Log Title: Are You OK?
Location: Repair Bay - Medical Wing - Autobot City
Summary: Crosscut checks on Spike after he was choked by Arkeville.
As Logged by Crosscut - Wednesday, March 02, 2016, 8:23 PM
Repair Bay - Medical Wing - Autobot City
- This medlab is carefully maintained by Blizzard, and is therefore usually spotlessly white and clean. Well-stocked
medical cabinets line the walls, and tools and spare parts are hung in strategic places. The room is large, even by Autobot City standards, allowing people the size of Skyfire to move around easily. Various tools are available so medics of all shapes and sizes can work on any patient, no matter the differences in scale. Medtables are carefully arranged around the room to handle as many patients as possible; more are in storage in case there is a rush. Usually, there is at least one medic on hand, even if it is only a lowly intern, or the grumpy Lugnut, who seems to always get stuck with the longest shifts.
Spike is in the repair bay the next morning, about an hour after his tube has been removed. He's still on some mild painkillers.
- Crosscut hurries into the medbay, concern evident in his expressive amber optics. He looks around the room, and then
immediately makes a beeline to Spike. "I'm sorry I couldn't get away sooner. Are you OK?" He kneels down to be on a more even level with Spike, and looks him over anxiously. "It's safe to say Arkeville made the moral choice a little easier for you," he adds dryly. "Can you speak?"
Crosscut is small by Autobot standards, standing at barely 16' tall. His armor is resplendent silver, seeming more for show than actual protection in battle. Amber optics glow intelligently from a face predominantly hidden by an angular silver mask, preventing most observers from reading his emotions unless he desires it. His crimson helmet is outfitted with an array of communications and translations gear in a stylish but functional package. Crosscut's body is compact and lean, with few embellishments besides the small blue and silver door-wings on his shoulders. His narrow forearms are packed with analytical and defensive equipment which he can activate and de-activate as needed. Crosscut is almost always polite to a fault, and seems built more for talking than fighting. When he speaks, his accent and language seems to naturally adjust to fit whomever he is addressing, which can be comforting one-on-one but a bit jarring when he's speaking to several individuals at once in the round.
Spike nods and says in a whisper "Can I file this as a deal breaker between him and us?" Spike gives a weak smile and says "It's on tape, all of it."
- Crosscut nods quickly. "It's safe to say this is a serious violation of his agreement with us. You would be fully
justified handing him over to the Joes for detention. They're much more equipped for long-term incarceration than we are. Would you like me to speak with Surefire about taking Arkeville with him when they remove Darklon and the members of the CPL from our custody?" Crosscut's voice is displaying a lot more emotion than his usual cool demeanor.
Spike nods he raises a finger, trying to speak, but his voice is still roached from getting seriously choked and intubated. "We need...to make sure Lifeline - and the Joe medics - that they don't transfer him in the infirmary at the Joes... Lifeline has already expressed his desire not to be Dr. Arkeville's caretaker - and he's worried that..."
Spike 's voice fades at the end. He goes and takes a sip of ice water and waits for his throat to heal for a moment, then finishes his thought, "Worried that they may just transfer him - we need to make sure that Arkeville's not only properly cared for, but he's not 'shuttled around.'" He looks at Crosscut and takes another small swallow of ice water. "Maybe the Joes would be interested in finally transferring him to SuperMax where he can answer to a world court for his problems."
Spike looks at Crosscut with a serious expression, at least in this element, he seems to be more of a peer than a protégé.
"We'll want to have Jumal or someone on the human rights end supervise this to ensure everything's on the up and up." Spike restates with a whisper "But Lifeline's afraid he may be dumped or shuffled around."
- "From my understanding, they'll not be going to the new Pit at all - they'll be transferred directly to a long-term
detention facility. I'm worried less that Arkeville'll be shuffled around and more that he'll simply disappear into a black hole and never be seen again for trial or any other reason. Having Prince Jumal oversee his case would actually make me feel a lot better about the entire operation," Crosscut agrees.
