2018-03-12 Who Failed Who
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Who Failed Who|
|Location||Starbit Park - Rigard|
|Summary||Lieutenant helps Starstruck out with something that's been bothering him.|
Smack in the center of the Southern District is a ovaline park beside the lakeshore, it's winding metallic paths occasionally leading down to the water. Walkways curve around abstract sculptures, lit by rows of low lamp posts that give off an amber glow. Benches are interspersed amongst the carefully cared for potted trees, which sport leaves that almost seem iridescent. A multi-tiered fountain bubbles day and night, and within are shanix coins, catching the light against the tiles.
With Tempo currently folded up all ship-shape (GET IT), there's no sign of sun or sky, but if you're lucky and you find a window, you might catch a glimpse of stars.
Tempo is not the best place for flying. After millions of year of being unable to do it naturally, one cannot complain of the limitations. Lieutenant just keeps to circling lazily around, in between buildings, transforming in and out of alt to practice his his reaction time. Primes, he truly is rusty if he has to transform back into alt 115 feet from the ground.
As he circles around he spies a familiar bus and neighbor down below. "This is just happenstance." Lieutenant tells Prowl, who isn't even here, but if he was, he needs to know. The avian flies lower before transforming some yards away from his friend, "Starstruck."
Starstruck is walking. He's trekked the course of his apartment complex, then to the thoroughfare, and finally has taken to making a circuit of the park. His antennae are lowered slightly, an alien frown crossing his features. He's deep in thought, and it takes him a moment to realize someone's spoken to him. Someone whose voice is very familiar.
"Lieu." The itense expression melts into something more friendly as Starstruck gives a little wave. "Hey. What's up?"
"I was," Lieutenant replies bluntly as he approaches the mech, "then I landed." His head tilts some at Starstruck's expression. How it changed so smoothly as though he had been smiling all along. Honestly, it is incredibly impressive. "Something on your mind? You seemed deep in thought." Especially considering a large jet was landing near him. You don't ignore something like that when you're not distracted.
"Ha! Nice one." Starstruck's antennae flick closer to their default as he chuckles and shakes his head. "You were flying? That's great! I wasn't sure if, uh, you could now that...anyway!"
Closing the distance between them, Star reaches to give one of Lieutenant's fins a quick, fond tweak. "Me? Nah. Just taking a walk, is all." His smile widens. Look how convincing he is. "How've you been?"
The avian stifles a titter as he pulls his shoulder up to protect his fins. Starstruck, please. Lieutenant glares at the mech but more of a 'I am incredibly amused with your adorable antics but I know this is a cover' sort of glare. "Taking a walk." he parrots, hand clasped behind his back, "Mind if I join you for a bit?" Not that he really has a set job or place to be for the next several hours.
"All in all, fine." Lieutenant adds, "How about yourself?"
The grin hitches up further on one side, turning crooked. "Not at all." Starstruck turns, waits for Lieutenant to start following him, and is quiet for a few moments, just enjoying the presence of his friend and how it eases some of the conflict in his mind. Eventually, though, he glances toward Lieutenant and belatedly answers, "Oh, you know, same old same old. I'm wondering, though, are you gonna be part of that whole Luna 1 thing? I know you don't have to, but..."
The walk is calming. Not as thrilling as flying but at least this you can do with a friend. It's almost the same feeling. Starstruck brings up the Luna 1 mission which gains, surprisingly, no reaction from the avian. "I want to be." he admits, "Perhaps we could gain major footing against the Harbingers but, the moral cost." He looks over at Starstruck, "You have yet to enlist..."
"Moral cost?" Starstruck tilts his head, slows his pace. "I...I haven't decided yet. I guess. I want to be there and helping, but every time I think about it, I..." His hand rises to his badge, fingers curling around the raised edges of it. An internal piece of metal that isn't supposed to be exposed like this, and yet has weathered more than he thought when he joined. "I don't know. It feels wrong, somehow, to fight under him. After everything we've been through on the Lost Light."
Lieutenant isn't going to elaborate on his on comments, sorry Star. The avian stops a pace ahead of the bus, his optics trailing down to the badge. "You have been picking at your badge since our return from the mission." he states, noticing the differences over time. His optics look down, glancing over where his own badge once was. "Seven years of ceasefire, yet it still seems as though it were yesterday we dropped our weapons. We change. We wanted to remain a part of the Lost Light rather than rejoin Megatron or Orion, and now it may seem like that is taken away from us." Who knows if this really is temporary.
