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Screaming Blue Murder, chapter 14

As promised, Blue Murder chapter 14. :) This one's a little OC-centric, because I'm setting things up for later on. I hope it's not TOO annoying. :P


Screaming Blue Murder
Chapter 14

Figuring mutual respect was going to be something of a necessity if they were actually going to cope with working with each other, the Autobots had left the auditory surveillance feeds turned off while the Seekers made up their minds. There ensued a fair deal of silent arm-waving and gesticulating on the video feeds, but the pair eventually settled again. Sharing a recharge point looked like it was a logistical impossibility, even if the connectors were available – there was just too much wing area for them to happily cohabit.

By the time the Autobots decided to go and see if the Decepticons had made up their minds, a few cycles later, Thundercracker was awake, sitting with his knees pulled up at the end of the cell, watching the entrance. He gave the two Autobots a long-suffering look as they released the field, and glanced meaningfully at Skywarp. The purple Seeker had commandeered the berth, although he was most of the way off it again – one arm and one leg trailing down off the side to the floor, mouth open, optics offline, oblivious.

“You two made your mind up, I guess?” Jazz asked, finally taking his amused gaze away from the sprawling purple Seeker and returning it to the blue one.

“Do I have to share a berth with him?” Thundercracker jerked a thumb at his wingmate.

“Not unless you want to,” Jazz grinned. “I imagine the femmes wouldn’t mind seeing that.”

Thundercracker made a face and elected not to comment on that.

“Does he do anything tidily?” Prowl wondered, out loud.

“Not often,” Thundercracker confirmed, levering himself to his feet, connectors clicking softly. He stretched his back, flexed his shoulders deeply, and winced. “Wake up, Warp.”

Skywarp grunted and flickered his optics, and just stared at Thundercracker’s feet for a while. “Nah.”

“Okay, fair enough. You can stay in the cell,” Thundercracker patted his helm. “I’m gonna go find a better recharge berth.”

That woke him up a little better. “Unh,” Skywarp rolled bodily off the berth, and after a moment of clawing for support off Thundercracker’s legs, who looked somewhat discomfited at the public mauling, tottered up off his knees and to his feet. “That shouldn’t be difficult. Anything’s gotta be better than this slab of old granite.”

“…says the mech who didn’t just spend all night on the floor.”

“All right, all right,” Prowl interrupted. “Let’s maintain a modicum of focus, shall we?” He gave a meaningful look to Thundercracker. “I think you had an answer for us.”

There was a moment of hesitation – not unexpected, given the gravity of the situation – and shared crimson glances, and Skywarp nodded.

“We discussed it last night. We decided, ah… we’re with you,” Thundercracker confirmed, quietly. “For now.”

“Just understand this, Autobot,” Skywarp added, pushing in front. “We’re not in it for you, for glory, for Cybertron, for any namby-pamby idealistic Autobot claptrap.” He folded his arms and set his jaw, wearing that same odd overprotective look he’d had when the pair of them had been arrested. “We’re in it for Starscream. If it was that Pit-brewed purge-fluid that killed him… Well, I know I’m gonna have ‘words’ with whoever designed the stuff.”

“Consider us ‘Neutrals with an Agenda’, for now,” Thundercracker offered, and actually managed a small smile. “Once it’s over, we’re back on opposite sides of the fence. But until we’ve got to the bottom of it?” He offered a hand. “Truce?”

“Can’t say much fairer than that,” Jazz grinned, and accepted the handshake. “I’d far rather you two be working with us than taking potshots at us.”

“Oh, I make no guarantees we won’t shoot at you,” Skywarp corrected, with a well-practised innocent smile. “We’ll just be less obvious about it when we do.”

“Ha, now that is the Skywarp I remember,” Jazz laughed, and commented, to Thundercracker; “I was beginning to wonder if you hadn’t had him replaced with a better-behaved clone.”

“Your standards for good behaviour aren’t that high, are they?” Thundercracker drawled.

“Eh, just because I’m an Autobot it doesn’t mean my friends and relations aren’t just as disorganised and chaotic as Decepticons.” Jazz spread his hands, innocently. “We’re just more moral about it, right, Prowl?”

