From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Chromedome, Rodimus, Rumble|
|Summary||Couple of 'bots talk themselves through some idealism, but hark, an eavesdropper. A sasser, at that.|
Prowl's desk has scarcely been righted before Rodimus passes into his office to gloat about the latest additions to the cre-- no, wait, appraise Prowl and Bumblebee of changes that they really need to know: who will be where and why.
Definitely not gloating.
And yet, after Bumblebee leaves, Rodimus lingers. There's a last conversation that leaves Rodimus leaving Prowl's office to walk the halls of Kimia with a strangely subdued manner. The lack of confidence does not sit well on his shoulders.
Chromedome slides from side hallways and insets, breaking off his own solitary wanderings to join Rodimus's trajectory. It's incidental, this time, a merging of direction. He announces himself quick enough with a "Rodimus. Here, too, I see." If he does not remark the touch of subdual, the uncertainty, he certainly notices it. His tone is too polite.
With a twitch of his spoiler and a lift of his head, Rodimus straightens on being addressed. He covers uncertainty with a brilliant grin and reaches to clasp Chromedome on the shoulder with a slap of his wheel. "Hey! Chromedome. You all packed? You should've seen the look on Prowl's face when I slid the updated crew roster across his desk. You would've loved it."
"Yeah. I love it when Prowl makes a face." Chromedome's lightness, unconvincing. If he had a face, he would be making one, some strained match of Rodimus's expressional brilliance. (His wheel does one-fourth of a rotation under the slap.) "I'm ready to go. Rewind, too, probably." His voice sobers, if it's a dreaming kind of sober. "Good to get a new start, I think. Knights of Cybertron. Sounds so . . . maybe you have the words for it."
"We're setting off in search of our ancestors to make a better tomorrow, Chromedome." Rodimus readily fills in where Chromedome provides an opportunity. "We're taking our place in history." He stretches his hands wide, as though he could capture the future in the reach of his fingers. "It's a new start for us, a new start for Cybertron."
"So what you're saying is we can find the future in the past." Chromedome links his hands loose behind his back, his posture straight. "Like it's all cyclical. Go far enough back and you can find a Cybertron without corruption and division. Something like that?"
"That's what the legends say." Dropping his hands, Rodimus strides outward. In company, he's all confidence. His smile turns easily toward Chromedome. "Just too bad Rewind's archives don't /actually/ go back that far, or it'd be a short hunt. Somewhere we lost the trick of how to live together. Too bad /that/ wasn't on the map."
"You think there's a trick to it? Funny." Chromedome lifts his head, eyeplate focused upward, before he swivels it toward Rodimus. "I want to think it's not so hard. But there's always threats. You can make promises to live well with everyone, Rodimus, but that'll fall apart the moment someone shoots at you." He pauses. "I don't mind a longer hunt, though."
Rodimus laughs. "Yeah, there's quite the pool going on how long it'll be until someone on the crew offlines someone from the other side -- if we still have sides, now. I mean, war's over, right?" His tone draws thoughtful as he considers Chromedome. "If it comes to that -- disruptive influences...?" He doesn't quite ask.
Chromedome sustains a long silence, facing forward. Watching his step. "I'd hope you have a policy about . . . influences. What's acceptable, what isn't. What can and should be handled without offlining. What can't be forgiven." His voice grows slow in intensity, and then ebbs neutral. "I'd think Ultra Magnus would have suggestions. Or maybe a million-line legal code drawn up already."
"Ugh." Rodimus twitches into a full-throated laugh. "Yeah, I bet he does. You should've seen the cramp in his face when they were doing inventory. Three missing screens, and you'd think it was a war crime. Well, we'll deal with any problems if we get to them," he dismisses with carefree optimism. "Soundwave's on the level -- and /there/ are words I /never/ thought I'd say -- so maybe that pool's going to be disappointed."
"I hope so." Chromedome allows a little reflected optimism. "Maybe if you aren't looking for trouble, no one will be aching to cause it. Beyond a few missing screens, anyway." He pauses. Keep on reflecting optimism. Right. Bit of a struggle. "But if there is trouble, I'm happy to help, of course. I trust you not to be-- Well, I trust you." He may even be telling the truth!
Rodimus's smile wanes sickly and he glances away. He's relatively sober -- of voice, of expression -- as he looks back. "Something else we can leave behind with the war, right? Still not over that. Still sounds weird. Still feels like a curse when I say 'Decepticon'."