Starstruck glances down, and immediately drops his hand. "I...yeah. That's kind of how it is, isn't it. And Megatron said that any Decepticons who didn't come back were traitors. It's hard to still wear this badge and face him, after that. After..." His right fang appears, pressing down into his lip, gaze focusing on nothing in the distance. "You know I told Blackstorm that we could make the Decepticon name mean something great, that we could do what we were supposed to do when Megatron started us. But after seeing him come back, after seeing what he's doing...I don't know if that's true."
Lieutenant remembers Megatron's message. Especially in comparison to Orion's and Windblade's it was through fear that he called them. His gaze returns to the badge on Star's chest. "It could have made a difference," he quietly agrees, "But not with Megatron. Just as the Autobots would not have been with Orion." Optimus Prime was a brave soldier, but Lieutenant was never entirely fond of the mech. That was just him. "Starstruck we have what we fought for, both factions. The reality is fighting to keep that despite the badge you wear, if any."
Lieutenant steps in front of the mech, looking straight through the visor as though he could see the optics behind it, "What does that badge mean to you, Starstruck? Truly?"
Said optics widen, hidden as they are by the visor. Starstruck's fingers twitch at his side. "It means...a better future. A place where mechs don't die because they didn't want the shitty lives their alt modes stuck them in. A place where everyone is treated fairly, where--" An image of Starburst, the faintest hint of a smile where he usually frowns, "--where new ideas are considered, instead of destroyed."
Star's voice drops in volume, and he rubs at the base of one of his antennae. "That's what we were supposed to be fighting for. And I know I did some fucked up shit as a pirate, but it was, it was supposed to help the cause, you know? And now I feel like...we're never going to get there. The 'Cons aren't going to get there."
<FS3> Lieutenant rolls Memory: Good Success. (3 6 2 3 7 1 3 7 1 6 6 6 2 2)
Oh Starstruck. Lieutenant hesitates as it could be true, he could be right. As an Autobot, Lieutenant could agree that no, the Decepticons aren't going to get there. Even with Starscream in power. As he begins to lower his head, his memory recalls.
"The Deceptions did not win the war," he states, "Yet the ideals you all fought for were of Decepticon origin. In who's interest do exercise you power? To whom are you accountable? How can we get rid of you? Optimus Prime answered those questions Megatron asked long ago. And in Towards Peace, instead of looking at others in What are they for? What are they like? we now ask, What do they do? What are their hopes, dreams, aspirations? ... We have a right to decide how we live our lives." Lieutenant points directly at the badge, "Megatron may not be the same mech who wrote his promise of a better life, but it is a Decepticon legacy. One you fought for. One you now have."
"Starstruck, you got there."
Starstruck goes quiet, and as he listens his hand creeps of its own accord back to his chest, to his badge. His antennae flick back, yet by the end of Lieutenant's speech he's smiling again - soft, grateful. A little struck with something else. "You really think so?" he asks, barely above a whisper. "I just wish--well. No use wishing, huh? I'm just not sure how to reconcile that with what we are now. What Megatron keeps doing. But I feel like...if I leave..." More lip chewing. "If I leave, doesn't that betray everything I did? Everything we did?"
Lieutenant places a hand where his badge once rested. "The more walls you can put up between people, the easier it is to contain them, and the stronger the structural integrity of the system. And it is true. People would be unnerved-at first. While he may say that about the Functionists, Megatron is repeating that within the faction." Unintentionally or not, who knows, "If you leave, they may call you traitor, they may ostracize you, but you are not betraying what you did."
Lieutenant looks sorrowfully at the Decepticon badge. His memories of Tormentor's last moments at the hands of the D.J.D. "If anything, they betrayed you." he states heavily.
Starstruck clutches at his badge, looks helplessly at Lieutenant. "But...Megatron is the movement, do I have any right...?" He trails off, sighs, shakes his head. "Sorry, I got really heavy on you there. I know your experience with the Cons isn't...the best. After what they did..." He rubs unconsciously at the badge now, palm firm in its pushes. "I have to make a decision, I guess."
"I have a lot of good experiences to recall on too, despite the war." Most of them from his own crew. Some from watching other Decepticons interact and particularly on the Lost Light. "You can always get heavy on to me about anything Starstruck," Lieutenant assures, "I do not need to see a smile every time we meet. I want to help and support you, as well as anyone; even during tough decisions." That's what makes him happy, even if he doesn't express it. Well, he does a little considering how his audial fins flutter.
