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Inspection Time Again

Who: Rodimus Prime, Kup, Arcee, Smokescreen, Hot Spot, Blades, Streetwise, Quickswitch, Foxfire, Nightbeat, Sideswipe, Broadcast, Perceptor, Andi Lassiter, Bitbucket, and Inspector McLusky. Special Guest Appearance by Swerve.
IC Year: 2029
Location: Autobot City
TP: Non-TP

None


<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Okay, Autobots!"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Today is our annual inspection by a UN delegate."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "So we all have to be on our /best behavior/ because the /slightest incident/ and they might /embargo/ us again."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Ugh. The /UN/ again."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "See, that's what I mean, Prime -- no offense."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Alright, alright."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire snickers.

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Is that more human-inspired beaurocracy?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Help me touch up my dents from my battle with Galvatron. I don't want to look like some kind of hobotron."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "It's /the/ human-inspiried bureaucracy, Quickswitch, and they're als pretty much our landlords."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Sure thing, Rodimus."

<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "If we turn off all the lights and hide maybe they'll think we arn't home."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says in a much quieter but no less unhappy voice, "I don't know why we should even have to deal with them."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "/I'll/ get rid of 'em."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Uh, that's unnecessary, Quickswitch."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "We can't /get rid of/ the UN, Quickswitch."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Behave yourself, Quickswitch."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "It's their planet and everything."

<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "Our lease is current right?"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "By the way, Rodimus...I'll be a *good* fox, promise!"

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "Is there any way I can be of service in today's visit from the United Nations? I apologize that I've not been around more, it would seem that the science installation on Ceti Miranda Seven can't find their refractor array calibrations with two arms and a reflector plate."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "They are the size of turbo rats. They don't even live as long, and they are--"

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Why are we having this conversation?"

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "I'm no /detective/, but we're not Decepticons."

<Autobot> Andi Lassiter says, "*speaks quietly but sounds rather irritated* Do I need to return there and act as an intermediary?"

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Oh, wait, I /am/ a detective."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Listen, this inspector, he's a little... well, my UN contacts tell me he's... um, 'high-strung,' I guess is a good way of putting it."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Maybe even 'eccentric.'"

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "--are weak--get rid of em, or at least our involvement with them... For Primus' sake, please. It's our war, not theirs.."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Our war. Their planet."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Remember it."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "What Kup said."

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Quickswitch, that was directed mostly at you, though everyone else is annoying me, too. Stow the genocide."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "You're annoyed by a cute little fox like me?"

<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "It kind of stopped being just our war when we took it off planet you know? Now we're the intergalactic problem children of the universe."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "DID I SAY ANYTHING ABOUT FRAGGING TERMINATING THEM! DID I?! *clamps down his vocorder volume abruptly* -- ...."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Uh, this is... not what the inspector will want to see."

<Autobot> Quickswitch continues ranting over the channel, vocorder on mute.

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Ugh. Count me out of this, Hot Spot, Rodimus. I'm going to Cybertron to think about what you've all done wrong, and don't be surprised if I quit five minutes later."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Is there some kind of... box or something Quickswitch might be able to, uh, rest in while we get inspected?"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "It'd violate the Handbook, Prime."

<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "His face violates the handbook."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Hmm. I guess you're right."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Sideswipe, the Handbook says absolutely nothing about Quickswitch's face."

<Autobot> Arcee says, "Inspection? Did I miss something?"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire snickers.

<Autobot> Kup says, "What?! Insecticons? WHERE?"

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Looks like, Arcee. Our annual UN inspection is today."

<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "That's 3.5. In 4th edition the handbook is very clear on Quickswitch's face."

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "That sounds rather omnious."

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "I have this theory... that Insecticons never actually existed. And you know what, I'm close to proving it so you can all back off."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Nightbeat, I'd appreciate if you could stay in Autobot City and show the UN what a good detective you are."

<Autobot> Sound of scribbling. "Okay!" Foxfire chirps. "NOW the handbook says something about Quickswitch's face. And no one said anything about Insecticons, Kupster. Are yer audios malfunctioning?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Plus, err, the shuttles aren't working. Sorry."

