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2016-07-04 Quiet

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Quiet
Date 2016/07/04
Location Map Room - Science & Medical
Participants Soundwave, Whisper
Summary Soundwave and Whisper share few words. It's restful for both of them.

The dark of the walls echoes the black of space, while focused lighting illuminates the pieced-together panels of metal that form the core of the Lost Light's Matrix map. A clever eye might note that those panels can be assembled to form a desk, which is a little strange, right down to the drawer-faces which have also been carved. Doodles cover every spare inch -- and not all of the doodles seem immediately map-oriented. The panels are arranged on stands at the center of the room.

The reproduction -- and it is a reproduction, the original still serving its function as desk -- has been filled in with holographic projections teased from the fading memories and lost minds of the metrotitans at each colony the Lost Light visits. An image of the galaxy can be projected down to match in a best possible fit, then adjusted to allow for navigators to study this sector or that in more detail. It's generally a dark, restful place.


Soundwave visits the map room fairly regularly, like on a schedule. One, to study the matrix map in the shape of a desk- Primus spare them all- and also to stand and walk through the galaxy projection. As much as it feels like they've been through so much of the universe, there's still so much more they have left untouched... So many possibilities for the Knights and for Megatron.

He quietly observes, a broad, blue statue as the projection shows their current place in the universe. He mentally marks off where they've been. It almost felt like he would never find his Commander but he couldn't let that doubt grip his spark. Heh... What if Megatron had found the Knights, impossibly, before them and is just waiting for their arrival? A ridiculous, illogical dream but one Soundwave silently wishes for. He neither moves nor speaks if anyone else enters, simply letting them do their business in passing and ignoring them otherwise. He doesn't often get quiet moments. As quiet as they get.

Whisper is also a frequent visitor to the map room. Primarily she comes here in the course of her duties, bringing supplemental data and incorporating it into the geographical universe of the more normal functions of this room: course and heading. Her yellow-visored gaze catches on Soundwave when she sees him in here, but she is the last person ever to intrude on someone else's quiet. She slides a dataslug into the appropriate slot in the computer terminal along the wall, leaving her servo resting on its surface for a long moment as she looks up at the projection. Not for the first time, her gaze is drawn not to their future course, but across the zigzag path from whence they came.

The slight loosening of his armor is the only indication that Soundwave even acknowledges Whisper's presence. But he remains in silent solitude. Its nice that there's someone aboard this ship that understands that an emptiness must be filled with chatter or movement or energy. Even Ultra Magnus likes to fill voids with work and regulation. Ravage and the twin avians understand this quiet as well. He can remember many a nights in the slums, on the street. Just listening, and quiet and together... How things change. There's only the slightest flicker of light behind his visor as his vision sweeps over to Whisper. Out of curiosity as to why she's here, he gently peers into Whisper's mind.

Whisper watches the projection, counting back the days since the Lost Light freed her from captivity, violence and vengeance, not entirely unlike an addict counting days sober. Her thoughts dwell for a long moment on the moment that Tailgate and Mercy stopped her from slaying her enemy. She lets her fingertips fall from the computer terminal. The galaxy stretches out before her visor, and she sees in the Lost Light's open future a vast cloud of uncertainty like an unexplored nebula. Tension keeps her spine straight and holds her wingspan in a certain wary stillness. She is certainly aware that Soundwave is here, but makes no move to press her presence on him as anything more than a fellow island in a vast and empty ocean.

Slowly, his gaze slides back to the galaxy map. Hmm... A part of him disagrees with the sparing of Crazy Eight. From what he can draw from Whisper's memory makes his fingertips twitch. Yes, the galaxy could certainly do with him being dead. There's a small puff from his vents and then quiet once more. The silene stretches between them, almost seeming to connect the two. Finally, he breaks the ice. "I apologize." His clear, synthesized voice rings out, less monotone than the usual.

Whisper lifts her head in surprise. Turning the bright yellow of her gaze in Soundwave's direction, she settles her weight back on her heels. Internally, she is immediately baffled. She can think of no affront Soundwave has offered her, no area in which she has been wronged, particularly. As always, when addressed, Whisper has a little heartsick catch of frustration in the depths of her frame wherein she doesn't expect her voice to work, and then a little hiccup of confusion with the memory that only her screams are dead. Both fade in the pause as she marshals herself to speak. Tilt of her head slight, she says: "...There is no need."

