2017-02-19 Skeletons in the Closet

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2017-02-19 Skeletons in the Closet
Date 2017/02/19
Location Lost Light - Recreation -- Library
Participants Lieutenant, Starstruck
Summary Starstruck hasn't been entirely honest about where he comes from.

Meant as a place for quiet study and public record, this storeroom is a repository of information. Whole collections of datapads fill shelves along all of the walls and the multiple diving partitions, giving the space a very 'full' feeling. While many of these pads contain a copy of Cybertronian knowledge and study, many still are empty, meant to be filled with what is discovered from the continuing exploits of the Lost Light. Both a library and record hall, this room shares what is known and means to add to it with what is found.

Inside the entrance is the main desk with a terminal there serves as a nexus to track what datapads have been checked out. It is accompanied by Decimal, a blue potted plant that acts as a silent greeter. From this entry, there are stairs down and up as there are two levels to this library, both a breezy light green color now. The lower level displaying a menagerie of bright colors. The central connecting space is open, allowing for those below to view who might be above and vice versa.

Journal update: Still small, but grew about a foot somehow. Perhaps medical assistance will not be required and I shall return to my previous size. Bracing for repercussions, such as growing to be too tall or another spark attack. Systems remain normal and functioning, but I will continue to keep my vents clamped.

Lieutenant puts away his datapad, to return to his work in the library. Aside from poor Sterling's panic, everything has continued on as normal. The avian passes by Torque's mural of Cybertron with some pride for his amica. It was lovely, each city could be told apart from the other without a label over them. Anyone from Cybertron before it was gone could find just about any city on here. The amount of detail put into this was astounding. His attention from the art is momentarily taken away when he notices Starstruck seemingly admiring it as well. "You have grown." The librarian notes.

Starstruck hasn't grown as fast as Fortress Maximus apparently did, but he's taller than he was, about Rodimus' height now, maybe having a foot or so on the captain. Not that Star really minds; Brainstorm had explained to them (after Lieutenant slipped away) that the gun's effects would reverse on their own, it'd just take a few days. So Starstruck hadn't worried - he hadn't lied when he said he trusted Brainstorm, as stupid a thing as that was to do - and went about his life as usual, even if he had to get used to sometimes asking mechs he usually dwarfed for help reaching things.

He'd heard about the new mural in the library, obviously, though he'd put off coming to see it. Part of the reason was that he wanted to be tall enough to really appreciate everything without craning his neck cabling; another part, much larger, was that he'd heard what the mural was, what it contained, and there was a lump that had formed in the bottom of his tanks. It was very possible Torque hadn't included it, hadn't bothered because it no longer existed, but the anxious dread remained, until Starstruck couldn't stand it anymore. He had to see it for himself. He had to know.

So far, though, he hasn't found it, and Starstruck's dread is beginning to ease. He's looked over almost all of the cityscapes by now, there's not much left, the chances of it being in that last little section are remote. So when Lieutenant approaches, Star greets him with an easy smile.

"So have you." Starstruck gives him a once-over. "Feeling okay? No side effects?"

Torque had certainly painted more of the prominent cities, Iacon, Kaon, Helex (her home city) and such. She also included many of the lesser known ones, all of which Lieutenant could name. His fins twitch in response to Starstruck's statement. "Only the loss of what little pride I have." he answers dismissively. "Looking for your home city?"

Lieutenant isn't very familiar with Starstruck's background, in fact he knows bits and pieces of the mech in reality. Thinking back to the manifest he has read it to be 'Iacon' and given that the mech is not directly looking at the city, currently, the avian assumes he's just admiring the details of the painting.

"Hey, it's not that big a deal, Lieu." Starstruck wants to move over and put a comforting arm around his shoulders, but this time he's thinking clearer, and he reels the urge back in. Lieutenant isn't distraught like he'd been when they got shrunk, he'd likely go cold on Star if the latter pulled something like that here. "We've all had weird shit happen to us here...uh." Right. The mural. "Nah, already found it." Starstruck points to Iacon with a grin, and it's lucky that he's got his visor on, because the smile doesn't quite reach his optics. "I was just checking out"

His gaze had swept over the remaining part of the cityscapes as it swept away from Lieutenant's face to what was in front of him, and. It had caught his eye. Unmistakeable. That was the High Spire, the shabby excuse they had for an upper-end residential building. There was that weird old warehouse on the edge of the city where some architect had gotten creative...nobody had ever bothered to knock it down...he could even see his old neighborhood, the cluster of identical apartments, no more than tenaments, really. Starstruck doesn't realize he's moved until his trembling fingers are mere inches away from the image.

