2018-03-11 Cheating

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Date 2018/03/11
Location Lost Light Recreation- Practice Rooms
Participants Hound, Rodimus
Summary Rodimus has a suggestion for getting around Hound's current dilemma.

As Hound passes by the Practice Rooms, from within one of the open rooms -- currently set to a sparring program -- comes a clank, followed by a much-belated whump-clatter that suggests a hard hit, a long throw, and finally someone hitting the wall and landing in an ungraceful sprawl. Inside is Rodimus, peeling himself from upside-down and working on straightening himself rightside-up as an entirely too smug drone (they don't have personality routines; Rodimus is just projecting his irritation that hard) waits for him to get ready to come around for another turn.

Hound's been pacing ever since he got out of his meeting with Prowl, it feels like. With the walls of his office seeming to close in on him, now, the other decks, and the practice rooms, seem that much more attractive-- but the sound of a clatter makes him stop, audials twitching. He just means to glance inside as he passes on his way to elsewhere, but the sight of Rodimus staggering his way upright has him pausing. "What are you doing?"

"Getting my aft handed to me." Rodimus rolls his shoulder back with a twitch of his head, spoiler flicking and resettling as he wrenches it out of the awkward-angled smush. "I was thinking 'I really feel like pushing my limits' but apparently someone overwrote our difficulty settings and reset them all to pure sadism."

"Apparently," Hound says. Brusque, for him. He even starts to pull back, nearly steps away from the door before thinking better of it, and turning back toward Rodimus. "Want a partner?"

Rodimus's expression brightens, and he gives Hound a thoughtful once-over, making guesses at their relative levels of experience. "Yeah," he says, "yeah, that sounds good. No--" He pauses, reconsiders what he was going to say, then finishes, "--going easy on me, okay? I won't be holding back." He kills the programming, drone fading out of existence and leaving the sparring space to the two of them.

"No need to worry about that," Hound says. He finally steps fully into the room, taking the few moments as he walks to settle his armor and drop down into a ready stance. Almost unconsciously, his lips curl back, baring fangs in Rodimus's direction. "Ready. Call it," he demands.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Great Success (5 7 1 5 3 7 7 2 8 6) Rodimus: Good Success (7 2 6 6 3 1 3 7 7) < Net Result: Hound wins - Marginal Victory

Rodimus grins at that flash of fang, answering with a friendlier glimpse of his own pointy teeth. They aren't quite as impressive as Hound's. He calls in the most casual possible way, with an easy, "Bring it," before he advances himself. He moves quickly, but without finesse, as though he imagines himself more powerful than he actually is. His first blow strikes, but fails to do more than check Hound's progress, and leaves Rodimus wide open for Hound's return.

As soon as the fight begins, Hound's optics narrow, all his attention turned toward Rodimus and the fight. Hound keeps to his wary crouch, claws raised defensively before his torso and face, until Rodimus finally brings in his first strike. It's then that he finally moves. Rather than blocking the blow outright, he dodges to the side, grabbing the arm and turning the strike into a grapple as he moves behind Rodimus and attempts to twist the limb around behind his back.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Success (3 5 2 1 3 4 3 6 7 1) Rodimus: Good Success (2 6 5 5 3 1 8 8 4) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Marginal Victory

Rodimus is quick in pivot to break Hound's grapple, freeing himself before Hound can really get control. "Oop," he says, a pleased noise of surprise as he rounds on Hound again and watches with a more cautious eye for an opening. This time, he doesn't just charge right in to see what happens. "You look grim. Have a little fun, c'mon."

There's a wry twist to Hound's mouth that isn't really a smile, in response to that. "Thought you were looking for a challenge," he says, slipping right into a defensive stance, claws bared again. The silvery lines of raw metal on his helm glint under the practice room lights, like this. "Besides, this isn't the best time for fun." Almost as soon as he's finished saying that, he darts forward, sweeping a leg at Rodimus's.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Good Success (8 4 2 5 6 3 1 2 8 1) Rodimus: Success (1 6 6 5 4 5 7 1 2) < Net Result: Hound wins - Marginal Victory

The whump-clatter combo that first drew Hound's attention repeats as the sweep of Hound's leg catches and unbalance Rodimus. He goes down with a yelp, feet tangling as he tries and fails to regain his balance. When he hits the mat, he rolls, pushing hard to get out of the way before Hound can push the advantage and pin him. "Yeah, a challenge. That's fun! Challenges are fun! What's got your tail in knots?"

"There's nothing about getting ready for a major battle that's fun," Hound says. There's a hint of a growl to his voice now--from anger? exertion? hard to tell-- as he follows, pressing his advantage with a swipe of claws aimed straight for Rodimus's helm.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Good Success (3 6 5 8 8 4 1 6 3 8) Rodimus: Good Success (3 3 7 2 7 1 2 4 7) < Net Result: DRAW

Rodimus catches Hound's arm as he goes in for the swipe, but is unable to break it or turn it to his advantage. It's all he can do to hold Hound back, and it just might be that Hound has the tiniest edge on him: that the claws get a little bit closer with every cycle of his ventilations. "Okay, well, there you are definitely wrong, although this one is a load of scrap."

Hound bears down, using the advantage of his position and weight to continue driving his claws down toward Rodimus's faceplates. His optics are still narrowed, and that growl is definitely edging further into his voice. "Oh, so you noticed."

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Good Success (7 4 2 3 2 6 1 8 4 4) Rodimus: Great Success (7 3 7 7 4 7 2 7 2) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Solid Victory

Rodimus continues to press back against Hound, putting everything he has into bracing against him -- and then he drops it, letting all resistance fade from his frame, and rolls to the side as Hound topples forward. He makes a show of dusting himself off after scrambling back to his feet. "Yeah. I noticed. I guess maybe it makes this one not so fun."

