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2018-05-11 A Whole New World to Explore

From Transformers: Lost and Found

A Whole New World to Explore
Date 2018/05/11
Location Cybertron
Participants Hound, Torque
Summary Torque brings Hound out to a set of coordinates that mean a lot to her.

Cybertron is so much different, the landscape changed since the planet reawakened and reverted back to its original formations. And while some of the landscape has proven hostile, Torque and Hound have been careful enough to avoid those spots in their journey to a particular location. But despite the change, Torque has always had the coordinates memorized even if the mountain she had hoped to find was now a sprawling cayon landscape.

Torque is venting both from the climb and the warmth of the area as the two climb the last leg up one of the larger escarpments, eventually rolling onto her back once she reaches the top. "Okay.. phew.. This is where the coordinates are. Just gotta.. cool off a sec.."

Whenever there's a chance of going out into the wilds with a friend, Hound is hardly one to refuse it, no matter how rough and forbidding the terrain. This particular trip, though, he wouldn't have even thought to say no to. Even when the terrain they've come across has proven even more forbidding than Torque's initial description made of it. He pulls himself up over the cliff edge only a few moments after Torque does, his usual vivid green more of an olive color now thanks to the dust and rust streaked over his plating. "Phew," he says, lowering himself into a kneel, though he doesn't end up flopped down the way Torque is. "Much more climbing and I think I might end up with my claws filed down."

With forearms crossing overtop her optics and forehead, Torque smirks at his comment. "Better than clippin' 'em, at least." Withdrawing one arm, she finally reveals her optics and fixes him with an apologetic smile. "Sorry 'bout the trek. Last time this place was a mountain, not a gorge." With a soft grunt she pulls herself up to sit, looking just as dusty as he, and looks out over the landscape. Orange and brown may seem drab, but the variety of shades layered over another mixed with jagged shadows make quiet a view.

"It kinda looks like it got completely inverted.. Last time I was here you could see the crystal forest below and there was maybe about one hour in the day when the light hit the trees just right to make them look like a sea of diamonds. It was really something.." Her voice trails, wistful while looking out, as if trying to overlay her memory with what she's seeing now.

But she doesn't let herself get too swept up in her thoughts, sighing softly and looking over to Hound with a light smile. "But this is really pretty, too. Thanks for coming with me, Hound. I just wanted to visit one last time.. y'know?"

"We knew it was a risk, coming out here," Hound says with a shrug. he reaches out to pat Torque's shoulder as he looks out over the canyons and twisting passages that they've just worked their way through. "It's hard to find a part of Cybertron that isn't changed one way or another. It takes a strong will to see what's become of it." Even before the planet came back with a vengance, but Hound doesn't say that. Instead he looks out over the rugged landscape and says, "It's kind of nice, to think that there's a whole planet to be discovered all over again, don't you think?"

"I just wish we actually had the time to explore it all." Torque notes, trying to hide the disappointment on the back of her words. "I know we have Tempo's gun and the Matrix, but I mean.. It's still all up in the air. We're going up against what could be called a god and I'm--" She bites her tongue before she can finish that. Can she fully admit to what she was about to say next? When she's usually supposed to be the strong one? "I just.. I dunno. It's a lot."

Leaving it there for the moment, Torque grunts and moves to stand before searching the immediate area for stones and metalloid rocks. "It's just.. how is it you live for nearly five million years and you still feel like there's a lot you can still do?" She questions without looking to him, brows knit faintly and mouth skewed around dismayed words while collecting an armful of stones. Once full, she brings them back to set down on a particular spot.

Hound squeezes Torque's pauldron, briefly, before she's getting to her feet and moving away. "I know," he says, watching her with slightly dimmed optics. "I think of it as something to hold onto. Millions of years, and there's a reason to keep fi--" He cuts himself off with a slight, staticky cough. "Living. Something to keep living for, I mean." He shakes his helm and starts pushing himself to his feet, audial panels twitching down as if to lay flat against his helm. "Um. Anything I can do to help?"

Torque opens her mouth to say something back, but the words don't quite want to come out, prompting her to close it again and look to him, realizing how she's just leaving him hanging there. "..Help me build something for him?" She asks, forcing herself to relent from doing it herself. He's here with her, so she shouldn't shoulder this on herself even if she wants to.

By the time they've gathered a sufficient amount of stones, Torque takes to kneeling at the intended spot and starts stacking the stones in a particular way to form a cairn. "..Sorry if I'm being weird." The medic mutters eventually, pausing to look over a metallic rock in hand. "Being here again on Cybertron.. It stirs up a lot. And all this damn Unicron stuff.. I wanna win, I do, but.. I'm scared." The final word is embarrassing, Torque never enjoying admitting such.

A glance is stolen his way, though should he look back she'll turn optics back to the stone. "I'm scared of what I stand to lose now. Mirage, Lieutenant, everyone I've met since joining... and you."

