2018-06-24 Death, Rebirth, and Starscream

From Transformers: Lost and Found

Death, Rebirth, and Starscream
Date 2018/06/24
Location Lost Light: Recreation -- Swerve's
Participants Prowl, Rodimus
Summary Prowl determines that Rodimus isn't a multi-user shared hallucination.

Leaving Medical behind while Ratchet is distracted, Rodimus tracks Prowl down in his office and then pauses outside of it with his hand raised in a momentarily awkward pause. Should he knock? Prowl has to know by now, right? Is this awkward? Is it more awkward that he's just standing there? The moment passes, and becomes a minute, with Rodimus locked in a frozen pose outside of Prowl's office, having triggered at the very least a proximity alert of someone waiting outside.

The door eventually slides open, and Prowl stops short, faced with the stylized flames of Rodimus' chest. Logic might've had time to filter in if Rodimus had popped into view across the room, maybe, but met so abruptly with the ex-captain's slightly taller form, fight or flight picks fight, and Prowl drops his datapad to hurl a fist right for Rodimus' jaw. TO CHECK IF HE'S A HALLUCINATION.

There are many things that Rodimus might have expected on seeing Prowl again, and it would be a lie to say that wasn't a possibility, but it was far enough down the list to catch him flat-footed and entirely by surprise. Prowl's fist cracks hard into Rodimus's jaw, snapping his head back and to the side. He doesn't quite stagger. He's large enough that it'll take a little more rock him off those still too-large feet. But he does still take half a step back as he recalibrates into a baffled, "--the frag, Prowl?"

Prowl lingers in a stiff post-punch pose, optics rounded. He then straightens, collects his datapad, and holds it awkwardly against his grill. "You can't just- You can't just stand in my door after having /died/! I don't believe in any type of... afterlife, but the way Minimus and Soundwave were talking - !" His slow collection of facts jumble in a rush to address the very solid, very corporeal Rodimus standing before him. "It's really you?"

"Ow," Rodimus says, reaching to feel his face and check the dent in the metal. The Prowl-fist-sized-and-shaped dent. He gives him a medium level heated glare, but he can't hold it long. He snorts. "It sure feels like me. Although I half think this is the afterlife, and I ended up on the wrong side of it. You wanna explain Megatron in charge of Cybertron?"

"Sorry." Prowl can't stifle his grinning, try as he might. It fades on its own, pretty quickly, when Rodimus asks of Megatron. "Uh." How to make it seem like everything /didn't/ go straight to shit when Rodimus died. "Look, it's complicated. We might've... waited a little too long to arrest him. Starscream's going to aid us. And I have someone on the inside." Someone that has left strange little punctures along the armor of his collar. "Since Ten didn't know, and Wheeljack was indisposed, do /you/ know how you came back to life? Are we supposed to assume it's a miracle?"

"Ten -- Lieutenant?" Rodimus pauses a moment to track down the name change in his mental files, then shrugs and gestures Prowl back into his office as he follows behind. "Uhm. Hm, that's a funny question, I guess. I mean, what defines a miracle, really? Real miracle, I think, was Chimera finding me, or the others getting back to the ship. If you wanna talk about death, rebirth, and Starscream aiding us, I'm gonna need a drink."

Prowl is directed pretty easily, but can't bring himself to sit. He stands beside his desk instead. "Sorry, no engex on me. I was just on my way to get some, because reports tell me that Megatron controls ours titans' space bridges now. We just gave Megatron two metrotitans, two moons and a newly rejuvenated Cybertron. I had... planned for Megatron to betray us /during/ the fight against Unicron. I should have never accepted his help. If Minimus and Soundwave hadn't made it back from that rescue mission..." His doors wilt, even if his stare remains steely.

"What, are you serious? How do you have an office without engex?" Rodimus squints at Prowl as though he doesn't quite believe him, then turns to push Prowl back for the doors so that he can follow behind him. "Okay, fine, let's go get some. I guess I'd better make some time at some point to put myself on display." He pats Prowl between his doors as they wilt, and says, "I was looking after them." Yes. That's how it went. "Of course they made it back. It seemed like Shockwave implanted Chimera's mane, or a copy of it, onto Tarn, and he was able to control them with that. I told Chimera that if our nerds can't think of a way to exploit that, might as well put me back under."

