2018-10-30 Welcome Back

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Welcome Back
Date 2018/10/30
Location Lost Light: Docks and Storage -- Shuttle Bay
Participants Minimus Ambus, Hound, Prowl
Summary Hound briefs Minimus Ambus and Prowl on what they'd missed.

The good news is, there's no more cryptic and mildly worrying messages sent in Minimus and Prowl's direction as they finish the last leg of their journey back to the Lost Light. Of course, it's good news in the sense of 'no news is good news--' they'll have plenty of time to wonder just what they're going to step out of their ship into, when they finally reach the Lost Light and fleet.

The bad news is, no messages or not, there's Hound waiting for them just inside the shuttle bay when they finally disembark. He's mostly managing to look composed, except that his audial panels are flicking madly on top of his helm, and the hand not holding a datapad is turning his old artifact over and over in his palm. He perks up when he sees the both of them, with an expression that is carefully tailored to not look like relief. "Oh, good," he says, looking over the both of them. "You're back. No, uh, pieces missing?"

Prowl is toting an armful of con loot as he steps off onto the ramp. A crate filled with various oddly-shaped bottles of inks. Rolled up papers. Stuffed characters (P and M). Hound's expression may be carefully tailored but Prowl's attention snaps right up to those audials. "What's the matter? What pieces? We're fine. It was a convention on fonts, it wasn't going to get too violent."

Minimus has his duffel in hand when he emerges from the shuttle, but he stops and stands stock still when he sees Hound here to greet them. He tries to give Prowl a sidelong look, the kind that could be an exchanged glance, but it is impractical. His eye level is just far too low.

Having had time to brood over Soundwave's really weird message, he rumbles in a low growl and settles his weight back on his heels with his chin lifted, scarlet gaze rolling up the long distance of Hound's greater height to mark the fidget of his hand. He asks in a tone weighted partway between resignation and woe: "... damage report?"

"Sure," Hound says, sounding particularly dubious. The fidgeting and the ear twitching doesn't lessen any as Hound finds himself eyed up. "Of course it wouldn't get violent. Definitely nothing to worry about," he says, with the air of someone who has definitely considered that the universe might just decide to laugh in his face for assuming something was safe. His shoulders droop, as do his audial panels. "I'd offer to go through in alphabetical order but I don't know how to list half the things here. Just... watch your step, to start with." He gestures toward the door behind them. "We're still decontaminating most of the corridors."

"What? Just start at the beginning. We're not under attack are we? Hound-" Prowl shifts the weight of the crate to clap a hand down on Hound's shoulder. It's supposed to be reassuring, but it feels more like he's trying to prevent Hound from running away. "Did the Quints get free? Megatron launch a cyber attack? Why does Soundwave want us to release the cassettes? Where's Rodimus?"

Minimus has fixed upon a word. He repeats it, appalled. "'Decontaminate?'" he says.

The duffel hits the floor with a thump. He isn't taking another step.

"It's not contagious," Hound says, both hands coming up placatingly. He has to tuck away both the datapad and the artifact to do it first. The audial panels are wilting rather obviously. "There was a bit of a mishap with the chimeracon solution, so things are just a little... more organic around here. They're just getting ready to clean off the rest of the spots. And the 'formers that got hit by it. Science and Medical are working on it! There's no attack. Rodimus and Soundwave are just... in quarantine. Not because of the chimeracon problem," he adds, as though that makes it better.

Prowl frowns. It's a deep, grim, serious frown. A Minimus frown. "There's two different contaminates?" He vents in, then out. "There's no attack," he repeats, mostly to himself. "Alright. Why are Soundwave and Rodimus in quarantine?"

"You mean that ... that nonsense from Tarantulas?" Minimus doesn't quite rise up and bluster but he does chuff in consternation. "Wait. Soundwave and Rodimus are in quarantine from _something else_ and the cassettes are on demand? What is going on?" The plaintive note in Minimus's voice drives it higher, rising suspiciously whinish.

"Yeah, that. Science is promising they've got a solution almost ready to go. It shouldn't be much longer. The offices are clean," Hound says, taking a careful step back toward the door, as if preparing to try and lead the other two further into the ship.

"Rodimus is on fire," Hound says. "Something's up with his systems, he's burning through... well, everything. He's in a secure environment to keep him from melting his surroundings. Soundwave..." Hound actually shrugs. "I don't entirely know what's up with Soundwave. He was fine the last time I saw him, but Ratchet insisted. And then sent the cassettes to the brig. For interfering in the medibay." He pauses, audial panels flicking. "I was going to consult with you on releasing them, actually."

Prowl... tentatively moves after Hound, leaving Minimus and his duffel. "Something's up with his- ..." He pauses, checking the ship's internal network for updates. "Says here that Rodimus has already finalized the cassettes' release and they're awaiting proper release. I'm going to go ahead and cancel that... If Soundwave can't control his tapes then I guess we're going to pick up his slack. Come on, Minimus. It's fine."

Minimus shows no sign of 'coming on'. He stands stiff and tense and obviously boggled. "Wait," he says. "Is there anything else? What else did we miss? I'm never taking shore leave again."

Hound stops in the doorway, audial panels pinned back in obvious worry, even as he bolsters his expression for the both of them. "That's most of it. I don't want to make Ratchet mad when he needs to fix and clear both Rodimus and Soundwave, so I've left the cassettes where they were. But the chaos is... contained to the ship. Aside from running low on radiation treatment for the organic contamination, the quints and Megatron haven't made many moves yet." He stifles an awkward cough. "Though we should probably be expecting... anyway. Oh. Right. Uh, welcome back."

