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2019-01-08 Heel Turn

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2019-01-08 Heel Turn
Date 2019/01/08
Location Cybertron - New Iacon - Soundwave's Apartment
Participants Rodimus, Soundwave
Summary Rodimus returns after rescuing Orion from the Quintessons-- but how long is he staying?

It's every Decepticon's worst day: the day that Orion Pax returns to Cybertron.

The Lost Lighters who had gone after him found more than they were expecting diving deep into Quintesson territory: they found Cyberutopia.

Or -- well, a version of it. Some might say it's the farthest thing from. The star of the Quintesson homeworld had been converted into a Dyson sphere, blacking the star from the sky, and making them difficult to find. If not for the work that Cosmos, Soundwave, and Ten put in on tracking the Quintessons, it might have stayed hidden another ten million years.

There, on the surface of the massive structure, Orion Pax was held as a captive of the Quintessons. His first willing aid swiftly dwindled as the spark-energy captured in the Faketrix no longer went to summoning the dead Cybertronians of the past, but rather was cleansed, purged of all personality, and poured into embodying the stored data signals of the thousands, millions of Quintessons who had been living in stasis in the system's computer banks.

It was a scheme on the galactic scale, that had been waiting ten million years. In the dying days of the Quintesson empire, their homeworld destroyed by Unicron, they assembled the Dyson sphere to power their slumber. An entire civilization of the dying were converted to data and stored. And then they waited, seeking the Matrix, as spark-based organisms themselves.

Freed by the Lost Lighters, Orion shattered the false Matrix. The energy trapped within dissipated, along with whatever was left of the Cybertronian souls within. And they got the fuck out of there, with the rage of a million trapped Quintessons behind them. Enough had been given new form that they will be a fresh, sharp thorn in Cybertron's side -- but their galactic ambitions? Foiled, for the moment.

All of this is which to say, that Pax is back now, and the Lost Lighters are back, and Rodimus is back, and he's commed eagerly ahead to let Soundwave know, and also he is dying to get off this ship, they have been stuck in a low orbit holding pattern and if he spends one more second with Pax judging him, he's going to offline himself. Why won't the harbor masters let them land? (Because it's busy, Rodimus, it's very busy, and there's understandable tension about Pax's presence.) << "Soundwave, seriously, if he says one more thing about how 'regrettable' it was that Megatron didn't see this peace, I'm going to shoot him myself." >>

Soundwave has been busy on Cybertron- trying to find a balance of having a job and volunteer work. The 'having a job' is proving a little difficult. Not a lot of mechs want to hire him, as it turns out. At least the volunteer work is going well, both mandatory and personal. Plenty to do as Cybertron continues it's small steps to the future. And even though it's hard sometimes, it's worth it.

It's not until he gets the first comm from Rodimus that Soundwave realizes how much he had been ignoring his own loneliness. The Lost Light left with most of everyone he considers a friend. And another cassette left in their absence. He hasn't felt this warm in a while- and Rodimus isn't even here yet!

<< "Well..." >> Soundwave begins, as if he agrees. << "If he cares so much now, I can send him off to go see Megatron to tell him all about our peace." >> So maybe he doesn't agree. << "Be patient, the Lost Light is quite large and we do not have a galactic spaceport in place yet. Just the normal kind of port- Starscream could tell you the difference... Maybe you could land faster if you took a smaller ship in to land? " >> Not that he's eager to see him or anything.

<< "Land on my own, huh?" >> Rodimus is too distant for Soundwave to hear the exact chain of thoughts unless he focuses -- but he's certainly clear enough on having reached a decision. << "Good idea. Send me your coordinates? You at the spaceport?" >>

<< "I am," >> Soundwave says, not mentioning he'd been there the moment he heard the Lost Light was heading back. He doesn't mind the wait. Then he sends his exact coordinates. << "Just don't take the Rodpod down. It's uh. The media will swarm it." >> Yeah, that.

<< "I won't," >> Rodimus promises.

Then, there's a delay. A little bit of prep time. You know, some thoughtful, careful, considerate planning.

The next hint that Soundwave has of what's going on is a flurry of activity on the part of ground-based security systems as they begin to track an incoming projectile. << "Hey, Soundwave," >> Rodimus says, his comms crackling through the interference of a high altitude insertion. << "Make sure they don't shoot me, would you? I can feel them trying to get a target lock." >>

Soundwave is busy scanning the skies, looking for an arriving ship. << "Shoot you? Why-- oh Rodimus, you didn't." >>

<< "I did." >> The line sparkles with laughter before going blank as interference overrides the comms. As Rodimus descends, Soundwave can track him, can hear him, despite the fuzz of interference. Rodimus did send a warning to port air and space control, but they appear not to have taken it very seriously: one part 'no one is that stupid' to one part 'is he serious?'