Star drops his hand and resets his vocoder, trying to move on like he hadn't done anything at all. "Torque did a really good job with this," he manages, and thankfully his voice is steady, even if it feels like the lump has grown so heavy his tanks have straight up dropped out of his frame. "It's amazing."

<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Memory: Great Success. (8 3 8 8 5 4 5 2 8 6 3 6 4 8)

Yes, no touching out in public, but particularly not when he's on the job. Lieutenant's optics flicker as Starstruck's voice trails off. His expression changed, his fingers are trembling, reaching out towards something in the image, but what? The avian's optics look towards a building in the painting, rummaging through his memories to place it. "Pyx?" he questions, looking at Starstruck curiously. Lieutenant remembers reading about the devastation that was laid upon the city, but it seemed to have some meaning to Starstruck. Why? "Did you use to commute there?"

Hearing the name of his city aloud has Starstruck's frame seizing up, and for a few seconds there, the grin he'd put back on like a mask is frozen, looking more like a pained grimace than anything else. He shouldn't have come here... Recovering quickly, Starstruck shakes his helm. "Commute there? No, no I didn't. I never even heard of Py--that city." Okay so it was a quick recovery but not a smooth one, especially considering Pyx had only been about a day's drive away from Iacon. "Nice details though, it's like you can see every street! Torque's a real master artist, isn't she? No wonder she runs the body shop, I should get a paint touch up from her, bet I'd look like I'd just been forged!" His voice is strained ever so slightly, but at least he's been able to move his expression more toward his natural. Just believe him and move on, Lieutenant.

This is a question of whether or not he should press about why Starstruck sounds more tense. Lieutenant opted to let it go, despite his burning curiosity. However, Starstruck supposedly "not knowing" Pyx earns a bit of a suspicious look. "Every Iaconian knew about Pyx. It had much of the military that was called for Iacon. That's why it was targeted for destruction." The avian turns his attention to the little city. "I had gone to the base a handful of times, before." A heavy sigh emits from the librarian, remembering how he was shaken from the idea how close the Decepticons had come to his home city. How they dared to flaunt how close they could get by destroying the capital. Briefly he wondered if Starstruck was part of the attack and remembered something traumatizing that had happened there. He... He is a Decepticon. Funny how even Lieutenant needs to remind himself of that. "It was a terrifying loss."

Starstruck's visor dims as he listens to Lieutenant, hands tightening into fists at his sides. Lieutenant doesn't outright say it, but the way he's speaking - the way he's talking about Pyx - Star knows exactly what he thinks happened. A city of workers for the nearby military base were slaughtered by Decepticons in order to weaken the Senate and the Autobots. That was the story he'd seen on the Iacon news when it happened, but he knew the truth. He knew what had really happened, he'd seen the tail end of it.

A city full of Decepticon sympathizers wasn't destroyed by the very faction they supported.

If his optics could change with his mood, the pink would have gone a bright, angry red. Starstruck is trying to keep his cool but - "Shut up." His voice is soft, almost inaudible, but the next time it's stronger. "Shut up. Don't talk about it like that, you don't know. You just know what they fed you, and you ate it up, just like all the other stupid fucking Autobots did." Since coming to this ship, Starstruck's anger toward his rival faction had practically disappeared. Now, it comes roaring back, washing over him in a wave that has his plating clattering quietly with how hard he's shaking. Gritting his dentals, he puts a hand over his face and, once more, tries to keep it together.

"Sorry, I...sorry."

Shut up. Lieutenant obediently does so upon order, almost reseting into a drone-like state while Starstruck passionately defends Pyx's true destruction. He was the one to read about it, but much like the others, he wrote stories that painted Decepticons for things that they didn't do. It was hard to tell the truth from lies when it came to the media. The fact that Starstruck defends the city so aggressively (for a mech who doesn't take much seriously) so angrily, has the avian bracing.

"What else are you lying about then?" The librarian dares to ask, his voice tight, "You are sorry for correcting me? Or sorry you try to lie to me about it instead of, admitting you were from there? Starstruck do you take me for an Autobot who will hold your choices against you? Do you claim to be a friend while harboring anger towards what I stand for?" Lieutenant let's out a sharp 'tsk' as he turns his head away briefly, glowering at the cities painted on the wall. A deep vent and his upset expression turns neutral again. "You have your reasons. I know not what happened but now I know the story was just another that was fabricated by the Senate to cover up their wrong doings. Understand though that you are mistaken as well, that the Senate and Autobots are not the same." He may have worked with them but he does not ever want to be labelled as one.