"I want to leave it behind." As Rodimus's manner slips toward sickly, then sober, Chromedome actively clutches closer to that moment of reflected optimism. Eyeplate meets Rodimus's eyes. "It's going to be strange at first. Yeah. But the fact that you're trying to move past it, welcome in our former enemies . . . it's a start. It's a good start. Maybe it'll even be enough."
Smile warming in response to Chromedome's words, Rodimus says, "Yeah. You talked to Rewind about the map at all? It's all old -- like, /really old/. You'll have to take a look at it, if you haven't yet. Percy's got it up in his lab already, doing science -- things, or whatever. There are all these places marked on it and no idea what they are."
"Mmm. Really old things." An invisible smile infects Chromedome's voice as he continues to wander the Kimia hallways with Rodimus. "I haven't gotten a great look. It's more Rewind's area than mine, maps and history," he demurs. "But I'm excited to look closer. Actual discovery of places /everyone's/ forgotten." Perhaps the slightest of hitches on the word forgotten, like an exposed tic. Only in trusted company, that tic. We assume. "We have to record and archive everything we find, Rodimus. I mean everything."
Leading the way out of Kimia's shell and toward the launch site, Rodimus turns toward the Lost Light with appreciative delight. Look at it. Look at that ship. Look how great she is. He is so charmed. "Oh, yeah, totally, I mean that's what you guys are for, right? Record. I find, you record. Team effort." It is clear where his enthusiasm lies, and it is not in the careful and methodical study of the past. "We get those engines running right and Percy says he can jump us right to the first point on the map. And we don't even know what it is! Isn't that awesome?"
Rumble is slinking about the launchpad area. He smirks when he hears voices approaching, and he remains lurking nearby to listen in.
It's Chromedome's turn to laugh. Just a little thing. "Of course. I hope we'll be good for more than recording, though. Percy can't do science with just recording. And I like holding new things in my . . . hands." Again, the demurral. "And it's all going to be new. Every minute of it."
Oblivious to lurking, slinking Decepticons, Rodimus moves forward. "New old things. Old new things." He tries it out a couple of ways, with a ready smile for both. "Everything we forgot. Everything we really are." He throws his arms wide an outflow of enthusiasm and says, "None of this crazy NAIL nonsense. People who've been gone so long they forgot what it was to /be/ Cybertronian."
Rumble wasn't the sort of mech who had an appreciation for the 'bigger picture'. All of this mission talk sounded like a lot of junk to him. Bunch of nerds talking nerd stuff. Regardless of how things would proceed with the Lost Light, ultimately, he would bring his information back to Soundwave and let him call the shots.
Chromedome is also careless of Rumble's presence, carried along by Rodimus's unfettered (or unfettering) enthusiasm. He lets his voice get louder, at least. The better to spy on. His path's looking to pass /very/ close to Rumble in the next couple of minutes, though. "To be Cybertronian is to care about something beyond yourself, right? Even the Decepticons understood that better than the Nails."
"Yeah -- yeah!" Caught in a swell of enthusiasm as Chromedome speaks, Rodimus rocks forward on his feet to push forward two quick paces. He pivots and comes around facing Chromedome. "I mean, you know, I'm not going to snarl and growl about what total cowards they were or anything, but you've got to--." He breaks off as his gaze passes by Rumble, catching a hint of a lurking shadow. "Eavesdropping's rude, you know."
"Huh?" Rumble peeks over, doing a very unconvincing job of pretending as if he had just HAPPENED to be there randomly. "I don't care what you nerds are talkin' about! I don't care about your nerd ship, either," he says. "An' I wasn't easedopplin'. I was mindin' my own business."
"Admit they were cowards?" Chromedome starts to prompt, but the revelation of Rumble draws his attention. He pivots himself, folds his arms, leans forward to examine the interloper. "I've got no idea what you'd be hoping to hear, hanging around here."
Rodimus looks tremendously unimpressed with Rumble's innocence. He grins: lazy, confident, obnoxious. "Yeah, you missed the really good stuff earlier. All that /inventory/, wow. And the counting! Man, good stuff. Easy to fall into bad habits, right? Better be careful, or someone else might fall into the worse habit of shooting you." It's not a threat. It just sounds like one.
