It's been a while since I updated this fic, so I thought it was time to take it out of the drawer. Sorry if I haven't been regular updating this and some of my other fics, but free time is something I'm not having much lately.
Many thanks to iratepirate for the beta reading and the never ending support. You really rock, hun :o)
Ladies room in the Nemesis
"Ooookaay, how are you doing in there?" Wildrider yelled to the ventilation shaft, putting both hands beside his mouth components.
"The human can hear you without the need for shouting, Wildrider," Dead End said, somewhat offended by the fact that his teammate seemed to so easily forget his dislike of loud sounds.
Motormaster scowled, looking from the small opening in the wall towards the empty corridor. He was there only to provide protection in case his teammates were attacked, although the current predicament was so disturbing that he was almost eager for an ambush instead. Where was the coward Starscream when he was needed? Pummeling his shiny frame would have provided some much needed relief…
"It's dark in here…" the unnerving voice of the flesh bag could be heard from inside.
"It's supposed to be dark, don't worry," Wildrider said reassuringly. "Keep going until you find a grid somewhere. Found it already?"
An unintelligible babbling followed. From his place beside Wildrider, Drag Strip snorted. "I don't think the human knows what a grid is. Care to explain, Dead End?"
Dead End shrugged his shoulders slightly. "Experience leads to knowledge. Wait until the human falls through one, and we won't be hearing any further questions relating grids."
"I found a spider web…"
Wildrider approached the square opening as much as he could. "Watch out with your joints! Let the small bugs get inside and see if you can get them out."
Drag Strip scowled at the arrival of an unpleasant memory. "I found one of those spiders in my left rim once… Why can't Soundwave just clean up his cat every time he comes back from rolling in the bushes or whatever he does outside the base?"
"Speaking of Ravage, do any of you know if he remained in the Nemesis? He could get inside the ventilation shaft and assist the human in locating a proper spot for her… waste disposal issue," Dead End said absent-mindedly, but not without that touch of cruelty that made Motormaster believe – sometimes – that at least one of his teammates had a hope of becoming a decent warrior.
"Uh, no…" Wildrider said, not getting the irony at all. "Ravage would tear her apart for sure."
Motormaster grunted and left the surveillance of the corridor to walk towards the ventilation shaft. He roughly pushed Wildrider away and bumped the wall with one fist. "You have wasted enough time in there, flesh bag! Get the slag out."
Silence came as the only response.
"Uh, boss, I don't think the kid likes being yelled at."
Motormaster shot a killer glance at Wildrider before hitting the wall again. "I told you to get out!"
After a moment, the whiny voice of the human could be heard again. "Mister Motor… it's dark and cold… can you please come?"
"It beats me why she keeps calling him," Drag Strip said in low voice.
Metal gritting metal signaled that Motormaster had clenched his denta plates, his patience having reached its limit long ago. "If I go in there it will be only to remove your putrid self out of the wall in which you'll end up smashed, did you hear?"
"Getting inside is physically impossible. Your frame is considerably bigger than the opening of the ventilation shaft." Dead End was wise enough to make sure to stand out of his leader's reach when he made his brilliant observation. Motormaster made a mental note to not forget to beat the scrap out of him later. For some reason, the current situation seemed to be poking Dead End's laconic irony.
"Why don't you try being gentle with the kid?" Wildrider suggested, getting closer to his leader. "It usually works. Girls don't like to be threatened… or shot."
Motormaster seized Wildrider's face with very little delicacy and pushed him backwards, this time making sure to use enough strength to make his teammate crash against the opposite wall. Then he proceeded to test the ventilation shaft with the width of his own arm. The voice of the human signaled that the vermin was not very far away and he could reach it.
"I wouldn't do that if I were you. You don't know what kind of human fluids you can find in there already… or worse."
Motormaster stopped his movement, half of his arm already inside the slagging ventilation shaft. As much as he hated to admit it, Dead End could be right. That was the only reason why he didn't give him the much deserved kick the fragger had been working so hard to gain.