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "Hmmm, you act like you're my boss or something."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "You can solve the Case of Who Stole Hot Spot's Office Chair."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "--again, if you're thinking of it, Rodimus--! *his vocorder cuts back in*"

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "....Did you check Depthcharges lab Hot Spot?"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "...Wasn't me, Hot Spot!"

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "I put your office chair in the elevator to distract the maintenance bots so I could dig through Red Alert's desk. Mystery solved."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I tried, but it was locked."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Couldn't you at least have... put it back?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Fancy that, Nightbeat."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "And how did you get into my office?"

<Autobot> Nightbeat says, "I'll ask the questions here."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Heehee..."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "He's here! Everyone! /BEHAVE/, in the name of all that is digital!"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "I'm a good fox!"

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "Why do I think I'm going to hear about this on the human news tonight..."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Because we're just that lucky, Streetwise."

Blades strides through the blast doors, "This better be good Hot Spot." he crosses his arms and looks about the room, "You know how I feel about COMMAND centers..." he trails off, scowling.

Arcee slips in, cleaned up from the night before, steps light. She has no idea what this is about, but... ah well.

The doors to the Command Center FWWWSHHHH open. Riding in Slammer, whose hatch is open to expose the man's upper body to the air, is a man dressed in a white futurofascist space jumpsuit with various emblems signifying freedom sewn to the shoulders and chest. He has a grey beard and generally looks like a withered, unpleasant man.

"Inspector McLusky!" Hot Spot says, all but kowtowing to the man riding a little white tank. He surreptitiously elbows Blades in the stomach as he bows. "Welcome to Autobot City. I'm Hot Spot, Autobot Operations Commander, and this is--"

"I DON'T CARE," snaps Inspector McLusky. "You're all MACHINES anyway, so why bother pretending you have NAMES. Let's just stop pretending we LIKE each other and get this OVER WITH." He takes out a small datapad and begins to wave it around the room, getting some kind of reading.

Noticing Arcee, McLusky stops. "My god..." he mutters. "You things BREED now?"

<Autobot> Sideswipe says, "...system check"

Rodimus Prime has tried his best to assemble the rag-tag group of Autobots he could find in Autobot City who were not otherwise committed to field assignments. Unfortunately, this includes some of the recovering Autobots from the medbay -- himself included. He tries to disguise his energon deficiency with a puffed out chest, which has been freshly polished courtesy of Hot Spot's built-in buffer systems. "AutoBOTS," Rodimus barks. "Aaaaatten-SHUN." He takes out a tiny golden whistle with the Autobot emblem on it, blowing a high-pitched two-note whistle.

Blades turns to Hot Spot, "Who the hec-- **oomphf*", the protectobot "bows".

Arcee snaps straight, and hopefully it isn't obvious that the femme is trying very hard not to say something snide or make a /very/ nasty face at the silly little man who apparently has no concept of tact. She keeps her eyes off Rodimus and just nods her head forward very slightly.

"And you," the cranky old man says, pointing at Blades. "What are you, all in red and white, the medic? The oxygen in here is too rich -- you could get a grown man /loaded/ with this air! FIX IT!"

When Rodimus Prime enters, the whistle causes McLusky to wince. "RODIMUS PRIME," he growls. "I see you're still running as tight a ship as ever."

Assault Beast <Quickswitch> had returned to Autobot City on important business. Now, paws soundless as he arrives in the Command Center, two things happen. His feral optics light up as his neural net is assaulted by thundering hatred (at the sight of a human, that is)--his jaws open wide in a seething hiss--and--shock, bafflement--his vocorder emits static, a small, crackling tone as he transforms upwards into his enormous robot mode, "..Blades..?" Blades?! "--Blades.." His emerald optics grow wide, his head shakes. The human's grading words buffet him and his jaw twists.

Quickswitch springs up into his massive robot mode.

Foxfire is sitting in the corner, back straight. As he hears the inspector, he lowers his ears, a quiet, nearly inaudible snarl escaping him. He blinks at Rodimus and the whistle. "Where'd you get that...?" He straightens himself again, lifting a front paw to salute as best as a quadruped can.