Rumble stares up at Chromedome peering down toward him. "Me neither, that's why I ain't even listenin', cause you're talkin' all about your ship...an' like I said. I don't much care about your project, it's a dumb idea." He smirks meanly, then glares over at Rodimus. "Pssshh. Whatever!" he exclaims. "As I always gotta tell my haters...back it up, or shut it up." As much trash as he's talking, he does seem relatively calm, and it's probably safe to say that whatever he WAS doing around the ship didn't involve any plans to attack.
Chromedome tap-taps two fingers against his opposite elbow. He watches Rumble steadily. "Come on," he says. "If you are interested in our little project, there's no shame in admitting it."
"Boy, have I got news for you." Rodimus looks down at Rumble with a slowly growing smile. "/Soundwave/ doesn't think it's a dumb idea. In fact, /Soundwave/'s coming. I bet if I checked his list, so are you. Only way you're getting your I/D chips removed. But maybe you don't care about that, huh?"
"I don't care about your stupid...dumb..." Rumble is all prepared to launch into yet another tirade, probably straight at Chromedome, when Rodimus manages to take the wind right out of his sails. "......" He trails off for a moment, his stressed expression nothing short of priceless. Then, he finds his wind again. "Why'd you hafta bring HIM into it?? I don't wanna go on your ship of nerds! There must be some mistake. Soundwave's too freakin' good for you clowns!"
"Maybe," Chromedome good-natures, or at least fake good-natures, "he's going to teach us how to be less . . . clowny. And he needs your help. Otherwise we'll all be nerds forever."
Rodimus settles into a truly /obnoxiously/ gloating patter as he says, "Well, too bad! I mean, I guess you could check the list. Hey, maybe Soundwave's leaving you behind, huh? Maybe he's too good for you. I don't know. But no mistake -- he's in. And--." He breaks off to turn his head to Chromedome and, slightly belatedly, rather firmly, corrects, "I'm /not/ a nerd."
Even if Chromedome was trying to be facetious, Rumble actually takes what he's said to spark, somehow. "...Yeah, he's gonna teach alla you," he agrees, nodding in agreement. "Cause you're gonna need a lotta help, that's for sure." Rodimus, of course, gets the reaction he wanted out of the volatile little cassette-con. "He is NOT gonna leave me or any of his other tapes behind!" he insists, a bit of rage flaring up once more. "If he's in, then I'm in, an' the rest of the crew are in! That's just how it IS!" He folds his arms across his chestplate defiantly. "You, you're WORSE than a nerd. It's like the next step up. There's a word for that, but I forgot what it is. It don't matter, cause I'll remember it later."
"I know I always need help. I can learn so much from Soundwave and the tapes." It's like a band name. Chromedome's laying the good cop on pretty thick, probably because he is totally a nerd and can't mind being called that. Probably. He glances over to Rodimus. "You're very much -- whatever you are, Rodimus. Always. But look how enthusiastic he is now. The more crew, the merrier."
Smirking in satisfaction as Rumble blows up, Rodimus sighs happily. All is well with the world if he can antagonize Soundwave's cassettes. (Just wait until he realizes that, as crew, he'll /really/ need to not do that. Soon. He'll stop any day now.) "Awesome. That's the word you want. And what we're going to be doing is big -- it's important. And you'll get to be a part of it. But if you step out of line, you're off. Soundwave's agreed to be responsible for you, and he believes in this, too. Don't make him answer for your mistakes. We're all friends now, right?" Wrooong.
Rumble doesn't enjoy it when Soundwave's name is invoked. Maybe Soundwave didn't create him, but he has a LOT of respect for Soundwave. He may just have more respect for Soundwave than for anyone else who's ever existed (with the sole exception of Megatron). He seems quieter, and even a bit sulky now. "Yeah, well, whatever he wants me to do, I'm gonna do it." Even if it means helping these nerds with their nerd ship. He nods sullenly, and begins walking away...
Then, he stops, and snaps his fingers. "Ubernerd. /That's/ the word I was lookin' for, yeah," Rumble says. His grin returns.
"Right. Awesome." Chromedome drops subsided, not that he's been terribly expressive in the first place. "Welcome aboard," he drops after Rumble like a little verbal welcome mat. He may, just may, side-watch Rodimus for his reaction to 'ubernerd'.
"You little--" Rodimus gives a full-body twitch as he suppresses the temptation to lunge after Rumble and wring his neck. His arms tighten as he flattens the urge to send a rude gesture after his back. Tension wires his frame as he summons every last /scrap/ of /captainly dignity/ he is capable of assuming and turns away. "This'll be great."