2018-09-26 Be Well
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|2018-09-26 Be Well|
Prowl doesn't know why he's here. He got up off his berth at the start of the cycle, went through his morning routines, checked reports, glared in the mirror for a while and ended up here in Vis Vitalis. Searching for Tarantulas. Despite everything he'd said about wanting to avoid this particularly individual. He walks dejectedly, in the shadow of his defeated will, occasionally sweeping weariness from his optics. Pathetic. He's pathetic for returning, once more. For opening the door. Naturally, his doors lie wilted on his back.
The crew of the Vis Vitalis are a helpful bunch. They lead Prowl along, occasionally trying for kind, idle chatter. But they eventually fall quiet in the presence of Prowl's dejectedness. Arriving at the Vis Vitalis brig, there's less security here than one might expect- but then again, they're only housing the one prisoner. A stout mech points to the end of the brig, where only one security field is active, its blue light keeping that corner lit well enough. "He's down there. Uh... Comm us if you have any problems?" he says, trying for a friendly smile once more.
Prowl nods to his escort. "I will, thank you." He begins the slow trek down the the hallway, and by the time he reaches the security field, he'd pulled himself together enough to project a stern, purposeful look. "Tarantulas."
The cell Tarantulas is in is less cell and more like a quarters. There isn't a vid-screen to watch things on, or windows, or a door to come in and out of. But there's a berth, a little desk with a few datapads, and a nice chair. Bare but comfy as far as brigs go.
Tarantulas is at the desk, reading a datapad and nibbling at his solid energon ration. His head whips around at his name and his optics widen, many legs lifting behind him. "Prowl? You-- Hmm..." He takes a moment, gaze trailing over all of the cop car. "You look better like this."
Prowl is given a pause, surprised. He looks down at his frame. It's undeniably machine. Vehicle. But there are odd little dendrite markings around the edges of his armor that haven't quite faded yet. He says nothing for a long moment, then moves closer to the field, letting his chevron rest against it. "Why?" he asks. He isn't specific.
Tarantulas stands from his desk, setting his datapad down, to carefully approach the field between them. Even as Prowl leans against it, he keeps some distance. His head tilts. "Why what?" he asks, unsure of what he is needing to answer.
"I used you. I tried to kill you when I couldn't get rid of you. I had issues with the ethics of our projects, but I didn't have any problem doing what I did to you. Why? Why'd you pursue? ...Why did I respond." Prowl's voice grows raw.
Tarantulas looks down, at his feet. He's confined, yes, but his punishment was hardly just jail time. The Vis Vitalis has excellent therapists. Easy to talk to. "Because... You were my everything. My days, my life, began and ended with you." Beat. "I can't tell you about yourself, Prowl. Only you have that answer."
"You... That... That wasn't love. You loved my ideas. That's all," Prowl mutters, looking off to the side.
"I loved it when you told me I made how I made the impossible, possible. I loved seeing that glint in your optics, when I made you something. I loved you." Tarantulas takes a moment to sit on on the ground, looking at his hands in his lap. "I spent so long asking myself what I did wrong. Changed myself, maybe I'd be enough then. If I could overwhelm you with my accomplishments, with all I could offer, you would be satisfied. It was... Not one of my particularly brilliant plans." His hands curl. "How's Ostaros-- Springer, his name is Springer. How is he?"
Prowl reacts pretty poorly to this. He doesn't dramatically slam his fists into the field, however. He shoves away, back turned. "You didn't stop when I asked you to. I was afraid. I tried to solve you like I solved everything else..."
"I don't know how Springer is. He's safe, if that's what you're asking. He hasn't talked to me since I informed if of his origin. I imagine it's a lot to take in."
Tarnatulas looks up. "Killing me- thinking you killed me- didn't solve the problem though, did it? I've been... Talking. About these things. You should too. You solve people when you are your own problem, Prowl."
"And good... Good that he's safe." Tarantula's legs on his back droop a little. But they lift again, just a little. "I'm writing him letters. And when I get permissions to send them, I... I hope he reads them. I want him to know I never wanted to leave him. How much he means."
Prowl remains quiet for a solid several minutes. There's a lot of tense pauses in this conversation. He's caught on Tarantulas' description, dangling there, unwilling to let go. Eventually, he shifts to lean his back against the side wall beside the cell.
