Difference between revisions of "2018-01-27 Old is New"

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Latest revision as of 01:49, 28 January 2018

Old is New
Date 2018/01/27
Location Lost Light - Command: Windblade's Office
Participants Rodimus, Windblade
Summary Rodimus stops by to see Windblade(?).

As befits a diplomat and ambassador whose social efforts can turn a tense situation, this office boasts softer touches than many of those linked off the bridge. Facing the entrance and slightly offset to the right is a small, tidy desk before a wall-mounted painting of Caminus as he appears from a space view. This is where Windblade works, yes. But where most of her meetings occur is to the left, in the comfortably appointed sitting area ringing a low table perfectly sized to hold refreshments.

The circular nature of the chairs, couches and table mean that no one visitor is placed above any others. The light here is muted and gentle, the atmosphere serene. All that's missing are chimes and aromatherapy to make this office as much a meditative lounge as a place of duty and business.

"I remember you."

This is what greets Rodimus a split second after he steps inside Windblade's office. Having sent advance notice, she's met him right there at the door. The medical team has ensured she's returned to structural integrity but she lacks her make-up still, and what's been patched hasn't yet been painted either; at her temple, the bauble which caps her uplink port is likewise still missing. She looks shorn, as a result. It also means that the glad glow of blue eyes is a veritable blaze in that dark face, when the Cityspeaker confronts the once-captain by reaching for his hands with the intention of pulling them-- pressing them-- to the armour protecting her spark.

"I remember you. You're Rodimus," she confirms to herself, looking him over. "I found you there."

Having entered the bridge like he owned the place only to find himself checked by the reality of someone else's name on his door, Rodimus was already off-balance as he approached Windblade's office. Her appearance, her greeting, added to what he's heard already, fully knocks his expression askew to something torn between regret and pride as he takes her hands. Holding her hands close, Rodimus frees one only to wrap around her shoulders in a quick squeeze before stepping back. "Windblade." At a loss for a moment, he says, "It's good to see you."

Stepping back risks her shadowing him. In the moment, Windblade is not inclined to let reason overwrite feeling and feeling now says: hugs are nice. So, there's a repeat of the gesture, one hand freed and arm extended to pull Rodimus /back/ into a quick squeeze. Only then does she allow a proper stepping back. Doing so reveals the holo over her desk, the map of the Lost Light laid out by deck-- with labels. She was studying that and now she studies him. "I'm Windblade, yes," carries a subtle note, here and gone. "It is good, isn't it? I'm glad to see you. Come in, please."

Okay. More hugs. Rodimus is perfectly content with that, and leaves his hand resting on her shoulder a moment more, as if verifying she's really there just by touch. "I heard -- something. Not a lot, obviously, with everything." He pauses, then says, "Er, not that you remember, maybe. How do you feel?" He moves to the couch -- where else? -- with only a glance at the desk. He studies her a moment, particularly thoughtful as though assessing something or searching for something that he's not quite sure he'll find.

Windblade is going to have to become accustomed to that look. Maybe she's braced for it... from others. But this is Rodimus! She remembers Rodimus! Which means she lags behind, giving the mech an uncertain bit of study before moving slowly towards the couch as well. "Medical has repaired most of the damage, structurally I'm fine. Prowl was hurt far worse," she says, fingertips skating along a cheek that's been returned to blank smoothness.

"'Everything' will probably be the problem though. Yes. You... if you're concerned. That I'm Unicron. I can assure you I'm not."

Answering Windblade's uncertainty with a smile, Rodimus says, "I was trying to see if I could tell how the Matrix felt about you. But mostly -- I don't know. It's calm." He touches his chest, where his armor is closed -- but not locked! -- over his spark. He attempts to open it, and it unlocks, parts -- and that's enough for him to close it again. He drums his fingers on his chest.

"I -- mm. I know that whatever you are," Rodimus says, not quite as quick to accept her assurance as he'd like to be, "the Matrix doesn't mind you. It refused to open for Orion. It felt uncomfortable to touch his hand. Medical repaired you: your spark's the same?"

Curiousity trumps uncertainty. Windblade is led to the couch to take a seat adjacent while Rodimus fiddles with his spark plate-- a process observed not without a hint of open fascination. Similar to the way she'd responded to Soundwave's tentacles. Neat. But that look is lost for what he says next. No matter the reassurance. Her eyes lift to his and she asks softly, "Whatever I am?"

Rodimus winces. "Not like that. Whatever happened," he says, then sighs as he drags his hands over his face. "Sorry. You might not remember, but I'm awful at words. But you're not like Lieutenant or Pipes, and you're not like Pax. You say there: what's 'there? What was it like? What do you think happened?"