"Get Breakdown here," he ordered instead, "and tell him to bring something to extract a bug."
"Breakdown is busy creating a proper area for the human as you ordered him to do," Dead End explained, his interest suddenly lost because he detected a small dent on his neck, small reminder of his leader's grip a few hours ago.
Motormaster returned Dead End to his reality by seizing him again by the neck, making sure to give a companion to the not-so-small-anymore dent. "Then use your fragging legs while you still have them and get something to get the human out of there! And don't come back without something useful!"
"I'll go with you," Drag Strip said when Dead End was thrown in his direction. More than team's camaraderie, Drag Strip was certainly looking for any excuse to get the slag out of there, especially considering that he was the only one who hadn't received some sort of discipline from Motormaster in the last two and a half minutes. Motormaster growled, really disgusted by his teammate's cowardice.
"Mister Motor… I found some tubes…" the human said with trembling voice.
Drag Strip and Dead End stopped in their tracks. "She must have reached the regulator system," Dead End said. "She's getting close to the grid above the waste disposal unit of the base."
Wildrider approached the wall again, despite the imminent danger of receiving another hit. "Wait, wait… are those tubes are the ones I'm thinking of?" he said giggling. "Maybe she should just do her business there. Boss?"
Motormaster considered Wildrider's words. Usually, there was nothing to consider whenever his lunatic of a teammate gave his opinion about anything, but this time there were implications that deserved a second thought.
"Whatever," Motormaster said frowning. "There are fans ahead that may shred the human to pieces anyway." Then he elevated his voice and shouted directly into the opening of the shaft. "Do what you must, vermin, but return immediately. You have one minute!"
Wildrider grinned. "Awesome! So Deadster, you have a map or something of the insides of this thing, don't you?"
"I do, indeed," Dead End said, activating a diagram which appeared on his optic visor. "The target would be conduit 3-B… By some happy coincidence, it's considerably close to the human's location."
Wildrider rubbed his hands with amusement. "Double awesome! Hey kid, so you're seeing some tubes, right? Okay, count three from left to right and do your thing. Make sure to pick the third one!"
The silence that followed indicated that perhaps the bag of flesh had understood what Wildrider had said. It was very hard to tell considering the intelligence of humans, especially the smallest ones.
"You are aware, of course, that all this may be unnecessary," Dead End said. "Breakdown must have already improvised something to take care of the human's… leaks."
Motormaster was very aware of that indeed, but still he decided to continue the most bizarre mission in which his team had ever got caught up with. It had been extremely annoying – not to mention humiliating – so far that it was only fair to receive some satisfaction, even if slight.
Motormaster smirked maliciously.
Breakdown cast an attentive look at his work of art before returning his gaze to the hologram displayed in the middle of the room. Sure, the house he had built with all the junk Wildrider and Drag Strip had brought from their shopping spree looked different from the original model he had found on the internet – not to mention considerably smaller – but in his opinion he had done a good job. He still needed to build a tennis court, the cascade and the pool, but all in all, it was suitable for a human being. He also needed to get rabbits, as they seemed to be the most important component of human housing according to the information he had acquired on that internet site.
A flash of purple light startled him so much that he almost fell over his work. His astonishment didn't decrease when he saw Skywarp standing before him.
"What… are you doing here?" he asked, not sure about what to do. Intruders were not welcome in the Stunticon quarters, he knew that perfectly, but Skywarp was a fellow Decepticon and Breakdown wasn't sure if shooting him was the best thing to do.
Skywarp didn't reply, but looked at Breakdown's job with curiosity. "The Playboy Mansion…" he read the details displayed on the hologram. "Nice. Your model looks just like it. You should have been a Constructicon, Breakdown."
Now Skywarp was mocking him. That wasn't strange because Skywarp was always mocking everybody, but unlike Wildrider, who did it because of playful purposes, Skywarp was always led by malice. His pranks had to be the saddest ever – or was it sadistic? The need of Dead End's proximity became urgent.
