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Suffer the Fool

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"Hey, Raj? How much longer do you think it'll be before they come out? I was just wondering because we've been here for a long time. I mean, I didn't think it was going tot ake this long to get the job done, yanno? You don't think that maybe we missed them or that they snuk past us or something, do you? I mean, the others would have contacted us if something had changed, right? I'm sure that out equipment's working since we got that call in from Cycler the last ..."

I offline my optics and lean against my rifle wearily. He's talking again. For a time I thought that maybe, just maybe he'd talked himself out, but I'm not that lucky. Why they decided to pair me with him I will never fathom.

"Raj? You okay?"

I online my optics and find him staring at me, concern written all over his faceplates. Apparently he asked me a question that required an answer, that wasn't just mindless prattle. I supposed that anyone else would find his concern sweet. I just found it annoying. Incredibly annoying.

"Look you little glitch," I growl, "I'm I am trying to concentrate! In case you've forgotten we're doing a job here!"

"Oh. Right ... Sorry." Bluestreak is silent for exactly fifteen kliks before he's at it again.

"But what do you think?" he asks, obviously picking back up that conversation I'd been ignoring.

I can't help but sigh in exasperation. "What? What do I think of what?"

"Do you think that they're going to come through this way? And if they are, I'm not so sure that I'm ready for it. I mean, I did well in the tests and they said I was ready but I've never done this before and I-"

"They gave me a rookie?" I growl. "Of course they did. Look, just sit back there and shut up. If you so much as squeak-" I leave the threat hanging.

And finally, he's quiet. Completely silent.

I go back to watching the open area below us. It's the only area the Decepticons can come through if they're going to attack the base. It's the only passage we've left them. If they act like they always do - and they will - they'll send a small group of scouts through first. I'll pick them all off and head back. It'll give us a few more days of peace. At least that's what Prowl and Jazz tell me. I don't buy it, myself. I'm not sure that a few more days will make any kind of difference; not when we're bringing in recruits like Bluestreak.

As if on cue he starts talking again. It's a soft mubling, running on and on. I can't even make out words. Just noise. Insufferable, constant, never ending noise.

"Will. You. Shut. Up?" I bite out, trying very hard not to yell. "You're going to get us both killed."

"Sorry, 'Raj," he murmurs.

I never look at him, but I can hear him moving up beside me and my hands clench around my rifle. "My name is Mirage," I growl out around clenched dental plates.

"Right. Sorry. Mirage," he says contritely. "I know I'm talking a lot and I know I shouldn't be I just can't seem to calm down. I mean, I want to do an good job and I know that we need to be quiet, but I'm not really sure I'm cut out for this, you know? I mean, I really want to help out, I need to do something since the Decepticons destroyed Praxus, but maybe being a gunner and a sniper isn't right? What do you think Mirage? Do you think I should-"

"Will you shut the frag up?" I hiss, taking my optics off the courtyard and focus instead on Bluestreak. "No, I don't think you're cut out for this. You can't be quiet for 3 kliks, how can you possibly be a sniper?"

"I just don't know what else I should do, Mirage. I mean, I need to be an Autobot, I need to do something to fight the Decepticons and they told me that I'd be good at this."

"You were lied to," I say simply as I turn back to the window.

I never see the Decepticons, my concentration distracted by Bluestreak. But he sees them. It's almost as if the world suddenly starts moving in slow motion. Bluestreak turns, raises his rifle and pulls off two shots, one for each Decepticon.

"They wouldn't lie to me," he says, not missing a beat. "They told me I could help and Prowl wouldn't lie to me."

I look from him to the now deactivated Decepticons and back. "What did you just do?"

"What?" he asks, looking guilty, as if he thinks I'm going to strike him. "I didn't do anything!"

"You didn't do anything? You didn't do anything? How can you even begin to say that!" I demand.

"Well I just-"

"Never mind. Just never mind, I don't want to hear it." I turn my back to him and open a secure comm line with the base. "Jazz, this is Mirage. Two hostiles down. Please advise on further action."

"Just sit tight there, Raj. I've got a cleanup crew enroute but they'll need cover in case there're any more Cons down there."

I growl softly to myself, offlining my optics as I do. "Acknowledged," I spit out acidly.

"So what'd they say? Can we go back or do we need to stay here longer?" Bluestreak asks.

"We stay."

"Oh. Okay. So how long do we have to wait? Are they sending a clean up crew or do they think that more Decepticons are on the way? And why did you think that ..."

I offline my optics with a groan. This is going to be a long mission.