RODIMUS OF NYON
So we finally achieved something! The Knights- or what's left of them- have finally been found! So how is Rodimus taking this, and how does he feel about them now? Expectations must be shattered.
WE'VE FINALLY ACHIEVED SOMETHING.
This would be a banner-worthy occasion, if only the ship were intact enough for there to still be a space large enough for them to party. Calling Rodimus's expectations shattered is more than fair for a couple of reasons:
- Anialus doesn't exactly seem like a sparkling paragon of wisdom and justice. In fact, the Knights of Cybertron were maybe people Just Like Them. They might not have all of the answers that they set out on this whole quest to find. In which case, why are there even out here?
- Also, that asshole AI doesn't like them. WELL FUCK THAT GUY AMIRITE?
This is as close as they've come to the Knights -- to the real Knights: to seeing them, or a shadow of one, and being able to talk to him face to face; to walking the same halls the Knights once walked, just as sure as they walked the ruins of the Acropolex (later Metroplex) in Nyon; to actually holding in hand artifacts of the Knights, things that meant enough to them for them to make sure they survived millions and millions of years to come to them now. They are achingly close to the Knights--
Which makes it seem like they've never been farther from answers. Rodimus hasn't quite been able to bring himself to ask Anialus about Cyberutopia or the Knights or any of it. He's pretty sure he's not going to like the answer.
What would Rod say if he ran into Bumblebee again? Bonus: Starscream
Rodimus has actually been in contact with Starscream and Bumblebee a fair amount: Starscream as the representative of Cybertron, Bumblebee as the other face of Autobot high command. Also Prowl. As Prowl (Prowl (Prowl)). The Lost Light was only out of contact with Cybertron during season one. During season two, the Lost Light made initial contact with the colonies -- but after that, relations were transferred back and almost exclusively handled with Starscream. There's probably a council of worlds at this point, come to think of it, although otherwise the events of RiD have largely not happened on Cybertron, due mostly to the fact that Megatron hasn't made a reapparance.
Rodimus and Starscream don't ... get along. They don't NOT get along, but Rodimus will take Soundwave over Starscream any day. Starscream's probably not happy about the fact that the Lost Lighters are the ones making contact with the colonies, but in our game canon, they were the ones that found the colonies through the Matrix map.
If he ran into Bumblebee again, his first, second, and third questions are all going to be about the Matrix: any chance there's been any sign of light, of life, of power in it? ANY CHANCE YOU HAVE A WEAPON TO KILL UNICRON, BUMBLEBEE? He'd also probably want to put the other half of the Matrix under Perceptor's microscope again to make sure they didn't miss any secret clues. Possibly also to look for more information on the Guiding Hand, and if there's anything about Unicron in there.
Also, he has some news about Autobot leadership on the ship that he should reall gives Bumblebee a heads up on....
How does Rodimus feel about the crew's confidence in him right now? Obviously his confidence in their confidence took a blow after the vote, etc, and previous events, is he going into this badge removal thing preparing for the same thing, or does he think that it will blow over? Does he think that, even without the reveal, he's come to prove himself as Captain right now and stick it to any (AI) parties that say he's not doing a good job?
Even before Magnus's complete failure to understand why he would want to do this, Rodimus was pretty sure that there would be portions of the crew that would feel like this is a bigger betrayal than stashing Overlord on board. At least they had Overlord on board so that they could tease secrets out of him that would further the Autobot cause, amirite? But this...!
So, he's braced for it to get a little ugly. He is not, however, going to be putting anything up to a vote. The Autobots will still have Hound and Ultra Magnus (sorry, Drift, you don't count for this) to look to as Autobot leaders in command. The ship will run the same in every other respect: by Autobot rules, in the name of Autobot values (which aren't that different than Decepticon values in THEORY; it's the rules where they really differ). The code of conduct isn't changing. Just the figure at it's head. But -- that can mean a lot to people, so he expects people are going to ignore how everything ELSE is all the same and focus in on how he's ABANDONING the CAUSE. (Or them. Looking at you, Mini.)
But he also has confidence in the crew, despite that. They are facing maybe their biggest challenge, literally and metaphorically what with Unicron being the size of planet and EATING PLANETS. So even if they are pissed at him, that's not going to stop them from doing what has to be done.
His sense of offense where Anialus was concerned was less about any sense of personal insult and more that he's mad at the AI for sassing a crew which has done everything they can and for mostly the right reasons. Because he DOES believe in them. He's proud of the Lost Light. It's not that he's proved himself, it's that his crew has.
He does also think he's proved himself to be, if not a good leader now, then capable of becoming one. He's still learning -- every day, all the time -- but you see in small ways and in large ways that he's Trying To Lead. People fall back on old ways of thinking of him as much based on player's OOC as character's IC patterns of thinking, I think. It's always hard to change, and people will always think of you first as you were instead of looking at what you are doing now.
Rodimus has never been a terrible leader, in my opinion. (I'm biased.) He's personally reckless, but he's far from careless with his crew. (Not like he used to be. AHEM, OVERLORD.) Even when he totally ignored datapads that crossed his desk, he always trusted that anything that was truly critical would be brought to his attention by his command staff, and he checked in with area heads frequently. This is still true, but he's slightly better about getting at least an abbreviated overview of what hits his desk. Magnus was -- and is -- an incredibly good influence on him. I've basically been pouring Rodimus's XP straight into command for like the past year to reflect that.
