2018-05-16 A Death Sentence

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2018-05-16 A Death Sentence
Date 2018/05/16
Location Command Deck
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary Rodimus has an idea. A six.

The energon-pink shimmer of Rodimus's paint spills out past its lines to paint over the gold of his chest with black-scorched lines of blood and fire. He's been hip-deep in the relentless, unending assault right on the front lines, acting as a lit beacon of quite literal flame. The expenditure of fuel has burned his tanks and then his reserves dry.

He's unsteady on his feet by the time he finally realizes it's fuel or die, and he staggers to collapse into a seat next to Soundwave in the heart of Tempo's command. The light returns to Rodimus's gaze as he downs two cubes and starts on a third, beginning to ease back the pace. Around them, Tempo stands pointed toward the sky, as Unicron grows to swallow every inch of the horizon.

Colonists, Cybertronians, Decepticons, and Lost Lighters: it's a lot of lines of communication for Soundwave to handle, and the noise of it all could almost be overwhelming -- but a) he's used to that and b) the noise is a welcome distraction from the building pressure of Unicron's presence.

As Rodimus says, "Hey," and reaches out to nudge Soundwave's foot with his own, another damage report comes in across Soundwave's feed: the last attack that broke past the defensive line wiped out Tempo's targeting system.

Making sure communications stay up and command gets a steady flow of updates, Soundwave is as still as a statue. And nearly as silent as one. So when he speaks to make an update, it practically booms across the room with all the attention it garners. Requesting statuses from Quadrant 2, Section F, delegating the Eukarian squad along the east flank to the South, making sure all available flyers receives orders to engage aerial combat immediately-- its enough that he doesn't quite feel Rodimus's presence at first. The nudge, however, pulls him out of full communications hub mode.

Soundwave's visor flickers before onlining dimly. He turns his stiff neck to look down at Rodimus in his sorry state. He sighs and says, quietly, "You look terrible." Just plain awful. "How is-" His head snaps back up, visor paling as he gets an update. He stands. Sorry, Rodimus, you'll have to wait.

"Worms got through the barrier. They have damaged targeting systems- Tempo can no longer lock himself onto Unicron," Soundwave announces matter-of-factly. Its a grim diagnosis. The kind that weighs heavily on the shoulders of those who know it. In this situation, being unable to aim is... "Worms, still being dealt with. Reports streaming in- chances of full repair before Unicron is upon us is unlikely." ... A death sentence.

"Wow, I'm glad I didn't come down here to be complimented. 'You look terrible'. Please, I look amazing," Rodimus mutters to himself as distraction pulls Soundwave away from him. His grin is easy despite the gore painted across his frame. His smile might even be all the brighter set against that signed backdrop. He's relaxing toward a slump against Soundwave's console as the reports come through. Soundwave might be distracted, only half here, but just being around him lets Rodimus refuel in a sort of peace.

Then Soundwave goes and ruins that.

His words fall ice, freezing Rodimus's lines and threatening to congeal the fuel in his tanks. The knowledge and the implications bring his head up, his shoulders back, in a roil of -- yeah, okay. That's fear. But it breaks: not gone, but diminished by a certainty crystalizing from the fog.

Rodimus stands. He leaves the cube where he was sitting, no more than a mouthful of fuel left inside. He brushes his hand over his chest, fingers curling into the blankness where he once wore a badge. "I -- I've got an idea. I've ... got to go." He sounds a little surprised by that even as he says it. He has to go? Yeah, yeah, he has to go, he realizes, looking back at Soundwave. The edges of the idea, the outlines of the thoughts, hint at a plan painted all across his features and mind.

Soundwave stands tall, shoulders staying at perfect straight edge as those in the command room go silent. Somber. Despair. He feels it all embrace him, suffocate him. He drowns in defeat and he doesn't dare move or he might collapse. After all their efforts and its all for nothing. But in the dark comes a light- its warm and bright and gets right in his eyes. Rodimus has such a way of thinking- of feeling.

Soundwave clings to that, to thaw the chill of encroaching death. He turns from the near overwhelming everything to willingly embrace Rodimus- figuratively. But he recoils-physically- almost as quickly as he draws in.

Barely managing to catch himself from falling back. Soundwave stares are Rodimus, head slowly turning and then devolving into firm, fierce shakes. "No," he says. "You're not going anywhere. There's other things that can be done. You-- no. No. I order you to stay, Rodimus. Stop thinking about it, we will find another solution."

Rodimus reaches for and clasps Soundwave's arm. His expression is shining as he looks up at him. He doesn't smile, but warmth spills through the squeeze of his hand. "That's funny," he says, his voice deeply fond. "You think I'm gonna listen to orders."

Rodimus drops his hand and settles back on his feet, bracing to move. He studies Soundwave with an almost wistful expression. "Hey--." But whatever it is that he wants to say, he doesn't, quite. And it isn't quite forming in his thoughts, either. It's a nebulous almost, a question, held tight against his spark like a milky, luminous gem clutched in close-held claws. "Hey, I gotta go." He pauses. "Be safe, okay?"

He takes a step back, then another, and watches Soundwave as he retreats. Then, with a final twist of a smile, he turns and dashes before Soundwave can quite realize his orders are being super disobeyed.

Considering how often Soundwave himself disregards orders, its no surprise at all that Rodimus returns the favor. Soundwave's fists clench, not at all put at ease by the squeeze or the smile.

Soundwave is quick to try and reach for Rodimus, grab him. But. Fingertips thud against Rodimus's hood and just... Stay there, hovering above the blank space of armor. He already knows Rodimus is going to disobey- in fact, he'll one up it. He won't just not listen, he'll fight to do this and... It's not a bad idea itself. It's just- just that... Why is his life filled with unstoppable forces. His hand drops away, head bowing to look at his hands.

"Just come back, Rodimus," he says, almost resigned. He should go with. Go in the place of. There's so much risk, and he matters so much-- Soundwave tilts his head up, not taking his eyes off Rodimus until he disappears completely from his sight. Then he turns, sits and continues to keep up communications as if he didn't deliver such devastating news. But even as he continues to work, he's not quite as dedicated or into it as before. Even as he works, he continues to watch Rodimus. Because that's all he can do.

He's useless.

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