Spike looks at Crosscut and nods. "Agreed."
Spike manages to keep a neutral poker face. Personally, Dr. Arkeville can fall into a black hole for all he cares - after what he did to his father, and to him. But in front of Crosscut, he tries (and hopefully succeeds) to at least try and make an effort to ensure Dr. Arkeville receives fair treatment.
- "To be honest, I'll be glad when all of the prisoners are gone from Autobot City," Crosscut admits. "Our deal with
Arkeville put a strain on our relationship with the Dunham administration, who would have liked to have seen Arkeville publicly tried for his crimes a long time ago. They're pretty quiet about sweeping the CPL captives under the rug, however, so I suspect that politics once again takes precedence over justice."
Spike nods and whispers "I never...ever want to be a ward again." He looks at Crosscut, "Learning a new profession like this at my age is tough enough." Spike swallows and winces, "I want to see him...one more time."
- Crosscut's optics narrow. "Are you sure, Spike? I mean, of course Arkeville will be restrained for any further
interactions, but what is your intent?" Crosscut sounds both concerned and interested in Spike's reasoning. "I can take you down there if you'd like an escort - unless you'd prefer I call a member of Autobot Security." Sadly, Arkeville could probably take Crosscut in a fight, as Spike might now be a little more aware.
Spike looks at Crosscut and says calmly, "I want closure from this part of my life. I want to say 'goodbye' to him - and give him one last look to make it know he didn't get the best of me."
- Crosscut nods. "I can understand that. He definitely didn't get the best of you - you survived and you will go on to
great success while he is rotting away for the rest of his miserable life." Crosscut straightens up. "Do you want to go now, or would you rather rest up first until you're better able to speak? Is there anything I can get you?" Crosscut looks down at Spike from his not-very-tall-for-an-Autobot height.
Spike says weakly, "And I want ALL of Dr. Arkeville's projects destroyed, incinerated - as soon as possible." He looks up at Crosscut and whispers, "I don't want him to take credit for anything that may benefit the Autobots." Spike thinks and says "I'm ready now if you are."
- Crosscut doesn't hesitate. "I understand, and I'll talk to Wheeljack about it when we get back upstairs." Crosscut then
transforms into his little Honda City R mode and opens his doors for Spike to get in so Crosscut can drive him down to the detention area one last time, with luck to say goodbye to Arkeville for good. Crosscut's small engine is quiet as he idles in the repair bay.
Spike hops down. He's a bit slow, but definitely on his feet. Spike steps into Crosscut.
- Crosscut waits for Spike to climb in, and then shuts the door and drives carefully down to the brig.
They go to Brig - Lower Level - Autobot City.
Brig - Lower Level - Autobot City
- Autobot City is a fully functional base, and this is its brig. Autobot troublemakers and Decepticon POWs alike are kept
here, ever watched by Autobot City's sentient mind, Metroplex. In addition in built-in security features such as anti- personnel lasers and adjustable forcefields, this brig is always manned by at least two Autobot guards, with more available to watch over VIP guests. Heavily-armored walls and enhanced sensory systems make this brig near impregnable, although it is said where there is a will, there's a way.
- Crosscut drives Spike down to the lift and stops just outside of it, re-opening his doors to let Spike out before he
transforms and joins him in the elevator.
1996 - as the Autobots are on en route (without the Decepitcon's knowledge) to rescue those enslaved from Dr. Arkeville's rule - a mental test is being set. Dr. Arkeville and his new 'number one' slave-trainer, Muthu - look on in another room, invisible to Spike. Dr. Arkeville opts to use this as a teachable moment. The ever-important 'father eats first' rule.
Spike, after another horrible night in his pod awakes. Near starved, he looks around. Mentally, Dr. Arkeville has succeeded in utterly breaking the young man. He looks around, saying timidly "father?"
