From Transformers: Lost and Found
An incoming recording is routed to the inboxes of everyone on the Lost Light's crew roster, including command and even some who have been gone. There is a rather large attachment with it, but the origin stifles any fears of malware.
Even with the lab in disarray it's easy to tell which one it is; the botany lab and Skystalker are unmistakable things that bloom as the recording opens.
"Hello, everyone." Skystalker is looking particularly polished, and there have been some delicate touch-ups to his paint; pale golden lines along seams, framing eyes, standing out as faint shimmers on his armor and wings. The flush of color in his biolights is bright, along with his eyes. His hand lifts in a greeting from the desk, and his lips pull up into a subdued grin. "Firstly--"
"I wanted to say things to so many of you, and I will undoubtedly make some personal visits… but I just need to speak and get some things off of my chest before I wimp out." Skystalker pauses, adjusting his wings in a tilt and sweep downward, resting there. "We've come so far together, in all of this. When I joined this crew, I wasn't sure I would be of much use. But I couldn't bear to stay on Cybertron. It hadn't been my home for so long… and all I saw were ghosts. So I ran, like I did before."
"Contrary to popular belief, neutrals didn't always run out of cowardice. We are brave too. Some of us ran out of fear. Or despair. Or even hope for something out there that wasn't war. Hid away. We longed for a home where we could be at peace, and a great number of us took sides even if not badges. I was one of them, so I know." The spacer's slender hands fold on the desktop, lacing fingers together as he considers his words. Clearly he has practiced this, but there remains an uncertainty. "I was born outside of Nyon. I was a rebel. I fought, back then. I spied for us when I was drafted by the Senate. I brought back intel. I agreed with Megatron's first words of equality, his writing. Obviously, that didn't last. When Nyon was destroyed I was in Iacon. I returned to slag and ruin. Everything collapsed after that, and I flew as fast and as hard as I could, remembering how I was forged on the highest peak on Cybertron and reaching for those same stars."
"Not long after that, I was trapped and sold into slavery by an alien trader. Freedom wasn't meant for me, at least at the time." Skystalker's eyes turn downward, all too aware that his own story wasn't something he told everyone. It lingered, sometimes, but it was never something he shouted from the rooftops. "The first years I remember vividly. After a point, time blurred. There are periods which I remember as if they happened yesterday, and others where I only recall emotions, colors, snapshots, attempts on my own life. I had no home once I left Cybertron, and I would not get another until our war ended. Before it did, I escaped-- I had heard much about the turning tides between Decepticons and Autobots, and… I suppose it inspired me to try and get away one last time."
"I was free, finally, because of that last attempt. If it hadn't worked…" Amber eyes harden, along with the lines of his mouth. Skystalker pauses another moment, vents quiet. "The war ended, and I went back. But nothing there was familiar. No faces, no places, nothing. I felt like an alien. I knew no-one until I came to sign up for this mission--" A smile flickers. "--and then I found Rodimus holding the list. How could I not? He was the only thing left of what I remembered."
The rest is history, in a sense.
"This ship became my //home//. All of //you// became my home. I had been free but I did not taste freedom until I looked down on Cybertron as we left. I was afraid, yet I learned that you need to let your faith be bigger than your fear."
"Here on the Lost Light, I have felt an //indescribable// joy that I've never known before." It is here that Sky's facade of togetherness cracks some; he smiles, however, motes of light shining from his eyes, wings lifting. "I was accepted, despite everything. I was supported. Loved. I found myself-- my real self. Not the slave, masked by millions of years of forced compliance." He stops, vents spiking audibly before he is able to compose himself.
"Whatever happens next, I love all of you. I will always be here for you, as you have been for me."
"I hate goodbyes, so you won't get one." Skystalker's smile brightens through his emotions, scattering the shadows from his face. "I'm going to help the Knights rebuild. It will be a place of peace and welcome. It will be a piece of this ship, and this mission, made real-- and all of you are welcome there. To find your own peace, if you need it."
"I've left a copy of all of my work on Cybertron. Devisiuns have agreed to go and help the engineers and scientists there oversee the crop transference to the planet. I believe that with both halves together, maybe we have a //real// chance for Cybertron to purify itself and generate energon again. The same for Caminus, and every other colony out there. Even if you never liked my gross plants, these crops are our future too. I have hope that we can figure this out together."
