Actions

Difference between revisions of "2018-08-06 Actions and Consequences"

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Revision as of 22:18, 6 August 2018

Actions and Consequences
Date 2018/08/06
Location Lost Light Recreation- Practice Rooms
Participants [[{{{participants}}}]]
Summary Rodimus helps Penchant with his shoddy aim again, and they brood over Soundwave's ANNOYING RESPECTABLE DECISION.

After the mixed results of Penchant and Rodimus's last outing at the practice room shooting range, there's absolutely no doubt that they need to try again.

They just haven't had a chance, yet. They've been busy: Penchant organizing visits to the other ships in the fleet, and Rodimus ... visiting. Okay, Penchant's doing the real work, let's be honest.

It's been good, though, the two of them presenting a united, neutralish welcome. The emphasis is sometimes more on ish than neutral: Rodimus hasn't quite shed the badge in the minds of most Autobots and Decepticons, but Penchant's status as one of Soundwave's cassettes offsets the chill that Rodimus's four million years as an Autobot earns them from some of the Decepticon ships. Penchant's there to logistics the hell out of the many supply problems that the incoming ships are facing, but it's becoming terrifyingly clear that the energon issues will be pressing sooner rather than later.

That's for tomorrow, though. Today, they've finally carved out the time to practice. Rodimus is doing a better job of keeping his hands to himself after Penchant called him out for it. He's seated on the ground next to Penchant, leaning back on the prop of his hands, with his legs and their oversized feet sprawled at a half-twist angle as he turns to watch Penchant line up a shot with a pistol. It's simpler, and doesn't have much of a kick, compared to that oversized bow. "You know, we could just get a software package for your HUD and cheat."

"Aren't they notoriously finicky and prone to glitching out when you take ANY little tap to the head? No, Rod, I have to... get this right." Penchant proceeds to light up the very edges of the target. He keeps trying. At some point he just holds the trigger down in frustration, until the barrel starts to smoke.

"Grah!" Penchant half turns away from the range, lifts his pistol as if to toss it to the ground, and stops himself. This must've been the third time. "Cool me down," he demands of Rodimus. "Tell me some good news."

"Haha, look at you." Rodimus reaches out to collect the gun from Penchant, laughing, and knuckles his helm in a friendly rub. He drops his hand to Penchant's shoulder in a pat, then leans forward with the pistol held loosely in his hands. "You know, it's okay to not be good at things right away. To work for it. What matters is that you try, not that you can instantly outshoot Blast Off."

He pauses, then, to think about, "Good news, good news. Let's see." Except he stays paused as he struggles to come up with something. The longer it takes him, the more awkward it gets. Then: "Oh! Prowl managed to wrangle one of Megs' nerds. Baited him right into a trap and squeezed some info out of him."

Penchant is placated, briefly, if only by getting a laugh out of Rodimus. And a head rub. He cautiously brightens. "Oh yeah? That skidplate's good for something after all, eh. Soundwave's investigation, right? That reminds me - You gotta' help me walk back his volunteer indictment. Like, he's smart, right? But legit, he does some dumb slag. You've noticed, haven't you?"

That earns another laugh: dry this time, as Rodimus's mouth folds over a rueful twist. "Oh, yeah. He's a slagging moron." His words are harsh; his voice is soft. Both are affectionate, when viewed through the warm-bright tint of his gaze. He sobers as he studies Penchant, then -- shakes his head. "I'm not going to walk it back. Even if I wanted to, I wouldn't. I can't. I can't abuse my position to push that just because he's a friend.

"He believes in this, Penchant," Rodimus says with a low, soft urgency. Soundwave's belief has become his own, in some way. "Frag, his willingness to do that kind of thing is why--." He breaks off. "But a trial isn't the answer. I've talked to Ratchet and Trailbreaker about this. Bringing the idea to Minimus, Prowl, and Soundwave. I think we need an accounting, first. Of everything. From everyone. The truth, heard in full."

Penchant doesn't seem pleased with this response, initially. As Rodimus explains, Penchant only grows more fired up, /almost/ enough to miss the captain's subtler inflections. He... squints. And keeps his gaze sharp and questioning, when Rodimus trails off about Soundwave's willingness. Then, he adopts a /thoroughly/ unimpressed expression. "An /accounting/?" he asks, the word dripping with skepticism. "What truth? Everyone? Including you?"

Rodimus looks a little taken aback by the expression on Penchant's face. It's not that he's not used to that look -- just not from Penchant. It forces him to consider his words a little more closely as he says, "Yeah. Everyone. Including me. Including the Autobots. There's a reason we offered amnesty. Put to trial, there's only one sentence that Soundwave would ever face. And it splits our peace apart."

"You don't think you've done wrong. The Autobots... don't... think they were in the wrong. For participating in the war. For extending it...?" It's hard to place Penchant's tone now. He doesn't sound sure of any of his words. They're not quite statements, not quite questions. "This is asking everyone to be "sorry" about the war, isn't it? I should be happy about this, right? ..."

After a moment of thinking it through, Rodimus shakes his head. "It's not really about wrong or right, or even sorry. It's about recognizing that your actions have consequences on others. It's about acknowledging that. It's about acknowledging each other, and hurts on both side."

Penchant looks pained. He rubs across his optics, beneath his helm brim. "You're all neutrals to me. There's no war. So there's no factions. There... shouldn't be. I don't want this to spark anything, Rodimus. How is this going to work with Megatron is sitting on Cybertron?" He frowns, chewing his lip. "...What are you even going to say? What is /Soundwave/ going to say?"

Here, Rodimus pauses. There's a faltering break in his certainty, and he says: "Uh. A lot. If he goes for this. He's going to say -- a lot."

