2019-01-12 Peaceful Protest

From Transformers: Lost and Found

2019-01-12 Peaceful Protest
Date 2019/01/12
Location Cybertron - New Iacon
Participants Minimus Ambus, Soundwave
Summary Peace.

The world is putting itself back together, one piece at a time. But it is a slow, argumentative and frustrating process, and as the first Cybertronian planetary election takes place under the guidance of the temporary council and its election commission, Cybertronian journalism -- newborn or born again -- has a field day with the extensive histories of each of the candidates vying for power. The upper divisions of authority are knockdown, dragout slugfests, where no quarter is given. But for the most part, it's not about ... what the plan is, so much as it is ... who did what, when, who killed whom, whose hideous war travesties were worse. But the thing is, that is a zero sum game.

Minimus Ambus's personality is not interesting. His war history is divisive at best. But he is a platform candidate.

And after thousands of years in wars of cults of personalities, the Cybertronian people are remarkably responsive to his platform. Of growth. Of renewal. Of education, of grants for the reeducation for soldiers with no marketable skills besides killing, of energy bonuses and incentives for teachers from the colonies who come to Cybertron to spread their knowledge and love of the arts.

But it would still be smart of him to avoid the potential political turmoil of public protests, however organized, so it is a little unwise of him to show up following the polite informational blurb he received about Soundwave's protest group.

Yet here he is, rolling up past the motorcade of bodyguards that he neither needs nor wants, tires crinkling over the street in his sleek and polished green sedan frame.

"Minimus, looking well," Soundwave notes from where he stands, waiting for Minimus. He couls hear the mech coming a mile away and decided to greet him personal. Its a rather formal greeting that undercuts just how pleased he is that Minimus is here. He's sure Minimus can see just how excited he is just by the look of his face. "I'm glad you could make it. I understand you have a busy schedule anymore."

Minimus Ambus transforms back into his medium frame, flowing to his feet as he comes to rest in front of Soundwave. He looks up the gap between their heights with the gravity to which he is accustomed, and gives him a grave nod. "It's possible that I will hinder you by being here," he says. "I considered sending my excuses. The media is not ... necessarily kind to me surrounding my ... personal associations." He growls the word almost possessively. Why is he going into politics when he is intensely private? Well, he asks himself this a lot.

Soundwave steps aside, motioning Minimus to walk before or beside him. "If your association with this protest hinders it, then I suppose I'll protest the media next- unfair reporting," Soundwave notes before adding, "Your guards can stay back if they'd like. My guards would enjoy the company." The light of his visor twitches. All this time after the assassination attempt and the last vestiges of guards cling to him. He doesn't try to encourage them to leave, on Rodimus's behalf. "On the topic of personal associations, how is Prowl doing?"

Minimus doesn't quite chuckle, but there's an edge of snort in the gust of air through his fans. He folds his hands into a neat clasp behind him, falling in step with Soundwave's naturally longer stride, and frowns out over the orderly rows of the protestors -- small, but mighty at least in message and consistency. He says, "He is improving efficiency numbers tremendously at the justice commission. It was work that needed doing. I don't know that he has yet managed to be _happy_ about it, but it's impressive and needful labor."

"I do not believe Prowl is truly happy about something until he has atleast muttered some complaint about something," Soundwave says very matter-of-factly, chassis humming. He thinks he's funny. "I am glad he is doing well. And your campaign? I've watched your speeches when I have been able to." He pauses, shuttering half his visor at Minimus. He's been practicing his wink. "But I always listen to them."

Minimus stares back at Soundwave, as though he is warring with himself about whether it would appropriate to ask him about whether there is something the matter with his face. He resets his vocalizer in a low clear of his throat, and then says quietly, "Ah... thank you. It's... the poll numbers are harrowing. I do not understand this world. But I do know what I want to do." A beat. "And... Rodimus? I assume you're in closer touch than I am." He's a little shy about it. Like, is it okay for him to ask Soundwave this question? He doesn't know.

