Title: Away Game
Continuity: G1, post season 3
Pairing/Characters: Blast Off, Blades
Warnings: some action, comedy, aliens, unpleasant situations and snarky characters
Summary: Blast Off wakes up and is stranded on some unknown place in space - together with an Autobot.
Blast Off's processor booted up slowly. His equilibrium chip reset, his ventilation system stalled for a mere astrosecond before it continued to work normally, and scanners provided his CPU with data.
Blast Off knew he lay on his back, on hard, rocky ground. The surrounding air was cold. Not threateningly cold, but more chilling than on Chaar.
Then his memory bank rebooted as well, and Blast Off groaned in annoyance.
He hated it when his team didn't listen, and even worse when Autobots were there, too, and nobody cared what Blast Off was saying.
He'd told them not to mess with alien devices. He'd done so more than once, because more than once it'd got them into trouble. It didn't actually matter if they knew which alien race had built those unknown devices, it was never a good idea to push any buttons, to play with them or to blow them up - even during a fight.
Refusing to online his optics, he sighed in resignation as memory files opened of the former fight, the Quintesson apparatus and the Autobots and Combaticons yelling at each other. There had been an explosion, a blue vortex whirling in the air, and then nothing - just the hard, uneven ground on which he lay.
"Great..." Blast Off muttered, and activated his optical sensors. It wasn't as dark as he'd suspected. The cave, or whatever it was, was bright from the light of pale blue veins in the rock walls, and caused him to be even colder for an instant.
Just when Blast Off was about to sit up, someone else said, "Yo," and a face appeared in Blast Off's field of vision. A blue face with blue optics.
The shuttle tensed, processor clocking fast, but before he could coherently calculate the situation, his reflexes took over. His hand jumped up, fingers tightened around the other's neck cables. Blast Off rolled them both over, drawing his gun with the other hand, and pressed its muzzle at the blue forehead.
Wide blue optics stared at him, but they soon changed and the mech scowled.
Two engines revved dangerously.
The Autobot was the first one to speak, hissing. "Stop. If I were you, I wouldn't even think about it!"
Only then did Blast Off realise the stinging pain under the crook of his arm. He glanced side-ways. The Autobot held a blade; a rotor sword, the shuttle knew what they looked like. Its tip buried in the cabling under his arm, the angle just so that it'd slice through his shoulder and into his head.
"You think you're faster than me?" Blast Off spat.
The Autobot 'copter grinned; Blast Off didn't like it. "You wanna try me?"
Another engine rumbled, but this time it was only a shuttle’s. First it sounded angry, but the rumbling turned into a whine when another pain made itself present. The Autobot's hand clutched at Blast Off's side plating, squeezing hard where the armour was missing and energon lines had been cut and lay bare. Pink liquid dropped onto white plating, and Blast Off's optics flickered.
The ringing in his audials almost made him miss the growled words. "Let me go."
They had another staring contest which lasted about three kliks, then the shuttle let go of the other's throat and pushed off him. His angry expression was covered by his battle mask.
"What happened?" Blast Off eventually asked, after they'd ignored each other for another few kliks, in which the shuttle examined the damage to his side.
"You don't know?" the Autobot 'copter asked, condescending, as though Blast Off should know. He'd loved to shoot him, now that the sword wasn't about to cut his personality component in half.
"One of your team mates blew up the Quintesson stuff. It made woo~sh, and stuff, and I woke up here. With you lying there. Seriously, I can imagine better company than a crazy Combaticon."
Blast Off's engine growled threateningly, and his cannons began humming. The 'copter hadn’t told him anything he didn’t know.
"I wouldn't do that," the 'copter said again.
Blast Off couldn't resist spitting. "Why not?"
"Because you need me."
"Is that so?" The shuttle's voice was full of mocking surprise. "I can't see why that should be."
"You're damaged." The 'copter shrugged, looking at the energon flowing down Blast Off's frame. "And I can repair you."
"I can repair myself."
"And you can refuel yourself as well, right? I mean, because of all the energon you lost already..."
Blast Off's optics twitched at that. He had lost quite a lot already, and he hadn’t been completely refuelled before the battle. If they were on an alien planet somewhere, he'd need at least an energon cube to fly back to Chaar.
"I take it that you have energon, then," he replied, voice blank, but his optics dimmed intimidatingly. "I could just kill you and take it from you." This would be a good idea, Blast Off thought, and apparently the Autobot helicopter hadn't thought of that.
The other's stance changed, as though ready to attack, fingers tensed around the hilt. "Try it!" he ground out between clenched denta.
For a moment, Blast Off was very fond of doing so. But to kill him in one shot, he needed his leg-mounted cannons and enough energy for the shot. After that, he'd have to disassemble the corpse in search for the energon. This part of the plan wasn't very appealing. And, as much as he hated to admit it, he wasn't able to repair the damage on his lines by himself; his self-repair system would take too long. He'd lose energon again, too much to fly home.
