Once again, sorry for slow updates x_x I'm working which takes a lot of time. This fic is far from abandoned though so don't worry, I promise :)
P.S. How exciting is the news of the R&C movie?!
Don't own anything except the things I made up.
Although Ratchet's recap of his day was very intriguing, I felt his concerns at being followed home were a little unfounded. I admit that being led back to our own neighbourhood was a little suspect, but the events of the day sounded more to me as if the robot he had chased was legitimately trying to get away from him. After all, he had not waited for Ratchet to start following him once he had this power supply, but had continued on his way. He had only started to run when Ratchet called out to him, if Ratchet's account was accurate which I trusted it was. I try my best never to chalk things up to pure coincidence if I can help it, but in this case I felt the motives did not line up. Trying to convince Ratchet of this proved a little difficult. When the night passed without any incident and we woke as normal the next day however, he seemed satisfied.
The next day passed rather uneventfully. Ratchet made a call to Planetary Defence Headquarters and relayed what he had learned regarding the power supply, but that seemed to be the end of the matter for now. I was glad. I was ready to be done with the unpleasant business and leave it up to someone with authority and experience to handle. I do not mean to sound heartless or cold towards those affected by the series of events, but I did not see how the two of us could really do more than trained detectives and investigators. I was hopeful that Ratchet was following my line of thinking.
"I do hope you are not planning to invade another crime scene." I said later the afternoon as I watched him dismantle one of his pistols.
"No new crime scenes to invade." He answered absently as he felt around for one of the more delicate tools on his work-bench.
"Implying if there were, you would be invading it." I frowned, crossing my arms in disapproval.
"Not what I said."
"Neither is it what you didn't say."
He sighed, clicking a part back into place as he sat up. "Alright alright. If it makes you feel better I don't think I'm gonna wanna see another scene like yesterday's for a long time. Ok?"
I said nothing but was satisfied with the answer.
"Besides, after the stuff I learned I don't feel so twitchy about the whole thing any more." He went on as he worked. "a Lot of it only sunk in this morning but I think I got some things sorted out that were bugging me."
"Anything in particular?" I asked out of curiosity.
"Nah just... stuff. Little things." He answered dismissively. I took the hint and dropped the subject. We sat silently for a few minutes as he continued to focus on his work.
"Perhaps we should think about a trip." I said eventually. "We haven't been doing a lot of traveling for a while now and I find myself getting tired of the city. Or perhaps just Luminopolis. Did I tell you one of those horrid Luminoids snapped at me the other day when I was out on some errands? I fail to see how using them as a power-source is so much better than conventional methods."
"I think it's better for the planet's environment or something. Hand me a pin holder."
I slid the piece of metal closer. "I am sure there are other ways to power a city that does not require using vermin."
"Not a technician pal, just a mechanic. Where d'you wanna go anyway?" He took the pin holder without looking up.
"Perhaps somewhere sunny. Not too arid though. I am not overly fond of getting sand in my diodes."
"We could go to Merdegraw. They like me there."
"Isn't that the place you told me was over-run with robotic pirate ghosts?"
"Yeah, but I took care of 'em." He said, smiling to himself.
"Well regardless of that, I would prefer going somewhere where I do not have to worry about salt water damaging my finish."
"Oh, you know where might be a good idea?" he said, waggling a tool at me. "Bundaberg."
"And what is there?" I asked cautiously.
"They sell root beer in glass bottles."
I waited for a few moments before I realised that that was in fact the only thing worth mentioning apparently. "And?"
"And nothing. They got root beer in glass bottles." He gave me an annoying grin. "We use to get stuff like that back on Veldin a while ago, before they switched over to the more durable stuff. I don't think glass handles off-world importing too great."
"So... you want to visit this planet, based solely on the fact that they sell sodas in glass bottles there." I said flatly, making sure I was following this crazy logic.
"D'you know how long it's been since I had one of those?" He went on, still grinning as he locked the chamber back into place. "I didn't even know you still got 'em, until I saw some shmuck on TV getting interviewed about a flying Spaghetti monster who was drinking one."
"First of all, I hardly feel that is worth basing an entire trip on. Second of all, what exactly do you watch when I am not around, and third... what?"
"Aw come on." He got up to put the weapon away. "You said you wanna get away from Luminopolis right? If you don't really care where you wanna go, besides the sand and seawater thing, why not?"
I was defeated. You could not argue logic with a completely insane train of thought. "Well I suppose it is as good a place as any."
