2017-09-19 New Friends

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New Friends
Date 2017/09/19
Location Warworld
Participants Deathsaurus, Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary Deathsaurus invites Rodimus and Soundwave over for milk and cookies.

There used to be a whole fleet of them: Decepticon warworlds. Big, metal, lots of spikes, and most importantly, lots of weapons and troops, perfect for devastating a planet to any degree desired. There are hardly any left now, but somehow, some time ago, Deathsaurus got a hold of one. And while it's quite large and imposing, as one might expect for a so-called "warworld", it doesn't look like it did when it first emerged from the Decepticon shipyard. In fact, it looks more like a product of Junkion, with a mishmash of differently colored cladding, bent masts, and some gaping holes that maybe shouldn't be there. Still. Big. And the modest escort fleet surrounding it appears more in ship shape, so if there were doubts about how dangerous the orb is, those ships would answer them.

In coordination with Soundwave, Deathsaurus arranged for this rendezvous to, you know, catch up, see how the fams are doing, and probably figure out overall Decepticon leadership. And discuss Unicron. Lots of topics. Deathsaurus himself has an average amount of tolerance for these sorts of things, but he's brought along some of his subordinates in case his attention slackens. The youngish Leozack and gristly Drillhorn flank the Decepticon commander as he waits in the appointed shuttle bay on the warworld. He picks his teeth idly, content to wait in silence. He's already pow-wowed enough with his officers.

The sight of the warworld fills Rodimus with an uneasy sort of grief for the fallen Rodpod: he mourns the loss, of course, shuttle fallen in Unicron's first attack, but seeing the warworld up close like this just reminds him how much the Rodpod kind of looked like a tiny, Rodimus-colored warworld. Was there a message in that. And, more important, can he find a warworld somewhere and paint it red and orange? Preferably one in better shape than this one.

Rodimus has forcibly locked down his weapons, because otherwise a slight startle might jerk them online. That's the razor's edge wariness he rides, sharp and alert as he walks at Soundwave's side into the mouth of the Decepticon fleet. He has faith in Soundwave. He ... reminds himself of this, and that he has faith in those that Soundwave trusts.

Besides: no badge.

Rodimus exits one of the Lost Light's less-worm-chewed shuttles and crosses immediately to Deathsaurus and Leozack. He rocks forward on the point of his cloven feet in a bounce as he settles in place. It does not make him look taller. It makes him look like he's trying to look taller. "Hi. Nice ship. Big fan of all the -- everything." He gestures. He is apparently sincere.

Soundwave has not seen a warworld in some time. And, in all fairness, Deathsaurus has kept it well. He notes down the problems he sees and hears and notes them away for negotions. Bribery is not something he's above. With him is Rodimus, obviously, but he has also brought backup. Frenzy and Laserbeak, one tucked away and the other perched on his shoulder. Just in case.

Soundwave watches Rodimus as he follows with even steps on heavy, cloven feet. He comes to a stop beside Rodimus, drawing himself up and looking directly at Deathsaurus. The other mech's four optics reflect in his screen. "Deathsaurus. I appreciate that you're hosting our rendezous." His helm dips to examine the other two at Deathsaurus's side, Laserbeak's talons clicking against his metal.

The brows of the right pair of Deathsaurus's optics arch up in amusement. "I'm pleased you approve, Rodimus," he states with probably no hint of sarcasm though maybe there's a little. "Although it's ironic that an Autobot would ... oh, fascinating. You've shed your badge. Some sort of falling out with the rest of the faction back on Cybertron? I'd sympathize if that were the case." Again, is there sarcasm there? So hard to tell, especially with his own contentions with his own leadership in the past. At least the commander seems quite at ease.

And it's with increased pleasure that Deathsaurus turns to regard Soundwave. He knows better than to directly pry into frame changes and the like, but still. "Soundwave, you are looking quite well, indeed. And no need to thank me for this, it's no trouble." A chance to show off how well things are going in Desuworld? No trouble at all. "And besides, apparently I could not come to you. But, I suppose I'll learn more about the reasons for that soon enough. Oh, and I'm also glad to see your companions." He nods to them both.

