Kup groans as his systems boot up rather painfully, after two or three failed starts. It took that long for his internal repair systems to get things properly operational again.
He pulls himself upright and surveys the wreckage, running over in his mind what had happened. They had managed to modify a small shuttle they had found at one of the spaceports - large, it looked like it had been an alien leftover rather than Gillanan-built. No where near large enough to carry the whole group of them, the decision had been made to use the thing to investigate one of the world's other continents in a search for useful supplies and other salvage in preparation for their trip.
Then the storm, then the crash, and now... this. Kup automatically tries to activate his radio. Holi or Omega should have powerful enough receivers to hear them from this continent. He frowns as the transmitter sputters and crackles oddly... somehow, he suspects the signal won't be heard. The veteran pulls himself up and starts scrambling among the wreckage.
"Swerve? How'd you make it through that mess? Swerve!"
I. Hate. Flying. That thought, fuzzy as it is, keeps repeating itself as Swerve works on his own rebooting systems.
He mutters curses to himself and pushes against whatever it is mashed to his face. The ground, he realises once his optics focus and he gets to his hands and knees, a torn sheet of metal sliding off to one side. His gyrostabilisers were thrown off during the crash, then, because he could've sworn he was stuck on his back.
"Primus-fragged heap o' junk," he growls, looking up and around with a groggy scowl. He can still move. Nothing's broken, he determines after a quick diagnostic. Nothing's fallen off or burst. He just hurts. Kind of like he's been through a big, messy multi-car wreck. And of course Kup's up and moving already. Swerve isn't even sure why he's along as a medic. Kup's built like a tanker; he doesn't get hurt. He just slows down some. "Quit yellin'!" Swerve calls back as he clambers to his feet. Maybe Kup isn't yelling, but it sounds like it from Swerve's end.
If he never steps aboard another ship or aircraft again in his life, it'll be too slagging soon.
They're going to have a hard time with Swerve when it comes time for the whole group of them to pick up and leave Gillanan, aren't they?
But Kup does sometimes need medics. In fact, he's been known to have to be put completely back together after crashes have landed him in bad places. In fact, for all that he's up and running, a large crack in his armor on his left arm and the occasional spark that can be seen through it suggests there may be trouble down the road as far as that goes.
"Ah, there you are," Kup answers, now no longer shouting. He trudges through the wreckage, picking his way carefully towards Swerve. "Getting a lot of interference," he explains as he approaches. "M'worried we might be in a blackout zone... those seem to crop up on this planet, and with that weird transmitted power thing they do, might explain why this place ain't developed." He scans the area, a rather unpleasant, marshy zone.
"According to Prime, even the swamps on the other continent seemed to have a few towns and such."
Swerve's gaze scrapes from the bits and pieces that used to be the stupid shuttle to the terrain – that makes his scowl twist into a disgusted sneer – to Kup. He glances very briefly at the oldtimer's injury and then away, fixing his glare optics to optics with the other Autobot.
"So… what, we try to find one?" he demands, kicking a chunk of wall. His ankle pistons squeal protest at the treatment, so he hisses another curse, then adds, "I don't know about you, but I ain't seeing any roads in this dump. And what the slag just happened?" Everything was going fine, at least as far as flying can go in Swerve's mind, and then it was like having Gunrunner jump up and down on top of the shuttle until it slammed to a stop. He's pretty sure those things aren't supposed to do that.
"Try to find a town, a road, the edge of the zone," Kup mutters, looking around. He shrugs. "You're right, I don't see any roads here, but if we just pick a direction and keep going far enough, we're bound to eventually hit something." The elder crouches and looks at the ground. "A bit too soft for rolling, unfortunately. I'll be able to go through some of it, but even my tires aren't built for mud as deep as it looks like it gets here."
Then Kup straightens, looks around, and starts picking through the wreckage for salvage. "Electrical storm. Came up suddenly, knocked out the sensor systems. That's what lead to this. Anyway, look through what came down - we need to try and grab salvageable bits from here, since we don't know how far we need to go. Not too much, though - also need to travel light."
Swerve once again eyes the terrain, giving all the mud and the occasional pool of water collected in some low hollow or another a violently foul look. To say he isn't looking forward to walking that mess is a drastic understatement. It should all be paved over as far as he's concerned.
"Remind me why I signed up for this tour," he snarls rhetorically even as he crouches to sort through the nearest bits of wreckage.
"Because I needed a medic and you needed a break from as many of us as you could get away with before we - collective 'we' here - drove you off your traces," Kup answers almost casually as he, also, sorts through wreckage. He does find a small container holding some 'energon goodies' that serve as rations, but it's obvious that he was serious about the need to travel light. There's little else that he shows an interest in taking, and he's done quickly.
"I wasn't actually looking for an answer," Swerve fires back, annoyed, without glancing up from his own scavenging. He can't pin down much that isn't broken, fried, or wet and muddied. Figures. He curses, making no effort to muffle the long, loud string of Velocitronian, as he makes his way to another messy cluster of what-used-to-be-shuttle. The ground feels all wrong underfoot. Too… squishy. It gives, but not in the right way; it doesn't shift like sand or crumble like loose rock. It just compresses and some of it even springs back. He doesn't like it.
