It had been a few days since that little chat conversation, and Red Alert was finally almost calmed down.
He couldn't fully relax - well, he could never FULLY relax, lest he drop his guard at the worst possible moment - knowing that he had committed an act of treason, and Optimus' optics had a certain air of suspicion that told him his leader was STILL wondering why he had rushed out of the room to hide in a closet like a Sparkling but hadn't yet found a proper way to start that conversation.. but at the very least he was closer to his normal state of unrest by now.
He was almost confident now that the Seeker had only been bluffing or had forgotten about it entirely. Or, rather, many other troubling things had sprung up in the meantime, allowing HIM to push the threat of abduction to the furthest sector of his processor. Most of those troubling things, oddly enough, involved Inferno - the fire truck seemed to be deliberately sabotaging his efforts to abstain from interfacing, using such underhanded tactics as whispering sensual suggestions into his audio receptors and striking lewd poses when he knew he was looking.
It wasn't that he didn't WANT to interface with him. Nothing could be further from the truth.
It's just that, like overcharging on highgrade, such decisions would leave him defenseless and in no position to do his job.
And sometimes, it involved some type of fruit.
He really didn't want to go down that road again any time soon, thank you very much.
So he tried his hardest to ignore Inferno's attempts at wooing him, as well as Prime's scrutinizing gaze, going about his business as a Security Director. Today it was merely surveillance. Surveying this terminal and briefly considering going back to the chat client. Perhaps this time around he could actually try to get useful information out of his hapless chat partner.
Or perhaps once again it would devolve into fear for his safety and presence of mind.
That's what his sensors had decided would be the most likely outcome of this venture, his horns beginning to spark as pain and abject terror flooded his processor in an overwhelming surge. His thoughts turned to the Autobots around him - they were watching him, judging him, optics leering with a sense of knowing - knowing what he was considering, knowing what had happened - they were simply waiting for him to slip up so that they could-
No, no, no he was NOT going to have another glitching episode, regardless of the risk even sitting at this terminal seemed to entail.
He forced his logic circuits to override that glitch, forced his processor back into relative normalcy.. just in time to notice a short message appearing on the chat client he had seemingly unwittingly opened.
One line. And an emoticon.
And all his hard work at forcing his processor back into normalcy was ruined by yet another terrified surge.
Coming to pick you up shortly, be ready =)
Everything in him cried out in unison: oh dear Primus NO. His fingers quickly rushed to relay his processor's frightened message to the mech that actually needed to see it, only to find that said mech had already signed off before he could stop him. It was now only a matter of time..
.. as though on cue, he heard the tell-tale sound of a teleporting Seeker behind him.
The other Autobots' confused cries. Laser fire.
Skywarp's voice, clearly unconcerned about the aforementioned lasers, saying, "Just gonna borrow this for a bit."
Then he was suddenly bodily hefted from his seat by a pair of rather strong hands, which easily and rudely shifted him into what the humans called "bridal position" - an arm tightly gripping his knee joints and his backstruts, leaving little room to struggle as his captor teleported out of the Ark before he'd even had a chance to THINK about actually attempting to struggle. Instead he just lay limply in the other mech's grip like so much dead weight, dumbly allowing him to abduct him.
It was embarrassing, to say the least.
Seconds later they were in what appeared to be a mostly vacant parking lot by a drive-in movie theater, Primus knows where, leftover food wrappings and a few non-sentient cars scattered here and there - one of which was undulating in a rather disturbing manner.
He tried not to think too hard about that.
But it wasn't the cars that caught his attention first, oh no. It was the leering faceplates of at least three other Decepticons in the lot besides his captor - Astrotrain and a pair of coneheaded Seekers, one primarily white, one primarily red. He couldn't remember their names, but honestly it hardly mattered, as it just proved he was outnumbered and in a veritable hotbed of Decepticon activity. His sensors were going wild.
He rather wished they would stop, as it felt like his processor was on fire. Not to mention that embarrassing lighting up of his horns like a primitive human light-tree.
"Welcome back, 'Warp! Is it time for target practice already?" One of the coneheads, the red one, sneered, his voice slurring slightly.
It was then that Red realized that not only was there human food-garbage strewn around the lot, but several empty Energon cubes as well.
Oh, great. Not only was he in a hotbed of Decepticon activity, he was in a hotbed of over-energized Decepticon activity.
This could not end well.
Skywarp merely snorted, and would possibly waved him off had he not had his arms full of Autobot. "Shut up, Thrust. I didn't bring this Autobot here to gun him down. He's here because this is one mech in dire need of having a stick removed from his aft, and it's our duty to show him how it's done."
