small beings, easily 3/4s the height of an average cybertronian, but the box isn't exactly small either, not light, jusging from the effort the trio is having to make just to get it off the ground.
Brainstorm, whose own ability to answer was interupted by the same event, gives Wheeljack a meaningful look, tipping his head in their direction "If you're serious about this."
Wheeljack exchanges a look with Brainstorm, his optics practically twinkling. "Well, that opportunity dropped right into our laps," he said with a chuckle. "You can buckle in and help, if you want to. Or supervise." Then he starts over toward the organics, lifting the toolbox in his hand to show it to the work team. "Well, I know a little something about mechanics," he offers. Understatement of the century, there. “If you don't want to haul that thing around, and I really doubt you want to do that, I think we can work something out." He pats the forklift with his free hand. "I think we can get it working well enough to make your boss consider it worth the expense."
The loaders were certianly not expecting that. The complainer even drops one of the corners of the box, resulting in another stream of beeps from one of the others. "You what?" asks the third.
"Like there's any chance of that" mutters the swearer.
"Well, why not. Hell, it's not like they could make it any worse" points out the complainer.
"No, I mean the boss lady considering anything worth the expense without shit really getting bad."
While the other two argue, the third one lowers the box, and steps over to the Cybertronians "If you're telling the truth, and you can get this thing to at least work, we'll pay you, even if we gotta do it out of our own damn pockets. Neither me, nor those two chicken-brains need back pains before we're 90."
"We can make it work even better" Brainstorm corrects. "I guess I'll help out too. I've got nothing going on right now anyways."
"Thanks, Brainstorm," Wheeljack says. "Should be enough tools in this for the both of us." Prepared for this? Maybe he's a little bit, but he wasn't exactly planning on dragging Brainstorm into helping out with his contribution to the Lost Light's various money-making schemes. But it seems the work crew did all of the ego-challenging necessary to get Brainstorm involved. "All right, move back a bit, this shouldn't take long. And believe me, we've worked on plenty more than a second-hand forklift," he says to the team, then kneels down to open his toolbox and start pulling it open. "Get the fork first?" he comments to Brainstorm, already pulling out a few things he thinks they'll need. "Then the motors on the lifting, and we could probably give the controls a check over too, just to be thorough." Already, he's working on detatching the bent tines along the front.
"Hey girls! Whatcha think about a luch break!" the driver calls to the others, already moving back to the box. The other loaders seem to have absolutely nothing against this, readily hopping up on oposite sides of the box. Swearer reaches in to one of her uniform pockets to pull out a pink spehere, which she unwraps and starts biting in to with visible pleasure. Complainer fishes out a box, and short stick with a hoop at the end, which she uses to work the chunky contents of her box in to her mouth.
Brainstorm nods to Wheeljack, joining him by the lift. Since the other engineer seems to have the fork situation in hand, he studies the rest of the machine. He doesn't have to go far to find something to work on "No wonder it broke down, if they let it get this far." he taps the motor with a finger. Rather than the clear cling of metal hitting metal, the action produces a dull, crunchy noise of dislodging rust as the hole in the component grows bigger. Pulling the toolbox in so that it's between himself, and Wheeljack, Brainstorm sets to work pulling the thing appart.
"Well, if they didn't have a competent engineer, they probably couldn't do much about it," Wheeljack observes. He grunts as he finishes taking the rig off of the front of the machine, and starts looking over the bent tines. "Should reinforce these," he mumbles to himself as he reaches back toward the toolbox without even glancing at it. It takes a bit of digging before he's got some l-shaped pieces of metal and a couple of long poles. Then he grabs a heat torch, and gets to work bending the base back into place. "It's not exactly creating state-of-the-art inventions," he comments, "but it'll get us on our way faster. Besides, helping people is nice, isn't it?"
"You'd think rust prevention is common sense though" Brainstorm comments, holding up the affected part for Wheeljack to see. It's certianly in bad shape, asuming holes big enough for Brainstorm to stick his thumb through aren't part of the design "Insides are a mess too" droppins the cover next to the toolbox, he starts digging in the motor "I'm not sure this is even dust in here." the lighter paint on the weapon developer's hands quickly takes on a greenish-brown colour. The parts he pulls out to rinse off are covered in the same gunk, only far more thouroughly.
While they work, the loaders continue eating, the dirver pulling out a box as well, only to have a small hand reach out from behind the box to steal a small ball. This antic earns only a lazy response from the owner "Cami, what are you doing out here?"