"Don't be a stranger, never with me."
"Oh, and Captain?" Skystalker leans into the feed, eyes narrowing in mirth. "You may have led us here, but to me you will always be my forge-brother, and I feel it in my spark when I am around you. I have faith that many of your crew believe the very same after this journey."
"As I said. No goodbyes. Only 'see you again soon'." Skystalker takes a moment to sit up and lift his wingspan with pride. "I've attached something for each of you. It's my symphony. I've worked on it for years, and I am finally proud of it. It is for all of you, and it is for this home I've had."
"I lost //my// light. You helped me find it again."
"Skystalker of the Lost Light, out." His smile is a brilliant thing, warm and full of love.
//[attachment: compressed file: LostLightSymphony/comp.mic.allmovements/final.mic]//
When the transmission starts, it's at a diagonal, only to be righted around-- and around-- and around again--
"That's not for you, let it go..." Skystalker's voice is muffled against the bump and shuffle of something against the input; the recorder gets held aloft, tipped down at Skystalker, who is now looking up with the crankiest face he can muster. It's not really that effective. Instead of trying to jump for it, he moves off camera and wrestles it away from a flailing tentacle, which fills the screen around his face when he sits down upon one of Unoe's coils.
"Sorry." comes flustered, and Skystalker gets slightly edged up against the frame as the plant's maw comes in on the other side. It clicks and rumbles, unintelligible though somehow one gets the feeling that it's curious. Or maybe he just knows what's happening, it's hard to tell.
"I definitely //hear// the crazy part." Skystalker puts his hand up under Unoe to guide the head away again. The flail of tendril stops too, settling with a faint rustle. "I hadn't heard from you after you landed... but then I didn't hear anything from the planet either, so I tried not to worry." His armor is a fine sheen and even his features seem to have been dusted with a golden shine; the lights in the ceiling glimmer off of him, and he even shows off an angling of his hand and wrist. "There's a bit of a touchup craze going on here, but I think part of it is a little supernatural. I'll explain later. I could hardly believe it all when I heard it..." The spacer trails off a little, only to orient a dazzling smile at the camera.
"... I'm glad to hear you're on your way back." The warm color of his optics deepens to a rich orange amber, and there's a small lean into focus. "Don't talk like that, you'll jinx yourself and the rest of those good mechs. And I do-- want to come, I mean. Right now things are pretty... tense here. Lots of command and captain and fleet meetings, and I've been working on some things with the others to do repairs to Metroplex, but there's only so much I can do before I start getting in the way. Repairs on the crew have been going well, too."
"But the crops? I've worked on them so long that all I need now is to plant them and record the results... and maybe they could take on that planet too. I've taught some newsparks about them, and they seem to love it." After some rambling on, Skystalker seems to focus again when he mentions the newsparks, folding his hands up in front of his face with a laugh.
"Make it back soon, alright? I want to meet your knights. And maybe...maybe we can see if anyone else wants to come? We can be away from Cybertron while things calm down. Figure it out, you know?" Skystalker's biolights hum with a rosy hue. "I love you too. Don't drink yourself stupid if you haven't already. Daybreaker will tell me if you did."
Will it? Is that a thing? Unfortunately it's a cliffhanger, because Sky waves his fingers as the message cuts.
Drift's video messages get a prompt response, though of course it may take a little while to reach its target. A video message of his own, Skystalker has it set up in the botany lab.
In the background, something that hardly anyone else sees: Unoe is unraveled across the span of the floor, its tendrils spread out under the fawning light of a sunlamp on wheels. Its bud is mostly open, showing rows and rows of razors peeking from fleshy crimson folds inside.The centermost space is pitted deeply. but luminous with opalescent gold that drips over the edges of the lip's grooves. Skystalker doesn't seem to be heeding the slow rock of its arms and head, instead focused on the video recording, adjusting the camera and pushing magnifier still on his eye onto his forehead crest.
He looks a little angry, at first.
"Drift, first off, I can't believe you didn't tell me you were leaving-- you know I said I'd come with you for a bit--" Skystalker sighs, shoulders sinking a little. Anger dissipates. "But I understand."
