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2017-12-08 Tough Issues, Tough Love

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Tough Issues, Tough Love
Date 2017/12/08
Location Lost Light - Command: Soundwave's Office
Participants Rodimus, Penchant, Ravage
Summary A discussion on what to do about Soundwave (and what his cassettes are willing to do).

The cassettes remain in an odd limbo, since some of them /have jobs/ on the Lost Light that they can't just up and abandon. With the cause and cure of the Guiding Hand frenzy pinned down, it's a matter of getting Soundwave to comply. To peel away from Megatron for three seconds and get his spark code updated. For his sake! Penchant assures. But it has proven difficult. Enough for the tapes to seek out Rodimus's help, as Rodimus had gotten /relatively/ close to their stoic team leader.

Only three tapes wait in Soundwave's office - Ravage, Glit, and Penchant. Glit sits on top of Soundwave's desk, if only to knock things off.


And with no Soundwave someone had to handle at least his Communications related duties. Not that a lot of external communication was going on these days, but there was still keeping everything within the ship and crew organized. Without Soundwave, much of that fell to his favorite felinoid ... no, not the one being a pest on the desk. Ravage wasn't actually visible, not because of stealth, but as he was currently plugged into the desk's console system in his alternate mode, doing said job.

Despite the gossip and the drama and the sturm and drang, Rodimus is in a relatively chill and laid back mood as he approaches Soundwave's office. This ... lasts up until he gets to the office.

Expression sober, shoulders drawn in a straight, firm line, and spoiler pricked to a state of alert on the edge of anxious, Rodimus enters. His tone, perhaps to make up for this, is excessively casual, easy as he says, "Hey, guys. Still here, huh?" He looks between Penchant and Glit, favoring the first. "Is that gonna be, like -- a medical concern? Anyway, what'd you need?"


"Medical concern-?" Penchant blinks.

"We don't need Soundwave's dock to recharge, Rodimus!" Glit offers cheerily.

"Soundwave wants us to join him in Iacon, with Megatron. We want him to get his head straight, since he's still gripped by the Quints, and hasn't visited Vector Sigma. I think Megatron is discouraging him," Penchant explains. "We'd like your help convincing him. Any ideas?"


"Soundwave's personal dock is merely of convenience most of the time." And personal reason that there is no reason to get into. "Frankly you're fortunate we weren't with him when he was... taken," Ravage's voice continues. Then is followed by the light mechanical *chck* as he's ejected from the console interface and transforms to land on his feet. "Someone with Soundwave's capabilities under their influence is... dangerous, to say the least."


When Ravage begins talking, Rodimus immediately looks up, into the corners, and into the shadows of the room, and it's not until Ravage actually ejects that he realizes where he was. He looks a touch embarrassed. "I don't know if it was luck or strategy, but hitting Prowl, Windblade, and Soundwave -- not to mention the suspicion that they might have Optimus and Megatron?" He breaks off, shaking his head. "Dangerous doesn't even begin to start. I don't know how you get Soundwave to do anything he doesn't want to do, much less if Megatron's on his side. Are you sure of that?"


"If we could just... get him away from Megatron," Penchant pauses for a pointed look in Ravage's direction, "And maybe confront him with all the mechs he cares about... Maybe we could be a little more effective in... talking to him?" He doesn't seem terribly confident in his own idea.

Glit takes this serious moment to paw a cup of styluses off the desk.


Normally Ravage would take amusement in Rodimus' reaction, but right now was too solemn... okay, he probably still got some amusement out of it anyways, because that's what cat's do. But he is retaining his usual professionalist attitude, other than rolling his optics at Glit being a nusaince. "It is too convenient to their efforts to be luck. It's a concious effort to take those that would have the most sway over their compatriates, instead of relying solely on their manipulations." His tail gives a composed but still annoyed swatch. "But, as Penchant is suggesting, two can play at that game."


Yeah, knock those styluses off! Rodimus's eyes gleam encouragement at Glit. Keep it up. RUIN THE OFFICE. The touch of humor fades as he looks between the others, his arms folding as he settles on his feet. "I wouldn't expect that to be effective. I'm pretty sure that list starts and ends with Megatron. --no offense. Maybe you're on there somewhere," he adds, but not as thought he really believes it. "I don't think you're going to be able to persuade him away from Megatron's side, or to do something Megatron's pushing against. And tricking him is hard when he can hear your fragging thoughts. Frenzy and Rumble have to pull that off sometimes, right?"


