From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Summary||Soundwave has a surprise!|
Atop the massive Lost Light is a (relatively) level span of sturdy, star-baked metal, accessible by various hidden hatches tucked amongst panels. The massive cluster of red fuel quills is a splash of color on the pale hull.
Rodimus gets a rather informal message from Soundwave at the beginning of the day:
"Rodimus. I request your appearance at the bow of the ship's hull at the end of your ship. Please make sure your schedule is clear as this is an urgent matter. With thanks, Soundwave." And then, there's an editted bit added to the end. "Post-Script: Bring your hoverboard."
Soundwave is waiting at the bow of the hull, magna-clamp boots clamped to his feet and a few to his wheels as well. Keeping him nice and secured to the Lost Light. He's waiting, running things over in his head. Then he switches over to his HUD, reading over the words. Just in case.
sw hw urgnt
i can ditch this r u ok are the cassttes ok
Once Soundwave has reassured Rodimus that no one is on fire and yes, it can actually wait until the end of his shift, then comes another one message: wait wat d u mean bring my bord u told me not 2 btw i did
While Soundwave is left to puzzle out what the hell Rodimus means by that, the rest of the shift passes -- and then a little more. Rodimus sits through his entire shift, and doesn't even duck out early, despite the temptation. Once over, he doubles back to grab the hoverboard and then books it to the hull. He did not bring magna-clamped anything, and as he steps through the airlock and grabs hold of the door, he realizes that very quickly: << "Uh." >> Sheepishness bleeds through his voice over the comm. He does not point out that he forgot boots. Instead, he says, << "Brought my board!" >> Close enough.
<< "Rodimus. Your board is not a proper substitute..." >> Soundwave sighs without sounding exasperated, dismissing the information and moving over to where Rodimus is threatening to float out into space. He removes two mag-locks from his wheels and reaches over to semi-manhandle Rodimus to attach them to his his feet. Its easier in space but-- Don't squirm!
<< "Please," >> Soundwave says dryly over comm. << "Correct me if I'm wrong but did I read that you did, in fact, already ride your hoverboard out here?" >> He looks down with a small cant of his head.
<< "You didn't say bring mag-locks--!" >> Rodimus squirms, laughter felt through the touch of Soundwave's hands as vacuum steals the noise. Only when the threat of him drifting away is actually quite real does he settle. Once the locks are clamped in place, Rodimus shifts, adjusting, and then plants his feet. He looks back up at Soundwave, studying just for a moment as though searching for something -- then bops him, ever so gently, with the board. << "I brought it out but changed my mind about riding. So, fifty-fifty." >>
<< "I did not realize I had to." >> Soundwave reaches out to place his hand atop Rodimus's helm, palm curving to briefly hold the side of his face. Then he takes a step back. << "Those are good odds," >> he muses, looking off towards the aft of the ship and its engine as if deep in thought.
<< "What... Do you think your odds of winning a race would be?" >> Soundwave asks, all nonchalant.
Whatever thoughts narrowed the focus of Rodimus's gaze, turning it into a searching look, the touch breaks his study. Beneath Soundwave's hand, Rodimus's smile widens.
<< "Pfft, mag-locks. I've got my board. I'm good. I'm great! You really want a race, you're just setting yourself up for trouble." >> Eagerness brightens his gaze, battle-ready and competitive as his measures the smooth curve of the ship's hull: all fifteen miles of it. << "Hope you don't expect me to go easy on you. What were you thinking? Me on my board and you, inevitably, losing?"
