Title: A Beginning
Date: 02 June 2015
Summary: Springer and Hot Rod make a deal.
Springer has decided to go find Hot Rod. Hes only seen the mech a couple of time and he seems nice enough but hes a total wild card. Hes assured Arcee that he can put some focus to the young mech and that is exactly what he intends to do. So for want of a better place to start, the triple changer comes here first. This was Hot Rods home, this was the place he defended so feircely and fought so hard to keep. And now theres nothing left but ruin.
It's a nice place, isn't it? --okay, no, it really isn't. But it's an /empty/ place, so it's not hard to spot Hot Rod. The flames and the spoiler would mark him out even in a crowd, but the sound of his engine growling as he races across ruined roads is more clearly audible for the lack of other noise. It's easy to tell when he spots Springer, because he changes his path to intercept him. It's not long at all before Springer is no longer looking for Hot Rod, but rather, has found him. He maintains his speed, pushing it right until it almost seems like he's going to run into Springer in a game of one-sided chicken. At very nearly the last second, he swings around, cuts his speed, and transforms in a better coordinated tumble of limbs than one might expect to hit his feet with a bounce. "Sightseeing?"
Springer watches the young mech speed toward him and though didn move was prepared to leap up at the last minute had this been a game of chicken to the end. "Looking for you actually." Springer says in his blunt no nonsense style. "Dont really know you, mech but Ive read reports. Anyone ever tell you youre reckless, pal? Anyone ever tell you that can get mechs killed -- and not just you?"
Hot Rod can't help but smile. He lifts his head and squares his shoulders as though he were standing in a spotlight on a stage rather than in ruins of his own creation. "Reckless is just what people too lazy or too fearful to do anything call those with the courage to do what's necessary." The last sentence ... he notably ignores.
Springer stares at Hot Rod for a long moment, the look on his face not too happy but not exactly mean either. "Fearful and Lazy are things I am not, pal. I was captain of the Triorian Guard..." he pauses then. All the ones he was in charge of protecting are all dead now. Dead under his watch. But thats a good thing isnt it? Some things are far better now gor everyone on this planet because they are all dead. But they still died under his watch. "But doing what is necessary doesnt mean you can go off half cocked all the time. It only makes things harder and more dangerous for everyone helping you."
"That's not something I'd be boasting about," says Hot Rod, his humor rendered thin and his smile sharp. His contempt for the Senate and the Primes probably featured prominently in any reports. He gentles it with a gesture, carelessly tipping his hand. "Especially with Decepticons lurking and just waiting to slap any former Autobots on a registration list. They get you, yet?"
Settling his hand on his hip, Hot Rod looks plenty cocky as he says, "I'm fine working on my own, thanks. Don't need anyone helping me."
"No I havent." Springer admits as he decides Hot Rod didnt mean anything to malicious in his initial comment. "No you need all the help you can get." he says instead to the last comment. "Look Im not trying to get you to put your --" he spots the pips on the mecks forearms. Impressive. "-- weapons down and roam the streets preching the will of Primus, but you need to make what you do more effective and better. I can help you with that." he finds he likes this mech and its slowly going from a 'bet I can do this' loose dare with Arcee to him genuinely wanting to help.
Accidental thoughtlessness is much more Hot Rod's style than real maliciousness. But he can be /real thoughtless/. He'd undoubtedly be quite surprised to find that Springer harbored any regrets for the deaths that happened on his watch -- and then go awful quiet about it. For reasons.
Reluctantly, and somewhat despite himself, Hot Rod looks interested. "Effective like how?" Better is good. He likes better. Hot Rod is still a moment with a quality of held tension, then spills over saying, "Good, I'm glad you didn't, because I think that's a real mistake. I mean -- I'm the last one to say that the Autobots were all good guys, but there are enough who /were/ okay that this whole registration thing -- I don't know. I've been thinking about it, and I don't like it."
Springer listens to this mech go a mile an astrosecond it seems. He idly wonders if hes got some internal clock problems or if someones tried to over clock him in the past. "Better? Its called make a plan -- stick to it. You can be sure the enemy has made plans and if ou go in helter skelter with no plan it will eventually catch up with you and you will lose ... or lose something you didnt want to because of it." he pauses a beat then continues. "So...tell me a little about yourself." the ex captain figures the best way to help him is to learn more about who he is and how he got this way.
Could be worse. Could be Blurr. Hot Rod might be restless and excitable, but at least his words are distinctly formed rather than running together. "Plans are useless," he scoffs. "Not that planning itself isn't useful, but as soon as you hit the ground -- things change. You gotta stay flexible, adapt. It's not like I go into things with /no/ plans. I do! I have plans!" Tissue thin, papery fragile plans that are really more like vague intentions, but totally plans!
Hot Rod folds his arms over his chest in a patently defensive gesture. "Thought you'd read reports. Hot Rod of Nyon," he says, the city's name a challenge. "And if reports call me a Decepticon, they're wrong." He's totally marked as a Decepticon sympathizer, at the very least. "But the Cons were the only ones standing up to a system that needed to change. The fact that people /wouldn't/ change is why we're /here/."
What if the Decepticons turn out to be the enemy?" Springer says suddenly. "Would you still appreciate being connected to them -- called one, and because of how reckless you are, then?"
Hot Rod gives a broad shrug. His spoiler flexes with it, dipping in the roll of his shoulders. "I don't care what other people call me," he says. It sounds like a boast -- and it is, certainly, to some degree -- but he carries himself with the rock-solid certainty of someone who's sure of where he stands. "Anyone who hurts the helpless, anyone who abuses their power -- Decepticon, Autobot, whatever they want to call themselves -- then I'm against them. They're the enemy. If the Decepticons turn out like that, they'll be overthrown, just the same as they overthrew the Autobots."
