"… huge accident today during the national superbike championship, some spectators are saying it's the worst they've seen in ten years. More from our sports expert on the scene now. Minten?"
"Thanks Kate, the race is just ending now and four trolls have been rushed to the hospital. Footage of the race is being reviewed to discover the source of these accidents, as the commentators seem to suspect they're linked somehow. The first rider who went down appears to have badly damaged his legs, and according to rumors he may have them amputated. Another rider crashed badly, but we haven't gotten information from the hospital regarding her condition. A third racer broke an arm in a crash that shot shrapnel at a troll who had just left the race, and from the looks of the footage she'll likely have some serious eye damage. The whole event has caused quite an uproar in the crowd: many are upset over the injuries and others are claiming the remaining riders had an unfair race. Looks like there will be some debate for a while regarding the human winner…"
You're just getting home from work when your phone rings.
You hate talking on phones; you really detest it, actually, if you never had to rely on strictly vocal communication again you wouldn't be the slightest bit disappointed.
This is why you ignore the first call. If it's important they can leave a message or something and you'll text them back—but no, the phone just rings again.
It's out of sheer annoyance that you answer the call this time.
"Who is it."
A vaguely familiar voice comes from the other end. "Is this Sollux?" Maybe someone from high school?
"And I may need your help."
You are many things, but "in the mood for this" is not one of them. "You going to tell me who you are first?"
"Oh. Apologies. I thought you would recognize my voice."
"Apparently not, so are you going to—"
"It's Equius." He doesn't give you the chance to say "Oh, right," before he continues. "As I was saying, I'm afraid I may need your help. I trust you're still involved with electronics?"
"Equius," you say with a sigh, and sit in a chair to take your shoes off. "If you're calling me up five years after we've had any real contact just to work on a pet project of yours, I am going to flip my shit."
You swear there's a hint of amusement in his voice when he responds. Huh. "I assure you it's nothing that trivial."
Deciding getting up and putting your things away is for squares, you lean back in your chair. You wait for him to explain, because you know he will.
"I need help with prosthetics," he explains, predictably, after a moment of your silence. "My rider had to get his legs amputated and—"
"Wait wait back the fuck up." He pauses. "Your rider?"
"Yes," he finally says, sounding unsure.
You're not sure where else he's going with this so you go ahead and take a giant leap into some conclusions you're pretty sure he doesn't want you to draw. "Okay I'm not going to pretend I didn't know about your pony-play fetish, but getting me to help is a little fucked up."
He makes a noise that sounds a little like he's choking to death. When he's apparently able to breathe again, he sounds more than a little offended. "That is both entirely inappropriate and entirely incorrect."
"Okay fine," you tell him, containing your laughter but not the humor in your voice. "So correct me. The hell do you mean by 'rider'?"
"The troll riding the motorcycle for which I do maintenance during and after races." His voice is almost straining with the effort of the patience you're sure he's demonstrating—and oh, yeah, you guess that does make considerably more sense than your version.
You start to answer him and pause. "Wait. You said his legs were amputated?" He makes a noise of confirmation. "Was he in an accident a couple days ago?"
"Yes. Did you see it on the news?"
"Yeah." You try to remember the footage of the crash. "Is he the one with the rack?"
"Sollux," he reprimands, and you roll your eyes.
"Well is he?"
He sort of huffs, then, and pauses, apparently trying to find a better way to describe his charge. "He was one of the few in this particular circuit riding a Spanish—"
"Do you know how many fucks I do not give?" Plus you couldn't tell a Spanish motorcycle from a moped, but he didn't need more reasons to look down on you.
"He does have rather large horns," he finally concedes, "if that helps you identify him. Regardless. I can make him a pair of legs, and they would probably be sufficient for walking, but if he's ever going to race again he's going to need something more advanced."
You're not really sure how he convinces you. All you know is you finished the conversation with a frustrated, "You are thso lucky I never take dayths off of work," and had hung up the phone with a snap. You had resolved to email your employer rather than calling, because at this point you were too mad to explain the situation without lisping.
When you let yourself calm down a little, you have to admit to yourself that you were a little glad for the opportunity. You hate your job, and this would give you a break; you never get to work on robotics anymore, and now you had a challenge… where was the downside to this?
Equius calls you half an hour later and this time, knowing who it is, you just text him with your email. Thankfully he complies, sending you a message with the details.
This racer kid is apparently in a hospital near the race track: miraculously, only a few hours' drive away. Even more miraculously, Equius has decided to pay for a hotel so you wouldn't have to drive back and forth constantly. Less miraculously, the stupid-ass blue-blood expects you there first thing in the morning.
Well fuck him. You would get there when you damn well pleased. You aren't about to go to sleep early and miss out on all this quality kicking-peoples-asses-online time.