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Characters:Hot Shot , Override Location: Crown City Race Track Content Warnings: N/A Plot Summary: After the whole 'being captured' ordeal, Hot Shot wants to spend a little time away from the war itself to gather his thoughts. However, he runs into a certain femme he hasn't seen in awhile.
To say that Hot Shot wanted to experiencing everything he'd experienced as of later all over again would be the biggest lie of the century.
He'd dealt with losses before during battles, but this had been the roughest one of them all. It wasn't even so much the fact that he had messed up the mission, but he could have gotten everyone involved killed because he'd been overwhelmed so quickly. Windblade, Chronon, Stepper.. even Rodimus! That last one was what had stung the most. He'd been wanting to prove himself so much, and failed miserably at it. That wasn't even including the stress of being captured as well as the whole ransom trade thing.
So Hot Shot had decided to deal with things in his own way. He took to Crown City where he could be 'reasonably' far from the war and just hit the race track there. It wasn't that he was running away from things, at least he felt that was the case, but just a breather. The littlest Wrecker could use the downtime after all that.. right?
Even going around the race track a few times didn't really seem to help get his processor off the current events, and so he settled for just sitting by the edge of the track. It was starting to get late, and there weren't any humans around anyway, and who knew if there'd be another Cybertronian out and about.
Maybe just being away from base would help clear his head.
Part of her felt bad about being away from home for so long. Velocitron might not require much day to day oversight from the Suprema, but there was a point at which the vacation wasn't a vacation anymore. Override only affirmed her actions by knowing they were being done with the intent to create a prosperous Velocitron, without her. If her efforts turned out to be for nothing however, the worst case scenario was unbearable.
She needed to find an heir.
But just having an heir for the sake of having one wasn't enough. Override needed somebody to flat out surpass her, a feat which nothing less than half a million racers had tried to do over what felt like eons. No, whoever they were, they needed to be special.
They needed the right touch.
As fate would had it, something special had been driving around the Crown City Motorway. Hot Shot, the Autobot she'd raced just after making landfall on Earth, had been doing laps. The last time they'd raced, he'd made himself out to be a rank amateur, untested and sloppy.
There'd been a time when Override could've described herself the same way.
Either way, it was time to pay him a visit. He'd stopped half way through his routine to just brood quietly on the sidelines. Perfect.
"Pop a tire?" she asked, quietly bouncing along on her heels towards him.
Hot Shot hadn't been aware of how long he'd even been sitting there, lost in his thoughts. He'd been too busy thinking about all the things that had happened, how many times he'd screwed up, and the multitude of ways he could try to get his processor off of things and yet none of those attempts had worked.
All it took was Override's voice was thoroughly spook the mech, causing him to jump right where he sat, yelping a bit from the surprise. Where had she even come from?
"O-Override! How.. long have you been there?" Hot Shot nervously laughed, trying to just play the whole thing off as nothing. "Wanna sit with me for a bit?" Very smooth. Maybe talking with her would do him some good. She hadn't been involved in any of the scenarios wracking the poor young mech's processor, so she could definitely give him an outside opinion of what to do.
Of course, he wouldn't be surprised at all if the femme wanted to race. She was from Velocitron after all, and the Velocitronians were all about the racing. Primus, what Hot Shot would give to go there and even just sit in the stands.
Sudden yelp, spaced out, nervous when confronted; Hot Shot was in the midst of a personal crisis, alright. Override was a subject matter expert in that regard, too. She slowly strolled over to the edge of the track to take the mech up on his offer. "About two or three laps, give or take." Not only was it a rough approximation for just how much of Hot Shot's routine she'd seen, but it was also an informal measurement of time back on Velocitron, too.
Override had a sit, folding her leg across her other knee. "Oh, you know; pretty average. Befriended some humans, raced a few Decepticons." She was still comparatively more upbeat however, something that really struck her when she heard Hot Shot's tone. "Last time I was here you were ripping up the track with some real fire in your spark, but, something's telling me that's not Hot Shot today."
She leaned forward, subtly shifting her demeanor. "Tell me what's on your processor."
Crap.. Override had been here that long?! That was going to make things a bit awkward, and not just because he hadn't noticed the femme had been right there the entire time.
"Sorry.. Guess I was just so focused on driving that I hadn't noticed.."
Hot Shot mentally facepalmed. Now he was probably coming off as a complete jerk, or maybe he was just making more of it than what it really was. It'd been the mindset he'd found himself stuck in that eventually led him to coming all the way out to Crown City in the first place. The Wrecker let out a sigh, bringing a servo up to rub his forehelm.
He watched as Override sat down beside him, listening as she spoke. He honestly was glad that things had been going well for her, though even Hot Shot had to admit he was a bit curious about the Decepticons she'd raced. Since when did Cons just wanna race? But alas, it would have to wait for another time.
Override had already picked up on the melancholy air.
"I dunno.." Hot Shot looked out towards the track, bringing his legs to his chassis. "I've been screwing up a lot of things lately.. and I wish that was just an exaggeration. Mission with Wheeljack? Botched it. Mission to stop a Con? Botched that too. Mission with no Cons and the one mech I really look up to? Somehow messed that one up too. And then there was that last mission I went on." He vented hard, closing his optics for a moment. "Got captured with Rodimus and Ultra Magnus had to fork over one of the relics to get us back."
