Heatwave calls all the recruits to meet in his classroom. They chatter with each other about what their teacher wants to discuss today, maybe a new simulation? Or are they going out on a real rescue? The five recruits buzz with excitement as they try to predict what is going to happen. They all file in still chatting excitedly to each other as they try to predict what is happening.
“Obviously someone is getting a reward for being the best rescue recruit ever! Don’t worry guys I’ll let you admire the trophy.” Hot Shot suggests with a cheeky grin.
“Please if Heatwave was giving out an award I’d be the one getting it!” Wedge challenges pushing Hot Shot’s shoulder.
“Ohohoh What if we are getting another new recruit!? Wouldn’t that be fun? Or or We could be getting a new teacher! I heard there’s a femme rescuer over in China! Maybe she’ll come teach us?!” Whirl Jr chatters excitedly, waving her servos for emphasis.
“A new teacher does not seem out of the realm of possibility. Though I do not think we will be getting more recruits at this time, it is already halfway into the year. Someone new would need to catch up unless they already had started training somehow.” Medix comments glancing to Hot Shot and Wedge who are still arguing about which is most deserving of an award.
“Maybe he wants us to test out more rescue tools” Hoist says quietly, watching Hot Shot and Wedge’s argument get more heated.
All of the young rescue bots continue to talk and argue as they sit down in their seats in Heatwave’s classroom, not noticing their teacher standing at the front of the room already waiting for them.
Heatwave gives the kids an exasperated but fond look as they talk on without paying attention to their surroundings. He waits for a lull in all the chattering to call the recruits attention to him.
“Thank you all for coming, I’m sure you are all wondering what this meeting is about. Well--” He starts to announce.
“Is someone getting an award?!” Hot Shot interrupts curiously, raising his servo but not waiting to be called on.
“No, Hot Shot, no one is getting an award. Please be patient and I will tell you all why you are here.” Heatwave responds giving all the recruits a warning look.
“My brothers and I have decided to give you all the next two months off as a break, something the humans call a ‘Winter Term Break’ They take this time to spend with families so we are going to encourage you to do the same. If anyone needs assistance getting in contact with their families please let us know and we will help. I hope you all have a fun and safe December and January.” Heatwave says smiling as the recruits cheer excitedly, once they are full fledge rescue bots they won't be able to take breaks like this anymore, at least not with any regularity, so he’s happy to see them get some time off with their families.
The kids all cheer excitedly, as dedicated to their rescue work as they are they are also still young. Getting to head home and spend time with their friends and families is a great opportunity for them to destress. It will allow them to come back calm and ready to work that much harder. At least that’s what Chase claims the logic behind the break is, Ratchet did not disagree when he was consulted if it was true.
Hot Shot hops up whooping loudly, pumping one fist in the air.
“I’m going to kick so much butt at Cube in that time! Maybe I’ll even win another award.” He bounces on his heels looking around excitedly.
“Come on guys! Let’s get our stuff!” He yells rushing out the door towards the dorm.
Wedge charges after Hot Shot, both due to excitement and the pair’s never ending competitive spirit.
Medix, Hoist, and Whirl Jr follow at a slightly more sedate pace, though they are power walking. Once everyone is in the dorm they start packing up their subspaces with anything they will need from here over break. Chase pokes his head in to remind them any rescue equipment must remain in the academy per regulation 34a of the handbook. Otherwise the teachers leave them to pack while they make sure the GroundBridge is ready to transport the kids.
“What are you guys most excited to do?” Hot Shot asks as he darts around taking last minute stock of his subspace. He doesn’t want to leave anything important behind.
“I’m going to get my Uncle to teach me some new construction skills, he promised to do that the next time I was available.” Wedge mutters as he digs through his belongings, obviously looking for something he misplaced.
“My Ri and his gestalt are busy with a big construction job but Sa should be around to hang out. He got out of the business, said it was kind of overwhelming trying to build and repair everything on Cybertron.” Hoist comments as he rolls up some extra rope for his winch, technically it's not rescue equipment because he brought it with him and the winch is part of his frame.
Wedge looks over his shoulder at Hoist, kind of baffled Hoist’s creators are construction vehicles but before he can ask what that’s about Medix butts in.