"I just wanted to see!" comes a squaky response. A moment later, another pair of hands pop up, followed by a small head, similar to that of the loaders'. "Are they fixing the lift? They aren't are they! I bet they're good at fixing machines, since they're machines too!"
"You'd be surprised at how good their kind is at breaking things." mutters Swearer through a mouthfull of pink stuff.
"When it's not someone else's problem to deal with, sure," Wheeljack notes. He's finished straightening out the bottom of the lift itself, and has turned his attention to reinforcing it by attaching the parts he pulled out, welding and screwing them into place to brace the thing and keep it from bending again. He looks up to see the gunk covering Brainstorm's hands and his fins ripple with color. "Eugh. Probably don't want to know what it is," he comments. "Looks like it's been driven through an entire continent."
The sound of conversation from the organic crew gets Wheeljack to briefly glance toward them. His fins flash cheerfully at the small head popping up. Little organic kid, huh? He doesn't move from his spot by the forklift, but he lifts a hand to wave. "We're good at fixing machines because it's our job," he corrects, voice friendly. "Like it's their job to load up the cargo."
"I mean in a general sense" Brainstorm explains, extracting yet another, gunked up part "That lot really needs to get a new mechanic if the one they have can't even be bothered to pull out a spray can or something.” Once that's been dealt with, he opens the storage compartment in his chest and begins reaching in, only to hesitate when he gets another look at his hand. After a few moments of thinking, however, he finally dips it in, to pull out his Junkion flashlight, which still does fucntion as a normal flashlight, the beam of which he points at the remaining insides of the motor. A moment later, he fishes out what, under all that grime, can still be recognised as a gear. A quick rub reveals it to be a cracked one "Good thing you ran in to us" he calls to the loading crew, holding up his 'prize'. This thing's a complete mess, and I'm not just talking about whatever the heck this stuff is.
"In other news, water is wet." mutters complainer.
Cami doesn't seem to share her elders' pessimism, nor their fatigue. The little one scrambles up on to the box and stands up at full height to stare at the Cybertronians. Then she ducks around Driver, and hops down on the other side, still peering up at the duo. Compared to them, she's rather tiny, about half the height of the shortest loader "So you're mechanics? Do you fix each other too?"
Feel free to accidentally step on her." grumbles Swearer.
"If we do our job right, they'll have plenty of time to worry about finding a new one," Wheeljack comments, then amends, "Well, when it comes to this thing. I doubt any of the rest of the equipment is in much better shape." He grimaces at the broken cog that Brainstorm holds up, and nudges the toolbox over toward Brainstorm. "Just clean your hands off first before you start looking," he tells Brainstorm.
He nods to Cami as she pops up closer to both him and Brainstorm, apparently fine with the young organic coming closer to look. "Mechanics and medics are different things, but I can do a little of both," he tells her. "I dunno about Brainstorm here. Brainstorm? Any good at fixing up bots?" he calls over. Then he turns back toward Cami. "What I can't do is fix organics, though. You'd better keep back so you don't get hurt."
Brainstorm nods, having no desire to transfer this mess to their equipment either. The flashlight is one thing, not many moving parts there, easy to rinse off. Which he does, along with his hands. To be honest, he's not exactly extatic about being covered in it either.
"I can, but it's not my job" he corrects as he cleans the mess off himself, leaving a dark, murky puddl on the pavement next to him "I've had to a few times, but usually when I work with bodies, it's to instal a new weapon."
You put weapons in people?" pipes up Cami.
"Yep." answers Brainstorm, shaking the last bits of gunk off his hand before reaching in to the toolbox "And other places. I'm a weapons enginneer."
"Like a cyborg!" blurts the little one. Without taking the time to consider what she just said, she turns back to Wheeljack "What do you do? Do you fix forklifts and shuttles and scanners?"
"Kids who ask too many questions get eaten by a karakam." calls Swearer, moving on to her second, pink ball "Though we'll have to improvise since they don't have karakams here." The other loaders are still eating their own lunches as well, making no attempt to call back the youngling, though at least one of them always seems to be watching her.
Wheeljack isn't all that surprised by the watching, and he's not getting too close to the kid anyway. Can't sour a good chance to earn money for the ship by accidentally hurting one of their clients, can he? In the meanwhile, he gets up and moves over to join Brainstorm by the opened guts of the forklift, now that the lift itself is fixed and reinforced. He leans in to peer into the guts of the machine, using his fins as an improvised flashlight. "Worse than a bot who's driven through mud," he observes.
