Log Title: Flashback 2000
Location: Nevada Desert - North America
Date: August 27, 2000
TP: Flashbacks TP
Summary: Spike asks Trailbreaker to maybe CONSIDER taking Dust Devil under his wing.
As logged by Trailbreaker - Sunday, August 27, 2017, 10:31 PM
Nevada Desert - North America
- Off the beaten path, one of the many Nevada deserts uninhabited by communities. It is a large stretch of land, miles and miles around. There is no build up here; no houses, no factories. In the center of it all, accessible only by a treaded dirt highway, well worn by constant travel, is a large metallic city. To the east of the city runs a river, grasses and trees thriving along its banks. To the west are mountainous rocks and canyons. Behind it are large open flats. This area is governmentally restricted to civilians, a fact enforced by the constant Autobot security patrols.
As some of the autobots put in some mandatory training of their special skills outside, Dust Devil has taken to trailing Trailbreaker and watching him from a distance.
It's 2000. Spike's a young 30-year-old. With a kid. And virtually totally healed from an aft-kicking by Frenzy that nearly killed him a few years ago. Now, he's just outside with Sparkplug. It's a summer night, the air is cooling, but Spike is still kind of pissed at the new arrival. He takes a sip of beer and looks over to Sparkplug. "Seriously...you gotta meet this guy. He told me to watch out for Daniel, because if he accidentally stepped on him, I'd have to 'make another one.'"
Spike looks out at the setting sun as the cool desert air gives way to some beautiful stars. "I'm thinking this guy is going to be more of the 'Twin Twist' and 'Huffer' category rather than the 'Hound' or 'Jazz' column of new arrivals." And do the math. Daniel is 7 right now. Which means he's absolutely adorable.
Dust Devil's silvery blue color takes in a bit of the surrounding hues. If Spike catches Dust Devil moving he'll catch dust devils hide ability in action as he finds a shadowy spot closer to where trailbreaker is. Dusty isn't paying attention to the nearby humans.
Sparkplug sips his own beer and smiles. "Ah, give him a chance, Spike. Earth can be a little overwhelming to new arrivals -- especially dealing with us humans. He'll come around. Plus, if he's not careful around Daniel, I'll just remove his automation circuits and cripple him until he learns his manners," Sparkplug chuckles.
Spike laughs at that. He looks around. "Man, I miss this place." He sighs "I'm still tempted to see if Carly wants to sell the house and move back here, but we're also trying the best we can to go 'traditional' on Daniel and give him a home with other kids instead of robots." Spike spots Trailbreaker and waves his hand. "TRAILBREAKER - Over here!"
Spike looks over at Sparkplug. "The new guy's name is Dust Devil in case you got a new patient on your repair docket that you don't recognize."
Sparkplug chuckles. "Yeah," he agrees. "Once you've lived and worked around giant alien robots, it's hard to go back to the 'real world'. He looks over as Spike spots Trailbreaker. "'Dust Devil', huh?" Sparkplug repeats. "I'll keep an eye out for him. Shouldn't be too much trouble."
Trailbreaker, meanwhile, is working on one of Autobot City's newest walls, installing a permanent forcefield generator to help defend during attacks.
Dust Devil winces as he hears the humans messing with his plans.
Spike nods, taking another sip of beer. "Yeah, full-time jobs kind of suck, but I'm glad that I make enough for Carly to keep studying for her doctrine...and provide for Daniel." Spike corrects himself, realizing he's talking to the work ethic king. "Not that full time work sucks, just that not being able to do...THIS...(he gestures around) for a salary."
Trailbreaker glances up as he's called over. He smiles slightly, and spares a slight glance in the direction where Dust Devil is failing at hiding. Trailbreaker doesn't call any further attention to Dust Devil, however, before leaving his post to approach the two humans. "Hey, fellas!" he calls back. "Enjoying the nice day?" Trailbreaker walks over and then scans around before sitting on the ground to get on a better level to talk to the Witwickys.
Sparkplug chuckles and nods to Spike. "Sometimes you have to make the hard choices to support your family," he says in approval to Spike. "Hey, 'Breaker! How're those forcefield installations comin' along?" he rasps. Spike grins and climbs up a few steps to get a better eye-view of Trailbreaker. "Yeah - take a break, you've certainly been working your aft off with all the improvements around here."