"Why didn't you kill me when I was offline?" Blast Off asked, changing the topic, but it didn't make the Autobot relax. Clever mech.
"I need you to fly us back. Seems like we're on some asteroid, or something,” the ‘copter explained. “I walked around a bit, and the... gravity and stuff is weird, you know. In some places, you can walk on the ceiling, so I don't think it's a cave on a planet we're on..."
The Autobot's tone was insecure. Of course, he was a planet bound mech, he wouldn't know the differences between certain celestial bodies. Unfortunately, he was pretty much right with his assumption.
Blast Off heaved air again - at least there was air and an atmosphere - and rubbed his temple. "Great," he muttered again. With this being a freely moving body in space, it'd be much harder to find the way back.
"Great what?" The Autobot asked suspiciously.
Blast Off again had the urge to shoot him. "Great because if you're right, you better really have some energon. And some tools."
The 'copter tilted his head, frowning, but then shrugged and stepped closer, carefully. The blade was still in his hand, and it didn't look as though he was about to attach it back to his rotor hub anytime soon.
"I have tools. Do you need help there? Let me have a look."
"No!" Blast Off growled, before he realised that he actually did need a helping hand.
The Autobot wasn't impressed, and came closer anyway, invading Blast Off's personal space while he took out some tools. "Let me see it. I'm in a gestalt with a medic, I know a few things. And your fingers are much too fat anyway. You'd only cause more damage, and I need you. Or only your alt, to be honest."
"Watch what you're saying," Blast Off muttered as the 'copter sat down next to him.
"Heh," the Autobot snickered. The grin returned to his face plates, and it reminded Blast Off too much of Vortex. "So, we have a deal?"
"A deal. I repair you, and give you energon, and you fly us both back to Cybertron."
"Chaar!" Blast Off revved his engine again, angrily, but it stuttered, his intakes hitched.
The 'copter's grin faded, and his expression turned into a scowl once more. "Whatever you want." He took his tools, and put them back from wherever he'd got them under his frame. The last one - a screwdriver - remained in his hand as he went to stand up. It was then that Blast Off gave in, at least a little.
"Okay, Cybertron," he growled. "But only if I have immunity and get enough energon to return to Chaar later!"
The 'copter tilted his head once again, then shrugged. "Okay, fine with me. But if I see you're lying and fly to Chaar first, I'll kill you!"
We'll see about that, Blast Off thought, but nodded. The loss of energy made him tired, and he wasn't in the mood for more discussions. He leant back against the rocky wall where those weird bluish glowing streaks were absent, and watched the other start working.
When the Autobot handled his tools in what seemed a rather unprofessional manner, Blast Off started to worry. He was uncomfortable with having an Autobot work on his damage, but from what he could see, the 'bot seemed sincere.
"Give me the energon," Blast Off demanded, causing the 'copter to look up.
"When I sit in your cockpit, seatbelt tight around me so that you can't vent me out."
At that, Blast Off actually laughed softly, shaking his head minutely. "You don't trust me?" It wasn't a serious question, because obviously they didn't trust each other, Blast Off having his own optics and scanners on the other's movements.
"No. You're a Decepticon."
"Clever mech," Blast Off thought once more, and didn't realise that this time, he spoke it out loud.
If there had been a trained and professional medic, the repairs wouldn’t have taken half as long as they did.
Next to being tired from the energon loss, Blast Off was also impatient. Being low on fuel did that to him sometimes, and having an Autobot close by - too close - did nothing to brighten his mood.
Eventually, the ‘copter put the last tool down, and frowned. “I guess I’m done…” he muttered, but it sounded more than a question.
Blast Off’s urge to shoot the mech came back. He hated to admit it, but it was the same urge he often had while dealing with Brawl, or Swindle, or Vortex, or all of them - especially all of them.
“You guess?” Blast Off growled with narrowed optics, and ran a scan on the damage.
“Yeah, well, Aid is the medic, not me. And stop looking at me like that, grumpy pants. I didn’t place a bomb in there.”
“You better not…” Blast Off grumbled as his scanners told him every line was working again and the leaks where either repaired, or the lines replaced.
With the support of the wall behind him, Blast Off came to his feet.
“So, what now?”
The Autobot’s tone made Blast Off sigh in exhaustion. There was much too much enthusiasm in it, and almost seemed adventurous.
The shuttle decided against berating him. The ‘copter would learn soon enough that this wasn’t a vacation. Stranding in space somewhere unfamiliar and probably far away from any known civilisation was never a reason to be excited.
“We’ll find a way out of this cave, and I’m going to try to find out where we are.”