“Well I’m going to sit in on some of my Uncle Ratchet’s medical procedures, it will be very educational.” He comments packing up his personal medkit, subspacing it away once he’s done. He gives Wedge a look when Hoist isn’t paying attention.
“What about you Whirl?” Medix asks turning the attention away from Hoist.
“I can’t wait to show Dad all the cool new rescue codes I memorized! He promised if I got up to Code 900 before Summer Break he’d let me plant Moolooite in my room! I’m already up to Code 863!” Whirl Jr squeals excitedly, waving her hands in the air enthusiastically.
“Wait who is your Dad again?” Hoist asks, putting the coiled rope into his subspace glancing over to the practically vibrating helicopter, curiously glancing over to Whirl Jr.
“Whirl! He was an Aerial Corps member then he quit to be a clockmaker then he was an enforcer for a while but he doesn’t like to talk about then, then the war happened and he was a Wrecker! After the war he met Uncle Cyclonus and Uncle Tailgate. They had all kinds of adventures, now they live together on Cybertron!” Whirl Jr chatters excitedly, Heatwave notes there is a gap in the history Whirl Jr just gave but none of the recruits seem to have picked up on it so he chooses not to mention it.
“I keep forgetting you’re named after your Dad.” Hot Shot comments glancing to Whirl Jr puzzled. “Isn’t that really confusing for you?” He asks curiously, pushing himself up on his peds and starting out of the room with everyone else following.
“Yeah he’s Whirl Senior and I’m Whirl Junior, people say it’s confusing but it’s not really to me. We just have the same name, there are lots of repeat names on Cybertron. We’re both always Whirl, we like it that way.” Whirl Jr chatters excitedly as they make their way towards the GroundBridge so they all can head back to their respective homes to spend time with friends and family.
“Well I guess if it works for you that’s good.” Hot Shot comments shrugging, he guesses the Senior and Junior helps. Though he’s not sure what someone would do with entirely different families having members that share a name.
Once in the GroundBridge room everyone says their final goodbyes for the next two months as they one by one are sent through to their waiting families.
Whirl Sr whoops excitedly when Whirl Jr comes flying through the GroundBridge at the station nearest where they live. She rams straight into him with a happy squeal.
“Dad! I’m so happy to see you! It’s only been four months but that feels like forever! There’s so many fun things I want to tell you about! Did I tell you we got a fifth student last minute? And that Hoist made us these really cool rescue tools!?” She starts talking a mile a minute filling Whirl Sr in on the last four months of her life.
Whirl Sr listens patiently, he loves hearing about his bitty’s life even if her job path isn’t one he would have picked for her given his history. He would never force his choices on her though, she deserves to pick her own path. That’s what he fought for after all, the right for mecha to choose their own lives. They walk like that for some time, until Whirl Jr runs out of things to talk about. She looks up at Whirl Sir sheepishly.
“Sorry I’ve kinda been yammering on huh?” She says leaning into his side apologetically.
“Nah it’s cool kiddo, I like hearin’ about your life and friends. You are gettin’ to do so much good stuff, I’m really proud.” Whirl Sr says wrapping one arm around Whirl Jr hugging her into his side happily. He releases her hopping forward a few times before turning to face Whirl Jr waving his claws excitedly.
“We got to do so much fun stuff while you’re home.” He exclaims, clacking the tips of his claws together.
“We got the place to ourselves the first couple a days, Cyc and Tail are off doing some mushy couples stuff or whatever.” He shifts to face forward again as he continues leading their way home. “We can do all kinds of damage in that time~”
Whirl Jr frowns at that, shaking her helm.
“What kind of damage… not real damage right just stuff Uncle Cyc and Tail don’t usually do right?” She asks warily, she knows how chaotic her Dad can get.
“Ya know, just… Damage. I have all kinds of plans, kiddo, all kinds of plans! We could glue Prowl to the ceiling of his office.” He cackles tossing his helm back.
“No! That’s so mean, Dad!” Whirl Jr squeaks hopping in front of Whirl Sr. “Tell me we aren’t heading to his office already?!”