“I’m not even going to attempt to comment on that,” Prowl disagreed. “It would only cause offence, or a ruction if they got wind of it back home.” He gave Thundercracker a look. “We’ll find you some quarters to bunk in. They won’t be too special, probably not up to your usual standard – not used to fliers, here, not many berths have the wing-space – but it’ll be a smidgen more cosy than the cell block.”

0o0o0o0

As they’d been warned, the quarters weren’t the best quality – four berths, laid out as two sets of bunks in large alcoves in the walls, with a small computer station and chair at the far end and a single-occupant bathing facility through a door to the right. Neither Seeker was particularly bothered, though – compared to the old warehouse, it was positively palatial.

Skywarp gave a sigh of pleasure and slumped immediately to the forgiving memory-foam surface of the lowest bunk on the left-hand side – all were enormous pieces of furniture, designed for heavy emergency troops bigger even than the giant Boxer, and it made the lightly-built flier look like a sparkling snoozing in his creator’s berth, but it was the only room with enough space for their wings. For his part, Thundercracker was already investigating the washracks, and making pleased noises at the fact there were even a couple of brushes, jammed into a rack next to the mirror.

“I never realised I’d taken being clean so much for granted,” Thundercracker observed, several breems later, once he was content he’d finally removed every last trace of ground-in dirt. He sat on the berth opposite his wingmate, cloth in hand, fastidiously buffing his fuselage until the shine came up.

Skywarp made a derisory sound, left his optics offline. “Cleanliness is over-rated.”

“Just because you don’t mind being a dust-bucket doesn’t mean we’re all happy wallowing in our own grime,” Thundercracker flicked at him with the cloth.

“No-o, I didn’t say that. I just meant…” Skywarp wriggled and stretched, like an ungodly huge winged feline. “Mmmh, I’d forgotten how cosy a proper berth could be. I can get clean later.”

0o0o0o0

“They’ve probably got us bugged, you know,” the little surveillance speaker said, in Skywarp’s soft voice.

Up in the monitor room, Jazz and Prowl exchanged semi-guilty looks.

“Oh, indubitably,” came Thundercracker’s deeper comment.

“Indowhatibly?”

“Goes without saying,” Thundercracker made a noise. “Not as if we’ve got anything worth spying on, is it?”

There was a breem or two of blissful silence before Skywarp spoke up again – more softly than usual.

“…reckon they’ll let us keep looking for Screamer?”

“Why would they do that, Warp? They’ve used his death to get us on board, they’re hardly going to let us go find him and negate the agreement.”

“Ah, you never know. He’d be crazy pissed off with the Blue outfit if he knew what they were doing in his name. He might even have joined the fun.”

Thundercracker laughed. “You’d know things had got pretty dire if he joined the party.”

There was a pause.

“I don’t like not knowing,” Skywarp admitted. “If we could find the… bits… whatever’s left…” he stumbled over the distasteful idea. “I think I’d be… not happier, but… you know. Wouldn’t be thinking about what might be happening to him, the whole time.”

“I know what you mean,” Thundercracker agreed. “I’d like a bit of closure, too. Even if it was just proof he was-… you know…”

Politely, Prowl reached forwards, and turned the feed off. Even this pair of troublemakers deserved a little privacy every now and then. “So it’s official?” he commented, now silence had fallen. “We’re trusting this pair? With a history like ours?”

“We could do with a couple of eyes in the sky,” Jazz reminded him. “Nightsun’s good, but – much as it pains me to admit it – these two are better. Besides,” he spread his hands. “It’s personal, to them. We’re just giving them the opportunity and the facilities to finish what they’d already started.”

0o0o0o0

After the processor-freezing boredom that street patrols and paperwork used to induce, Pulsar was somewhat astonished that she was so eagerly anticipating getting back on patrol so soon. It had been a palpable relief when the call finally went out that she could get out on duty, and she’d already been out through the doors before she’d even fully digested her route, dumping co-ordinates straight into her positioning and just following them.

She was feeling particularly irritable, right now. Not only was there that damned Seeker still back at Forceps’, now that other pair were in the frame, back at the station. She couldn’t escape them anywhere, now! She revved her engines, bitterly, and took a corner fast enough that she was almost horizontal, her gravity emitters flicking up loose detritus.