Spike looks on in an empty room. But on a simple table rests a small bowl of yogurt, blueberries, and granola. Spike's favorite. The young man's eyes well up, knowing the temptation is almost painfully great. Spike moans "oh noooooo." He looks around again and cries out faintly "father?!"
Spike approaches the yogurt bowl ever so closer, his stomach is practically in a ravenous state. He looks on, rubbing his hands, and mumbles to himself "maybe...if I just take a small bite..."
On the other side of the 2-way mirror, Dr. Arkeville's new, stronger, better number one clinches his fist and sneers, ready to pound the little American if he dare eats a morsel before the grand father - Dr. Arkeville.
Spike closes his eyes tightly and mumbles "don't do it. don't do it. don't do it." But temptation proves too great. He reaches out his pinky finger and takes an almost comedically small dollop of yogurt and granola. The moment it touches his tongue, Spike savors it like no food he's ever tasted, but that brief buzz is halted as Muthu storms in - on queue and charges at Spike. Spike looks on in terror and shakes his head, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" But Dr. Arkeville's number one lays two strong punches and soon gets the young Autobot mascot in a full nelson, intent on bringing him to Dr. Arkeville.
- Muthu yells out "TRAITOR! YOU DARE DEFY FATHER!!" Spike cries out "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!"
Arkeville watches through the one-way glass, silently reveling in Spike's anguish and torment. He turns to await Muthu's approach with Spike in the headlock, a crooked grin spreading across his aged face. Spike's cries just bring joy to Arkeville's dark heart, and that joy can be plainly seen in his expression. Nonetheless, just as Spike is brought in Arkeville tries to affect an air of sadness and disappointment in Spike's failure.
Muthu drags Spike in, with an unbreakable grasp of a full-nelson. About 5 days ago, Spike could at least punch Muthu twice, but now, being on the 'worker end' - and given meager portions of food and water, he's no match for Arkeville's new 'trainer'. Spike looks away from Dr. Arkeville, sobbing uncontrollably. "I'm sorry! I'm sorry!" Muthu squeezes harder on the nelson hold. "What shall I do with the betrayer, father?!"
Arkeville sighs dramatically. "I just don't know, Muthu. To love a son like this, and have him betray me - take food from my very table - it just breaks my heart, Muthu. It breaks my heart." Arkeville shakes his head in mock sadness, his wild white hair wafting on either side of his head. "Should I punish? Will it even help?" Arkeville wipes crocodile tears away from his dark eyes. "I suppose we should at least dock his rations further until he learns the value of his father's food."
Spike nods rapidly, terrified of any more punishment from father. He nods coughs, "yes...please."
Muthu frowns, seething with a bit of old-style sibling rivalry, after all, Spike was one of Arkeville's favorites, until Muthu beat him in a 'who loves father best' punching match. He frowns, murmuring in Spike's ear, "You're lucky father is merciful, had it been me, I would have snapped your neck for such a violation!"
Arkeville hms, stroking his bare chin. "Perhaps we should cut off that finger as well, so he's not tempted to use it to steal food from me again. Where I come from they'd cut off a thief's entire hand." He widens his eyes down at Spike, drinking in the Witwicky's fear and panic. "What do you think, boy? Do we need to remove a finger, or the entire hand? I wouldn't want you to be tempted again..." Apparently Spike's punishment isn't exactly over yet.
Spike looks at Dr. Arkeville, tears fully streaming down his face now. "No! Please! Please!" he pleads.
Muthu grins, savoring this moment. "A lesson must be taught for the others"
Arkeville smiles in agreement. "Yes, yes," he agrees. "But perhaps I'll be merciful," he says, taking a long pause, letting Spike start to get a glimmer of hope. "Maybe just the tip of his finger - to the first knuckle. That should remind him that Daddy always eats first, shouldn't it, Muthu? You think the tip of his finger will be enough, or do you think we'll need to take the whole thing? Surely we should leave his hand for the second offense..." Arkeville grins, and ponders the best way to proceed.