"That's stupid," Thrust retorted.
The other Seeker continued regardless, now directing his attention towards the mech shivering in his grip. "And don't be thinking that this is gonna be a quick and easy thing, Red. You need this way too much for that." A rather disturbing grin appeared on his visage, not making his captive any more comfortable with the idea. "This here drive-in is only stop one on tonight's party train."
Through the peripheral corner of his optic he saw a very sour look forming on Astrotrain's faceplate at that remark. Clearly he was the only one allowed to make train jokes around here.
Considering Red Alert had not yet put up a fight, the other mech must have assumed he was in silent agreement with this. Either that, or he was merely tired of holding him up like he was his bondmate or something. You can't party with your arms full, after all. Well, whatever the reason, Skywarp finally - and strangely gently - lowered the security director to the ground, letting go of him when both pedes made contact with the filthy garbage-strewn asphalt.
This was a mistake.
Almost immediately he transformed into his alt mode and sped away from the gaggle of over-energized Decepticons, at a velocity that caused his tires to screech and smoke.
He didn't care. Tires could be replaced. Emotional scars could not be repaired. As if he needed any more of those.
Behind him he could hear four sets of pedes clumsily stamping the ground in pursuit, accompanied by Skywarp's voice desperately calling his name - not unlike a human calling after their lost pet. This only urged the Lamborghini to drive faster, as fast as his engine and smoking tires would allow, front end firmly pointed towards the exit that lead to the road. He just had to hope that they would give up once he made it into traffic, out of reach, too much effort.. at the very least their attention would be diverted by the scattering humans.
He hated that he would have to sacrifice the flesh creatures this way, but he was NOT about to let them catch him.
The exit quickly approached.
One more spurt of speed and a sharp turn that would likely damage his wheels further, and he would be home free.
A sudden steely grip on his spoiler and a sharp yank backwards and upwards stopped any hope of freedom short, his tires spinning uselessly and rather embarrassingly in the air. As though he expected to break free just by driving on nothing, how ridiculous. He wasn't sure who it was who had grabbed him, but clearly he was not going to be able to get away from them in this state.
"Let go of me!" He snarled, transforming back into his root mode.
This was also a mistake.
In one fluid motion the 'Con that had grabbed him - it had to be Astrotrain, as he could plainly see the other three approaching, and even if he couldn't those hands were too large and powerful to be anyone else - lashed his other arm in a binding grip around both his waist and arms, the grip on his spoiler still strong in case he managed to wriggle out of the more restricting hold. Which, considering he was struggling like Pit now and that arm refused to budge, was not going to happen.
It didn't stop him from trying, though.
Skywarp tsked as he meandered towards them, a cube of highgrade balanced in the elbow joint of one arm. "Primus, Red. You need this a lot more than I thought."
"I never agreed to any of this!" The Autobot snapped, redoubling his efforts at struggling as the Seeker came closer. "If you don't tell this poor excuse for a train to let me go this instant, I'll-"
Whatever he planned to threaten the other with was replaced with a sharp cry of pain as said poor excuse for a train vengefully tightened both grips. He could feel his spoiler being crushed in that large, strong hand, not unlike a human crushing a piece of paper, and a stressed creaking in his chestplate told him that if his living restraint were to repeat the motion, there would likely be metal plating stuffed quite firmly in his sparkchamber.
Note to self: do not insult the train.
The ringleader of this affair took advantage of this development to suddenly reach up and push Red's helm backwards with his free hand, his thumb prying open his mouth as best and as wide as it could. Instinctively the captive Autobot bit down on the intruding appendage, hard, inwardly grinning as he noticed the distinct imprint of his denta in the metal as the Seeker pulled it back with a hiss.
Serves him right.
Obviously this wasn't the reaction his captor was looking for, for some reason, for he frowned and glanced past Red at the larger mech holding him. "Astro, y'think you could help me out with this?"
"I suppose." Astrotrain snorted. "Although I'm perfectly willing to let you get bitten some more."
The hand crushing his spoiler into slag relinquished its grip in order to move up and grab his jaw, forcing his mouth wide open with a rather sickening wrench. There was no way in hell he would be able to bite that, and struggling against it was just as futile as struggling against the other arm. But, once again, it didn't stop him from trying. He was not about to make this easy for them, even if being complacent probably meant a lot less damage would be incurred to his person.