“Well… cool, then let’s go,” the Autobot answered cheerfully, and began walking.
“Where are you going?”
The ‘copter turned, and shrugged. “In that direction?” he replied, as though it was obvious, and pointed into the rocky corridor. Before Blast Off could snap anything back, he continued. “I’ve been awake longer than you have. And while you were getting your beauty sleep - which was totally useless, in my opinion - I checked the surroundings. The other directions lead to dead ends,” the ‘copter turned again, and walked deeper into the tunnel. “There was a lot more of this glowing stuff though.”
Blast Off huffed once more, but didn’t protest again. He wasn’t keen on encountering more of the glowing bluish substance…
“You know what that glowing stuff is?” the Autobot wanted to know while Blast Off trotted after him.
They reached an intersection, where the Autobot turned around once more, frowning at the shuttle. “So? What is it? Something valuable you don’t wanna tell me about?” He crossed his arms, but Blast Off wasn’t impressed.
“It’s crystallised space worm excrement. It must be very old if it’s already in that state. Now the worm is probably too big to fit into these tunnels…”
“Crystallised… space worm excrement?” The Autobot stared at Blast Off in disbelief.
“Yes.” It was a short answer, which caused the ‘copter to look at him suspiciously.
“And you know that why…?”
Blast Off stared at the other for a moment in which some unwelcome memories resurfaced, then grumbled, his displeasure clear in his voice. “Trust me, you don’t want to know…”
The Autobot grimaced, and the rotor blades shuddered for an astrosecond or two. “Okay…” he mumbled, and turned down one of the two possible tunnels. “Let’s go this way…”
“Why?” Blast Off didn’t move.
“Trust me,” the ‘copter replied without facing the shuttle. There was only another shudder of rotors. “You don’t want to know…”
At that, a tiny smirk flashed over Blast Off’s lip plates.
The path was uneven; it went up, then down again, or around corners.
While they moved, the blue streaks of excrement became less present, and the surroundings darker. When they reached another intersection, the Autobot turned to the tunnel that appeared to be brighter than the other.
“Not that way,” Blast Off said sternly.
The ‘copter looked at him, baffled. “But it’s dark in there.” He pointed into the other hallway.
“Exactly.” Emphasising his word with a nod, Blast Off turned and stepped into the darker area.
“What the…” it was a faint muttering of the Autobot, followed by the sound of metal feet hurrying on a stone floor as he caught up with the shuttle.
“Why this way?” the ‘copter asked when he walked next to Blast Off again.
The shuttled eyed the other from above, resisting a huff of annoyance. “There are insect-like aliens that live from eating the space worm’s excretions. The darker the tunnel is, the closer they are to the worm. And the worm lives closer to the exit the older it is.”
“Okay. So we need to find those aliens?”
“Actually, no. These creatures are primitive, but dangerous, and can kill a Cybertronian by sucking out the energon.”
The ‘copter looked dubiously at Blast Off. “These aliens are dangerous? You’re kidding, right?”
The shuttle only stared back.
“You’re… not kidding?”
The Autobot wincing was the last thing Blast Off saw before he turned his gaze back to where he was walking. He couldn’t help but be a little amused by the intimidated ‘copter.
After that, the other was quiet. Mostly.
Sometimes Blast Off heard him swear after a metal sound that was as though a foot hit a rock, or when the surroundings became even darker. Though he didn't start another conversation, thankfully.
They continued on their way, and even without his scanners online to spare energy, Blast Off realised how the atmosphere became thinner. Not too thin to be a threat, but it was odd. Maybe it meant that they were closer to the exit, and he could start calculating where they were.
For now, they were still in the dark corridors, and the Autobot's muttering increased.
"That sucks," he said, and Blast Off raised an optical ridge. He knew that human curse from Brawl, but still didn't like it. Picking up human phrases was beneath Blast Off, and so he ignored it. Not that he'd reacted to an Autobot swearing anyway...
"Any idea when we'll get out of here? I don't like it. And it stinks!"
Blast Off shook his head in annoyance, but he had to admit that, yes, the smell of something organic was more present than before.
"Can't we just fly outta here?" the Autobot whined again, making Blast Off clench his fists.
"Vector Sigma, just be quiet! My alt-mode, for one, does not fit into these tunnels, and I don't care if you want to attract the creatures with your noisy vehicle form, but if you do, please tell me beforehand so that I can get a distance between me and you!"
The Autobot hurried next to him, then he was in front of Blast Off, optics narrowed, as he glared at the shuttle. "Don't patronise me! I'm so sorry that I'm a bit impatient, but you're leading, and I have the feeling you have no idea where you're going either."
"And that's the reason you think you should go first? Because you have more experience of space than I do?"
