Rating: PG
Warning: mentions of violence
Prompt: tf_speedwriting: Purity
Summary: The reason Spinister indulges Needlenose's video game addiction


Raucous laughter filled the mess hall, the push and shove and ugly jokes that characterized Decepticon soldiers these days. Bawdy punchlines and crude suggestions, that was all the troops seemed to know. Too much violence and war had killed any warmth or softness they had once had, leaving nothing but more violence.

Spinister threaded his way through the crowd silently, intending to retrieve his ration and leave. Socializing had never been his strong point, even if he had any wish to socialize with... these mechs.

"No, it's true!" one of the jets was insisting to a crowd of disbelieving groundpounders. "His head popped right off- Spinister can tell you, he was there!"

Spinister frowned behind his mask. He had no interest in being dragged into the inane boasting. He kept walking. If he was lucky, the jet would take the hint.

"Spinister!" No such luck. Spinister entered his passcode into the energon dispenser, steadfastly refusing to acknowledge the jet. "Hey, Spinister!" The jet wasn't giving up, following him right up to the dispenser.

Picking up the cube, Spinister finally turned, giving the jet a cold look. His recognition protocols identified the jet as one of the most recent batches of young idiots turned out of the factories. Barely built, but already corrupted by the sadism of the rank and file.

The jet backed up, alarm on his face as he took in Spinister's flat expression, self-preservation kicking in. Spinister brushed past him, drifting back through the room and into the relief of the empty corridor.

Idiots, every one of them, so obsessed with fighting that they'd completely forgotten what they were fighting for. Killing until killing was the point.

Death should be passionless, he thought as he traced his way back to his quarters. Enacted because it was necessary, not because it was fun. He would kill anyone who had the misfortune of falling under his crosshairs, because it was ordered by mechs standing dispassionately over tactical boards and deciding the most efficient way to win. That was how it should be - life and death determined by numbers and tactics, not emotion and battle lust. And these... soldiers... would not, could not, understand that.

It was with a sense of relief that he stepped into his quarters, out of the raucous noise of general Decepticon company - but not into silence. Alien chords blared, intermixed with simulated noises that made absolutely no sense to him. Needlenose was sprawled on the floor in front of what yesterday had been a computer monitor, wings against the edge of the berth, and a hastily-designed controller in his hands. A piece of alien technology about the size of his hand appeared to be the source of the alien music, cut open and wired into the monitor.

Needlenose made a vague noise of greeting as the door opened, but his optics stayed focused on the screen, fingers flashing over the buttons.

"It's difficult to finish reports without a computer," Spinister said dryly.

"I'll put it back, soon as I finish this level," Needlenose mumbled, distracted.

Spinister shook his head fondly, but didn't respond, making himself comfortable on the berth behind Needlenose. He frowned at the screen. "What are you doing?"

"Collecting coins," Needlenose said.

"...Why?" Training simulations were one thing, this... this was just bizarre.

"To get more lives. No! Jump, frag you!" Needlenose swore as the tiny figure on the screen fell off the platform. "Ugh." Needlenose tilted his head up to eye Spinister. "Um, how soon do you need the computer running?" he asked, hopeful.

Spinister half-shrugged, an indulgent half-smile hidden behind his mask. "No rush," he said, stretching out.