Disclaimer: Ratchet and Clank and all related characters, locations, and concepts belong to Insomniac Games. All other ideas and characters are my own. I am not a lawyer.

Author's Note:

This is a series of oneshots based on the 100 Themes Challenge; I am using a list of prompts that may be found on DeviantArt. There will be spoilers for the Future trilogy, and possibly for the comic series and All 4 One as well. Spoilers for the PS2 games should be expected, though I don't know if they still qualify as 'spoilers.'

Reviews and constructive criticism are always appreciated!

Chapter summary: A veteran war bot watches as a mysterious duo saves the day. Spoilers for Tools of Destruction.

1. Introduction

An incendiary shot whizzed by my head, nearly scorching my paint.

This was not good. Not good at all.

I hovered down the pedway, dodging blasts from above. It was imperative to find a safe location to hide. Drophyds were invading. I was not as oiled as I had once been, and furthermore, I was unarmed. If the invaders were to attack me, I would have no means to defend myself. Back in the day, my commanding officer would've had my disks wiped for such an offence. Times have changed since then, but not enough. I looked around, optics darting, searching... ah, there!

I spotted an alcove. An entryway with a lip just large enough to shelter me from the chaos. A few robots and organics lingered there, watching the havoc. Fighting my instincts, I darted to the alcove and hid inside. I knew that I was too old for battle, but part of me still yearned to jump into the fray. Old habits die hard.

After having taken a minute to clock down my processors, I peeked out to take a look at the carnage.

Robots and organics alike buzzed about, desperate to get to a safe area. The face of our so-called "emperor", Percival Tachyon, was plastered on every vid-screen in the vicinity. There was even one near my hiding spot. He ranted on and on about how we were all supposed to keep on the lookout for a certain Lombax. The way I saw it, Tachyon was probably much more of a criminal than that Lombax could ever be.

After a robot cracked the Decryptor that kept the door closed, I ushered a few of the more vulnerable bots and organics into the building. They were probably worth more to society than an old, retired war bot. I knew that shelter wouldn't help much if the Drophyds started infiltrating the buildings. Still, it was something. I closed the door behind the last organic and then took up a position outside, in front of it.

If I couldn't enter the fray, I could at least keep a lookout. I went through the possible scenarios in my head, one by one. If a Drophyd tried to enter the building through this door, I could stall it, and maybe give everyone else a chance to get away. Unfortunately, I couldn't see any of the other entrances. The Drophyds could enter thorough another door, and then kill everyone inside without me noticing. I contemplated entering the building, or, against my better judgement, leaving my alcove and going around to see if there were any entrances that were more vulnerable.

I was almost ready to go out into the fray, but then, they arrived.

A powerful explosion signalled their entrance. I ducked out of the way of a large piece of shrapnel, which embedded itself into the wall behind me.

Despite the reasoning that should have been programmed into me, I didn't hide. This looked too good to miss. I watched as a single, fiery blast cut through the crowd of Drophyds. Where a bunch of them had stood, only the charred remains of broken exoskeletons remained. The Drophyds, with their protective bubbles shattered, flopped on the ground.

Through the smoke that billowed out as a result, I caught a glimpse of a small figure; yellow-furred, and long-eared. I couldn't see much more, but I could still hear what went on.

The remaining Drophyds made for good cannon fodder; the Lombax quickly took them down. Though I still couldn't really see anything through the smoke, I recognized the weapons he used by the sounds they made. That grinding rasp could only come from Buzz Blades. A series of explosions indicated the presence of what was probably a Negotiator. At one point, I couldn't believe what was happening until the smoke cleared a bit and then I saw it with my own eyes. No, my sound processor wasn't deceiving me: the Lombax had a RYNO. Mark IV, no less. I watched as he took out two transport ships and a cyclocannon before the smoke rose up again.

Finally, the din stopped. As the smoke finally cleared, my optical receptors picked up more details. The organic wore a flight suit of some sort; orange and blue, with a harness strapped across his chest. His long, yellow ears were striped with brown, and he wore gloves, with a matching brown leather helmet. He stowed away his gun in favour of an Omniwrench.

The organic—a Lombax, I realized—walked up to one of the downed Drophyds. The fishlike creature flopped about in the shattered life-support compartment of its suit, to no avail. A small robot, which I had not noticed before, hopped down from the Lombax's back. He seemed a bit more cautious, hanging back as the Lombax bent down to address the wide-eyed Drophyd.

"So," the Lombax said. "Thought you'd come and try to blow up this planet, huh? Kill a few innocent civilians, while you're at it?"

The Drophyd flailed, but was unable to do anything else; its speech synthesizer had been destroyed along with its suit.

The Lombax laughed once; a short, sarcastic guffaw.

"Yeah, I know, orders are orders. Been there, done that."

He tapped his chin thoughtfully as the Drophyd blinked.

"Well, you can go tell your commander, Percival Tachyon, that I won't stand for any of this. I'm not gonna let him go around and murder innocent people, be they robot, organic, whatever. This can't happen."

The organic straightened up.

"Oh, and if he asks who tried to stop you guys, then go ahead and tell him. I'm Ratchet. This here," he motioned to the robot, "is Clank. But you can be sure that if this goes on, we'll be just one thing: your worst nightmare. That's a promise."

The Lombax turned around, beckoning to his friend. "Come on, Clank. Let's save this galaxy."

They made their way to their spaceship. It had been parked close to where I was.

"That was quite melodramatic," Clank commented. "I do not know if keeping such a promise is possible."

"Well," Ratchet said, "we've already tried being subtle. It didn't really work. Maybe Tachyon will get the message, this time."

"I suppose that we will have to wait and see."

Clank hopped into the ship, and Ratchet followed.

"We've saved planets and galaxies before," the Lombax said. "How hard can it be?"

The rest of their conversation was cut off as they hopped into the ship and the cockpit closed. I watched as they took off, wondering whether they were going to keep that promise.

As I learned later, they did.