"I said don't patronise me!" The 'copter turned around, optics glowing, fists clenched just like Blast Off's were. He walked backwards while staring, his expression so full of anger that even Blast Off could see it.
"I'm not patronising you. Believe me, if I were patronising you, you'd know," Blast Off huffed condescendingly.
"Oh I'm so relieved to he-Ah!" The Autobot's sentence was left unfinished. The 'copter seemingly stumbled, and the first astrosecond Blast Off thought it served him right for walking backwards. In the next instant, though, Blast Off cursed to himself when he saw the 'copter vanishing in the ground.
It all happened very fast. Blast Off jumped forward, and grabbed the arm of the 'copter. The momentum was too much, however, and Blast Off couldn't pull the Autobot back up, instead, he was dragged down with him.
It was a mixture of falling and rolling, making Blast Off's equilibrium fail, and sense of direction vanish. For a moment, it was as though they were falling sideways, but Blast Off knew that couldn't be true.
It was only a matter of a few astroseconds, and left the Autobot and him a gasping, cursing ball of tangled metal limbs.
They landed hard on the ground. Thankfully, Blast Off hit the floor with his side, and none of his ceramic tiles broke.
"Urgh... frag," the 'copter mumbled, and it was Blast Off's sentiment exactly.
"Get off me!" the shuttle spat, but didn't wait and pushed the other away.
"Shut up! This is your fault! You're happy now?"
"Oh, be quiet, grumpy pants, really. You're know-it-all manner is unbearable!"
They stood up unsteadily, glaring at each other, their optics the only light source in the now completely dark cave.
"You are unbearable!" Blast Off replied, and regretted it instantly. This behaviour was immature, and even if he was angry, he shouldn't sink to this level of conversation.
Unluckily for him, the Autobot didn't seem to mind. "You're such a glitching aft, you know that? How can your team even stand you? Seriously! I bet they're all happy you're gone for a while and someone else has to put up with your arrogant, condescending 'I know all about space' slag!"
At that, Blast Off once more had the strong urge to punch the mech. "You know nothing about my team," the shuttle growled, and told himself he'd have the chance to give in to his urge soon.
"I know that they're all crazy, and criminals, and really, that's enough for me!"
That was enough for Blast Off, and he lashed out.
The Autobot stumbled backwards, a hand covering his left cheek, optics blazing.
The shuttle's leg cannons hummed threateningly. He knew he couldn't fire due to the low energy level, but the Autobot didn't know that.
The 'copter stood there, the rotor blades twitched, and Blast Off expected him to pounce. His rotors twitched once more, then in a swift move, he detached his blade from his back, and turned, staring into the darkness.
"Did you hear that?"
Blast Off frowned. He only heard the pulsing energon in his audials, because he was so riled up. "What?" Trying to calm down, Blast Off activated a set of scanners. A warning appeared in his HUD about how draining they were, but he didn't need them for long.
The readings were clear, and Blast Off switched his sight setting to infra-red. But even then, he couldn't see much. It looked as though the rocky walls were moving, but there was no contrast or true figures to make out.
"What's going on?" the 'copter asked, his stance wary, and ready to attack.
"Infra-red," Blast Off muttered, but knew the other wouldn't see more than he did. His scanners, however, told him what it was. The insect-like aliens covered the walls, they were about as big as Blast Off's hands, and the only way out of this trap was to fly up. He checked his energy level once again, and his systems calmed enough for him to hear the rustling noise of the creatures.
"Be quiet and don't move fast," Blast Off whispered. He saw the remaining rotor twitch once more, and the Autobot turning his head.
"Very funny. So, those are the aliens that suck us dry?"
At least the aliens weren't on the floor - yet. They moved, it looked like a grey rocky wave crawling towards the ground.
"Offline your optics", Blast Off said, and shut down his own.
"What?!" The Autobot's reluctance was noticeable in the voice.
"Our optics are the only light source here, and they're drawn to light. Now offline your optics." Blast Off resisted adding 'idiot'.
"I offline my optics, and you'll attack me. I won't stagger blindly around, no way!"
Blast Off huffed again. "Just shut them down! You trusted me on the space worm excrement."
There was a moment of silence, then the suspicious voice of the other grumbled. "Right, you're kidding, aren't you."
If Blast Off had been human, he'd have rolled his eyes. But he wasn't and so he only revved his engine in anger.
"Oh, I remember, you never kid," the 'copter muttered, obviously displeased and with an edge of sarcasm. "If you haven't noticed, to believe someone saying some weird glowing substance is an organic end product, and shutting down one's optics with an enemy and some crawling, dangerous aliens around is something completely different!"
The shuttle's scanners informed him that the creatures were still moving slowly, but were reaching the floor, and coming closer. "Will you turn off your optics now!"
"And then what?!"