The two fliers had needed no introduction, of course, but Hardline had called a meeting and laid down some ground rules for everyone to abide, by anyway. The two Decepticons were to be considered Neutral, for now, and treated accordingly – no taunts, no backbiting, no goading the fliers into arguments, no sniping about their ‘career choices’. The same rules had apparently been given to the two Seekers, with which they had (grudgingly) agreed to comply – although for them it was a choice between agreement and the brig, so it hadn’t taken much thought, and whether they actually stuck to the rules would be anyone’s guess. In her not-so-humble opinion, they seemed incapable of following even simple instructions without causing a ruckus.

The opinion among the upper echelons of the police force was that the pair of fliers would be a useful addition to the war on Blue. And… granted, yes, they had their useful attributes, she’d give them that much – strong fliers, fast, powerful, and probably pretty accurate when it came to shooting… But it wasn’t as if they were lacking in those skills to start with. Nightsun and his fellow helicopters were all quick and proficient in the air, there were plenty of highly accurate marksbots on the force (herself included), and both Hardline and Boxer vastly outstripped the spindly fliers when it came to the power-weight ratio. The only thing the police force had been actually lacking was a teleporter, and she had to wonder exactly how useful he would prove to be, given that he seemed about as sharp as a lump of molten tin.

Most of the police grumblings had died down once the terrible two had actually applied themselves to their allotted tasks with the minimum of fuss. (So she couldn’t even slag them off for being useless layabouts. Fraggers.) Piqued, she’d already decided not to tell Forceps about them, just yet. Let them wallow in pity for a little longer. Serve them right. They didn’t deserve to know, just yet. Besides, they’d probably take to their heels and decide not to help out any more, if they and their commander were reunited. Better keep them in the dark and on-board.

It was nice to get out on the chilly streets, at least. Helped blow out a little of the anger that flickered like smouldering filings in her casings. It was such a familiar old route that she could very nearly work it on autopilot – down the quiet high-street and then in a slow grid crosswise, taking in the long-deserted shopping precinct and trading hub, the quiet private homes with their murmuring occupants, empty offices and the doctor’s surgery, once across the front of the hospital, down past a line of empty tower blocks, then back past the shops and the… deserted… Flywheel

…there was a light on inside. A thin rind of pale yellow showed around the edges of the window-boards. She skidded to a halt, almost toppling right over, then darted into the shadows, transforming and ducking down behind a long un-emptied refuse cart, dimming her optics to their lowest functional level.

There was someone in there! She couldn’t believe how brazen it was. Their analysts had stated – categorically – that the chances of anyone actually returning to the Flywheel, now it was a known haunt of Blue loyalists, were so minimal they were all but nonexistent.

Although it probably wasn’t the loyalists at all, she told herself. No-one was that stupid. There were remote surveillance cameras in place all over the neighbourhood. As soon as she got back, she’d check the vid-feeds, and tell the Super. They’d have proof, and could confirm identity, and get a chance to catch the primary dealers in the act, all in one move! Just… what if they were gone by the time she got back? If she had her chance, and failed to take it?

He next thought was I bet Skywarp could get me in there completely unnoticed.

Her subsequent thought was one of extreme irritation that her first thought had been of that noisy, overbearing thug she’d been forced to work with. Have to get Sepp to check my circuits, next time I see her.

She felt torn. What did she do? It was way too risky to get any closer, even just to sneak a quick peek around the window boards. If the Seekers were right, two of the principals were huge, on a par with Hardline himself. Being fast wouldn’t help one iota if they got hold of her.

Got to call for backup, she realised, already activating her radio and pinging for a response. Odd, the system was non-responsive – maybe she was out of range. She’d have to move out to a new area and see if she could get pickup. Could just be a couple of Empties, using the place now no-one else is, but what if it’s not? If it’s loyalists, we could arrest them now! Then we wouldn’t need those damned fliers any more. Better I call the squad out and have to apologise for a false alarm than not call them out and end up in pieces scattered across the district-

“Well well, what have we got here?” a voice asked, from behind her, almost making her spark jump clean out of her chest. A sibilant, amused voice. “Sneaky little Policebot!”

When the hands grabbed her, the alarmed shriek that left her vocaliser was probably not the most appropriate or impressive noise an Autobot police officer had ever made.

0o0o0o0

Siphon glanced out into the dark streets and clucked an amused little chuckle. “Sounds like Deuce finally found himself something to keep his fingers busy.”

Fatigue grunted, unimpressed. He’d had a sour batch of Prophet, and was particularly short and moody because of it. “So long as he stops making such an aft of himself, he can play all he likes with what he likes. Swear, if the Boss doesn’t kill ’im one day, I will.”