Deathsaurus's officers exchange looks about that missing Autobot badge, with Leozack appearing almost excited. Drillhorn is harder to read; his frown appears permanently routed into his faceplate.

"These," Deathsaurus gestures to his sides, "are two of my trusted officers, Leozack and Drillhorn. I value their opinions and determined I required them here to contribute their points of view." The commander grins. No ulterior motives here, certainly.

Rodimus pauses to give Leozack and Drillhorn each a quick smile, bright enough to compensate for Drillhorn's stoicism. None of the simmer of anxiety that bubbles along beneath the surface is visible in his expression. It might be plenty audible to Soundwave, but honestly -- he's familiar enough with that song out of Rodimus to be able to easily tune it out. He carries himself with a confidence that better belongs on the frame of a bot large enough to actually match his feet. "Hey," he says. "Rodimus, captain of the Lost Light. Good to meet you, Leozack, Drillhorn."

Rodimus tilts his head back up to Deathsaurus. He doesn't seem overly bothered by the doubled sets of optics: he picks one set to focus on and ignores the other. "No falling out, Deathsaurus, but rather moving beyond. Our war has ended. I come to you as a Cybertronian, facing a threat to us all that I need your help in fighting."

Laserbeak clicks his beak in greating to Deathsaurus. He's better in the cassettes' book than most mechs. Regrettably there's no Buzzsaw and no banter to fill the silent void Soundwave is creating. It is everyone else who doesn't know each other, he has no reason for introductions. He's Soundwave, that should be well enough. He does nod respectfully.

In contrast to Rodimus's bold reds and yellows and lack of badge, Soundwave stands with his still there. It doesn't look quite right though. As if it had been reshaped by unpracticed servos. But its still a Decepticon sigil and there's no mistaking the pride Soundwave wears it with. "We need your help," he corrects Rodimus seamlessly, shoulders tensing at the word 'help.' Aka: a word necessitated due to his own ineptitude.

"If we are through with introductions, I suggest we continue somewhere private to discuss matters furthers," Soundwave suggests. Succinct and efficent as Deathsaurus said last time.

Deathsaurus appears slightly impressed with Rodimus's words. "All right, then. An interesting development, and laudable too. Reaching across divides is always very difficult." One optic winks at Soundwave. He's not really trying to make anyone uncomfortable, but supplicants just bring this out in him. Soundwave's suggestion focuses him, though. "An excellent proposal. Erm." Where to chat, then. Ah. "Leozack, please lead the way to where you think is best suited. Somewhere out of the way and private, but comfortable." He turns back to his guests. "Delegation, a key ability for capable leaders." He chuckles, perhaps acknowledging that conference room selection isn't exactly a critical duty. Or maybe wheedling Soundwave a little, who knows.

Leozack is quite happy with the assignment, though. "This way, please!" He leads the way out of the shuttle bay, while Drillhorn takes up the rear and Deathsaurus remains near his guests. The short journey reveals a few good views of this level of the warworld, and its insides are about as scrappy as its outsides. Nothing broken, just clearly heavily used. Leozack's chosen room is small but sufficient in space and seating. Once in a while, a Decepticon ship can be seen drifting past through the lone window.

And he has a fleet. Rodimus's gaze follows those ships obviously enough to make it perfectly clear that deception is not his forte. He pulls his gaze back to Deathsaurus and the others and braces his hands on the table, leaning forward. He doesn't sit down. He seems too restlessly to settle nicely. For all the confidence of his bearing, he fidgets: a rub over his arm, thumbing the guns there; a drag of his foot against the opposite leg, spinning his wheel; a twitch of his spoiler. "Believe me, with Soundwave and Ultra Magnus on my command team, I've definitely honed that delegation. So--! Unicron. Whatever you've heard, it's probably playing down the actual threat he poses. Not to be dramatic here, but we could all totally die unless we can get our guns pointed in the same direction."