"Oh." Windblade looks down at the hands she's laced together in her lap. "My spark. I think it's the same? But... but your Soundwave said I'm not her, any longer. That she's gone, that I'm different. I feel different but I /am/ Windblade. What's left." Not a particularly illuminating answer, this. It leads to a sidelong peek at him. "There. Inside of the worldeater. That's where my memory starts, finding my pieces again. What happened is I didn't find all of them. But enough. Enough to be Windblade."

"Soundwave has a bad habit of always thinking he's right." Rodimus's voice is a touch hard, though he softens it, watching her. "We're all different, every day, from what we were before. Maybe you changed. Maybe you're not the Windblade that you were before you left. But I don't know how you can be. I'm not Hot Rod. I haven't been Hot Rod for a long time." His smile twists up, slipping edged again: "And I've lost pieces of my memory, too. He's the last person to say you aren't who you were because of that." He pauses, starts to ask one question, and with effort, asks another, "Do you need anything?'

"I didn't remember him. He's lost a friend," Windblade excuses the absent mech. "And I did rebuild myself. Without a..." She makes a small, helpless gesture towards the desk, the blueprint map there of the ship. "That does make me a new Windblade, I suppose. Did I know Hot Rod? I don't remember that, looking at you. Your face. The way you made me feel. I respected you, and cared for you."

She pauses for a beat. "I don't know what I need. What did I need before?"

"You've only known me as Rodimus. Not that I don't have my Hot Rod moments," he says, and then laughs, like it means anything to her, before fading awkwardly into a pause as he realizes it doesn't. His smile warms again, and he says, "I don't know. I'm not always good at knowing what others need. But if you find something missing, or need help: please ask, okay? I'll do whatever--." He pauses. He says, "I'll help you get what you need. I'll make sure the captain knows how much we owe you."

No, it doesn't, but laughter is still worth a smile from Windblade. That isn't something she's heard since returning and it helps to lighten things. "Bulkhead said I'm a division head? Of Intelligence. That... may require some assistance. Would you help me with that? He said this is your ship. Though there's a new captain. No one would know better than you, whose ship it is, what the head of Intelligence should be doing," proves, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that she /doesn't/ recall what made that joke funny. After a slight hesitation she adds, "And if there's anything I should know, about you and I. Or... or what I owe others? There's records. Sh-- I kept a lot of records, but I haven't started reading them yet."

Quieter now, Rodimus says, "It was my ship. It isn't, now, because I gave that up to save the crew from a galaxy that blames us for Unicron. You helped save them. So did our current captain. You have deputies, as head of intel. It was a recent assignment. They'll help you with the ongoing projects. They can tell you what needs to be done. You'll find you are a very well-known face, and a lot of people know you, even if you don't know them. That was still true before Unicron. As for you and I--."

Rodimus breaks, here, then says, "We've worked together for a just a couple of years. Not long. And somehow you're still here, even though I've been dumb enough to insult your beliefs more than once. I carry the Matrix. It's casing. Whatever. We've disagreed about what that meant, and about the Primes. But while we've disagreed, we also made a great team. I trusted you -- I trust you -- and your sense and your judgment and your spark in a way I trust few others. Sounds like maybe you trusted me too."

Windblade listens in silence, with the intensity of a student on their first day of school. She nods, here or there, and keeps her quiet even after he's finished. Work instructions: simple enough, if somewhat immense. The rest...

"Soundwave said he and I disagreed a lot too. Did I disagree with everyone?" This question is a small one, a break in her relative composure. A crack. The Cityspeaker curls her hand over her own spark casing. "I came back feeling. That's what brought me back, the feelings. What I felt for the ones I remember. And they're all good feelings. No disagreements, no pain."

"Probably," Rodimus says, even though it's clearly not what she wants to hear. "And I bet you agreed a lot, too. The thing about being friends is that you sometimes trust each other to be able to disagree with each other. It's better to be able to disagree, and to know you'll still be friends. One of my other friends, Drift, couldn't disagree with me the way he should, so we're -- taking a break." He steps around that rather delicately, all told. "Your spark has always led you right. You can trust it. I can't say there aren't bits of pain I wish I could leave behind, but I think that would leave me very much not who I am. You -- aren't quite like that. The rest of us fought a war. You came to us almost untouched."