Dust Devil frowns and stays in the shadows as trailbreaker goes by. He stares wondering why the mech is listening to Spike spots near Trail Breaker...is that...
Spike blinks. Huh. Must be the exterior lighting playing tricks on his eyes. It's nothing.
Trailbreaker smiles slightly. He's aware of Dust Devil's presence -- Trailbreaker IS a defense specialist, after all, and if he couldn't tell he's being consistently followed it would reflect poorly on his job. However, Breaker is also the kind of bot to not push the issue if someone is shy about approaching him, so he doesn't call out Dusty before the bot is ready. Instead, he focuses the bulk of his attention on the Witwickys.
"Defenses are coming along fine!" Trailbreaker announces. "I'm just doing some upgrades to make sure we're ready next time the Decepticons drop by uninvited," he chuckles.
Spike grins. He's fairly oblivious to where Dust Devil is. But just in case, he lowers his voice slightly, but still within earshot of Dust Devil. "Hey, Trailbreaker - I got a favor to ask."
Dust Devil mutters softly "can you watch this scraplet I call Daniel and keep a forcefield on him so no one steps on him?"
Trailbreaker chuckles and leans down closer to Spike. "Of course, Spike. Anything I can do. Whatcha need?" Trailbreaker takes off his backpack and sets it down next to him, rooting around in it until he comes up with a large can of high-grade oil. He pops open the top of it and enjoys it while the Witwickys enjoy their beer.
Spike sighs "Well.." He rubs the back of his neck. "There's this NEW bot...his name's 'Dust Devil.'" He adds "I guess someone like Preceptor would call him 'rough around the edges' - but honestly, he's been kind of a knob since he's arrived on Earth. He's been copping a huge attitude lately." He adds "BUT...I'm sensin' that he's had some issues on Cyb'tron - and maybe he's looking for someone here to show him the ropes." He adds "Last time I talked to him, he said he was like...in awe of your force field-generating abilities."
Spike says reluctantly "If you come in contact with him, would you like mind...showin' him the ropes around Autobot City...make him feel more at home...stress the point that humans are NOT expandable?"
"Dust Devil! Yes. I've read his dossier," Trailbreaker admits. "I'd be happy to show him the ropes! 'Rough around the edges' is my specialty -- I'm not exactly Commander Smooth myself," he laughs. "I'm always happy to talk to another forcefield expert -- there ain't a lot of us out here. I'm sure I could learn a few new tricks, myself -- unless the human adage about old dogs applies to old bots as well," he chuckles.
Dust Devil would blanche if he could. He wasn't just going to come out and say that to trailbreaker! what was the human thinking?
Spike grins and gives an appreciative head bow toward Trailbreaker. "Thank you..." He adds "Next weekend when I'm here - whatever you need - full-scale tune-up, transmission flush, anything - I'd be happy to return the favor." Spike adds "Seriously though, I think he really looks up to you."
Dust Devil wonders if maiming is included in the do not hurt humans clause...
Spike sits down and looks at his watch. "I can stay another half-hour before we have to go back. I think Daniel's still playing with Hot Rod." He and Carly find it hard to return home after spending a full Sunday in the most awesome place in the world (take that, Disney World).
Dust Devil is now looking for an escape route.
Trailbreaker waves off the offers for Spike to return the favor. "It's my pleasure, Spike. I'll be happy to play Welcoming Committee for any new bots arriving at Autobot City -- Primus knows we shouldn't leave Gears and Huffer to the task!" he laughs.
Sparkplug sips his beer and chuckles at the very idea.
Spike squints and shields his eyes, wait...maybe it wasn't just the lights and the shadows. Is that ... lurking... Spike points to an area where Dust Devil may actually be hiding. "Wait...is that?" Spike points to where he thought he saw a Transformer. After all, Ravage remains great with infiltration. And Autobot City is certainly big enough to be infiltrated. His tone immediately goes defensive. "I saw something...THERE!"
Dust Devil has Already bumped into gears and huffer. okay maybe gears twice. He is torn between rapid retreat or whether he should come out and trip on the human.