"This isn't the kind of thing I want to be heavy on you about," Starstruck says automatically, flirtation beating seriousness. His next grin is apologetic, his laugh sheepish, even as he's taken in by those fluttering fins. "You know I don't...I don't wanna bring anybody down. You're my friend! I wanna see you smiling, or enjoying yourself, 'cause I know you do even when you're not smiling--but. Thanks, Lieu. That means a lot."
There he goes, making flirtations in serious discussions. Lieutenant 'tsks' as curtly as he can, but comes off more amused than intended. "You are such a bean." he sighs, shaking his helm. Stepping closer to the mech, "I am your friend, as you are mine. Your outbursts and conflicting mean just as much to me as spending time watching cliche movies and pointing out continuity errors in a television show."
The corner of Lieutenant's mouth turns upward, "But you are welcome."
"A bean? Really?" Starstruck laughs again, and then Lieutenant steps closer. His impulse control remains nonexistent, as he lifts a hand to coast the backs of his fingers over Lieu's cheek before quickly dropping it. "Outbursts? Outbursts?! You wound me." He takes a step back, dramatically bringing both hands to his chest. "I don't have outbursts!"
Lieutenant's cheek turn pink, making his freckles stand out prominently. Fortunately, for the avian's own reputation, the caress is short-lived as Starstruck steps back. His optic ridge raises smugly, "So last time in my apartment was just a sudden volume hiccup?" He puts a finger to his lips, looking up at the sky (ceiling) as though going through his memories. "I would even twist the wound to say you are doing it now." Tap taps his finger against his mouth. "Bean."
"Hey, c'mon, I'm not gonna tell you anything anymore if you're just gonna make fun of me." Starstruck's expression turns pained, hands falling to his sides. "I open my spark to you and this is what I get! Can't believe. Cannot believe it!"
That tapping finger, in the midst of this, cannot be ignored, and Starstruck makes awkward move number two as he grabs for Lieutenant's hand. He meant to do--something. Kiss those fingers, maybe. He stops halfway through and instead gives Lieutenant's hand a squeeze. "You've gotta work on your insults."
He's a sparkless mech but not emotionally. Lieutenant takes pity on Star and relents, taking it with a tone more serious. "Does not mean I do not wish to see more."
Starstruck effortlessly flusters the avian all over again, even more upon taking his hand. Lieutenant looks at them, feeling his audial receptors even beginning to heat up. This might be going somewhere, but whatever Star intended turned into a squeeze. The avian bites his lip, as he squeezes back some. With a huff to reset himself from his daze, he looks the mech dead in the optics and leans closer to his face.
"You are a banana."
"A WHAT?" Starstruck laughs aloud, now, drops Lieutenant's hand, leans back and lets out a deep, bellowing laugh. "A banana? Are you---WHAT? Do you even know what a banana is?" The laughing continues, growing louder, Starstruck's hand now finding support on Lieutenant's shoulder. His knees go weak, trickles of watery energon slide from beneath the visor over his cheeks, and eventually he ends up bending double. "A, a, a ba, banana," he wheezes, "I'm a banana, holy, holy shit, Lieu--"
Lieutenant just stands there.
This is about the reaction Cosmos gave as well, but he thought it was pretty insulting. Starstruck's uncontrolled laughter is actually incredibly charming to see. He finds himself miraculous able to keep a straight face throughout. Even if his fins and wings flutter in a motion of mirth as well. Lieutenant nonchalantly pat pats Star's hand on his shoulder before the mech doubles over.
"So you are a banana?" More stating the question than asking, as Lieutenant reaches to wipe the energon from Starstruck's cheek with his thumb, "This is my understanding of the word."
It's the hand on his cheek that stills him, Starstruck slowly straightening as he leans into it. "No, Lieu, it's - it's an organic fruit, from Earth. Yellow skin around a white fruit. It's not an insult, not even to humans, it's just, just a food." The chuckles last a bit longer, Starstruck's antennae flicking, as he gently lays his hand over Lieutenant's...and then swallows, and pulls both away. "You wanna go get a smoothie or something? There's a place in the southern district, got real good shit."
To be fair, he never did ask what the meaning was, but he would have liked to have been informed! A matter for a later time, as Lieutenant eventually pulls his hand from Star's. The avian nods in agreement to go. After all, this is still just a happenstance meeting. That's all. Nothing more.