Marissa Faireborn, EDC Co-Commander

Log Title: Mission Prep

Characters: Spike, Buster, Daniel, Marissa

Location: Autobot City

Date: April 14, 2013

TP: Trucial Abysmia

Summary: Shortly before Spike leaves on EDC's inaugural mission, Spike preps his brother on how to manage the younger faction of the Witwicky family while he and Carly are gone. A few hours later, a visibly nervous Spike asks Marissa's help in donning his first ever Joe-like attire.

Sunday evening

Off Duty Lounge - Residential Complex - Autobot City

The Autobot lounge is a stark contrast to the business-first attitude of the rest of Autobot City. Several comfortable couches in both human and Transformer sizes all face a big screen television - small for a Transformer, of course. Several tables are organized in a fashion that both talks of a serious nature of these of fun and games. On one of the tables rests the infamous lego set. A small computer terminal rests on the wall by the door in case of any emergency. 

Daniel has arrived.
Daniel appears. (Invited by Spike)

Buster is in the common area, next to a huge stack of books and papers. He's writing in one Moleskine notebook while checking notes in another.

Spike is walking around with Buster as he and Carly are days away from risking their lives to bring back Anwar Assan. However, right now, Spike's more concerned that Buster gets the general 'routine' of things.

"OK - so Daniel's class gets out at 2:15 on Mondays and Wednesday, and 2:45 on Tuesday. On Mondays, he'll then hang at the skate park after that. THEN - Tuesday, he'll want to go to the library." 

Daniel exits the family 'house' area and heads into the common area. "Uncle Buster! Do you know how to change a diaper?"

Buster shoots Daniel a smile.

Spike pauses and then looks at Buster for that question.

"That's right...what if Jesse isn't here?"

Buster takes notes in rapid shorthand. He makes a face. "Jesse and I are equally capable of handling a baby. We'll be fine. You guys just stay safe."

"Is, uh, my car working? If I'm going to be driving Daniel around..."

Daniel blinks. "It's your car...? Don't you know if it's working or not?"

Spike nods, he wipes some tired from his eyes, "Yes...I'll make sure that it's working before I leave. But if worst case scenario, one of the Autobots can take Daniel - just...not one of the sporty cars, we don't want to appear like a bunch of show-offs."

Spike looks at Daniel "It's...not - right now - I'm working on it. I'm almost done."

"Oh! Okay," Daniel answers Spike, nodding.

Buster grins at Daniel. "I pulled a Buster and killed it on the way back from Oregon."

He mutters to Daniel, "... if Sunstreaker ..."

Buster smiles innocently.

Spike was below the cabinet, looking to make sure food etc. is properly stocked, so he didn't see that conspiratorial muttering between Buster and Daniel.

Spike looks back at Buster "Oh! Shit... almost forgot. Tuesday, 9:30 - Daniel sees Dr. McGuire about his sprain. So, no use going to first and second period, Danno, you can sleep in. You know the directions...right?"

"Yeah, and they're on my phone, too," Daniel promises. He grins at something Buster says to him. "That would be cool," he admits.

Spike reaches in to his pocket and pulls out seven - SEVEN $20 bills! "OK, don't tell Carly, but honestly, for dinner, fend for yourselves. We have food, but if you guys want pizza or take-out, that's fine. Just... try to mix in a veggie or three."

"Pizza sauce is nutritious," Daniel interjects.

Spike frowns as his phone goes off again. He speaks into it curtly "Yes... Crosscut. Yes, I know - we need to talk about 3 Mile Island. I know... *pause* I know... look, I will be there soon. When I'm done going over everything with Buster...yes...fine...fine...ok..bye..bye." *click*

Buster nods, dutifully writing all of this down in shorthand.

Spike pauses and looks at Daniel, "Huh? Oh...yeah...I suppose. But the rest of the stuff not so much - just please... mix in some veggies or some fruit that's from a produce aisle."

Buster grins. "I'll make sure we get a good balance. Don't fret. I promise not to wreck his diet before you get back."

Daniel peers curiously at Buster's notes.

Spike looks at Buster and Daniel wearily "Megan getting close to sleeping seven hours uninterrupted. So, that's good. Blaster and I just downloaded a ton of new programs into dad' s assistant - so he can be there for like first-aid or even a diaper change."

Buster's notes are in some crazy moon-man language. ;)

He frowns. "I'm not leaving your daughter with a robot -- don't worry about that," he says sourly.

Spike scratches his head, "I KNOW I'm missing something... school, Tuesday - 9:30 doctor's appointment, skate park, diapers... Carly said she'd pick up some tonight."