“Oh fine, Nah he’s not in his Office right now, too late in the orn.” Whirl Sr waves his claws dismissively, he probably shouldn’t have opened with that one. Ol’ Prowl’s a good ol’ cop Whirl Jr probably likes the sucker.
“Oh good… It’s not nice to glue people to things. Besides how would we even glue him to a ceiling without him waking up and noticing before the glue was dry.” Whirl Jr says, trying not to be mean about her Dad’s idea but she really hopes that was the worst thing he wanted to do with their time.
“Oh yeah, that guy’s a light sleeper probably couldn’t. We could glue some of his stuff to the ceiling tho.” Whirl Sr narrows his optic light as he plots how they could still mess with Prowl.
“Nono! He’s got important things we can’t glue those to the ceiling! Besides if he’s not in there and it’s closed we’d have to break in which is really bad! It’s against like… all the regulations!” Whirl Jr huffs staring her Dad down until he backs off from that idea.
“Alright Alright nothing to do with gluing things to ceilings…” Whirl Sr mutters.
“Or breaking and entering!” She chimes in crossing her arms firmly.
“Or breaking and entering.” He sighs, making an exaggerated gesture with his shoulders and arms to emphasize how put upon he is to follow the law.
“What other plans did you have?” She asks curiously, feeling a little bad for making her Dad upset, but she can’t participate in anything illegal if she wants to be a copbot.
“We could tell Optimus I’m sparked up.” Whirl Sr says snickering as he imagines how Optimus would light up about news of a newspark. That guy is such a softspark for little kids.
“We… could … if you are sparked up that is. It’s not nice to lie, especially to Mr. Prime, he's working hard to help Cybertron!” Whirl Jr comments looking up at Whirl Sr with narrow optics. “ Are you sparked up?” She tries not to get her hopes up, She’s pretty sure her Dad wouldn’t break the news like that if it was true. Though it would be really nice to have a little sibling.
“Nah. Ya know I’d tell my little bitty first thing if I was.” He comments waving one claw.
“Then it’s not okay. We shouldn’t be spreading lies, especially lies that will hurt people. Mr. Prime would be so sad to be lied to! What if Uncle Cyclonus and Uncle Tailgate heard about the lie and got excited only to be told it was a lie! It’s not like setting up a surprise where you might tell a little lie so you don’t ruin the surprise, this is just mean!” Whirl Jr exclaims waving her arms around to make it clear how upsetting she finds this whole plan.
“Okay, Okay, Calm down kiddo. Why don’t you lay down the rules for our pranks then?” Whirl Sr reassures his daughter, he can do other pranks later or something. He doesn’t want to ruin the time they have together.
“No breaking any laws. No big lies that might hurt someone, only little ones to set up good surprises. Try not to drag my classmates or their families into this? I don’t want to take away their time with family. Especially Ratchet, Medix doesn’t get a lot of time with his Uncle between school and Ratchet’s work.” Whirl Jr ticks off each rule on a finger as she thinks, that first one should really mitigate the worst of her Dad’s chaos.
“Alright, Alright, you drive a hard bargain kiddo. How about we make some silly Father-Daughter image captures huh? Hang ‘em up where Cyc and Tail usually keep their sappy couples photos. Put the normal image captures nice and safe on their desk so no harm done, just a little time to swap everything back the way it’s supposed to be.” Whirl Sr tilts his helm looking down at his little femme.
“Oh that sounds funny. They’ll come back and we’ll be all over the walls, I like it!” Whirl jr says giggling as she imagines her Uncles’ faceplates when they see the silly prank.
“Yeah! We got a couple days with the house to ourselves so they won’t see anything comin’!” Whirl Sr cheers scooping Whirl Jr up in his claws and tossing her up in the air with a laugh.
Whirl Jr laughs letting herself be tossed up a couple times before transforming and zooming ahead with a yell of.
Whirl Sr puts up a good fight in the race, but Whirl Jr manages to just squeak out a victory this time. They are both laughing as they tumble into the house from the roof landing pad. Whirl Sr immediately heads to his room to dig out an image capture machine and some one time use datapads to hang up in place of all Cyclonus and Tailgate’s couples photos. He eyes the pile thinking about how many photos the pair have up before digging out another whole box of them just in case.