There is a brief delay as Kup attempts to master his features. It is difficult not to laugh, but the old soldier keeps it down and creakily hauls himself up to attention. His face twitches as he attempts to keep the laughter out of his voice and demeanour.

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Must keep calm...he's just an ignorant human..."

<Autobot> Arcee just makes a quiet, irate sound.

<Autobot> Junkion Radio Broadcast says, "What did I miss?"

Rodimus Prime lowers the synthesizer whistle, moving to approach McLusky. "Thank you, Inspector. We Autobots pride ourselves on our dedication to procedure and formality." He produces a copy of the Autobot handbook. "Each one of us has to memorize all 932 pages of the Autobot Handbook. Our rules are our strength -- keeping Autobot City running like clockwork." He looks around, smirking to himself. Hey, the Command Center /does/ actually look clean today.

Blades's optics boggle, "But. I'm-- er, that is..." the normally cocky Protectobot finds himself at a loss for words. He ends up trailing off and muttering something about "First Aid" before Rodimus' whistle catching him off guard and he snaps to attention. Not a banner evening for our resident ruffian.

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "We're having our annual visit from the UN, Broadcast."

TWO HOURS AGO

Hot Spot is on his hands and knees, scrubbing furiously.

NOW

Hot Spot stands proud and tall. "Rodimus Prime is correct, sir. The Autobot Handbook has formed the core of Autobot ph--"

"If I wanted the guided tour, I'd have come on the weekend," McLusky snaps at Hot Spot, again cutting the Protectobot leader off. "And you, nurse boy! This air hasn't gotten any less overoxygenated! What, does the Autobot Handbook just train you all to stand around gibbering like simps?"

Smokescreen enters from the Main Lobby - First Floor to the west.
Smokescreen has arrived.

Arcee keeps her expression /very/ carefully schooled, though she hasn't said a word. A lesser femme would've been sputtering by now, but she is very good at controlling her temper. .............most of the time, anyway.

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "He. Is. A. DICK. There, I said it. Good thing he can't hear this..."

<Autobot> Arcee says, "I'm not... saying... /anything/..."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I... really hope he can't."

<Autobot> Kup says, "That is an /assumption/, Foxfire."

<Autobot> Arcee says, "Because I have a feeling if I switch on my vocalizer standing here, I may not be able to control the words that come /out/."

Quickswitch is locked between the enormous implausibility of what his sensors are telling him, the shock at seeing Blades-- He was decapitated, Quickswitch saw the whole horrible thing with his own optics--! And that irritable, shouting human. His enormous fists work, tightening and losening, and his face is grimly set against the overpowering irritation thundering like mad through his systems, face threatening to jump as the human continued his tirade. Quickswitch's very jaws quivered with barely constrained emotion...

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I'll schedule an appointment with First Aid, Arcee."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "I know how you feel, 'Cee."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Guys, guys. We've handled worse before."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Compared to Unicron -- I mean, piece of cake, right?"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Unicron was a giant mech who ate *planets*. THIS guy is treating us like common household appliances."

Blades looks at Hot Spot.

Blades looks at Inspector McLusky.

Blades looks at Hot Spot.

Blades... silently makes his way towards the control panel. His optics are wide open, it looks like it is taking all of his energy to keep from exploding on someone. So, instead he focuses ALL of his anger on VERY ACCURATELY resetting the oxygen control levels, "First Aid is the medic..." he mumbles under his breath.

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "...Alright, wha'd I miss here?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Yeah, and Unicron tried to kill us all, too."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Annual inspection, Smokescreen."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "We don't like the inspector."

Hot Spot, seeing Blades go the panel and not punt the human, silently thanks Alpha Trion.

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "Psh. Inspection? I can handle THAT."

Standing next to the control panel, Kup just gives Blades a /look/. His optics are dancing with barely-restrained mirth. "Now don't forget to lower the N2 ratio when you're remixing the oxygen, Medic!" he says, in a shockingly steady military voice.

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "Rodimus, according to my calculations, Metroplex will only come up to approximately eighty three point nine nine three seven percent of the standards the United Nations intend to hold us up to!"

Blades has very very detailed simulations of him punting the human running through his neuro-processors, currently. For the record.