Soundwave laughs. Its not heard, its not even scene, but the vibrations can be felt through Rodimus's overly large feet. << "Affirmative. But I plan to win." >> Soundwave points to the ship's engines, which just wispily burn in idle. << "There is a surprise on the other end. My alt versus your board- victor opens the surprise." >>
Soundwave transforms, warming his engine. Again, the vibrations can only be felt through the feet. << "Still believe you will win? I have been practicing." >>
Rodimus reaches over to rub his hand forward along the roof of Soundwave's alt-mode, down the edge of his forward canopy, and then brings his fingers teasing along the edge of his hood to curl under his forward bumper in a tickle. The long, unbroken stroke is unhurried, and playful. << "Aw, that's cute that you think you'll win. Honestly, it's fragging adorable." >> Rodimus adds an extra tickle in punctuation. ADORABLE. << "I'm gonna smoke you." >>
Confident as he rises, Rodimus releases the mag-locks and drops his hoverboard. He adjusts until it is tracking a stable position on the ship's hull, then looks down and over at Soundwave with a wide grin. << "Want me to give you a head start?" >>
Soundwave is far more used to having people push his buttons- slicking their hand over his hood is an entirely different sensation, however. His engine revs louder, its rumbling purr trying to shake Rodimus's hand loose from his body. << "I see," >> he says with some dawning realization once he's free from the tickle. << "We are engaging in 'trash talk.' In which case, I must inform you that- before I cross the finish line first- I will be forcing dust down your intake until you combust into a flame of your own failure." >>
Soundwave wiggles on his tires, bouncing slightly with the adjustments. << "That will not be necessary. You deserve an even playing field. Now... At the count of three." >> Beat. << "One... Two..." >>
<< "Oh, that's good. Did you get that from Rumble? It sounds like Rumble." >> There's warm approval broadcast in the hum of Rodimus's voice. He waits for the three with the honesty of someone who really is absolutely sure that they are going to win -- but as soon as Soundwave drops that three, he peels out, squeezing every bit of acceleration that he can out of the board. It's not strictly meant for this kind of thing -- but then, neither is Soundwave's alt-mode.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=Transportation VS Soundwave=Transportation < Rodimus: Good Success (5 4 6 7 8 4 5 1 6 8) Soundwave: Failure (3 5 6) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Solid Victory
Soundwave has, honest to goodness, been practicing! Just... Not with mag-locks on his wheels and not in zero-gravity. Only now does he see the fatal flaw in his plan. Because its not ten feet after the start that a small adjustment has him careening off the straight path and veering right.
Soundwave's tentacles shoot out, grabbing onto the hull and letting him swing back into the right direction. Okay, maybe he did need that head start. But! It's okay. This time, it truly is the destination and not the journey. Just have to get there.
When Soundwave sheers off to the right, Rodimus's forward momentum halts quickly enough that it's clear just how close an eye he was keeping on him. He brings the board around in a wide loop, tracking Soundwave's expected position -- except then he lashes out with his tentacles, righting himself. Rodimus grins at Soundwave long enough for him to know a) that Rodimus saw that and b) that Rodimus Isn't Saying Anything in a totally pointed way, as he lets Soundwave save his dignity. Or what's left. Once he's pointed forward again, Rodimus takes right back off again. Unsparing of his dignity, now.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=Transportation VS Soundwave=Transportation < Rodimus: Success (4 2 1 3 8 3 4 3 4 1) Soundwave: Failure (2 4 5) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Marginal Victory
Soundwave picks up some speed heading into the long stretch. Fourteen miles of stretch, to be exact. He catches up to Rodimus but never really gets beside him or even in front of him. He just hovers behind him for most of the time, occasionally dropping behind when he accidentally overcorrect.
About three fourths of the way into the race and Soundwave hits a snag and skids across the surface of the hull. Again, he only rights himself thanks to his tentacles and huffs over the comm. Not a word. He notices the mag-lock on his back wheel is loose but its still attached. So he puts on the speed to catch up with Rodimus in the Final Mile.
The wide split of Rodimus's grin is bright against the starlight. He says not a word. He remains turned back just long enough to see Soundwave righting himself, while indulging himself in a casual series of looping swirls that display an agility only slightly stiff and awkward in his new size. The hoverboard has been good for him to get used to the new balance of it all. Once Soundwave's pointed forward again, Rodimus bolts, unwilling to lose the race in the last seconds.
<FS3> Opposed Roll -- Rodimus=Transportation VS Soundwave=Transportation < Rodimus: Success (4 5 6 6 6 1 3 7 2 4) Soundwave: Failure (1 5 5) < Net Result: Rodimus wins - Marginal Victory
Soundwave pushes himself, no less competitive when his prize is sure to be won still. And despite the detemination and perseverance, he yet again proves that a brick shouldn't be given wheels. He hits another uneven edge on the hull and the mag-lock on his back wheel comes off.