Once again Skywarp's hand slammed into his helm, pushing it back and keeping it there, making it even harder to move away. The other hand lifted the cube upwards and propped it against his bottom lip, letting its contents flood into his mouth. He tried his damnedest to fight back against THAT - a war that was mostly valiantly fought by his glossa, as well as attempts to expel the liquid before it reached his tanks, which caused some to splatter over both Decepticons' arms - which only encouraged Warp to pour more violently.
"Stop fighting it and take it like a MECH, dammit!" The Seeker snarled, emptying the cube.
Inevitably, possibly due to the method of imbibement, more fluid got past his defenses than was being purged. He could feel it slowly working. A warm, floaty feeling began to seep into his logic circuits, slowly quelling some of his panic..
No. Focus on that panic. He was not going to enjoy the evening.
Besides, he had only had one cube. Not enough to make him stumble around and slur and pretend this was okay.
It was, however, enough to make him at least stop struggling against either mech, which seemed to be the reaction Skywarp was looking for, as he smiled and let go of his helm. The motion came as unspoken permission for Astrotrain to release his grip on his jaw, although for the moment the one around his waist and arms was still tight and uncomfortable and clearly NOT going anywhere.
"See? It's not that bad," The Seeker commented airily, batting the shuttle's arm to make him relinquish THAT grip. "Now let's watch that movie."
Before Red Alert had a chance to protest that it had been quite the opposite, Skywarp grabbed him and flew up onto the rooftop of the building directly across from the big screen, setting him down next to him as the other three Decepticons soon joined them. They were arranged in an uncomfortably close little line line surrounding him, and despite the highgrade in his tanks his sensors decided to make his horns spark once again in a worried flurry.
The dancing lights gained his captor's attention, who affably patted him on the helm with a chuckle as though that would stop it. "Whoa, Red, save that for a rave."
"I can't help it," The Lamborghini grumbled. "It happens when I detect trouble. Which may I remind you I'm sitting right in the midst of."
This last was said with a deliberate scowl at the nearest 'Con.
"Give the mech some space, guys," Skywarp snickered. "Unless you want him to disrupt tonight's movie with that."
Thankfully they listened, and though his sensors still told him 'proximity alert' - which was hardly a threat as he could see that with his own optics, thank you very much useless programming - the horn-sparking and the surge of emotion that accompanied it soon quieted down once there was a meter or two between them. Oddly enough sitting this close to Skywarp didn't set it off..
"Speaking of, Warp," Thrust interjected once they were settled. "What IS tonight's movie?"
"Frag if I know."
As they spoke, Astrotrain busily sat down the rest of their stockpile of highgrade from his cargo hold onto the rooftop, which was quite an impressive number of cubes considering the amount of cube debris strewn across the parking lot below. The sight of all that Energon brought a bit too much delight to the Decepticons' faceplates, which caused a cold feeling to gather in the Autobot's tanks.
The white conehead picked up one of the cubes eagerly. "All right, a drinking game."
"Hold up, Ramjet," Thrust huffed, stopping his trinemate from downing the cube before the game even started. "We don't even know what the game IS yet."
Both coneheads looked towards Skywarp expectantly, as the shuttle beside them began to pass out cubes. One apiece for now - and that included Red Alert. His first instinct was to shove it back towards one of the others, but the black-and-purple Seeker to his right lightly shook his head and pushed it back into his lap. He was stuck with it. He was going to have to participate.
"Every time someone dies, take a shot," Astrotrain suggested, in lieu of an answer from the ringleader.
Ramjet considered this for himself. "Ooh, how about how many times the humans swear?"
"Or how about every time there's fire?"
"Fire's good." Thrust frowned. "I don't know how much fire is going to be in this movie, though. Maybe explosions?"
Skywarp just laughed, teasingly elbowing the Autobot beside him. "How about, to include our guest, every time there's a fruit, vegetable, or vegefruit on-screen?"
This suggestion broke Red of his self-inflicted trance of sorts, causing him to splutter in indignation and his horns to spark again. Unfortunately, his reaction seemed to intrigue the other Decepticons - apparently having a sense of dignity was hilarious to them. "I thought we agreed to keep that to ourselves, Skywarp." He grunted through gritted denta. "So kindly shut your cube-hole about it."
"What's he talking about, Warp?" Ramjet inquired, indicating that the damage had already been done.
The other Seeker gave a wide grin, clearly enjoying this. "Well, you remember that time Dirge-"
Red Alert made sure the rest of that sentence and the story that came with it was firmly muffled beneath a hand clasped over his mouth, accompanied by a withering look that dared him to either continue trying to talk about it or bite the hand pushed against his faceplate.
