In the Face of Rage... ...RUN!
Jolt had never run so fast in his very short life.
But then again, fleeing for his life through the halls of the Autobot base was by far worth watching the EPIC LOOK OF INTENSE, VILLAGE-BURNING RAGE on Ratchet's face after the Chevrolet Volt brained him between the optics with a paintball from a gun he built himself .... was worth it. It was bright, neon pink paint too.
The bright blue mech skidded around a corner and damn near took out poor Ten-Four, earning a snarl and some seriously irritated barking by his drone. "Sorry!" Jolt hollered back behind him as he booked it down the hallway. He liked the Crown Victoria; Tenny had always been friendly to "the kid", as he was known to many of the mechs in the base. In some small way, Jolt resented the nickname. The Autobots had done their best to give him something of a sparklinghood, but in all honesty, he'd had to grow up very fast, and at times, it was difficult for the less-than-two-year-old youngling to adjust. He did not have the time, the teaching... he just knew how to fight.
In war times, what else was there to know?
Jolt chanced to glance over his shoulder, looking for the neon green train that was surely coming after him. No Ratchet. Sweet! Maybe my getaway was cle--
After the initial impact, the Volt wasn't so sure what he'd hit. Whatever it was, it sent both him and the other blurr of BLUE tumbling head over heels in the hallway. And whatever it was, Jolt wound up sprawled on it somewhat awkwardly. He peered at whatever he was laying on.
It was an odd thing to say of an underground base, surely, but Morpho couldn't find another way to describe the Autobot Headquarters. Too brightly lit, too full of shadows and corners and hallways, too full of mechs that... trusted. Small or large, they all offered a measure of trust to their Autobot comrades, their officers, their medics, their base. In talking, reaching out, in merely tolerating their presence in that chiaroscuro world where every shadow could hide an ambush from a friendly face.
For the assassin, long used to the fact that anyone, even an Autobot, especially an Autobot, could become a rogue, coming to Base had been a short-lived respite. Eventually the place grated on him, and unless his duties bound him to the grounds, he would be gone, out on the streets, among the unsuspecting humans. Under the neon lights and the bright sunlight of their young star, the human race seemed by far clearer, a battleground to which he knew the rules: hunt for intel; gather intel; deliver intel. As far as any of the Autobots knew, he was a scout. He'd given only the Prime the information on his Intelligence background, and he'd only told him that he was also Counterintelligence, without adding any of the potentially sordid details. He'd never been meant to report to the Prime directly, he knew, and he knew why. A King shouldn't have to bear the burden that his Black Knights carry for him. That, and when he'd worked Counterintelligence, Morpho had been given enough leeway that he'd grown used to acting independently of any authority. It was hard to chuck old habits.
And yet he kept coming back. Strange or not, the Autobot Base was home, the last home he had left. He'd made it a point to at least get to know in passing every mech residing there, if only so he could name them as he watched them. Still, whenever he came back from his forays, the very first and foremost things on his mind were a shower, refueling, and finding a room in the barracks that hadn't been claimed where he could try the fitful thing the Aero called rest.
Getting barreled into by a blur a brighter blue than he was, at least at the moment, was not part of his plans. Morpho saw the motion, recognized that particular shade of blue, and tried to spin, to take the impact on his front rather than his back; built as he was for speed and agility, he had nowhere near the mass to fight the tackle. It bowled him over with a small and none too courteous exclamation of surprise that hopefully his 'attacker' hadn't heard - he'd rather the youngling learned that kind of language from someone other than him, just in case one of his teachers took exception to it. The assassin found himself with a knee against a hip joint and an elbow somewhere equally uncomfortable as Jolt struggled to get up.
"...Oh. Hi Morpho."
"Ooooooof." Morpho shoved at the youngling, not unkindly, smirking a bit. "Whatever you're running from, kid, consider yourself sold if it means saving my hide." He paused. "What did you do, anyways?" Primus knew he was likely to regret the asking, but if there was going to be shots fired in the general direction of anything shiny blue, he'd really rather know why.