A break should involve long drives without anyone annoying him. Or a good race. Or maybe even a couple drinks and a fight. Not slogging through wet muck after crashing in the middle of no-slagging-where on a shuttle he wasn't fond of in the first place.
"This scrap ain't my idea of a good time-out," he grumbles at a more conversational level as he tosses aside some useless chunk of hull. Whether Kup hears him or not doesn't much matter to him.
"Eh, I dunno," Kup answers, tone equally conversational and very casual. "Depending on how you look at it, a good time out is one that makes you miss what you're breaking from." He glances up at the racer and grins. "This may be an excellent one for that."
He turns and starts heading down the wreckage, towards the 'land' proper, all soggy wetness of it. "Don't worry, though, Swerve. In case you're wondering this isn't a typical result of my piloting." He pauses and glances back - apparently he's done with the salvage, and is ready to move on.
Swerve fixes another furious glare on Kup, standing and slinging mud off his hands to either side before throwing both arms in the air.
"Lucky me!" he shouts, engine jumping up one gear for a second, then quieting again. "I'm along when you have an off day behind the wheel! Is that supposed to make me feel any better?" He takes a step toward Kup and a shock fires up his leg. "OW! Fraggit!" Kicking the housing half-buried in the mud beside him is a reflex and it looks only half as ridiculous as hopping in place holding his foot. Did I step on a live wire? Everything in his immediate vicinity gets a hostile glower as he looks around.
Kup's good humor fades for a moment as he snaps, "I told you that was the blasted storm. Something like that comes up fast enough, it can make anyone's day 'off.'" He rubs his chin, remember. "Hell, last time I saw a storm like that was back on Seti-Cryon Eight... boy, that was a bad o-" he cuts himself off and stares as Swerve starts hopping up and down.
"Er... something wrong with your foot, lad?" the veteran asks, both confused and concerned.
Later, however, he probably will laugh at the image it presented.
"Nothin' wrong with my foot!" Swerve makes sure to walk normally so the point is perfectly clear. "Must've stepped on something," he adds in a low mutter once he's close enough to Kup that he'll be heard, humbled somewhat by the oldtimer's show of concern even with Swerve blaming him for the crash since it's hard to blame something he can't yell at.. "That's all it was." He stops to shake the mud out of his ankles before the feeling of the stuff caught between plates drives him clear up and over the wall.
Nothing about the start of this trip makes him any more enthused for the whole thing and his anger has given way to sullen resignation by the time he looks Kup over again.
"…Want me to give that a look?" he mumbles by way of a very awkward, stilted apology, gaze flicking back to Kup's damaged arm.
"Eh, I've had worse," Kup waves Swerve's concern away absently as he starts to walk. The direction isn't really important - walk far enough in any one direction and they'll eventually make it out of the dead radio zone. "Truth is, my insides are hardened and waterproofed as much as possible, too. I've had limbs torn off underwater and recovered pretty good."
Then, something sinks into Kup. Something about the way Swerve had asked. The veteran pauses and looks back. "But, erm... if it'll make you feel better, sure, you can have a look."
Translation: apology accepted, but Kup's still not a sissy-boy.
Swerve visibly twitches and fixes his glare anywhere but at Kup, back snapping ramrod straight and optics flaring bright gold for a split second. It wasn't supposed to make him feel better! He just offered because he's supposed to handle the repairs on this trip and maybe – maybe – because he was in the wrong there. To make up for it and do his part. But since the oldtimer doesn't need the work anyway, Swerve just won't bother.
So he needs a medic along, but he doesn't smelting need looked at. So, what, I wait until he loses another limb? The racer's scowl turns bitter and he steps back. "…Just forget I said anything," he mutters, turning to stalk on ahead. He takes a petty but cathartic sort of pleasure in ripping at the plants that catch on his legs and wheels. He can mostly tolerate all the growing green scrap on this blasted planet, but at a few lengths' distance; the closer it is to him, the shorter his already limited patience. This is downright infuriating. "The sooner we get outta this slaggin' dump," he says in lieu of wondering why it wasn't just paved over since that makes more sense, "the happier I'll be."
If Swerve is watching Kup, he might notice a faint but amused smile at 'just forget I said anything,' but since he had turned his back, that's unlikely. He can't help the quite chuckle at the last bit of grumbling, however.
"Didn't realize you went into the positive scale for 'happy,' Swerve," he says, trudging along, handling the swamp with relative ease, being just cautious enough not to misstep and sink, but walking with the certainty of someone who's handled a thousand similar settings in the past. "I thought it was just 'unhappy,' 'less unhappy than before but still unhappy,' and 'torqued off'." Kup's tone is gentle, amused, and teasing... but he's perfectly ready to accept that his words might well piss off Swerve further.
Eh. He'll get over it.
A hand goes up to shade his optics from the setting sun, and with the other hand, he points. "Could be wrong, but I think there's a patch firm enough to roll on for awhile up ahead." He glances at Swerve and considers. "Well, for me, anyways. I was built for off road. You may need to ride."