From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Participants||Minimus Ambus, Soundwave|
|Summary||Minimus drives Soundwave home after the HEIST. No fish were harmed in the making of this log.|
Minimus is an adequate enough get away driver, quickly getting them out of Caetilax's base of operations inside a titan's dead head and into deep space. No one seems to be following them and after some time, they can begin to relax. Though, probably best to remain a little wary. They did just pull one over on a Quintesson and its doubtful they like being double-crossed.
As Minimus tracks their way home through deep space, Soundwave is able to uncurl from wherever he managed to get himself on the ship. He has no recollection as to how he got here, exactly, and begins the slow process of getting himself to his feet. There's very few sounds in space, leaving only the ship and Minimus to dog at his mind. Its a painful if manageable set of noises.
Soundwave bumps into a few things before finding the seat beside the pilot and collapsing into it. There's little dignity in the action. He continues to hold his head in his hands, tentacles moving to present the clunky Quintesson device to Minimus. Look, mission was a success. "Thank you, for helping," he says quietly.
"You made me an /accomplice/," Minimus points out from his perch in the pilot seat. He cants his head at an angle, eyeing Soundwave from beneath the furrow of his plated brow. His lips turn down at the corner, his shoulders set in a rigid line against the seat in the cockpit, although this is not actually all that different from how he sits in any chair, ever.
"Are you... recovered?" he asks, a little more cautiously and less crabbily.
Soundwave eases back in his chair, offlining his visor. "It is the only way to deal with an extortionist like that," he says, not sounding all that sorry about making Minimus a criminal. "We are lucky she fell for that ploy. Fraud, better than murder."
Soundwave's tentacle sets the device in his lap, curling up around it. The other hovers about. Their biolights blink erratically, painfully. "No, it is Shockwave's gift after all. It will worsen the closer to civilization we get until I obtain another inhibitor. But it is quiet here, in space. With just you." His thumbs rub harshly at his temples. The hovering cord slithers through the air, a little closer to Minimus. "I helped to keep contact with Rodimus. May I--?"
Minimus Ambus 's first reaction to this request is a flinch. He stares uncertainly at the tentacle like it is something weird and alien, which as far as first responses go may not be entirely shocking. Rodimus looms large for him in this conversation, too, and although he has attained a better equilibrium on the subject than previously, the bundled emotions that are linked to the name are not conducive to the continuing quiet.
"Er," he says, but there's no point in insisting on a privacy that doesn't exist, and what is the harm. His fingers close into a fist, and then he opens them, deliberately, and turns his hand out. "I cannot imagine that Rodimus is a restful companion for you," he says.
Soundwave's backstrut shudders from sudden feedback. Minimus's emotional state warring with the humdrum of the ship and his own thoughts and feelings. So, as soon as Minimus extends the offer, the tentacle places itself in his palm and he visibly seems to relax. The end of the tentacle itself almost feels delicate with its sharp, dainty grabby claws.
"Thank you," Soundwave repeats. He onlines his visor again, to its lowest setting, to look at Minimus. Yes, definitly better. "Not in a traditional sense, no. Rodimus is not. He cannot sit still, it is highly amusing. But his company, much appreciated. Helpful."
Minimus opens his mouth to say something, and then closs it again. All he says is, "Hrm," in lieu of a clearer response. He frowns unseeingly at the controls of the ship, which are largely automated at this point since the course has already been laid in and the guidance systems permitted to take over. Uneasy, he resettles himself in the pilot seat, and his brow furrows a little more deeply.
No matter how much closure he gets, it seems as though some of this is doomed to be unresolved. He resists the urge to probe at the sore place and just sits there, tensely, not thinking about Drift's gossip and trying not to think about his last intimate conversation with Rodimus, either. What's left is the undeniable ache he hasn't surpassed, lonely, jealous, fruitlessly restless.
This is a really long pose for a monosyllabic grunt.
Soundwave stares at Minimus briefly before he turns to look out the shuttle's windshield. His visor is just a hazy, red glow within the glass. "Rodimus is not 'flirting' with me," he informs Minimus.
Metal rattles against metal as he draws himself up. He says, "How do you know." His voice has gone tight and thin and straight up accusatory as he demands, "Would you notice if he were?"
"Rodimus and I had a recent discussion about this," Soundwave says matter-of-factly as he presses his palm to an audio. Hnn. "He avoided me as to not 'lead me on' with anything percieved as 'flirting'." There's a chance Soundwave still isn't entirely sure what leading on or flirting would look like. But Rodimus said this and that's enough for him. "But you make a fair point, there is a chance I would not know. Minimus, how does Rodimus 'flirt'? If I know, I can avoid as much in the future."
Minimus Ambus cringes a little more visibly and then slouches forward in the pilot seat, his arms folding across his chest as he wilts down in a slow slide of limbs. "Ugh," he says. "Never mind. If it has no impact on you one way or the other it hardly matters, does it." He shifts again, lacing his fingers behind his neck and staring down at the floor between his knees. His scarlet gaze is hard and sharp even aimed at nothing whatsoever. It's a little like gnawing on his own innards. He says, "It's stupid, anyway. Everything about this is foolishness."
"It impacts me." Soundwave sits up a little straighter before his lean can put a kink in his back strut. "If Rodimus believes he's flirting, he will begin to avoid me in an effort to reduce emotional harm as he believes he's caused you and Drift again. And his absence is a more harmful alternative... Knowing his common methods of 'flirt' would help. But..." He chances a glance to Minimus despite the ache behind his optics. "Query: Why does discussing this make you angry?"
