2018-10-30 Criminal Confinement
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Location||Lost Light - Docks and Storage - The Brig|
|Summary||Rodimus finalizes Penchant's freedom from the brig by reviewing how repentant he is.|
When Rodimus orders Penchant's release, he runs up against the fact that NOT EVERYTHING ON THE SHIP JUST RUNS BY HIS WHIMS. There's a whole process for release, even in the face of an urgent need for gossip, that ends with Penchant escorted on a visit to Rodimus to be considered for final release.
Someone else does the paperwork. The last datapad that they sent in to Rodimus melted in 2.3 minutes, which is way, way, way not enough time for him to complete the form. Rodimus just signs off on it, and then waits, in burning impatience.
Ha ha. Little joke there.
He's not actually burning: he remains locked in vacuum, and the claustrophobia of it all is beginning to show in a tremble of his spoiler and a fever-brightness in his eyes, just a touch frenetic. He tries to play chill, sitting and waiting for security to bring Penchant along, but even as Penchant comes into view on the other side of the screen, he can see the way Rodimus fidgets, almost twitchy, in his seat on the heat-lumped berth.
Never getting caught when bending slash breaking the rules has been a point of pride for Penchant. But here he is, caught. Ravage got away, but no one else. Starstruck hadn't treated him like a lowly prisoner during escort, at least.
Penchant rushes to flatten against the screen of Rodimus' fish tank. "Rod! They're gonna' put this on my record! I didn't do anything! ... I barely did anything!" he whines. "It's Soundwave's fault! ...Are you okay? ...Dumb question."
Despite the virus ravaging his systems, Rodimus still manages a grin in the face of Penchant's whine. "You should open my record some time. Maybe you can get it expunged in exchange for community service," he teases. He shifts in a restless heave to his feet, spoiler beating back and down in a quick flick before resettling. "What happened? I didn't get a chance to finish reading the report before it shorted."
Penchant looks fiercely curious for a second. He tucks Rod's report reading away for later. "Oh, uhm. Hm. Ratchet sent out that notice to return all Quintesson tech to the medibay. Soundwave then told Ratchet that he has Quint tech installed... So Ratchet had an orderly ensure that Soundwave didn't leave his room. His own quarantine. Then," Penchant pauses to tick off his fingers, "Soundwave sent Ratchet a bunch of spam for miracle hand-related cures or something, and Ratchet just signed Soundwave up for every trial-" Penchant can't help breaking off in a little snort-giggle. "So since we ROOM with Soundwave, Soundwave told us to go to the medibay and make ourselves at home. So we did. And now it's on my record!!"
Rodimus's expression brightens with each word that Penchant delivers, brighter and brighter yet. He laughs, and he can't help but look charmed at that little snort-giggle, his own features wrinkling in sympathetic laughter. It's easy to miss the fact that the gleam of his gaze is brighter than it should be with his grin so distractingly wide. "And you?" he asks. "How'd you make yourself at home?"
"There's a bunch of little medical drones that I took control of. One of them had a bunch of knives taped to it thanks to Vortex, so that was fun. But we were super safe! Totally out of the way! Didn't mess with the patients! Harmless fun, Rod!" Penchant mashes his cheek against the field. "I can't do community service, I tell people what to haul around now! I worked for this position!" he moans, like a diva. "I'll get Hunker and Static to vouch for me," he decides, palming his fist.
"That position just means that it's even more important you put on a show of paying for it," Rodimus says. He speaks with a carefully constructed patience whose underlying frustration burns through as bare hot metal scorches away the protection of softer affection. Rod's just a cranky, sick baby. "You'll be fine. I can get you out, learned your lesson, put you to work. Honestly, we don't have the time for so many of you guys to linger in the brig." After a pause, he pushes out a quick smile, then asks, "Did you have fun, though?"
Penchant sobers a little when he catches just the teeniest grumpy edge to Rodimus' tone. "Yeah. Thanks for getting me out. I... yeah." He fidgets, then perks, "Yes, a lot of fun. I feel like Enemy did a lot more damage than me, but it's in his name. Take that, Ratchet. Who... is supposed to be getting you a cure... huh. Gosh. I'm sorry you're all holed up like this. It must be nasty. Isn't your metal gonna' start breaking down...?"