"I don't know what role you're hoping to fill with Springer. Maybe that organic frame of yours is effecting your mind," Prowl mumbles.
"Nyeh heh heh, you wish it were- or maybe you don't. Considering what your frame was for a while..." Tarantulas sighs and leans back. "I don't want to fill anything. I think-- I think that time has come and gone. But I want him to know what he means and that I'm proud of him. And that I'm sorry I couldn't be there for him. But that was probably... No, definitely, for the best. Prowl." He looks up at the Autobot. "Thank you, for giving him a chance."
Prowl stiffens at the gratitude. If he shifts enough maybe the slide of the metal will drown out Tarantulas' voice. It doesn't. Prowl groans. "It's fine. It's... He didn't deserve that. And I'm happy about the mech he's become, too." This prideful moment grudgingly shared, Prowl approaches the field again. "I hope you get the help you need. How I handled our situation is going to stay with me until my spark winks out. What I did to you, and to Carpessa will be presented to our would-be allies to judge. Don't think that I'm escaping this unscathed."
Tarantula's many pedipalps move in what is maybe a wry smile. "Heh, I'm sorry too, Prowl. I'm sorry too." He looks around his bare quarters with a small chuckle. " I overheard while you and that little flea we're in my Citadel... It's not too late to stay a chimeracon, you know. Easier to hide from angry mobs, heh."
"You like that little flea, don't you? I should probably call him Minimus Ambus... Sorry, just a little jealous I guess," Tarantulas admits.
"It was an interesting experience, and it had its merits, but I'm better off as I am. And yes, Minimus is not a flea. He's my friend. I'm lucky to have him, and if you witnessed that exchange in the Citadel, you'll know exactly what type of mech he is." Prowl is defensive, of course, but his tone has mellowed. "I came here because I wanted to see what had become of you. I expected worse." He looks down at his hands, where Tarantulas' fang materializes. "I don't think I can keep this."
"Hrmph... Well. I am glad you have... Found someone of interest." It definitely comes out forced. But the fact that Tarantulas says it all means a lot. He smiles, in only the weird way he can. "Well, you know me. Always defying your expectations."
Tarantulas looks at the fang with an interested cant of his head. "Can't or don't need to? Because I don't need it anymore either." He gestures at his waist, where there's two fangs. "Merits, as you said, heh... I'm sorta flattered you kept that. After everything."
Prowl is not sure what to make of the strange smile. It was better when Tarantulas had a proper mask. Still, the comment on expectations makes him... not smile, so much, but ease his hardened stare. "I know you grow them back. My captain tried to burn my limbs off and didn't get very far... but, I don't know what to do with this. So I'm leaving it here." He places it on the ground. "And I think... this is going to be the end, Tarantulas. Please, be well."
"Yeah. That... That is probably for the best," Tarantulas says quietly, looking at the broken fang. If this were some sort of long-form fiction, you'd think it was almost symbolic. Almost. He suddenly pushes himself up. "Prowl, wait," he says, lunging for a datapad and beginning to write on it furiously.
Prowl pauses and waits. He won't deny Tarantulas some last words here. Or... furious scrawlings. Whatever he's up to. "Yes?"
Tarantulas opens the small shaft beside the field where his energon is usually put into- but this time he puts in the datapad. He closes it and waits for Prowl to retrieve the pad from his side. "I was keeping things- ideas, inventions- hostage. And I shouldn't do that so hopefully this can make some things right. Access codes to my Citadel, how to open a gate to the Noisemaze, and the frequencies you'll need to cancel out to traverse there. Think of it as... As one last gift. From Mesothulas. A friend. Maybe."
Prowl takes the pad, and spends a moment firmly reminding himself that Tarantulas is in here for a reason. He looks down at the data, holding the device in both hands, and nods once. "Thank you, Mesothulas. And... maybe. Maybe again, some day." He starts to move away. "Give Springer time. I'm sure he'll respond."
Tarantulas nods back, watching Prowl go off. "I hope he does... You know where to find me if you ever need." He glances at a little mirror magnet on Prowl's aft and chuckles as he turns back to his room. "Take care of yourself, Prowl."