"We..." Blast Off stopped. He didn't know then what to do. He didn't have enough energy for his thrusters to fly up again, let alone to transport someone.
"Ha, not so canny now, are we?"
Oh, the Autobot's autocratic tone made Blast Off wish he had enough energy left to fly up and leave this stupid 'copter in this pit hole.
"Well, if you don't mind, I have an idea."
At that, Blast Off online his optics again just to see the 'copter reattaching his blade on his back, and initiating the transformation sequence.
The sudden movement caused the noise to increase, and the aliens to move more quickly - much more quickly.
They crawled over the ground, over each other, and reached Blast Off within a few moments. The creatures that were still clutching on the wall jumped off, leaping into the air. They never landed on his plating, though.
The sound of rotors drowned out the hissing and scratching noise completely, and the blades either chopped the aliens, or blew them away.
What did land on Blast Off's armour were bits of organic alien filth...
"Whoo~ hooo~!" The Autobot's cry of joy was even louder than his rotors. "That's more like it!"
The air in the limited space whirled, caused vortices of wind that dragged the creatures up and against the walls or directly into the helicopter. Blast Off felt the strong wind, and as he ducked under the tail rotor; he could guess that the heliformer had problems flying steadily in there.
"What are you doing?"
"Hehe, hop on!" the 'copter yelled much too cheerfully, and it was so easy to think it wasn't an Autobot helicopter at all...
Only that this one had landing skids instead of a gear reminded Blast Off that it wasn't Vortex.
The Autobot rose, hovering over him, and Blast Off grabbed the skids. He felt quite pathetic, hanging there without being able to fly up himself while around him aliens were cut into small pieces. And it wasn’t only pathetic, but also very absurd.
They reached the point they had fallen from, the flight path rather wobbly, and the 'copter turning around himself every so often. It almost appeared as though this was actually on purpose to kill as many aliens as possible with the tail rotor, but Blast Off didn't ask, and seriously didn't want to know.
They landed on the other side of the hole; Blast Off stumbled due to malfunctioning equilibrium, and his low energy level. He was suddenly tired, more so than before, and he really would like to be in space soon.
"Heh, that was great!" the Autobot grinned, clapping his hands as though he'd achieved something difficult.
Blast Off rubbed his temple, sighing in exhaustion as he eyed the 'copter. The former white plating was now mostly covered with dark organic matter, and yes, it began to feel like he was dealing with his team mate - except that the sexual innuendoes were missing, and the shuttle didn't want to think about how weird that would be if they weren't.
"Guess that's the way then?" the Autobot pointed in the only direction available. "Or do you wanna go back? We better keep our optics on the floor now, right? C'mon, let's go."
With a last shake of his head, Blast Off followed the other. He let him lead this time, because he didn't feel like arguing.
Blast Off had offlined his energy-consuming scanners. The tunnel was again dark, dull and empty. They hadn’t come across more of those alien creatures, and Blast Off guessed the spot where they’d landed in had been the nest. Or at least some smaller breeding ground.
The air became thinner the longer they walked, and Blast Off heard the ‘copter’s fans working loudly. Of course, he wasn’t built for these conditions, and his system had to work harder to keep the ventilation up.
Like this, at least the Autobot was quiet, and seemed less cheerful. Blast Off truly welcomed it, because he himself felt rather worn out. It was like the last bit of their adventure had drained the rest of his energy, and he was close to ask the Autobot for the energon.
He knew he wouldn’t get any, not before they reached the end of the tunnel, which made the idea of getting rid of the Autobot to get the fuel more tempting.
“Are we nearly there yet?” the ‘copter asked, and Blast Off winced involuntarily at how similar it sounded to Vortex.
“I don’t know. The tunnels are getting bigger.”
“And that means what? Sorry, but I’m not so knowledgeable about space worms and stuff.”
Blast Off huffed amused. Yes, the antagonistic voice and words were just like his team mate’s. For an astrosecond, Blast Off wondered if it was a ‘copter-thing. He shook his head, and berated himself for comparing the Autobot to Vortex, even though it made things easier - especially now when he was tired and even more averse to change.
“It means the worm is bigger and lives closer to the outer walls,” the shuttle answered the last question, and was sure he’d told the ‘copter before. He was just about to mutter something about having to repeat himself, when a growl made the tunnel walls shake.
The ‘copter stopped, and so did Blast Off.
“That… weren’t the alien insects, right?” the Autobot asked, glancing at the shuttle doubtfully.
Blast Off shook his head once more. “That was the worm…”
The rumbling became louder, and the walls more shaky. The floor vibrated; small rocks fell from the ceiling, and Blast Off felt resignation rise.
He’d been there before.
“Slag!” he cursed, and looked around, hastily.
“What now? What’s wrong?”
