By: The Feesh
Some days I feel like I truly am a genius.
Others, I feel like the idiot left standing with a lit stick of dynamite in his hand.
I have recently managed to create a fuel refinery machine out of what feels like sheet metal and paper clips. I know that there are many more components to it than that, much in the way of piping and bolts and nuts and rivets and tiny, almost microscopic pieces, all fitting together to create this machine that can do for us what a milk processing plant can do for the humans. Because, and no offense meant to the humans at all, but their fuels are dirty and inefficient. As a vehicle, I consume diesel while Jazz, Bumblebee, and Ironhide all consume high performance gasoline. I am constantly cleaning gunk and residue out of not only myself, but also my fellow Autobots to keep them in the best condition possible on this planet.
This problem required a solution, so I began to research the possibility of building a processing machine. It would be like the refineries on Cybertron and other colonies, but on a far smaller scale. A month ago or so I began construction after extensive planning, and tonight I got to reap the rewards of my efforts.
Unfortunately, tonight is one of those idiots-left-standing moments.
I sit in the background, watching in carefully hidden amusement as my comrades and our former enemies banter back and forth and attempt to play with their holograms. They're all standing or sitting in a wide circle around the arena they made, Blackout and Barricade beside each other with Bumblebee and Jazz just to their left, leaving Prime and Ironhide to sit on the other side. I have since made a mental note to adjust my machine…the fuels need to process for a little longer to tone down the alcoholic effects of the energon. I appear to have produced highgrade, instead of lowgrade.
Laughter erupts from the mismatched group and I snap out of my musings to see what they deem as so very funny. Bumblebee's hologram has taken to doing the Macarena, and none too gracefully. I'm not sure Barricade knows quite how to respond, as his projection is just standing there, swaying slightly with a befuddled look on its face. The Ford has gotten good at casting his feelings through his creation, and I really cannot help but smile as the hologram attempts to imitate the Camaro's little dance but it looks more like a barely choreographed seizure.
Barricade can barely sit up on his own, forced to lean against the larger frame of the sitting Sikorsky helicopter. Of all the scenes I never expected to see out of the two Decepticon officers, it would be this: using each other was a crutch while they giggle drunkenly at everything that could be defined as even remotely funny. Including Blackout projecting his hologram to do what he calls in a singsong voice 'The Timewarp'. I do a quick Internet search on it and come up with something called The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I will have to ask Sam what the significance is of human males parading around in fishnet leggings and high heels.
I think they all forgot about the game at hand or the bets revolving around it. Not that I ever expected Blackout to give up his secondary tail rotors when he decided to bet them on the fight between Barricade's and Bumblebee's holograms, of course. I sit back and watch as Jazz jumps in with his, laughing like a seagull, and the four of them, Solstice, Camaro, Mustang, and Pave Low proceed to chase each other around the arena in a scene of utter and mass chaos that apparently, to the drunken mechanoids in the room, is the very epitome of hilarity.
Watching all of it with a certain sense of pleased relaxation is Prime. If there is one good thing to come of my slight miscalculation in processing times is that. It is good to see my old friend finally sit back with a smile on his face, watching his comrades as they engage in innocuous fun, even when two formidable and dangerous Decepticons are sitting less than twenty feet away. Blackout and Barricade, for tonight at least, are completely harmless; if they were to hurt anyone it would probably be an accidental flail of a limb, at best. I study the old Autobot leader, wondering when the last time it was that he was able to grin without forced pretenses or the constant worry of some greater responsibility lurking at the back of his mind.
Blackout and Jazz have backed off and the match has been restarted. Ironhide whoops unceremoniously, raising his fist and hollering for Bumblebee to kick Barricade's ass from here to New York City when really, neither participant could possibly win. Both holograms have been flickering for the last two minutes, but nobody seems to have noticed but me. Such is the advantage of not trying my concoctions out on myself, thank you.
Ironhide is probably worse off than any of them. I knew the old warrior had a fondness for the drink, but what he didn't expect was that my mix of highgrade apparently packs a punch. He keeps calling it moonshine with a western drawl. Or would that be a western slur?
Things have gone awry in the arena again. Apparently while I was pondering over my last thought strain the group decided that Barricade had won the round, either that, or Bumblebee conceded because he can't think enough to keep himself sitting upright much less concentrate on a hologram projection. Either way, the Saleen is puffed up like a toad, evidently proud of some accomplishment he must have made as Blackout snorts and snickers and holds his fellow Decepticon vertical.
"Who's takin' me on next?" slurs the inebriated police car.
Blackout speaks up. "Me. Prepare t'lose, ground dweller."
I have been noticing little subtleties about these two tonight. Minus inhibitions, their behavior patterns have shifted from what I would have considered ordinary, especially regarding each other. They are in constant physical contact, usually limited to the Saleen leaning heavily against the larger flier's side, but there have been some deviations to accent; Blackout, in the motion of adjusting Barricade's position against his arm to a more comfortable state, brushing his fingertips against the Mustang's shouldermount. Or in another instance of something similar, in an almost flippant and casual move, the larger of the two ran his hand lightly, almost affectionately, across the smaller's stomach. Barricade himself seems utterly unaware of the touches in his intoxicated state, but I think differently. I think perhaps he's merely used to it, enough to hardly notice it.
Barricade versus Blackout hologram deathmatch round one begins. It's a complete circus from the very start; Bumblebee and Jazz erupt in obnoxious laughter as, instead of fighting, the helicopter's projection proceeds to molest his comrade's while Barricade himself looks increasingly horrified. Prime brings a hand to his mouth in shock; Ironhide just stares and appears to be contemplating whether or not to be amused; Jazz and Bumblebee are in each others laps, laughing so hard that remaining in a standard sitting position is no longer an option.
I snort to myself and suppress a laugh as the hologram Barricade starts to flail in the indignation of being publicly groped while the real one looks around for something convenient and sturdy to smack his comrade in the skull with. He finds a piece of piping left over from my work on my machine, snatches it up, and proceeds to staggeringly beat Blackout in the head with it for being lewd in front of the Autobots, something that even Prime cannot help but laugh at.
This goes on for hours and hours on end. Each match tends to become more and more lascivious as they go along, but nobody seems to mind due to the constant gleeful laughter aimed at someone, usually at that someone's expense. Prime is the first to back down and excuse himself, staggering off up to the crest of the hill where he disappears, presumably to sleep off the effects of my concoction. Ironhide goes next, though not willingly; his systems shut him down forcefully after much resisting and bitching and complaining. I stay to keep a watchful eye on the bunch of younger Cybertronians as they continue to play their own little made up games, until Bumblebee falls into recharge on Jazz, Barricade can't keep his optics online anymore, and Jazz and Blackout can't find anything else stupid to laugh at.
I let out a mechanical whuffling of relief as the silver Solstice falls into recharge with his head on Bumblebee's hip and Blackout curls up around the prone and out-like-a-light form of Barricade. I wonder idly about the wisdom of allowing the Decepticon pair to stay overnight, but it would probably cause less human casualties than releasing them into the air and onto the road, even this early in the morning. I set my internal chronometer to wake me in a few hours to check on everyone and lean my head back, shutting off my optics as my computers begin to power down.
I somehow feel that there will be repercussions tomorrow.
I will have to watch my back for a while, I think. Jazz is particularly good at formulating revenge pranks, most of which involve paint thinner or baloney.
And I quite like my paintjob how it is.
Thank you, and good night.