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Prompt 020: Shield

He waited just long enough for Skyscorch to step out of the airlock before he spoke. “If you have an issue with my crew, you will take it up with me.”

The jet stared down at him, water still dripping off his wings. “What’s that squeaking about?” He looked past Oceanglide, toward the team-mates lurking further down the hall. “Don’t tell me the runts are ganging up now.” He laughed.

“I speak for my team,” Oceanglide said evenly, masking what ran beneath. “Thus you will deal with me. And I tell you this: should you trouble any of us again-” should you dare to catch one of my brothers alone and make a sport of it- “you will regret it more than you’d dream possible.”

“Are you serious?” Red optics flared and narrowed above him. Skyscorch fancied himself an officer: he couldn’t not respond. He swung the heat cannon on his arm to bear. “Oh, this is a fragging great joke. Why don’t I show you mecha-leeches what regret really is.”

Oceanglide dropped to one knee, brought his arms up just in time. The blast washed over the fine-tuned solar panels before he could flinch, the sensitive plates drinking in unbelievable heat. His instincts screeched. It was burning him, it would melt him! Nothing could bear this, he would die- There was a sensation he couldn’t understand, firing through his arms and up his chest, deep beneath the armour...

For a blinding second he thought it had melted right through his arms. And then the feeling faded. His circuits still thrummed as he blinked, shifted his arms a tentative inch. The power hadn’t gone. He could feel it, still there, held as if cupped in his hands. He met Skyscorch’s startled optics between the shields for a moment. Then he gave it back.

The blast of heat sent the Decepticon stumbling back into the airlock with a shriek, armour blackened and glowing. He fell, twitched. Oceanglide lowered his shields and rose from his crouch half-turned to the others. He hissed, “Quench him.”

They understood immediately. Stormcloud shot to the controls and cycled the lock. The door slid shut; cold seawater poured in. Through the armoured door came a muffled hiss of steam and a thumping. Waterlog leaned against the sealed door and laughed uproariously, drowning out Stormcloud’s delighted sniggers.

Oceanglide traced his fingers over one shield-panel with deep satisfaction. The silver surface was unmarred, a little warm, almost innocent-looking in its simplicity. It seemed to be glowing.

“When the water has ceased to boil around him,” he said to his crew, “take what satisfaction you like from his wretched shell.”

"Aye, captain."

"Count on it." Stormcloud's optics gleamed. The jet's armour would be raw and seared now, at least in the outer layers. And nicely brittle from the quenching. There’d be enough of Skyscorch left to salvage his shell. But likely not his reputation. And he would make a pretty picture for the others in this base to remember.

Oceanglide demanded respect for his team, not grudging tolerance. It would never be enough to defeat their enemies.

He would have to terrify them.