2017-11-22 What a Pity

From Transformers: Lost and Found

What a Pity
Date 2017/11/22
Location Lost Light - Command: Windblade's Office
Participants Rodimus, Windblade
Summary Rodimus and Windblade talk religion.

As befits a diplomat and ambassador whose social efforts can turn a tense situation, this office boasts softer touches than many of those linked off the bridge. Facing the entrance and slightly offset to the right is a small, tidy desk before a wall-mounted painting of Caminus as he appears from a space view. This is where Windblade works, yes. But where most of her meetings occur is to the left, in the comfortably appointed sitting area ringing a low table perfectly sized to hold refreshments.

The circular nature of the chairs, couches and table mean that no one visitor is placed above any others. The light here is muted and gentle, the atmosphere serene. All that's missing are chimes and aromatherapy to make this office as much a meditative lounge as a place of duty and business.

Windblade's couch has been so lonely. /So/ lonely. So neglected, since her recent turn for openly religious. No one minded when she was quiet about it, she's told herself, but now. /Now/. If it weren't for Bulkhead, it would be utterly bereft of afts nestled within its cushions recently. At the moment, it is aftless once again.

Mostly because the Camien is at her desk frowning thoughtfully at a datapad. She's plucked the golden "quill" from her temple decoration and is using it as a pen, shifting something here, taptapping at another thing there for emphasis. Srs bsns.

King Aft has arrived, and he hangs in the doorway, leaning forward, as he stops to ask, "Hey, mind if I crash for a bit?" It's Rodimus, looking like he's having trouble letting go of the edges of his Bash Confidence cape that he loves wrapping around him and fluttering dramatically when the moment calls for it. The fact that this is a metaphorical cape and you can't actually see it makes it no less real, and he's clearly gotten tangled up in it and struggles to drop the facade. "I need to decompress and all of my decompress buddies are off to go bring back their favorite buddies and that's really why I need to decompress. How are you? I'm interrupting. What're you working on?" Even for Rodimus, that's a bit high energy.

Enough high energy that Windblade is reduced to flickering at Rodimus when she looks up at the sound of his voice. Blink blink. "I never mind," seems like the best first answer, the quill used to aim the cap'n at the couch. She knows what he loves and won't detain him. The rest of what he's babbled is sorted through while the datapad is tucked away and the pen returned to its primary function as head decoration. "The format for the prayer circle I'm scheduling a few days from now," she says as she rises and steps around the desk, smile sweeping in warm and fond.

"Are you worried about their success? Some of our best are answering the call."

Mmmm, couch. Rodimus goes and flattens himself face-down across it, wiggling to get cozy. His spoiler -- at last -- eases from its poised confidence to something that lies a little more flat against his shoulders and back. He folds his arms and rests his head on top, turning to look over at her. "I know, that's the problem. I'm absolutely worried about their success, because I know they will. Scrap, might show up at your prayer circle!" He flattens a little more aggressively, making it very clear he's not moving as she walks around the desk, and he's also Not Sharing. HIS COUCH. (Not his couch.) "I'm glad you found a way to reconnect with the Primes. Might not be my thing, but I know it was important to you." He missed a memo.

Windblade has no intention of shoving Rodimus over to regain access to his couch. She does, however, pull a chair over to sit near his head. Near enough that she can reach over scritch her fingertips against the top of his exposed helmet. Hi, droopy one. "People will settle. They always do, and this has to happen. It's mandated. We've been through worse, and that /without/ divine guidance," she reasons. "It's why I think it's best they're officially remanded into neutral Camien custody. We recognize both as they truly are. As the Primes were." Innocuous, right? Except her smile turns a little beatific.

Rodimus performs a practiced little twist and butt that pushes his head up into her hand and angles it so that she can better reach. Just in case she comes back again. He grins at her, only for his features to wrinkle into a more complicated expression: "I think it makes a lot of sense for them to be held in some kind of neutral custody, but--." He breaks off. "You have to know that Optimus and Megatron -- they're just us. They're not holy or evil, not entirely, although they've maybe done a bit of both."

"Of course," she's quick to answer him, sounding perhaps a touch surprised. "They've done a great deal of both. But they're tools of the Hand. Whatever they answer for, once Unicron is defeated, the Hand requires them now. Maybe it's because of that balance in them... good and evil both. Tools must be properly balanced to be properly used, don't they?" Windblade is in danger of wisping off into theological speculation now.

She's drawn back by the reminder of Rodimus' headbonk, and he earns another scritch. Another smile too. "They are polarizing though. I saw that in the ethics meeting."

Rodimus's face falls in an almost comical fashion. Oh. The Hand. He groans a little, but muffles it. It's amazing how easy it is to silence his protests by smiling. Also scritching. "They got you too, huh?" The point sticks, but Rodimus puts a pin in it to revisit, letting it process at a lower priority.

Instead, serious, Rodimus says, "Calling them polarizing downplays it. They aren't banner poles on which the Autobot and Decepticon flags fly. They're lightning rods. They invite and create chaos. Crew might fragment and split right down faction lines. Prowl and Soundwave will be gone, for sure."

"Mm." Scritching becomes a tap tap from curled knuckles, the gentlest of all chidings for Rodimus' chosen phrasing. They got her, huh. But Windblade leaves it at that, moving instead to an inclined head and acknowledging, "That probably is closer. Soundwave... possibly. Prowl, I can remind him of the Hand's will. It wants both, not one or the other. It's easier for a neutral to recognize that message but he's proven himself willing to hear. Soundwave less so."

Rodimus rolls over, flopping around so that he can better see Windblade, even if it is at a poor angle, as he stretches on his back, hands behind his head. "So, you uh. This. Hand. Thing." He awkwardly leaves that lying there for her to sweep in and fill in the details.

