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A Helping Hand

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A Helping Hand

Who: Fusillade, Jetfire
IC Year: 2026
Location: Neocron Surface
TP: Neocron

(April 2026) Fusillade gets an audial-ful over the ramifications of neglecting herself.


Surface

The majority of the planet consists of thick, dark gray steel plating, interrupted by the occasional empty basin, basin-cum-ocean, and the massive cliffs in the distant north and south polar regions. Bisecting this area is the golden central trench. Though comparatively plain, there's no doubt that this is the exterior of a complex mechanism; plates of metal the size of Earth's tectonic plates fit together as smoothly as the armor of the Transformer it is.


Jetfire stands atop the tallest point on Metroplex's Battlestation form, which would be the Communications tower. He's scanning the surrounding terrain, watching for encroaching Sharkticon hordes and other potential threats, as well as watching flyer's run in and out on bombing runs and suppression raids. Pausing for a moment he crosses his arms and lets out a faint sigh before continuing to scan. He's still in his full combat armor, giving him a much nastier appearance than normal.


Even as the air crackles to life with radio reports of the returning commando team, complete with mission success, the air between Metroplex and Trypticon fills with the sounds of engines from the small Decepticon contingent that aided in the strike on the Sharkticon factory. Catechism gets back to base without incident. However, lagging some distance behind, Fusillade finally lingers on the horizon, form growing in size. As she closes upon Metroplex on her way to Trypticon, the bomber gives a wide, slow turn to alter her course, changing the side which would be visible from the Autobot titan's towers. However, standard transformation protocols are ignored, and she in fact approaches for a ground landing. Her wings remain partially, suspiciously swept back as she slaps down hard on the ground, her tail slab ailerons flaring wide to aid in her deceleration.


Jetfire watches as the craft makes perhaps the second most graceless landing he's ever seen an airborne vehicle make, and wishes once again he could smirk, "I warned her." he mutters to himself before his boosters launch him on a parabolic arc towards her now stopped form. Bursts from vernier style jets bring him down softly as he regards the Bomber for a long moment, "Looks like things got messy out there, need a hand?"


The approach of the Guardian would, if she had them, raise Fusillade's hackles. Instead, she flicks nose canards once, and a glassy glare of cockpit glass is sent upwards toward Jetfire. "I will have the technicians tend to it, as they do all damage," she states in a brusque clip. 'It', in this case, being the more immediate, grievous wound visible as the red and white Autobot approaches from her left. The entire fairing that stretches between her forward bomb bay and the joint of her wing is rent wide open from where a dragon-scaled harpoon had pierced through. The subsequent removal by Fusillade's Moby Dick impression also ruined the pivot joint of the swing-wing, causing the interlock between both to halt any further adjustment -- and transformation, it would appear. She does not even acknowledge any related structural stress from the rampant bombing runs she had been pulling daily.


Jetfire crosses his arms, "I tend to doubt that, considering that every time I've run across you since this campaign began you've looked worse and worse. You're not doing anyone any good by completely ignoring proper maintinance protocols." he seems to have engaged full lecture mode, "In fact, you've become a detriment because you cannot perform at optimum levels, and thanks to that you end up needing severe levels of repair. I'm offering you assistance because we're all in this together. I'd prefer to think that if you're the one watching my back on a mission, you're not going to fall out of the sky because you haven't been properly serviced in weeks."


As Jetfire launches into his talk, any attending personnel that MAY have been approaching have definitely turned tail back into Trypticon. "Yeah, and who else is going to do it?" The growl is not quite one of conviction, as the craft vanes wings and attempts to swing her nosecone wide to taxi aside. "There's other factors involved," which she doesn't elaborate upon -- just yet. "Surely you can't have forgotten your time with us." Some of the comfort factor might involve their current location...


Jetfire snarls, a show of real genuine anger, "Do not bring that up. I trusted in an old friend and was betrayed for it. He knew all too well what my moral stances were and still put me in that position. I do not wish death on many, but what he got he deserved." the flash is gone just as quickly, "So what are these 'other factors'? If you are to continue leading troops you need to be in peak condition, otherwise it could have an impact on your underlings morale to boot. Surely you're aware of that."


Rocking back on landing gear at the outburst from Jetfire, Fusillade reverses engines, and in fact taxis backwards several dozen meters. "Okay, okay, okay, sheesh." A few more notches down, and she lets her engines idle now. "Just that... some ends are more embarassing than others. Shockwave and Cyclonus have returned, and my interim usefulness is at an end because of it. You intend to do a full overhaul here?"


Jetfire regards the Bomber for a time, "Only if you -let- your usefulness end. Regardless yes. I do intend to do a full overhaul here... there's much more room to work here than in either Medical Bay and we're well protected enough to be safe. I can summon my staff to bring out the supplies that will be needed easily enough."


