3.4.1 Empty Slums
Hot Rod continues to walk through this unfamiliar territory. In his arms is a makeshift bowl which is filled with a clear translucent liquid. The young Autobot looks to be unarmed, however with those chrome pipes on his forearms one would be surprised. The young cavalier shows no fear as he continues to search for someone. The various empties living in the slums look up at the shiny new comer with a hungry stare and growl, "Arcee.. are you here?" he finally calls out. The empties around here may be weak but there are hundreds of them or so it seems.
Arcee steps from behind a building. "Hot Rod?" she says, "I'm over here. "What's that you're carrying?"
Shark is on patrol after some days off duty. He started with the lowest level of Cybertron and now is working his way through this level.
Hot Rod makes his way over to the pinkcess of his laser core, "Hey Arcee.. I brought you some water so you can wash up." he looks around and sits down on some fallen rubble before settle the makeshift bowl down. The water inside glistens in what little light seeps into this area. There’s even a wash rag in the water. Then he pulls out his energon canteen and places it securely in Arcee's hand, "In case you were hungry." he smiles and keeps a careful optic on the other empties who perk up at something being given to one of their own. But then return to their shadows being too weak to muster up the strength to go ask the Autobot for energon.
"Oh, um, thanks," Arcee says. She picks up the washrag and starts using it to wash herself off. She's pretty grungy. She eyes the energon as only a hungry empty can. "I'm grateful."
Shark spots the movement of the Empties as he walks into the slums proper. Casually dropping energon goodies as he goes. He's not exactly being quiet either as he hums a little tune, all the better to alert the locals he's coming through.
Hot Rod smiles and stands up after seeing the femme's pretty face cleaned of the dirt that once covered it, "Oh Arcee.. you're too good for this place." he then moves into a protective position in front of the pink femme, "I know you are. I figure you need it more than I do. Go ahead and refuel if you need. Are you still getting those low energon headaches?" the cavalier pulls out his twin photon blasters just in case the other hungry empties want to take Arcee's energon away. He knows there are too many of them to fight off completely, but he can give them one hell of a repair bill! Though luckily the attention shifts bit as a group of desperate empties move to try and surround Shark, "Autobot.. do you have energon for usss?" they hiss like zombies.
Shark smiles at the incoming group, "Oh yeah, I got your energon. Just enough for you all." he states, "Just no crowding and no dirty stuff or I stuff it into my subspace where you will never get it." he warns. His voice loud enough perhaps the duo would hear him. He begins to pass out the goodies by just tossing them at the Empties as he spots them. Best to keep them at a distance after all.
Arcee nods, refueling after she puts down the rag briefly. She drinks deeply, sighing as the fuel slides down to her refueling tank. She glances about, glaring at any sneaky empties that might come to try to gank her energon. Once she finishes the energon, she returns to cleaning herself off.
Hot Rod looks up at Shark's position as the rest of the empties get up from their scrap piles after hearing that the Autobot has lots of energon. Now he really gets surrounded. At least they're just standing there and not trying to take the energon forcefully from him.
The young cavalier turns back to Arcee, "I really hate the idea of you being here Arcee. My offer still stands. I'd love to take you to Iacon. Where we can be together. Sure it doesn't have the freedom you have now. But you'll get your portion of energon and system repairs when you need it. And the best part is you get to crack open some Decepticon heads!" he takes a hold of the femme's hand, "Even if you don't want to be with me.. it’s at least a better living than this."
Shark is passing out the goodies as quickly as he can, trying to be sure each Empty gets a couple as he moves through them. "Don’t crowd, there'll be enough for all." he can be heard saying. Since he's so swamped he doesn't notice Hot Rod or Arcee some distance away.
Arcee strokes her chin. "It is tempting," she says, "Not having to worry about where my next meal is coming from. It's almost like a war out here, sometimes. But I really need to know who I am first before I fully commit. I'll think about it."
Hot Rod does look a bit disappointed but he's used to her turning him down. He leans over and gives the pink femme a gentle kiss on the cheek, "Okay Arcee. I'll see you in a few cycles hopefully. I'll keep trying to find out information about your past on Teletran," he gives Shark a glance to see if he needs help and then back to Arcee, "You know how to find me if you ever need me." then he calls out to Shark, "Hey, you need a hand up there?" the empties that did get fed are bus nomming away but the other hungry ones are trying to claw and stop Shark from escaping their circle before they get fed. But being as weak as they are they offer up little resistance. There’s just so many of them. Like a never ending sea of empties trying to get a piece of Shark.