"Restorative justice is a good step, but it is just one step in a very steep staircase of many other steps to be taken." Soundwave runs that through his head one more time. All this time after war and he's not once tried to brush up on his metaphors. Eh, it works. "What I mean is: Its one thing to lawfully move beyond our past, another to actually move beyond it. Personally. Keep at it, Minimus. The masses sound less harrowing than reports might say."

Soundwave's foot catches, just a second. Hanging in the air and then coming down too fast- but he keeps walking totally normally after that. He sighs. "Rodimus, doing well. Excited, helpful... ... But, he's already planning his next venture. I--" His jaw tightens before working itself loose again. "Adventure makes him happy."

Minimus Ambus is quiet for a long moment, and then says in a quiet voice, "It does." Each step set after the next, he keeps pace with Soundwave and stares off into the middle distance, looking at something or nothing. "Staying still wouldn't be good for him," he says, almost wryly.

Soundwave glances over to Minimus. He nods. "No, I would not. And the less he's on Cybertron, the less likely anyone will attempt to label him a Prime." That is a very serious boon. "But all I can do is try to give him a home for when he's here and wait. Another four million years, if necessary... I'm sure you don't wish to keep talking about this. We can change subjects if you would like."

Minimus looks up at Soundwave for a moment, and he pauses, weight balanced forward on his toes. Then he says, "I don't begrudge you your joy of him, Soundwave. I am... glad that he has found it. He /should/ have... a home, in our new Cybertron. However intermittently." His lips press a little thin as he looks back over his shoulder towards the protest, and he lets his weight fall back on his heels. "I have a world to rebuild," he says, "and I have Prowl, who occasionally makes the most... _ridiculous_ faces of happiness at me." He sounds as baffled as he does fond.

Soundwave doesn't say how Rodimus seems to tiptoe around the subject of home, and instead says, "Thank you, Minimus." He looks out ahead of him, imagining a variety of Prowl faces he's seen. Yes, he can see how ridiculous his can be. Very amusing. Then he turns, looking down at Minimus. "Do you recall when we stole from that Quintesson?" GOOD OL' TIMES EH? "When I asked if you thought you were unable to be loved?"

Minimus frowns at the question. It takes him longer to respond than it has to anything Soundwave has said so far. His feet drag to a halt, his frown weights into a deep groove beneath the edge of his helm, and he stares towards the orderly protest in silence. “I recall,” he rumbles eventually. He still sounds uncertain, though. Or, well, ‘’wary’' might be a better word.

Soundwave is patient and he waits for the response, absent-mindedly tallying the Decepticons, Autobots Neutrals, and Colonists in the protest. He converts the numbers into a ratio and the ratio into a graph by the time Minimus speaks. He chuffs a quiet hum, gaze falling onto his friend. "I was going to say that I am happy we- you- have an answer to that question."

“Well.” Minimus gives Soundwave the ghost of a smile, the rumble in his voice grinding out with the blended warmth of dry humor layered across it. “There’s no accounting for some people’s taste.”

"Now, Minimus," Soundwave says, chin tilting up in faux warning. He's definitely smiling under his mask. "What would your campaign team say about such a depreciating comment of your person? And, for the record, I've always found you rather tasteful. If not occasionally infuriating."

Minimus makes a low “hrrrmph” of a sound and shakes his head, his arms folding across his chest as he resets himself at a slightly angled lean backwards onto one foot. “Thank you for the compliment,” he says in one of his more prickly tones. “How do you know I wasn’t just insulting you?”

"I don't," Soundwave says, breezily- something he's learned from Rodimus- before looking off. "Only some sort of mind reader could know for sure."

Minimus makes a slightly louder harrumph without saying anything, scarlet gaze narrowing. A beat or two passes. Then he admits grudgingly, “I wasn’t.”

Soundwave glances back a moment before sending the graph he constructed of the attendees here at the protest to Minimus. "This wouldn't be possible without you," he says evenly, humor gone but friendly warmth still there. As warm as monotone gets. "Don't insult yourself- at least not this close to the reporters."

Minimus tilts his head slightly to one side and shifts his weight, hands dropping to brace at his hips as he glances over the graph, and then looks up in the direction he most expects oncoming press. “Yes,” he says. “Is there somewhere it would be most convenient to your protest if I should stand there?” He asks this question entirely in earnest.

