559/An Unexpected Visit

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An Unexpected Visit
Date of Scene: 16 July 2018
Location: Repair Bay
Synopsis: Prowl gets a visit from someone rather unexpected.
Cast of Characters: Prowl, Hot Rod

Prowl has posed:
    As officially reported, Prowl is in the repair bay at the Decagon, recovering from the injuries sustained from narrowly avoiding getting assassinated by Blast Off earlier. His condition is mostly stable, but the medics only recently finished repairs.

    Now of course despite all of that, he seems to be busy going over logs and documentation on a datapad. Or several. Probably should be resting, but there's just too much to be done and even slab bound he can at least handle the more mundane things.

Hot Rod has posed:
Now who might be wandering past the repair at this hour, while also being assigned eastside Decagon patrol?

None other than the former Nyonian rebel Hot Rod - naturally bending and breaking the rules as he is so inclined to do at any given moment. He's assumed a casual demeanor, though it looks somewhat forced, and he hesitates in the doorway, casting a sweeping glance around the vicinity as if to make sure no one would spot him strolling into room where Prowl is being kept. Primus forbid that it might seem like he's visiting the sub-commander - surely that kind of dent to his reputation would be irreparable.

He then meanders in, very intentionally at first looking everywhere except at Prowl. Then his gaze lands on the sub-commander, and he tries to act surprised. "Well, fancy that. I had no idea you were here," he says, though it's obvious he'd rehearsed that line. Among the many things Hot Rod is terrible at, lying is probably the one he's the worst at.

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl arches an optic ridge at him, his attention pulling away from the paperwork when the former insurgent approaches. Odd that really -anyone- would visit the strategist for reasons other than communicating important business that needs to be discussed in person, and Hot Rod is probably about the last person he would've expected. Clearly, the mech was never an actor or anything because he's absolutely terrible at acting.

    "Isn't your patrol route for today on the -east- side?" he asks. Oh, yeah of course he keeps track of all that. "And I guess I shouldn't expected you to have read the report."

Hot Rod has posed:
Hot Rod glances away, looking disinterested and unconcerned. "Yeah. I switched with Hyperdrive - had a better patrol period. I'd rather be running around at night, than during the day," he says, lying nonchalantly. Instead of answering Prowl's question, he asks, "Oh, yeah, about reports. Like..." he starts fiddling with a scalpel that had been lying on the table next to Prowl's berth, "you read mine, right?"

Prowl has posed:
    "You switched, but neither of you documented it?" Prowl sighs, but surprisingly, doesn't berate him any further, simply leaving it at "Fine."

    "Of course I did, Hot Rod. I was rather shocked that you actually wrote one to begin with, so it naturally drew my attention first as a matter of fact." He replies, actually bringing it up on the datapad there and reviewing it. "Good work out there. We could use every ally we can possibly get in this fight."

Hot Rod has posed:
He just waves dismissively at Prowl's comment about not documenting the switch, but appears surprised when Prowl doesn't berate him further about it.

He looks behind him as if to make sure no one's around again, seeming mildly embarrassed. "Yeah, well, you know, I figured like, that's really important for everyone to know about," he says, "since I did go alone, and probably Autobots will go back to Junkion sometime soon. It's good for them to know whether they're on hostile soil or not." As if there hadn't been other reports very similar to the content of the one he'd just written.

However, when Prowl offers him a compliment, he seems slightly shocked. "..." For a nanosecond, he appears very pleased - but a moment later, he quickly hides his joy behind a sour look and folded arms. "Yeah....yeah, whatever, it was the least I could do, and since when did you start caring about whether I led a successful mission or not? Like, /never/. If you're gonna ask for some dirty favor, well... save it! I have a moral compass, unlike you."

Prowl has posed:
    Prowl simply nods at Hot Rod's little explanation of why he wrote the report. "Good. Of course, that is absolutely right. I'm glad you learned -something- at the Academy."

    "I didn't start." he replies to that question about caring, then continues in a matter-of-fact tone, "I just always have." Then he stares at Rod, looking almost...dejected? It's odd, seeing this on Prowl, who almost always either looks annoyed/angry or just emotionless. Sad and happy rarely ever happen. Then it passes and he shrugs, going back to that bland look again. "Don't worry, I wasn't going to ask you to do anything, Hot Rod. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder why you're even still here. I was almost certain you hated my struts."

Hot Rod has posed:
"Don't get too excited," Hot Rod retorts, "I didn't do it because the Academy taught me to, I just did it because.. well, I felt like it and it made sense to me," he adds.

When Prowl gives him a dejected look, he does a double take. He's never seen Prowl act or say anything of the like before - and surprise, surprise, when he said he always had it, it actually sounded genuine. Hot Rod stares at him in disbelief. But then the moment passes and he goes back to being his emotionless, iron composured self.

Nonetheless, this leaves Hot Rod somewhat speechless. "Well, uh.. me too!" he says, "I think I just .. wanted to make sure you read my report. Plus, I just happened to be in the west wing, so I figured I'd just drop by and ask." He pauses. "I should probably get going and resume my eastside patrol," he says, turning around to head for the door.

Well, he'd done it again - made a fool of himself in front of the subcommander. But what else is new, really?

Prowl has posed:
    "I thought you traded shifts with Hyperdrive?" Prowl asks, again arching a brow at Hot Rod. "Hmph. Never mind. Yes, you'd best get back to work. But I'm glad you have a desire to help keep others around you disciplined when it comes to keeping tabs on reports."

    There's a moment's pause, but before the young Autobot can leave, the strategist addresses him again. "Hot Rod," he begins, giving him a moment to turn around but even if he doesn't, he still continues. "You know I won't always be around to scold you about making the wrong choices...one of these cycles you'll be the one in charge. The one responsible for the lives of your people. I just want you to be prepared for that."

Hot Rod has posed:
Hot Rod is about to leave when Prowl gives him a future word of advice. He doesn't turn around to look at Prowl, but his blue optics widen in shock. He unconsciously clenches and unclenches a fist, his expression becoming distant. "Yeah you will," he says, "you have to be."

Then he transforms and drives off down the hallway, leaving Prowl to think what he will about his last words.

What the subcommander may or may not have known is that Hot Rod feels he isn't ready or worthy of that role, despite all his bravado. Yet, anyway. Of course, he'd never admit it - but pondering a future where he is in a position of power with no Prowl around actually unnerves the young flameo.