The evasion doesn't hold up under scrutiny. The more charitable might suggest that Fusillade's defenses are slipping from the consuming pain that wracks her port side. "That's not it either," she hssts out in a panicked whisper, lapsing in silence the moment anyone capabale of overhearing passes by. And then, a sullen, possibly distraught silence. How much dared she share? Did he even care? Was the service wholly that of expedience? It DID serve his ends, after all... Finally, an abrasive, "Get me backm in my robot mode," escapes her.


Jetfire pulls out a medical scanner and runs a check on B-1B Lancer.


Jetfire's optic band glows slightly brighter as he runs a wrist mounted scanner over Fusillade once, "That shouldn't bee to difficult to do... but I can assure you I'm not going to stop there." he then tilts his head slightly as he activates a radio transmission. A few moments later 4 Autobot medic's carting a large hover platform loaded with parts and supplies emerges from Metroplex.


The more obvious damage and its concomitant loss of hydraulic fluids and energon is to be expected. What else gets revealed is likely disturbing. Although living and operating with, and overcoming, pain was part of the warrior lifestyle, there was some limit to acceptability, that line that shouldn't be crossed. Look wayyyyyyy behind you. While the composite alloys of her exterior, where not shot, look wholly fine, there is a disturbing, underlying issue. The entire airframe, along the flex of wings and tail ailerons, the main structural rafters and load bearing racks of her fuselage, all are fretted with cracking, the infrastructure above her landing gear and between her engine nacelles showing the worst of wear, and in some alarming instances, featuring gaps as wide as human fingers. "No?" she asks of Jetfire's assertation, starting to look towards Trypticon, as if gazing her chances of success at bolting for the relative security of the loading ramps.


Jetfire replies evenly, "If I must, I will summon Galvatron out here, I believe if he were to see the data readouts I am viewing right now, he would completely support my intentions in this matter." he then starts directing the four medics to start setting up the mobile lifts that will get Fusillade up off the ground enough for him to move underneath and begin the long and grueling process of correcting the abuse that she has wrought upon herself, "Struggling will only make things worse. I assure you."


"Not much to be done with struggling right now anyway," Fusillade bites out, demeanor spiking with acrimony. The process involved with repairs seems to be distressing to her, a quiver of wingtips from barely contained neuroticism. The openness of the surgical theatre? The fact that it was an Autobot doing the repairs? Past clashes with medical personnel? Stillness, silence for now, although the draught of air over vents does quicken.


Jetfire is, in actual fact, going to do only a portion of the repairs. The damage is so massive that the full team of Medics will be put to use. The first step is to remove any armoring that is still within specifications, and to touch it up while that which is not gets carted off to be smelted and reformed... there will be no wasting of resources, that which is reformed will be put back onto Fusillade before this entire process is over. The first step for Jetfire however is to move over to where his scanner indicates the main control segment is located in Fusillade and disable motor control and nervous system feedback, unlike Scrapper, he does not wish his patient to feel pain during what is sure to be an arduous process.


The chill from the rarefied air doesn't phase Fusillade as it settles around her internals, as filled with hatred for the lack of sunlight upon this invading planetoid as she already is. And the proper protocol is a mixed blessing. Despite the relative unawareness of any forthcoming pain, and indeed, the alleviation of already extant agonies, there was one advantage to repair under the tender ministrations of the Constructicons -- she could move. They had always entertained her notions of self-determination, or they just wanted to give her false impressions of having a fighting chance. Either way, she had always been able to move. And now? There's a mighty swell in readings, the tremulous thunder of fright that courses through circuits. A plaintive query of "Stuck?" escapes her.


Jetfire has no time to humor Fusillade's confusion. Now that she won't be bucking and twitching, the serious work can begin. The medics had already stripped the armoring off, and begun disassembling the worst of the stressed area's, including dismounting the swing wings and engine pods and moving them to low level scaffolding for work. Jetfire himself starts going through and using a fine level scanner to map out the stress fractures and fuselage warping of the craft, intent on getting the entire framework back to peak performance, and to that end... "This is a welcome opportunity actually. I've finalized a few new methods for dealing with this exact sort of fatigue damage that will go a long way in restoring your framework to it's operating specs, and beyond." he moves over to the cart to draw out an odd looking tool with what appear to be a welding element on the end, along with a wide clamp of some sort. He slowly and systematically begins bending and warping Fusillades main framework into the proper positioning to within microns of specifications.