"I can fix things, sure, if they need me to, but mostly I make new things," Wheeljack tells Cami. "Like jetpacks or force field generators and so on." Or unintentional shrink rays, but it's probably better not to say that.
"I'm going to be cleaning it out of my joints for a week" Brainstorm agrees, setting to work on repairing the damaged part. The kid milling around nearby is regarded without much concern. Okay, it's an organic child. It's here, it's not getting in the way, orbeing a threat. She's just a bit curious, which means he has a chance to boast a bit.
Cami herself clearly lacks Wheeljack's caution, or her elders' concern, stepping in even closer to the bots. Her eyes are wide, and her mouth, open, revealing a multitude of small, needle-like teeth "Woooow! When I grow up, I'm going to be a mechanic too! And I'm going to be the best one in our tribe, and I'll make lots of new things, and get to have the most kids!"
"Maybe we should hire her as our new mechanic." chuckles Swearer
"Even she can't be worse than Grom." adds Complainer.
"Cami, aren't you supposed to be helping Kest?" calls Driver, her voice taking on a strict note.
Have the most kids? Sure, okay, whatever. However organics measure this sort of thing. Though if she's interested, maybe their repairs won't get as trashed so quickly as the forklift itself seems to have after this Grom started 'looking after' it. "I bet you'd be good," he tells her, his fins bright. "First rule of being a mechanic? Make sure your machines are always in good working order. And this," he points toward the inside of the forklift, "is not in good working order. Speaking of, we should probably finish cleaning this out..." He doesn't sound particularly eager to do it, but Wheeljack grabs a brush and rag from the kit and leans in to start swiping the remaining gunk off of the rest of the machine's mechanisms. "We should finish this before too long."
"Eugh" Brainstorm agrees, picking up one of the gutted parts with two fingers before moving to clean it off as well "And remind others to do so too, so you don't end up with more work than you need to. At least keep them from setting it on fire." No, Rodimus, and those who followed his example by setting weapons on fire have not been forgotten.
Driver's question goes ignored by the little one, who continues standing there, staring at the Cybertronians as they work. This apperantly doesn't sit well with the loaders. Driver looks ready to say something more, when Swearer beats her to it "Second rule of being a mechanic: don't derelict your duties. Look what Grom's lazyness left us with!"
"But--" protests the child
"Git." snaps Driver "If you want to watch cleaning, you can go help Siph with hers later. This seems to have the intended effect, as Cami promptly scampers off, pausing only to steal another snack out of Driver's box.
Wheeljack laughs but doesn't disagree at Brainstorm's contribution to the discussion. It'll be worth the funds they'll likely make, but he has to hope that if he offers to play mechanic for anyone else in the port that their machinery isn't in as poor a state as this one is. And setting it on fire he can wholly agree with, even without having faced any particular instances with their Captain.
"She was no trouble," he informs the remaining work crew, though he doesn't protest Cami's leaving. If she's got duties, she's got duties. Still, slightly insensitive questions from a kid are better than mutterings about how kill-happy Cybertronians are, in his opinion.
"Yet" mutter Swearer, finishing up her second ball. Complainer has already started repacking her box, though Driver is still nibling on her own lunch.
"Sounds like she might make a good mechanic yet" Brainstorm comments as he works on cleaning off the remianing parts "Remind me why I volunteered for this?" he adds to Wheeljack.
"Because you don't want to be stuck here?" Wheeljack says in amusement. He finally moves back from the inside of the machine, trying ineffectively to shake the material off of his hands. "There we go, that should do it," he says, loudly enough for the workers to hear as well. "Now we just put it together and it'll be fixed. I'd get after that mechanic of yours to keep it clean, though. If rust gets at it again it could just fall apart under you."
"Point" Agrees Brainstorm "I'll be glad when we can get off this planet" he shakes his newly gunked up hand before rinsing it off again as well "I can get everything back in if you take care of the hole."
The organics, having finished their meals, continue sitting on the box, watching. Driver looks just a bit uncomfortable, though she doesn't say anything.
"Sure thing," Wheeljack agrees. He has to clean off his hands before he returns to the toolbox, but he's perfectly happy to dig through the scrap metal he brought along for something that will work to cover and replace the rusted-out holes. "You're welcome to test it, of course," he tells the crew watching them, apparently having no problem with the discomfited looks they're getting from the three. "I don't expect you'll have much trouble with it for a while, though."