Trailbreaker chuckles, not even turning to look. "I think that's the bot you've been talkin' about. He's been followin' me around all day. I've been waitin' for him to come talk to me, but maybe he's shy." Finally he does turn his head slightly. "Hey, Dust Devil! Come share some oil with us. My treat." Trailbreaker digs in his backpack and pulls out another large canister of high-grade.
Spike blinks and feels a bit sheepish for going into defensive mode, but sometimes it pays to be vigilant. He manages to produce a smile that looks sincere as he waves Dust Devil over. "Heyh - yeah. Pull up a sitting area, Dust Devil."
Dust Devil is caught. Unlocking his joints he stands and the slight magnetic charge that allows the dust to stick to him reverses. he is at least dust free when he reaches the group. "So ya knew I was there the whole time.... its harder learnin ta hide on this planet. I thought the dust particles might help.
Sparkplug twists in his seat and turns to look at the new Autobot. He raises his beer in greeting.
Trailbreaker remains relaxed as Dust Devil approaches. "Well, I knew you were there, but that's part of my job. Plus, I was taking energy field readings, and your presence showed up there even when I couldn't see you directly." Trailbreaker chuckles, seeming to find the entire situation amusing.
Spike smirks. "Maybe Trailbreaker can help with that." He looks at Sparkplug. "Oh! Hey...uh, this is Sparkplug..." He opts to tell Dust Devil what Sparkplug's function is, since he probably doesn't gift a fleck about the family relation. "If you're injured, he's going to be one of the 'go to' ones you'll want to seek out." He adds with a grin "'bots usually say if he can't fix it, it can't be fixed."
Dust Devil nods to Sparkplug before looking at Trailbreaker, "Cybertron i'da had background interference coverin those readins.
Sparkplug beams at the introduction and sips his beer.
Trailbreaker nods. "Yeah," he agrees, turning slightly and offering Dust Devil a large can of oil. "You'll find Earth's differ'nt electromagnetic background radiation can trip you up in a dozen small ways. Spike here says you're a forcefield generator. Mind if I take a look at your rig sometime? There aren't a lot of us here on Earth," he says with a smile.
Spike frowns slightly. Seriously, Dust Devil? Sparkplug - one of the best tool and die human mechanics you're going to meet - and you can't even do a 'hello?'"
Spike wants to say 'Yeah, why don't you do that?' to Dust Devil, but in the presence of his father, he's on his best behavior.
Dust Devil glances at Spike. "He is yer creator right? I was lookin at some of the files." Dude raised a beer at me. How the hell am I supposed to know if he is friendly. He adds to Trailbreaker. "I didn't advertise it much on Cybers. Otherwise it mighta been stripped and given ta someone more worthy."
Spike looks at Sparkplug and grins, but it is a touchy subject. He smiles "Well...he's PARTLY my creator, my...mother - her name was Susan - she was the one who did the majority of the 'creating'."
Sparkplug seems more amused than insulted, as he sips his beer and watches the others interact. He nods approvingly as Spike gives his mother her due credit in his creation.
Trailbreaker chuckles darkly. "Luckily they don't do that here, or I'd be in the same boat!" he laughs, referring to the threat of being stripped for parts.
Spike blinks, genuinely perplexed for what Trailbreaker and Dust Devil are saying. "Autobots don't do that on Cybertron..." he looks at Trailbreaker for confirmation, since the Autobots are the good guys. Spike finishes his beer, since he will be driving in about a half hour.
Trailbreaker looks at Spike and grins. "I hear things got a little tough during the 4 million years we were asleep," he allows. "It's not a problem now, though," he assures Dust Devil seriously.
Spike blinks and looks over at Sparkplug - he's trying to hide his shock, but it's not going well. The Autobots are the good guys, they're not supposed to strip other fellow Autobots for parts and tools - because they're all united in the fight against evil.
Dust Devil hmms "so you have cocreators...parents was the word in the file. There aren't very many created on Cybertron right now. I tried meeting Hot Rod but he always seems occupied. That i think cons on Cybertron can see that paintjob. I..i'd like to use my forcefield better.