"No, not particularly," Soundwave says, folding his hands behind his back. "Go where you would like but, be warned... Go to far and they might ask you for a speech." Beat. "Would you be opposed to giving one? Before you're elected?"

Minimus gives Soundwave a look of mild horror. "I ... don't have one prepared," he hedges, awkwardly.

The light in Soundwave's eye pinches in the corners and he places on hand on Minimus's shoulder in a polite clasp. "Then let's just listen to the speakers we already have. Are you hungry? I have a few cubes. These things can run rather long."

"No, thank you," Minimus says politely. "I am fully fueled." His scarlet gaze flickers up towards Soundwave, along the lift of his harm, and the faintest pinch wakes in the center of his helm's edge. He says, "It is a well-ordered event."

Soundwave nods. "I don't want there to be any reason anyone can say this was anything other than a peaceful protest. No disorganization, just lawful protesting. But I come prepared none the less..." He does, indeed, have his shoulder cannon. Its just tucked away at his back and not at the ready on his shoulder. "Old habits, sometimes difficult to kill."

Minimus gives him a slightly suffering look and then glances away again. "Let us operate under the belief that it will not be required. I have made it a point to be seen without armament in most contexts." A beat. "The ... nature of my innermost frame is largely not publicized, of course." It's between a wry confession and one of simple acknowledgment. He has the luxury of appearances.

"And if we keep it that way, you might survive future government assassinations," Soundwave says, attempting lightness. It doesn't stick. "Apologies, Frenzy is going through a 'dark humor' phase. It seems to have rubbed off." He sighs. "So, where will you be going after this? Next stop on your tour?"

"Debate practice before the broadcast roundtable next week. It may not be required. I am not certain if Starscream is even planning on attending the debate to be demolished. Still, it does not do to appear unprepared." Minimus blinks peacefully and then adds, "Or overconfident."

"Of course not. I sort of hope Starscream will be there just so you may adequately put him in his place," Soundwave says with a small nod. He is certainly no good at doing it. Not that he has any room to stand or sit anywhere and admonish Starscream after what he's confessed to, personally. "I'll be sure to watch no matter who you debate with, though."

"Mm. Underestimating him would be dangerous," Minimus mutters reluctantly. "I have strengths but..." He breaks off, shakes his head. "We will see. What do you plan to do next?"

"I don't know," Soundwave confesses. "I have finally achieved what I always wanted from my life and now... I don't know. Help Rodimus prepare for his trip, I suppose."

Minimus gives Soundwave a sidelong look, the flash of his optics a blink of brighter red with their widening shift. "I see."

"I am not complaining," Soundwave clarifies with a soft, happy sigh. "Not having a plan can be stressful but this... Not knowing isn't bad. I think it is good. I couldn't be happier." That's mostly true. There's one thing that could make him happier, but he's patient. Very, very patient.

Minimus makes a skeptical noise.

"I rather like not knowing what the rest of my life might hold," Soundwave adds. "I like it a lot more than waking up to endless war." He chuckles. "Almost endless."

"Mm." Minimus disagrees but only in so far as he says, "Hundreds of our people only know how to be soldiers. Preparing them for a world without is my new work. Perhaps... if I reach this... goal." His head lifts, his frown returning. "If my plan is successful, I suspect there is work you could aid me in. If you choose to."

Soundwave looks to Minimus, his vocoder crackling with the edge of white noise. "I-- I would be happy to assist in any way you'd see fit, Minimus. Thank you."

"Well, I..." Minimus hesitates, snorts a little, and then says, "we will have to see." After all, he still has to win.

"Now you definitely have my vote," Soundwave says, a tease to his words before he looks to the current speaker- Sky-Byte. Eh, the better one are later, anyways.

Minimus narrows his eyes with shadowed humor and shakes his head. "If this level of individual attention is what is required, my chances are doomed."

"We will just have to wait and see the election results," Soundwave says with a small shrug. "I wish you luck, Minimus."

Minimus is silent for a long moment, maybe thinking, or maybe he has forgotten that responding is appropriate. Finally he says, "I wish you the same, Soundwave."

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