Soundwave's helm cants a degree to the side. "Deathsaurus, your bottom, left optic is malfunctioning. Suggestion: visit medibay when we are finished," he informs the Decepticon lieutenant... And soon to be leader. His vents all cycle before he follows. He's out of his element- meetings with heavy charismatic influences. Ugh. Laserbeak turns his head to watch Drillhorn behind them. A good bird.

Upon entering the selected meeting room, two cords slide out of Soundwave's armor to pull a chair out for him. He pays them no mind before sitting- now he's more eye level with Rodimus. "I have compiled all necessary data regarding Unicron and his ilk for you," he adds at the end of Rodimus's shpeal. He holds out a datapad. "I would have made copies but was unaware you would bring guests."

Deathsaurus sits. He's pretty relaxed, in marked contrast to Rodimus. "Good choice, Leozack." Drillhorn closes the door and takes a seat with the visibly pleased Leozack a small distance away from their commander and guests. The sight of Soundwave's tentacles merit an intrigued glance or two from Deathsaurus, but again: must be courteous about these things.

"Unicron, yes." Deathsaurus cares more about the other big issue at hand, but is content to discuss this one first. "As I told Soundwave, I'm already aware of his rampage, destroying worlds, annihilating everything in his path. Can't escape that news, like some political election gone wrong. Now, to be honest," and here he leans forward, "is it all that horrendous? I'm in the same business, after all. I make the universe safe for Cybertronians one conquered world at a time. Every civilization he wipes away is one less threat to Cybertron. And besides, the Galactic Council and the Black Block Consortia are already working on it. Why not let them handle this Unicron problem, and weaken themselves at the same time?" Behind Deathsaurus, Drillhorn nods with narrowed optics.

Despite his lack of urgency on the Unicron topic, Deathsaurus reaches out without hesitation to accept the datapad. "Thank you. Don't worry, Leozack can make copies."

"Because they can't," Rodimus says, leaning forward to match Deathsaurus lean for lean. Well, standing lean for sitting lean. It does put him at eye-level, after all. He ... doesn't stop to grieve for the organics that Deathsaurus so blithely speaks of conquering, but there is a slight twitch of a grimace that marks his step around that. "Unicron's met their fleets at least twice that I know of, and both times -- they lost. Punishing losses." He taps the table, gesturing at Soundwave's datapad, then adds, "I'd add this, too: if they handle Unicron, they learn how to handle us. Unicron is -- if not exactly Cybertronian, then close enough that his weaknesses are our weaknesses, and his soldiers are Cybertronian. If we sit back and let the Galactic Council and the Consortia build weapons to take out Unicron, we're letting them build weapons that can take us out. Also, they're making us look super bad out there."

"Leaving Unicron to the organics could give them the capability and motivation to destroy Cybertron and all its people." Soundwave's screen blips to life, showing a wireframe image of Unicron with accompany numbers with its estimated size and other estimates statistics. Its a lot of quite frightening data. It expands to include a fleet, much like how ships hover around Deathsaurus's warwrold. "And in the option of which they do not succeed, Unicron will consume us. Understand that his current destruction should not be taken lightly even if it is upon organics and our enemies."

"I have spent time near Unicron and it is my sound judgement that any and all of our resources should be rallied to fight against him." Soundwave's screen goes dark again. "Which is why I contacted you, Deathsaurus. It is our duty to do what we must to combat this threat to our universe."

Deathsaurus flicks his way through the datapad, glancing up now and again at Soundwave's illustrations - on his face! odd, yet convenient - while Rodimus and Soundwave expound upon the reasons why they themselves need to take care of this. A syllable of a chuckle escapes his lips when the "punishing" losses of the organic cartels are mentioned, but otherwise he maintains a serious mien. "Our reputation with the Council and Consortia were already so bad that I doubt Unicron could make it worse. However." He taps the datapad himself as he gazes on his fleet. "Hastening their development of weapons against us. That would be undesirable. Which they would likely do if they defeat him. And if they do not defeat him, Unicron will by then have become exceedingly strong, enough to conquer us." He looks back at Drillhorn, whose head tips ever so slightly. There is a pause.

