So I continue to branch out into various fandoms.
This was not an easy thing to write, mostly because my laptop's power cord broke right as I started and I was basically rushing to get this posted before the battery died. I obviously succeeded, go me, but now I can't use my laptop cause it's got like three percent battery life left.
And on a side note, does anyone know this poor guy's first name? It probably said it in the novel but I completely forgot, and the book has officially been swallowed by my house.
Disclaimer: If I got a nickel every time I had to type one of these stupid things I might be able to afford to buy the special edition DVD... Otherwise I'm SOL.
There were times, previously few and yet now fast multiplying, when a man couldn't help but hate his job.
Okay, so Simmons didn't really have much room to complain. He got a shiny badge, the slick suit, the President on speed dial. Sector 7 had been disbanded but he hung in some form of governmental limbo, too important and too knowledgeable to casually discard or replace. He was an Important Person, goddammit, and most everyone else treated him with due respect.
And yes, there was that very small, little-boy-sounding part of him that still went giant alien robots! Squeeeee!
But today was one of those why-me-God days, and Simmons hated it. He was sitting all but in Sergeant Epps' lap behind an Autobot-sized table someone had been clever enough to flip over. This closeness was necessary as most of the available space was taken up by Ratchet's bulk, which Simmons had stupidly thought of as only mildly impressive right up to the second the medic had vaulted over the table and landed about ten feet to the human's left. The impact had damn near rattled the fillings out of Simmons' teeth.
He couldn't complain too much, though, as Ratchet had proceeded to put his back to the table, holding it up against the barrage. The yellow 'bot was seething; growling and muttering and making all sorts of unfriendly noises in a manner honestly not too distinguishable from his normal behavior. He was also clenching his hands in a way they all recognized now, a way that meant he would soon be ramming someone's head into a wall until they ceased to be an annoyance. Occasionally there would be a clang of metal hitting metal and the medic would bark out a string of curses a sailor would be proud of.
Simmons had the feeling that Epps was tolerating his presence only because neither of them wanted to attract Ratchet's attention.
Across the way two more humans were in similar conditions, although they were under a huge desk with a mech slightly bulkier than the medic. That 'bot, however, could be best described as confused, not homicidal, and the two humans happened to be dating and so had no issue with personal boundaries. Simmons hated them almost as much as he hated his job. He was going to hate it even more when the shooting stopped because he was between Ratchet and the other mech and the smart money said the medic had a bone or two to pick with him. Or whatever it was mechs had in place of bones.
"How much longer can this possibly last?" Simmons asked no one in particular. Epps gave a 'huh?' in response so the agent repeated it. Again. And again. Finally he was yelling at the top of his lungs and still receiving a blank look so he waved it off. Human voices were not meant to compete with shooting guns, bullets clanging against a metal table, and Ratchet's temper all at once.
Silence came so suddenly it seemed as loud as the noise preceding it. After several moments of echoes the second mech pulled himself out from under his desk and carefully peered around it. He then bounced- there was no better word- to his feet and vanished beyond the table.
Ratchet's engine was making a low rumbling, like an angry dog, and both Epps and Simmons scrambled away from him while they could. The older man braced his fists on his hips and scowled as he faced the other mech. They called him Wheeljack, because NBE-15 was apparently a rude thing to call him. Back when the engineer had first landed Simmons couldn't help but wonder how these beings decided on their names. Now he wondered how Wheeljack had managed to avoid a more appropriate name. Like Destructo-Bot.
" 'Oh no, I'm not as bad as they say. You have to understand, it's just the way the twins are, if you do one thing wrong they never let it go. I rarely have even small accidents, it's been forever since I've actually blown up my lab.'" Simmons sneered as he mocked the engineer. Wheeljack turned to face him, looking for all the world like a kicked puppy, but Simmons wasn't done yet. " 'You're perfectly safe here. Nothing can go wrong, I've done all the proper calculations and look- Ratchet's right next door. In the ridiculously small possibility of something going wrong he can be here just like that.'"
At the mention of the medic Wheeljack did a full-body flinch. The angry rumbling was getting louder, a thunderstorm looming on the horizon. Simmons, having been pinned behind a table and between a man who barely tolerated him and a mech verging on a justifiable massacre, was beyond caring.
"Only you forgot to mention that you were working on a security-defensive-whatever gun and it could fire itself and oh, lookie there, it's going off. How do you get it to stop? You don't know, you only built the damn thing! Next time you wanna make something more dangerous than a Nerf ball, leave me out of it!"
Sam and Mikaela had come out from behind the desk to stand beside Epps and all three humans were now gaping at Simmons. Wheeljack was beyond kicked-puppy-hurt and almost to the point of getting angry himself. As was expected Mikaela found her voice first.
"You are an utter jackass, you know that?" she demanded. "It's not Wheeljack's fault the thing didn't work right. He doesn't deserve you screaming at him."
"Prime didn't give you access to the base so you could abuse his troops," Epps added darkly. Simmons massaged the bridge of his nose with two fingers. Surely these idiots weren't actually defending that lunatic? But they were, he saw when he lifted his head. The three had formed a wall between man and mech.
"We were trapped. Behind a table. For five minutes. By a gun. That. Shoots. Itself." Simmons broke the sentence down into smaller bits since all three obviously had a few screws loose. "What does he deserve? An award?"
Before the snark-fest could truly begin, a certain 'bot that had been mostly forgotten in the wake of Simmons' tirade finally decided he'd had enough. With one hand he pushed the table over, ending all conversation as it boomed against the ground. Like a spectacular image of Zeus descending from the halls of Olympus Ratchet rose and turned. His actions were painfully slow, each movement aimed to intimidate. His expression was eerily serene but fury radiated off his body in almost-visible waves.
All four humans wisely got the hell out of the way.
Wheeljack seemed to shrink into himself, pulling as far away as he could. When the wall permitted no more retreat the engineer turned to his friend and, with a nervous little laugh, held out the malfunctioning gun- an offering to appease the god of vengeance. Ratchet proceeded to do nothing but stare, so Wheeljack made the ultimate mistake.
"Well, at least no one got hurt, right?"
Ratchet twitched, a quick spasm of restrained motion. "Not yet," he agreed blandly.
Then he lunged.
There were times, Simmons mused, that he couldn't help but hate his job. That morning, with the self-firing gun, had been an ideal example.
Of course, tracking down Prime and explaining what had happened hadn't been easy. It had been very difficult to tell him that he might find himself lacking one engineer, as Ratchet had attempted to reduce Wheeljack to a funny-colored smear on the floor. As Simmons had reported, professional mask firmly in place, Ratchet had chased Wheeljack outside and the two had gone tearing through the desert as though their afts were on fire. And when Ratchet finally tired of that game, and his temper settled to a low simmer, he found that he had 'misplaced' Wheeljack. No one had seen the engineer for going on six hours now, Simmons blandly stated. Prime- looking like he wanted stuff both medic and engineer into a supply closet- had graciously dismissing the human. Naturally the hardest part of the whole encounter had been keeping a straight face.
There were times Simmons hated his job.
This was not one of them.