2018-11-05 A Classic
From Transformers: Lost and Found
|Summary||Rodimus and Prowl go over some of the rescue mission's aftermath and try to plan for the next step.|
One moment: Cybertron; the next moment: space.
The lights of the fleet twinkle in the distance. It's not far, in astronomical terms, but space is vast enough that even the Lost Light's massive form is rendered a sparkle of brightness against the dark. Tempo is -- not home, no, but safe, and among the familiar. There's a breath of peace -- and then everything is all chaos again. Were they followed? What's up with the equipment? They need Bulkhead over here, ASAP, and maybe bring Nightshade, too. She was quite the prodigy, after all, and Decepticons might recognize Decepticon thinking. Is that racist? Too bad! The request is out.
Some of the excitement has settled when Prowl arrives with the last of the Lost Lighters to find Rodimus still lingering on Tempo under the starlight. He's reviewing a tally of the battle, delivered by Prowl in transit.
Prowl steps off the last of the Lost Light's shuttles and moves to stand beside Rodimus, wordless and just a bit frayed as he watches medics swarm Tempo's docking bay. He's slightly scorched and part of his chevron is missing, but otherwise a lot better than most of the survivors. "We had to choose," he says, his stare distant. "Choose who would make this trip and who would have to wait. So, that was fun."
Rodimus gives Prowl a close once-over, then reaches over to clasp his shoulder. "There's always a choice. It's never easy. But we'll go back for them. I plan on going back for them, as soon as Bulkhead's cleared us for travel. Do you want to go with me?"
"... I just spent an hour drafting up an angle to pitch at you that involved provoking if you resisted. I'm relieved you're ready to hop back in." Prowl laces this with just enough humor to make it confusing and insulting. "Of course I want to go. But what's the plan? It can't just be another rescue mission. We have to handle Megatron."
Rodimus's teeth flash in the snap of a barked laugh that's more grimace than grin. "I can't believe you thought you'd have to provoke me into it. Hang on: Prowl, no, we can't go back, it's too dangerous, we're needed here. Okay. Provoke me."
Prowl scoffs and shrugs out of Rodimus' grasp. "It's not fun when it's forced." He waits a beat, side-eyeing the captain, before lifting his voice, loud and accusatory: "Are you afraid?"
Tilting his head, Rodimus almost rises to the bait before he realizes -- "Oh, provoking. Okay, yeah, I mean. That has, historically, absolutely been an easy for handle for you to get me to do things." He gives Prowl a long look.
"I think you've matured. It would be harder for me." Prowl avoids the look. "Obviously I shouldn't be doing that anymore. I thought I was doing the right thing. What with the idea of an Autobot super-soldier... which we have now. So, yeah, let's throw Minimus at Megatron."
Rodimus can't help but look just the tiniest bit pleased by the praise. Yes, good, tell him that he's matured. He straightens. He tries to look mature. He doesn't, mostly. Instead, he laughs, soft and dry. "Frag, that's Soundwave's plan, actually. He wants to juice Minimus up on nuke and chuck him at Megs and stand back to watch the explosion."
"Minimus wouldn't agree to that," Prowl mutters, fingers curling into his palms. "He's so fragging stubborn. But I wouldn't hinge the assault on a juiced up load-bearer. Minimus would have support from the best of us. Did Soundwave have any other bright ideas?"
"That's what I told him," Rodimus says, hands spreading, "but believe it or not, Soundwave's a little stubborn, too." He shouldn't sound so fond. BUT HE DOES. "Soundwave is -- understandably -- a bit wary of involving himself too deeply with Cybertron. He wants to keep pressure on the Quints. It might be worth you squeezing him for ideas of what Megatron might be up to, but that done, I think he's better left to follow up with our tent-emies." That isn't even clever.
"Tent- hnn." Prowl clearly doesn't appreciate the pun. "Soundwave and I aren't on great terms right now. We've never been, really." They were, for maybe a week or so. It was nice. "He doesn't want Megatron dead. I can't rely too heavily on his suggestions. If we can spare him in this assault for the trial, fine, but I'm not going to limit our attack."
Prowl's failure to appreciate the pun only entertains Rodimus more. His eyes brighten in a smile that lingers even after. "Soundwave mentioned you talked." He pauses, weighs his words, then says, "Uhm." UHM. "You should plan your attack to preserve as many lives as possible among the newbuilds. We know what we're signing on for. The other Decepticons, Megatron: they know what they are signing on for. The newbuilds don't, not really. They've been fed lies. Place that at the heart of all of your plans, and work around it. Preserve their lives, Prowl. That's my charge to you, as -- as Matrix bearer. The Matrix would save even Megatron if it could. That doesn't mean it's practical or likely, and mostly the Matrix and Vector Sigma just want him out." He says this in a matter of fact way; the awkwardness creeps in only when his words turn back toward himself, when he tries to speak as though he carries any charge, or authority. But talking to Vector Sigma? Totally normal. You know, as you do. "But don't limit your attack to spare him."
"Of course. We'll save newsparks. We'll save as many as we can." Prowl's grumpy stare turns troubled, and he tries to hide this from Rodimus as he turns away and folds his arms. "Is it bad that I'm weary of planning? It was different, during the war. It was easier. Now I'm deciding whether or not someone gets to relax in the safety of a heavily armed fleet, or has to stick it out under the raging rule of a tyrant."
"No, it's not bad. I can see where it could wear on you." Rodimus searches Prowl's expression as he turns away, then reaches to bonk his shoulder with his own. He's careful to navigate the spoiler-door angle to avoid bumps. "But nowhere's safe, not really. You know that. They already attacked us once, and they could again. But we'll find our peace in the end."
Prowl looks over at the shoulder bump. His doors lift, slightly. "You're so sure. I guess someone has to be." His smile is brief. "One way or another, If we're going to dive right into the next phase, I need you to address Max's troops and... rally. Fire them up. I don't know, whatever it is you do that makes them cheer. No Till All Are Ones, we're over that."
"What's wrong with Til All Are One? That's classic! You don't get over that, it's good, it's solid! That's like getting over -- energon, or something." Rodimus clenches his fist in conviction.
Prowl gives Rodimus a look. "I'm going to say it again, and this time, I want you to imagine it in Orion's voice. Till all are one."
"And? So? But? Therefore? Is this you being sensitive to Decepticon concerns? Because it sounds better in my voice, anyway," Rodimus says, arms folding.
"Are you serious? Okay, yeah, I guess my point is that it wouldn't appeal to everyone. You should come up with your own catchphrase," Prowl suggests, his grin returning. "Anyway, is my request clear? Rope Drift into it or something."
"Wanna know something funny?" Rodimus asks Prowl. He waits, too.
"Out with it," Prowl gruffs, always in the mood for funny.
"Soundwave told me the same thing you did." Rodimus grins over at Prowl. He absently crosses his legs in a shift away from Prowl, a move that — while intended to do anything but — draws attention to blue streaks curving along the inside of his thighs. "Rest of the conversation went differently." Probably. There's still time, Prowl! "I'll go mingle or something while Bulk's checking out the bridge. Ask Windblade and Drift for some talking points. You get repaired and ready to go back with me. Deal?"
Prowl reacts predictably. His shoulders hunch and his doors tilt pouty. OH, WHAT DOES SOUNDWAVE KNOW. "Yeah, deal, deal," he mumbles, already peeling off to avoid dealing with the THOUGHT of Soundwave wedged between Rodimus' legs somehow. EUGH. GOD. "See you soon, Captain."