redfirelight: (iFangirl iRonhide)
That Red Firelight ([personal profile] redfirelight) wrote2011-02-13 04:02 pm

Fic: Field Work

Title: Field Work
Universe: Transformers, Movie-Verse. Before the first film.
Characters: Ironhide, Sideswipe. A big fat Decepticon.
Rating: A FOR ACTION
Notes:
This is what happens when I read too much of TVTropes. I clicked on their Papa Wolf trope, and... this ensued. Also because [livejournal.com profile] vertiline_rpg posted their own trope page, and Ironhide fell under the Papa Wolf category. So did TFA Ratchet, MoviePrime, Booth from Bones and someone from [livejournal.com profile] straya 's Rex show. Go figure.

So I wrote more headcanon.



Field testing. The last challenge before the new crop of soldiers were allowed out into units of their own, instead of being paired with various combat instructors. The last bit of support they'd get before they were dumped into the conflict. It was all he could do to prepare them, and hope to the All Spark it was enough.

In this case, though, he planned for an easy time of it. This particular student showed overwhelming promise, adored combat, and had excelled at every challenge Ironhide had thrown in his shiny, silver path. It made for an over sized ego, but, in some ways, the old warrior felt it was deserved. The young soldier was good. Whoever designed him should get a lot of credit for the job. He just needed self-control, restraint, and a patient, occasionally heavy, hand. Unfortunately, the only way one could really gain said control was with time, experience.

Which was why they were here, on patrol on the edges of an Autobot outpost, checking for reported Decepticon activity. The location was set far from any city, on a wasteland of rock and metal. There were dense mineral deposits out this far. Prime real estate, as someone in the ranks had said. All the more reason to protect it. Ironhide was in the lead, setting the pace. Behind him, a sleek, silver vehicle darted back and forth between obstacles, occasionally knocking its front bumper against his rear one, before backing off again. Its engine revved, the sound painfully loud on the open, empty plain.

::Stow it back there,:: he barked over their personal comms. ::You are going to get the attention of every Decepticon Trypticon if you keep that up.::

The silver vehicle fell back a few feet, the roar of its engine fading to a sullen thrum.

::We could go faster,:: Sideswipe grumbled. ::There's absolutely nothing out here. The scouts were jumping at shadows. Again. You should just let me check things out, so we can pack up, go home, and get back to what, and who, we were doing.::

All Spark...

Had he been in his robotic form, Ironhide would have cuffed the young 'Bot. Not even out of training, and he'd already developed a preoccupation with... certain activities. Ironhide was still trying to erase the memory of catching his student in a supply closet with that heavy artillery gunner. And a courier. And then there was the story about the gun turret... It was getting to be infuriating. It had no place here.

He growled, and slowed to a stop. Fine. If the youngster wanted to finish this mission early, he'd let him. They'd just run a second one to make up for the lack. There really weren't any signs out here -- no scorch marks, no defense structures, no signs anyone had used this track since the war had started. The reports had to be exaggerated.

::Go on then,:: he muttered, letting his engine slip into idle mode. ::You know the route. I will wait.::

Sideswipe needed no more encouragement. He took off like a shot, a crow of triumph blasting from his engine. Ironhide backed up, until his rear bumper nudged a rocky outcropping. It was as much cover as he'd get while he waited for the silver daredevil to return. Judging from the speed at which Sideswipe was tearing across the plain, it wasn't going to be long. But it never hurt to be cautious. Speaking of...

::Slow down. There is a canyon somewhere on the track...::

He barely had time to send the message before something burst from the ground not ten feet in front of his speeding student. Wheels slewed over the ground, brakes screeching, as Sideswipe tried in vain to slow down. He ended up transforming, bringing his weapons to bear, just as he'd been taught. Green optics blazed down at the slender silver form, their owner easily twice Ironhide's own massive size. It wasn't a Decepticon Ironhide was familiar with. Not one in the files, either. With a dull roar, it swung a huge fist toward Sideswipe, making to crush him with one blow. Sideswipe barely seemed to move -- one moment he was in danger, the next, he was well out of range, moving with confidence over the rocky ground. He danced out of the way of another hammer blow, before something went wrong.

Either his confidence got the better of him, or the terrain did. He stumbled, just for a moment, and the Decepticon's weapons blasted the ground he stood on to a fine gravel. The silver body went flying, landing in a crumpled heap a good distance away. It didn't move.