As Muthu grabbs Spike's arm, Spike begins babbling, hoping against hope anything will save father from chopping off his arm. "Hail Father Arkeville! Hail Father Arkeville!" Muthu then squeezes the wrestling hold tighter. "SILENCE!" Muthu looks at Dr. Arkeville and says cooly "The second offense is death, father!" Muthu logically states "His hand, all of it, but not his writing hand - that is how we should show mercy."
Arkeville scowls as Muthu tries to tell him how he should punish Spike. He may have asked, but that doesn't mean he really wants another's opinion. When Arkeville wants your opinion, he'll give it to you. Still, he seems to weigh Muthu's suggestion, nodding as if he sees some merit in it - maybe a hand today, if not death next time - that would end Spike's suffering, and what fun would that be? If Arkeville wanted Spike dead, Spike would be dead already.
Muthu immediately shies away from Arkeville's scolding scowl. Spike can't bare to look at Dr. Arkeville's face, too filled with shame to gaze into the eyes of the great father.
Muthu squeezes Spike's right wrist like a tourniquet - ready to make the mark. But suddenly, the walls start shaking. An alarm cries out "Autobot Intruders incoming!" Breaking up the fun, Muthu throws Spike on the ground, more intent on saving Dr. Arkeville. But as Spike tries to run toward Dr. Arkeville, Prowl emerges quickly, scooping up Spike. "I've got yah, buddy!" Spike though doesn't hear, reaching out for Dr. Arkeville "NO! Don't Leave me!"
Spike is in the elevator with Crosscut. The doors open, revealing Spike and Crosscut. Spike approaches Dr. Arkeville's cell, less than a day after Arkeville showcased just how powerful he is.
This time it is Arkeville in chains - literally. Surefire has intervened, and secured Arkeville with the same wrist/waist/ankle chains previously reserved for the likes of Darklon. As the captive CPL members stand to watch the confrontation between Arkeville and Spike, Arkeville looks up at Spike and smiles. "Ah, hey, Spike. How's the neck?" He grins like a shark, displaying his crooked, yellowing teeth. He flexes his robot hand where it remains chained near his hip.
Spike looks at Crosscut and breathes out. He then carefully approaches Dr. Arkeville, whispering "It's fine." He then pauses and says "Just wanted to tell you, effectively immediately, you are now under the custody of G.I. Joe. As soon as they get their headquarters built, or sooner, you will be transported to their facility. Or, possibly earlier - to SuperMax. Where you'll be tried for your crimes against humanity." He pauses and gulps, a little talking goes a long way.
"You will be provided proper healthcare and legal representation, and your care will be under the watchful eye of a U.N. group. Jumal will also be ensuring you are properly provided for."
Arkeville frowns. "Oh, dear," he says. "Well, I've certainly overplayed my hand, then." He opens his metal hand and looks down at it, and then smiles at the double meaning. "Will you miss me when I'm gone, Spike?" he asks with a grin. "You've taken such good care of me. I'll certainly miss all of those hand-cooked meals you've provided. It's too bad you never let me help with your father. I'll sincerely mourn when his formerly great brain is reduced to melted Swiss."
Spike rolls his eyes. He then summons his universal communicator and activates one of the vid walls in the brig. It pans to engineering where Pipes is awaiting instructions. Spike speaks into the communicator, "Ready, Pipes?" Pipes appears in the monitor and gives a slightly depressed sigh, "Yeah..." Spike then speaks into the communicator. "Get rid of it all.."
And with that, Pipes morosely takes every single one of Dr. Arkeville's creations and begins to deposit it in an incinerator. Spike looks at Dr. Arkeville and whispers "I'll be sure to show up during your sentencing."