And just like that, all of the tension drains out of Starstruck. He actually does touch the mural this time, hand over the image of Pyx, to support himself, because otherwise he feels like his knee struts will give out under him. The shaking continues, but not out of anger, now. He's...exhausted. Beaten. When Lieutenant is done Starstruck at least has the energy to stand. He doesn't, keeping his hand over Pyx, as if he can keep hiding it from view. As if he can pretend it's not that, that Torque forgot, that everyone let it fade into obscurity so he doesn't have to think about it anymore.

"Yeah, because there's nothing you're hiding from people," Starstruck retorts, though there's no bite in it. He struggles to take a deep invent, lets it out slowly. "I was never against your cause, you wanted all that to stop too, you just...not you specifically, just. Generally." His free hand makes a wide gesture. "Autobots always acted like we were evil and they were good and we were supposed to lose and die because we all deserved it. And when they destroyed Pyx, when they murdered all of my friends...your lot said it was our fault." His voice has gone dead, almost monotonous, and he doesn't seem to notice the thin, watery trails of energon making their way down his cheeks.

"I'm not mad at you, Lieu, and you are my friend. I'm not mad at what the Autobots wanted to do. I'm mad all just accept it. That we're bad." Trembling harder, Starstruck removes his hand from the picture of Pyx, the streaks of tears on his face growing thicker. "The Senate killed everyone I knew when they hadn't even joined the Decepticons yet, and when they said Decepticons did it, everyone just...accepted it. I lied about where I came from because I don't want anyone to know. Anyone. Not 'Bots, not 'Cons, not neutrals, no one. Let them think everyone died there, because honestly, in a way? I did."

Well there is some tension in the library now, as Lieutenant falls quiet. Starstruck is right when speaking on the Autobot faction. They did agree that the Decepticons were evil, and he too agreed with that mindset when he was younger. Things changed, and he's one of the few to change. Now to realize that Decepticons seemingly killing off those who supported them must have hurt from those on the other side.

Lieutenant isn't tall, so he decides to break boundaries and climb up Starstruck to perch on his shoulder. He takes out a cleaning cloth from his subspace to wipe away the tears over the Deception's cheeks. "You should let others know." he offers quietly as he becomes slightly empathetic in tone, "Let everyone know that the Senate could not silence the flame they tried to snuff out before it started." The avian silences, pitying Starstruck and his loss. A whole city, lost and covered with a lie. "That is up to you, if you rather no one know, I will not utter a word of it." However, The Cybertronian War, the task Rodimus had given Lieutenant and Ravage, he would make a revision about Pyx. He would correct the lie made, because everyone deserves to know the truth.

Starstruck isn't expecting Lieutenant to climb him, so he startles a little, but the sensation is familiar enough from Blackstorm doing it all the time that he doesn't jerk or dislodge the smaller mech. Instead, he looks up, expression a mask of misery and confusion, as Lieutenant wipes his face. "I..." Starstruck obediently stays still as Lieutenant mops the tears away. "I guess...I guess you're right..." Sniff. "I just...I tried not to think about it for the longest time. My old captain made sure that my file said Iacon, so no one would ask, because I didn't...I didn't want to talk about it. I wanted to act like it never happened." Sniff, sniff. "But I guess..."

Starstruck stands straight, finally, though he does it slowly so as not to jostle Lieutenant. "Maybe I should...tell people..." Looking at Lieutenant as best he can, the visor's opacity shifts, unconsciously, so the bright pink glow of his optics beneath it is more visible, their shape more discernible. "Would you help me? I don't know if I can talk about it by myself."

Lieutenant understands not wanting to talk about something that wounds deeply. It takes time to open up, to even consider the thought of telling others. "You do not have to talk about it, just be honest about where you are from." he informs, gently rubbing Star's antenna. Fin touches relax him, so perhaps it's the same with antenna for the Decepticon. "I can change your file to once again say where you are from, and if you have to explain to the Head of Security the truth, I can accompany you through that. Just be honest. You are already a strong and well liked individual on the ship. Some may not take the truth in stride, but if not, at least you stood up for your home and people. That is the most important part."