At least it wasn't that bad. It seemed as though the other blisteringly blue mech in the base was unharmed. Jolt squirmed, managing to sit up despite the fact that both he and Blue Morpho were wriggling like fish in the attempt to get comfortable. "Don't sell me out! I could mean my interface panel!" Not that he knew how to use it. Jolt just had a vague idea of what it was. "And, I pegged Ratchet in the forehead with a paintball. Bright pink paint, too. Like, as bright as our blue, only freakin' pink. It was great."
Sideswipe wasn't sure how exactly he'd found himself as the mentor for Jolt. The younger Autobot looked up to him of all the Mechs in the base. It was simply more than just a kind word and a light hand reaching for the blue youngling. There was plenty of that to be had here even among the battle hardened vets. Prime himself could carry much dignity and a gentleness the likes of which most humans didn't know.
But no, it hadn't taken such soft actions to win over Jolt. It'd been something else Sideswipe had done. And while he was meandering around the halls of the base, still getting his bearings on the place (Imagine, a base. Their very own with supplies…it'd been so long…) that he pondered over the younger mech.
He'd offered him more than just kind attention. Sideswipe liked the potential he saw in the Kid. He was extremely young and trusting, true. But he was also like a new slate. When he'd first met the poor sparkling, he'd been appalled by what he'd went through. Poor luck had the kid meeting a slaggin Con first thing in life. He couldn't have known how to defend himself properly and was lucky to be alive. As low as Cons were, picking on a kid was too low for even Sides to fathom. If he ever found the Mech that had tormented the kid, he'd twist his neck off and drive those swords so deep into his body, he'd find his spark in his hocks.
Instead of offering a kind word (which he had plenty of) he instead gave Jolt a comrade with which to learn and take shelter with. And of course…someone to learn terrible, terrible habits from.
Speaking of, as he rounded the corner and found himself staring at a very irate CMO that was splattered with what appeared to be paint….right between the optics. There really was no use trying not to laugh at this, it was too funny! But the look that got turned his way could burn paint off.
"…Ah, I'll be running now." And with that, he took off so fast, he left wheel marks on the floor to get away from the wrath that was going to storm through the base looking for whoever the prankster was. Rounding the corner at a breakneck speed, he barely had time to register two bright blue shapes before he squealed and leapt for all his worth to avoid tripping. The landing was rough and he rolled into the wall nearly doing a split from the impact. Somehow, the tumble had him upside down with his legs against the wall above his head.
How the slag did I manage that? Oh look, Cybertronian yoga…I'll patent it…
"Oh, gimme the beat boys and free my -- no.... Cause I'm a loser! And sooner or later you know I'll be dea-- no... "
Chevy was frustrated. He couldn't find any music that put him in his usual happy zen state, and as such, it made him cranky and... quite unlike himself. In all honesty the music that the rather nutty Autobot tended to immerse himself in was his coping mechanism; A year and change ago when he'd first landed he was a thread of a mech, a thin, hollow thing with no life to him. He was exhausted, out of energy, and out of time. Constant battle over the years had taken it's toll on the yellow Autobot, and when Chevron landed, he figured he would do his best until he simply died of a broken heart.
The year and a half or so without fighting had done him a world of good. The SSR was still alot nutty, with his fair share of problems and idiosyncrasies that typically manifested themselves in the form of Chevron's extremely..... unique... behavior. To say that he was clinically insane, or at the very least very unstable would be an understatement.
He couldn't find music he wanted to listen to.
The SSR had crankily kept to himself, staying in his room for most of the past 24-hour period, obsessively attempting to find his audial zen. A human psychologist looking at him might compare him to an autistic child; he was nervous, crabby, and wound up when his usual coping method didn't work.
"You ever think about running away? 'Cause I was thinking 'bout leavin' today... we'll follow forever where our hearts wanna go, maybe live somewhere where nobody knows our names..And things.. might change for the good.."