<< "Rodimus!" >> Soundwave shouts his name another half a dozen times. A fruitless endeavor, really. Still watching the skies, he calls the control tower to make sure that they DO NOT hit his boyfriend out of the sky. Then he calls a hospital to get emergency services on stand-by. Primus. Then Soundwave waits, arms crossed.

Okay, he is that stupid. Check.

From as high as Rodimus began, it would be easy for any slight alteration in his course to create a huge difference when he lands. From the way he remains targeted to Soundwave's location, he must have something that allows him to correct. He shines like a meteor as he descends, shooting toward the spaceport. He's radiant with heat, but it looks like he's controlling his descent with small bursts of flame rather than fully igniting.

Then, suddenly, Rodimus is close enough for shortwave comms: << "Hi, sweetie," >> he comms Soundwave, before dropping into a blackout bubble shield that ponk, ponk, ponkponkponks in a bounce down to the ground. The shield is constructed to shed momentum through a splatter of ballistic goo, and boy, does it splatter. Those waiting emergency services might be expecting a different sort of splatter. Instead, they get goo, and then it thins, pops, and Rodimus steps out: smoldering-hot, but whole as he shakes the goo from his feet. It's -- it's sticking. He's stuck. "Wow, that is way stickier than I thought it would be." He orients on Soundwave with a twist of his frame. "Help?"

Soundwave has his arms crossed and he's not moving. He just stares. Sternly. "Atmospheric re-entry-- what were you thinking? And what is all of this- this is going to take time to clean up. Delay the Lost Light landing further. And no telling if you could have injured someone. Injured yourself!" Soundwave marches forward now, reaching to grab Rodimus and yank him out. "Now the medics will probably want to look you over and we'll have to scrape that stuff off of you." And that's a lot less time together!

One of Rodimus's knee joints wobbles as he's pulled free: the stick of the goo was pretty intense, and the heat of entry was a lot, even for his super-able frame. When Soundwave tugs him free, he winces, a sound catching in his throat, and he tries to bury it in a grin. There's a moment where he's uncertain in the face of Soundwave's sternness, wavering under the force of his lecture. "I missed you too," he says, trying for a joke, but ending with a faint and buried questioning note at the end of it. The goo drip-drip-drips from his feet and hardens as it cools. At least it will be easy to clean. It seems to be going plastic-hard, rather than rubber-soft, curing quickly.

Soundwave exvents heavily, looking to the heavens to help him. Then he butts his head against Rodimus's- he missed him too. "You're going to miss me more, because we are going to the hospital. Right now. No arguments- I can hear your joints still sizzling. Okay?"

There's a moment where Rodimus imagines his intention so vividly that Soundwave has to see it: locking his legs around him while the goo hasn't yet hardened, wrapping and then sealing and getting stuck like that. Soundwave won't be able to leave. Rodimus shifts, like he's not just thinking, he's gonna do it -- and then he stops, sighs, and rubs his hand against the side of Soundwave's helm as he moves free. "Okay, fine. C'mon, guys," he says, waving over the paramedics. And probably an enforcer or two, ready with a ticket for reckless ... well, they'll figure it out. "Ride with me and tell me what you've been doing on Cybertron?"

"Of course," Soundwave assures, and he makes note to thank Rodimus for not giving into his worst impulse. Thank him thoroughly. Taking Rodimus's arm, he leads him to an emergency vehicle. Yeah, you're getting the whole treatment, buddy.

On the way to the hospital, Soundwave recants his numerous endeavors to Rodimus. Mostly the lack of interest any employers have in him but his luck will turn around- he'll get a paid job eventually. After listing off the various fields he's currently locked out of and what job offers are still pending, he goes over some of his volunteer work. Unfortunately, he's interrupted with their arrival to the hospital and Rodimus is taken away. Not for long. Some extra coolant, a date set for a few non-vital joint replacement, a verbal berating so intense Ratchet might of shed a tear were he there, and Rodimus is free! Filthy, but free.

Soundwave takes care of that part. Thoroughly. As promised. "-now I'm helping organize a protest. A peaceful protest. We feel there has been a bias in re-homing selections and would like to bring this inequity to light. But that is enough about me. How were the Quintessons?" Soundwave asks, toweling of Rodimus's feet after scrubbing them down immensely. He's currently drying between his cloven toes, really digging in there. "Did any of them make an attempt on your life? I request their name so I may eradicate them."

Rodimus emerges post-berating with a stunned, glazed look, and only really begins to recover halfway through his towel-down. He's only just managed to shed the lingering sense of impending doom if he does anything else stupid. Inevitable, really. Sinking into the pleasures of Soundwave's attention, Rodimus shifts his ankle, cautious of the joint of his knee, to point his foot and flex into the pressure between his toes. His armor clatters in a muted shiver of pleasure. "That's adorable. Several of them tried; one of them actually hit me. I don't think he's gonna be getting back up again any time soon, though. I -- ah. Hm."

