Title: Friendly Warning
Date: 28 October 2014
Summary: A warning from a friend, about a friend.
Arcee returns to Nyon because she's very worried. She's come to the realization this situation with Drift may be quickly turning into a crisis, and there's really only one mech she knows who *might* be able to help.
Hot Rod passes Arcee in his alt-mode, busily doing something and going somewhere. He hardly gets a dozen meters before he registers her identity, transforms, and twists back to verify his glance. "Hey, Arcee!" he greets with cheer that is undoubtedly about to be dampened.
Arcee reaches out and grabs Rod's arm. Which may or may not be a good thing, but unfortunately she doesn't look happy at all, she seems extremely worried. She's probably grabbed Rod's arm just to get and keep his attention. "Listen," she says, "Drift showed up in Altihex last cycle. He went absolutely out of his mind with rage when he encountered me, and things just...went really bad. He began killing people, I had to call Prowl for backup...we shot *him* a few times...then he ran off. I want you to know I kept my word. My original plan was just to take him out on sight, but because I hesitated, mechs *died*. And I wasn't even shooting at Drift to kill him, only to try and incapacitate him, but it was no use. I think he was running on pure homicidal rage."
"Also," Arcee adds, "Prior to his rampage, he had a brief encounter with...a miner, I think, he was wearing his guild symbol. And I overheard him admit to being the one responsible for bombing Rung's clinic. I have proof now...on top of everything else he's done, he killed Rung, too. If...if you're going to talk to him, you'd best do it soon. I think he's trying for suicide-by-cop, to be honest."
Glancing down at Arcee's hand in brief surprise, Hot Rod looks back up at her as she starts talking. She has his attention from beginning to end, but it is possible that the touch on his arm keeps him from immediately darting off to do ... something. He probably doesn't even know what. BUT SOMETHING. He tenses, with a low rumble of stalled movement shivering through his frame and vibrating the metal in her grasp. "Arcee--."
But he doesn't seem to know what follows that. Hot Rod lapses into silence. He gives her another look to make sure that /she/ is okay, but his first question is, "Why was he so mad?"
"Because he hates me," Arcee admits. "I mean, he was so mad he spit fuel on me. I think I must be a...symbol, of sorts, to him. A symbol of everything that makes him rage against the 'system' that killed his friends. It doesn't even matter what I say to him, he just goes straight into kill mode. It's really distressing, because I *do* feel bad that he's suffered so much loss. But I had nothing to do with the incident, and...it doesn't matter to him, he wants me to die anyway." Arcee shakes her head. "He's probably in the area. I wouldn't be surprised if he's still in Altihex, or he's making his way to Nyon to find you, but he's injured for sure."
"Ugh." Hot Rod passes his hands over his face and then looks off into the distance, almost like he can see Drift far away behind Arcee and on his way. (There's no one there.) He continues to study the horizon, however, rather than look back at her. "I should've made it more of a priority to talk to him about this. Because you're an Autobot, huh? Can't say some of them aren't terrible, but there's you, Pax, Jazz -- I don't know." He looks back at her, and displaces all of his fingers to anger. "If there weren't a bunch of messed up people hiding behind that badge making the rest of you look bad, it never would've happened." Or if Drift weren't /crazy/.
"I did join," Arcee admits. "A *very* short time ago. And mainly, I joined because it seemed like a logical step at the time. I have a lot of respect for Pax, and especially for Elita. I've worked in the Senate. I have...you know, experience working with those types. But I'll be honest with you, I might end up kicked out if Prowl has anything to say about it. He thinks I'm terrible. I can't do anything even remotely good enough for him, so..." She shrugs. "Hey. If I wash out, I wash out. Either way, I'm still going to be working with Elita on a number of projects. Maybe Drift thinks all Autobots are made from the same mold as the ones who killed his friends, but...he's really very wrong about that."
"/Prowl/." It is just a single word, but it says a very great deal. Hot Rod doesn't even need to roll his eyes, but he still does, just in case she didn't get his point. "Yeah. He is. He's about as wrong as you can get."
Hot Rod looks down. A frown settles on his features. It does not sit easily; his expression is better suited to (cocky) smiles. "I'd kind of hoped to show Drift that some of them were okay. The data we took to Pax," he says, glancing back up at Arcee. "I've been following up on it. He said make a plan, do recon, so I've been getting people who can. I was hoping that if Drift could see them -- could see /you/ -- were trying to stop that kind of thing, not just Senate thugs. I hoped it might change something. But it sounds like I'll have to be pretty careful about it."
"I think you're doing all you can," Arcee says encouragingly. "If Drift can't see that through his own anger, then that's his own burden to bear. But I think you have the right idea. Some have become extremist in their views, on both sides. But that doesn't represent everyone. I think you have the best chance of getting through to him."
Smile quick to resurface, Hot Rod blossoms at the encouraging tone. "Yeah, maybe. Although I have to admit, I pretty /extremely/ feel that whole slagging Institute needs to be torn down. If it wasn't for Orion Pax and Alpha Trion--." He breaks off with the implication one of hasty, unplanned action. This whole planning thing is /terrible/. "You and Drift should be working together," he says more seriously. "Not working against each other like that. I know it's not your fault," he quickly adds. "And I appreciate that you shot to disable. It's just frustrating. We're not each other's enemies."
"I wasn't planning on shooting him at all," Arcee says, and she has to word that carefully because it would be a lie if she said she didn't WANT to shoot him. She just didn't want to go back on her word, because she did tell Rod that she'd take it easy with Drift until the two of them could have a discussion. "Just wanted to give you a heads-up. If you happen to see Shiftlock around, I...really didn't want to upset her like I did last time, but she should probably know that he's back to his violent habits." She gives Rod an apologetic look. "Well...I'd better go back to Rodion, so I can get the Prowl-and-Magnus lectures out of the way. So much fun."
"/Magnus/? Ultra Magnus? That big blue guy who looks like--" Hot Rod wipes all expression from his face, then reaches up and physically etches a frown into his brow with the drag of his thumb. "Wow, Arcee. What did you ever do to get stuck with those two. If you ever get tired of the lectures and want to escape to fun and freedom--" Yes. Fun and freedom. Nyon is full of /fun and freedom/. Clearly he hit his head, damaged his processor in Kaon. "--you know where to find me. Good luck."
Arcee actually chuckles a bit. "Thanks. I have NO idea, but they've been nitpicking me since day one. And here I was thinking I'd be on assignments with Elita and Pax, silly me!" She smirks. "Okay, I'll see you later. That Magnus impression, by the way? Spot on."
"Yeah, I've been told I do good impressions." No, he hasn't. Hot Rod is lying. "Later, Arcee." He watches a moment as she heads off, then sighs and goes to find Drift, maybe see if he's collapsed bleeding in a ditch somewhere. Who knows.