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "That might have to do with Blades touching a science console right now."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Don't worry, Perceptor. Smokescreen and Ace Medic Blades are on the job."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "Please, Blades, don't shut down the oxygen generators."

<Autobot> Blades says, "Wait. Zero-percent means GOOD right?"

"Not at all, Inspector," Rodimus replies professionally, folding his hands behind his back and striding alongside Slammer. "It has been thoroughly calculated and formatted to enable us the highest victory margin during an exhaustive interstellar war while maintaining the principles of Galactic Peace. I highly recommend reading the English translation sometime, Inspector. Now, what can I show you today?" He gestures, indicating the whole of Metroplex.

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "No!"

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "...No. No it doesn't!"

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "Oh my! That would be most unacceptable to the delicate human physiology. I should call First Aid post haste!"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Guys."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Calm down, I've dealt with this guy before."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "We just need to get him to the cafeteria."

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "I'm sure I can lie about the extra 17 percent of the regulations. Must no be THAT important, right?"

<Autobot> Metroplex Control Systems, "ALERT: Oxygen levels falling."

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "Blades, I swear if I have to take one of the transports down from the PCC..."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "As soon as he sees free beer -- which is like, high-octane energon for humans -- he tanks up on it."

<Autobot> Blades says, "Oh. OOOH!"

<Autobot> Metroplex Control Systems, "ALERT: Oxygen levels falling."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Didn't even notice we were missing our transformation cog last time."

<Autobot> Blades says, "Sorry! That was the same button.."

<Autobot> Arcee groans. "And here I was wondering why I even booted out of recharge today..."

<Autobot> Kup snorts.

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "Why is the oxygen still falling?!"

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "...It's heavy?"

<Autobot> Streetwise can be heard groaning into his computer console.

"Tell me why these LOAFERS don't seem to be DOING ANYTHING despite this being the COMMAND CENTER," McLusky says, glare turning back to Arcee for some reason. Then, his little Tri-Mobile UN Future Sidecorder beep beep beeps. "What th-- YOU! MEDIC! FIX THOSE OXYGEN LEVELS! Rodimus Prime, your soldier is trying to KILL ME!"

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "Hold on, I will access TAI from my terminal and override that."

Quickswitch took a heavy step forward, one that shook the ground. That creature would /dare/ insult us, the superior lifeforms?! His optics were bleary and it was all he could do to tear his optics from the human and follow the image of Blades.

Wait.. A confused shudder ran through Quickswitch, showing up mostly in his optics. Stuffing down all the enormousness of the rage he could, Quickswitch nervously, ventures over to where Blades is standing at the controls, the behemoth towering over him. It would have gotten ugly if he'd remained where he was.

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Override... what..."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Thanks, Perceptor."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Just keep him breathing long enough to get to the beer."

"Actually, Inspector-" so comes Smokescreen's voice as he hurries into the comman room. "...We're adjusting the Oxygen levels for your comfort...as, in actuality, we keep the oxygen levels a LITTLE bit higher than earth-normal, as it assists on our fuel efficiency. We're just modifying things so your brain systems don't get, ah...over-loaded, so to speak." The diversionary tactician grins- the way he does with his best lies, of course. He's got more tricks up his sleeve than electro-scrambler rockets!

Arcee tips her chin up /just/ slightly, but the shift looks more like she's just readjusting when really, it's a very quiet show of defiance.

Rodimus Prime mouths 'Thank you' to Smokescreen before stepping up ahead of Slammer to get into the Inspector's point of view. "Exactly, Inspector. There's nothing to be worried about." He grins, extending an index finger point in the air. "And we can always crack a window if you get a little stuffy!" He winks an optic.

<Autobot> Perceptor sounds gobsmacked! "Rodimus, you're intending to intoxicate that United Nations inspector in order to recieve a satisfactory review?"

<Autobot> Kup says, "Don't be crazy, Perceptor."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Perceptor... I don't know what to say."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Rodimus just wants to demonstrate the vast variety of human-friendly consumables we have here in Autobot City."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "It's... it's in the handbook even."

<Autobot> Streetwise says, "It's possible that can backfire you know, I've seen some humans act...most unpleasnt after having these consumables."

