A Battle Rages Outside

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A Battle Rages Outside
Date of Cutscene: 20 October 2016
Location: Tarn
Synopsis: Just Swivel's luck - she's still in Jail when the Autobots strike.
Cast of Characters: Swivel

“I… I dun mean t’be annoyin’... but ‘ow long am I in ‘ere for?” peeped Swivel, standing at the edge of the force field keeping her in her cell. She peered at the guard on duty with her optic ridges raised, and her hands out in front, clasped together.

“I reckon a couple more cycles, or until someone posts bail,” the mech responds in a slow, droll tone. From what Swivel could recall, he’d been there a long time. She wondered just what sort of shifts these guards had to take. And how boring it must be! She had one less cellmate after the radio fiasco. “If you didn’t pull that stunt with the amplifier…”

“Oh, yeah, tha’ was bad o’ me. I’m sorry. It’s jus’... I din get a chance ta tell ‘enone I was ‘ere, so ‘ow would ‘enone know to post me bail?” Swivel responded, looking down piteously. The guard mech just shrugged his shoulders. Swivel waited for an explanation, but none came. The guard mech did not seem interested in answering any of her questions. Swivel frowned, and walked to the back of the cell.

If not for Swivel’s internal clock, she would have lost track of how long she’d been in jail. It had been very dull for her, especially since they confiscated her diary. Swivel idly worried that they would read it and it often put her on edge. That was the least of her concerns though. Any cycle, the Autobots might attack, and the femme could not help but wonder what would happen then?

“Cliptop shouldn’t have let you use his amplifier. Don’t know what he was thinking,” cam th bored voice of her cellmate. Not long ago, on of her cellmates had shown a micro amplifier that he managed to smuggle in to get past the radio dampening. He agreed to let Swivel use it in trade for half of her energon ration. Swivel had barely turned it on and tuned her own radio before she was caught. Cliptop lost his amplifier, got put in another cell, and they both had their bail added to.

“‘E was low on fuel, I guess,” Swivel mumbled. “I was tryna be careful…” Swivel added. But it was pointless to defend herself to her apathetic cellmate. In fact, she was surprised he volunteered to speak to her at all, even if it was a criticism. Silence prevailing once again, Swivel sunk down to sit on the floor, cross-legged. She idly picked at some loose paint flecks on her arm, needing to engage her twitchy fingers in something. It was a bad habit, but it helped Swivel to clear her mind.

Swivel was jarred away from her nigh meditative state by a distance, muffled noise. She tilted her head, edging towards the wall, placing her aural receptors close to it. She was unsure if she heard an explosion or some other cacophony. Moments later, she noticed the guard slip into his bullet-proof booth, and grab the console radio. Swivel watched him carefully. He looked agitated. Did he hear something as well? Was he calling to find out what happened? Swivel leaned forward and brought her hands down to the ground, feeling for vibrations. Slowly, she crawled on her hands and knees closer to the edge of her cell, trying to hear what the guard was saying without attracting his attention.

Even with Swivel’s enhanced senses, she is unable to get coherent words from the deep, grumbly sound of a voice talking, but she does detect a sense of urgency in the mech’s voice. ‘Why does bullet proof also have to be so sound proof?’ Swivel thought to herself was she brought her face as close as she dared to the forcefield, feeling the warm, thrumming sensation of the energy. It tickled the tip of her nose, but she just needed to know what was going on.

“What are you doing?” came the inquiry from her cellmate.

Swivel froze, nearly jumping and slamming her face into the forcefield. In a hushed tone, she responded, without looking back, “Please go back ta ignorin’ me.” All the response she got was a derisive snort, which was perfectly fine with her. The hum of the force fields was beginning to aggravate her a little. Apparently, not everyone could hear them, but she certainly could. And right now it was in her way. She also knew, however, that there was nothing she could do about it and she would have to make do. Swivel eased back, resting her rear end on the backs of her calves, her bottom set of tires touching the floor. Swivel calmly places her hands atop her thighs, knowing that getting frustrated would just add to her current stress.

There was a subtle buzzing sound. Swivel glanced down at her tires. The metal studs upon them were just barely in contact with the metal floor. Vibrations from a distance had reached the foundation of this building, and was rapidly knocking on the metal on her tires. Again, Swivel placed her hands on the ground. There was no mistake, now. She looked up to the guard booth. The guard looked frantic as he continued to talk into his radio. Indeed, no mistake now. That was an explosion she heard, and many more had since followed. More importantly, they were getting closer.

It had begun.

The sounds and tremors of a mighty battle being waged outside of the building were now reaching even her indolent cellmate, who sat up abruptly, looking around alertly. “The Autobots,” Swivel explained. The cellmate cursed under his breath and walked over to the edge of his cell, banging on the wall and yelling to get the guard’s attention. Swivel shook her head and just waited. She looked up, more concerned with the integrity of the structure. She edges herself into a corner. If the building were to collapse, she imagined it would happen to the center of the ceiling or walls, and remaining in the corners was her safest bet. However, if she were lucky, she wouldn’t be buried in this jail.

But Swivel knew her luck, and it was of the bad sort.

Swivel began to wonder what would become of her? If Autobots took over Tarn, she would be legitimately in Prowl’s power. And if the Decepticons took control, what would they do with prisoners? This is assuming that the jail doesn’t collapse or explode in the fight itself. She may end up buried under rubble. Or perhaps a big chunk of the wall would be blown open, and the other prisoners would escape. Would she? Would it be held against her if she tried to save herself?

The fighting had been going on for a while, but the jail remained in tact. Swivel grew ever more nervous with each passing moment. It was only a matter of time before SOMETHING happened, and Swivel had no way to anticipate or prepare for it. Just as Swivel was beginning to fidget, she froze. A frightening noise had cut through the muffled din of the fighting. Swivel was unsure just what it was making that sound, but it made Swivel feel afraid. That irrational sort of fear of the unknown. The best word she could think of to describe it was a ‘Roar’, and it carried with it some sort of primal rage that was unknown to her. Not soon after, there was a loud crash heard, and even felt above. The lights flickered, and the sound of, perhaps, the ceiling in the cell over from her collapsing was sharp on her audials. The guard from the booth rushed out, running past her field of vision.

“HALT!”

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