Penchant might've laughed if the topic wasn't so grim. "Ugh. I... I suppose anything's better than execution. My solution just involved a lot of... uhm, forgery. But Minimus may be too sharp for that."

After an awkward pause, he perks up. "This might help with our weird relations with the GC."

"Yeah. I'd like the galactics to have -- some kind of presence." Rodimus pauses. He sounds a little vague on this point, sort of meandering along. "Advisory, consultative, not sitting in judgment of us presence. I don't know what or how, yet. This is all pretty--." He breaks off.

"It's not my idea." Rodimus's voice firms, now. "It's Ratchet's, really. I went to talk to him because I read through the list of Soundwave's crimes and I just felt so ... hollowed out. And we talked about one thing, and another, and we got around to this idea, and then." Rodimus spreads his hands wide before they fall again. "I try not to think about it. I do a lot of not thinking about it. Soundwave says he never enjoyed it, and he's said he regrets it, but every time I start thinking about that list, I wonder if I'm betraying every last spark on it somehow."

Penchant's complicated look melts into a resigned frown. "I don't want to look at it. I'm sure I'd get all fired up again. Then feel awful for becoming one of his /associates/. We both know he's a good mech. What's done is done. Maybe you- or Ratchet- is right."

Penchant looks up. "Who's the last mech you got angry at? I mean like, personally angry. Megatron doesn't count. How long do you think it'll take you to forgive them?"

At the question, Rodimus waves his hand in a light dismissal. "This is a little different, you know?" Also, he has a bad habit of forgiveness. "And sometimes I'm not sure if I see what's there, or what I want to be there. He does this great blank slate thing, right? Is he good? Am I? How do you measure something that subjective, against an objective and lengthy list of crimes?"

"Mmnnn'uhhhh-" Penchant wobbles his hand through an indecisive hum. "Redemption! Everything we're doing here. I feel like it matters. It better. We saved a bunch of planets from Unicron's destruction! Once I get proof of Quintesson spurring that whole mess, we should be golden! I mean sure, you might be biased towards Soundwave... but no more than I am." He gives Rodimus an odd look. "I think."

Rodimus looks away with the slightest hint of flustered consternation in the knot of his brow beneath his helm. "I don't know. It's not that easy. You can't just say 'redemption' and wash away all those deaths, can you? Who gets to decide someone's redeemed themselves? Not them. Not us. Those impacted by the losses, maybe. Who lost friends, lovers."

"They're going to want Soundwave dead! You see how that response is unacceptable? What are you arguing here, Rodimus?" Penchant almost huffs. "You're the one pushing for this public apology. Are you afraid this is going to open everyone up to atrocities without consequence?" He holds up two fingers. "Two factors: scale, and time."

"I know, Penchant!" Rodimus pulls himself back immediately, glance apologetic, although he doesn't make it to words after his snap. Quieter, he says, "I know they are. I'm not -- arguing anything, exactly. I'm struggling is what I'm doing, okay? I'm trying to figure out how to wrap myself around this. I don't want Soundwave dead." That's said soft and quiet, words held gently. As though sharp. "What do you mean, scale and time?"

Penchant's tiny armor plates rattle in a quick, faint ripple as his hackles settle. He spends a pregnant moment studying Rodimus sitting across from him, and finally moves to sit down atop the speedster's shin. It's certainly big enough. "Didn't mean to lift my voice. Feels like I'm arguing with myself, admittedly. And if that's how you feel, then I think we're on the same side."

"A crime this large in scale, over such a vast amount of time, ought to be handled differently than, say, exceeding the speed limit. That sounds reasonable, right?"

Rodimus gives Penchant half a smile, and shifts slightly so that Penchant can settle more comfortably, and they can see each other more easily. "I feel like I'm stuck drifting in circles about it. Gonna burn my tires to nothing." After a beat, he nods. "Of course they are different."

"You're not the lone spark that's working to sort this out, you know. Trust me, the rest of the tapes aren't super pleased about it either. And I'm sure Minimus and Prowl and Hound wouldn't want it to happen. Let's... just see what comes of this accounting summit. One step at a time." Penchant pat-pats a knee. "Remember when I was having these weird attachment issues with him? And you set me straight? What's your excuse, eh?" His tone balances on the edge of critical and teasing.

It takes Rodimus a moment to track what Penchant might be referring to: his gaze sweeps over Penchant's face, searching, and when understanding comes, he hesitates. "I don't see that as the same. If this was just about Soundwave's choice, I'd support him. I did support him, when he finally told me about this scrap. Eventually." He pauses to reflect on his tone. He mad? Maybe a little. "His willingness to make the choice to refuse immunity is one of the things that I -- like. I can respect."

"Mmph. Yeah. Respectable and annoying." Penchant rolls back to his rubbery soles and extends a hand, presumably for the pistol Rodimus had confiscated. "Keep your spoiler on, I've got some respectable tricks of my own. You'll see. We're going to smooth over relations /so good/," he assures with a smirk. "Now let me get back to shooting everything but the target."

"Just pretend the target's Soundwave about to do something that's going to give the two of us a massive processor ache," Rodimus teases as he hands the pistol back to Penchant.

Penchant grins, and eventually finds a reason to stand up atop Rodimus' shoulders "for a better angle". There's not a lot of foot spaces up there so there's a lot of leaning and tumbling as Penchant uses Rodimus' helm to level his aim. But he gets a decent shot in the end! And decides that it's enough practice for the rest of the year.

As Penchant moves to find his perch, Rodimus grins at him sidelong, even helping. But as Penchant turns his attention back to the target, the sense of play leaves his features, and Rodimus watches unseeing as Penchant batters the poor beleaguered target. --but he at least pulls himself together to celebrate the eventual victory. He's not RUDE.

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