Title: Team Bad Idea
Date: 15 October 2014
Summary: Bad idea reinforcing bad idea reinforcing bad idea.
The Rust Narrows of Nyon are nice and cozy if you are into the rusty, run-down aesthetic. Hot Rod is more at home in these dark and crowded streets than one might expect given the flashy paint. Red is practically camouflage against rust, if you look at it from a certain point of view. (That point of view being the delusional, stealth failure point of view, but it is certainly a point of view.)
So maybe he still stands out, but Hot Rod's comfortable in a way he isn't elsewhere, familiar to those who live here unlike how very unknown he is elsewhere. That's why it's from here that he gets in touch with Feint, flush with enthusiasm. He places the call from an warehouse once used for industry, now -- what else? -- rusted out and empty.
Feint is not in the best frame of mind. The response to the communique is terse and hurried. There seems to be an emergency, and Feint is quickly on her way to see Hot Rod. She is on a Quest (no, not the Swerve variety) to find someone to help the mech she rushed into bonding with. Her life is now *very* interesting and exciting. In the Chinese curse sort of way.
A very small aerodrone, the size of the kind of that are usually used to spy on citizens all over the planet, shadows one of the windows of the warehouse. Since Hot Rod has never seen her transform, there is the potential for mistaken identity.
Given that Hot Rod responds to this hovering with a comPLETELY innocent and not at all suspicious lights off, mistaken identity seems likely. There's little light but that he emits. He boops back at Feint: << Slag. It looks like there might be surveillance here. You'd better be careful. >>
<< Oh! Sorry, that's me, >> she transmits back. << Don't shoot please. I'm still getting used to flying in the open like this. >>
The little drone dips down out of the way of the windows; there's a transformation side outside, and through the old door, the slender little blue fembot enters into the dark.
Oh. Well, in that case -- not only does Hot Rod not shoot, but he moves to turn on the lights again. Shortly after she's entered, the lights come up with an intermittent flicker that speaks to old wiring and uncertain power. It's the finest hospitality the Narrows have to offer. "Yeah, you're a little lucky you didn't get shot. So how's the happy couple?" He ought to wait for an answer. He doesn't. Caught up in his own helpfulness, oblivious to the tension of her previous response, he says, "I found someone who can help you fight!" like it's a pleasant surprise of a present.
She walks over to Hot Rod, stopping just in front of him. She must be comfortable with him as her visor is up - hey, a real face is under there! His questions bring a bit of pain to her features; oh the couple is no so happy, and she's in need of help. The fact that she's going to Hot Rod to ask it is an indication in and of itself as to how dire things are. "I've already been shot. I'll try to make it as succinct as possible but Blurr went missing. When I found him, he was in a subterranean facility in Ibex, and his frame architect was trying to compress his memory; he had a huge hole in his torso and... well it just got worse from there." SHe bites her lip, and her wings shudder. "I..... I killed someone, Hot Rod. It all happened so fast...."
Hot Rod's face falls. He should look into a visor. He's intensely expressive, revealing even what he might not want to: his first response is to be disappointed that his help is not ~helpful~ before he thinks to be worried. He makes a small noise of surprise and leans back to give her a once-over search for signs of injury. "Where--." He breaks off before asking whatever question leaped first to mind. He gestures to the side. "Want to sit?" he offers instead. Yes, sit on old, rusted cargo containers. He knows how to show a lady a good time. He paces her as he clears old lines of thought for the new information. "Why don't you tell me what happened? Is Blurr okay?"
