Well I've decided to make a series of one shots involving our favorite tactician. Warning for...uh...robot masturbation.
Thanks to everyone who reviewed chapter one. Y'all are the best!
"Um…Prowl?" Spike had timidly made his way into the control room, inching up to the tactician before making his presence known with that particularly stunning opening statement.
Prowl had, of course, known Sparkplug's son was in the room the moment he set foot inside but he had the good grace to look mildly surprised when the boy stammered for his attention. "Hello Spike. If you're looking for Bumblebee…."
Spike waved his hands in front of him as if warding off a cloud of flying insects. "Oh…oh no, I wasn't looking for Bee. I know he's on patrol right now." The boy cleared his throat. "I uh…I was actually looking for you."
Prowl raised an optic ridge at that and silently wondered what had the boy so flustered. "And what did you need to see me about?"
"Well, ya see...I seem to have lost something and Iwaswonderingifyoucouldhelpmefindit." The words rushed out and Spike gulped audibly. "Uh…that is, unless you're busy. Or something."
"I'm not going to bite you, you know." Prowl crossed his arms and looked at the young man who for some unfathomable reason was usually nervous around him.
Spike let out a breath he had been holding in. "Sorry Prowl…I just figured you didn't like to be bothered with human type stuff…or well, you know." The youngest Witwicky then grew animated with aggravation, flailing his arms in the air for emphasis. "But if I don't find my calculator my dad is gonna kill me!"
"A calculator? Surely your father can give you another if you've lost it. From what I've seen, they are fairly common household items." Prowl reasoned with him. He then understood why the boy was hesitant in the first place; Spike surely knew he would have no desire to go on a human gadget treasure hunt.
Spike deflated a bit but then he made one more attempt to recruit the tactician. "Well yeah, normal calculators are a dime a dozen…but this is a scientific calculator! They're like, I dunno, 150 bucks!" Spike looked around the control room as if to make sure they were still alone. "What if someone stole it?"
Prowl scoffed at the very idea and looked peevishly at the boy by his feet. "You surely can't be implying that an Autobot would steal your calculator? What in Primus' name would we need it for?"
The Witwicky boy backpedaled a bit and had the good sense to look chastised. "Well ok, maybe not stealing…but someone could have hidden it as a joke. Or…or maybe it got mixed up in some parts bin or something. Right?" He looked up at Prowl with hope. "I really need it for my calculus homework and I'm not kidding when I say my dad will blow a gasket if he finds out I've lost it."
"All right Spike, I will help you find it but I still seriously doubt it was taken by anyone." Prowl stacked his data pads together, clearing the monitor space for the next 'bot on call and motioned the boy to follow him.
While the idea of using his powers of deduction for finding a simple human gadget was laughable, Prowl never did anything half way. He compiled a list of the usual suspects which consisted all of two bots, Sideswipe and Sunstreaker. If the calculator was hidden as a joke then talking to those two miscreants was the most obvious starting place. The SIC made his way through the Ark to the twins quarters and almost smiled when Spike mumbled something about "taking a leak and meeting up later in the rec room" and took off in the opposite direction. The twins didn't dislike the young boy…but Prowl imagined that Spike was rather intimidated by Sunsteaker's "glare 'o doom" and didn't want to be the lucky recipient. Upon pressing the door's comm. button and announcing himself the tactician heard muffled expletives and something that sounded suspiciously like contraband being hidden.
"Uh…just a nanosec Prowl. Sir." Sideswipe's voice came through the comm. and moments later the door slid open with Sideswipe blocking the view to the room and Sunstreaker in the background shuffling…something.
Prowl raised himself up on the tips of his pedes and tried to glance over Sideswipes shoulder. Sideswipe shifted in a not so subtle move to keep the room hidden.
"So, uh…what can we do for you Prowl?" The red twin grinned nervously and did his best to completely fill the door space with his body.
"I am looking for a missing item. Perhaps you can help me, or are you too busy rearranging the furniture in there?" Prowl deadpanned.
"Rearranging furniture? Oh…oh yeah! We are moving some stuff around, right Sunny?" Sideswipe turned to his brother who gave him an "all clear" nod which prompted the red Lambo to finally move and let the tactician in.
Prowl would have rolled his optics if he had been able to. Sideswipe was a master prankster…but a horrible liar. "It seems that Spike's calculator has gone missing. Apparently it's an expensive item and it would be…unfortunate if it wasn't found." The SIC looked from one twin to the other and noted the immediate looks of confusion followed by obvious relief.