"I reiterate: kindly. Shut. Your. Cube-hole. About that." The Lambo hissed. "This is your final warning. Next time I'm going to have to confiscate your vocalizer."
The venom in this threat seemed to strike the other Decepticons as hilarious as well, as they all shared a chuckle at Skywarp's expense. The Seeker in question made his best attempt at a pout with a hand attached to his faceplate before gingerly prying the appendage off, a motion Red only allowed due to the fact that the other mech seemed to take his warning seriously, or at the very least was good at faking it.
Boundaries had to be set.
"Shh!" Thrust hissed from his other side. "The movie's starting!"
"Cubes at the ready, mechs and femmes!"
Before the Autobot could inform the 'Con responsible for that statement that there WERE no femmes here - unless he was insinuating that Red himself was any sort of femme-like, in which case he would have to confiscate TWO vocalizers - the big screen crackled to life, and as promised, a movie began to play.
As far as he could tell, it was set in what humans assumed would be the far-flung future, although the filming techniques clearly spoke of 1979 at the latest. The mechanical kibble that made up the set for the ship and other environments didn't look that far off from Cybertronian technology, actually, so he had to give the flesh creatures a few points for that. He had to take those points back when the humans began poking around a long-dead planetoid that was by all accounts dangerous, despite one of the humans deciphering a warning, and then a derelict spacecraft that was covered in disfigured remains of other organic creatures and pods of an obviously organic alien nature unrelated to the other organic species.
As one of those pods opened - and the human investigating it continued to investigate despite very obvious danger - the point count was in the negatives.
Oh, would you look at that, something came out and attached to the guy's face.
Red Alert could only call that karma for poking around inside a veritable hornet's nest despite all the obvious warning signs. He was sure if it was an actual hornet's nest, those humans would not have heard the buzzing of the insects until their faces were swelled masses of agony.
.. maybe he should have suggested 'take a shot every time the humans do something stupid and/or proves they have no survival instincts' as a drinking game.
Speaking of drinking games, the Decepticons around him seemed to have actually been participating in variations of their suggestions, for there was plenty more cube debris now than when the movie began. He found himself on his second cube by now, and he had no recollection of his first. Maybe one of the Cons had stolen it from him.
Yes, that was it. He was surrounded by dirty cube thieves and NOT an irresponsible drinker.
Something in the way that thought had been phrased suddenly knocked him back into reality. He WAS surrounded by thieves, he realized. He was surrounded by the enemy, all of which armed and highly unstable, one of which with the capability to teleport. In an insecure, poorly guarded and very public place. Alone. With a questionable amount of highgrade in his tanks and possible irresponsibility involved in consuming it.
And worst of all, no one knew where he was.
At this realization his sensors slammed into overdrive, sending his processor into a fit of absolute terror and his horns to start another frenzied sparking fury. He would not be surprised if his logic circuits exploded at this point, what with the fiery pain in his helm, and someone could probably see that furious sparking from space.
It also, unfortunately, drew the attention of a certain set of terrestrial Cybertronians surrounding him.
"You know what," Astrotrain piped up, as he passed more cubes around. "Since this movie's really startin' to drag, I got an idea for a new drinking game. Every time Blinky here shoots sparks from his helm like that, take a shot. Blinky can play too."
Red Alert spluttered and immediately slapped both hands over his horns, hardly concealing the sparking. "What? No! No, you are NOT using me for entertainment! And I refuse to take part in it!"
"Kinda doesn't look like you got a choice, Red," Skywarp snickered, leaning closer to him. Despite his sensors' earlier complacency with the Seeker, this made it worse.
He was doing it on purpose. He would probably find his processor's inevitable destruction hilarious, too.
As the black-and-purple jet took his required shot for this action, the other Decepticons, spurred on by Skywarp's success, began to scoot closer to him and take turns waving their arms at him in a vaguely threatening manner, their filthy enemy fingers just close enough to his face to prolong his horns' frenzy. One of them even TOUCHED him. He eventually had to resort to downing cubes faster than they were in the hopes that it would put an end to this madness before anything exploded, dampening his panic with vast volumes of liquid.
By the time the credits rolled, all five Cybertronians on the roof were quite thoroughly slag-faced. Red's horns had long since stopped sparking as the highgrade in his system outweighed the panic in his processors, although it didn't stop a couple of 'Cons from still waving their hands in his face like that. They finally stopped when the shuttle wryly reminded them that 'that one bites'.