“You say that every time.”

“Yeah, well this time I mean it.”

“…You say that every time, too.”

“Tell you what, Tubes,” Fatigue looked up, at last. “You stop correcting me, and I won’t punch your lights out. Fair deal?”

“Um, ye-es, that’s a pretty fair trade.” Siphon sat on his hands and went quiet.

Fatigue grunted and went back to his reading.

The peace lasted for (barely) a fraction of a breem – the time it took for Deuce to wrestle his prize back to base. Fatigue was of course unimpressed – Deuce was bipolar enough when he hadn’t been hitting the Blue Ruin. Bored and high, he became unbearable.

“Put her down, Deuce,” the big male groused. “I know you’re in that mood where you can’t seem to run down and offline, but you can’t go out picking up prostitute-…” His words tailed off as he saw exactly what was struggling and kicking in his friend’s arms. “Aw, slag no. What the Pit are you playing at, you fragging moron? A police officer? Can’t you keep your hands in your pockets for once?!”

Deuce giggled and tightened his grip. It looked almost like he was trying to keep a hold of an oversized silver crane-fly. “Prostitutes got boring,” he explained, licking up the side of her throat and snickering as the kicks got wilder. She was arching her back away from him, clawing frantically at the hand clamped over her mouth, but only succeeded in drawing electric yellow finger-gouges in his sullen dark blue enamel, which amused him more than anything. Pathetic muffled little noises emerged around his fingertips. “This little firecracker looks far more interesting.”

“Right, and what are you gonna do with her after you’re done playing?” Siphon challenged. “’Cause she ain’t the sort you can just dump back on the streets, like you did the others. You’re gonna have to enforce her silence some other way, and I sure as Pit ain’t gonna help you dismantle her-”

“You know, we could use the little busybody,” Fatigue interrupted, thoughtfully, watching Deuce try to wrestle the femme into a slightly more subdued position. “Boss wanted more contacts, right?”

“Oh right, because she wouldn’t run straight to her commander,” Siphon snorted, and folded his arms.

“Not if we got her on the books before we let her go,” Fatigue smiled. “Let me just grab hold, Siphon, then you can work your magic.”

“Hey! Back off,” Deuce growled, snarling at Fatigue. “She’s mine, go get your own.”

Fatigue gave him a look. “Either you can get out of the way for a minute, or we can off her now and be done with it,” he growled. “Dragging the enemy into our little den of iniquity was one of your more moronic plans, and now we’ve gotta take steps to neutralise her.”

“What do you mean, neutralise?!” Pulsar squawked, the instant Deuce sulkily relinquished his hold to Fatigue. “You’re not going to get me to take any of that… that stuff! I won’t just stand here and let you poison me-!”

“Just what I had expected you to say, Police,” Fatigue purred, grasping both skinny wrists in one massive fist. “That’s all right. We don’t want your permission, or your agreement. We’ll just… persuade you in a different way.”

He cupped one broad hand around under her chin, and pinched carefully at the points of her jaw. She jerked in pain, flinched from him, stamped ineffectually on his foot and wrothe like an eel in his grasp, but Fatigue just chuckled and held on, carefully squeezing and wiggling his huge fingers until the fight finally went out of her and she sagged in his grasp, whimpering, opening her mouth to relieve the worst of the flaring pain in the joints.

“There’s a good femme, Sweets,” Siphon cooed, almost affectionately, brushed his fingertips over her nose. “Now here’s your reward.”

She shook her head, but was woefully outclassed – the spidery little mech got his funnel between her lips, ignoring the way she squirmed and kicked at him.

Blue Ruin scalded like molten metal down her main intake and she bucked violently in an effort to get away from it. Fatigue kept his grip, pulling hard on her wrists and crushing her tight against his broad chest, but even he looked unprepared for how energetic she was in her effort to escape it – there was a low click as an actuator in her hip gave out, but it didn’t calm the thrashing.

After a moment or two, Siphon backed off, and nodded. Fatigue relaxed his grip and she lurched free of his fingers, staggered a few footsteps on legs that weren’t just bandy because of a damaged hip, before collapsing against the wall. Her pumps made dull grinding, retching noises for a moment or two, but the urge to purge her tanks passed fairly quickly. She pushed off the wall in an effort to walk, but just tripped over her own feet, landed in a sprawl on her front.