"I can probably do that, if I don't have to go into it." The leaden dread returns even thinking about describing what Pyx had been like to mechs who'd never lived there, and Starstruck is certain if he had to go into detail about Starburst...mentioning him to Blackstorm, in light of Ravenwing, had been one thing, but he doubts he could hold it together otherwise. His antenna twitches at the touch, at first, and his right fang digs into his lip as he bites back a giggle. The rubbing is at least firm enough that it's not completely ticklish, and his engine rumbles to life in a gentle purr at the attention. "Okay," he says, relaxing a bit more. "Okay, yeah...go ahead and change it. I doubt tiny boss will care; if there's any mech who doesn't know what Pyx is, it's him." Star's faceplates warm a bit beneath the compliments, a pink tinge coming to his silver cheeks. "Aww, shucks, Lieu...but thanks. You're right. I'm...I'm the only Pyxian left, I gotta...I gotta stand up for them."

Lieutenant's fins flutter in a different manner that their usual adaptation for a 'nod' or 'agreement.' Delight, perhaps? Something like that, but Lieutenant wouldn't admit to it if so. "I can get to work on changing the file during my shift on the bridge then." He'll have better access there than on his datapad. As for Starstruck though, hm. A glance over the antenna has Lieutenant wondering something. Should he do it? Should he just glide down and let it be?

Why not do it? Lieutenant pulls out a thick, sparkly navy ribbon and without much to say, starts tying it around the base of one antenna into a bow. He cuts off the end and moves onto the next, "Just something for peace." And sparkles because they kind of look like stars in space. It's just something nice for Starstruck after all the kindness he's shown Lieutenant.

"Thanks, Lieu," Starstruck repeats, engine continuing its gentle rumble, frame relaxing further. Yeah, he's feeling a lot better than he had a few minutes ago. The dread remains, a heavy weight in his frame, and it's unlikely to go away any time soon. Yet the knowledge that he's got Lieutenant on his side, that someone on this ship knows, that at least some of the burden of this secret has been lifted from him, helps ease that weight just a bit.

With Lieutenant where he is on Starstruck's shoulder, the bus doesn't realize what Lieutenant's doing until that first ribbon is being wrapped around his antenna. Now that, that tickles, and the giggle escapes, the twitching his antennae give possibly making it a bit more difficult to make the bow as neat as Lieutenant may have planned. "L-L-Lieu! Careful!"

Well this only makes Lieutenant take his time when tying the bow. It's not like Starstruck assaulted him with kisses during the tick incident and the avian wasn't in a position to escape. It's not as though that memory came back and now he's exacting revenge. Not at all. "Are you saying I am not careful?" A purposeful teasing of his fingers over the antenna before returning to try and make a bow. "I am trying to do something nice for you."

Unfortunately for Lieutenant, the only revenge he's exacting is bringing Starstruck's mood up even further. His antennae twitch back and forth, piercings swaying voilently, and he can't even bite back the giggles now. Star has to clench his fists and wiggle a little, optics shuttered tight and mouth in a wide grin of mirth as he laughs. "N-No, I'm - ahaha - that t-tickles!" Which Starstruck knows Lieutenant knows because he's clearly doing it on purpose at this point, what with that teasing touch. "Just - ehehe! - n-not too m-much, I d-don't - eeehahaa - want t-to drop you!"

"Starstruck I may lack the ability to transform, but I can still glide." Lieutenant finishes the bow, and demonstrates his capability by hopping off the mech's shoulder. "Besides, I believe you have disturbed the library enough as it is." Library voices, they're not that hard to remember yet it seems everyone has difficulty complying with one of the few rules. As he touches down on the floor, he looks back up at Starstruck. A satisfied twitch of his audio fins approves that his work on Star is done.

<FS3> Starstruck rolls Friendship Magnetism: Good Success. (8 3 7 5 1 2 3 7)

Once the bow is done and Lieutenant descends to the floor, Starstruck's grin shifts into a fond smile. "Well, learn somethin' new every day." His next chuckle is much more quieter - see, he can follow the rules! and the loud giggling was kind of your fault anyway Lieu - as he looks down at Lieutenant. "Alright, alright, I get the hint. Besides..." The image of Pyx is given one last, careful glance before he turns away from the mural completely. "I think I got what I came for. Thanks again, Lieu." A hand comes up and touches one of the bows, and the smile widens, unfair in its sweetness. "For everything."

Though before he goes...

Lieutenant won't accept a hug, and definitely not a friendly kiss on the cheek, so Starstruck goes a different route instead. Unwittingly mirroring what Skystalker had done to Swoop in this very room, Starstruck bends enough to gently boop Lieutenant on the nose.

"Catch you later," Star says, much more cheerfully than when he'd arrived. "Gotta show off these sweet bows." There's a wink Lieutenant will be able to see before the opacity of his visor returns to normal, completely hiding his optics, and Starstruck strols off. Well. Any imaginings he'd had about what would happen if he saw Pyx in the mural were certainly off, by a longshot.

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