Quickswitch whispers, his vocalizer barely steady, heavy with doubt, It mutters to Blades, "... Are you--how are you..."

"You didn't answer my FIRST QUESTION," McLusky says, annoyed. Meanwhile, Hot Spot attempts to unsubtly move himself between Blades and any important consoles.

Bitbucket enters from the Main Lobby - First Floor to the west.
Bitbucket has arrived.

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "'All human guests should be afforded the maximum hospitality possible during their visits to our facilities. NOTE: Humans require FOOD (see Ch. 4), AIR (see Ch. 5) and WATER (see Ch. 6, 18) to survive.'"

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "I once met an EDC trooper who penciled in 'BEER' to that section. I guess it's important."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Well, there's water IN beer."

Quickswitch reaches out with a heavy, huge digit, and gives Blades an experiemntal nudge.

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "What is that damned handbook?!"

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "Really?"

"Oh, well," Rodimus looks over his shoulder at the Big Screen. "Most of our functions are automated by our supercomputer, Teletran. Of course, we have officers on monitor duty -- but, err, they're all busy. Greeting you." He gestures to the Autobots in the room.

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "We need a HANDBOOK now?!"

Blades shakes himself back to life, "YOW!" he says as the computer chimes, ">> TARGET BLADES REACTIVATED <<"

Blades rubs the back of his head, "Jeez. I didn't know it could DO that!"

Quickswitch draws his finger back immediately! He didn't mean to cause THAT!

<Autobot> Perceptor sounds relieved, "Well, in that light that sounds quite Reasonable. Perhaps I could sythesize some High Grade energon to show that we're attempting to share our consumables with our human friends?" he says in an enthusiastically british manner.

McLusky glowers. "I see. So if a TSUNAMI hit, your reaction time would be impaired because you're too busy putting up BANNERS and bringing 'round the WELCOME WAGON?" He turns back to Arcee for the third time. "YOU! Do you DO ANYTHING around here, or is your function just to SIT HERE and look pretty?"

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Err. No High Grade while he's here."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "I mean, it's not that I don't trust you guys."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Really."

Smokescreen holds up a finger to the Inspector. "Actually!" Smokescreen says, "Many of us -ARE- busy at work, including myself- we're just processing data through a local wireless network, putting our silicon-based computer-brains to good use. I, in fact, am currently translating a sonnet of Willam Shakespeare's into Cybertonian, for the benefit of cultural exchange." he pauses. "...Er, we don't see any impending Tsunamis, either." he notes.

Quickswitch thunders back away from Blades, his form shifting spasmadically into one of its random six, the wings of the sub-orbital jet whipping out over the human's head. Accelerated, Quickswitch transforms into a sub-orbital jet.

Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> felt the control of his cog slip, helpess to stop it, "Aaah!"

Arcee draws in a soft breath through her intakes. "I am one of the division officers, sir," she answers cooly. "Military. I'm one of the warriors assigned here at Autobot City." Really, she's doing a surprisingly good job of not absolutely /seething/ fury.

McLusky is about to yell at Arcee some more when Quickswitch soars overhead. "WHAT'S GOING ON IN HERE?!" he says, huddling down, as if he thinks Quickswitch is going to clip him.

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "Not for us, Rodimus, for him! I could perhaps sythesize a human-friendly solution that would simulate the effects of our high grade to show what happens to us when we use grade fuels."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Uh. Beer should be just fine, Perceptor."

Smokescreen ers. "...Don't mind Quickswitch. He's just going through a personal Tsunami-response drill."

Rodimus Prime tries his best to hide panic as Quickswitch screams across the ceiling. "It's just a traditional celebratory fly-by, Inspector!" He waves to Quickswitch, forcing a grin. "Wow, an airshow right in our OWN base!"

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "As you wish, Rodimus. I'm showing Oxygen levels have returned to normal. Another evaluation has only raised our acceptance chances by two point zero seven six percent. Simulations point to a thorough cleaning raising our percentage to almost ninety percent. The application of intoxicants should carry us the rest of the way."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "That's what I like to hear."