Side bar: I've talked about how some people out there in the universe headcanon Rodimus's struggles with the busywork of command in comics as an issue of dyslexia, which is not a headcanon I hate, by any means, but one I've decided not to retroactively apply. BUT I AM FOND OF IT. I think there is very strong support in canon for Rodimus not being that great with words. Drift writes his best speeches and Rodimus misuses words and phrases TERRIBLY. ALL OF THE TIME. He doesn't have a strong vocab. He was raised dirt poor -- rust poor, maybe; the area in Nyon we first see is literally called the Rust Narrows -- and I think he lacked an education before he hit the Autobot Academy. He undoubtedly struggled to keep up and probably did the equivalent of graduating with A+s in PE and Theater and C-s in English and History and Ds Math and Science. Smart, but he never had the chance to catch up, and anyway this is who he is now.
I think Rodimus keeps a pretty close eye on what happened on Cybertron -- with Starscream being in charge -- and takes it very much to heart as a warning. If the combined goodness of Bumblebee and smarts of Prowl couldn't stop Starscream from taking over--
As has been said -- as he told Magnus -- the Autobots won the war but they are going to lose the peace.
How's Rodimus feel about the ship getting grounded and the crew being (sort of) stranded at the mercy/stewardship of a planet's population/Elita/etc? Is he feeling like this change of events/destruction of the ship reflects on him at all, or is he seeing this as an opportunity to try something new (and still shine, probably XD)?
RODIMUS DOESN'T LIKE BEING AT ANYONE'S MERCY. He's a low-key stage of thrashing impatience feeling like his wheels are glued down.
He very much prefers to think of them being here on the Titan's sufferance than at the mercy of a politicking bunch of chuckleheads who can't even keep their division from leaking out to the crew. Fortunately, they aren't really -- stuck. The spacebridge can go literally anywhere because the Knights are basically gods and they are welcome to use it to go bascially wherever -- except Cybertron. Although they can go real close to Cybertron, or one Autobot or Decepticon stronghold or another.
So that keeps the thrashing at low-key. Repair of the Lost Light is ongoing. It's not an issue where they lack for resources or ability to get them so much as they lack for time. It will take a long time to repair the Lost Light with how extensive the damage was.
He doesn't particularly see this as an opportunity for him or a reflection on himself. He thinks the crew did well getting them away from Unicron in one piece(ish). That's more a reflection on them doing well than on his leadership. As for Unicron waking -- try though Anialus might, Rodimus also refuses to accept blame for that. There was literally no way that they could possibly know what was happening, and there are a lot of unanswered questions that he's hoping to get answers to regarding the Thingy and how Unicron was killed.
They are, by necessity, doing something new, but that's just adapting to the situation. They are a functional, agile enough crew to be able to adapt to even this kind of crazy circumstance. It's not an opportunity he was looking for, but it's a challenge he knows they'll beat.
Magnus has a very personal stake in what Rodimus is trying to achieve by giving up the badge. I know y'all are going to reconcile this (right??? )<) but I wonder, how would Rodimus react if they couldn't? If there was always this wall between them from now on because of Rodimus removing his Autobrand?
[Public] Sourpuss Swoop says, "everyone has these really serious good questions and I'm over here like" [Public] Sourpuss Swoop says, "WHAT IF MAGS AND ROD BROKE UP" [Public] Rodimus says, "they might" [Public] Rodimus says, "sao and i haven't discussed it" [Public] Sourpuss Swoop ;A; [Public] Prowl! Lieutenant says, "ROD PLS" [Public] Sourpuss Swoop says, "yeah I knew it was a possibility" [Public] Sourpuss Swoop sniffle, wipe eyes, I-I'm not invested or anything, whatever [Public] Rodimus says, "lol" [Public] tips pls Penchant says, "christ" [Public] tips pls Penchant says, "dont do this to me" [Public] Rodimus twist knife [Public] tips pls Penchant bleed on your face >:| [Public] tips pls Penchant says, "pls no it's like my lone OTP" [Public] tips pls Penchant says, "fuck me" [Public] Sourpuss Swoop says, "omg Pench" [Public] Sulkman Soundwave says, "Pench needs the red and blue" [Public] tips pls Penchant lie on face
That depends very much on what you mean by reconcile this. Will Rodimus and Ultra Magnus talk out the issue, instead of leaving it to fester? Yes. They are grown ass adults who have come pretty far in their professional and personal relationships. They've had to learn to talk out a lot in order to be able to make this balance they have with the three of them -- Drift, Rodimus, Magnus/Minimus -- work.
But will they agree at the end? No. Not necessarily.
I've definitely had to stop to ask myself what Rodimus would do if Ultra Magnus says no. If Magnus walks away. If the choice becomes Ultra Magnus ... or this.
And the thing is -- I really think Rodimus would be wrong to change his mind because of that. This is an issue that is so much bigger than the two of them. If Rodimus made the choice to step back because he was afraid of losing Magnus, he'd be a little bit less of a leader. It would be different if Ultra Magnus's arguments persuaded him, but they don't. Rodimus has listened to him, he's considered it, but he disagrees. The only reason for him to step back would because of that fear of a personal loss.
Leadership's hard. Sometimes it's even brutal. And sometimes you have to make decisions that people won't agree with, and won't make you popular, but you have to do them because it's the only right thing to do. Because you think it's the only right thing to do, of course. It's impossible not to acknowledge that there's an arrogance in Rodimus assuming that he knows the way to the future, and that HE'S the one that's right, even when the very best around him -- Ultra Magnus, Hound -- have reservations. Rodimus thinks he's the only one looking to the future.
I think that no matter how it falls out, even in the best possible world, there's also going to be a wall that they will have to work to step over when Rodimus removes his Autobrand. A gap that they have to bridge. But it's either going to be something that they work to move past -- or it's going to get very wide, very big, very fast.
Either way, there's no one else I'd rather play it with than Sao.