The fact that the Autobot accentuated this remark with a few snaps in their direction proved he had had far, far too much.
"Welp, I am offishially into.. intoxuh.. wasted," Red Alert announced matter-of-factly, with a hiccup that was equally matter-of-fact.
Astrotrain eyed the piles of empty cubes surrounding the Autobot, which were somehow bigger than those accumulated by his Decepticon drinking buddies. "Took you long enough, Blinky. Didn't think an Autobot had any kinda tolerance." His gaze fell upon his own impressive pile. "S'a good start, but not good enough."
"A.. are you tryin' to make thish some kinda contest, train-boy?" The security director slurred, eyeing the shuttle suspiciously. "Bet I could drink yer Decepticon aft under.. under the table."
".. unner the roof, I mean. There aren't any tables here, that's just absurd."
Skywarp laughed and clumsily attempted to clap their guest on the back, but ended up smacking him upside the helm instead, an impact he hardly felt. "C'mon now, Red, don' be makin' bets like that 'til the party's over. We still got a whole night ahead of us, 'member?"
"Nurm," Was all he could say in response to that.
It wasn't even a word. Had he any sense left in his processor, he would have been ashamed of himself for that.. unfortunately, sense and logic were currently reduced to backseat drivers in the over-energized pile of slag he currently called a processor. He was starting to remember why he didn't do this that often.. and there's still a whole night left of this?
"What's the next stop on the party train?" Ramjet inquired, earning a more deliberate smack to the helm from Astrotrain. "Ow.. uh.. after we get more highgrade I mean.."
Skywarp frowned. "We're out already?"
The conehead Seeker to Red's left clumsily jerked a thumb towards the Autobot. "Blinky here done drank it all up, like a piggy."
"Piggy piggy piggy." His trinemate echoed with a slurred giggle.
.. there wasn't going to be a whole night of that too, was there?
Regardless of the markedly childish accusations against his new friend, the ringleader hopped down from the rooftop, stumbling slightly on the landing. "Welp, we got 'bout enough of a buzz to keep us goin' for about an hour before we gotta worry 'bout that." He drawled. "So I say s'time for some good ol' fashioned karaoke."
The others clumsily followed suit, the Autobot cautiously bringing up the rear - no matter how over-energized he was, he refused to stumble around like a loony, especially in this sort of company. And right after being called an organic swine. As he had never seen an organic swine guzzle Energon before, their insults hardly made sense to him.
The suggestion that the next activity was something as absurd as karaoke - something he got enough of at the Ark from Jazz and Blaster, thank you very much - made even less sense to him.
"I don't s'pose I could veto karaoke.. ing," He grumbled, following along after the Decepticons as they stumbled towards some building in a demented drunken conga line. The only reason he was following them was that he'd rather not be a stupid drunk alone out here, where other, sober Decepticons could attack him if they so chose.
Skywarp only laughed. "Sorry, Red, this ain't no democracy. You wouldn't get a vote if it was, anyway - you'd be vetoin' everything."
.. this was true.
The Autobot's faceplate twisted into a slight sneer as a truly horrible thought came to him.
"Awright.. m'pickin' the songs, though."
Partying was an art.
A special balance of total indulgence and careful planning, and most of all, sick beats.
And Rumble was a goddamn artist.
He had struck out on the town tonight to find a certain canvas for his art, armed with his usual paintbrush and ink: plenty of high-grade Energon and a song he'd compiled himself while Soundwave wasn't paying attention. It was a masterpiece. Better than the stuffy crap humans called music, anyhow. Cold Slither? Pshhh.
The trouble was, though, being a Decepticon and all, finding a club that wouldn't lock its doors the moment someone spotted him was hard. You blow a couple places up and terrorize a few grandmas and suddenly everyone locks you out.
Those humans were vindictive little bastards.
When he came to the best club on the block and they locked him out, however, he decided he wasn't having any of that. They could keep their dirty little partyholes with the crappy music and dinky little speakers. This one he was GOING to get into, one way or another, and there was nothing they could do about it. It was time to use a time-honored Decepticon delicate lockpicking technique, only to be used in utmost emergencies like these.
He lobbed one of his cubes of high-grade at the doors, which exploded quite beautifully on impact.
"Nobody move!" The Cassetticon snarled, which stopped the panicking humans in their tracks. "Youse guys are gonna stay the frag here and party like crazy little monkeys wit' me, or else I'll blow all your slaggin' monkey heads off and use 'em as hairy little hackysacks!"