Spike frowns back at Buster, getting testy himself "I didn't say you were going to leave her in the SOLE care of dad's helperbot! I just said he was there for a backup, Jeezus!"

"The nanny droid is pretty cool, and it can do a lot of stuff," Daniel says in defense of the helper. 

"The one thing it's not too good at is like... getting Megan back to sleep if she gets woken up."

Spike looks at Daniel "X-Box, Playstation - 2 hours a night...tops. You know your homework schedule."

"Yeah, I know, Dad. I'm on honor roll, so I'm not gonna mess it up," Daniel says emphatically.

<OOC> Spike says, "Translating schedules for Buster, working on Buster's car, tangoing with Crosscut, so can't wait to get to Trucial Abysmia for a little relaxation."
<OOC> Daniel says, "LOL. 8)"
<OOC> Daniel is glad I didn't walk Carly into this Witwicky gold mine of stress.

"I'm on my cell, obviously - until we go dark," Spike says. 

Spike looks at Daniel "And we'll be back by Thursday morning -" saying it as if Carly and he are going to hike the Appalachian Trail.

Daniel nods, his expression more somber. He's just going to assume this will happen on schedule. If he thinks otherwise, it's going to make him crazy this week.

Buster says, "We'll be fine, Spike. Dad's here, too, as well as a city full of Autobots. We'll be OK."

Buster grins. "And, yes, Jesse, who could probably do all this herself."

GAME: Spike PASSES a LEADERSHIP roll of Above Average difficulty.

Spike grins, asking himself again what Prime would do in this situation - calm the hell down. "And look, try to have some fun - I know I gave you a laundry list of stuff, but seriously - hit a movie or something."

Spike keeps thanking Primus Buster is here so he didn't have to beg Carly's in-laws to fly in.

Spike smiles at his brother. "Thanks...seriously - I owe you one."

Daniel was really young, but he remembers a time when Buster wouldn't even come near Autobot City. Things have changed a lot.

Buster grins. "Time with Danno? Don't fret it - coolest nephew ever."

He looks at Daniel. "Maybe you can help me find the third dungeon on Zelda."

Daniel grins warmly. 

Uncle Buster can be weird at times -- ok, MOST of the time -- but he's still an awesome uncle. 

"You still don't know where that is??" he laughs with surprise. 

"Okay, geeze, I'll show you!"

Buster says, "Yeah... I don't know what areas to blow up to find hidden rooms... I haven't figured out the pattern yet, if there is one."

Spike sighs "Oh... Daniel's friend, Andy - they hang out - and I think this week Andy's father has him, so... don't be surprised if Andy calls asking for a ride. His dad is sort of... " He thinks of a diplomatic answer, but he's amongst friends here, "I think Crosscut would refer to him as 'an irresponsible dick."

"Andy's cool, though," Daniel adds quickly. 

"Despite his dad."

Spike grins. "Yes, he's cool - awesome taste in music."

<<Autobot>> LtCmdr Metroplex says, "Sensor anomaly detected... likely Decepticon spy in the area."

Spike looks up, hearing the booming voice of Metroplex announcing a Decepticon is near the area. Spike barely flinches.

Buster also seems to be used to security alerts by now.

Spike goes right back to the family stuff. "You guys should have fun though - it'll be a good bonding exercise."

Buster mutters to you, "Don't worry -- I'll keep him out of trouble."

Spike mutters to Buster, "good luck."

<<Autobot>> LtCmdr Metroplex says, "Have you recovered from your ordeal, Hubcap?"

<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "Outside Autobot City? I'll check it out."

<<Autobot>>Hubcap says, "If I said 'yes,' would you believe me?"

Daniel isn't usually one to just sit around, so his injured leg must be causing him some pain, because sitting is exactly what he's going, and continues to do. 

"You know what my lit teacher is making me read, Uncle Buster? Atlas Shrugged. It is a really, really bad book."

Buster chuckles. "Wait 'til you get to a point in your life where you really want to justify being a selfish ass -- suddenly it will become genius!"

Spike looks at Daniel with pride. 

"Yeah... I'm glad you're slogging through it though. Far better to read it and dissect it from beginning to end why it's a long-winded, poorly written bore."

Spike nods. He grins at Daniel, "Heyah, show Uncle Buster your injury," almost saying it with pride. Danno down a manhole, sustained a nasty injury, in a sewer-like environment, and didn't even cry. Definitely a Witwicky.

"Aw, well, the story is cooler than the injury," Daniel admits, but he shows off his bum leg anyhow. "I sprained it when I was skateboarding in Seattle. Fell down an open manhole and some soldier came and got me out!"