"I wanna be somewhere so far away! To lie under the night at the end of another good day. I can't tell you how long we'll be gone.. but as long as we're together then forever is never too long!"
Finally. Chevron felt immediately better; his twitchy demeanor left as he relaxed, reconnecting with that audible world in his head that had suffered a temporary bout of misconnections. He waited a small while, immersed once more in the riffs and drums and vocals, before emerging once more to wreak his usual kind of havoc on the base. Or he would have, had he not walked out of his room, skated around a corner and tripped right over Sideswipe.
"...You know," he said, muffled by the fact that the SSR was face down on the floor. "Ya think you dudes woulda found a better place ta take a nap.."
There were times that the bulky Charger regretted his love for excitement. When you had the CMO-with-a-temper-set-at-max running and bellowing in ire (Speedtrap immediately ran away from that), and at the other, a four-car pileup--wait, three and a half car pileup. The Aero, Morpho, barely counted as a car. More like a rollerskate with a rocket engine. Anyway, when you had Ratchet-the-Hatchet (complete with pink trim that had to be new) in a temper, and Jolt and Sideswipe, trouble was gonna be at hand. Morpho was a quiet guy, and probably had just been at the wrong place at the very wrong time. Chevy... well, that was a fifty-fifty shot if he'd been involved since the beginning. This would end in tears, he decided. But what the hell, might as well have some fun.
He'd been loping away from Ratchet, since he had no desire to become his latest victim, and rounded the corner to the pileup. Now, six thousand pounds moving at a pretty steady clip doesn't stop very quickly at all, and he didn't dare dig talons into the floor to brake faster. Skidding across the clean floor of the base, he stared in dismay at the group of brightly-colored mechs ahead of him.
And then he added himself to the pileup, ever graceful, flat on his ugly face.
The Chevrolet Volt started to get up, but the blur of silver as it careened at them proved to be a fantastic distraction. Jolt squeaked and threw himself down, covering his head with his arms as he curled back up on Morpho's chest and the silver thing sailed overhead, smacking against the wall. At least it didn't land completely ontop of them... "Hi Sides-- AUGH!"
The youngling SQUEAKED specacularly as 4700 pounds of SSR in the form of Chevron tripped over Sideswipe and added himself to the pile.. right ontop of Jolt. Right afterwords, Speedtrap, another staggering nine thousand pounds facefaulted onto Chevy's back. Jolt wheezed through his vents, now closer to Morpho than he ever thought he'd be.
Primus had no kindness.
I just heard a crack... was that one of my spinal struts?
The Aero was built, as most Cybertronians, tougher than the actual vehicle he mimicked, but nonetheless he was a very slender and relatively light-weight mech. This translated into none of the hardiness of the youngling Volt, the bulky brawn of the SSR, or the mammoth solidity of the Dodge Charger. All of which he was being introduced to with astounding intimacy for a mech that hated physical contact as much as the assassin did.
For a moment all the sound that came out of his vox was an electronic groan of protest from somewhere at the bottom of the pile of mechs. How, HOW, did one single youngling cause so much chaos in under five seconds flat? He'd never been this much trouble, or so he thought...
His sensors chose that point to give him very bad news.
"Truly I'm flattered you all want a piece of me. Literally." Morpho's voice was muffled by the heap, but nonetheless carried the strain of being well on his way to being a mechanical pancake. "But I'd suggest to you all, particularly the runt, that you start running."
Pit hath no fury indeed. Humans, oddly, referred to their females as the most dangerous to anger. They've obviously never dealt with an Autobot medic on the warpath.
Ratchet thundered down the hallway at a full gallop, hunting for the Chevrolet Volt with ... well, not murder in his mind, not quite. But pretty damned close. He couldn't match the miscreant's speed on the straight, but by Primus he would catch him, and when he did -
The Hatchet rounded the same corne that had tripped so many mechs, though to his credit he hit the brakes far better than any of them and came to a halt, a towering, optic-blistering, rage-venting apparition of doom.