Soundwave makes a noise of surprise over their open comm as his rearbumper, no longer held down by magnets, begins to float up and over him. The one wheel still attached to the ground still turns as he continues to drive forward. That mag-lock wobbles. << "... Rodimus..." >>
Rodimus whips first past the wisps curling off the ship's engines, well ahead of Soundwave. He lifts his fists, clenched in victory, and the momentum curls him up and around a quick spin that sends him tumbling off the board and spilling into space. But -- he's still in better shape than Soundwave, whose tires just can't keep their grip. You see, Rodimus can cheat:
Rodimus bip-bops his board back to him using the fob, and abandons his prize without even a glance. He speeds back to catch Soundwave by the bumper and bump him right back down. << "If you want I'll be gracious and say that you only lost because you gave me the mag-locks." >>
Soundwave sorta bounces a little on his wheels when Soundwave keeps him from turning heels over head. With his wheels all down again and the race OBVIOUSLY LOST, Soundwave transforms back into his two-legged self. He sighs. << "Thank you, Rodimus. But I'd prefer a defeat without the pity... You have gotten very good on that board. Perhaps I should obtain the upgrades to make it atmospheric re-entry-proof?" >>
Soundwave reaches out to hold Rodimus's arm, giving it a squeeze. Then he nods his head over back towards the engines. << "I believe you are owed a prize?" >>
<< "Fragging right I am!" >> Rodimus hops off the board and locks his feet to the hull. He thumbs the fob so that the hover board trails along puppylike behind them. While he didn't in fact intake so much dust that he spontaneously self-combusted, he looks perilously close to it now as he imagines the hoverboard suited for atmospheric re-entry. << "--ggh," >> is about the sum total of the noise he makes, only fainted and partly transmitted. He is so down for that. They wind their way behind the engines again, where the wide scatter of the ragtag fleet is more visible, spread behind them. The ships are each, individually, large, some even staggeringly so, but space itself is large enough to swallow them into a scatter of stars, little visible as more than a few pixels in the eye. << "Okay, prize?" >>
The view of the fleet, the wisp from the engines, and space will all its lights and oilslick colors-- Soundwave's chassis raises with pride in his decision on the venue. Able to see all of this and yet still have their privacy. Perfect. He leads Rodimus to where a chrome bucket floats above the hull, hovering in place. Inside are two glasses and one bottle of engex in a ruby-red glass. It has the label 'Fireball'.
Soundwave gestures before dropping to his knees rather than trying to sit cross-legged. << "Your prize," >> he says warmly.
<< "Oh my God, look at this--!" >> Rodimus's obvious enthusiasm is impossible to feign. He does slide cross-legged to the ground, but he does so with a hitch and a clunk, navigating around the magnets and his new frame. He pulls the bucket down with him, and tucks it inside the cross of his feet. (Which just barely cross, really. They are Too Big.) << "This looks like it's gonna strip paint." >> His voice is approving, in case there was any doubt, and Rodimus immediately breaks open the bottle to pour. He's about midway through his first pour -- which is awkward, by the way, outside of the ship's gravity field -- when there's sort of a hiccup of thought that sends his gaze skittering back toward Soundwave and then away again. He doesn't quite fumble the glass, but he comes close, before sliding one of the two glasses over and pouring the second. << "This is, uh." >> He stops. He searches for a word. << "Cool," >> he says. Cool, cool, cool.
<< "You are not incorrect. Just not in the way you think," >> Soundwave says, sitting close enough that the hum of his chassis can be heard. He watches Rodimus poor, clearly finding it humorous because, when he removes his faceplate, his nose is scrunched. He takes his glass. << "Take a drink and I assure you this will become hot." >> He nods encouragingly for Rodimus to take the first drink. He doesn't want to ruin the surprise.
Rodimus's eyes go a little wide, their light spilling a little brighter, and his grin turns challenging. The cast of his expression suggests a touch of uncertainty, maybe a little awkwardness, some doubt and second-guessing and third-guessing, but always and above all else: challenge. STRIP PAINT? LET'S GO. He salutes Soundwave with his glass, and then downs it in a shot.
On consumption, there's a reaction which causes the drink to ignite, and it's a rush of warmth that causes Rodimus to laugh in a startled burst of flame that -- on seeing the flame -- becomes a yelped, << "What the slag -- oh, man, that's awesome!" >> He gathers a mouthful of fire, then releases it in a puffed fireball to blaze through the vapor off the engine and into space.