Spike can't help but revert back to dad mode. "You DID mail out a 'thank you' note to him, right?"

"He didn't leave me his address! But I did text him thank you. That counts, right??" Daniel asks, in the 'cut me a break!' tone.

Spike frowns a bit, not liking the cut of Daniel's jib from that remark. "Yes..."

Buster makes a face. "I'm surprised you didn't get some sort of horrible infection. Yuck."

"I know, right?" Daniel doesn't seem to notice Spike getting critical on him, he just turns toward Buster. 

"I landed right in the you-know-what. I really lucked out because the soldier saw me fall in."

Buster nods. "I know some people from school who thought it would be funny to pull up manhole covers as a joke. I don't think it's very funny."

Spike frowns. "I ruined a mountain bike because some punk asses did that."

Wow, Dad, you never told me you fell into a manhole, too?" Daniel blinks in surprise. This antic seems to run in the family, it seems.

Spike says one word "College."

Buster says, "Wow. Apparently we Witwickys need to learn to look where we're going."

Daniel chuckles. "Easy for you to say, cause I know I was watching!" he exclaims. "I take that route all the time to the library, know, there's usually a COVER on the manhole. Anyhow, I'm done with skating for a while."

Buster frowns, and nods. "Yeah, I guess so. Maybe I can get you some better books than Atlas Shrugged so you can alternate with something less brain-damaging."

Spike smirks at that since Daniel probably is juggling 2-3 'recreational' reads as well.

"Dad has a good idea about Atlas Shrugged, though," Daniel says with a knowing grin. "I'm writing my reaction essay right now, and it's a breakdown of why the book fails so hard. It's gonna be epic when I'm done with it."

Spike shrugs "Heyah, I thought 'On The Road' was a pretentious bore as well, so I'm an equal opportunity critic."

As the three are talking, Daniel's phone chirps a text: "Heyah - I sent you a Facebook message and a message on your XBox Live account, but just in case, I'm sending you a text, if you want to play HALO tonight, I'll be on after 7. Can't wait to test out the new maps! - Steve"

Buster grins at Daniel. "I'd love to read it." Unlike some adults, Buster doesn't sound like he's humoring Daniel at all - he seems actually interested.

"Sure! It's halfway done now, but I'll send it to you," Daniel says as he checks his phone. 

Buster frowns at the phone chirp.

Spike looks at Buster, knowing that frown. "Get used to that 'chirp'."

Buster says, "One rule, though - turn off the phone beeps when we're hanging out. You can check them, but the constant chirp-chirp drives me insane."

Spike doesn't say anything. The only time Spike/Carly ask for the phone to go off is dinner time. 'Hanging out' - that's a bit harsh, man. But he doesn't say anything, opting for Daniel to set the boundaries.

<<Autobot>> LtCmdr Metroplex says, "I would hope it would be the case, Hubcap. The visitor is Buzzsaw - he is here for information on the rifts."

Daniel pauses, a little bit puzzled at Buster's request. "Mmm, sure, okay..." And he puts the setting on vibrate. Then he texts Steve quickly: 'wht server??? im w/dad & unc -- wll b on ltr'

<<Autobot>> Weatherbot Typhoon says, "We're not actually trusting him, are we?"

Spike perks up in curiosity about Metroplex relaying information about the rifts, but he's still doesn't realize while he was talking to Daniel, he may have leaked some critical information about Prime still being on the other side of the portal to an eavesdropping Buzzsaw.

<<Autobot>> Hubcap says, "As far as I'm aware, only Windshear can infect the living. Which is a good thing, as I tried to infect you."

Spike looks at Buster, "Uh... I probably don't even have to request this since you already know, BUT, if you guys go out for dinner, would you mind taking dad?"

Buster grins. "Of course!" He looks at Daniel. "You don't mind, do you, Danno?"

Spike shoots Daniel a look like only one answer will do for Buster's question.

"It would be great to have Grandpa along!" Daniel says, and he means it. All the better to keep a watchful eye on him. And even if it isn't one of his better days, he still has interesting stories to tell.

Buster smiles happily. Daniel's a good kid... no matter what the fandom says.

Spike watches Daniel leave and smirks. Times like these, he really doesn't want to be in the line of fire.

45 minutes later...

Diplomatic Lounge - Residential Complex - Autobot City   

Spike-urban warfare

Spike's "urban warfare" armor

A large room, designated as a meeting area for visiting dignitaries. Unlike most areas of the City, this room is specially geared to accommodate humans as well as Transformers, and has areas set aside for each.

(Radio) Spike transmits, "Marissa ...heyah, can come in the Diplomat Lounge for a second?" to Marissa.

