applecrumble: (IDW Arcee)
[personal profile] applecrumble
Title: Acquired Tolerance
Characters: Arcee, Jhiaxus, two unnamed mechs
Genre: Drama/General
Rating: T
Summary: Jhiaxus shows his latest 'project' to some colleagues, while Arcee seethes and plots.
Warnings: Mention of forced drugging, and Arcee's violent imaginings.



Arcee’s systems ticked online to the sound of tapering voices somewhere from above. Her processor was sluggish and she could barely make out the blurred figures gazing down at her. One, she didn’t need proper optical input to recognise. A frisson of hatred shot through her spark. Her vision slowly began to clear. The other two mechs she still didn’t know – not that she needed to know them to know their purpose there.

Spectators.

She did no more than gaze groggily up at Jhiaxus – willing her optics to express every hate-filled thought; every violent desire and yearning for revenge for what he took from her. Arcee had long ago given up repeating the mental mantra of ‘Him not her, damn it. Him! Himhimhimhimhim!’. It was enough of a struggle to keep her processor rational without driving herself insane with that fruitless task.

She knew the drug Jhiaxus had given her – not its name, but the effects. It was the same one he gave her every time he needed her online but inhibited; more often than not, when a colleague or patron came by to view his ‘work’. The word festered in her processor like a rotten wound.

Originally, he’d just slipped it into her energon ration every other cycle to keep her from causing trouble. When she’d stopped taking the ration, he’d just had her injected with it whenever he felt it necessary.

That, along with a number of other reasons, was why he would meet his end by her hand. To use the same drug every time, to give her the chance to grow accustomed…

“But what can she do?” one mech’s voice filtered through her audios, vocals thick with impatience. “Your gestalt technology was useful. Brilliant! But this…”

“What’s the point?” a new voice cut in. Arcee mentally simmered at the disgust palpable in his voice. “What possible purpose could adding the concept of gender to our race serve?”

Arcee knew the answer before Jhiaxus even responded. She’d heard the same question asked countless times before, and had the words all but memorised.

“None whatsoever,” the scientist plainly replied, not looking to the others but down at Arcee with a bored expression.

The mechs hesitated before one asked, “So… why do it at all?”

Now Jhiaxus looked up to them, a wry smile crooking his faceplates and he shrugged.

“Don’t tell me you two spend all your free time thinking of ways to further our race?” At their nonplussed looks he chuckled and continued, “Consider it a personal conquest. A ‘side-project’, if you will. For entertainment purposes. I had excess funds to splurge and was mulling over the possibility for some time.”

He folded his arms behind his back and nodded to her.

“Granted, there was a time when I didn’t think it possible. I even began to doubt the extent of my abilities…” he trailed off and laughed. “Baseless concerns, wouldn’t you agree?”

While the mechs chortled and meandered off, Arcee’s faceplates feebly twitched to a near imperceptible smirk. For a mech who was rumoured to possess one of the greatest minds on Cybertron, Jhiaxus was a fool and a half.

The first time he’d given Arcee the drug, she’d been little more than a vegetative slab of metal – online, yes, but her sensors had been almost dulled to the point of nonexistence. Now, not only could she keenly follow their every move with her optics, hear their voices with perfect clarity, and subtly move her faceplates…

Arcee’s optics flared brighter and narrowed in concentration. The index finger of her right hand gave a small twitch.

Jhiaxus spared a brief glance back at her when he reached the door to the lab. To him, he saw nothing but a cowed, drugged, and whitewashed experiment that had long since ceased to be amusing. He left without another backwards glance.

Arcee offlined her optics when the door slid shut, audios detecting every push of cogs and slide of locks snapping into place.

She let her imagination wander. Her hands, wrung around Jhiaxus’ neck – gripping with enough force to tear through fuel lines and send his foul energon spurting in all directions. His usual sneering, contemptuous faceplates would contort in horror, fear, shock... He’d die that way and that’s how he would look forever more.

Bots would see his offline frame and reel with disgust. Just as they did with her.

Arcee twitched two fingers.

Date: 2011-08-27 10:17 pm (UTC)
ultharkitty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ultharkitty
Awesome :D I'm rooting so hard for Arcee to get out of there and tear Jhiaxus a new one.

(I still haven't read enough IDW to know exactly how Jhiaxus created Arcee, but I don't feel I needed to for this fic, the worldbuilding was so well done that I don't feel I'm missing anything - although it has made me want to give canon another go!).

Date: 2011-08-28 08:40 am (UTC)
ultharkitty: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ultharkitty
Hooray! :D

(I don't get it at all. I think I look for consistency in canon that isn't actually there, and then get confused!)

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