A mental flurry of comments, backtalk and outright hysteria is ever so slowly quelled as Fusillade makes a conscious effort to remind herself of the last time she was repaired with activated dampeners... No malpratice suits were required then, even if the operator in question had been over-energized... and the view then had been particularly nice, this was true... All of this rolls by in silence across Fusillade's processor. She can't really follow the Autobot as he moves down her frame, although she manages to respond, "Better one of us than one of yours if there's some unforseen issues, mm? And hey, ever hear of the term 'suicide by cop'?" This tangent appears wholly inane -- surely it couldn't be connected to the return of the two purple leaders?


Jetfire replies idly, "Incorrect. I never use any methods on a sentient being that I am not 100 certain of... thus the term 'finalized'. All of my research is thoroughly and exhaustively checked and rechecked before any of it is put into practice." he goes over the stress fractures with the 'welding' tool, which once in action becomes apparent that it is in fact a tool which liquifies the metal, couple that with the clamp and you have a way of completely reforming the metal into factory level condition. He continues do the starboard side of Fusillade in this manner, pausing only long enough to change the element on the tool and reply to Fusillade, "No-one is going to kill you for being properly repaired. We need every single individual in peak condition if we're going to hold out long enough to end this conflict."


Gag her now. Fusillade would roll optics if she could, but given that she's locked in this mode, the craft merely sits where it is. The one thing that eventually does dawn on Fusillade is the fading, absence of ache, fatigue, and the gnawing soreness of strained joints. And for what is probably the first time in ages, she lets herself gaze at the stretch of the Milky Way that glitters across the sky's azimuth. No response is given to his correction about his work ethics. The other comment, though, she does reply to. "No one is going to kill me for being properly repaired, no," she repeats. That alto voice becomes distant, "But once this conflict is ended, then someone just might kill me to spite another." The statement is one of firm inevitability. She continues to regard the sky, and the blue-white haze of the clustered Seven Sisters. "I always did like the Pleiades. I even etched them on my quarters floor."


Jetfire shrugs slightly as he finishes the main struts of the starboard frame, "You'll forgive me for not being overly concerned. Whatever you may think of my motives in doing this, I can make it quite clear. You are useful to us, you're the only strategic bomber either side has available and your skills are necessary to win this war against the Quintesson's." he moves around and begins his way up the port side framework, "Beyond that doesn't really matter to me, you're as likely to die at my hand as one of your own."


Aftport. All kinds of delightful images of snapping her wings backward fully and lopping Jetfire's insufferable head off flitter through Fusillade's processor briefly. And the small talk about stars? Wasted. Fusillade internally checks over her internal chronometer for the time elapsed on the work. Considering the amount of thoroughness required, there's no suprise about how much time was involved. "You must hate being right all the time. And yeah I guess they don't look so great from down here when you can fly through them," she remarks one more time about the blue-white cluster suspended silently above them.


Jetfire continues moving through the work, the medics at this point have completely stripped down and partially reassembled both engine pods, two others emerged from Metroplex to begin working on the systems in Fusillade's main body, including the bombing racks. After what seems an eternity since her snarky comments, "I've never had much chance to stargaze, sadly. I have far too much work to do and far too little time. It's ashame really, back before the Civil War began, it was the stars that made me want to become an explorer. Took rather a lot to convince Starscream to come with me though... he was always more grounded. I suppose I should have seen it all coming." he then steps back, having finished with the repairs on the framework. The next step for him is adding the additional supports, since he knows full well Fusillade will do this to herself again, given the opportunity, he's going to make it much harder for her body to become so badly stressed.


"It takes time to get across the plains of Cybertron with atmospheric flight. Patrols and missions sometimes give me too much time to think." Given his earlier response to her own comment about the Decepticons, Fusillade just DOESN'T go there, instead saying, "The Orion group was always a good one strong one. Earth's stupid sun can't be seen from here. It's too weak." Fusillade is going to have a few extra bits inside, although she doesn't quite know this yet. Ultimately, all that will matter to her will be the ability to fling herself to the skies, to gallop through canyons, bolt over the ground at daredevil low altitudes, and generally be as hard on the world as she is on her own body. Perhaps some dim awareness and connection would be made between this day and future satisfaction with her own performance, but that will be a long time coming, and acknowledgment of the scientist's prowess even longer in coming. He already knew, though, didn't he? No one had to remind him. Certainly not someone he was likely going to be shooting out of the sky again ANYWAY.