"Of course," Hound answers her, a small, sad flicker of a smile tracing his faceplates as he watches her. "I'm here to help." And help he does, though he lapses mostly into silence as they start collecting materials. After a while, it becomes a process, picking out the right shapes, grabbing and stacking a few, then carrying them back to their growing pile. If it weren't for the weight of the task, it might even be relaxing. Wordlessly, Hound settles in next to Torque as she starts to build. Rather than undertake the construction itself, he starts arranging the rocks and metal they've gathered, sorting out the pieces by their length and heft, then handing them over to Torque whenever she needs another.

Maybe it's the repetitive nature of it that keeps Hound from responding for a few moments after Torque speaks, though his audials prick as soon as the words leave her mouth. He hands Torque one final rock, then settles his forearms on his knees, staring down at his hands as he laces his fingers together.

"I think we're all a little scared," Hound says slowly. "This is bigger than anything we've ever faced before."

"..Honestly, it feels like the biggest thing ever. I can't really say anything could top this. I mean, I could be wrong, but I can't think of much else." Torque muses and slots the stone neatly in its little niche. Admiring it for a moment, she eventually shifts to cross legs, hands hanging loosely atop her knees as she looks over him.

A few beats of silence stretch by, the only sound coming from the surronding nature and the light breeze sweeping across the canyon walls below. It's just them here, and with the window for words starting to close with Unicron's approach Torque decides now's the time to say hers before the fear swallows her up and she regrets it.

"..I like you, Hound." Even with a soft voice, the words still cut through the natural sounds around them. "I just thought you should know.. in case this all goes south." She wasn't really planning on telling him this for a while, if ever, but it comes spilling out regardless and has her cheeks turning a soft shade of pink now that it's said. Lower lip bitten in a bit of embarrassment, unsure if she should've even said it, Torque looks back out to the canyon to avoid his optics until she can wrestle back her thoughts.

"It probably is," Hound agrees. He tenses his fingers, clenching them around each other, glancing up at Torque and then down, then out across the canyon once again. He can't seem to decide where he wants his optics to settle, and his audial panels are almost as restless, flicking at even the slightest slide of plating or the whisper of wind over their perch. Working up to say something, maybe, except that Torque manages to speak first, and take all the words right out of his processor.

"Torque," he stumbles over his glossa to say it, his optics wide and bright as his helm jerks up. His optics are wide and bright, but he hesitates, searching over her faceplates as if that will help him find what he wants to say. It might even do that, because he eventually speaks, just as softly as Torque did. "You know I don't want to replace what Geode was, right?"

It may not be the biggest news in the world, but it's still nice to say. Something about making those thoughts audible is.. relieving. Torque feels lighter for it, like there's just a little less in her collection of regrets in life. With all that's being dredged up in her mind about her past here, and the unknown future looming overhead, she decided latches onto this moment to help ground her. It's real and it's what she needs right now.

"You won't." She replies as a hand reaches to slip over one of his and lace fingers, finally gaining enough courage to look up and meet those bright blue optics with warm ambers, antennas bobbing subtly. "I promise, you won't. Nobody can be replaced or compared. But that doesn't mean I should like you less.. I like you for you, Hound." A kind smile and gentle squeeze of his hand solidifies her point. It hardly takes any coaxing on Torque's part to get Hound to stop fidgeting with his own hands and let her knit theirs together. He's careful as she does, wary as he always is of the claws, but he returns the gesture by smiling himself, a little grin that grows as she speaks. "I just wanted to be sure. You know what you want and all, but..." He shrugs, his ears flick, and he returns that hand hold with a quick squeeze of his own. "I like you myself, but I don't want to think of it like it has to be the end just because Unicron is hanging over our heads."

"..Well, even though I'm still pretty scared for what's gonna happen, I guess we'll just have to see what's left once this is over and go from there, yeah?" It's about all they can do, after all. Smiling softly, Torque looks back out across the canyons stretched out before them, keeping a hold on him as she leans into his side comfortably to enjoy it. "I know we've both got stuff to do back at the ship, but.. y'think maybe we can stay out today? Explore and camp out tonight? I don't wanna go back just yet.."

There's a moment where Hound hesitates, clearly torn. He bites at his lip plates briefly, before he catches himself at it and covers up the fangs again. The one thing he doesn't do is pull away from Torque's hand in his, or her leaning against his armor. He does his best to shuffle it so that she's not leaning into any unexpectedly pointy bits, as he looks over the start to the cairn, and then the canyon beyond it. "I... If Ignition calls I need to go back," he says, apologetic. "But unless that happens, we can stay out here. For tonight."

Torque gives a soft hum of amusement under her vocals at his reply. "S'alright, I know." The mech gets a glance from the corner of her optics, smirking as she settles in after his shift. "I wanna finish this for Geode, at the very least. Anything after that is just a bonus." But at the very least they can enjoy a little bit of the view while they have the chance before getting back to work.

"Maybe after," Hound says, still apologetic, but he settles. If Torque can accept his answer, that's the most important part. And, really, if he's being honest with himself, he hopes that nothing will call him away. "Right," he says, leaning back against Torque a little, as they look out over the vista. "We can finish this. And maybe you can tell me a little more about him, as we do." But that can come later. For now, there's nothing more to do than watch Cybertron spread out, new and untamed, before them.

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