Windblade sits back, her hand retreating too as he shifts. A bit of foot-to-floor scootching shifts her chair a touch, circling to the other side to allow eye to eye contact. "The Guiding Hand came to me, when I was praying. I needed an answer and it provided... an answer, and a vision, that Cybertron is safe in its keeping. It makes the rest easier to bear, knowing that."

His tone frank, Rodimus says, "You know that unnerves me, right?" He regards her directly, taking her quite seriously. "And don't get me wrong: I know visions. Drift's had them. He's seen things. I've heard some of the crew have, too. I've carried the Matrix, and I felt its touch on my spark long after it was shattered. I've got room for faith, is what I'm saying. But I've never seen faith come this easily, Windblade. I wonder if I'm not a little jealous, I admit. I've tried, but I just don't feel it. But I don't think I am. Do you see why I'd find it unnerving, at least?"

That renders her silent for a time, studying the look the mech has turned towards her. Windblade's wings lower slightly, to signal the thought she's giving her reply. "I can understand. I'm very /good/ at understanding, Rodimus, and this isn't an exception. But... there's nothing easy about faith. It has its own weight, a lot of which comes from others who... use language like that, against it. Against what we believe. Did it unnerve you, that I put such faith in the Primes, before? When you've held that place yourself?"

This is a Sitting Up conversation, so Rodimus shifts yet again. Straightening, he angles sideways on the couch, one leg drawn up on the seat, and the other dangling. He rests his arm on the back of the couch, bent at the elbow, and rests his head on the palm of his hand. He makes the slightest face: "I carried the Matrix, and it kept me alive, and I think doing so changed me -- but the only time anyone's ever called me a Prime was Swindle trying to -- wait for it -- swindle me. But I did feel like it gave me enough of a view on being a Prime to know that they're just like us, yeah. It didn't unnerve me, exactly. But -- uh, sorry, I know this super fragging rude, but I guess I pitied you a little for it. I know that sounds really condescending but I keep thinking of a better way to put it and I don't have one."

Windblade doesn't take offense. On the contrary, everything from 'pity' on earns a soft wisp of a laugh. "You see? That's part of the weight too. That people one respects, or cares for, might look down on you for what you feel in your spark. There is /nothing/ easy about faith. No more than there is anything easy about leading /well/. And that's alright." She pauses for a beat. "I feel sad for people without faith. I feel sorry for them. That they don't have that comfort to turn to. Maybe that makes us even."

"I didn't look down on you! I felt bad for you. That's -- I don't know. It feels different, to me." Rodimus has the manners to at least look sheepish. "I don't think that's the part that's supposed to be hard about faith. You believe in this, then? The Hand?"

"It's part of it. One part of a whole. And to have someone I care for pity me because of something I believe, something which gives me comfort and strength..." Windblade tilts one hand. It feels one and the same, to her. Her smile persists though-- that care she's mentioned twice now is undiminished. "I do believe in this, yes. It's clear now to me, the Hand is older and... a more appropriate subject of my faith than the Primes ever were. They were tools of the divine, not divine themselves."

"I've asked our comms and science departments to look into this. Because of how suddenly it's come on, because of who it's hit--. If it were you? I'd smile and be glad, but it's Soundwave, it's the rest. None of them with a shred of faith before, suddenly devout." Rodimus leans forward, elbows on his knees and hands claspsed. "I need to know it's real. As real as it gets. Will you help?"

"Mm," Windblade hums, her smile finally fading, her gaze turning away. Something he's said has struck harder than previous remarks. "If it were just me, because it's what you expect of me?" she quietly wonders. Another pause ensues. "You've had passions yourself, Rodimus. Moments when you've been swept into a fast current that seems too fast, to others, and you've /known/ you were right, and others would come to see that eventually. Why is our trust in ourselves misplaced, and yours isn't?"

"It's -- less uncharacteristic of you, yeah." Rodimus chooses his words with a touch more care, seeing her smile fade. "I'm nothing but passions, Windblade, but I'm also nothing but doubt. I'm always asking myself I'm right, if I'm making the right choice. If it doesn't look that way -- great, job well done, me. But passion's never meant not stopping to ask yourself if you did the right thing, even if sometimes you're asking yourself long after you dove in. I trust the people around me; I know that no matter how deep or how fast the current, I'm not facing it alone, and there are people who can help me if I falter."

"I see." Windblade's gaze sweeps low, and then tilts aside again as she rises to turn away from the chair and return to her desk. Settling behind it-- masking /some/ of her hurt feelings behind drawing out the datapad again-- she says, "I had no idea my tendency towards faith so unnerved you. I'm not sure how one tests belief as real but if it's required of me, of course I'll take part. I've always tried to support Command."

Watching Windblade, Rodimus twists on the edge of that hurt as though it's a blade she's holding to his throat. He visibly has to check himself before he can apologize. Roll it all back. He vents, slow and steady, and then straightens. "Neither are we. But they are working on it, and we'll figure something out. But I'm going to be there for the people I care about, however I can be. For you, Soundwave, and the rest of the crew." Even Prowl. "And maybe in the end I'll look like a total aft. Won't be the first time."

Windblade plucks the golden stylus from her head again and bows over the datapad, studiously avoiding looking at him. Back to rearranging the prayer circle meeting. "I do not feel very supported, to realize that you pity me, and want to rescue me from beliefs you lack," she quietly tells him. "I have always tried to be there for you. I hadn't understood, until now, that the same doesn't hold true. It might be best if you go now, Rodimus."

Rodimus covers his face a moment, then rises to his feet. "Yeah. Okay." He starts to say something, pauses, and then stops, letting the sound die away with a crackle. "Thanks for letting me interrupt," he says before seeing himself out.

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