After all, partying alone was embarrassing for an artist like himself.
Confident his new partying buddies wouldn't escape, Rumble strolled into the dimly lit club like he owned the place, a cube of high-grade in each elbow joint. It was a pretty swanky set up, what with the multi-colored lightshow and the MASSIVE speakers surrounding a DJ booth manned by a doughy human male who did not look thrilled at all to be there. There was a karaoke rig some ways to the side, but he didn't care about that. And yes, it was a swanky karaoke rig. The swankiest.
It even had vaulted ceilings - had any of the larger mechs deigned to accompany him, they could have easily fit inside the building with feet to spare.
Their loss, he supposed.
The music was adequate, as well.. although it may have just been the booming bass that won him over. He could feel it vibrating his entire body, generating a quiet clatter of his armor as it bounced and shivered to the beat. Damn, those were some good speakers. He made a mental note to swipe those for his creator later.
He chugged one of his cubes and set them down to start dancing to this one adequate song with the badass bass, figuring it at least deserved some respect before he totally changed things up with his masterpiece and blew these organics' tiny minds.
Then he realized he was the only one that was - the humans were standing around like dumb sacks of meat, gawping at him. As if they'd never seen a 'Con party before.
A quick laser barrage to the nearest human's fleshy pedes and a snarled order to 'dance, dammit' soon changed that.
Unfortunately, the moment he hit his stride - his motions more fluid than the fluid-filled meatsacks surrounding him, irony - the fat human at the DJ booth decided to change it to a slow, boring song, throwing him so far off his groove the groove was now in the stratosphere, leaving his earthbound aft behind with this abomination that called itself music.
He was pretty sure the human had done it on purpose, to spite him for being way too awesome for this club.
That kind of aft-hattery would NOT be tolerated.
"Oi, fat-boy," Rumble snapped, walking up to the booth. "I was dancin' to that."
The human slowly glanced up at him, dull-eyed nonchalance on his flabby features. "Sorry, rustbucket. You ain't got a say in what DJ Slim plays, and DJ Slim was gettin' a headache from that noise. If you got such a problem wit' how I run this club maybe you oughta go back to your robo-mommy n' cry about it."
The darkest of dark scowls formed on the Cassetticon's faceplate. This guy was either stupid or brave.. more than likely stupid.
"Aight, that's it. S'time for a new DJ."
DJ Slim never got to finish spluttering incredulously. Instead, he was sent flying across the club from a powerful strike of a piston arm, a flight that ended in a loud, sickening combination of crash and splatter against the wall. Judging by the amount of human engine fluid sprayed over the surface and the indentation in the wall, the fat bastard probably wasn't going to be getting up any time soon. It served him right for being.. well, a fat bastard. With bad taste.
Immune to the horrified stares of the other humans, Rumble casually slid into the now-vacant chair and hooked himself up to the mixing board. While he wanted to hear that song with the circuit-thrilling bass again, it was time for his song to shine, and he couldn't care less if the organics were out of the mood to hear it, let alone enjoy it.
"Ladies n' gents, tonight I'mma play you a special tune." He announced in a much friendlier tone. "I made this beat myself, so if you ain't dancin' to it or at least noddin' your heads in appreciation I'mma have to take it personally. Youse guys wouldn't wanna hurt my feelin's like that, wouldja?"
A casual cock of his helm towards the bloody lard, accompanied by a rather disturbing grin, told them what exactly would happen were he to get upset.
He uploaded the song into the human's otherwise-boring playlist, shivering in anticipation. Soon enough those big, beautiful, world-shaking speakers began to pound out the intro, reverberating the whole club and turning it into one jiggly mass of musical magic. He'd almost forgotten how awesome just the beginning was.
However, as enthralled with his own work as he was, another sound made its way to his audials.
A thumping, slamming sort of noise.
Coming from outside the back of the club.
He immediately paused his song and stared in the general direction of the new noise, wondering what the slag that could be and if he should be hightailing it back to the base instead of waiting around to find out what it was. It sounded BIG. One Cassetticon against something BIG was the most uneven match since fat lard vs. piston arm. Even a Cassetticon as admittedly awesome as himself.
The noise grew louder.
A network of cracks appeared on his side of the wall.
Then something big and mechanical burst through it, sending wall debris flying in an explosive barrage of projectiles and thick plumes of dust. The club filled with panicked screaming even before the cause of the debris showed themselves, followed by the stampeding footsteps of every single organic in the place on the way to the other hole in the wall. He could also hear the distinct sound of flimsy human bones being cracked and crushed as they ran over each other in the panicked rush to get out.