Whirl Jr follows him in looking at their supplies excitedly, before noticing there’s a new clock on her Dad’s work table.
“Oh you got another one! Is this one all fixed?” She asks moving over to examine it, careful not to touch it or any of the supplies surrounding it so she doesn’t mess up her Dad’s work flow.
“Oh uhh nah that one’s got some fiddly parts that are givin’ me trouble. My claws aren’t what they used to be, I guess I’ll probably have to pack it up or get Cyc to try and do the fiddly bits.” He mutters glancing over to the table but mostly focusing on fussing with the image capture machine to make sure it’s still in working order.
“Oooor I could help? One of the days I’m home we can have a quiet repair day.” She suggests glancing back to her Dad eagerly, she likes helping out.
“Oh yeah that would be great kiddo. I’ll throw together some instructions about what needs to be done. We’re due to get some acid rain sometime soon so we might as well hang out in here when that hits.” Whirl Sr says lifting up the image capture machine and taking a capture of Whirl Jr next to the clock to test it. He transfers the file on to one of the datapads and cackles happily that it’s working.
“Alright kiddo let’s get to takin’ pictures!” He crows darting down to the main room.
Whirl Jr chases after him laughing.
“Wait for me!” She squeals.
They spend the next few hours taking pictures and swapping out all the pictures of Cyclonus and Tailgate in the whole house. Some of the photos they take outside or fly to nearby locations to diversify the photo backgrounds, others they just take against one of the blank walls so it's like they took them in a studio. Whirl Jr makes them some funny costumes to wear in various photos to make them even more silly.
By the end of the first night they had taken dozens of photos then hung each and every one in place of the photos of Cyclonus and Tailgate. True to his word Whirl Sr carefully stacks all the original datapads in Cyclonus and Tailgate’s room where they are safe and unchanged.
“Hey kid, is it a harmless lie to jokin’ly tell Cyc we saved over the photos? He’ll know right away it’s not true but it’ll spook him for a moment.” He comments glancing down to his daughter gauging how much she likes or dislikes the idea.
“Maybe… Maybe just call attention to something being funny with the pictures? Uncle Tailgate would be devastated if he overheard, he loves taking these.” She mutters, her rotors twitching nervously as she fusses with one of the pictures of Cyc and Tail together.
“Yea… that’s true. Tail’s got a mean broken heart look. Probably better not ta risk it.” He nods along, looking around at their handiwork. His partners are going to be so confused when they see all of this.
“Hey Dad, how come you aren’t in any serious photos anyway? You even got some captures of me in your room but I’ve not seen any of you except the ones we just took…” She says looking through all the photos on the desk, in some she can tell her Dad was present but he seems to have taken the photos instead of joining in.
“Ehh not much for serious scrap.” He comments, after a few minutes of silence it seems like he’s not going to elaborate any further.
“Oh okay. Maybe we can keep some of the silly ones up?” She suggests glancing up to her Dad.
“If Uncle Cyclonus and Uncle Tailgate want to, that is.” She adds looking at all the photos they took down, there are quite a lot she’s not sure where their silly additions would go once everything has been set to rights. She’s definitely going to keep a few to take back to the academy, it’ll be nice to have some photos in the dorm room.
“Yeah that might be fun, maybe a few of the ones where ya made those cool costumes for us? Those are my favorites.” Whirl Sr scoops his daughter up snuggling her a little.
“Yeah! That’ll be fun, why don’t we play a board game for a little. And tomorrow we can race some more! And maybe visit that cafe again, it had some great goodies….” She chats excitedly about how they can spend the next few days.
“Hey ya know those fake spill things humans make right? Where it looks like ya spilled a whole glass of milk or somethin’? What if we made those with fake oil! Put ‘em all over the house so it looks like we made a right mess!” Whirl Sr suggests clacking his claws together looking around at the house they, well Whirl Jr, have mostly kept clean the last few days. They had about another day before Cyclonus and Tailgate returned, that should be plenty of time to whip up some fake oil spill cubes.
