Jetfire, Jetstorm, and Rodimus Prime - A Lesson Learned
It wasn't a good idea.
It sure seemed like a good idea, at the time. At the time, Jetstorm and Jetfire had been preparing Rodimus Prime's equipment for him, getting his things together for his demonstration, scheduled later that day. And while they were doing this, Jetfire came up with what he thought at the time was going to be a hilarious joke.
"Hey, Brother. I am having an idea." He said, holding up Rodimus's crossbow with a smirk across his features. His twin paused, tilting his head. When Jetfire got that look, it usually meant something incredibly fun was about to happen (and that, later, they would get scolded for it).
"What is it?" Jetstorm asked in return, coming over to examine the object of his brother's interest.
"We should pulling a prank on Rodimus Prime Sir!" He offered the bow to his brother, who was beginning to grin as he began to understand his brother's plan. They each always seemed to be on exactly the same page- though sometimes it seemed less of a bond between twins and more of a bond between troublemakers.
Jetstorm looked over the bow with interest, the same sorts of devious thoughts now running through his mind. He snickered gleefully. "I am thinking you are being right, Brother. This is going to be good. Just imagine the look that he will be having on his face!"
By the time Rodimus came up to collect the twins and his equipment for the demonstration, the two brothers could barely keep themselves from fits of giggling. They could just picture the look on his face when he went to fire his arrows at the preset targets, only to have it fall apart in his hands in front of his entire unit. He'd be so embarrassed, his face might turn as red as the rest of him.
Rodimus turned at the sound of another fresh bout of snickering, which was quickly cut off by the younglings' servos slapping over their own mouths. The young Prime paused and lifted an optic ridge questioningly.
"What?" He asked incredulously. "What's so funny?"
"Nothing, Rodimus Prime, sir!" The two chimed in unison.
The slender red-and-orange mech reached around his back and felt around, checking for a sign or poster with some rude slogan or instructions stuck to his back. Feeling nothing, he looked back to the Jets and frowned.
"Come on, tell me what you did." He said sternly.
"But Sir, we didn't do anything!" Jetstorm answered, still grinning madly.
Rodimus was unconvinced, but seeing as there wasn't much he could do at the moment, shrugged it off and continued down the hall, the troublesome duo staying close at his heels. Whatever they found so funny, chances were, he'd find out about it soon enough.
The simulation course was set up just outside of Iacon in a closed-off area, with bright, flashing lights, moving targets and holographic scenery in place to replicate a Decepticon ambush. When it was all turned on, it was enough to get anybody running for cover. It was hard not to cringe even when one knew it was fake.
It came complete with difficulty settings and a time limit, and Rodimus's task was to complete the entire thing, on one of its highest settings, in less than sixty kliks. It was supposed to both test his skill and set an example for his unit.
He wouldn't be as nervous as he was about it, if it weren't for the fact that he'd be doing all this before the Magnus and just about everyone else in the Elite Guard, including, of course, those he commanded. That was why he'd come out here early; to get in one more round of practice before it was time for the real thing.
The Jet twins exchanged anxious looks behind his back. If he found out his bow wasn't up to par before the demonstration, he'd have time to fix it and then chew them out royally for messing with it in the first place.
"You two ready?" Rodimus asked. His voice was deep and purposeful, shaking the Jet twins' confidence even more. Again, they exchanged looks.
"Not quite," Jetstorm mumbled, shifting his weight from ped to ped. Maybe this hadn't been such a great idea after all. Nonetheless, he handed over the bow like a knight's squire, offering it on palms held flat.
Rodimus Prime accepted the weapon and gripped it firmly, looking out over the course he would soon be taking on. For a moment, both twins were caught up in awe. With stern, cold determination in his stance, face, and optics, he looked as if he were about to go out and fight a war alone. A brisk Cybertronian breeze whistled by almost unnoticed, helping to set the scene, and the course began to move as if on its own accord, holographic Decepticons creeping slowly towards the frontlines
"Get down!" Rodimus suddenly roared.
The mood changed in an instant. The next thing Jetfire and Jetstorm knew, the young Prime was bolting towards the course, raising his bow to fire.
Something was horribly wrong. The targets and simple hurdles were collapsing before the Decepticons as they tore their way towards the three Autobots. Nobody had turned the holograms on- those Decepticons were real.
And Rodimus was in real danger.
Jetfire gasped as the Prime pulled back the laser cord to fire, only to have it snap in his servo, whipping back to hit his upper arm. Rodimus stared in shock, and before he could collect himself, was caught by a Decepticon blunt weapon to the side. The blow sent him flying to the ground, hitting hard enough to knock the air out of his vents.
Pulling himself back together, Rodimus rolled out of the way of the weapon's second coming and threw himself to his peds. With nothing else to defend himself, he lashed out at the three hulking Decepticons with the pointed tip of his bow- but this could only serve keep them at arm's length, and even that wasn't going to last for long.
Jetfire and Jetstorm flew towards the battle, trails of light streaming out behind them. The blue twin announced their presence with a powerful gust of ice-tinged wind, but that seemed to irritate the rogue 'cons more than hurt them. Rodimus shivered involuntarily and shielded his face with a raised arm- definitely not the right weapon for the job.
