Ratchet and ClankSummary:
Ratchet and Clank experience many adventures, big and small, in their lives. One thing is for certain, however: they will be together through it all. (Word prompts and snippets)Genre:
“No no, hold it like this! See? Much better!” Ratchet spoke as he adjusted Clank’s hands. Clank, confused by having this strange activity suddenly sprung upon him, only did as he was told and watched with curiosity.
“This plastic device… is a toy, correct?” Clank held up said object, and Ratchet readied his own.
“Yeah, it’s called a yo-yo! They were pretty popular when I was a kid. Now pay attention.”
He took two different places of the string in each hand and pulled it taut. He began twirling the plastic end piece in a circle and smirked at the warbot.
“Whaddya think? This one’s called the Pinwheel. It should be real easy for beginners.”
“Intriguing. I will give it a try.”
It seemed simple enough, but after twirling the end a few times, the plastic piece smacked him on the head. He blinked and shook his head before readjusting the yo-yo in his hands.
“How very peculiar. While the task itself appears easy to accomplish, it requires a decent amount of concentration.”
Clank pulled the plastic piece back into his hand and began rewinding the string.
“I will continue practicing until we can move on-” he glanced up at Ratchet, only to find that he had maneuvered the string of his yo-yo into an odd triangular shape. The plastic end hung from the top and swung back and forth carelessly. Ratchet snapped to attention in surprise and chuckled a little, holding up this new design.
“Cat’s Cradle. I know tons of others that we can try later, too!”
Clank finished winding the string and began twirling it again. He was fascinated by this prospect, that this one small toy could be used in so many ways.
As he was deep in thought, it was no surprise that he was clocked in the head by the plastic yo-yo once more. Ratchet laughed, but offered words of encouragement at the same time.
Clank still had much to learn, but he was nonetheless excited, too.
Ratchet had to admit - in recent years, he had begun to grow soft. Any normal person would take nothing but money for their good, hard work, and yet…
“...She paid you with eggs, Ratchet?”
Bewildered, Clank opened the box that had been presented to him, and sure enough, about 3 dozen eggs greeted him. He glanced up to Ratchet for an explanation, and was surprised by the worn, hollow look on his friend’s face.
“She uh… she didn't have much to give in return. And it was just a quick tune-up. And she was kind of elderly, so…”
Ah, he didn't have the heart to ask for money. Had this event occurred a few years back, Clank was certain Ratchet wouldn't have accepted any less than what was normally charged. And while they did
need the money, he was proud of him for being a better person and doing favors in this way.
“This is rather excessive… what do you propose we do with them?”
Ratchet considered this for a moment, before a mischievous grin grew on his face.
“Well, since you asked… I was thinking you could make some omelets, and the rest… we could always egg Nefarious’s ship, right?”
“Two very ‘eggscellent’ ideas. I will prepare Aphelion for this trip.” Clank began making his way to the hangar, his signature giggle ringing out. At that terrible pun, Ratchet pinched the bridge of his nose, quiet for a moment before smirking when a thought arose.
“You should know, I'm pretty ‘eggstatic’ about this whole thing!”
Clank halted in his place and turned to face Ratchet.
“You are improving with the use of puns. But I will have you know, you will need to try ‘eggstra’ hard if you hope to best me.” On his face was mix of light-hearted challenge… and a hint of pride, perhaps? Ratchet grinned and returned the look with determination from his own.
“That is ‘eggsxactly’ what I intend to do.”
The stare down went on for about 3 more seconds before they both broke down in laughter. They were definitely going to have some fun with their latest payment.
Surveying the damage, he tutted to himself quietly. It wasn't too much- in fact, it was barely anything, compared to what they'd been through before. Ratchet, however, was still rightfully pissed off.
“You must calm down. I told you, it was an accident, and I assure you, the man did apologize,” Clank stood and tried to calm his pacing friend down. Ratchet quickly sat him back down and resumed pacing around the room- a die-hard habit he displayed whenever he was well and truly upset.
“Oh, I'm sure it was just ‘an accident’, alright. It'll also be just ‘an accident’ when that guy finds my wrench shoved 3 feet up his-”
“Ratchet, please! It is a small dent, at best-”
“A small dent?! Clank, you could have died
, and all that guy does is apologize?! I'm sure if you weren't a robot, he'd be doing more than just apologizing after hitting you with his ship!”
