Perceptor was busy, as usual. He was transformed and focusing on the examination of what looked like to be a piece of rock as a favour to Chip Chase. So far, he had discovered several interesting minerals on it, but he had yet to determine whether the rock was the broken piece of a meteor or part of a comet, or even…
"WAIT TILL I GET MY HANDS ON THAT SLAGGING SLAGGER!"
Perceptor got so frightened that he transformed to his robot form and ran for cover. But, a few moments later, he decided that he hadn't done anything wrong, so he could venture out of his lab to see what was going on without much risk on his life. Walking cautiously, he opened the door and dared a peek.
Ah. Why wasn't he surprised? He could see Tracks at the end of the corridor, looking to his left and right as though he was searching for something. But the thing that was quite odd was the Corvette's condition. In fact, his right hand was gripping his left forearm in an awkward manner as though he had hurt himself.
"Primus, Tracks!" Perceptor exclaimed and hurried at the warrior's side. "What happened?"
"This!" Tracks replied and brought his left arm up to Perceptor's optics, his right hand never letting go.
Perceptor looked at the arm curiously. He couldn't see any fluid or cracks. Then again, he couldn't get an exact visual confirmation either.
"Well… Maybe it would help if you removed the cloth?"
Tracks glared at his fellow Autobot. "Do you actually think I can?"
"Oh, I see." Deciding that he should get at the bottom of this, Perceptor transformed and examined the arm.
What he saw there not only surprised him, but puzzled him as well.
"Tracks… why is there adhesive on the cloth?"
"Guess," the Corvette said, his smooth voice now resembling a growl.
Now Perceptor was a Transformer who could reach to conclusions quite quickly. So, he was able to realise that it was 5 o'clock in the afternoon, precisely the time that Tracks usually waxed himself and…
"Is that… your wax cloth?"
"Yes," Tracks said, grounding out the word.
No wonder Sideswipe was so eager to drive Chip back to his home.
Tracks sat up from his recharging berth with a sigh and walked up to his mirror. Fortunately, Perceptor had been able to dissolve the glue on his arm, so Tracks could put the previous day's incident behind him.
That is, he would after he found Sideswipe and pummelled him to unrecognisable scrapheap on the ground.
And then do the same to Sunstreaker for good measure – he was Sideswipe's twin after all.
With that thought, Tracks looked up to the mirror to check himself.
He came face-plate to face-plate with an all-red Corvette.
Tracks let out a cry and got ready to defend himself… but then he realised that the red Corvette was himself.
And the red paint was still fresh on him.
"Just hang on, Tracks. I'll be there in five minutes," Inferno said and ended the transmission.
Tracks growled in dismay. He was sure the fire-truck said that on purpose.
Yet there was nothing for it. With his laser gun out of reach and afraid to transform in his current state, all Tracks could do was wait for help to arrive with as much dignity as he had left in him.
And close his optics so as not to be reminded he was hanging upside down from a telephone cable.
It was official.
Next time Tracks wanted to see an antique car exhibition, he would make sure Sideswipe didn't know about it.
And second: he would fly there.
Tracks stepped out of the washrack slowly, hands clenching into fists and his whole countenance screaming: "Out of my way or you're going to wish you were never created."
Bluestreak didn't quite catch that detail though.
"That's odd; you finished quickly today. Does that mean it's… my…" The gunner's voice trailed off, and he looked at Tracks from head to toe.
"Um… Why are you covered in oil?"
Tracks whipped a threatening finger at Bluestreak's direction.
"Don't. Just… don't."
And with that, Tracks kept walking to his dorms.
Nothing happened, because Tracks made sure he didn't get out of his dorms once.
Tracks sat on his berth, still refusing to get out of his dorms. He despised the indoors, but it was his best option under the circumstances. If anything, he could catch up with his reading.
It was then that he heard the familiar chime of his call button. With a kind of paranoia that would have made Red Alert proud, he held up his laser gun and walked cautiously up to the door. "Yes?"
"It's me, Jazz. Can I come in, man?"
Tracks stiffened. "Are you alone?"
"Never mind!" Tracks declared. In the next moment he opened the door, pulled Jazz inside, then closed the door again in one swift motion. Before Jazz could ask what was that about, Tracks had already circled the black and white Porsche, checking him from all sorts of angles.
"You're clean," Tracks said.
"Of course I'm clean, man!" Jazz said. "I just wanted to check up on you. Prime thinks you've been actin'… strange."
"Hm? What makes him say that?" Tracks asked, looking towards the ceiling at a very suspicious-looking hole.
"Nothin' in particular," Jazz replied with a sigh. He didn't have the spark to tell the Corvette that he was glaring at the ventilation system; so, he decided to sit down on a chair nearby. "Look, Tracks--"
Jazz straightened at once, and waited till Tracks had examined the chair from underneath.
"Can I sit now?" he ventured to ask.
Tracks thought about it. "I suppose. But on the edge."
Jazz shook his head. "Whatever makes you happy, man." He sat down, looking at the almost insane Corvette with pity. "Look, I realise Sideswipe kinda overdid it with his pranks this week--"
"Kinda?! Kinda?! " Tracks was near to hysterics now. "How would you like it if you just took one blow after the other, knowing that next time things were only going to get even worse?! At least here I'm safe!"
Jazz lifted his hands in a gesture of peace. "Take it easy, man."
"Yeah, well, maybe I would if Sideswipe had to go through the week I just had! But that son of a glitch doesn't even care! Honestly, Jazz, if I didn't know any better, I'd say he was a Decepticon posing as an Autobot."
"Come on, Tracks," Jazz said gently. "You know Sideswipe. Pullin' pranks is part of his nature. He doesn't mean any harm."
Tracks sighed. "Maybe. But I'm completely fed up." He sat cross-legged on the floor, elbow joints resting on his knees. "I wish that I could get the better of him for one day. Then things would be a lot more bearable."
Jazz thought about that statement for a moment. "One day only?"
Tracks nodded. "One day only."
That made Jazz grin. "How about a whole week?"
Tracks' optics widened. "How is that to be done?!"
"Oh, I have the perfect prank up my arm plating. Wanna know about it?"
"Okay, man," Jazz said. "But you gotta promise me two things, all right?"
"Well, number one: You won't tell anybody I told you of this."
"I wasn't intending to."
"Just makin' sure. And two: this works only once, so you can't repeat it again. Is that understood?"
"All right," Jazz said, rubbing his hands together. "Here's what you'll do…"
A/n: I apologise if some of the pranks sounded vague. Sideswipe and Jazz are the real prank experts, not me. ^_^;