Springer says, "What made you this cavilier, Hot Rod?"
Uncrossing his arms, Hot Rod sets his hands on his hips and adopts his very best hero pose. It's pretty good. He probably practiced that in the mirror a few thousand years. "What, because I don't care about Autobots or Decepticons? Just different labels for the same thing if they turn bad. What /matters/ are the people."
Springer realizes somethign then. "Hot Rod, if you had had a plan Nyon might not have been destroyed..."
So much for that hero pose. Hot Rod's expression falls. His hands fall. His spoiler droops. Then his hands curl, clenching to form a fist, and he gets right up in Springer's face, shoving him back (okay, trying to shove him) and bristling aggressively. "If I had a /plan/? Hey, if we're running ifs, try these out: If the Autobots had /listened/ to me. If Orion had /believed/ me. If any of you Autobots ever lifted your heads from your cozy, comfortable jobs and realized just how /bad/ it was--. Don't put that on me. If I hadn't stopped Zeta's Destructors there, Nyon would have a dozen more cities with it in ashes!"
Springer gets shoved, well sort of. Hes a triple changer -- they are the definition of tonnage, right? He takes in Hot Rods verbal tyrad and his optics narrow slightly. "And how many of us have you bothered to consider were completely duped by what the Senate -- the PRimes were doing. IT was because of YOU and Pax that my optics were opened. I did what I could and im trying to do what I can now!" he pauses a beat and his voice softens a bit, "Look, kid --" and hes barely older, but hes a higher education and training so the triple changer has maturity on his side and knowledge. "I want to help you. I think you could be the best thing to happen to the /good/ Autobots but you need to focus. You have to stop going all over the place halfcocked. You have to get a grip on yourself!"
Hot Rod very discretely drops and shakes his hand when trying to shove Springer proves more like punching a wall. VERY. DISCRETELY. "Of course you were duped! It just--." He breaks off and sags back, and his shoulders shrug deeper yet. Even his spoiler angles down as he glances off to the side. "It just took too long for Nyon."
Quieter, Hot Rod looks back at Springer. His gaze narrows: bright and clear, unclouded despite the regrets painted so clearly in his body language. "Focus on /what/?"
Springer studies how emotional this mech is. He neither condones or condemns it. The mech is how he is. "Focus - make a plan. Yes that dreaded worth again. Hot Rod youre trying to do eerything all at once and youre just spinning your tires in the slag. Pick something and focus on that. What is is and tell me how you would go about resolving it?"
Emotional and transparent about it, Hot Rod seems all the younger. He's barely learned to guard himself, and he's not hard to read. He's thoughtful now as he looks away. (He's still rubbing his hand. Because -- ow.) "I've been thinking about that whackjob with his Autobot prisoners and his gladiatorial games. What was that even about? And the registration list. A lot of good Autobots are going to end up in trouble."
Springer notices hes favoring his hand. Its not like he intentionally injured the young bot. "I dont know, pal." he says and the pal is not meant sarcastically this time, "But I have a bad feeling about it. Call it learning after the fact of the situation I was in and the job I held before -- but I dont like it one bit. Which is why you need some training, you need some education, you need to get yourself to your full potential.. I.. wanna help you, ok?"
Pretty typical of Hot Rod to smash up against something and injure himself, really. Noticing Springer's glance, Hot Rod drops his hand. WHAT. HE'S FINE. "Education." He reacts to the word 'education' like your typical juvenile delinquent: something between scorn and contempt covering a deep hunger that's well buried because he's sure it can't ever be satisfied. Because he's poor. He's low caste. And he's a nobody. "I'm not going to be an Autobot," he warns. (Ha ha he's so wrong.)
Springer grins, "Sure you are, kid - youre going to be one of the good ones." little does he know hes talking to a future prime, right? "And if I was interested in your financials Id have not offered you what you need. I got it covered so relax."
"We'll see about that," Hot Rod insists. Right up until the point he becomes an Autobot, he'll be insisting never! No way! Not possible! And then--. "Fine. I'll help you, you help me." He's clearly worked it out in his head as a more equal exchange. "Because I know /lots/ about smuggling things and running underground, and you guys haven't had to learn until now. But if you want to keep people out of the hands of the bad Cons--" Because some of them are good, right? Like that Megatron guy. He's great. "--you're really going to have to learn."
Springer starts to say what can this kid teach him but knows there are things Hot Rod can teach him. "Fair enough then. We help each other, hows that?" he grins a bit.
"Fine." Hot Rod offers Springer his hand (his totally fine hand, definitely didn't fail to shove Springer with it) with a steady gaze. "You could stand to learn to loosen up, anyway," he adds with a grin.
Springer takes his hand and shakes it firmly. "What do you mean by that?"
"Blah, blah plans, blah, blah don't be reckless? Come on." Hot Rod throws his hands in a wide gesture and says, "You need more fun in your life, mech! Loosen up! I'll consider it part of helping you. Teach you to have more fun."
"Wait who says I dont have fun?" Springer asks and he tries to think back on the last time he had fun.... hes comingup with nothing but he doesnt let on. "I have fun.. I do.." hes not a good lier.
"Primus, look at you." Hot Rod shakes his head. "You're making me sad. Come on." Turning to stand next to Springer, Hot Rod slaps him on the shoulder. "Time for your first lesson." Smart money is on fun in the form of reckless, high-speed acrobatics like an adrenaline-junkie hothead.