"You shouldn't be here, you know," Breakdown said, trying to sound indifferent as he welded one of the metal panels he had used as walls. Keeping his grip on the welder firm was a real achievement, considering he was very uncomfortable with the piercing red eyes of the Seeker all over him.
"I know, I'm off limits," Skywarp said, still smirking at whatever comparison he was making about the two human dwellings. "But I was curious about how you guys are holding it up with the human. I thought Motormaster would've already rolled over it."
"No, why would he do that?" Breakdown hurried to reply. As much as Motormaster had never had problems concerning killing humans, Breakdown knew he would never compromise the mission by rolling over the human girl Megatron had personally ordered him to get. That was one stupid assumption to make.
"Good to know. The human is very valuable, as you know, and it wouldn't be a good idea if it becomes pulp under one of your boss' wheels… Now that would be unfortunate, don't you agree?"
Breakdown turned off the welder and got to his feet, mentally getting ready to subspace his gun at the slightest signal of danger. Skywarp's presence there was not a good thing, definitely not a good thing.
"What do you want, Skywarp?" he said, trying to sound assertive but not aggressive. "This is Stunticon area and you are a Seeker."
Skywarp smirked and looked at himself with pretended astonishment. "Really? Gee, I hadn't noticed… And all this time I thought I had wings because I was an angel."
Breakdown shook his head. "The thing is that you can't be here. It's off limits for you, as you said. Go back to where you came from. I could get in real trouble if… no, you will be in real trouble if Motormaster finds out you are here."
"Relax," Skywarp said, reaching out for Motormaster's chair and sitting comfortably on it. For a moment, Breakdown thought the chair would explode. "Motormaster is not here, now is he? Besides, this is still the Nemesis, and I can be anywhere I want inside the Nemesis. Or tell me, are we in Megatron's quarters by any chance?"
"No… we are not, but…"
"Then I'm not breaking any rule here."
Not any written rule. It was true that limits inside the Nemesis were only tacitly determined by the Decepticons themselves, but still there was a Seeker inside Stunticons territory, and in the very room of Motormaster himself. It sounded even worse than profaning Megatron's quarters.
"You didn't answer my question," Skywarp insisted. "How are things going with the human? Are you guys having fun already? There are many things to do with humans. How good are you at juggling?"
Breakdown thought that he couldn't possibly juggle with just one human. "Things are going fine, just as preducted. Did Starscream send you here?"
Skywarp laughed. "I think you mean 'predicted', perhaps? And nope, Starscream didn't send me. He can't order me around as if I were his fraggin' slave – no offense, by the way. I'm here because I'm bored, why else?"
Breakdown put the welder aside and pretended to get busy with a can of paint, thinking about the best way to fight a teleporter. Frag, they can't be fought… they disappear before you have the chance to get them, and they can appear anywhere, anywhere! They can be staring at me and I could never tell… "Well, if that was all, I guess you can leave now. Motormaster will be back any moment now."
Skywarp stood up. "Sure, sure... You know, it's a good thing that you don't use pants, Breakdown, or you'd pee them every time you mention his name."
"W-what?" Breakdown awkwardly said, for the first time during the conversation feeling the genuine need to resort to violence. He was aware of that kind of human verbal expression and he didn't like what Skywarp was trying to imply, as much as it was the pure truth.
"Anyway, it's pretty boring in here too," the Seeker continued, extending his wings as much as he could, as all Seekers did when they wanted to emphasize they were the most beautiful Cybertronians ever created. "I'll take off. Nice talking to you, Breakdown, we should do it more often… Good luck with the human. I really hope you won't end up killing it. Accidents happen all the time, I think you agree. And hey, nice place you built for the bug. I especially like the scaffolds. Are you going to hang the human from there?"
"They are decorations," Breakdown said grimly, honestly not finding them very different from the statues at the Playboy Mansion.
"Whatever you say, 'Down," Skywarp said, making sure to palm Breakdown's shoulder right before disappearing into his usual purple light. Breakdown stepped back. Slag, how he hated when Skywarp did that...