“It’s coming,” the shuttle merely said, grabbed the ‘copter's wrist and pulled him into a cove. “Stay on the wall!” Blast Off spat, and pressed himself with his back against the rock.
The worm came not a moment later, and Blast Off didn’t know if he should be glad that the noise and shaking made the ‘copter shut up, or be disgusted by the things he knew would follow.
Another loud growl, and then a grey organic wall seemed to slide by. A repulsing scent penetrated Blast Off’s olfactory sensors, and he offlined his optics.
The cove was just deep enough that the worm’s skin didn’t touch their plating, but Blast Off knew it wasn’t nearly enough cover for the part he looked forward to the least.
The Autobot was quiet - at least Blast Off didn’t hear anything except the worm’s loud rattling. He had to grin, though, when he remembered that he hadn’t told the ‘copter to shut his mouth, and he couldn’t deny he somewhat hoped the other would try to say something…
It was then that something cold and slimy covered his plating, and his little amusement was overlain by disgust.
Another few astroseconds passed, and the worm was gone.
Neither Blast Off nor the Autobot moved, but the shuttle clutched at the wall for support so as not to sink down. He was tired, very low on energy and now his plating was also covered with blue glowing goo. He did remember he’d experienced that before, but he’d repressed just how repulsive it was.
“That… what…” the ‘copter mumbled in what sounded like disbelief.
“Space worm excrement…” Blast Off onlined his optics, and the former dark tunnel was now bright, the walls sticky.
“Why?” the Autobot asked, appalled.
Venting air carefully so as not to get the goo into his intakes, Blast Off just shook his head. The worm’s rear end coated the tunnels to make it easier to pass through the next time, but Blast Off didn’t feel like actually explaining this.
At least some parts of it would burn off his plating during re-entry, Blast Off thought to console himself.
“This is so disgusting…” the ‘copter muttered, and Blast Off seconded this quietly.
Pushing himself off the wall, he stumbled back into the hallway, and looked around. If it was up to Blast Off, this trip would come to an end right now.
“Let’s go, we need to find a way out,” the shuttle said, not caring if his tone gave away his exhaustion.
The ‘copter didn’t protest.
They kept silent while they walked, wiping off as much of the slime as possible.
The Autobot appeared to be as tired as Blast Off felt. Even the swearing had stopped.
Sometimes, one of them slipped on the slick ground; sometimes they fell, and sometimes they even helped each other up.
Blast Off knew with the goo being that fresh, the alien insects would come soon, but he didn’t mention it. There was no point in walking more quickly when both of them couldn’t go faster anyway.
Blast Off sighed quietly. Somehow - right now at this moment - space adventures and journeys didn’t seem as exciting as they used to be. He guessed it was because of the whole war thing, and that, if he was in space on another planet, he usually had to take care of at least one other mech who was completely oblivious to anything space related. It was tiresome, and even more so if it was a mech of the opposing faction.
“Hey, what’s that?” The Autobot’s voice stopped Blast Off in his musings, and he glanced up at what looked like a black spot within the glowing slime. It was on the wall left of them, and the ‘copter was already running-sliding towards it.
“What is it?” Blast Off’s voice was blank, but he did hope it would be some sort of exit.
“It’s a hole, and really dark.”
The shuttle came closer carefully, but before he could reply to this, rotors shuffled, and the ‘copter vanished.
Blast Off had time for one huff, and the thought that this better not be some other breeding place, then the Autobot laughed.
“Thank Sigma, I can see stars! I found the way out!”
Blast Off eyed the hole, and sighed once more. He’d fit in, but just, and he knew, while the stone would also help to get rid of some still remaining goo on his plating, it would also scratch his armour.
Hopefully, none of his heat shield tiles would break.
It had been the exit.
They were now in a crater, the wind strong and temperature even colder that in the tunnel system. The atmosphere was noticeably thinner as well, and it made Blast Off frown.
He’d explained to the ‘copter that the planet’s - and it was a planet, not an asteroid - gravity was seemingly unstable, and only could hold the air better the closer it was to its core.
At least there was still an atmosphere, and Blast Off hadn’t have to transform and let the Autobot into his cargo hold.
The aforementioned mech huddled against the crater wall, the rotor sword in his hand.
Blast Off sat a bit away, more in the middle to see the stars better. His processor already worked on where they were, comparing star sheets and maps with the constellations above. Since he had no idea at all what planet they were on, he couldn’t even narrow down the area of space.
He hadn’t said it, and he wouldn’t mention it unless he had no choice, but Blast Off never had every star map uploaded in his head. There was no way to store them all, and so he had most of them on datapads, only loading them into his memory banks when he needed them.
He truly hoped the maps he currently had memorised were helpful.