.. although he almost considered joining them.
Once the dust cleared, however, he reconsidered.
"Well, well!" Rumble laughed, unhooking himself from the mixing board to get up and survey the gaggle of 'Cons. "Look who finally decided to join the party."
The forefront of the pack and probably the creator of the brand new door, Ramjet, stumbled a few feet further forward and fell to his knees with a clearly intoxicated eerrf sort of noise escaping his vocalizer.
"Looks like ya tanked up before ya came, too."
As he spoke, the rest of the pack filed in as a demented drunken conga line, and he found that there wasn't really as many partying buddies as he'd hoped. There was of course Ramjet, and also Thrust, Astrotrain, Skywarp, and... Red Alert..? He had to take a double-take at that one, and even then, he still wasn't sure his optics were functioning properly because he could have sworn he just saw an Autobot in their midst.
Yep, he was still there on the third take.
There was in fact one of the enemy standing around with them.
"Hey uh.. what's he doin' here?" The Cassetticon pointed towards the Autobot, frowning. "Isn't he supposed t'be, y'know, the enemy security officer - the kinda guy that rats out an event like this n' brings down the wrath of Prime 'n pretty much every other Autobot?"
Skywarp laughed and leaned on the enemy security officer in question, his grin widening as the Autobot's horns briefly sparked in response. "Don't worry about it, Rumble. He ain't rattin' out nobody tonight."
"M'just takin' a ride on the party train," Red Alert slurred in agreement, returning the leaning favor and nearly falling down for the effort. "C-choo choooo.."
A weird combination of amusement and disdain crossed Astrotrain's faceplate at that remark, a look the Cassetticon had seen plenty of times before. Clearly he wasn't sure if he should take that as a train joke or as an opening to make a train joke.
"Hey now, if you were ridin' the party train," He gestured to himself with a snort. "I think I'd know 'bout it."
Silence fell as the rest of the Decepticons stared at him, then was immediately broken with raucous drunken laughter. The shuttle's banter partner even gave an attempt at an intoxicated little chuckle, although it was a bit uneasy. Rumble sympathized - it was always hard to tell when you were supposed to laugh at the train's train jokes, because half the time he would laugh with you, the other half you'd get a face full of vengeful fist, and you could never really tell which half he happened to feel like at the time.
Today it seemed was a good day, for rather than punching any of them the other merely meandered away from the pack to eye their surroundings. Thrust had decided to go investigate the karaoke machine, and Ramjet.. had taken up the riveting sport of poking the bloody blob of former DJ in the corner with a finger.
"Don't touch that, you don't know where it's been."
The conehead blearily blinked at him before going right back to what he was doing. Gross.
Right, whatever. He could keep doing that all night. Rumble once again sidled into the DJ chair, resisting the urge to hook up again - after all, the song was already on the list. "So what're youse guys doin' out here anyway?" He drawled, leaning back. "I mean, besides crashin' my party n' chasin' out all those stick-in-the-mud squishies."
"We ran outta highgrade so we figured we should go karaoke-ing before the buzz wears off too much," Skywarp explained, no longer supporting himself on his Autobot pal. Red Alert wasn't so lucky, having to support himself on the wall. "What're YOU doin' here, Rumble? All by yourself? Does your daddy know you're out?"
This last was said with a babyish voice, which earned him the second darkest of dark scowls.
"Frag you, Autobot-hugger. I bet Megatron'd love to know about that." The Cassetticon huffed. "You're gonna have ta wait on that karaoke-in' for a bit, though. I finally finished that song I was workin' on while Dad was rechargin', and I'm burstin' to share it wit' somebody that actually cares."
The fact that the dark Seeker's optics actually lit up at that filled his sparkchamber with so much joy, it was like listening to that booming bass beat again.
"Really? Lay it on us, small fry!"
Within moments the club was once again a jiggly mass of musical magic, and this time, there was no outside thumping noise to interrupt it during the intro. It was gritty and beautiful, vicious and delicate, pounding into and gently caressing his audio receptors all at once. He hoped the larger mechs at least felt somewhat like this about it, as he might have just been biased as its creator.. a glance upwards told him, quite definitely, they did, as their faceplates were pictures of bliss as they danced to it. Even the Autobot was getting into it.
He had never been so fragging happy in his entire life. Three minutes of pure ecstacy.