McLusky stands up, smoothing his beard as the fly-by finishes. "I can't say I approve of your CELEBRATIONS, Rodimus Prime," he says, before giving Smokescreen a sour look. "And you, you in the red and blue, don't YANK my CHAIN, son. I've been inspecting this city for twenty damned years now and I know when someone's trying to pull a fast one on me"

<Autobot> Kup says, "Pfffthahahaha."

Bitbucket sneaks into the room quietly, perhaps to offer help with appeasing the human that's not nearly as cheerful as Andi.

Smokescreen sputters- if just for a moment! "Ah, yes! Of course. Well...you've got me." he gives a little shrug, embarassed. "...Quickswitch ISN'T going through a personal Tsunami-response drill. Got me there. I should've known better than to try to fool such a smart man like you. Why, I hope you don't get to the terran-sustenance cafeteria before-" he claps his hands over his mouth, perhaps with just a LITTLE bit of melodrama. "-Nevermind!"

The hawkish nose of the jet stares down at the human. Only twenty years? That idiot had no idea what it meant, what the ticking of nanoseconds and vorns and Quickswitch's cog rumbled irratically and he felt bristling irritation and champed down on it for the benefit of these ungrateful--

"I'm Quickswitch, Assault Warrior," his vocalizer is, by his amazed optics, steady, "Didn't mean to clip you there. That happens."

Sub-Orbital Fighter Jet <Quickswitch> says, "Yes, we have a..--"

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "What is that again? Caffatieria?"

"Smokescreen! The cafeteria isn't... isn't /ready/ yet!" Kup says melodramatically, hands fluttering to his fuel pump. "Oh no!"

Kup dashes from the room.

By 'dashes from the room,' of course, I mean limps slowly out of the room. He's old, get off his back.

Quickswitch springs up into his massive robot mode.

"Well, be CAREFUL, dammit," McLusky says to Quickswitch, obviously harboring no sympathy. Slammer does a wide arc and turns to face Smokescreen fully, as Kup runs out. "...what the devil are you robots doing to your cafeteria? We approved no building projects!"

Foxfire has just been...sitting quietly and behaving himself. No one's talking to him!

Hot Spot prays Kup's gambit works. Unfortunately, he's so occupied thinking about that that when he walks, he trips over Foxfire. His massive frame topples forward and into the table that Arcee is sitting at, upending it completely. WHOOPS.

"Nothing!" Smokescreen says, "There's absolutely nothing noteworthy going on in the Cafeteria at this very moment, I can tell you that much!" Only this time, he makes his lying obvious. Which is ironic, given the fact that he's telling the truth. Sort of.

Quickswitch looks from here to there, at Kup leaving the room, then back at the human, a the circuit-pathways in his cheek twitching, "..."

Foxfire YELPS as Hot Spot trips over him. On instinct, he ducks to the side, staring at the larger mech. "Jeez, watch where yer goin'! You okay, 'Spot?"

From the floor, Hot Spot moans, "I think I broke my pride."

Foxfire says, "We can get that fixed..."

Quickswitch visibly jumps, swerving to stare at Hot Spot and the small tape. Foxfire! Ouch.

McLusky makes Slammer turn all the way back around to point at Foxfire. "You! Canine! Look at you, you're obviously a hazard to your tall comrades! You need some sort of flag, or cone!"

<Autobot> Kup says, "BAAAHAHAHAHA"

Somehow, Arcee /barely/ manages to keep from getting smashed in the face by a flying table, but deftly, the femme gets to her feet to catch the table quick as she can. Keep it from falling any further.

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "..."

<Autobot> Kup says, "I /love/ this guy."

<Autobot> Arcee says, "I think you may be the only one who /is/ amused, Kup."

Hot Spot gives a thumbs-up to Arcee before picking himself up and reaching to help her set the table down.

Meanwhile, McLusky continues: "Maybe a collar, with some sort of bell..."

<Autobot> Kup says, "It's a matter of perspective, lass."

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "You have romantic inclinations towards our United Nations Inspector?"