<< "Fireball Engex, aptly named," >> Soundwave notes, watching Rodimus discovers the effects of the drink. He draws himself up, holding his glass tightly. He's content to just continue watching, again scrolling over the words on his HUD. Okay. << "Rodimus... Likes his gift? Gifts?" >> Soundwave asks, glancing to the hoverboard and back to Rodimus. Hopeful.
The magic of a comm is evident in the way that Rodimus takes another long swallow and just holds it, letting the flame build as the heat begins to radiate from his frame. But even with his voccoder locked behind the drink, he can still comm, << "Are you kidding? They're amazing. Thank you. This was a lot of fun -- even if I was afraid you were about to turn into the Lost Light's first moon." >> Then he releases a column of fire that he shapes to a narrower band, trying to carve through the fog curling off the quills without endangering them. One long line. A curve. Another line--. That glyph. It's his name. He's trying to fire-write his name.
Soundwave chuckles over the comm, politely clapping when he sees the glyph begin to emerge-- because of course he is. But that's just one wonderful thing about Rodimus. << "Moon- humor, detected. Conclusion, highly amusing." >> Beat. << "And good, that is good. I'm glad you like them... But..." >>
Soundwave takes a small drink, releasing a small, steady flame from his lips. << "But that is not tonight's true surprise." >>
Rodimus swallows the lats of the flame. The distractions that he's allowed himself -- that he's clung to, by some measures -- begin to fall away as he turns back to Sounwave. The last smudge of his name fades, dissolving into entropic noise. He faces Soundwave with his hands wrapped tight around his glass. << "Please tell me that you aren't going to make me guess." >> Anticipation, calculation: both play across his features.
Soundwave takes one more drink before letting his glass float. He releases another puff of fire, the smoke leaking out of the edges of his mouth, as he orients himself to directly face Rodimus. He leans forward to put his hands over Rodimus. << "No guessing," >> he promises.
<< "Rodimus..." >> Soundwave says, gaze not wavering from Rodimus's. His dock clicks unlocked before swinging open. And out falls spark-blue light. << "I bid you to reveive my light-- No, wait. I bid you stand in the glow of my spark." >> Nailed it.
For a second, as the dock clicks open and swings wide, Rodimus can only stare back at Soundwave. His features are washed entirely blank in the spark-light, while his eyes -- that same spark-blue hue -- are washed out to almost nothing by a light that matches so closely to his own. The glass -- not empty, but close -- slips from his hands, which have apparently lost all connection to his processor.
Then: absolutely without any change in expression, all thought silent, his hands lunge forward to slam Soundwave's dock closed, and then fold over it, pushing and holding it shut. And occluding the light.
<< "Feel the heat of my words and know them true. I invite you to receive my light and in doing so become my Ami--" >> Soundwave is on a roll after his initial misstep. Continuing on until. Until. He comes to a sudden stop, looking down at Rodimus. Pressed against his chassis.
His shut chassis, the light of his spark struggling to trickle through the purple tinted glass of his dock. Soundwave stares, his words stolen from him for the time being. Then, quietly:
<< "Rodimus..?" >>
The heat of Rodimus's frame burns through the touch of his hands to Soundwave's dock. It's a heat that melts the frozen stillness, leaving a flash of fire that sparks in answer to Soundwave's aborted words. Rodimus stares back at Soundwave, struggling to find words. Even just a word. One, single word would be great, actually, if he could just: << "No." >>
Yep, great, that's definitely -- perfect. Rodimus himself winces, hearing it delivered with a harsh sharpness. His fingers curl where they are pressed to Soundwave's dock, and the tips of his talons just barely prick against the metal of Soundwave's frames before he controls it.
The nose scrunch- every mote of happiness- is gone from Soundwave's face. Its just blank. Just like his optics, no longer on Rodimus but just staring ahead. Blankly. Blankity-blank blank blank. No cold against the heat. Just. Nothing. And he stays like that, like the life he had been humming with just moment ago had been sucked away. Until, finally, a flicker in his visor.
Soundwave unfolds to stand upright, sliding his faceplate back into place. << "Understood." >> He heads for the nearest hatch that will take him back into the Lost Light and... Away from here.
By the time Rodimus pulls himself together enough to get to his feet and scramble after Soundwave -- tripping, once, in the process -- the hatch has closed. His comms chase after that final, cold Understood, only to pile up in a queue, unheard. Unheeded. The stars are quiet and dark aroud him.