Clank remained silent. He did
have a point. However, he couldn't just leave it at that, and sought to resolve the quickly growing trouble here and now.
“Please sit down. It is difficult to speak with you when you are moving about the room so frantically.”
His scowl ever-present, Ratchet conceded and slumped down next to Clank. He pondered over his next words carefully, and moved to speak before the Lombax could go off on another rant.
“My inner circuitry is in perfect working order. The only damage that resulted from this event is present on my back, on the outer shell.” Clank stood and turned around, showing a large dent in his back plate. Ratchet’s scowl darkened slightly at this, but Clank quickly turned back around and continued speaking. “Your biggest concern is that I was potentially harmed, and the one responsible was not properly reprimanded for his actions, correct?” Ratchet, still silent, nodded once, and he took that as a sign to go on.
“To address your first concern, as I stated before, only surface damage is present on my being. I am entirely uninjured. For your second concern, an officer did make a full report of the incident. I did not press charges, but I am certain that the man will be more careful in the future.”
Ratchet still appeared upset, but not nearly as angry as before, so Clank counted this as a small victory in his book.
“Perhaps if I were not so small, this sort of situation could be more easily avoided?” he tried, gaining a slight smirk from his friend.
“I hope you're not implying that I should hold your hand wherever you go. And, as much as I hate to admit it, I'm not exactly tall, myself,” he replied after a moment, the previous tension in the room having dissipated almost entirely. He stood up and sat Clank back down.
“Be right back, I'm gonna grab a few tools. I'll buff that dent out in a jiffy.”
Clank smiled and laid down on his front, pondering whether or not he should start carrying a light or a flag around with him whenever he went out on the streets by himself.
“Ooh, I know! He’s a bunny!”
“Yeah! A bunny rabbit! Look at his ears!”
Clank snickered quietly while Ratchet did his best to keep his temper in check. They were just children, after all.
“Class, quiet down, and please be respectful! These two are the famed galactic heroes, Ratchet and Clank,” the teacher announced, hushing the kids.
“I’m not a bunny, but I'm actually a Lombax- one of the last of my kind. There were lots more Lombaxes on a planet called Fastoon, many years ago,” Ratchet explained as steadily as he could, trembling slightly all the while. Still too nervous to speak in front of groups no matter the size or age, Clank stepped in to help him when he could.
“As for the previous statement, you will find that Lombaxes are more closely related to the felid species, rather than the leporid species. If you will, notice the length of his tail, compared to a common hare or domestic cat,” the warbot spoke up, and Ratchet proffered his tail helpfully. It twitched irritably, however, when one of the children called out “bunny!” once again.
Why had they agreed to be guest speakers again? Oh right, as a favor to Talwyn, who often frequented the class to talk about hers and her father’s studies on the Lombax species. He looked out at the small sea of children giggling and talking amongst themselves, and even spotted a few whispering to each other while peeking at him every so often. Seeing this suddenly gave him an idea, and his lips twisted into a sneaky grin. He cleared his throat loudly, making sure he had their attention.
“You know, being a Lombax - and not a bunny - I do
have considerably large ears,” Ratchet leaned in conspiratorially, “but that means they’re all the better to hear you with. Especially
secret conversations about me.”
The children laughed and screamed, running in each direction as he suddenly pounced into the “audience” with very catlike maneuvers, attempting to catch and tickle anyone he could. Clank watched with a weary smile, and reminded himself to apologize to the teacher and Talwyn later.
“...There. That could be a falcon.”
“That is a hawk, Ratchet. Observe the flight pattern and wingspan.”
“Well it could've been one! ...uhh… how about that one?”
“It is too large to be a falcon. Try again.”
Of all the things they could've been asked to do, this was, by far, the most tedious job they'd ever been tasked with - in Ratchet’s opinion, of course. Being mechanics, they had to make sure each customer was fully satisfied before a job was considered done. A well-done job might earn them tips that were gratefully accepted, so they aimed to please every time.
In their line of work, they were sometimes asked for a paint job (while they specialized in the more inner and technical workings of a ship, they didn't mind the extra change from a quick coat of color). More often than not, however - and much to their chagrin - their customers sometimes had difficulty relaying what exactly they wanted.
--“So… green, right?”
“Yeah, but like, a darkish green that isn't so dark! Know what I'm saying?”
“...Could you be a little more specific?”
“Like… like feathers from a green-tailed falcon, y’know?”