Whirl Jr looks around humming as she considers it, looking up at Whirl Sr cautiously.
“We aren’t going to ruin any of the good reusable cubes right?” She asks warily, ruining perfectly good cubes doesn’t sound like a funny prank to her.
“Nah nah we’ll fly down to the cheap supply depot and pick up some disposable cubes ‘n’ use those. We need to pick up the supplies to make the fake spills anyway. Need like… glue or whatever and ink to make it the color of oil or whatever we want it to look like we spilled. I got some pretty shanix for that clock I sold that dude with the face.” Whirl Sr has that tone to his voice that screams if he had a face he would be grinning audial to audial.
Whirl Jr perks up at that, it does sound fun when they are being careful not to cause actual trouble.
“We’ll need something like plastic tarp or something similar to make them on so they don’t stick to the table surface. Oh! We can even get like... glitter and stuff so it looks like there were additives in there!” She exclaimed excitedly, really getting into the idea of making some prank cups to trick her Uncles with.
“Yeah! Now ya got it kiddo! Come on let’s head down to the depot and get all the supplies we’ll need! The glue’ll need to dry before we can take ‘em up off the tarp and put them around the house.” He cackles, rushing out the door and transforming ready to fly off.
Whirl Jr runs after him closing the door so it locks behind them before transforming and taking off towards the depot.
They collect all the supplies they will need, stopping to grab some fuel on the way home so they can focus on their prank craft project without stopping to make fuel themselves. Once home they spread out the tarp over a table and get to work mixing glue with various colorants and glitter types in disposable cubes to make it look like fuel then tipping over the cubes so the mixture spills out forming a puddle. They make sure to spread them out so none of them stick to each other before leaving the whole batch to dry for the next few hours.
Then in a stroke of genius they make a bunch of fake cubes with some fuel left in them without tipping them over so it looks like they just left out cubes of mostly drunk fuel. They leave those to dry in a neat little line at the end of the table.
That night before they head to recharge they peel all the fake spill cups off the tarp and set them all around the house so it looks like they just left fuel cups and spills all over the place.
Both pranks turned out to be a great success, Tailgate was exasperated at first about the mess but thought it was funny in the end. Cyclonus didn’t seem to react much but he did crack a tiny smile at some of the photos.
The following day an acid rain storm blew in, chasing the pair of copters into staying inside for the duration of the storm. Whirl Sr had written up some instructions for what needed to be repaired on the clock, giving them and the tools required to Whirl Jr along with the clock so she could work on it next to him while he works on a less fiddly battery replacement in a watch.
Whirl Jr sits against Whirl Sr’s side as she fiddles with some finicky parts in a clock. She pays careful attention to the instructions Whirl Sr provided her on what needed to be fixed. She doesn’t want to accidentally break it further, it’s nice to just sit mostly quietly and help out with something her Dad likes.
They sit in a companionable silence for several hours as they work. Whirl Sr going through several small repairs in the time it takes Whirl Jr to repair the clock to the instructions she’s been given. She fusses with the clock a little confused that it’s still not ticking
“Dad did I do something wrong, it's still not working?” She asks, worried she broke it despite following the instructions carefully.
“Huh.. Oh nah, probably just needs a new battery too. I was more concerned with some of the fiddly bits than checkin’ the battery. Here.” He pulls a battery out of one of the parts boxes passing it to her.
“Try that out.” He comments watching as she pops out the old battery and pops in a new one. Almost immediately the clock starts ticking again.
“Oh! There it goes. It’s not set right I don’t think?” She hums comparing the time on the clock to her chronometer.
“I got it set to the time in Griffin Rock.” Whirl Sr assures patting Whirl Jr’s head and carefully picking up the clock to set it up on a shelf with a few that are in complementary styles.
“Oh that’s neat! Are all of them set to different places?” She asks looking around, noting how many clocks seem to be off from what her chronometer is set to. Some even are ticking much faster or slower than each other.
“Yep, that one there’s set to Velocitronian’s Grand Stadium time. Those two are set up to tick in time with Camien’s Titan Time. I think I got one around here set to Praxian Time still.” He looks around pointing out some of the clocks as he talks.