Minimus Ambus opens his mouth. He closes his mouth. He stares incredulously at Soundwave for a moment. "You really don't know," he says. It's not ... quite ... a question.
"I'm not asking because I don't know," Sounwave says softly. "Sometimes, I like to hear the answer spoken out loud." Beat. "Would you be less angry if you thought he was 'flirting' with someone else? And not me."
"No." Minimus stares at his hands. "It's not about you. It's probably not even about him, Soundwave. I'm incredibly self-absorbed and petty." The hands fold into fists and he leans forward, bracing them against the edge of the console. He considers saying nothing else, just leaving it there, to lie like the dead fish of incomplete honesty stinking up the kitchen of this conversation.
"I miss him," Minimus says very quietly. "And I resent the idea of that. And I'm so angry with him for deciding for both of us. And I'm--." He breaks off. "It doesn't matter, I suppose. I never wanted to indulge those feelings in the first place. I'm angry that it hurt me. I'm angry that it keeps hurting me. I'm angry that I allowed it. Allow it."
Soundwave chuff and he instantly has regrets. His vents cycle down before he turns his head towards Minimus this time. "Do you believe you feel this way because a part of you feels as if you are unloveable?"
Minimus Ambus stares at Soundwave, his face gone quite, quite blank.
Soundwave holds Minimus's gaze but he's the first to blink, looking down at the Quintesson tech in his lap. "I understand feeling that," he almost whispers, voice shaking like it used to when he was a young, abandoned little outlier. "I often fear that I am. Unloveable."
Minimus's silence softens somehow, growing into something more like a considering hush than a stark bleakness, but he stays quiet, turning over potential answers to this in his mind without speaking them. He wobbles between empathy and uncertainty, tact and its lack, and dismisses everything that smacks of platitude.
"I struggle with emotion," he says, looking down. "Irrationality. Absurdity. The break of dignity. I try to put it into words, and occasionally that helps. An image that eludes... I can sometimes capture it. Force it into line. Shape it. Forge order from the chaos inside my own spark.
"Wrath is incomplete. Fear is insufficient. Loss is ... empty. There are too many things to feel and not enough logic to fend them off with. I've been trying for centuries."
Minimus finally turns his scarlet eyes back to Soundwave. He says, "Love is a stupid word."
Soundwave almost chuckles and instead just bleats a flat note. "I have never done well with them either- my own or others'. I was seeing and feeling emotions before I knew what they were. Now I can label them- but understand?" A tentacle waves in the air. Nope, nada. "I'm sorry you struggle. But I must admit, it nice knowing I am not alone."
The back of Soundwave's head clanks against his seat and he groans, the tap turned blunt force trauma in his condition. "Agreed. Love has made me... Well, you are writing an indictment about that. It hurts an incredible amount. At least Rodimus doesn't believe you pathetic. He has the highest opinion of you- I hear about it often... If that helps."
"It doesn't," Minimus Ambus says quietly. "It isn't enough. The thing is..."
What is the thing?
"--The thing is that it was never enough. Any time you tell yourself, 'this will be enough, this will satisfy me,' it is not true. There are moments of satisfaction, moments of pure contentment, ... some that I will treasure until I am dead. But ... then they pass, and reality sets back in."
Soundwave's visor dims. "Agreed," he says with a small incline of his head. "Its never enough. I'm never enough. Perhaps that is why I'm able to live with a part of me hollow." His deck ch-chugs as the lock initiates. He vents. "We'll never be satisfied, then. We just have to readjust our perceptual perameters of reality to this fact and maybe... Love will hurt a little less."
Minimus cants his head to one side, glancing back at Soundwave with a wry twist to his mouth. He asks, "Do you think so?" Then he turns back to the controls, leaning backwards again in the seat with a slightly defeated wilt of his shoulders. He says, "I have never been very good at adjusting my parameters of reality."
"If Shockwave can do it," Soundwave says with a certain amount of petty bite to his words, "then we certainly can too. But better. And less annoyingly." Beat. "I hate Shockwave. If Unicron does not kill us, I would enjoy attempting to gain some satisfaction with you in hunting him down... I suppose you'd want to arrest him."
Minimus Ambus gives Soundwave a sardonic look. "Yes," he says. "Assassination continues to be against my preferences. Surprise."
Soundwave vents tersely. Clearly, a mech behind MANY planned assassinations- including the successful ones of the old Senate- has little qualms with those who deserve it. "That would do, I suppose. Are you against execution if found guilty of-- of his many crimes." He goes quiet.
"Certainly not." Minimus Ambus lifts his chin. "A convicted criminal who is sentenced according to the law has earned what comes to him."
The subtext lies between them for a moment like another dead and stinking fish.
Then Minimus says, "But I would leave that to the sentencing court."
Soundwave nods slowly. Solemnly. His visor winks out and he puts his arms over his head. "I need to prepare for our arrival. I'll need your assistance once more, if you do not mind me asking. I'm afraid I'll be of less help to myself on Cybertron than with the Quintesson."
"I will help," Minimus assures him gravely, with a flicker of his glance over Soundwave, and then he turns to the controls so that he, too, can prepare for their arrival. It requires much less internal fortitude than what Soundwave has to do, though.