"Mission accomplished, Screamer. I placed the camera in Motormaster's quarters."
Starscream nodded as he accessed the terminal of his computer. "Good. It amazes me that, for once, you managed to follow one simple order without failure."
"Ah, what would I do without your constant praise, sweetheart?" Skywarp's ever mocking voice came from Starscream's comm link.
"Did Breakdown suspect anything?"
"I don't know, maybe, maybe not. Who cares? The fragger was lubricating himself just because I kept staring at him. It's soooo easy to disturb him, and amusing too!"
Starscream started to enter a series of codes into his computer. "Breakdown is one loser I don't give a frag about. Sometimes I have problems in even remembering his name, or the fact that he actually exists."
"Yeah, me too, but what if he tells Motormaster I paid a visit? Those Gestalt fraggers tell everything to each other, even when they lubricate their valves."
"I'm counting on him doing it. I want Motormaster to know that I won't remain arms crossed whilst he has things his way. I'm the Decepticons Second in Command and Motormaster can't step over my authority! If war is what he wants, then I— what the frag…?" Starscream stopped when the screen of his computer returned an image. A gray, polished image… "Skywarp, you idiot! I take back what I said. Once again, the only thing you achieve is failure! What did I do to be cursed with a totally brainless wingmate like you?"
"Hey, chill out Screamer. What's wrong? I placed the camera you gave me in Motormaster's quarters."
Starscream punched the console of the computer. "Yes, beneath a fraggin' chair… a chair! Do you know the image I'm receiving? Seventy percent of the lower part of the seat... and the fragging wall… and something that resembles a bulkhead… You dimwitted dolt!"
An annoying laugh made itself heard. "A bulkhead, really? Wow, now that must be funny, huh?"
"The easiest mission ever and you totally ruined it! The camera was small enough to be placed practically anywhere without being noticed by that brute and you place it in the most inconvenient place possible. Even an Autobot would have done it better! You have to be the worst joke of a teleporter ever!"
"And you just have to be a demanding glitch, don't you?"
"How dare you—"
"Look, it's not that bad. You have some image of Motormouth's quarters, don't you? And I guess the microphone is working."
"Then what are you whining about? We have audio and some sort of image of what's happening inside, so you'll be able to tell what's going on. The plan still goes!"
Technically that was correct, but still Starscream hated when things didn't work out exactly the way he had planned, which happened about the eighty percent of the time.
"You should be thankful that I have priorities and I can't waste time killing you," he said somberly. "Now get your aft here! We have to move on to phase two."
"Whatever you say, just make sure to turn off your security system. I almost got fried the last time I tried to sneak into your quarters."
Starscream deactivated the special measures he had adapted to keep his dolt, teleporter wingmate out of his privacy. "Done, now you can— what the frag?" He tilted his head up, receiving another small stream of an unidentified liquid that was already running between his optics.
"What is it?" Skywarp asked through the comm link.
"I don't know. It seems that my air ventilation system is leaking something."
"Mm, you may want to run a scan on that. I think I saw the Insecticons messing with the hull of the base a couple of days ago, and you do know what salty water does to our paintjob."
For once, Starscream followed Skywarp's advice. The results were displayed on the screen: 95% water, urea 9.3 g/L, chloride 1.87 g/L, sodium 1.17 g/L, potassium 0.750 g/L, creatinine 0.670 g/L…
That didn't ring any bells. It was when Starscream did a quick search on the computer when the damn bells rang, and louder than ever.
"Screamer, are you okay? What's going on? Why did you scream? Are you under attack?"
Already in his personal washing unit and rubbing his face with an extreme mixture of solvents, Starscream opened his comm link again. "Correction, Skywarp, it will be us who will declare war to those Stunticon freaks! Because this is just what this is, fraggin' WAR! That Earth germ just signed her death sentence!"
To be continued.
Update coming as soon as possible. I'll post a couple of my other fics-in-pause before returning here again, but I'll do my best to give you a fast update. Thank you very much for your continuous support. Your feedback is always a bucket full of encouragement.