Shark looks around to the voice, "Hot Rod? Yeah if you don't mind." he calls back, doing his best to pass out as quickly as he can, "Easy all, you'll all get a little." he tells them, trying to keep them all calm.
Arcee is quite confident she can handle any empties that get out of hand, though it's good that Shark and Hot Rod are there. "Thanks," she says to Hot Rod, "That'll be quite helpful." Hot Rod raises his blasters at the crowd of empties that seem to be trying to swarm swallow poor Shark. But then the young Autobot decides he's not going to shoot hungry mechs. He lowers his blasters and then transforms into his vehicle mode. The racer's engine roars loudly as it revs up and then goes racing into the crowd of empties to the tune of 'Dare' by Stan Bush. The car disappears into the crowd of empties and bodies are sent flying into the air as the car barrels through the crowd to create a path for Shark to escape.
Arcee draws her own blaster. She glares at the swarming empties. "BACK OFF!" she says authoritatively, "You'll all get a share! Don't be greedy!"
Shark blinks as bodies go flying and threats are issued. Well nothing he wouldn't have done if they didn't cool it, but now he doesn't have to do it at all. He just tosses a handful off one way, then another way to get them to part that he can close the gap between himself and the other two. "Nearly out of goodies. Probably good time to hightail it out of here." he suggests as he glances at Arcee. "So you're the one he talks about all the slagging time."
Hot Rod skids to a halt as he finally manages to make his way to Shark's position. The crowd of empties seem to separate into three major crowds. First off there’s the group of empties laying on the ground from being rammed by Hot Rod. The second crowd of empties have calmed down a bit from one f their own yelling orders at them. Lately the final crowd chases after the energon goodies that Shark tosses aside. The few empties that were fed are doing what they can to crowd control the others away from Shark the giver of fuud!
Arcee smirks at Shark. "Oh, really?" she says, grinning widely.
Shark tosses out the last bit of goodies at the remaining Empties. "Really." he replies simply with a hint of a toothy grin.
Hot Rod transforms and looks between Arcee and Shark. He gives the Autobot a nudge, "You're killing me here.. didn't I just come to your rescue too?" he eyes Shark and then gestures with a wave of his hand, "Arcee.. Shark.. Shark, Arcee my pinkcess." he smiles as he rubs the back of his head at the thought of Arcee being his femme.
"Pleased to meet you," Arcee says to Shark. She almost thinks she's seen Shark before, but she isn't sure.
Shark gives Hot Rod a look and then a full on toothy smile, "As I recall you owed me a rescue from when I saved your unconscious body from a boat full of really nasty pirates." then looking back to Arcee, "Nice to meet you, after all this time." he replies.
Hot Rod crosses his arms as he keeps his optics on Shark, "Didn't I rescue you when Rogue and Obliterator ambushed you in the geode forest? I remember racing off with your unconscious body." he snickers, "Hey, watch it.. she's my femme." he hopes he didn't say that loud enough for Arcee to hear. Then he shakes his head and looks at Shark, "Why on Primus are you here? Did Ironhide send you to keep an eye on me?" he says with a disapproving gruff.
Shark looks back at Hot Rod. "Oh are we going to play who owes who now? C'mon..." he shakes his head a bit and smirks at the flamed one, "Funny, last I checked the feeling has to be mutual to make such a claim. Besides, I got a femme so I don't need to impress her now do I?" he inquires with a little cock of his head, then a laugh, "I'll have you know this is part of my patrol area."
Arcee stands there quietly for a moment. "So Hot Rod, do you need any help with keeping the empties under control on a long term basis?" she asks.
Hot Rod makes a face at Shark, "What are you talking about? What Arcee and I have together is special!!" he does say that Arcee can hear. Then he turns to the femme, "No, I don't think so Arcee.. the empties are pretty harmless and they tend to keep to themselves. There aren't many reports of empties gone wild all over Cybertron." then he gestures to Shark, "They were hungry and Shark here announced having energon a bit too loud.. so who can blame them for what they did. Or were you offering your services to us as an Autobot.. Arcee?" he asks hopefully.
Shark smiles a bit at Hot Rod, saying nothing to the special comment at all. "Well I need to continue my patrol." he announces.
"Well, most of them know me, and they know better than to misbehave when I'm around," Arcee explains to Hot Rod.
Hot Rod nods to Arcee, "Right, if we ever have any problems with empties.. you'll be the first to know!" he then turns back to Shark, "Wait, you said you have a femme.. who is it, is it Jade?!" he asks a bit too giddy at gossip.
Shark is already moving out, but laughs at the question. "I'm not that stupid or insane!"