"Think if we buy a crate they'd survive the trip back here?"
I pulled a face at him. "Does the glass really make that big a difference in taste?"
"Nah, it's pretty much the same."
I could feel a headache start to form so I just let the topic go.
I woke up while it was still dark. Or rather, I woke up when the light outside was still coming from the Luminoid grubs rather than the sun. I was not sure as to the exact time, but by my own inner clock, for lack of a better word, I judged it to be more accurately described as 'early' rather than 'late'. I could not decide if trying to power down again and recharge myself for a short time longer would be worth it or if I should just get up and start my morning. I was not really in the habit of waking up while it was still nighttime. I wondered if perhaps I was in need of some fluids and that is why I woke up. Deciding to get a can from the kitchen I climbed down from my bunk and headed down the hallway.
There was a slight chill to the air and I wondered if winter was on its way to this part of the planet. With all of its infrastructure it was sometimes difficult to tell seasonal changes unless you made an effort to keep track of them. I opened the lower cabinet where Ratchet had stacked my various cans and canisters and found something basic to drink. The sound of the closing door made a momentary noise which puzzled me. I stared it, trying to figure out what may have caused a sound which to me did not seem like hinges or wood. The noise came again and I realised it was in fact an echo coming from another part of the apartment.
I stood frozen in place as I listened, straining my sensors as I tried to triangulate the origin of the sound. It was coming from the living room.
I placed the can on the floor next to me before I started heading towards it. The noise had been rather faint and I was not sure what to make of it. Perhaps one of those stupid grubs that power the city had gotten into the house again somehow. If so then I did not care how grumpy he was, I was going to drag Ratchet out of bed to get rid of it. I refused to get one of those things latched onto my head. Well, whatever it was, I could hear it moving around the room ahead of me. It sounded like it was going around in circles. I grumbled to myself as I entered with my hands fisted.
It was not a luminoid. Not even remotely so. As I had made little to no effort in hiding my entrance, the thing in the living room immediately spun to face me. A tall, insectile robot stared at me with an orange, singular visor. I could see the large, pincers for hands flex dangerously as it stared me down. The head was triangular, having what I could only describe as mandibles along its jaw.
I was completely thrown off at this. Apparently so was he, because we merely stared at each other for what could be considered an embarrassing amount of time before either of us moved. I shook off my initial surprise and glared at him, furious to find such an invasion in my home.
"If I do not hear a very good explanation for this visit within the next minute I am afraid I will have to force you to leave!" I said, my hands locking on what I suppose one would call my 'waist'."
There was another moment of silence as he seemed to consider something. I narrowed my eyes, balling my fists again as an unsettled feeling started to grow in me.
"If you are considering whether it would be easier to just attack I would not recommend it." I said with more conviction. "Do not think because of my stature I do not hold the fire power to send you on your way!"
He seemed unimpressed. 'Go get Ratchet.' an inner voice said, but I was not sure making a sudden move and turning my back on the invader was in my best interests.
"You live here then?" The other robot spoke so suddenly it almost made me physically jump.
I quickly gathered my composure and glared at him. "I would think that much is obvious! Now I am going to ask you again-..."
"You're not the service droid are you?" He interrupted. I couldn't see a mouth, but the small feeler-like mandibles twitched when he spoke.
"No." I said flatly.
"Must've the wrong place." He said, giving the room around us quick, flickering glances before snapping his gaze back to me. "You wouldn't know where in the area I can find someone would you? Scrawny fellow. Furred I think. Either yellow or sandy coloured."
"Why? What do you want with him?" My eyes narrowed further.
"You know where he is then?" He took a step forward.
I shifted in place, not allowing myself to step back but not entirely able to take a stand either. I clamped my fist tighter. "What do you want with him?" I repeated, my tone sharp.
"Thing's been followin' me around. Thought I'd like to find out why." He continued to move forward. I could feel an inner tightening of gears the closer he got to me.
'Go get Ratchet' The voice urged me again but I ignored it. "So what if he has? I do not see how breaking into our home-" I realised my mistake too late.
The mandibles twitched as his eyes flashed. He broke his gaze away from me, looking over my head at the hallway behind me. "So this is the right place."
I widened my stance as best I could. "You need to leave. Now."
The gaze slowly lowered to look me in the eye again, the visor narrowing. Something metallic in his shoulders started to click. "I don' think you oughto be givin' me orders mate." The words sounded casual but the tone of voice had a dangerous edge to it. "I don' have any gripes with you and I don' wanna make a mess if I don' have to."