Foxfire stares. "Canine? My name is FOXFIRE, thank you very much." At least he wasn't called a cat. "And *most* mechs don't trip over me. Pardon me for saying, *sir*, but you're trying my patience." He twitches. "I do not need a collar! I'm no one's pet!"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "For the love of--*collar*?!"

Smokescreen, for once, has nothing to say about that. He pauses, and then peers down at Foxfire. "...We could paint him orange?" he offers.

<Autobot> Kup says, "Anyway, I've got the drinks set up in the cafeteria."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Ready when you are."

Foxfire facepaws. "Smokescreen, you're not helping..."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "I'm gonna go beat up the training drone after this. I need to vent."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "What are you guys up to?"

<Autobot> Kup says, "This reminds me of the time Alpha Squad 7 and I pulled the wool over the Scamdanvian Ambassador's two hundred eyes."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "How'd you do that?"

<Autobot> Kup says, "Preeeetty much the same way we're doing it here, Foxfire."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Though Scamdanvians don't have a digestive system like humans. They survive through osmosis."

<Autobot> Kup says, "So it was more a matter of adjusting the atmospheric controls /just so/."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Interesting...I'll have to take notes."

<Autobot> Arcee says, "I think I'll need a nice, long run through the washrack after this... and /then/ I'll trash the drone."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "And for the record, Smokescreen, I don't look good in orange. Don't mention that again."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Get in line. That drone has my name written all over it."

<Autobot> Arcee says, "Hence the long run through the washrack prior."

<Autobot> Hot Spot says, "I think I'm just going to stay in my office for the next week."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "I vote we gang up on the drone."

<Autobot> Quickswitch asks wearily over the com, "Permission to leave, sirs?" Before he does something he won't regret?

Arcee quietly excuses herself once the table is righted, after making sure there's no other reason for her to be in here.

<Autobot> Smokescreen says, "Granted, Quickswitch. Go bash up the drone."

McLusky seems indignant that Foxfire is talking back to him. In fact, he is indignant that Foxfire is talking back to him, and he makes this obvious. "Do you adopt this tone to EVERYONE whose planet you bring war to?!" the human demands, stroking his beard furiously.

"Of course not," Foxfire replies. "Only those that PISS ME OFF." He points a paw accusingly at the man. "What right do YOU have to come into OUR base and tell us how to run it?! WE'RE the ones protecting you from Decepticons and other threats, so the least you can do is show a little gratitude!"

And there, on the main screen, is the cafe. Woops! Now, it is a very respectable bar. Human-sized, at that. Bottles of liquor line the wall behind a low metallic bar, and it looks like some popular human draughts are on tap. Comfortable stools march along the plank, and behind the bar...

Why, it's Kup. "Oh... oh no!" he cries, looking straight into the screen. "How did that security camera activate itself?!" In the bottom corner of the screen, Swerve's head is just visible, scampering out of the frame. Clearly he has just turned on the security camera. "Now my good old friend Inspector McLusky will know /all about/ my hobby of collecting, cataloguing and learning human alcoholic beverages." A sigh. "Whatever will I do."

Smokescreen erks! He makes a grab at the scruff of Foxfire's neck, moving to pull the tape-bot away from the inspector. "Eheh. Don't mind Foxfire here. He's, ah...still adjusting to Earth life. Hasn't been here very long, you know."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Foxfire, you're going to stop talking now."

McLusky literally gets so mad that red splotches break out on his face as he /GLARES/ at Foxfire. Looks like SOME CITY's inspection is in danger of failing! "EXCUSE ME?! You mean like the GRATITUDE that you are FAILING to show to US for even ALLOWING you to set up a base near one of the most POPULATED areas of the most POWERFUL nation in the WORLD?!" Even as people try to dissuade him, he's still flipping out, fixed on Foxfire.

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire mutters.

Foxfire yelps again as he is grabbed, and lifted. He pouts a bit, and with a hmph looks away from McLusky, allowing an opportunity to arise for the man to hear Kup.

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "I was only saying what we were all thinking."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Yes, and that is /exactly/ the problem. We are all THINKING it."

<Autobot> Kup says, "And that's where it should STAY until he is GONE."