Rodimus pauses, expression thoughtful as he double-checks to see if the Lost Light has landed. It has. He has some blistering mails in that inbox, too. Rodimus hastily closes out of that. "I brought you something," he says, sly verging on shy. "A whole bunch of somethings, actually. From Quint space. I just filed a quick note with logistics to make absolutely positively sure that no one ships it to the wrong person. Tell me about those protests, though. What kind of bias are we looking at?"

Soundwave's head tilts with interest and he presses his thumb into the middle of Rodimus's foot. He enjoys how it makes him flex and and armor spread. Heh. "Good. He won't get up if he knows what's good for him," he mutters, pressing on Rodimus's foot once more. Then he tosses the towel aside and stands, offering Rodimus a hand. The living room is way better than the washroom, promise.

Soundwave's visor lights up, illuminating the dark living room with yellow. He tries to play it cool. "I've noticed that there seems to be a priority based on factionally-drawn lines and not based on most vital need and- You got me a souvenir? That's very kind of you... ... ... What is it?"

Rodimus's grin steals in as a curl at the corner of his mouth. He smirks, looking perfectly pleased with himself. "I'll show you later," he promises, and reached to run his fingers down Soundwave's side, over the places his tentacles would emerge, before taking his hip in hand as he sidles after him. He limps, just slightly. "When's your protest planned? I'll be there. I'll bring some friends, too. Can't believe they are already starting with that."

Soundwave's chassis heats with a loud whirr. "Well, I look forward to seeing what you brought me. I sure hope you brought something for the cassettes. They love gifts." And if the little skip in his step as he assists Rodimus about is any indicator, he is too. With a soft, quick clap, the lights in the room turn on, diffused but enough to see around. Unlike when Rodimus left, there's no boxes strewn about. Things are put away and neat, the minibar fully stocked, and there's a potted plant in the corner. It looks well taken care of.

"It was bound to happen. But now we have the chance to point it out and combat it. Many don't realize they have internal bias- even I am victim of this. Believe it or not... You really want to be there?" Soundwave asks. Double-checks, really.

"Absolutely." If Rodimus doubted, Soundwave's double-check solidifies his conviction. Nothing like an 'are you sure you can handle it?' to make a Rodimus go 'BRING IT AT ME.' "If it's being done because of bias against Cons, then you have to have Autobots and Neutrals in your protest. We have to come together, all of us, to stand against that kind of thing. I'll make sure you have enough other people at the protest." He turns for Soundwave, settling in the middle of the living room. He pays little attention to the mess, or lack of it. He's caught up in the passion and conviction of his answer. "Minimus'll love a nice, orderly protest after all of that Quint slag we sludged through. I -- mm. I was gonna say I'd bring Orion, but maybe that wouldn't be the best."

"Its not bias against Decepticons. But its unacceptable all the same." Soundwave wraps his arms gently around Rodimus, delighted to hold him again. Felt like he was gone for longer than he actually was. He balks a little. "No. No, I'd rather not... Have him anywhere near. I'm sure he understands..." Then he nudges Rodimus with a bunt against his forehead. "Don't worry, though. There's going to be plenty of protests. For you, me- even Minimus. Now that you're back, we can make Cybertron a better place. One protest at at time."

Sighing into the wrap of Soundwave's arms -- with satisfaction, in contentment; like the sigh of a cloth settling into place, not a weary vent of air -- Rodimus holds him in turn. His hands stroke patterns and words onto the armor of Soundwave's shoulder, and he reshapes himself to fit against Soundwave. "I know we will," he says, before his smile brightens. "Or at least -- this one, for sure. When is it? Wanna make sure I can go to it before we head back out again to follow up on one of the leads we found on Quintessa. Quintesson? I don't know. Definitely not Cyberutopia, though. What a bunch of loose screws."

Soundwave bows his shoulders, as if he can wrap fully around Rodimus. His arms tighten, fingers gliding over the base of his spoiler. "Early next week. In front of the Re-homing director's offices. I've alerted police that we will be congregated so they-" Soundwave's words come to a sudden stop, vocoder broadcasting the static of white noise. As he... Processes. "Head back... Out?"

"Yeah. Some of them got away -- most of them got away, really, and I left a couple of scouts behind to track and follow--." Rodimus begins to explain the train of thought, but he notes the white noise static a touch ... slow. Curling his fingers lightly over Soundwave's arm, Rodimus draws back just enough to look back at him. "I came back to see you, and to be sure Orion was settled, but--." He falters, afraid of finishing the sentence. He's already delivered an unexpected blow. He'd rather not do it with a knife. (edited)

"But you're not staying," Soundwave finishes for him. The bow of his shoulders become less of a curl and more of a droop. "I thought you were going to retrieve Orion and come back. Come back, come back." He looks down, the visor dimming. "When do you go this time?"