Penchant looks righteously insulted for a moment, a flash of anger on his features over the 'maybe'. It fades quickly. Rodimus is probably right, and it's not easy to swallow. "He can't hear us from here. We can tell him that you won't let us leave. He'll come to get us. I'm... sure..."

Glit's ears fold back, his head droops, and he looks back to Ravage, a small frown on his muzzle.


"Who's higher on who's list isn't the point." Ravage's response is flat, partially because Rodimus is very likely correct to some degrees. "And you put too much credit into the duo's ability to have more than one thought between them." It's not an insult when it's true, right? It's more like sibling teasing, anyways.

"There are other bonds that can be pulled at, top of the pile or not." The feline's tail rests in a curl at his side, save the tip which is usually twitching in some minute way. Sometimes the only part of him that is moving. "Regardless, the only way to get whatever they've gotten into his head out is Vector Sigma, yes?"


"Yeah, that'll probably get him out here," Rodimus agrees. So at least he believes Soundwave cares about his cassettes that much. Not disobey Megatron much, but at least this much! His tone is a little apologetic, but more blatant is that he feels the need to reassure them by saying, "He'd definitely hate to think I was keeping you guys anywhere you didn't want to be! Uh -- anyway, yes. So far, that's the only way that we know works. I think the nerds are working on it, but it's not exactly something we can download and patch. So we get him here -- then, what, persuade him?"


"I'm... uh, not above cracking him over the head, the moment he pops in from the spacebridge," Penchant almost mumbles. Glit glares, and Penchant hastily adds, "He'll know exactly what we're all up to as soon as he gets here, anyway!"


"Even successful persausion will only get so far... alternate methods may be required to get him to Vector Sigma." Ravage isn't going to foolishly hope they can draw Soundwave back on heartstrings alone. That being said. "For his own good, in the end, to get the Hand's thrall out of his head." Megatron is an entirely different matter, and honestly, if the leaders are also thralled or not is a matter to be concerned with later.


Look between them -- Glit, Penchant, Ravage -- Rodimus hesitates before nodding. "You're right, of course, that we need to do it. Have you considered that he might not be very happy with you for it?"


Penchant rubs his face, then peeks over his fingertips. "Yeah, well, I'm not super happy with him falling at Megatron's feet. This ship, this /movement/, was supposed to stay neutral. Our /goal/ was neutral."


"Would we be here trying to convince you to help if we were only concerned for how 'happy' he is going to be?" Ravage replies. Though preferably one he's back right in the head Soundwave will realize it was for the better in the end. An ear flicks at Penchant's remark, but... "Honestly it hurts me more than one of the things we had strived for may very well prove to be a terrible mistake than any amount of torqued off my brethern may be over this." Finding Megatron having possibly been more trouble than good? Yeah, the Decepticon loyalty is taking shots over this, but right now, even that is less important than helping his ... brethern. Family. We'll go with that, because who fills what role in the concept is fuzzy and awkward at best.


"Okay. Well--." Rodimus breaks off. "I guess you can't exactly claim you were just acting under orders to him. Never mind." Funny how Soundwave makes honesty the only policy. Studying Ravage, he grimaces. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry your victory's been turned into -- something more complicated. So! Smacking Soundwave upside the head as soon as he crosses the spacebridge, then? Do you want to try 'please'?"


"I definitely think we should try 'please'," Glit nods avidly.

Penchant looks a mite wary but eventually nods as well, "Yeah, we just... need to be careful. It could go south real quick. I guess we'll wait a little until things even out, then we'll let you know when we've sent a message - ?"


Red optics narrow slightly, focusing like lasers on Rodimus. But for once, it's not the distrustful look Ravage gives most Autobots. While he wouldn't exactly say he likes Rodimus any more than he has in the past, he's... garnered some respect for what he puts up with, and puts himself through, for the sake of trying to make this mismatched menagerie of a crew work.

"Please," saying THAT may have hurt more than anything Soundwave or Megatron might inflict, "help get him back."