The mech grimaced a bit. "I honestly.. don't even know how to bounce back from all that."
Though she didn't quite know the specifics of each incident, Override picked up the message. Then again, she didn't need to be privy to the finer details in order to help. Hot Shot's was a story she'd seen time and time again, although that wasn't necessarily a bad thing. It was the folly of youth, as she liked to put it. So concerned is one with their failures that they turn a blind optic to the lessons learned from doing so.
She stood up in place of a verbal answer, and turned to face the down-in-the-dumps Autobot head-on. Override clasped her hands on his shoulders, about to dispense some real Velocitronian wisdom.
"Hot Shot... I'm going to teach you something that I wish somebody had taught me when I was younger."
Override paused for effect.
"Don't worry about it."
Truly, a philosopher.
"You're young, and nobody expects you to do everything right the first time. Hell, some of them are expecting you to screw up or let the team down."
"And that is okay!" she half-cheered, lightly jostling the mech's shoulders.
"You can't speed through life with your sense of self-worth tied to the frequency of your successes. We're supposed to learn from each time we take a fall; THAT is how you become someone like Rodimus, or Ultra Magnus. Or me."
"Because right after I popped out of the Well, I went and came dead last in the first one hundred and seventy three races I ever entered. In hindsight, I probably should've quit after the first fifty, but I ended up learning a helluva lot from doing it anyway."
Hot Shot honestly wasn't sure what to expect from Override's reaction. Maybe she'd show sympathy, maybe think he's weak. The latter honestly wouldn't have surprised him, but somehow.. Override managed to completely throw him a curveball.
She showed empathy and related.
He looked up to the femme in surprise as she spoke of her own troubles back on Velocitron, even giving him sound advice. It wasn't going to be easy to just not worry about things like what had happened, but he was so distracted by Override's story that the thought hadn't crossed his processor.
"What.. you?! I.. I always figured someone like you always had a natural talent at racing.." To have failed so many times.. and now she was at the top. She was the top!
"What did you do..? After failing that many times, how did you finally get to be the racer you are now?"
Override found Hot Shot's genuine display of shock at her shortcomings heartwarming. She smiled back as she gave a short chuckle. Humility was not sequenced anywhere in the CNA of a Velocitronian, but Override had gotten a knack for it. Being able to freely admit one's failings was an essential leadership quality. Still though, she was guilty of feeling a brief surge of pride as Hot Shot showed how unbelievable he thought it was.
"What did I do?" she asked him rhetorically.
"Hot Shot, I made an absolute aft of myself."
Something about saying it out loud empowered Override, more so than she'd predicted.
"I was slower than dirt, but I was committed to bettering myself through constant practicing; and in my case, practice meant making a fool out of myself in every race I was allowed to enter. Because I wasn't even allowed to enter every race."
"In about eighty six of those races, I had to pass myself off as a mech, because back then femmes weren't allowed to race competitively."
"But that's beside the point... point is, that's how I learned how to race. Nobody taught me the right way to do it, I just discovered every possible way you couldn't. And after that," she paused, smiling. "After that, I started coming in second to last place."
"And then I just repeated that process until nobody on Velocitron could touch me in a race. But we're not talking about racing here, no. We're talking about a young hot shot wrecker who needs to keep his chin up to see the sunrise."
Override's words came to a surprise for the young Wrecker. He always imagined Velocitron as a place that was literally about racing, and nothing else mattered.. even gender. Apparently that hadn't been the case on that world, and Override had only suffered from that for the longest time.
Though he had to admit, he did wonder what a mech version of Override would be like. Either way he liked Override just the way that she was.
Even still her story didn't fall on deaf audio receptors. Even with all that failure and all the odds stacked against the femme, she still challenged herself to get to where she was now. To go from ground zero to one of the best racers in the cosmos..! It was enough to almost make Hot Shot feel bad about wanting to throw in the towel, especially when Override had gone through so much and still came out on top in the end.
"So what you're saying is.. even though I've been in a few rough scraps and failed the last few minutes, I shouldn't call it quits? That I should just keep trying to get better?" Seemed like it was easier said than done, but he'd at least give Override's advice a shot if that's what she honestly felt he should do.
"Why couldn't the war have ended ages ago? I could've been great with sports or something." Hot Shot laughed a little bit, a somewhat unsure smile plastered on his face.
Hot Shot brought up a valid point, and one she felt needed to be addressed."I kept getting back up because I knew I was ready, and I wanted more. But I know firsthand that the whole laser-beam-focus dedication dealio isn't for everyone; seen plenty of people burn themselves out trying to chase the sun as it sets, too." It might have seemed counterproductive when paired with her previous advice, but it was still very, very essential for Hot Shot to hear.
"I'm an insane person who devoted their life to winning races. Hot Shot, you're trying to win a war." Granted, Override won all the races, and ended the wars, but that was beside the point! "Your goals are aimed a bit higher than mine, so I'd wager that you need to take some time to figure out who Hot Shot is, first."
"And you should really, really stop trying to live up to someone else's example." Granted again, Override had never told Moonracer that hers was the example she tried to live up to. "Be Hot Shot first, Wrecker and Autobot second. You'll probably live longer as Hot Shot, I think."