"It hasn't yet," Rodimus says, reassurance in the wry tilt of his smile once he gets past an awful frozen moment where he covertly pokes his thumb into his palm to see if it starts to crumble away. "He's working on it, between all the rest. Is the gunking starting to clear up out there at least?" He means the chimeracon solution.
"Radiation is working, slowly but surely. I think Bulkhead might be working on something faster. I left my antlers in the middle of Soundwave's hab, and he won't touch them so he keeps having to walk around them," Penchant says through another tickled grin. "Oh, and... bummer about the race. I mean, I'm glad we saved someone! But I bet you could've smoked that stupid bird. You're so fast..." He makes no effort to hide his dreamy look. "Is there anything I can do for you while you're here?"
"Put our an order for extremely heat resistant datapads?" Rodimus's grin hangs lopsided and falls right off after a moment. He stretches, and looks down at his toes, which he wiggles. "I'm about ready to ask Ratchet to just offline me until the cure's done. I'm burning through fuel so fast that if the heat doesn't kill me -- or the ship -- I'll kill everyone else by starving them to death." JUST KIDDING. "No, just -- you know. Entertain me. Tell me dumb stories. What else did you do with your drones?"
Penchant's laugh turns a smidge nervous. "We... we have plenty of energon... Don't worry!" Hmm, stories... "Chased First Aid around. Spinister wouldn't budge. I don't think he realized what was happening. I kinda' got to test the limit of my... reach? Couldn't control all of them after a certain amount. Gotta' look into that. Say, Rodimus," Penchant leans in, fingers curling over one of the support rails. "You think you might wanna' visit my old colony? After everything is... over? Just... me and you."
Rodimus tries to suppress the urge to smirk at poor Spinister, but he doesn't quite manage. "I bet he didn't."
DON'T BE MEAN.
Expression brightening again, Rodimus says, "Yeah! Maybe you'll even be out of criminal confinement by then. Have you talked to them at all lately? Find out how they are doing?"
"Hey, I'm not a criminal!" Penchant insists with a laugh that's too harsh and slightly forced. HE'S NOT A CRIMINAL. "Little bit. Just through the one mech I left in charge. I checked in a while go, when Unicron was on a rampage. The organics that shared the planet with us fled, despite it being clear of Unicron's trajectory. Guess they were nervous, but it kinda' threw the economy for a loop. I'm sure they've sorted it out." Penchant's smile tilts somber for a second or two, "But it'll be fun. I can make certain that you won't come back with some awful virus." It will be a BETTER DATE.
"Me either," says Rodimus, who is definitely a criminal. Was. Is. Depends on who you ask.
"I'm sure you wouldn't leave anyone in charge who couldn't handle a little problem like that," Rodimus says, giving Penchant a quick and reassuring smile. He laughs, and spreads his arms to look down at his hands. "Don't promise that if you aren't sure you can deliver. It'll be worth it, anyway, if we get anything of value out of the Quints, and it's worth it anyway, because we rescued Jet."
There's a slight pause, then: "Still -- it'll be fun. I look forward to it." Rodimus's expression is warm in ways untouched by fever as he grins at Penchant.
Penchant indulges in that sizzling, sparking feeling he gets whenever Rodimus assures and smiles at him. His melted look betrays an ache in the furrow of his brow when he's reminded of reality. It's replaced, slowly, by growing determination that fumbles into a sudden, troubled expression. "...Are you... Am I getting sent back to the brig? You signed me out, right? Right? I'll do the damn community service."
"You seem totally repentant to me. I'll put you in for the rest of the time as punishment duty. The rest of them, too. Don't want accusations I'm playing favorites," Rodimus says as he plays favorites and springs Soundwave's cassettes. He nods to Penchant's security escort, putting them in charge of executing.
Penchant looks completely bewildered. And pleased. Both. He... forgot to act repentant. At least he did a little whining. "Thank you, Captain." He gives Rodimus a little salute and turns to rejoin his escort, pressing him for the details on this punishment.