The Decepticon pulled itself free of the canyon, dragging its enormous form toward the motionless Autobot, mouth opening to reveal rows upon rows of serrated blades. Gravel started to fly upward, pulled toward the gaping paw as if trapped in a vacuum. Sideswipe's body began to slide toward it, even as the young warrior tried to rouse himself enough to resist. His fingers dug feebly at the rock, scraping for purchase and finding none. He was drawn closer to the creature, pain and panic feeding his desperation.

And then blue and orange missiles slammed into the side of the creature's head.

The jaws snapped shut, the head rocking back in surprise and pain. Its scream was answered by a wild bellow of rage, and the rapport of twin cannons firing again and again as a black form charged forward. The Decepticon snarled in answer, lowering its head for another long inhalation. Ironhide jerked to a halt, digging heavy feet into the rock, planting all five tons of his mass low to the ground. He didn't move. High above, the Decepticon let out a grumbling roar, stepping forward. The wind increased, pulling small boulders up to the great maw, churning and crushing them to gravel. Ironhide still stayed frozen in place, his frame tense, straining with the effort of keeping himself glued to the ground. Even his hands were gripping at the rock, the vicious cannons apparently useless in the face of this devastating vaccum.

At least, until the Decepticon took one last step, closing the distance between them to mere feet.

The cannons whipped up, firing charged, concussive blasts right into the open jaws, even as the force of the creature's inhalation sucked the weapons master upward. It shrieked, pieces of armor and churning internals ripped away by the explosion. Carried by the momentum of the vacuum, Ironhide landed square on the Decepticon's face, heavy hands gripping warped armor hard enough to bend it. It shook its head, violently, to try and rid itself of the heavy attacker. Snarling, Ironhide dug his feet in, grasping for the nearest handhold to keep himself from thrown across the plain.

Ironhide's hand latched onto one side of the Decepticon's massive jaw. There was a moment's hesitation, while he realized what it was he held. And then he twisted, jerking his whole body sideways, the jawline held tight in his grip.

It tore free with a screech of metal and the bubbling hiss of escaping fluid. The release sent Ironhide tumbling back to the ground, while the Decepticon roared in agony, lifting massive claws to paw feebly at its face. Slowly, the weapons master dragged himself to his feet, stepping backward until scans indicated he was directly in front of his wounded student. Between the crumpled mass of silver metal and the behemoth. He held the jaw section in one hand, lifting the other to bear on the Decepticon, the cannon already primed and ready for action.

The Decepticon howled, swinging its head around to face the Autobots, mouth gaping wide for another attack. In response, Ironhide planted his feet again, scarred optics set, his aim never wavering. Murder glinted in his expression -- in the white-hot barrel of the cannon.

"Come!" he bellowed over the distance. "Try to touch this soldier again and I shall tear the other half off as well!"

It paused. Sickly green optics flicked from the fluid-spattered ground to the jaw component in Ironhide's grip. It took a step forward.

Orange light ripped through its shoulder joint, burning a molten hole through metal and wires. With a shriek, the Decepticon lumbered backward, twisting and whining through its multilated mouth.

"Come again!" shouted Ironhide. "Come again, if you dare!"

It froze, its high-pitched keening of pain still echoing across the plain. For good measure, Ironhide hefted the oversized component and flung it at the creature. It clanged off the monster's wounded shoulder, hitting the ground with a crunch. He snorted out a huff of air, stepping toward it as the other cannon swung into position. His voice dropped, a low, rumbling snarl tearing its way free of his chest and vocal processor.

"Try me."

The creature didn't move. Ironhide didn't move.

With a warbling hiss, it backed down. It slid back into the canyon, dragging itself slowly over the broken rock, agony in every motion. Even after it vanished, Ironhide stayed put. Too many times the Autobots had been fooled by false retreats. He refused to add to the count. He didn't know how long he stood there, looming over the fallen young soldier, waiting. Too long, probably.

At last, he deemed it safe to proceed. Without a word, he knelt, and hefted the silver body up onto one shoulder. Sideswipe's frame was shivering, twitching as every slight touch sent a ripple of pain through his sensors. He was coated in fluid, shrapnel, and dust. Two fingers on one of his hands were missing. And he was alive.

Ironhide carried his charge back to the base camp, keeping his free cannon primed the entire trip. It wasn't until centuries later that he learned the name of what they had faced out there on the plain. He'd read the report with only a snort of surprise, and then returned to his duties.

After that day, Devastator never faced the old weapons master in combat again.

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