Blast Off vented the thin air deeply, and checked the status - 4% done so far. He’d have to stay here a while longer.
The view, the thin atmosphere and the coldness reminded Blast Off of Chaar, of the time when they hadn’t had energon at all, and he’d felt even more tired back then.
It hadn’t been that long ago…
“Yo.” A copter broke the silence, but unlike that time back on Chaar, it wasn't Vortex. “How come you know so much about space worms and stuff?”
A huff, then Blast Off turned his head to look at the Autobot, expression blank behind his mask. “I’m an explorer.” Stupid, ignorant mech, the shuttle thought, and didn’t realise that this one had only been just built by Cybertronian standards.
“So, you kinda look for planets to terrorise and suck dry, or what?”
Once more, Blast Off would have liked to shoot the Autobot. Not just because of the words, but also because of the familiar antagonism.
“I used to be an explorer, before the war. I’d seen these creatures that time.” Blast Off didn’t even know why he bothered to answer, but maybe this would shut the other up if he was reminded this race hadn’t been always at war.
“Okay. And now you help Galvatron to conquer the places you’d seen?”
Blast Off’s engine revved in anger. He didn’t think much of Galvatron’s plan - what had been Megatron’s plan once. He never had, and at that thought, an old program activated which Blast Off hadn’t felt in a while.
Thinking critically about Megatron was still impossible. He hissed at a sharp stinging pain in his head, and his vision became fuzzy for an astrosecond or two.
“Just shut up,” Blast Off muttered, because he truly didn’t want to explain the situation he and his team were in.
“What? You don’t wanna hear you’re a bad guy, right? I mean you must be just as crazy as the rest of your gang if you work with them. It’s just-“
“Be quiet!” Despite being tired and under-energised, Blast Off was ready to snap. “You think the Autobots are so much better? They brought the war to foreign planets and endangered alien species. They’d done so even before the war!” Most of them hadn’t called themselves Autobots at that time, but Blast Off had known. He’d worked in Altihex, seen what his race had done to alien places, and even fellow Cybertronians, before they’d put that red faction symbol on their plating which labelled them as ‘the good guys’.
“And you’re the one to talk!” the shuttle continued, engine revving. He wasn’t done yet. “Cutting up the insects in that hole and enjoying it. Your entertainment risked us crashing in there. Don’t tell me that is completely normal behaviour, because it’s not. It’s insane, and stupid, and unnecessary. And before you accuse me, or my team, of being crazy, look who’s talking.”
Blast Off turned, and stared at the rocky wall, or, he thought, he was going to murder that mech. “Hypocritical like all Autobots, aren’t you?” the shuttle growled. “Acting just like Vortex, and-“
“Don’t you dare! I’m not like your maniacal glitch ‘copter!”
Then why did he remind him of Vortex so easily? Blast Off thought sarcastically, and narrowed his optics. He wasn’t about to say it, because it was an absurd idea, even though he knew it was true.
“Hypocrite,” the shuttle only snarled, and focused again on his search process.
The ‘copter muttered something in return, but Blast Off refused to listen closely. After that, they were quiet again.
Blast Off hadn’t moved, and the Autobot hadn’t spoken again.
The exhaustion that had been there before had turned into an odd numbness of Blast Off’s limbs. His consciousness had drifted into a light recharge, only keeping him somewhat awake due to the background search.
When the process was 68% done, a light flashed in Blast Off’s HUD that dragged him out of his daze and caused him to wince.
Rebooting his optics and HUD twice, he stared at the search result for about a klik, then huffed amused. Well…
Without a word, he stood up, and walked to the other.
The Autobot leant against the wall, the blade still held loosely in his hand. It seemed the mech was in recharge. Only his intakes worked loudly due to the thin air.
Blast Off stared down at him, frowning. It was an opportunity. He could kill him now, and take the energon which he had with him. And if he didn’t have any energon, or Blast Off didn’t find it?
The shuttle shuddered at that thought and the idea of him having to drink half processed energon from a corpse to leave this rock. If the Autobot didn’t have any fuel, he’d have to do it; the energy level on which Blast Off currently operated was way too low to fly in alt-mode. Pit, it was even too low to power his root-mode thrusters.
Blast Off should wake the ‘copter up, and then decide what to do, he pondered.
Only an astrosecond later, the Autobot’s systems stirred without Blast Off having done anything.
“Huh? Wha…?” the Autobot’s optics flickered, then he looked up, and flinched, the grip around the hilt tightening. “Slag!”
Blast Off frowned. “What?”
“You’re creepy,” the ‘copter said, still a little drowsy.
“You know the way you stand there? You have kinda those ‘I’m a serial killer and I'm going to stare at you until you wake up and then I’m going to kill you in the most violent way I can imagine’-vibes.”