Prowl doesn't complain as he's guided right back out. With a hand between his doors. He doesn't pull away, as they move through through the hall towards the lift. "That's... gruesome."

On their way to Swerve's, Rodimus definitely gets some surprised gawking. Some mechs pause to measure each other and squint. Others clearly work for the LLI, as they snap a few pictures and vanish behind corners. "I need to schedule a meeting with Starscream and the rest of Command. I wish we could find a way to appeal to the remaining Decepticons," says Prowl.

"That's what Chimera said, too. One second--." Rodimus waits until Prowl's seated before going around to greet the gawkers with a smile and a, "Go ahead and poke, but I've already been punched once." He makes a round of the room that, while quick, at least includes a named greeting for those who try to catch his eye. It ends at the bar where he orders something terrible and cheap and strong, and then brings two glasses of that back to Prowl. "Okay, sorry. Where were we. Undermining Megatron's appeal? He does such a good job of that on his own. Did you see what Tarn did to Airazor? Fragging offering me peace with one hand and Airazor's body with the other. What a pile of slag."

"I hadn't watched the recording yet." Prowl warily eyes the cheap, strong drink he's offered, then takes a sip. "He offered /peace/?" he rasps, and holds his glass against his temple. "I hate a lot of people, Rodimus, but Megatron..." He trails off, vapor drifting from his lips. "I think we can regain control through the titans. What better way to reclaim a city than the city reclaiming itself? Though I'm reluctant to send anyone back down, admittedly."

Rodimus airquotes. "Peace." Then he does it again, in case Prowl didn't get it: "Peace." His air quotes have edges. (Actually, that's literally true. There's a hint of a cat's claws, retracted, just at the tips of his fingers.)

Sitting back, he takes a long drink and then grimaces. "I kind of like that angle. In a few ways, actually. Not just the titans, but the people. Soundwave gave me some slag about not wanting bystanders to get hurt, but it's hard not to think that he's still struggling to come to grips with the idea of standing against Megatron."

Prowl catches Rodimus' wrist the moment he notices the subtle detail. "Soundwave... deserves consideration. He might be still adjusting, but I do think Megatron had wronged him for the last time." He pinches Rodimus' fingertip, to see if a claw would pop out that way. "Why are you like this? What the hell happened? You're taller. It's annoying."

"Augh, what--" The claw pops out, flexed forward by the pinch of Prowl's fingers. As Rodimus twists his hands, it nicks the metal of Prowl's hand before he steadies. "When Tempo's gun fired, for a second it was like standing right on the edge of Vector Sigma -- then, I imagine that's what being plunged in its heart would have felt like. Except it didn't really feel like anything at all. It was just -- Vector Sigma. It felt like forever, and for like no time at all. Then it was just bits and pieces after Chimera found me in the wilderness. Reforged."

Prowl stares at the little scrape on his palm. "Huh. At least the planet seems to like us. I'll have to thank Chimera later." He pauses, then parts his lips, only to pause longer. Then, he sets his glass down and adopts his serious face. Which is just his resting face. "You were sorely missed. Maybe spend some time boosting morale, while we wait around for meetings. Pat Soundwave on the head, and give Minimus a... handshake."

"I missed you too, Prowl," Rodimus teases, before his features wrinkle up in a sort of frown and he admits-- "Okay, no, I didn't. I didn't really have a chance to miss anyone. That's the strangest thing about it all. But I know what you mean. I'll sit around, drink, let people come poke, smile." He pauses. "Handshake." That's probably the wrong cant for that word. It's way more suggestive than intended.

Prowl immediately stands and growls and jabs a finger. "Handshake. /Handshake/. Don't toy with his spark, I swear, one more emotional twist and he's just going to fold into that ridiculous ground mode of his and drive right out of the storage ramp into a star." He turns his empty glass upside down. "Thanks for the drink."

The moment Prowl begins to move away, Siren and Bluestreak pile into the booth to grill Rodimus with questions he'll surely tire of.

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