“...From a what?”
And so the boys found themselves birdwatching for a green-tailed falcon, since the customer couldn't find any other example to resemble what he had in mind. Even looking through all of the green color coded swatches, oddly enough, didn't help.
“‘It'll be so easy for you heroes’, he says. ‘They're easy to find’, he says. Well, it's been almost 2 hours and we haven't seen a single one! Are they even on this planet? Also, green
-tailed? How does that make any
sense? Did Mother Nature just… give up, or something?”
Clank allowed Ratchet to rant, since he, too, was beginning to feel just as hopeless about this whole endeavor. He made a move to stand from his sitting position when a flash of green caught his eye.
“There, Ratchet! Perched on the hillside!” Clank pointed the elusive bird out eagerly, and Ratchet scrambled to Clank’s side to look.
“Well I'll be damned, that's a green-tailed falcon alright,” Ratchet muttered, readying his swingshot. Clank glanced up in surprise when he heard the familiar click of the hand-device.
“What do you think you are doing?”
“Gonna catch it,” Ratchet replied simply.
“Catch- … were we not here to only observe the falcon for a reference?” Clank gaped at Ratchet’s straight-forward approach to situations. He should be used to his mannerisms by now, but this time he'd been caught by surprise, and rightfully so.
“Oh yeah, we were
only here to observe it… 2 hours ago. Now
, I'm gonna catch it and steal a feather so we don't ever have to do this again.”
Before Clank could get another word in, Ratchet readied the swingshot and zipped away. In all parts impressive and amusing, he was able to successfully catch the bird and grapple a feather away from it, but not without receiving his fair share of battle scars in the process. The entire ordeal took all of 5 minutes, and Ratchet was still out of breath and beaten by the time he returned.
“They… they really put up a… a fight, huh buddy?” he panted, barely standing on his own two feet.
“Indeed they do. May I?” Clank held out his hand, and Ratchet dropped the feather into it before collapsing on the ground, trying to catch his breath. Holding the feather in both hands, a quick scan revealed…
“This color closely resembles #6B8E23
“...layman’s terms, please?”
“Ratchet, this is variant of olive-green. We already have this color swatch at home.”
“...Are you SERIOUS?!”
Ratchet and Clank were certainly no strangers to the occasional, small-time villain, especially when doing routine patrol work around various cities. The whole “put your hands up or I’ll shoot” or “don’t move, this is a robbery” spiels were beginning to lose their touch. Such was life with local heroes around. And though, in any other situation, the threats would be very much real and dangerous, they were often paid no heed by them and were easily dealt with.
This situation, however, couldn’t have gone any more different.
“A glitter gun. He had a GLITTER GUN
Another hard day of work found the heroes in their apartment bathroom attempting to clean off the remnants of the fierce, sparkly battle. Clank had an easier time wiping the majority of the glitter off, but he feared his innards would always be a “shining” reminder of this day. Ratchet, on the other hand, had already taken two showers and had a 30-minute long fur-combing session, but seemingly to no avail.
“I swear, with all of this glitter, you’d think the guy was somehow working for Courtney Gears. He’s officially made the top of my ‘villains’ list,” Ratchet muttered angrily, voice muffled by the towel he was currently using to rub his own face raw.
“It is incredibly disconcerting how easily these miniscule plastic particles cling to even the smoothest of surfaces. I cannot begin to imagine what this has done to your clothes,” Clank- almost, if not equally as irritated- commented dryly while trying to wipe the tiny pieces from between his fingers. Ratchet groaned and dropped his head into his hands.
“This crap is also lodged in places I don’t even want to think about, now that you mention it.” Clank watched him curiously for a moment, before reaching out to brush a sparkle from the tip of his nose.
“Don’t. I can see it there, and I’ll deal with it later.”
“In that case, we can deal with tidying up the rest of the bathroom then, as well.
At that point, Ratchet realized they had forgotten to put down a tarp, or at least a few towels, before they began attempting to remove the several thousand gleaming menaces. He stared at the glistening floor for a solid minute before walking out and laying down in the hall right outside the bathroom door.
“If I don’t get up in an hour, just assume I’ve died, okay?”
Clank sighed, shaking his head before stepping over him to retrieve a broom and vacuum.