Confused, the shuttle raised an optical ridge, and kept staring. “I see. Well, it’s not intentional.”
“…dude, that answer doesn’t make it really better…”
Blast Off’s frown grew, and he shook his head. “Whatever. I need the energon now. I know where we are.”
“Hah, right.” The ‘copter stood up, using the wall for support. “I don’t think so. I give you the energon when I’m in your cockpit.”
Blast Off crossed his arms. “I won’t let you sit in my cockpit.”
“You’re covered in space worm goo and insect filth. I won’t let you into my cockpit. And I don’t trust you. There’s no way I’ll let you near my control console.”
The Autobot tilted his head a little, glaring. “So where I’m supposed to sit then?”
The ‘copter seemed to think for a moment, his attached rotor blade shuddered a little, and his optics dimmed.
“Okay,” the he nodded, and Blast Off relaxed a little. He hadn’t even realised how tense he was.
“Now about the energon-“
“When I’m in your cargo hold, then.”
The shuttle vented deeply. “You have no idea about mass shifting, do you?”
“You have no idea about mass shifting,” the Autobot imitated the shuttle, glaring again. “So what if I don’t? I don’t trust you either! First you let me in, then energon.”
“The energon adapts better to my systems if it’s in my tank before the transformation.”
“But it doesn’t kill you if it’s put in later!”
“Then no buts!” The Autobot nodded again as though to emphasis his point.
“Vector Sigma…” Blast Off muttered, and continued louder. “Even if you give me the energon now, I’ll need to fly to Earth first for more, and to enter Earth’s orbit, I need you as leverage.”
The ‘copter’s optics flickered in confusion. “Earth? I though we’re going… Where are we?”
The Autobot seemed surprised. “Oh.” He stared at the shuttle for another moment, and began grinning. “But then you were wrong, too. Pluto isn’t a planet any more.”
“What are you…? No, I don’t want to know. So, energon?” Blast Off held out his hand.
The ‘copter shifted on his feet, shrugged, and took a quite small cube from under his plating.
Blast Off was a little stunned. Yes, with this little fuel, he’d really have to fly to Earth first and visit their old HQ…
The shuttle drank it quietly while the Autobot tapped his foot on the floor in what looked like impatience. The energon tasted good, and the shuttle took his time, let it settle in, and his system adjust.
“You have some sort of ropes?” the ‘copter asked out of the blue, confusing Blast Off again.
“Because I still don’t trust you.”
“In the side containers of my cargo hold. Stay back, I’m going to transform.” Blast Off went to the middle of the crater, and initiated his sequence.
The Autobot stayed close to the wall. Blast Off saw him from the onboard cameras through the open cargo hold. The reluctance to step closer, let alone in, was visible even for the shuttle as he hovered over the ground.
“Get in before I change my mind and let you rust here.”
That had the desired effect, and the ‘copter jumped in. He glanced around quickly, then snickered softly, but still loud enough for Blast Off to hear. “Hehe, roomy…”
If Blast Off had been still in alt-mode, he’d have looked baffled; his alt-mode didn’t give his confusion away. Yes, so similar to Vortex in some ways…
The cargo hold closed as the Autobot went to one of the containers. The cameras where focused on the movements.
The ‘copter took out a wire rope, and wrapped it around himself, then tightened the other end on a bracket on Blast Off’s cargo hold wall.
“Hold on, I’m going to accelerate - fast.”
The tension increasing in the other’s body was noticeably, and Blast Off resisted an amused huff at the Autobot’s seemingly honest words. “Thanks for telling me.”
“Don’t thank me. I’m just not fond of my cargo rolling around during lift off.” After that, he powered his thrusters, and the ‘copter had to hold on tight.
They were in space within a klik.
Blast Off relaxed - as much as it was possible for him, and so did the Autobot. He leant against a wall - again - the sword still in his hand, and stared at the opposite plating where metal looked as though it had been torn off.
It was the damage from Blast Off’s root mode, only much bigger due to the mass shifting. They both were lucky that it was damage on the inside of his alt mode…
“Does that hurt?” It was clear what the ‘copter meant.
“No, it tickles,” Blast Off replied, sarcastically, but not as annoyed as he usually would. He told himself it was because he was tired.
“Sorry I asked!” The Autobot rammed his elbow against the metal behind him, but it seemed to hurt him more than Blast Off, because he hissed a curse.
“Shut up,” was Blast Off’s only response, and once more it was more amused than anything.
There followed more grumbling from the ‘copter, then silence when the Autobot went back in recharge. The shuttle eyed him and the rope - a security measure just in case Blast Off did change his mind and vent him into space; the sword was also still in the other’s hand, even though the grip was not as tight.
Clever mech, Blast Off thought. Then he programmed Earth’s coordinates into his systems, and went gratefully into stand-by mode.