Gentle fingers peeled her up off the grimy floor, and helped her upright. She sat and reeled, for a little while, trying to stop the room rotating in front of her. “What is-… what-…?”

Deuce sat opposite her and matched the quirk of her head, curiously. “What is what?”

“What is-…” The urge to snigger at him rose in the back of her mind. He looked so stupid, head canted over to match the way she was swaying. “I don’t… how did this…”

He grinned at her. “Like it?”

Pulsar looked down at her hands, and considered the question. Thinking was getting kinda hard, right now. Far too much effort. She felt light-headed, nicely over-energised. “I… yes?” What in Primus name was all the fuss about? This wasn’t at all bad.

He caught her as she canted slowly over to the side again. “Steady there, femme. Don’t want to go splat on that pretty face again.”

She slumped against him, and snorted amusedly. “Can’t sit up.”

“That’s just the fractal integrating into your systems. You’ll get your balance back soon enough.”

“Who needs balance?” she challenged, and flopped into his lap. “I’ll just… lay here.”

Deuce smiled, triumphantly, and pinged at her antennae. “I’m good with that.”

Fatigue watched them canoodling for a moment or two, and cast his gaze skywards.

“Okay, so now what are we gonna do with her?” Siphon wondered, pulling a face. “Low ranking coppers have only got so much power and influence, you know. Unless you want to use her to deliver a little Ruin to the doors of her Superintendent.” He shrugged. “I guess that could work, right?”

“I was thinking more of them dopey Seekers we were trying to get in contact with,” Fatigue disagreed. “Got themselves arrested, right?”

“Right,” Siphon nodded. “Where you leading this?”

“Well, what if we, ah… get her to arrange a jailbreak of some sort?” He smirked. “Keeps us out of the firing line, right? She’s allowed in there ’cause she works in there. And that might be enough to get them dappy fliers on-board with us.”

“Won’t work,” Pulsar interrupted, sleepily, from Deuce’s lap. “They’re working with us police already. Not happy with you guys. You fragged up their boss, they want you dead, like him.”

Fatigue pulled a face. “Psh. Got to be pretty desperate if there’s Decepticons actually working with Autobots, not shooting Pit out of ’em.”

Pulsar rapidly lost track of the conversation, after that. Speaking seemed irrelevant. Basking in this new flood of alien sensations was faar more important.

0o0o0o0

When she finally came back to her senses and onlined, the sullen evening light had been replaced by the usual stronger white daytime ambience. Unh, my head. She felt wobbly, gyros only coming back online slowly, and her coolant lines had all over-pressurised.

The events of the previous evening weren’t in particularly good focus, but they were clear enough to be nauseating. Blue. Oh Primus damn it to the Pit, she’d had Blue. They said just once was enough to get a machine hopelessly addicted. Enough to leave someone completely devoted, unable to work without regular supplies-

No. No, she was stronger than this! She didn’t need it. That little quarter-tank of noxious cobalt chemical wasn’t enough to cause her downfall. She’d fight through it, reset all her wonky systems, purge herself clean.

“Hello there, sleepy-head,” a voice cooed, and she flinched. It was the delivery truck, in whose lap she seemed to still be laying.

She made a noise of despair and rolled away from him, prompting a little snerk of amusement.

“All right, femme,” Fatigue growled, pulling her roughly back to her feet. She stood with her feet splayed for balance, and stared through him for a moment before her optics focused again. “We’re gonna make you a deal.”

“I don’t do deals with scum like you,” she retorted, trying to remain calm, but everything had now switched over to fight or flight. She found herself trembling through how hard her pumps were working to ensure she was as primed to run as possible.

“Aw, but we had fun, last night,” Deuce murmured, grasping at her upper arms and nuzzling at the side of her neck, and snickering into her plating as she cringed away from him.

“Get off-” She squirmed, angrily, and had slipped one arm free and almost made good her escape before Siphon caught her other arm. “Get off! I have no desire to do anything you three freaks want me to do. I’m going back to base and I’m going to make sure my superiors know you’re still hiding out, here…!”

“But you won’t get any more nice Blue, if you hand us over,” Fatigue reminded, with a smile. “Like I said, we’re going to do a deal, Policebot. You work with us, and we’ll make sure you get enough of the product to keep you functioning. We don’t want a lot – just a little information. A little sabotage. Just little things. Right?”