Hound's optics widen, a second too late to readjust. He goes tumbling forward, hissing out a curse as his hand slams hard into the floor. He scrambles to pull himself upright, shaking out the hand with a grimace, but doesn't start moving just yet. Rodimus has cracked the dam, now, and all of the words start to come spilling out. "I don't care what Prowl says, this thing with Megatron is a terrible idea."

"I'd rather be fighting Megatron than fighting alongside him," Rodimus agrees. He regards Hound with a thoughtful expression, then grins as he beckons a 'come at me, bro' wiggle of his fingers. "We could spacebridge in right under his nose, while he's pulling attention away from the interior. Let him spend himself against the outer walls, if we can sneak inside."

"I..." Hound's audials perk, then drop. "I can't do something like that." THE BURDEN OF COMMAND. "Ignition might kill me. Prowl definitely would."

As though to escape from the tempting train of thought that Rodimus presents, Hound proceeds to come at him. A straightforward charge, so it seems, until Hound calls up a hologram, flickering images of his arm shrouding the main blow toward Rodimus's stomach.

<FS3> Hound rolls Holograms: Good Success. (8 1 2 1 5 8 6 5 7)

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed+3 Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Amazing Success (7 4 7 1 8 2 6 6 8 4 7 8 2) Rodimus: Good Success (3 7 6 6 2 2 7 6 8) < Net Result: Hound wins - Solid Victory

"Yeah, wow, sure would be awful if you did something that Prowl didn't agree with," Rodimus teases, too pleased with himself to quite catch the flicker of the hologrom. He notices the difference too late and, disoriented, gets caught flat out by Hound's blow as it hits, staggering him backwards. He stays on his feet, but it takes him a moment to reset and recalibrate. "You cheater," he says, sounding delighted. "That's totally the same thing, though! Let them cover the real hit, just like your hologram did."

It wasn't a fair shot, and Hound knows it, which is probably why he hangs back to let Rodimus recover, rather than step in to attack again, the flickering ghost-images all disappear from around him. "It's not cheating when it's during a battle, it's insubordination," he protests. "I don't want to leave them alone with Megatron in command, but running in like a Wrecker only works for the Wreckers."

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Success (3 6 1 5 5 8 6 1 1 3) Rodimus: Failure (4 4 4 4 5 2 1 4 5) < Net Result: Hound wins - Marginal Victory

"So keep a line open to Prowl. Work alongside him, rather than under Megatron," Rodimus suggests, going back in at Hound -- but an angle that makes clear that he still thinks Hound has a hologram up. Seriously, it's just all wrong.

Rodimus's odd approach earns him a confused flick of the audials from Hound, who steps back out of the way, just in time to leave a foot in the way of Rodimus's own. "But... an army is supposed to be working as a whole unit," he says. There's still not much fight in it, even though he sounds like he can't quite believe it. This is Rodimus, after all. This is definitely the kind of maneuver he'd think to pull.

<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Hound=unarmed Vs Rodimus=unarmed < Hound: Great Success (6 2 1 7 6 7 8 3 1 7) Rodimus: Failure (2 1 4 6 2 5 5 3 6) < Net Result: Hound wins - Crushing Victory

Rodimus just ... trips over the foot. He just trips over it. He thought it was fake! He was so sure it was an illusion! There might be a metaphor in here for his plan, but let's all just ignore it, okay? "Yeah, well, Megs is the one that's an utter unit--aagh!." He trips; he falls.

Okay, he can't help it. Hound lets out a disbelieving snort of laughter at that. Because it worked. He's not sure how, but it actually worked. "You okay, there?" he asks, offering Rodimus a hand to help him back up.

"Just leave me here to die," Rodimus says, pressing his face into the deck and thus missing the offered hand. He stretches his limbs out in a dramatic splay. He's dead.

So convincingly dead. Hound nudges at the closest limb gently with one foot. "C'mon, that's what practice is for," he says. The hand is still being offered, if Rodimus decides to peel himself off of the floor. Then: "...Are you serious about the sneaking in, though?"

Rolling over, Rodimus spots the hand and takes it, pulling himself up. "I really thought you had a hologram up," he says ruefully. He drags his hand down his face. "You gotta tell me how to spot the edges of those. And yeah, I'm serious."

"It takes a lot of practice," Hound tells him, giving Rodimus a friendly pat on the arm as he gets up from the ground at last. "And I'm pretty good at them, so it can take longer than the space of a punch." He doesn't go into demonstrating, though. Instead, his expression turns solemn. He starts to worry at his lip with a fang, before he finally blurts out, "I'll do it." His hands clench at his sides. "I can't-- I can't just turn around and serve Megatron. Not with everything he stands for. But this is about the fate of the whole universe, and I can't just abandon that, either. That's not why I kept this badge."

Rodimus glances at Hound's badge and stifles a twitched gesture. He smiles as he settles back on his heels, gaze steady and expression -- reassuring, mostly. "Yeah. Believe me, I get you. We'll find a way to carve our place in it and stop the Harbingers, with or without Megatron. Now, let's try that again, yeah? Get a start on that practice."

"Right," Hound says. For the first time since he stepped into the practice room, the tension leaves him, and he manages a smile in return for Rodimus. It's muted, but it's there. "I'm with you." He ducks his helm, slightly, audials twitching. "Thanks."

Then Hound steps back, dropping down into his defensive crouch again. "Let

"Right," Hound says. For the first time since he stepped into the practice room, the tension leaves him, and he manages a smile in return for Rodimus. It's muted, but it's there. "I'm with you." He ducks his helm, slightly, audials twitching. "Thanks."

Then Hound steps back, dropping down into his defensive crouch again. "Let's see if you can spot the holograms this time."

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