One and a half hours. It had been one and a half hours of incessant clicking noises and sighs, and Clank was nearly at his wit’s end. He just wanted to read his book - it was at the climax, for goodness sakes! Another sigh of frustration passed by before Clank finally set his book on his lap and glared at his friend, who was sitting just across the room fiddling with a Rubik’s Cube.
“Do you need some assistance? I assure you, I can solve it in much less time,” the warbot stated, his words coming out a little more irritated than he had intended. Ratchet slowly looked up from where he was lying across both arms of the couch, a strange expression on his face. Boredom and defeat, Clank figured.
“I can do this. See, I’ve almost got it.” He held up the small puzzle cube with lackluster enthusiasm, the colored blocks still a jumbled and uncoordinated mess.
“If that is the truth, I suggest you either complete it quickly, or move to another room.” At this, Ratchet narrowed his eyes, but no fire was present behind them. Truly, the puzzle had drained him on this dreary afternoon. Clank closed his eyes and hoped he could find a solution to satisfy both of them.
“Or,” he continued, “you can set it down now and return to it at a later time. Taking a break from puzzle-solving will help you approach the problem later with a clear mind.”
Ratchet stared for a moment, before sighing once more as he stood up to stretch out.
“You’re probably right. Besides, it’s lunchtime. I’ll be right back,” he stated calmly, setting the cube down on the coffee table. He left the room quietly, and Clank noted that it seemed he didn’t put up much of a fight when he was truly and utterly bored. Duly noted. He took the Rubik’s Cube into his own hands after a moment of consideration, and began messing with the contraption himself.
Certainly, this was a puzzle to be feared, for even Clank the warbot had much difficulty trying to solve it, as Ratchet came to find when he returned.
He needed to see, and Clank wasn't about to stop him. Call it curiosity or self-indulgence, but Clank knew it was both of these things and yet neither of these things at the same time. This ran deep, to the core, to his very heart - a hole of some kind that yearned to have closure.
They had made a trip to Fastoon, to a small residential district, specifically. On the way, Ratchet had joked lightheartedly about a number of things - perhaps to keep his mind off of what they were about to do. But as soon as they arrived, he grew silent, and barely spoke a word the entire time they were there. They stood just on the outskirts of the broken town, staring in awe and sorrow.
Though a touch of solemn melancholy, Ratchet’s expression was, overall, unreadable. After a moment of hesitation, he took a deep breath and finally steeled himself to move forward, Clank following closely behind. A deafening silence had fallen over the place, and there were no Nanophytes to be found - they were most likely well within city limits and places with more buildings, rather than on a rural side of the planet as they were.
The homes were, in a word, empty. Once full of life and bustling, the vacancy of it all was now stifling. Clank could feel discomfort radiating off of his friend, and was surprised when they halted abruptly.
“Ratchet, why-” Clank began, but stopped short when he noticed him staring into a broken window. He followed his gaze and found a table, set up with dinnerware, untouched since the night the Lombaxes fled. He could see it now: a family preparing for a meal together, unaware of the calamity that was about to ensue. Maybe they were able to escape, or maybe…
While lost in his thoughts, Ratchet had already moved ahead, and Clank jogged to catch up. They stopped again at a small hillside overlooking more buildings in the town. Ransacked homes stretched out over the horizon, and if one was looking closely enough, they could tell that not all of the damage was due to Tachyon’s attack. At the very least, signs of looters and bandits over the years were very easy to see. Ratchet opened his mouth, ready to say something, but hesitation made him pause and reconsider. Clank tilted his head up curiously, and, though he continued staring out at the desolation, his friend willed himself to speak.
“...I wonder if… if my family lived somewhere around here.”
As they both knew, his father, Kaden, was the Keeper of the Dimensionator, so it was safe to assume that he and his family most likely lived well within the city limits, probably close to the heart of the attacks. This conversation went unspoken, and after a few beats of silence, Ratchet suddenly collapsed to his knees.
Clank hurried to his side, ready to ask if he was alright, but the words froze on his voice bank when he noted his glassy-eyed stare at nothing in particular.
“I wish… wish I could have done something.”
A heartbreaking sentiment to be sure. Though the few, quiet words spoken were of a juvenile, impossible hope, Ratchet somehow appeared older- wiser, even- in that moment, worn down from battle after battle, both on the field and within his own heart.
Clank carefully placed a hand on his arm and smiled sadly at him. Ratchet slowly met his gaze and weakly mirrored his expression, letting a few stray tears slip out.
“I think we're done here… let's go home.”