Prowl rolls his optics and looks back to Minimus. "Let's not act like we're the sole guardians against chaos and the ship falls to pieces when we're not here." Then, to Hound, "But it does seem to have fallen to pieces, so I think we're going to deputize Thunderclash and Springer for you next time. Expecting what?" He heads through the doorway, calling over his shoulder, "Goodbye Minimus, I'll have someone bring you some energon and maybe a cot." Minimus is tossed his plush letter M, for extra comfort.

Minimus glowers and tells Prowl, "Have you ever heard of evidence-based deductive reasoning, Prowl?" in tones of high exasperation. Absurdly, he squishes the M into the crook of his elbow, against his side, and reaches for the strap of his duffel to haul it up as he stomps grimly forward. "Hound ... you could have called us. We could have come back, if you needed assistance."

"If Rodimus is unconscious next time, I'll call them myself," Hound says. Some of his fidgety tension eases, as Minimus steps forward. He keys open the door to the rest of the ship with an easy stance, stepping into the corridor beyond as though the sticky-looking corners of the hallway don't bother him at all. "Expecting... retaliation. But there's no signs, so don't worry about it. We're managing. I just wanted to brief you before you walked into the middle of the literal mess."

Prowl glares back at Minimus. Yes, Hound, they totally had a NICE, PLEASANT TIME doing some FUN RECREATION. "We've been expecting retaliation for a while now, so nothing new on that front. Thank you for briefing-" He steps atop what looks like a giant, shed snake skin. It goes crunch. "I think I'm going to head to my hab first, if you don't mind."

Minimus clutches his M and stares in horror. The moment when Prowl’s boot cronches down onto organic leavings in the hallway is the moment when Prowl and Hound are treated to an image of what it would look like for Minimus’s soul to leave his body and flee. He resets his vocalizer in a sharp clearing of his throat and says nothing because he has no words.

"... The bridge it is," Hound says with a nod. "I can have someone bring reports to you there. And energon." He uses one foot to gently nudge the sloughed skin aside, ignoring all the crinkling sounds that it emits during the process.

Prowl studies Minimus for a long moment and finally elects to gently hook his shoulder and guide him along. "Come on. Bridge. Hound cleared the way. Let's go. It's just a... sssskin."

Minimus makes a choking noise of strangled horror and suffers himself to be led but the care and precision with which he places his feet upon clear patches of floor cannot be overstated. He is so cautious that at one point he basically statues again for a long moment until he has satisfied himself that a mote of dust flickering in the air past him has settled, and then literally sidles so that he has placed the bulwark of Prowl’s frame between him and whatever it is. (Yes, Prowl. Protect him from the inert skin leavings.) It does not appear that he is that reassured by this idea that the contaminants are contained. “Who is responsible for this?” is what he says to Hound in tones of (badly) restrained menace.

Hound leads the way through the ship, pausing in willing but puzzled silence as Minimus makes his way inch by inch through the corridors. He has no compunctions about using his own feet or even his hands to move the material whenever it's inconveniently placed, whether that's on the floor or dripping down onto a key code panel here or there. "One of the science assistants," Hound says. "He's been reprimanded, I'm pretty sure. Want me to get you a report on Science's progress on a cure?"

"We don't need to take further action on a science assistant," Prowl says to Minimus. "That would be great, Hound, thank you. I figured Nightshade might've found a proper use for it so I told them to keep it around..." After the fourth time Minimus has paused, Prowl runs out of patience and reaches to grab the much smaller mech around the middle, to try and tuck him like a football. "I can take it from here, Hound. Meeting in the morning." He starts hiking towards the lift, kicking aside a massive, errant quill.

Minimus has been reliant on Prowl’s support through all of this, but when Prowl tries to actually pick him up, he balks in frustrated outrage in a way reminiscent of the kind of cat that simply Does Not Want to be lifted. He twists and thrashes, his density sufficient to make him an unwieldy handful for all his diminutian. “Prowl! What are you doing! Augh, what even is that,” he interrupts himself to not-quite-squawk. “Cease this … handling at once! ‘’Yes,‘’ Hound, I would like a complete report, and I’d like a word with Logistics because it is absolutely a violation of safety regulations to have biohazards around every corner and I will detatch every unassigned member of Combat _and_ Security to turn this … this … disgusting mess-- is that a ‘’puddle’’ on ‘’,my deck’’--”

"Right," Hound says, glancing uncertainly between Minimus and Prowl. The ears are twitching again, even though he's managing to keep his expression mostly in the realm of 'earnest concern.' Finally, he nods, and shoots Prowl a hesitant thumbs-up. YOU'VE GOT THIS. "I'll bring the report and some energon by your office." Whose office? Good question. The answer is probably to both of theirs, as he leaves Prowl to handle (and manhandle) Minimus's distress without an audience.

Prowl is too caught up with the VERY DENSE and VERY STRONG mech trying to escape his grasp to see Hound off. Eventually he gives up after a smarting scrape or two and dumps Minimus off at his office door, rubbing his wrist. "Last time I do you a favor!" The bridge crew gets another sharp glare for all of their staring, before Prowl flees into his own office, muttering.

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