An itch of impatience crawls visibly across Rodimus's frame, all the way to the tip of his fingers which curl to form loose fists at his side. He nods to Penchant. "I'll trust your sense of timing," he says. He might say more, but his gaze breaks to Ravage for the tone. It takes him a moment to place why, and tracking the misunderstanding, his eyes widen. "Ravage," he says, very seriously, "I'd have done whatever it took no matter how you phrased it or what you said. You can go ahead and insult me if it'll make you feel better." He's trying to be thoughtful.

Trying.


Penchant stares blankly at Ravage, of all mechs, pleading as he does. Oh, phrasing. He laughs at Rodimus' attempt to smooth it over, and moves to start... picking up all of the office supplies Glit dropped on the floor. Glit looks very proud of himself.


"It took a lot to say that, don't patronize me over it." Ravage doesn't feel it worth turning around to making insults again afterwards, and just leaves it at that. "We will work as quickly as possible. We need to be sure it doesn't tip someone off before we can get him close enough to... utilize tough love as necessary."


Rodimus watches Penchant start to pick up with a moment's sullenness. After Glit worked so hard to make that mess, too! Then he stirs himself, reaching to help. UGH. He glances back at Ravage, giving him a serious nod and then letting the issue drop. No patronization, but his gaze is -- appreciative. Respectful, maybe, for the bond the cassettes and Soundwave have for him to have even been willing. Finally, he steps back and away. "Okay. Then you know where to find me when it's time." After a slight pause, he asks, false-casual: "Do you know if you guys are going back with him, after? To Megatron?" His gaze weighs on Penchant most as he considers his columns of likely loses to Optimus and Megatron.


Penchant straightens from his work, to visibly wince at the question. He looks between Glit and Ravage, and heaves a sigh. "No factions. I can't. Not after what Megatron did to us. Not after what... Megatron /willed/ Soundwave to do. Ravage, you're not going to just fall back in - Right? He's a tyrant!"


There's the loaded question that was to be expected. It gets a responding twitch of the tail tip, but the feline's demeanor makes it hard to gauge if it's in annoyance or thoughtfulness. Penchant gets that narrowed gaze next, but it's not nearly as intense as it could be. It's almost... sympathetic. Or even envious of not having that historical tie to try and drag you back.

In the end it results in just a sigh. "I'll be honest, Rodimus -- I can't even really answer that for ourselves. We.. don't know how sincere this desire to return is. If it is a part of the Hand's trickery." A pause. "Or because it is something we've wanted for so long that it's... obstructive to judgement."


Despite having rolled that particular chaos apple to shine golden between them, Rodimus seems surprised to see Penchant and Ravage immediately break. His expression twists, sympathetic. "Well that's something I hadn't even considered: that people might be compelled to return. Thanks, Ravage." His thanks is sarcastic. "I can't wait until everyone's crazy ideas are their own. That's a fair answer though. I'll save the rest, then. And we'll just focus on getting Soundwave back to himself."


Penchant grumbles. "I know exactly how this is going to end." He looks back to Rodimus. "I just thought I'd have more time. More time to... sway him. But he's got a one-track mind. And I sure /hope/ its obstructed judgment, Ravage. I shouldn't be surprised, yeah? Poor, clueless civilian." He seems to be venting, but it's not /quite/ directed at the black cat.

Glit shifts uneasily. "Thanks for helping, Rodimus."


That response gets another flat glare from Ravage, but honestly he doesn't have it in him to verbally duel with Rodimus. Not when there's more important matters at hand. And he doesn't really expect either of them to understand fully how deeply this could hurt him. Kind of why he usually keeps such things to himself. Or to the one source that right now he doesn't actually have to confide in. Which may be part of the reason he's not his usual cat-snarky self. Ravage just huffs faintly as he turns to walk behind the desk and hop up into what is typically Soundwave's chair. "Despite what many may think about us, we're not going to blindly run off wherever Soundwave does. Give us enough credit for that."


Rodimus exchanges a look with Glit, looking for a line out: help, he's in over his head. He looks between Penchant and Ravvage with a last nod. "I do, actually. You've got my credit and my respect, and I'll flag your comms for high priority for when this all goes down. Let me know if you need anything else." With that, he makes his escape, sliding out while he can.

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