2016-10-24 Mech's Best Friend

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Mech's Best Friend
Date 2016/10/24
Location Lost Light - Science and Medical
Participants Bulkhead, Wheeljack
NPCs Exo
Plot Animorphing
Summary Wheeljack is bowled over by Bulkhead's change.

To one side, medical: often one of the quieter areas of the ship, Ratchet runs it with an iron, if somewhat rusted, hand. When a crisis breaks out, it transforms from silence to a hub of activity, carefully overseen and controlled.

To the other side, science: things explode with distressing regularity behind those triply-reinforced walls. Warning signs are posted prominently, and triply so around Brainstorm's Workshop.

On the trip back to the Lost Light, Bulkhead had remained a sad pupper. His neck hurt from where Praeso had clawed it, even if she hadn't hurt him that badly, and so for a good amount of time he'd remained flopped on the floor, giving little whimpers until someone (probably Ultra Magnus) told him to shut up. When they got to the ship, however, his mood immediately improved. There was someone on the ship he needed to see! Right now right now needed to find!

So he put his nose, literally, to the grindstone.

Sniff sniff sniff sniff. Bulkhead made his way through the halls, following the scent he was after once he'd found it. He ended up on an elevator, and whined until someone else needed to use it and stepped inside. Exo stared at him. He decided not to ask, and instead, when Bulkhead barked, "Two! Two!" went about sending the elevator to science and medical. As Bulkhead trotted off, nose to the floor again, Exo shook his head. This ship was so weird.

Bulkhead knew he was on the right track - the scent was stronger here. He sniffs past where his quarry would usually be, but, no, not in there. So sniff sniff sniff away he went, until he turns a corner. His tail immediately starts wagging, tongue lolling happily, and he bounds down the hall toward his target. Incoming!


Errands occasionally take Wheeljack away from his lab, and into different areas of the ship. This time, it's nothing important, just dropping off a datapad or two with medical. Something about tool requests and medical devices and things like that. It's hardly taken as long as some of his other errands, so he isn't expecting anyone to be waiting for him by his lab when he heads back. His thoughts are mostly caught up in his current project, as they usually are when something gets him away from his lab.

For that reason, Wheeljack isn't paying much attention tot he sound of approaching footsteps. What does grab his attention is the sound of someone shouting his name, and he jerks around, fins bright with surprise as he registers something--someone-- barreling toward him. There isn't much left to do but brace himself for impact.

And impact he does. "JACK!" Bulkhead leaps, knocking Wheeljack to the ground with the force of his momentum and his sheer bulk. He's not nearly as big as he used to be, but all that Dog coming at you, especially after a full run down the hall, is going to pack some punch. Once Wheeljack's on the floor Bulkhead pounces again, but in a different way - he immediately begins licking Wheeljack's faceplate, tail still going a mile a minute. "Jack! Jack friend, found you! Found you found you! Love Jack friend." In the way only a pupper can as he continues to lick lick lick Wheeljack's face. Somewhere in the Bulkhead mind, he's cringing with embarrassment. But the dog mind doesn't care. This is his most important person on the ship, and he is excited!

The sudden impact is more than enough to disorient Wheeljack, and he spends a moment or two after being knocked over staring at the ceiling, trying to figure out what hit him. It's only when he starts to try and prop himself up again that the what becomes clear, and he has a few bewildered moments of trying to fend off the face and tongue that have suddenly been shoved into his own. "What--"

The voice is familar, though. Very familiar. The form is all wrong, though, and the greeting is unusual to say the least, but... "Bulkhead?" Wheeljack's fins are lit up nearly white with shock. "What happened to you?"

Bulk is still trying to lick lick lick - any hands that get in the way of Wheeljack's face will also find themselves happily slurped on - when the questions come. "Yes!" he barks happily. "Is Bulk! Jack happy to see Bulk? Bulk happy to see Jack!" That much is clear with all the pupper body language going on, and the way Bulkhead remains perched on Wheeljack's chest. The second question takes a little bit longer for him to figure out. How explain...

While the others in their animal forms may be influenced by, or access, the instincts of their new second minds, Bulkhead does the opposite. The dog is smart enough to realize it doesn't know how to answer this, and therefore accesses Bulkhead's brain to figure out what to say. "Big thing. 'Vice!" Two syllable words seem hard for him. "Not 'sposed turn on, but did! Dym do bad. Bulk dog now. Jack not like?" There's a sad pupper face for you, accompanied by a soft whine. Jack not like Bulk dog? But Bulk like Bulk dog, why Jack not like?

It's really lucky that Wheeljack has a faceplate, because if he had a mouth he's almost certain he would have gotten a tongue in it by this point. Of course, finally sitting up doesn't do much to protect him from the licking, from the clearly very happy Bulkhead. Dog Bulkhead. His entire body is wriggling, now that Wheeljack can actually take the time to look at him. He really is a dog. "I thought you were just going on a tour, not getting a new alt-mode."

But then Bulkhead goes into his stilted explanation. It's rudimentary, especially for Bulkhead, and that's more than enough to get Wheeljack to start worrying. His fins dim as well, which probably doesn't help to keep Bulkhead from his sad drooping. When that happens, Wheeljack is taken aback. "I mean... do you like it?" he stammers out.