Marissa pops her head into the diplomatic lounge almost immediately. "You rang?" she grins.

Spike is fumbling around with the Joe-issued 'suits' for such a raid they're about to undertake. Spike has the majority of the gear on, but a few armor plates are still out. Spike scratches his head, trying to figure out where they're supposed to go. And possibly, Spike's expression makes it apparent that he could have spent the past hour talking about family schedules and diplomacy and not a precision infiltration operation.

"Uh...yeah... " He shows a few panels to Marissa. "Where the hell do these go?"

Spike sucks in a bit of gut and squeezes the obligatory 'chemical attack prevention pack' into the right zipper.

Marissa smiles. "Let me help." 

She walks over and starts making adjustments.

Marissa says, "How'd things go with your family? Get everything straightened out?"

Spike smiles, something about this suit seems oddly - permanent - as if he's not being protected by near-invincible Autobots, but very vulnerable humans.

GAME: Spike FAILS a COURAGE roll of Very High difficulty.
GAME: Marissa PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.

Spike nods, trying to shrug it off. "Yeah - think everything is set. Buster has the schedule. So, I can cross that off. Now, just to get his car operating ... for at least 3 days - and I'll be ready to go."

GAME: Marissa PASSES an INTELLIGENCE roll of Average difficulty.

Spike looks at his Joe outfit and says distractedly " are you doing?"

Marissa raises her eyebrows. "Doesn't Autobot City have any loaners? We need to move out soon."

Spike rolls his eyes and says "You don't know Buster. He's sort of a purist."

Marissa makes a few more adjustments. "I always get this one wrong," she mutters, trying to help Spike save face.

Spike smiles and says sheepishly "Thanks..."

Spike instinctively makes a 'T' with his arms like he's getting fitted for a prom tux. 

Marissa smiles to herself, tightening buckles and moving straps. Soon everything feels less awkward, at least physically.

GAME: Spike PASSES a COURAGE roll of Immense difficulty.

Marissa says, "Do we have a list of what Bots are going with?"

Spike breathes out, realizing he's actually going into a real-life combat situation with the Joes, and not the Autobots (who he usually feels invincible with). Spike nods. "Yeah." 

"We have some tapes, Crosscut most likely, a shuttle - Prowl has specifically forbid any Autobots to transform into their robot mode."

Spike adds "Carly, of course, but she's like me, Autobot in 'honorary title' only."

"Now, will I be going in on YOUR squad, or another Joe squad?"

Marissa frowns to Spike. "Well, you should probably stay with the Autobots -- you guys are used to working together."

Spike blinks. "No..."

Spike adds "Marissa, we like... BUILT this organization together, even when some in the Joes and 'bots were skeptics, I'm not having you go in the line of fire and have me on the sideline."

"Besides...I have... battle... experience - sort of." 

Marissa moves around to stand in front of Spike. 

"Spike, you have more combat experience than I do. This isn't me sidelining you."

Spike nods. "Look, I want to do this - we're a team and as a team, I'm not letting you go in the line of fire without me as well." 

Though trying to save face, he doesn't appear to be looking Marissa quite in the eye. Damnit, he should have never had that second kid...

Marissa grins. "I understand."

Spike nods. He looks at Marissa, hoping she'll be the one protecting him and not a squad of Joes he's unfamiliar with "So...I'll be on your squad, right?"

<OOC> Spike hopes playing 'Call of Duty' with Daniel will constitute for 'battlefield experience'

Marissa chuckles, punching Spike on the arm. "You an' me are partners, Spike. I'll be right there with you - probably with both of us in a communications support role."

Marissa's confidence seems to be rubbing off. "Cool..." He then approaches Marissa and gives her a hug. Most likely, there's zero chemistry. Spike's still madly in love with Carly and can't believe he scored a wife like her, but the hug almost is like a brother/sister 'bro-hug', tying in with Spike's still very informal way of dealing with diplomacy. 

"You watch your aft when we get out there..."

Spike says. 

Marissa grins, accepting the hug in the friendly manner in which it was offered. "I'm a human, Spike. I have an ass. I'll be watching mine, and yours. I'm not coming back to tell your kid I got his dad shot saving some hippy in Trucial Abysmia."

Spike nods. "All right... now, I have a car that needs to be brought back from the dead."

"Actually, I can't wait to get this mission started so I can actually get some rest."

Marissa laughs. "Got you a little overworked around here, huh?"

Spike rolls his eyes, "Never give Crosscut your personal cell number." He gives a distracted wave to Marissa.

Marissa grins. "Noted... although I think he has it already."

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