This actually gets a rise out of Arkeville - again, a literal one, as he tries to stand in anger and gets yanked back into a crouch by the chains. "You dare!" he yells. "Those are works of genius!" He then looks back at Spike with a glare of pure hate and malice. "Now you've really done it, Witwicky! You will regret crossing me! I will see to it!" The little metal nubbins on his skullcap start to spark with energy.
Spike gulps and looks up at Crosscut. "Are we done?"
Spike breathes out. He know the only way he could hurt Dr. Arkeville is through something he truly loves - and that is his work. In a few short moments, Pipes ineloquently 'shovels' nearly a year's worth of Arkeville'e experiments into the incinerator. The fire in Wheeljack's lab starts to get a little out of hand, but the screen clicks off just as Pipes starts to look worried.
- Crosscut, who has quietly been watching this entire time, nods in response to Spike. "I believe we are." He turns his
back on Arkeville and the other prisoners, and prepares to walk out with Spike, showing his solidarity and support, as well as his lack of fear in response to Arkeville's threats - not that they were directed at him in the first place. He waits until they're out of the prisoners' earshot and then asks quietly, "Did you get the closure you needed?"
Spike nods and breathes out. "Yeah...I'm done. I still want him to be formally tried and convicted..." He looks back at Dr. Arkeville for the last time in his life, ever!, then turns a corner, "But if it ends like this, I'm fine." He looks back up at Crosscut and whispers "Thanks for backin' me up."
- Crosscut replies, "It's no problem, Spike. You've backed me in negotiations time and again - I'm all too happy to help
you put this chapter to rest - forever, I hope." He walks slowly, matching Spike's pace through familiar practice. "How's your throat? I'm going to need you healthy if we have to renegotiate with Helex over what's happening under Silent Grill. You're not going to be very effective if you sound like a crushed frog." Was that Crosscut's once-a-year attempt at humor?
Spike looks up at Crosscut and frowns, whispering "I was hoping for more of a menace, like a Clint Eastwood, or a Christian Bale - like Batman without the overkill." Spike adds "About 3 more days, Ed said, then it should be getting back to normal."
- Crosscut nods. "Oh, yeah. That was going to be my second comparison - maybe a combination of the two. Batfrog? Frogman?
Not really the sort of super-hero that strikes fear in the hearts of men, I'll admit. Maybe we should just give it a couple of days before we put you back to work. Should I stop talking to you and leave you be so your throat heals? I don't want to be asking you a lot of questions and wear out your poor broken vocal cords."
Spike smiles and nods "I'm fine - I can function in the repair bay without a voice, smart aft." He adds "We'll talk tomorrow." Spike whispers "Your humor is getting better, by the way."
- Crosscut laughs. "I meant putting you to use as an ambassador - I'll let First Aid and Lifeline determine if you're
qualified for the repair bay. And, thanks. It's not that I don't have a sense of humor - I just have to be careful with it since it's so easy to accidentally insult someone's feelings if you're not cautious, especially when you're dealing with someone from a different cultural background than your own. If I'm teasing you more, it's because I feel more comfortable with you as an equal and as a friend."
Spike looks at Crosscut for a few seconds and nods. He whispers "Feeling's mutual..." He extends a hand, hoping Crosscut will 'clasp' it. "I'm glad you feel that way." Spike whispers "We'll go over our strategy tomorrow...if you want to catch me early, I have the early shift in the repair bay." Because you can't keep a good Witwicky down - even with medication and a roached larynx.
- Crosscut verrrrrrry carefully shakes Spike's hand. "Glad to hear it. And, OK - if you're up and about tomorrow, we'll
talk more. We need to head back into Decepticon territory soon to see what's going on below Silent Grill, and I might need backup in case negotiations get ugly. Having a plan in place will be an excellent first step. Want a ride back up to medbay - or your apartment?" Crosscut takes a step back in case he needs to transform.
Spike shakes his head and whispers, "I'll walk...but thanks."
Crosscut says, "No problem, Spike. I'll walk you back." Crosscut accompanies Spike back upstairs, and bids him good night.