After a moment of consideration, it is a sigh in the form of two words that compose the beginning of Deathsaurus's response. "Very well. We'll coordinate with you. Mind you, I will not be sending my fleet against Unicron tomorrow, or anytime soon. I do not overestimate the resources at my disposal. But, I understand there is some sort of plan for how your merry band intends to defeat what massive fleets could not. Soundwave mentioned a hidden planet, and 'artifacts', and some sort of weapon." He leans back once again. "Shall we discuss that now, or are there other matters to attend to at this moment?" Patience, patience.

"Don't belittle my crew by calling them that," Rodimus says, unwilling to let 'merry band' pass as easily as he did the slaughter of organics. He lifts his chin, the brief relief that sags his spoilers as Deathsaurus agrees immediately pulling in and up to firm confidence. "We have held the line against this, and it's thanks to them that we even have this hope. We're here because I respect Soundwave enough to extend that same respect to you and yours. You don't have to like us, but I can't work alongside someone who dismisses my crew so easily." That's the first, important matter to clear before they get to the others.

Soundwave looks at the Captain, servos pressing into his lap. "Rodimus... I do not believe Deathsaurus means any disrespect. He would not insult anyone putting their life on the line to protect our people. And if you did mean such a thing, I am sure he feels deep disgust with himself for such behavior unbefitting an officer towards another." A cord tugs Rodimus back. Diplomacy.

Soundwave looks back to Deathsaurus. "To continue, we are currently on a planet housing a weapon against Unicron. Artifacts we collect will be used to power it. Until then, we are trying to limit Unicron and his... Helpers." They've been doing okay. He doesn't mention that.

"Oh, no belittlement intended, Captain." Deathsaurus laughs, cutting through whatever tension there may be, and he extends a hand toward Soundwave in agreement. "I just imagine that your crew must have some remarkable source of optimism to be able to face such a dire threat. More importantly, though," and he peers with a finger extended to Rodimus, "it's that regard for your crew that I like to see. It animates you. And it keeps you focused on your collective goals, not yourself, so you can together meet those goals. It is one admirable trait of Autobot commanders, one sadly lacking in my own faction. ... Historically." He waves at the space where Rodimus's badge once rested.

Deathsaurus politely listens to Soundwave's summary, only slightly expanded from what he'd already been told by comm. Still, the repetition helps. "Well, I'd like to learn more about this weapon, as it seems highly convenient to have one of them around at the moment. That can be for later, though. And I assume you don't want to reveal where your planet is, and that is also acceptable, at least for now. I believe I can trust you. So." He interlaces his fingers, stretching his hands palms out. "Do you need help collecting those artifacts? Or maybe handling some of those Helpers?"

Rodimus startles at the pull of the cord, but once past that first twitch, he settles. Reluctantly, he even dips his head to Deathsaurus in a terrible half-hearted sort of unspoken apology for the snap: "From what I hear, you may be an exception to that. I hope you are." There. Now we're all playing nice. He glances over at Soundwave in an unspoken, 'Happy?', with a dip of his shoulder and a wry look.

Turning to Deathsaurus again, Rodimus says, "All of the above. More, maybe. We've made contact with a number of the lost colonies over the past couple of years, and we're searching out the rest. I'd like to offer you a seat at the table alongside the colonial representatives, Cybertron's representative -- and yeah, that's gonna be Starscream I'm sure, so fair warning -- and any other major forces we make contact with, all with the goal of fighting this. I'll tell you everything I can that doesn't endanger the titan that is the weapon. A living titan, one shaped by the Knights of Cybertron, who defeated Unicron once, but couldn't kill him."