"A calculator? What in slags name would we want with a calculator?" Sunstreaker recovered from his surprise first and quickly became his usual (un)cheerful self.
"Yeah Prowl…I mean, why would we need it?" Sideswipe interjected.
Prowl raised an optic ridge. "I never said anything about needing it. I was asking if you misplaced it." The tactician emphasized the word "misplaced" – a not so subtle way of asking if they hid it. Although after seeing their initial reactions Prowl doubted that they had anything to do with it. The twins gave him blank looks and a synchronized shake of their heads.
"Very well then. If you do come across it, please let me know." Prowl turned to leave. "Oh and Sideswipe?"
"You have one solar cycle to clear the high grade out of here. If I find so much as a drop tomorrow, you're both going back to the brig." Prowl left without so much backwards glance but couldn't help but smirk at the sound of the two front liners muttering apologies and explanations in his wake.
After the twins, Prowl met up with a decidedly sheepish Spike and they made their rounds through the Ark. The Mini bots were next on the docket as the tacticians reasoning decided that they could possibly hide it so the twins were pinned for the "crime".
"Why the slag would we take a calculator?" Cliffjumper huffed.
"Yeah. And besides we've been out at target practice all morning." Gears crossed his arms and frowned.
Prowl verified with Spike how long the calculator had been missing…and it was clear that the Mini bots didn't take it.
"I didn't think they would." Spike said as they walked out of the rec room. "Bee's pretty tight with all of them…and that sorta extends to me."
Prowl nodded. "I'm simply taking this from a most likely to least likely suspect route. They may like you, but there is a lot of animosity between the Mini bots and the twins."
And so the morning went on. After the Mini bots, the Dino bots were questioned. Prowl figured the Dino's would see it as a toy and take it to play with. When asked, blank looks from all five of them was Prowls reward and the tactician wondered if they even knew what a calculator was. Scratching the Dinos off his mental check list, the SIC and Spike started looking through parts bins and trash receptacles then moved on to questioning various bots that weren't on duty on whether or not they had seen it. An hour into the adventure and Prowl was beginning to wonder why he had agreed to this particular form of torture. The tactician didn't get much free time and this little foray was eating into what little time he had.
"You know…Wheeljack said he hadn't seen Perceptor in a while." Spike mused aloud. "I sure don't think Percy would take it but maybe he's seen it. I mean, if he's been working in his lab then there's a good chance that it may have found its way there."
Prowl bowed his head once in agreement. "Yes. It's possible another bot brought it to the lab thinking it belonged there." The SIC looked down at Spike and spoke in a tone that brooked no argument. "However if it's not there, I'm afraid you'll have to tell your father."
Spike nodded glumly. "Yeah…that's what I was afraid of."
In retrospect Prowl surmised he should have heeded the warning signs. Perceptor didn't respond to the hails over the comm. system. The lab door was locked…a door that was never locked in normal situations. The "odd" sounds emanating from behind said door. Yes, the signs were all there but the tactician's CPU refused to connect the hinted at action to Perceptor; an obvious mistake.
Overriding the door security code took only a moment and Prowl was greeted by a sight he never expected to see – and never wanted to see again. Leaning heavily against a work station was a blissfully unaware Perceptor, with what appeared to be Spikes calculator in his hand. The device's USB cable was plugged directly into the microscope Transformer and cascades of electricity fell away from him as he gripped the table and went sailing into overload just as the door opened fully. For a moment the tactician wondered just how such a simple human device could be used as a stimulus…but cut off the line of thought before it took root. It wouldn't do to have his battle computer short out at a time like this.
The SIC's leg had automatically shifted to block the young Witwicky from the sight as soon as Prowl saw just exactly what happened to the "missing" calculator.
"Hey Prowl? Uh…you're blocking the way. What's going on?" Spike leaned against the tactician's leg, hands on the cool metal and feet on the tips of his toes.
"I'm sorry Spike but it appears you'll have to tell your father that the calculator is gone." Prowl took note of the look of utter dejection on the boy's face and added. "I will send a message to the local electronics store, you'll be able to pick another one up…no charge." Prowl spoke as he gently pushed the boy backwards and shut the door.
"No charge? What exactly was going on in there? Did Percy have it?" Spike looked to the door with a thoughtful frown.
"I'm afraid Perceptor was doing some…experiments on it. I believe a new device is necessary." The SIC herded the young man towards the Ark's entrance. "Come on, I'll drive you there myself."
"Gee thanks Prowl! You're a lifesaver."