2018-03-11 Make It Quick

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Make It Quick
Date 2018/03/11
Location Shuttle
Participants Rodimus, Penchant
NPCs Unfortunate !Decepticon
Summary Rodimus and Penchant are left to handle one of !Rodimus' victims as they head back to Tempo.

Their escape was hectic, leaving a few light scorches of gunfire on Rodimus's plating, Soundwave's back, and Bluekite's face. The nameless !Decepticon, however, escaped the gunfire. Despite that, his spark is flickering, and rapidly fading, as the trauma of being moved puts a strain on already overtaxed systems. Soundwave's stuck piloting them as Nautica's stealth technology allows them to evade pursuit, leaving Rodimus and Penchant to face the fact that they can't fix this as they sit in the belly of the ship's hold.

Twisted into the shape of a table, doors now hanging wide, the !Decepticon is overheating in the final stages of meltdown.

Faster. They need to get back faster. Everything is taking too long. Should've brought a medic, should've begged for one. This was someone's fault. Someone else's fault. Penchant rubs his face as he paces beside their dying mech. Many, many of the Harbingers' slaves had died, either at the hand of their captors or against the Lost Lighters in battle, but this one was different. At least to Penchant, who recalls the clawing lunge into his mind all too clearly. The desperate need to escape.

"Rod," Penchant says, shaking his helm and anxiously moving around the cabin. "Rod," he repeats, and there's nothing to say, nothing to ask. They're going to feel the hull shudder as they land, any minute now, and medics will pour in and perform a miracle. That is what is going to happen.

"What?" Rodimus asks, and "What?" again, sharper, as Penchant repeats his name without actually asking him anything. He watches the !Decepticon crumble, struggling to pull up rudimentary first aid -- basics which have long passed their usefulness here. The stealth field scrambles their long-range sensors, preventing them from reaching out for a spacebridge, and the instant they drop the field, the Harbingers would be on them. There's no right answer here, nothing that leads to a miracle. There's only a slow, terrible death as they fight to find a way to claim victory. "Maybe if we bled off the excess energy--?" Except then the spark would gutter faster, although perhaps no longer a heat death. Pick your death.

"What? I-I don't know, I'm not a medic!" Penchant rushes back over, pain in his voice, "You just had to stay alive! We got you out! You're supposed to fight! You're not supposed to let them win!" If he can't heal this mech, he can at least yell at him in his last flickering moments.

"Penchant." Rodimus lifts his hand from the !Decepticon's side and turns, reaching to grab Penchant by the shoulder and push him back and back again until the wall's at his back and he can steady himself. "Stop. Right now, he's dying. And I don't think we can stop it. But maybe we can let him pass in peace. Maybe you can let him pass in peace." He pauses, giving Penchant a thoughtful, appraising look. "Or I can just--." He lifts his arm, those shiny chrome exhaust pipes warming with a deep glow as he activates the weapons within.

Penchant might've fought against the push if he had the strength. All he can do is glare from his brace against the wall, but the sharp look doesn't last more than a few seconds. He dissolves quickly, sliding to his knees. "I'm sorry, I-" The ambient heat of Rodimus' pipes pulls his attention. He works his jaw, grimacing, then wills a very small nod. "Yeah. Alright. Make it quick. It's... all we can do, right?" The brim of his helm hides his dim optics as he looks away.

Rodimus pulls Penchant against his side with his other arm in a quick, rough embrace and then pushes away. Standing over the !Decepticon, though, he hesitates.

The labored whine of the !Decepticon's systems is audible even to unenhanced systems. It sounds painful.

Penchant endures the quick embrace with a small shiver. He's back to bracing against the wall, as Rodimus warms up his pipes. Only, there's a pause that lasts too long. This should've been instant. It's the awful sound of strained systems that spurs Penchant to shout, "Rodimus, kill him!"

With a guilty twitch, Rodimus fires. He unerringly finds the !Decepticons spark despite the unnatural configuration of his frame. The noise cuts almost immediately, and in the silence is a whisper of relief before the overstressed systems at last begin to cool.

Rodimus turns away, deactivating his weaponry, and draws his hand down his arm and over the exposed pipes.

The quiet doesn't come as an immediate relief for Penchant. Shouldn't have stopped Soundwave earlier. Soundwave is better at enduring death, clearly. It's an odd but stark reminder of being surrounded by mechs of war. Though Rod's hesitation didn't go unnoticed. Penchant peels himself away from the wall to embrace Rodimus' shin. "We got what Sounders lost," he murmurs. "S'what we came for."

Rodimus shifts, pulling away from Penchant, but only so that he can kneel down next to him. He slides his hand over Penchant's helm and shoulders, pulling him back in again. "I know. I know we did. I'm glad. But -- frag, how far gone do you have to be that this is okay? It's not like you can blame this on losing his conjunx. He was like this the whole time."

"Hn, I dunno', if I think about it too much I'll end up trying to rationalize and maybe even sympathize. We need to end him. We're /going/ to end him." Penchant lingers with his fingers curled over the sharp divots of Rodimus' stylized flames, and he stares at the badgeless center. He draws back, meeting optics. "That level of attachment... to his Minimus..." Shudder.

Rodimus's eyes dim, going dark as he shakes his head. "I've done the same. For Minimus. Left energon for him. And he's fallen asleep reading. Not often. He gets annoyed at it. Untidy, you know? Already waking up with a mess and something out of place. But he has."

Penchant finds a little more distance. Just a little. Long embraces are reserved for your love interest, see. "Okay, yeah-" he begins, tone lighter. "But I'm pretty goddamn sure you wouldn't /tuck him into your bed/ after he died or something. Come on. Who do you think you are? The parallels are just... I don't know, weird quantum stuff."

Smile wry, pulled weary, Rodimus says, "I hate quantum stuff." He pauses. "Don't tell Nautica I said that. I can already hear her spark breaking and she let us borrow this tech as a favor, so I owe her one anyway. You're right, though," he says, forcing himself to match Penchant's tone. "It's not the same. Creepy as it is." He settles cross-legged, arms folded over his midsection as Penchant moves away.

"Heh." Penchant struggles with humor, despite his attempt to keep the mood up. He can't look at the dead !con, so he takes great care in avoiding the body he moves to sit against Rodimus' back, helm tipped against the bottom of his spoiler. There, contact and comfort without it being weird. He'll spend the rest of their sad trip prodding Rodimus about his new roomie, which he apparently hand selected.

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