“…No, I can’t just-”

“Look, Sweets,” Fatigue flicked a giant finger under her chin, irritably. “You ain’t got a whole lot of choice in the matter. The only way you get out of this is with us, or dead. You got that?”

She closed her mouth with a little snap, and pouted, but didn’t argue. Have to get out of this. Have to get out, now. Have to look compliant, and…-

She waited until their attention was at its lowest ebb before putting her plan into action. She’d stopped struggling, stopped trying to pry her arms away from their grip, and relaxed her back into a curve, sagging as if in defeat. She reduced her auditory sensitivity to its lowest effective level, and screened off her optics. Wouldn’t do to incapacitate herself in the process.

She circulated a brief intake of cool air through her system, checked her thrusters were primed, all her fuel-lines were flush with fresh energon for the best possible getaway, then collected her nerves…

It was like the air was physically exploding when she pulsed her siren at its loudest setting, accompanying it with an electric heartbeat of blinding blue light from her sidelights. She was naturally loud, but in this confined space it was like someone had let off a sonic grenade.

The crash of noise even woke Fatigue out of his torpor. Deuce dropped her like she was hot, and fell away from her with a cry of startled alarm. Siphon managed to keep his grip, but it was tenuous, and she stamped the sharp, gravity-emitter-heeled foot of her good leg into his knee. The instant he dropped her, with a howl of invective, clutching at his injured leg, she fled – skidded lopsidedly out of the side doorway, transformed, and was gone.

“Ohhh that Pit-spawned little glitch,” Siphon ranted around his curses, limping badly on his injured knee – Pulsar’s kick had wrenched the joint in the direction it wasn’t supposed to go, and shattered a servo. “I’ll catch her and by Primus will she ever regret the day she did that-!”

“Oh, I don’t think you’ll have to exert yourself too much, Siphon,” Fatigue disagreed, grinning, watching the departing glitter of pale armour in the street outside. “We’ll let her come back all of her own accord.”

“You think she’ll come back?” Siphon pulled a face. “I know Deuce thinks he’s quite the lady-killer, I doubt she’ll come back for him.”

“Heh, not for him, maybe, but for the Blue, definitely. She can’t go back empty-handed.” The caterpillar tractor shrugged, amusedly. “Whether she was here because she was instructed to or not, she’ll still have to explain why she didn’t find anything ’cept an addiction. If they know she’s addicted, they’ll take her off the project for safety’s sake.”

“Right,” Siphon nodded, realising what was meant. “Because she’s gotta feed the habit somehow, and she doesn’t know anywhere else to buy from…”

0o0o0o0

Pulsar didn’t realise how pleased she’d have been to see Forceps’ quiet little suburban home, when she pulled exhaustedly up outside and fell her way up the steps to the porch, whining under her breath. Her hip had bloomed into a flare of pain. Shouldn’t have used it while it was injured. But Forceps would know what to do. She always knew what to do…

Annoyingly, it wasn’t Forceps who answered the doorchime. Instead, Scarlet was framed in the doorway, midway through regaining the final glossy topcoat to his paintwork, and Pit wasn’t he changed from how she’d first seen him. The pathetic, broken, scuffed-up, bent-winged example of a Seeker had fledged into a stunning example of aerial prowess, his bright colours advertising danger, and dear Primus, even in spite of the unfinished application of colour, he was beautiful. Any doubts about exactly what he had been designed for swiftly evaporated in the face of the twin null-rays finally back on his arms.

He stared haughtily down at her for a moment, then unfolded his arms and cocked his head. “Jealous that I’d been getting all the attention?” he asked, dryly, stepping aside to let her slump through the doorway. “Guess I better go disturb Forceps.”

“No need to worry,” a familiar voice grumbled from an inner doorway. “I’m not making much headway with my study, anyway. What have you been playing at, Pulse?”

“Hurt my hip,” she whined, angrily, clutching at the surgeon’s hand and tottering to stand on one leg. “I was attacked on my patrol route.” No need to tell her about the Blue, just yet. “Outside the Flywheel. I was being careful, but he sneaked up on me.”

Forceps was careful but not especially gentle as she heaved Pulsar’s trembling body up onto the spare berth. “You know, your superiors are your superiors for a reason, Pulse,” she scolded, irritably. “They don’t make the rules just to annoy you.”