So much to digest and it takes Windblade awhile to process it. So much time, in fact, that someone like Rodimus may well end up fidgeting by the time she's inclined to speak again. She rubs at the plating over her chest, then lets her hand fall to her lap again. "If losing our pain is to lose who we are, maybe I'm not Windblade," is more thoughtful than sorrowful. "Everything has hurt since, but not the way experiences do. And I have... Megatron shooting Prowl. The Decepticons hitting Bulkhead. Unicron crushing me."

Her eyes lift to Rodimus again. "How do I trust my spark if it isn't her spark, any longer?"

Rodimus is definitely fidgeting: too much? too awkward? too vague? too--. When she speaks, she cuts off the frantic circling in his head and there's a moment of grief that causes him to lower his gaze and steady himself. "I don't know," he finally says. "Honestly, I don't know any of it. I don't have answers to you or the question of who you are. But I'm here, and I'll be with you, as you figure that out."

"Maybe Soundwave was right," Windblade solemnly intones. The thought leads her to reach out to secure one of his hands. "I'll have to... sift through what I did bring back and see what I might be now. But I'm glad I won't have to do it alone. You have a good spark too, Rodimus, and if I'd forgotten you... that would have been a crime." So saying, she gives his captured fingers a gentle press. "What do /you/ need? Now?"

Giving her a slight smile, Rodimus squeezes her hand. "Nothing you can give me. But you letting me help, trusting me to help -- that's something. I don't want to make you go over and go over it." He pauses. Then he says, "But," in a wry voice, because he's gonna switch it back to her and her experiences. "I know there was a virus that you gave him. What did you take from him? Did you learn anything?"

That's cheating-- not least because Windblade no longer has the existential nuance to /argue/ with him about it. This means she has to take it at face value, for now, that there's nothing she can give to help. Coupled with a rather large question again her gaze drops again, eye-contact broken. "I don't know? I gave him the virus. But I didn't see anything happen, before they unplugged me. Just... the same. The blackness, the fragments of others, the weight of him everywhere," she says, as if this were a failing. One which leads to the Cityspeaker casting back, sifting through memory. "...he stopped crushing me, when I told him we'd brought him something? Before I released the virus."

Rodimus looks slightly startled, caught off-guard: "Do you think he heard and understood you?"

"I don't know. Just that the weight stopped. But nothing happened after that. Not even with the virus inside of him," Windblade relays. "It was as if it hadn't happened at all. Except I wasn't a fragment and the rest of them were. That went on... for awhile. I couldn't get out."

A shudder ripples over Rodimus's shoulders hard enough to shake his armor in a twitch back upright. "Well, that sounds -- awful. Really, really awful." He leans back, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his hands, and then says, "Okay. Well. We'll figure out where we go from here, I guess. Or someone else will figure out, I guess. Wanna do something a little more fun, and a little less ancient mad gods?"

Windblade offers a solemn nod of confirmation. Really really awful is an accurate summation. "I'll see if I remember anything else," she'll promise. But, with that sort of offer on the table, it's no wonder she chases it with, "I think that sounds like a good plan. Though I should... I have a lot to study. From her records and notes. And Prowl is in the medbay, and..." Pause. "What fun do you want to do?"

Rodimus adopts his very best 'I know what I'm talking about' voice and says, "Rest and fun are medically necessary when repairing from any injury, and probably somewhere between ten to a hundred times more important in this case." He offers her his hand and stands. "There's some really awesome areas on the ship that you might not remember. Some places that were your favorites before. And there's Tempo, too. It's not often you get to find a favorite place for the second time, or explore your home all over again like it's new. Will you let me show you the Lost Light?"

Hooked. That was beautifully sold-- he should be able to watch her interest kindling by the second. Windblade swings a glance around the office... and then she pushes off the couch, wings ticking higher and hand dropped firmly into Rodimus'. "I've been afraid to get lost, that's practically studying, isn't it? To learn where I need to go. Tempo is the city titan? Ship titan. That seems important for a Cityspeaker."

"It's definitely not studying," Rodimus says, his voice firm. "You're not doing this to recover something you think you lost. You're doing this to discover something new. Okay? We can start with Tempo, if you want. I've explained a little to him."

"It can be both. Useful and wonderful," Windblade counters, falling /all too easily/ into disagreement mode.

Rodimus grins at her in challenge, pulling her out the door: "Okay, come on. I'm gonna find the most useless, most amazing places on the ship, and you're gonna love it." The Map Room is definitely off the list now, where it stood at the top before. First up? Engines, maybe to wave at Nautica at work, to see her pride and joy, and the beating heart of the ship's wild power as they get in the engineer's ways. Rodimus is not, in this, above trading on the unwillingness of the crew to oust him from places he technically no longer should be. It'll be fun. It'll be an adventure.

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