Feint has most certainly had worse quarters, living miles underground in the mines, rarely if ever seeing the light of day. She sits on the cargo containers, unbothered by the conditions here. "Thank you, I really do need to." She's shaking. "Blurr is... he's okay as far as I can -tell-, but there was this mech, Axle; he said he built Blurr, designed him and programmed him, and he said he had to keep control of Blurr by making sure his mind was tightly controlled. He said there wasn't any other way, I told him there was but... but he shot me. He shot me in the shoulder and he said he was going to erase Blurr's mind completely so he'd never remember me, that I was ruining his perfection." It all comes out in a rush. She's barely holding onto control of her abilities, and Hot Rod might feel a sense of despair - not from himself, but alien feelings that are obviously coming from the fembot nearby. "I tried to make him stop by making him feel the wound he gave me. The other medics were so scared of him, they didn't want to do what they were doing; he turned on defense turrets and I was so scared he'd just kill Blurr so -- so I covered Blurr with myself and they were shooting me over and over. I panicked. I made Axle see scraplets, so many scraplets... I made him tear out his own spark..." she goes quiet, the lighting on her body dimming as if she had gone pale in shock.
Despair is /certainly/ an alien feeling to Hot Rod. It feels like the opposite of self-confidence. From the frown on his face, he doesn't like it, and he's a little confused by it.
It distracts him somewhat from what she is saying, but he refocuses with obvious effort. "Hey," he says. "Hey." Hot Rod places a careful hand on her shoulder. He telegraphs the motion, rather than sneaking in a stealth pat, plenty aware of the ways in which a recent fight can make someone jumpy. "You did what you had to, to keep yourself safe, to keep Blurr safe. It sounds terrible, but I'm glad you two are okay. It sounds like you need /real/ medical care, though. Both of you. Blurr's somewhere safe for now? Do you guys have anywhere safe to go?"
"He's in his apartment. The IAA doesn't know what to do right now they -need- him for the races and no one knows how to undo the compression Axle did to him. I pulled the cable before they could finish. I feel like a fool, I really could have hurt him, but he was already in such pain that I took the risk," Feint explains. "I'm fine, the medics repaired my injuries but I need to make sure Blurr doesn't have any permanent injuries to his mind. He's already damaged inside."
She doesn't stop Hot Rod from physical comfort. She could use it.
Hot Rod's a little awkward about it, but he can pat her shoulder like a champion! Pat, pat, then he checks: all better, right? (No.) He leans forward with a thoughtful frown. "I'd be surprised if Axle is the last of them to try controlling Blurr like that. He's way too valuable to them." That this is the opposite of reassuring does not occur to him. "Axle's death probably isn't the end of it. Are there any medics you guys trust?"
"The only mech I know that could help is Senator Shockwave. He's... not the same as he was, but I know where he is. He used to help outliers like me. Maybe he still can," Feint suggests.
"He might not be exactly the same, but he's still to be the same mech under the empurata," Hot Rod says like a complete and total fool. "I always thought he was about the only Senator worth anything." (Ha ha HA.) "If you know where he is, you should try to get Blurr there. He might at least be able to point you in the right direction, even if he can't help. --but you have to tell me how it goes!" he adds.
"He's in Kaon. The gladiator arena," Feint explains.
Hot Rod looks a little blank, then gradually more thoughtful. "I guess that makes sense. He's probably not very happy with the Senate. He's probably not very happy at all," he says, continuing to prove how wrong he can be. "Could be dangerous. If you guys need help -- someone who isn't injured. Just let me know."
"I will. Maybe you should look there anyways, there are a lot of people there who are trying to organize against the government," Feint says, giving the mother of all bad suggestions. "There's a mech there named Megatron; he wrote a book that made the Senate so angry they tried to kill him for it. He seems to have a lot of the same ideas you do."
"I've heard some of his stuff," Hot Rod says in the vague way of someone who can't be bothered to actually read something, but /probably/ hears a /lot/ from people who have. "I can't say I haven't thought about it -- but I'm concerned with organizing for Nyon than against the government, you know? But ... I bet he knows people...." He trails off, giving much thought to a bad idea.
"It's worth trying at least. This won't be easy, and even you might need help," Feint says.
Believe it or not, femmes and gentlemechs, but even Hot Rod can see the wisdom in that. He puts his head together with Feint, sketching out a plan that puts her on the path to help in the form of Shockwave, and fills in holes in his knowledge so that he has some idea of where to go to get help. By the time she sets off, all he's left with is to tell Blurr while she goes to make sure the help is there. It's a great plan all around.