"I did. I came back." Rodimus lifts his hands to gather Soundwave's helm in his hands and pull him closer. "And I'll come back next time, too. As long as you're here." His thumbs sweeps over Soundwave's mask, finding the edges of it in a gentle lift to pull it away. He steps in closer, feet slotted side by side as he wraps his arm around Soundwave's shoulders, anchoring himself as he makes a single point of gravity between them. "Scouts are tracking the Quints. Could be weeks, could be months."

Soundwave lets himself be gathered, faceplate falling away just as easily. He ex-vents softly. "Yes, well, here is where I'll always be. At least for the next few centuries. Organic memory never lasts long." His gaze lifts back to Rodimus with another sigh. "I know why you're doing this. I am happy you are. Proud. I was just looking forward to... You know."

Nosing gently against Soundwave's cheek, Rodimus leans into him and quiets. His hands map the span of Soundwave's shoulders and slide down his back to pull him close. "I'm here now," he says after a moment, failing to think of anything better to say.

"I wish that was forever," Soundwaver mutters, holding Rodimus just as tight. Even quieter, he says, "Don't think I'm not proud of you or don't support you. I'm just... I'm being selfish. Want to keep you with me forever. But I know that's unrealistic." He squeezes. "You promise to come back?"

There's a quiet laugh in Rodimus's voice as he brushes his lips against Soundwave's jaw, at the side of his mouth, and -- pulling back -- the tip of his nose. "I feel very supported," he promises, and then relaxes back into the embrace. "I promise, Soundwave. I'll come back." He whispers the words over his lips, and then closes that breath of distance in a warm and lingering kiss. I'm here, he thinks. I'm here, like it's a promise that extends far beyond this moment.

Soundwave smiles, just a little. Rodimus always had been good at pulling a smile from his lips- even if his spark aches. And it aches. He will deal with the hole in his life when it comes. But, for now, its whole. And he revels in it- revels in the kiss. Clutching Rodimus, he pulls back just a hair. "You better come back... And I'll always be here, waiting for you. But no more atmospheric re-entry."

Rodimus makes a face. "Soundwave, do you know how long it took them to land? It was like -- ages. Like an eternity. And I could have spent it here, with you--" Or in the hospital, with him. "--and we were just circling and circling and circling. It was terrible. It was, literally, the worst."

"Then find a different way to get to me quickly. Anything that doesn't involve you crashing into the surface of the planet or any of that disgusting goo." Soundwave boops Rodimus's nose with his own. "I'm just asking you don't worry me like that again."

Nose wrinkling in a laugh, Rodimus shifts to a more dynamic stance, less pressed into Soundwave, and pulling back -- pulling him after. He doesn't go far before kissing him again. "I will." His eyes brighten. He already has an idea. "That goo was terrible. For a while there, I thought they were never gonna get it off." There are parts of his feet that will need to be repainted. "And that fine--." He whistles. He'll be paying that off for a while. He might have to take a loan from Ratbat. He pulls Soundwave back until they can take a seat, side by side, and Rodimus can reach for him again. "I didn't want to wait up there. I wanted to be with you."

"I'll help you pay for that- unfortunately it is partly my fault. I think I might have given you that idea." Soundwave puts one arm around Rodimus, to better pull him in nice and snug. "I want to be with you too. Are you going to live here? While you wait for your scouts. You are, of course, welcome to stay and live here if you'd like. Maybe you can help decorate. I've been told I'm rather... 'Minimalist.'"

"You want me to paint flames on things?" Rodimus teases. Because that's how you get flames on things. He relaxes against Soundwave, soft affection in his ease. "If you don't mind me crashing here for a while." It's a little different than 'live' here, and he leans -- metaphorically -- away from phrasing it quite like that. There's an uncertainty to the distancing, a fear of being a burden. "Yeah, I'd like to stay with you, then." He rubs the back of the couch and says, "I've got a list. Barely started on it." His meaning is obscure.

Soundwave looks at Rodimus for a long, thoughtful pause. The difference has caught his attention and he can hear the small storm of issues swirling within Rodimus. He doesn't get into, though. Its for another day. Perhaps one not quite so exhausting. He sits back, taking Rodimus's hand in his own. "Good... I'm so happy you're back, Rodimus."

Rodimus grins, lacing his fingers through Soundwave's, and then says, "Tell me what the cassettes have been up to." That's a safe subject, right? Won't open any sudden pits?

"Rumble and Frenzy are going to kill you if you did not bring them back gifts as well," Soundwave helpfully tells Rodimus. Its a good place to starts, because there's a lot to share about his cassettes. He's pretty sure Rodimus will like hearing about Penchant's successful endeavors the most. But he takes his time filling Rodimus in. Because time is something they now have plenty of.

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