Quickswitch had to leave. Had to leave now. /Now./ That ungrateful-- Fury welled up against the lines of his circuits, pounded the inside of his head, his thoughts, unified over the boorish human. His features boil, "Human," he spits out of his vocalizer, "Foxfire," he breathes, shaking, "Can it," it was all he could say, and he WAS in every agreement with the little tape, and the constant shouting of the human was getting to him. They all did. He brought his hand to his face, massaging the circuits beneath. He looked up again, "I'm leaving," and that is ALL he dares say.

Smokescreen adds on, still holding Foxfire at arm's length. "...Really, Foxfire doesn't know what he's talking about. He really doesn't 'talk' so much as repeat stuff he heard on the TV. We'll make sure that we take MTV off of our channels so it doesn't happen again."

On the screen, Kup despondently rattles a martini shaker and sighs melodramatically. "I'm /ruined/."

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "I was thinking of how we're possibly going to clean this place in time. Suggestions, Femmes and Gentlemechs?"

<Autobot> Quickswitch mutters painfully, "..that's the point.." his control breaks, "If *I* can do it for a moment or two, *I* can do it... then YOU sure as Primus can!!"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Hey, it's not MY fault he's an ungrateful little bastard! Even if we *are* the good guys, it's really not a smart idea to insult those who have guns larger than yourself."

"I'll SEE that it's taken off your CABLE PLAN," McLusky says to Smokescreen. He then sighs. "Dammit, this has made me thirsty. Slammer, take us to the cafeteria." The little tank boops in response and starts to turn.

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Of COURSE I agree with you! COMMON DAMNED SENSE!"

Quickswitch walks out.

Quickswitch leaves to the Main Lobby - First Floor to the west.
Quickswitch has left.

<Autobot> Perceptor says, "Quickswitch, is there something wrong with you? Are you functioning correctly? Perhaps you should come up to the lab and I can preform a diagnostic."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "I have a ton of common sense. I just get ticked off when the humans don't appreciate what we do for them."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Now do you see why I don't trust them?!"

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "MOST humans are all right. The inspector is just an idiot."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "...I have human friends..."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "They are all idiots. Incomprehensible."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Hey, hey."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "The Inspector's gone through some hard times."

<Autobot> Quickswitch says, "Oh, really? So did I."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Yeah, and you're no model citizen, either. So try to have a little sympathy."

<Autobot> Spike Witwicky chuckles as if he's been listening the whole time. "You know, I might be getting a job with the UN. Maybe I can talk to a few folks, pull some strings?"

Smokescreen whews, and sets Foxfire down. "So...ah...try to steer clear of the Inspector, would ya?" he asks- and then soon scoots off to get to some mischief of his own!

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Well, it's still no reason to take it out on US. And that would be awesome, Spikester."

<Autobot> Quickswitch opens his mouth to start to say something, then doesn't, "That--" he can't finish, exaspirated.

Foxfire raises an optic ridge. "You don't even have to ask."

<Autobot> Kup says, "The inspector is a bitter old man. Mouthing off to him is only giving him what he wants."

"Gee, I'm thirsty, too!" Rodimus says with artificial chipperness, glaring around at the other Autobots and ushering the mini-tank out the door.

The Inspector is escorted to the cafeteria. He drinks four beers while yelling at Kup, and passes the city despite a faulty security system in the Operations Commander's Office and a chair left in one of the elevators. The day -- and Autobot City's UN funding -- is saved!

FIN

EPILOGUE:

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire heaves a sigh. "Well...at least *this* incident didn't involve a cannon in my face."

<Autobot> Kup says, "The night is young, Foxfire!"

<Autobot> Kup says, "And so, clearly, are you. You've got a lot to learn yet, lad."

<Autobot> Saboteur Foxfire says, "Yeah, yeah... Well, I'm bored now."

<Autobot> Spike Witwicky says, "Idle Foxes are the devil's playground."

<Autobot> Kup says, "Wonderful news! It just so happens that this bar I built needs to be dismantled, and the cafeteria needs a good scrubbing."

<Autobot> Rodimus Prime says, "Femmebots and gentlemechs, dare I say we are still the best robots in the Galaxy at getting people wasted?"

<Autobot> Kup says, "You may dare to say so, Rod. You may dare."

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