Jetfire lets out a wistful sigh as he sets about inserting the new support struts, using the element to fuse them so thoroughly in place it's as if they were always part of the frame, "Indeed, I and Starscream scouted each of the stars that form the Orion constellation from Earth. At the time we didn't understand the significance, but looking back on it now it was a good time. Not long before the meteor strike that separated us and resulted in my near demise." he finishes inserting the new struts - a much simpler task than repairing the existing frame - and steps back to let the medics handle bits and pieces of the work as assigned. Judging by how smoothly the team is operating one might think Jetfire had planned this all in advance. When they've moved back again to finish assembling the engine pods, Jetfire moves in and sets about running whole new fuel lines, including an energon pump with an increased flow rate, and industrial grade energon lines to the critical components, which run along side existing energon lines. Ahhh redundancy, they name is Jetfire. He then beckons to one of the team members, whom move over with a mobile charging unit. He plugs it directly into the main battery compartment to let the low energy levels recharge while the finishing touches are put on the armor repairs and engines. The entire tail assembly and wing assembly (Except for the wingblades which have mysteriously been left strictly alone) has been rebuilt and appears ready for reassembly when the time comes.


Again with the whole belonging thing. No one was making an issue of it besides Fusillade, but there it was again. Gestalt members had each other, and it appears that even scientists had each other too. She had... a few planes that worked with her because they had to. It's time to reevaluate one's existence... The next time she gets opened up by Decepticons, too, there will be much head-scratching at the interior changes. "High-flying adventure, thrills and chills," she murmurs, at a loss of how to empathize without sounding like a jackass. The one noticable thing about her interior is that the lining is impeccably clean, indicating a high frequency of cycling of energon from the near continuous consumption and wholesale expenditure that Fusillade's been going through every day. She tries to think of something else about space to get him to talk! "Nebulas are nice to look at, but aren't they dangerous to fly through?" .oO( You dumbaft, just shut up.)


Jetfire shrugs a bit as he finishes work on the internal systems, including a small addition to her diagnostic systems. A device hardwired into the system which doesn't appear to do much of anything, including show up on the diagnostics. He steps back as the 6 medics swarm in, setting about reassembling the wings and tail section of the craft before bolting the freshly formed armor into place. As a special bonus, they've even re-created her paintscheme with a nice glossy finish and a little extra flourish to the camo patterns. Jetfire runs another fast diagnostic scan, mapping the alterations to her schematics to a datachip, except for that small device wired into the diagnostic system. Heck, it actually looks like it -belongs- there, but whose to say, "Alright..." he steps up to the last piece of armoring as it's bolted on, reactivates her neural feedback system and her motivator systems before sealing the armoring in place, "You should be all set."


Jetfire begins work on B-1B Lancer's injuries.


Once the hold is dispersed, landing gear swing up into the jet's belly as Fusillade transforms, and twists around to regard the Autobot. The catcalls and wolfwhistles at the extra sheen on the paintjob are already starting from Trypticon's ramparts. Although not turning to call them off, there's this definite -look- on Fusillade's features as she finally levels her gaze on Jetfire. "I think you forgot to return the feedback systems back to full," she critiques. She'll likely be surprised to remember what operating under normal parameters feels like. Regardless of Jetfire's response, her gaze immediately slides downwards as she sleeks hands over the pleated surfaces of her wingblades.


Main systems restored to normal functionality.


Jetfire holds out the datapad in his hand, "This has an updated mapping of your schematics, so that you can keep MSE informed as to the changes I made. I reinforced your frame, and installed an industrial grade energon system to bolster your existing system. It should allow you to handle the kinds of stresses you've been through far better in the future." he then glances at the Medics once to ensure the cleanup is going smoothly, "No, you merely forgot what it's like not to feel constant searing pain. The fatigue on your main body was so severe that your next transformation probably would have snapped you in two."


The sleek bomber rears up, arms splitting from her side and wings collapsing to rest on the hips of the revealed form of Fusillade.


Hmm, let that one sink in for a while. "I'm sure I would have been good for another two or three landings," Fusillade remarks coolly. At the proferred information, she ohs quietly, "Thank you." That could have easily been written off as just being said for the item, and not the entire process. Right? It's likely that some perverse self-destructive streak will cause her to withhold the information, just so that MSE would have that initial shock... but the humbling evening will ensure that she does deliver the pad. Ducking her gilded helm briefly, she stares at it for the longest time to decipher the densely written specs, but soon relents. "Back to business then, I guess?" tumbles awkwardly from her, as per someone who's been properly spanked.


Jetfire nods, "Indeed, unless there is something more you require at this time." he checks his chronometer, as is hinted at by backwards numbers in his visor, "Mmm, it appears I'm just about due for my own maintinance check. If you will excuse me..." he turns and starts to stride up the ramp into Metroplex, the other Medics following behind with the gathered gear.


Raising one hand to clutch at the back of her helmet, Fusillade shakes her head mildly in genuine confusion. "No, not really," she says blandly to his back, even as she paces back toward the looming black and purple monolith of Trypticon. Doing it to show off. Doing it to aid the species's survival. Doing it to flaunt the superiority of Autobot morality. There would need to be many, many patrols in Fusillade's future to write off this evening's events, and very little to speak of to others about what roils within.

--End--

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