2017-12-15 Prime Pun Here

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Prime Pun Here
Date 2017/12/15
Location Hound's Office
Participants Hound, Rodimus
Summary Rodimus asks Hound about Prime.

It's Rodimus's nature to find rather than be found, and however much his workload might have gone up with Drift and Soundwave's ... absences ... he's still a roamer. He roams his way right to Hound's office -- this isn't far; it's less impressive than it sounds -- to lean in the doorway and call, "Hey, Hound? Totally actually serious question for you, this time I mean it."

Rodimus seems to have caught Hound in the middle of working very intently at nothing. He flinches when Rodimus calls out to him, jerking his attention up from the datapad in front of him in a move that jerks his hands across the desk. Luckily for both of them nothing goes flying when he does, though Hound wastes a couple moments making sure of that. "Oh, uh, sure," is his rather distracted answer. "What is it?"

Entering, Rodimus passes in a loop by the plants in their baskets and on the tables, lifting a few leaves to let them rest on the back of his fingers before eventually finishing making his way over. He drops into a seat in one of the chairs and hooks his leg over the arm as he settles in a crosswise leaning drape. He makes a face, passing his hand over his features as he says, "I feel -- I feel kind of stupid asking it this way, but. Orion Pax left and came back and we're calling him Optimus Prime. Why? What makes a Prime a Prime?"

Hound watches Rodimus make the rounds, especially when he gets close to the plants. There's a few moments where he's prepared to give warnings, but ultimately pulls back and watches Rodimus leave his poor plants alone and plop himself down in front of the desk, instead. The question has him frowning. "The mmmm--" he starts to say, then turns it into a hum halfway through, helm panels flicking. "Well, it used to be the Matrix. What we thought was the Matrix. It just feels weird to call him Orion Pax after so long... Why?"

"Windblade called me Rodimus Prime when we were on a rescue, which got the survivors paying attention, sure, but--." Rodimus grimaces, looking back. "I told her that I'm not and haven't ever been Rodimus Prime. Not really. But we got to talking about Prime, about what it meant to her and what it still means to a lot of people. I told her to ask people what it meant to them. She challenged me to do the same. So here I am."

"Sounds like something Windblade would do," Hound says, the tiniest edge of a smile on his faceplates. "She likes that whole, 'I'll do it if you'll do it too.'" Then Hound pauses, shuffles around some datapads on the desk so he can put his arms on it and lean forward ever so slightly. "So you're not asking me about the past? I know I've lived through a couple Primes but I'm not some kind of historian or anything."

Rodimus rubs his face, over and again, with two fingers dragging light against the metal around his eyes and down the edge of his helm. "I don't know. Past, future. Matrix-bearers used to be called just that in the time of the Knights: Matrix-bearers. Then there were the tribes, the thirteen Primes, then Nova and every Prime that followed. I even know about Optimus. I was there -- we were there, when he found the Matrix, and became Optimus Prime. The other Primes were dead. And if it's the Matrix that makes a Prime, why are we calling him one?" There's another question in there, one he doesn't quite ask, as he looks away instead.

Hound just-- shrugs, kind of helplessly. "Because a Prime's a leader, I guess. That's what you're supposed to do when you have the Matrix. Sure, there was the senate, but we always had the Prime, too, no matter how that turned out. Orion Pax was a leader too, but when he got the Matrix it proved it." Hound's claws tap briefly at the desk. "It doesn't seem right to stop calling him Prime, anyway. You don't really... get demoted from being Prime."

After a slight pause, Rodimus drops his feet and drags himself upright, sitting a little taller in the seat. Right. Feet on the floor. One can almost see the reminder tracking behind his eyes. "The Senate named a series of Primes using a fake Matrix -- Primes that we still remember as Primes even now, even knowing it wasn't really. So it wasn't the Matrix. Not just the Matrix, anyway, that makes someone a Prime, right? But it's not just the Senate, either, because Optimus. So without the Senate, without the Matrix, and despite the fact that he--" Rodimus breaks off, casting about for the right word, "--abdicated. Is the answer to you to 'what's a Prime' just ... 'Optimus'?"

Hound is frowning, his armor resettling down against his frame as he shifts his arms and shrugs. "I guess. Maybe he's just the first mech with the title I ever saw who really embodied everything I thought a Prime should be," he says. "He had the Matrix, he led us, he cared about Cybertron, not just about controlling it. I know he left because he thought it was the best thing to do, but that doesn't mean we don't look up to him anyway." Hound falls silent again, letting his optics drop. He didn't exactly do a good job of denying Rodimus's point there.

Rodimus nods, half to himself, as he mentally ticky boxes that question as answered. Then, watching Hound, his expression softens and he leans forward. He reaches for him, standing from his seat, and clasps his shoulder. "If the Hand -- Quints, whatever -- really have their fingers in him, we'll chop off every last tentacle. I promise. We look up to him for a reason. I don't like seeing someone trying to turn our respect, our affection into a weapon."

"Prowl doesn't want him in charge," Hound observes, with a sigh. He doesn't lean into the hand on his shoulder, exactly, but he does brace up with the contact. "Especially not right now. Which I get, but it doesn't exactly feel right. And I don't think Prowl will be happy with him coming back, either. But I think it's our responsibility to him to bring him back." He manages to crack a smile. "Not that it's your problem or anything, I know you're not Autobot command any more."

Rodimus squeezes Hound's shoulder, then drops his hand. He doesn't sit back down again, but his stance settles, easy and loose. He smiles back, just as faint. "I might not be Autobot command, but that doesn't mean I'll walk away from Optimus if he needs help. Even if he doesn't want it. What are you guys doing about the fact that he's pulling people together, then? Who is Autobot command?"

"I didn't think you would," Hound assures Rodimus, slightly more relaxed now. "And we're doing it Committee style-- me, Prowl, Minimus. We're not exactly the charismatic forefront of the Autobots. I could probably manage, except. You know." Leadership hangups, those are still a thing. Hound shrugs, sheepishly. "We probably would have shoved it at you, you know."

Surprise wars with a wince, neither quite winning before Rodimus blands, "Wow, that sounds pretty dire, then. What are you gonna do when -- if, when -- Optimus claims he's the leader of the Autobots?"

"Says the bot who's managed to keep this entire ship from blowing itself up, or from killing each other," Hound says with a snort. "Anyway, we're trying to say he needs time to recover from the. Sim thing. It just needs to last long enough that we can drag him down to Vector Sigma, anyway."

Rodimus laughs in a short bark: "That'll be more impressive when this ship can fly again. But -- thanks." He fingerguns at Hound as he heads backward toward the door. "Let's get him down there sooner rather than later, then. Thanks for the talk."

"Uh, sure? I don't know how much help I was," Hound says, but then again, Rodimus at least got answers to his questions. "We'll be working on it."

He doesn't fingergun back. Maybe some day.

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