Soundwave's neck cables tighten minutely as the frustration and confusion roll through his processor from her thoughts. He cannot imagine... As much as a burden his ability may be, he cannot imagine it being taken. He cannot imagine it being torn from him and just... Gone. His shoulders stiffen and he seems to draw himself up. "Negative. You, your crew, your vessel... Decepticons, all of you. We should have looked into the disappearance." A soft cycle from his vents once more. "I am sorry, we could not restore what was lost." He doesn't look at her. The weight of guilt upon him. He takes failure close to spark.

Whisper's wingspan tilts in a slight but noticeable wilting droop as she comes to understand what he apologizes for. The tiny screaming voice of the prideful hellion that was Screamshock boils up inside her, but Whisper's cool reserve and isolation quells the voice before its rage is more than a stirring in her innards. "Commander," she says, her voice very quiet. She bows her head. "It was a war. Troops were lost." Because lying to Soundwave, even in kindness, is little more than foolishness, she says: "I might have blamed you once. I do not, now." The failure is hers. She witnessed the Lost Lighters refusing to break, where once she broke. The deaths of her fellow Decepticons are on her hands, not Soundwave's. She feels them now, as though her hands are slick with a coating of invisible energon as they work in a clasp at her back. She tightens her fingers to still the false sensory impression from her mind. Foolishness.

Troops are lost in war, that is true. But investigations could have been made. Easily so. In fact, that's what he was in charge of. His jurisdiction, his responsibily. And he had failed Whisper. He had failed so many. He turns, red visor meeting yellow as he faces her. "If I am not to blame, neither are you. Crazy Eight, to blame..." He looks over the tall flight frame, millions of years with Starscream allowing him insight into wing speak. "Your guilt weighs, it always will," he informs her almost matter-of-factly. He speaks from experience.

Whisper can no more accept Soundwave's ready absolution of her fault than he can accept hers. The hint of fang shows as she gives him a smile, humor as quiet as it is self-recriminating. Her voice little more than a hush, she says: "I know."

Soundwave nods. She doesn't even have to speak to hear her.He stares at her, sinking back into quiet. Perhaps they are both a little at fault... Still, she wouldn't be at guilt if not for him. But there's no sense in dwelling. Then he shifts and turns back to the map. "Your presence, beneficial to the Lost Light."

Whisper considers this. She has done little concrete in service to the ship in the past few months, but she knows well that concrete or 'heroic' deeds do not make or break value. She says: "I owe a debt to this ship." It's what she always says about being here. It's true; she gave her loyalty in exchange for her freedom. But it's also incomplete. The ship is a caterwaul of conflicting voices, and she watches the postwar universe unfold in shades of fascination. She's tentatively glad to witness the microcosm, though she's uncertain what awaits her at home ... if Cybertron even means home anymore.

Armor bristles and then clenches shut. Something about Whisper being here because she feels indebted to them just... Rubs him the wrong way. He nods his helm in her direction before striding away to look at the 'desk' closer. Mmmm... "Serving this ship, your choice." And that's all he has to say about her supposed non-existent 'debt', as far as he's concerned.

"Oh, yes. I choose to serve. It's a debt of honor, Commander." Whisper's head lifts. There's a suggestion, a bannering of pride in the way her wings lift along with it. She likewise casts aside the simple, almost transactional idea that she gives servitude in exchange for freedom from slavery; it is more that, given freedom, she has an honorable obligation almost to pay it forward.

Only the hum of his systems answer Whisper, as if accepting it. He can... Understand that viewpoint, both in her limited words and her thoughts. Did he not do the same for the Decepticon cause? Freed from his own shackles, readily serving Megtron... He clasps his servos behind his back, small bodily indications erring towards something more relaxed. It says a great deal of the respect and trust he has for his fellow Decepticon.

Given this quiet acceptance, Whisper tilts her head slightly, and then returns the bright glow of her visored gaze to the galactic map and the data she has so recently fed into it about their current course and heading. There will still be some time yet before they near another destination on their path, and in the meantime there are space phenomena to keep their sensors open for in case the science team doesn't have enough to do with the engines. Her hands, behind her, loosen. She stands for a long moment at a kind of modified parade rest, her expression thoughtful.

Soundwave doesn't move, gaze and focus fully on the matrix map. He did enjoy the company though. There's something to be said about an individual that can share the void with another. An odd sort of bonding experience that most others cannot share, even with their words and noise. And so Soundwave stands and observes and thinks with Whisper, in silence. Content.

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