Rodimus is infinitely better at explaining things. Even if he has a lot of superflous things in there. Soundwave is fine with sitting back and them them speak about this. The important details of the good fight. "You would be joining as the de facto leader of the Decepticons," he clarifies. Saying it doesn't even make him flinch this time. Though one servo becomes a fist. "I hope that along with combating our enemies and helping to collect artifacts, you begin to bring our people together." And protect them better.

Finally, after all the discussions, Deathsaurus is aware of the scope of what Rodimus, Soundwave, and their crew are up to, and it does manage to sober him. "Quite an effort. Quite an effort, indeed. The lost colonies - I remember some stories. And a titan, no less. And yes, right now the Decepticons are fractured, since the end of the war, and with Megatron remaining unaccounted for." Normally he'd express his delight about that, but he pushes it down this time. "What you are forming here is the beginnings of a new order for our kind, regardless of the immediate intention to fight Unicron. I'm wondering what the Autobots and ... Starscream think about this plan. As for me representing all Decepticons in this ... I am in favor of it, but I must consult my crew first. Especially if they are going to help with these other tasks, and put aside our current mission." He looks at Soundwave. "We also still have some matters to discuss."

As he glances between Deathsaurus and Soundwave, Rodimus visibly tackles and beats his curiosity into submission. He wants to know. But does he? Does he really? Decepticon matters are Decepticon matters, and maybe he'd rather not know how Decepticon.

SO. Smile wide, Rodimus says, "Autobot High Command is aware of it through Ultra Magnus, who is also one of my officers. Windblade, a diplomat from the first of the colonies we encounters, is really the driving force behind it. Starscream ... doesn't know. Yet. I plan to bring it to him when we visit Cybertron in the next few days. I'd like to be able to tell him Decepticon command is in -- even if it's just interest."

Soundwave nods his helm to Deathsaurus, not reacting to anything non-verbalized. He glances at Rodimus for a brief moment though. He does appreciate the restraint, although he doesn't say it. "You can tell Starscream there is Decepticon command interest. Deathsaurus is our new commander and has expressed his favor. I do not doubt his crew will find favor as well." He says that like a telepath. And like a mech that knows how loyal followers work.

Soundwave looks back at Deathsaurus briefly, venting. "What other matters at there? I believe everything has been discussed. And upon returning to the Lost Light I will transmit to every Decepticon the change in hierarchy... At least until Megatron returns."

Mirth returns to Deathsaurus's face when he hears Rodimus's plan to talk to Starscream. "Oh! Oh, well, in that case, absolutely do tell the Lord of Cybertron that Deathsaurus, Decepticon leader, looks forward to seeing him at the council table. That'll get that bastard on board. And, yes, truth be told, I expect my crew will accept this change of plan, but I like to maintain respect, and it flows both ways." He nods to his officers, still obediently sitting in attendance.

"Of course we're with you, sir!" Leozack concurs. Drillhorn does actually nod.

Deathsaurus turns back to face Soundwave. "Well, you see, Megatron's return is one item we should discuss, my friend. He passed on leadership to you - explicitly or not - and now you intend to do so to me. There's a lineage there, a legitimate one. When Megatron reappears and decides he'd like his throne back, well, I'm not inclined to just dust it off for him and walk away. That raises some questions about how the Decepticons overall will react. Important to me, now, though, is how you will react. Where is your loyalty in this? To the Decepticons? Or to Megatron? Is there a difference?" Soundwave likely can pick up on those old, hateful opinions that Deathsaurus harbors for Megatron and his selfish quest for power.

Given how quickly that gets Deathsaurus on-side, Rodimus can't help but grin -- toothily, at that. In addition to removing the badge, he's also added a little Decepticon-sharpness to his smile. "It's great, the way he just brings people together," he says, sounding almost fond. Good ol' Starscream. He nods his understanding of Deathsaurus's need to tell his crew, and stirs as the conversation shifts to one between the two commanders. Two lieutenants. Commander-to-be and ex-commander. WHATEVER. The two Decepticons. He tips his thumb at the door. Should he just -- go see what's in the hallway, maybe?

