2018-03-19 Prep Work
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Lost Light - Docks and Storage - Armory|
|Summary||Penchant tries to get Rodimus to take a break. Serious discussion of labels.|
It's been pretty non-stop for Support, with a steady stream of haulers (and volunteers) passing munitions, raw materials and weaponry to and from the armory or storage. What they don't have in stock, they receive from various dealers, and Penchant's best hagglers have been working overtime at Tempo's city center. Perceptor spent the better part of the week going over spreadsheets to confirm that everything is either in the green or going to be in the green.
But everyone is on mid-shift break now. Most of the haulers have filtered out for the mess hall, but some have lingered to sprawl over the crates in the armory. Others are splayed artlessly on the ground. Someone had wheeled out a big industrial box fan to cool overheated frames. 'Don't stick your fingers through the grate', warns a little sign.
Penchant steps over (or on top of) limbs as he traverses the room in search for Rodimus.
Although he might deny it, Rodimus doesn't have the frame for the big, heavy hauls: he's better suited for the in between, breaking down the large shipments into smaller loads, divided by division and fire team. He's endured the mostly good natured teasing about the locked wheel with cheer that grows less easy with each repetition, until what's really overheating his frame isn't exertion but rather the frustration of trying to put a good face on things.
Labels for this particular division have been scattered by the artless collapse of one of the haulers, who has taken her sheepish self elsewhere after Rodimus narrowly avoided a blow up. Enough of his irritation escaped his control to clear the area around him as he double-checks amounts and assignments against yet another spreadsheet and relabels the allotments.
"Rod-" Penchant is interrupted by a little stumble in the wake of the fan's heavy gusts. He braces, standing akimbo. "Rodimus. I see you've made friends." He gestures to the blatant wide berth around the speedster. "What are you doing? Take a break already-k'nngt." Even Pench has had difficulty stifling his smirks each time he spots the bright yellow boot.
The first short sound of his name draws Rodimus's attention. As Penchant stumbles, he starts to move to help -- a move that draws attention to the rather visible, rather bright yellow boot. When this triggers the smirk, the strangled static noise, his helpfulness stills and the warm welcome in his features cools to acknowledgment. After a beat, watching Penchant still braced, he shifts to offer him a (booted, clamped, CUFFED) hand past the gusting fan and toward his piles. "Yeah, well. I'm a friendly guy."
Penchant tries to play off hiding his mirth with a casual face rub as he's pulled across the air stream. "Don't let these guys give you any slag just because you're here on... uh, community service. Anyway- I wanted you to hear something. Hang on." He takes a step back to pull up the mysterious file. There's an odd, grainy 'silence' that emits from him, like white noise. He makes a face as if to share his confusion. "Soundwave gave it a weird name. Simultaneous_Slaughterings_at_Swerve's.soundwave."
"Yeah, Penchant, I won't let these guys--" And there might be a moment where Rodimus is tempted to drop Penchant mid-stream and see what happens. "--give me slag." His emphasis leans into the point that it's Penchant, not the surrounding, who is currently extra-smirky.
As Penchant plays the clip, Rodimus gives him a blank look. "Okay?"
Penchant /seems/ oblivious to the implication, but his smile fades pretty quick. "You don't know anything about it? You-" He pauses, looks around, and hunches inward, lowering his voice. "I woke up to you stumbling out of Soundwave's hab. It was written just after Rumble and I docked for recharge."
"What about this--" Rodimus wiggles his arm, which wobbles unbalanced from the weight of the booted wheel. "--makes you think my memories were any more intact than my judgment?" He does a fair job of hiding the tension he carries over that uncertainty; it's only a light burr of anxiety, briefly knitting his brow. He aggressively shrugs off the quiet words: "I dunno, Pench. Ask Swerve? He might remember."
Penchant can't help himself. He tucks his fist against his lips and ends up chewing his knuckles as his optics burn over-bright in amusement. "A-alright. Can't you... ff't. Why don't you get Soundwave to clip that thing off or something? Tell him it's hindering your ability to do proper hauling."
Rodimus glares. He’s not very good at it. It’s a pretty unimpressive glare. His is a face that is better suited to smiling than scowling. “No. He’s offered. It would just get him in trouble again, and trouble bothers him a lot more than it bothers me.”
Penchant decides that he has probably had enough fun here, and backs off lest Rodimus burst into literal flames within the highly flammable armory. "Okay. You should sit down and cool off though. We're ahead of schedule." He reaches to take the labels away from Rodimus, or attempt to. "Soundwave says you're helping with infiltration. You prepared?"
Rrrgh!! No! Those are his labels! Rodimus clutches them and pulls away in a way that looks stubborn, cranky, and foolish before he grows aware of how irrational he looks and instantly lets go. "Yeah, well, I got behind schedule when they got out of order." He doesn't assign blame for this, not even in passive voice, but his gaze strays toward the flumpers whomped to the deck by the fan.
There are many ways to say, "Of course I'm prepared,' in a way that makes the question sound silly. Ultra Magnus (or Minimus Ambus) would likely get annoyed anyone dare assume he was ever less then fully prepared for anything in his life, for example. Others might think it ridiculous that anyone would fail to take this seriously, and thus fail to prepare. Rodimus mostly sounds like the idea of preparing is what's ridiculous.
Penchant all too readily plays tug-o-war with the labels until Rodimus relents. The sudden release has the Neocybex lettering bouncing and catching the wind. It spatters both of their frames with gibberish.
"..." Penchant presses onward, peeling the labels off. "So you're /not/ prepared?" is what he gets out of that response.
The long, resigned sigh that passes from Rodimus's vents nearly seems to preclude an answer as he peels the labels off, starting with Penchant. Eventually, though: "I'm prepared. I'm going with--" But definitely not leading. "--some others that aren't interested in answering to Megatron. I've been working with Soundwave to make sure that we don't end up in a friendly fire situation." There's an implication in there of rebellion, but thanks to his position at Soundwave's side, Penchant is well aware that the would-be rebels are folded in to the whole plan under Megatron as part of the Dagger operation.
"Alright. Solid. Good," Penchant offers a thumbs-up as Rodimus pries the word 'headlights' off of his broad helm brim. "You'll do great." His turn to kinda' cheerlead. "Everyone will. It'll be... super smooth." He indicates with a slow slice through the air with his hand. "But for real, you're supposed to take a break or I get in trouble. I have to follow Autobot regulations on this ship, Rod."
Peeling another label off Penchant's shoulder, Rodimus studies him a moment then just -- reaches over cover his mouth with 'headlights' and 'taillights'.
Penchant never really knows what to expect with Rodimus, because of little wordless gestures like these. "Hrrm!" he stamps and claws at the labels fruitlessly. "Hnn-" << "Okay, you're right, no time to waste." >> He manages a smug look with just his optics. << "Everybody, get off your afts, breaks over!" >> But he won't openly blame Rodimus, at least.
As mechs haul themselves upright, Penchant marches past Rodimus, then pauses, looking back. << "You have a label on your aft. Let me get it for you." >> And Rodimus will feel the smarting slide of metal. << "Got it. See you at the end of the shift." >> The label left there reads 'skidplates'.