Spike smiles, hoping that this is the window toward a friendship between Dust Devil and Trailbreaker. The first step is admitting you have a problem.
Sparkplug looks less shocked as he continues to sip his beer -- he's not going anywhere. He's been in desperate wartime situations -- he can understand the ruthless marshalling of resources, even if it's not pretty.
Trailbreaker meanwhile looks at Dust Devil and smiles. "Well, I can't say I have a lot of experience teaching, but I wouldn't mind giving some tips from someone who's made ALL the mistakes and probably have learned from at least a few of them," he chuckles.
Daniel emerges from the entrance with his small backpack. He's wearing a Spiderman shirt. Spike looks at his watch and smiles at his son. "Yeah, I suppose it's that time."
Dust Devil grins a little. "usin a forcefield against a forcefield guardin an energon cache he will eliminate the oppposin forcefield and get you the energon providin its still there when you come to in 3solar cycles."
Daniel gives Dust Devil a stare that is the equivalent of shooting daggers.
Spike smiles as Dust Devil and Trailbreaker talk shop. Daniel protests "I don't wanna go back home..." Which Spike echoes "That makes two of us Danno." He gestures "Say goodbye to Trailbreaker and grandpa."
Daniel brightens at Trailbreaker, "Bye, Trailbreaker!" before he runs to give his grandpa a hug.
Spike gives Dust Devil a satisfied grin, maybe this will be the 'bot that gets him to lose the 'dude.
Dust Devil looks at Daniel."The red car you were lookin fer earlier got stepped on by Hot Rod. It isn't lost like he said. "
Sparkplug smiles to see his grandson, and struggles to his feet to tussle the maybe-too-old-to-have-his-hair-tussled kid's hair. "Enjoy your day in the city?" Sparkplug asks Daniel, returning the hug.
Trailbreaker gives Daniel a pleasant wave before turning back to Dust Devil. "Yeah. Forcefield interactions can be a challenging thing. Do you know how to analyze energy phases and shift your field accordingly?"
Daniel nods eagerly at Sparkplug. "Yup!" He then gets down. Spike's up next. He goes to give his dad a quick bro-hug. "So, next week's Labor Day, I was thinkin' Carly and Danno and I maybe drive down after work and make it a 3-day stay here."
As Spike talks with Sparkplug, Daniel, ever trusting, looks at Dust Devil, eyes widen with concern. "What?"
Daniel's eyes widen with concern. It's one of his favorite cars. "What do you mean?" His focus now strictly on Dust Devil.
Dust Devil shakes his head, "been goin by feel with some less than spectacular results.' He looks back at Daniel " yeah he completely freaked out when it happened. Pretty sure you'll have it in yer hands again....whenever whatever priority shippin entails..."
Sparkplug replies to Spike, "That would be great!" He looks from Daniel to Dust Devil with a frown, though, at the shit the new Autobot is stirring up. Maybe Dust Devil is all the jerk Spike made him out to be.
Trailbreaker just shakes his head and tries not to facepalm. "I'm sure whatever damage was done can be fixed by Hoist and Ratchet by the time you visit again," he interjects.
And this is the point where Sparkplug relishes his role as grandparent and not parent as maybe a few temper tantrums from Spike and/or Buster at that age may come to mind. Daniel shakes his head, his lower lip quivering "I don't want a new one, I want MINE!"
Spike loads Daniel in his brand-new Toyota Tacoma (which he drives as of today). His near-angelic youthful exuberance is now changed - in the throws of a full freak-out. "NOOOO!!!!" he continues to sob. Even though he wasn't really attached to it for the past few months - because it's gone, it triggers the freak-out.
Spike nods to Trailbreaker. "Take care..." He gives an exasperated look at Dust Devil and claps his hands together as if doing a prayer gesture. "Thank you..." he mouths to Dust Devil before getting in the pickup to pick up Carly. The two are going to endure Daniel's sobbing until he cries himself to sleep...a full, solid 50 minutes.
Dust Devil is confused, "what? I didn't think we were supposed to lie to the humans. I saw hotrod lying."
Trailbreaker shakes his head. "Come with me, Dust Devil," he says, climbing slowly to his feet. "We have a lot to discuss..."