Well, Starscream is certainly getting his wish to reunite 'his' people. Soundwave imagines its not quite what he had thought it was going to be. But of course the meeting has come to this. He could smell it at the fringes the whole time. Of course, the matter that Deathsaurus wants to talk about is a matter that shouldn't even be up for discussion. "Megatron will not reappear. I will find him."

Soundwave slides a piece of black metal from subspace. "I have found one part of him. I will find the rest. And when I have done so, I will tell him exactly what we are up against. I have seen him rally us from the edge of extinction, I have no doubts he will rise to aid our battle against Unicron and the... Light Lost." Beat. A very long, and silent one. "... My loyalty, to the Decepticon cause. I understand what we have done wrong, I see a chance for us to change into what we should have been. Megatron will do the same."

Soundwave stands, turning sharply to look down at Rodimus. "I understand, Captain. We cannot stay too long, we must return to direct our crew," he says, quickly stowing the armor piece away. Using Rodimus's desire to leave as an excuse not to encounter more questions like that? Nope. He would never.

For a brief moment there, Deathsaurus shares that toothy grin with Rodimus. He sure does.

Of course, Deathsaurus knows that bringing up the subject of Megatron, and Soundwave's loyalty to same, isn't exactly best done at this moment, or in front of even an ex-Autobot. But, prancing around it is no longer helpful, and with his own lieutenants watching, the subject must be broached. He regards the sliver of armor with the barest of interest, but otherwise lets Soundwave struggle with his competing priorities and talk it out. Deathsaurus made his own choices some time ago, and he in fact does not expect Soundwave to resolve them for himself right here and now. The present answers, though, color how Deathsaurus proceeds from here. "The Decepticon cause. That, I believe in. You have faith in Megatron that I absolutely do not, but you could certainly prove me wrong. We'll revisit this again, some time."

Deathsaurus stands up, and his officers follow his lead. Deathsaurus is big enough that it's easy to forget he's been sitting this whole time. "Soundwave, please effect the transfer of command at your convenience. Following that, expect to receive a request for a consultation with me to discuss your new role within the Decepticon command structure. I believe that we can do great things for the Decepticons, and all of Cybertron, working together. And Captain ... I'm now very interested in working with you. Let's see where this leads." With a courteous gesture and nod, he invites his guests to return with him to the shuttle bay.

Rodimus looks first blank, then -- briefly -- exasperated as Soundwave works to misrepresent his offer to step out. He wipes the look from his face, but perhaps not before Deathsaurus or his crew can note it. Yet his next words, rather than calling Soundwave out and undermining him, back him up: "Yeah, well, you know: we got people out, missions in progress, nemeses on the loose--." He trails off with a wide wave of his hands, then drops them -- before pausing and reaching over to offer his hand to Deathsaurus. Do Decepticons do handshakes? Too late. He's committed. "I'm looking forward to it, too. Welcome to the fight. Everything we can share, we will." He falls in with Deathsaurus on the way back out, looking around the ship as they go. "I really do like the ship. Thanks for the hospitality."

Soundwave is addressed and he turns away from Rodimus before the Captain can finish his trailing off. He stands at attention. He files away what needs to be done, mentally reminding himself that Deathsaurus is, as of right now, the acting Commander in Chief and Leader of the Decepticons. His commander. His leader. His superior. And he'll give him the attentivness and hard work he has given all the others.

Soundwave cross his arm over his chest, fist over his spark and he bows his helm. Laserbeak blinks his optics before spreading his wings and bowing his head as well. "I will arrange everything for when you come to Rigard. It will all be done, Lord Deathsaurus." And then he follows. Now he only has to tell all the Decepticons about the change. He's sure they will take it like loyal, well trained soldiers should.

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