Brainstorm has no problem reinstalling the components of the motor, quick and easy, having remembered how he took it appart.
Driver nods, and Swearer adds "Obviously. Gotta make sure there's actually something worth paying for." even so, when Driver hops off the box to move towards the lift, she lifts her head, watching her intently, carfully. Complainer seems a bit more relaxed. She's even begun kicking the side of the box with one of her heels.
In the meantime, Wheeljack moves to the side to repack his toolbox and pull it out of the way of the lift, hauling it up again. He'll probably have to take some time to thoroughly clean the rust and bits out of his joints before he goes to do any more mechanic work around the place, but that shouldn't take too long if he's efficient about it. "Trust me, if we couldn't fix something like this, we'd be out of a job at this point." And possibly dead as well, but that's not something to talk about now, especially since the war is over.
"There definitely is" Brainstorm adds "Trust me, this is nothing to us. I'm not the ship's genius for nothing, and he's good too!" he jabs a thumb at Wheeljack.
Driver gives the duo a 'sure, whatever you say' look before hopping back in the lift's seat. She'll have to see it to believe it. The machine comes to life with a low rumble, and Driver steers it back towards the box. Swearer hop off and to the side imediately. Complainer keeps sitting there until the tines are right at the box before giving Driver a mischecious smile, and joining her partner on the ground to push the box into place.
"Alright ladies! Let's see if it actualy works this time!" Calls Driver, pulling on a lever. The box goes up, up, and stops. Driver looks pleased "Now let's see if it'll stick till the loading site." Leaving the other two to linger near the Bots, she drives away, coming back a short while later with an empty fork.
"What, lose it midway?" jokes Swearer.
"Nah, it worked just fine." Driver hops out of her seat and steps up to the Cybertronians "Guess you've earned the money. Thing is" here she looks a bit awkward again "I don't have any shanix on me. Just the local cash."
Wheeljack doesn't say anything else-- Brainstorm's already done the bragging for them (but mostly for himself, after all.) After this, there's nothing left to do but let their work speak for itself. And sure enough, it does. He watches, helm fins lit up in a bright, pleased blue, as the forklift works without problem. He doesn't expect any troubles as it gets driven off, though he keeps an optic on the other two. Not that it seems likely, but having them bail out on payment isn't ideal, to say the least.
Wheeljack waves off Driver's concerns, his helm fins still blue. That's exactly what they were hoping for, though he knows better to say that. "Local currency'll do, if you pass on anyone else you know who might need repairs to me," he says. "Brainstorm, are you going to head back to the ship? You could take the payment back to the Captain. I'll be out here a while longer."
Driver looks relieved. Reaching in to her uniform pocket, she pulls out a card, looks it over, and then turns to her companions. There's a short, silent confirence consiting of hand gestures and head tilting. They come to an agreement quickly, and Driver turns back to the Cybertronians, offering the card first to Wheeljack, and then to Brainstorm when the shorter engineer suggests that he take care of the moeny "Sure. This should cover it. Keep the change."
We'll get it back from a certain beeeep beeeeeeeeep who's been freeloading off everyone else's hard work" sniggers Swearer.
With that done, Driver hops back in to forklift's seat "Come on, girls! Break's over!" The other two make no hesitation getting aboard, Complainer scrambling up the side to perch on the machine's roof while Swearer climbs on to the back, holding on to the frame behind Driver's seat. Once they're aboard, the lift gets moving again. As it goes, Complainer gives the Cybertronians a wave with ehr two top hands "Thanks for the help!"
Brainstorm studies the card handed to him, looking up when the trio rides off to give them a small wave of farewell before turning back to Wheeljack "Sure. I might join you again later, depending on how things are back at my workshop. As annoying as this was, it's still better than doing nothing."
"Sure thing. Pleasure doing business with ya," Wheeljack calls, waving the two of them off. Hopefully the Lost Light will be gone before too long, but even if the forklift was terrible to work on, the crew wasn't so bad, and the kid was interesting. Wheeljack makes another attempt to brush off his hands before he turns back to Brainstorm. "Hopefully not everything here is that bad," he comments, before waving Brainstorm off. "I'll be around. Comm me if you're going to stop by. I'm sure I could use an extra set of hands."