"Tour nice. Bulk with friend Boff! Tour lab. Acc--" Bulkhead can't quite figure out how to say that word. "Ax dent." There we go, close enough. "All fine. But mad. Bulk not mad." How can he be? This new brain was great, clearly. Wheeljack's worry would only get worse if or when he ran into another of the group and found that they were all relatively capable of keeping their own minds, while Bulkhead wasn't.

Or, more accurately, didn't want to.

Which might become clear in what he says next, as Bulk gives a happy bark. "Yes! Bulk like! Dog brain happy. All happy." Now that Wheeljack has sat up, Bulkhead settles his butt into Wheeljack's lap, and leans forward to give his face another lick.

That certainly clears it up a bit better, mispronounced words and all. "Okay, but did they have a medic check you over?" he asks. He can see that there's some mass displacement going on here, and after the last time that happened in his lab, he's maybe a bit more cautious about it than he would normally be. Besides, the process of changing forms is not an easy one, and it sounds like this was unexpectedly sprung on the entire group.

Wheeljack sputters as he's licked across the faceplate again. "Okay, but what about your brain, Bulk? It's still in there, right?"

"Med? No." Bulkhead then remembers something, and adds, "But Elems, they check. Say OK. Just 'mals now." A trouble thought occurs, the Bulkhead portion of his processor the one supplying it. But what would happen after, if the Elemens could change them back? Bulkhead would be himself again. No more dog brain, no more pure happiness and easily acquired content. What would he do then? He doesn't like the thought, and he banishes it almost as quickly as it comes, allowing the dog to come back to full control.

"Yes, Bulk here. In back." The background, basically. "Dog brain more good. Dog brain in front."

That... doesn't seem to be the case for Wheeljack. He's just a bit worried by all of this. He's going to have to check in with the others on that tour, and with the 'Elems', as Bulkhead puts it, to make sure that this is really okay, and probably to lend a hand at getting everyone back to normal. Hopefully the dog brain is just in the forefront and Bulk isn't actually gone from there. In the meantime, though...

"Mind letting me up, Bulk?" he asks. He's kind of still being pinned down, here.

If Bulkhead's mind were in control, he would have noticed that something was up with Wheeljack. The pupper doesn't. "Oh! Yes, okay, Jack! Bulk move." He pads off of Wheeljack's lap and stands, looking up at Wheeljack once the scientist stands. Bulkhead is a big dog, but he's still only about thigh height to Wheeljack, what with the mass displacement and all.

"Jack give Bulk pets now?" he asks. Wag wag wag. "Bulk good, give--" Wait, wait, "--ants sir." There we go. "Bulk get pets now?"

It's one more weird thing in this whole weird situation, to be taller than Bulkhead. Wheeljack spends a bit of time dusting himself off, though there's not much he can do for the scuffs from falling on the floor. Or the scuffs from Bulkhead practically sitting on top of him. Or the slobber-- really the only thing that's been fixed is that he's on his feet now. Really, this whole thing would be easier to process if it weren't for the sudden and drastic change in Bulkhead's demeanor with everything else.

But he can't resist the hopeful optics, and teh tail wags. "Yes, you can get pets," he says. He's going to reach out for Bulkhead's new ears.

Bulkhead eagerly moves into the touch, big, doe eyes closing at any petting Wheeljack gives him. And scratches. "Scritch Bulk ears?" he requests. Unlike Boffwl, Bulkhead in this form is not shy to ask for what he wants. Because why would he be? His tongue lolls out and his tail continues to wag, the synthetic robo-fur of his frame soft beneath Wheeljack's fingers. Yes, he would love to have this for the rest of his life. Pets and scritches.

"Jack good pets. Love Jack friend. Jack Bulk--" Aw scrap another big word. "--fave oh rit." Nailed it. "Bulk stay with Jack?"

Okay. Despite everything, this is pretty cute. Wheeljack's fins are lighting up like a smile when Bulkhead practically leans into the contact. "Well I can't say no to that, can I?" he muses, and puts more effort into the ear scratches. "Is that what it takes to win you over?" he laughs, as Bulkhead proclaims him his favorite. "If we weren't already friends I might be offended." He doesn't sound it, though. And the last bit has him pausing. It must be difficult, getting around with no hands. And it means someone will be keeping an eye on Bulkhead if something goes wrong... "Sure, you can stay with me."

"All ways fave oh rit," Bulkhead happily corrects him. "Jack top friend. Best friend." Pupper Bulk doesn't seem to realize that he's giving himself away, and Bulkhead brain isn't about to stop him. It can't, anyway - he's too far lost in the happiness of being in Wheeljack's presence, of getting petted, of receiving positive attention. His eyes reopen when Wheeljack agrees and he gives a joyous BORK. "Bulk glad! Bulk stay with Jack, Bulk glad! Bulk help too. Help in lab." He's good at fetching, he'll be perfect!

Wheeljack doesn't know the extent of the dog brain, or the overlap yet. As far as he knows it's just exaggerating everything and driving Bulkhead to make statements like that when he's getting exactly what he wants. So he just laughs, and gives Bulkhead one last firm pat when the new canineformer barks happily. "Sure, you can help." Fetching is probably going to be the only thing, which may be a bit difficult considering how Wheeljack's lab is arranged, but hopefully he can rely on Bulkhead to remember at least that much, even in this form.

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