I couldn't think of an appropriate reply, so I merely stood my ground, glaring at him as hard as I could. The insect-like clicking grew louder and more agitated.
"If you're really gonna insist to-" He took another step towards me.
My hands shot out towards him reflexively. There was a brief crackle of temporal energy before a burst of light launched itself towards the approaching threat. I'd caught him off-guard, but my own instinctive attack lacked focus and the other robot managed to throw himself flat to the ground milliseconds before the time-bomb passed where he had just been standing and slammed into the wall behind him, causing a wooden picture frame to sprout several sapling branches, complete with leaves. The invader almost threw himself down on top of me but I stumbled several steps backwards out of the way before he hit the floor. I kept my hands outstretched as I continued to glare at him, trying to mask my unease at the deteriorating situation.
The other robot took a moment to make sure no other attacks were coming before he turned to stare at the frame behind him, now in full bloom. He turned back to me, dumbfounded. I remained rooted in place, making sure it was clear I was more than willing to fire another if he made the wrong move.
He stared at me for what felt like an uncomfortable amount of time. Eventually he pushed himself to his feet again. The movement was slow and deliberate, as if he had merely tripped and was feeling slightly ashamed for it. Once he was upright again he took one last look at the frame before turning back to me, impatience replaced with curiosity. In truth I would have preferred intimidation.
"You're not exactly an 'off-the-shelf' model are you mate?" He said almost with awe.
"No. Now with that established, why are you looking for Ratchet?" I was relieved to hear my voice was not betraying my nerves.
He paused for a moment, staring at me in a new light before he spoke again. "The organic was following me two days ago. And I don' mean just tailin' me around the streets either. I wanna know why. I heard him say somethin' about the power supply I was carryin'." His visor narrowed. "I wanna know how deep his nose's been stuck into this."
"And what does that mean to you exactly?" I asked, shifting my position again slightly, making sure I was blocking the hallway behind me that lead to the kitchen, the armoury, and the bedrooms.
"Depends what my boss thinks. But if he don' like the answer I'm not bettin' a fig on your roommate's immediate future, so to speak."
The matter-of-fact tone this was said in sent a ripple of anger through me, although I suppressed it from showing on my face. "Then, for the last time, I would suggest you turn around and leave before I really lose my temper."
"No doubt mate." He replied, turning to look at the frame again. "He tune you up like that?"
I said nothing, my glare hardening.
He turned back to me. "You should talk to my boss. I think he'd like to have a chat with you himself at some point."
"Not interested." I said pointedly.
"Oh I dunno. You might wanna think about it. Boss's also a robot see. All of us are. An' with the little scheme he's got planned he'd probably like a mod like you on his side. Better than hangin' around here with organics ey? Even if they can install some mean weapons."
I tried to stop my hands from shaking. My growing anger at each insult mixed with the growing strain of keeping my arms outstretched were mounting.
"Mean weapons or not, the boss's got plans you'd like if you're into things like that. Real visionary he is. Like I said I really think you oughto see him at some stage." The mandibles twitched and something like an electronic purr grew in the air. I couldn't see the smile, but I could hear it in the thick layer of smugness that followed. "You ever hear of this thing called the 'Ersatz Cruet'?" He waited a moment but when I said nothing, continued. "Aw well, didn't know of it myself 'till the boss told me about it. Suggest you look it up, then maybe we'll talk again."
He started stepping backwards, although confidence still poured off of him. "Better you decide what you wanna do now before oil hits the fan mate." He shrunk down before vaulting upright, shooting through a perfectly circular hole cut into the metal of out ceiling I hadn't noticed. He peered down it from the next floor back at me. "You tell your roommate about our chat if you want. Tell 'im Ironon came for a visit. Won't matter eventually anyway."
He then slid out of sight, not waiting to hear any last remarks from me. I remained glued in place, staring at the hole above me for what felt like an hour. Eventually, I felt comfortable enough that he had left that I lowered my arms again. I rubbed one of them in discomfort as I felt tensed coils struggle to relax again. I stood silent a moment longer, processing what had just happened. When I again felt the urge to wake up Ratchet, I turned and ran to his room at a brisk pace. I hated it when people were deliberately vague, but one thing from what had just been said was crystal clear; Nothing good could come of this.
My brother assures me glass bottled sodas are serious business.