“I didn’t disobey orders,” she argued, but didn’t have the strength to properly fight her case. She felt exposed, laying on the makeshift repair berth that Scarlet had spent so many orns so patiently laying on. “I was following protocol. They abducted me.”

“Why were you even near the Flywheel in the first place?” Forceps gave her a look. “Didn’t that alone make you think twice?”

“They rescheduled it into my route. After the ruckus a few orns ago, our analysts decided that the loyalists wouldn’t return there because it had become one of their known haunts. Ow, ow, that hurts,” She squirmed uncomfortably under Forceps’ touch. “I only stopped for a moment! There was a light on inside. I was calling for backup when one of them found me. Must have had a radio baffle in place, I couldn’t get the call to go through.”

“Hnh.” Forceps made one of her non-committal noises. “You just snapped a cable, here.” There was the crackle of a microlance, and a spot of pain that made the Policebot hiss. “That should hold until I get the components to fix it up properly.” She gave the cycle a probing look. “You sure that’s all that’s wrong with you?”

“What?” Pulsar felt her spark sink.

“You’re shaking.”

Could she possibly suspect the Blue involvement? Pulsar shook her head. “Just… shaken up,” she lied, letting her friend sit her carefully back up. “I’ve not been so close to the action for vorns. I forgot what it could be like. Plus, those mechs weren’t so gentle. Anyone would think they’d never seen a femme before.”

Forceps expression softened. “All right. We’ll get you something to settle your systems, before you head back to the station,” she offered, gently.

It didn’t take a lot to work out that Forceps had dosed the energon with a mild sedative, when she finally returned with it; Pulsar just hoped it wouldn’t react off the Blue that would doubtless still be hanging around in her tanks. Doped fuel in hand, she sat on the table and waggled her feet, watching as Spotweld worked. The polymorph had divided his attention, and was wielding a pair of airbrushes, delicately applying the final coat of red and blue – Scarlet looked almost comically patchwork, one blue forearm on one side and one red shoulder on the other.

“How is the investigation going?” Forceps prompted, from her seat at the other end of the table, resuming her puzzling over her research.

“Not so good,” Pulsar replied, reluctantly, keeping her knowledge of the two Seekers to herself. “Everyone seems to be going in circles. Each time we think we have a lead, something goes wrong with it.” She sipped at the energon, and felt a slight easing of the pressure in her cerebral housing. “For instance, the landlord. He’s in hospital, comatose. Someone broke in and went after him.” She gave Scarlet a pointed look. “Just after he spilled all his knowledge at us.”

Scarlet didn’t reply, just gave her a withering well what are you looking at me for? look.

“You ought to tell the police what you know,” Forceps said, to the Seeker, barely glancing up from her holo-diagrams. She’d managed to find some very old technical specs for a prototype Seeker, but not much of it was matching up – this example was bulkier than her patient, and there was less emphasis on being airy, lightweight. “It might make the difference between succeeding in making the arrests or not.”

“Of course, because going anywhere near the police station now wouldn’t immediately get me arrested,” he pulled a face, and waved, irritably. “Regardless of whether or not I am who she thinks I am, I’m quite sure her merry little band of Policebots would love to have the honour of capturing the Decepticon second-in-command’s doppelganger.”

“Arm,” Spot murmured, distractedly, and gently pushed the gesticulating limb back into place.

Scarlet pouted, but sat still, not wanting red streaks on his clean ivory paint.

Pulsar stared down into her energon, feeling a slow tingle of inspiration, and wondered if the repaired flier would be appropriate to trade in exchange for her sanity.

-----------

...in other news, there's a HUUUUGE flock of starlings going absolutely mo-fo crazy-stupid in the wind, outside. *watches them, amusedly*

Now I have to go plant my plantbabies. And find something to clobber the bastard that's eaten the complete buggery out of my poor little bay tree. ;_;

Edit: holy crap, is it ever windy out there? My poor plantbabies. :(

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
(no subject) - bloodieindy - Jun. 25th, 2008 08:36 am (UTC) - Expand
keaalu
Jun. 25th, 2008 10:23 pm (UTC)
Bwahaha. :D

I don't mind random commentage, I'm just glad people seem to like my little bit of brainfluff. ;)
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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