Then it stopped and he came down from his high so fast it was painful.
Perhaps his song was a bit too magical for mortal machine. Having his circuits buzzing and his armor shivering several seconds after the song had ended was probably not very healthy. There was a slightly louder clattering in the air that told him the others had the same experience.
All the same, though, he had to ask. "So.. what d'ya think?"
The other mechs slowly snapped back to awareness, optics flickering.
Surprisingly enough, it was Red Alert that spoke first.
"Far better than Blaster's taste in music, I'll grant you that much," Was the Autobot's verdict, his voice less slurred - although Rumble couldn't tell if it meant he wasn't over-energized anymore or he simply tried really hard to make himself sound sober. "You may want to get rid of those after-effects, though."
Okay, it was the second one. He just fell onto Skywarp.
"You're not half bad, Sparky." The Cassetticon said simply, deciding to go with the first part of that statement. "Warp found hisself a keeper."
The Seeker pouted, pushing the 'keeper' off him. "It's not like THAT, short stuff. Now get offa that chair n' help us set up this karaoke thing."
"Aight, but only if you promise to come help me swipe these speakers later," Rumble replied, sliding out of the chair and meandering over to the machine. "These things'd make a badass gift for Dad."
"Why d'we gotta steal em? We could just keep the whole club. Turn it into our own lil' Decepticon hangout."
A slight frown appeared on the Cassetticon's faceplate. "I dunno if that'll be as good a gift for Dad, I mean, ever since the Dancitron thing.. he's kinda got a thing against clubs."
Whatever Skywarp was going to say in response to that was quickly covered up by the distinct sound of someone purging a load of Energon out of their tanks somewhere behind him and to the left, followed by a disgusting splatter he rather hoped wasn't the guilty party falling into his own mess. He supposed it was inevitable - it just wasn't a party until someone purged and/or passed out, usually the same mech doing both.
"Primus, Ramjet," Thrust's voice groaned, accompanied by a vehement thunk of pede to Seeker flank. "Get up, you're embarrassing me."
"Sorry." Came the reply, muffled by floor and Energon puddle.
What a lightweight.
Rumble turned to inform him as such... just in time to see that not only was Ramjet still laying in his own mess, but he was also now glossa-deep in pre-processed fluid, lapping it up like a primitive organic canine while furtively glancing towards his trinemate to make sure he wasn't looking. Unfortunately, Thrust's attention had been diverted by the karaoke machine by this point, so really only the poor Cassetticon was treated to this lovely sight.
"Y'know, I'm starting to remember why nobody invites you to parties anymore," He grumbled, while also remembering that no one invited ALL the coneheads to parties anymore. They were just too much of a liability. Especially Dirge. "Touch my remaining cube and I'mma hafta wound you."
Wait, slag. He should not have said that.
Any hopes of the larger mechs having not heard it disappeared the moment all optics focused on him, then that cube.
Immediately he dove for it, clutching it to himself like it was the last Energon cube in the universe. This didn't stop Ramjet from crawling out of his puddle to swipe at him with one large, sticky mitt, a mitt that was not dissuaded in the slightest by a powerful strike from his free arm in piston form. That piston arm got to see a LOT of action as more hands as big as he was reached for him, making him feel like the last Energon treat in the bag. The only one he could see that wasn't involved in this was the Autobot, who was merely watching the spectacle - but that did NOT leave out anyone hiding in his blind spot on either side.
Slagging lousy peripheral vision.
While he was defending his cube from the largest hand of all, belonging to the party train, he felt more than saw the object of everyone's desire being yoinked from his grip. He whirled around to see Skywarp, grinning like a fat cat in a canary cage, holding it up high out of reach. Slagger probably WAS hiding in his blind spot.
To his - and probably everyone else's - surprise he didn't drink it, and actually kept it out of reach of the others, too.
"Calm down, kids," The dark Seeker drawled, spinning the cube on a fingertip. "What say you to makin' this lil' sucker the prize for karaoke? The one who does the least damage to everyone's audials wins it."
A low, intoxicated chuckle drew their attention to the karaoke machine, and the Autobot who was half propped on it. He must have dragged himself over there while they were all distracted with this grabbing for the cube and making Rumble feel like the last Energon treat in the bag business.
"M'thinks you might want to set th' bar a lil lower, Skywarp," Red Alert suggested, a distinctly Decepticon-esque devious grin on his faceplate. "M'not sure anyone can win with what I've got prepared for you."
Rumble had to wonder how you could set the bar lower than 'least amount of damage'..