The two glided in close and tried to find an opening, fire and ice forming on their respective servos as they prepared to face the violent rogues that had dared come this close to Autobot territory. But even this proved a challenge when the enemy moved around so much, and even more so when the 'cons were standing so close to the very mech they were trying so hard to protect. How could they take out the bad guys without badly injuring Rodimus?
"This isn't working, Brother!" Jetstorm cried.
"What can we be doing?" Jetfire called back. "If we attack, we hurt Rodimus Prime Sir, too! Maybe even starting a fire on the grounds!"
Rodimus ducked aside as one of the towering black mechs brought down another blunt weapon, and retaliated with a well-aimed kick. But even as he did, another 'con behind him grabbed him up off the ground by his underarms, holding him for the other two Decepticons to attack as they pleased.
"But if we don't doing something," Jetstorm cried desperately, "then the 'cons offlining Rodimus Prime Sir!"
Jetfire stopped and looked out over the course frantically. Surely, there had to be something they could do!
Then, all at once, it hit him. The orange twin shot towards the training course's control booth like a thing possessed, his natural glow giving him the look of a shooting star as he bolted across the dark violet sky, leaving his brother behind with the terrifying scene.
"Brother, wait!" Jetstorm called. "Where are you going?"
Jetfire didn't answer.
He moved with a purpose, smashing through the glass window of the control booth and landing amidst a shower of gleaming clear shards. Trying to hold himself together, the youth searched over the panels, pressing every button and switch his fingers touched and turning knobs as far up as they would go.
All at once, the course came to life; lights flashing, sounds blaring, holographic enemies even bigger and scarier than the real ones moving about and firing very convincing photon lasers out at the Decepticons and their hostage. Terrified, the three intruders released Rodimus and turned to run from the illusory ambush. A few puny Autobots were definitely not worth getting destroyed over!
Rodimus collapsed to his servos and knees, panting hard, his sabotaged bow by his side. Both jets glided back to him, landing close by, guilt and concern written on their features.
"Whew, that was close!" Rodimus gasped, looking up at them with a weary smile. "Thank you. I don't know what I would've done if you two hadn't been there."
Jetfire and Jetstorm averted their gazes, kicking unhappily at the dust. Somehow, his gratitude just made it all the worse.
"What's wrong?" Rodimus asked, pushing himself up into a sitting position. "Are you two alright?"
"Well They will be coming back when they realize it is being fake" Jetfire mumbled, and was rewarded with an elbow to the side from his brother.
For a moment, all was silent as the two collected their thoughts and tried to come up with a way to confess to their little prank while still making it sound like it wasn't quite as bad as it seemed.
Failing this, the two almost simultaneously began to bawl.
"Oh Rodimus Prime Sir, we are being so sorry!" Jetfire wailed, sitting on his knees before the Prime.
"We did not knowing this would happen!" Jetstorm sobbed, joining his brother on the ground.
"Please be forgiving us!" The two cried together.
For a moment, Rodimus simply stared at them, confused. Then his eye fell on his beloved bow, and his shoulders sloped. He switched off his optics thoughtfully for a moment, then looked back to the two shaken twins. Nearby, all the while, the course continued its holographic assault, intrusively noisy and flashing.
"So, you two are the ones that messed with my bow?" Rodimus asked, more as a statement of fact than an accusation.
Jetfire and Jetstorm nodded uncharacteristically quietly, feeling pretty low about the whole affair. They'd messed up, and big time! Here all they'd wanted was to embarrass him, and they'd up and just about killed him. The twin troublemakers had pulled some pretty grand schemes in their time as Elite Guard agents, but none of their little pranks had ever ended so foully.
"What the heck were you trying to do?" The young Prime asked.
"Well," Jetfire explained, mumbling in shame, "we wanted to be embarrassing you at the demonstration. It was supposed to breaking when you did the course."
Rodimus sighed. "Why would you want to ruin something so important to me?" He asked. "I thought we were friends."
At this, both Jetfire and Jetstorm jumped and cried, "Of course we still are being friends!"
"Then why would you try to do something like that?" Rodimus demanded. "I would've been humiliated in front of half the Elite Guard, my own unit included!"
At this, the twins hung their heads again. "We just thought it would be funny." Jetfire explained pathetically. "We did not know it would be turning out this way."
Rodimus pushed himself up and rose shakily to his peds, picking up his bow as he went. He took a moment to brush himself off and check his injuries as the Jet brothers stood in turn; fortunately, it seemed he'd suffered only minor dents and scratches from the whole incident.
"I think it might've been even worse if it had gone according to plan," Rodimus commented unhappily. "I'd take getting a beating over public humiliation any day."
"We are being so sorry!" Jetstorm exclaimed.
"It was my idea." Jetfire said, stepping forward to try and clear his brother of blame. "I was thinking you would think it funny too."
Rodimus's expression softened, and he shook his head good-naturedly. "You two never learn, do you? You're just lucky I decided to come out here early!"
"You are being lucky we came out early with you!" Jetfire replied, his mood lifting a little with the young Prime's.
At this, Rodimus laughed. "So I am!" He admitted. "I just hope you've learned your lesson!"
"Oh, no worries!" Jetstorm said, wiping at his face. "We definitely did learning our lesson! Now we know!"
Rodimus lifted his bow and busily started working at the laser cord. "Well, you know what they say," he said with a small smile. "Knowing is half the battle."