"There's been some advancements on the energy signatures from Lieutenant and Pipes-- crazy stuff. Inverse energy, like Unicron... Support's working on it now. And oh-- the Harbingers--" Skystalker leans in, brow furrowing. "If you didn't know we got the other living cassettes back, and they have a combiner. So don't go near them if you can help it. Things are getting tight with Galactic politics too, I watch the news."
"You don't need to pay me to take care of your plants. I'm your amica, for goodness' sake." Any tension Skystalker still has seems to ease back. In the frame behind where he sits, Memory is stepping his way over the ridges of arms Unoe has stretched over the floor, disappearing into another part of the lab. The plant doesn't pay attention to the drone. Instead, a tentacle can be seen creeping its way into view of the camera, sliding its way up over the edge of the counter.
"If you get back to me I'll tell Rodimus whatever you like. I am formally demanding updates, got it?" Skystalker's hand shifts and comes down over the plant's reaching limb. It wraps idly around his wrist when he pins it there. Amber optics don't even move away from the camera in the meanwhile.
"I love you, don't do anything silly. If you need a pickup, call Tempo and ask for a bridge. He can give you a lifeline, alright?" Skystalker's mouth thins, but in a fond way. " If you need me, let me know. I better hear from you soon. Charge your recorder!"
The video ends as Sky cuts it there.
I'm under no illusion that the medical staff won't like a stream of visitors such as we are, but I've asked them how you are doing and they assure me you are stable. I will let you get your rest for now, and stop my hand-wringing. I've been more or less told to calm down at least a few times now...
I don't know much of what happened yet. Perhaps that is best. I want to believe that I can sympathize... but the thought makes me ill when I think of the things that you could have been going through that would end in that sympathizing. That we would have experienced similar things in some sense, and Primus, I am still scared to know. But if you want to tell me, or talk, or just have someone there... believe that I will understand. I am here for you, Penny. In every way.
I pray for your safe and swift recovery, and I hope that I might be able to see you soon. Be well.
(A little, pudgy cactus with cherry colored spines and delicate white flowers is left for Penchant with Lieutenant, at their shared habsuite.)
Crowding the medibay at a time like this would be against my best interests, but I wanted you to know that I am glad that we have you back. As much as we are at odds, I am grateful for your presence with us. I am not aware of whole circumstances of yet, but I know that in such a situation as what happened to you-- that it must have been incredibly daunting. I feel that I can sympathize, at least a small touch... and I would never wish becoming a prisoner of one's unscrupulous enemy upon any of you.
While I still feel my anger was justified last we spoke, I regret the manner in which I handled it. It was disrespectful and I didn't regard how you must have been feeling, and unfortunately I only was able to realize this during your absence.... I'm sorry. You did not deserve me treating you in such a say, and I hope that you might forgive my hot-headedness in regards to Quicksight.
I do not know if you will welcome it, but I will pray for your body, mind, and spirit. May you be well again.
(Outside of Soundwave's hab on his eventual return is a box containing a potted energon flower, a deeper purple than many of its blue-purple brothers and sisters.)
You will both be getting notices in the future once the paperwork goes through, but I wanted to preempt it with a message to both of you. With things as they are maybe it won't matter much, but I've realized a few things that I've been preaching mean that I should practice it too.
When things go through I will hopefully be getting reassigned to the Science Division from Navigation.
I wish to work more closely with my energon-based projects given our circumstances and I feel that my energy is best utilized there right now.
Nothing against your leadership Blast Off-- I look up to you and I apologize if this is sudden or feels reactionary, it is not my intent. I have realized that I want to try and pursue my interests for the sake of myself and the projects I've been managing in the botany lab.
Perceptor, I look forward to working with your department.
I know you are still down in there somewhere, so I hope that you at least check your messages. If you don't, I guess you won't see this anyway. I just hope you do. I don't think I'll be able to find you again unless I get help.
Or if you come back to me.
I don't want to lose you to something like this.
Soundwave wasn't very interested in what I had to say. I still said it.The only remotely helpful thing he said was 'tell him to read Towards Peace,'.He said he would take care of you later. I don't know what later is or will be and I made it clear that I disagreed.
If you need me, I will be on foreseeable rivet details.
I want to talk to you... I went on an excursion and I returned with something a lot more than a dead knight's artifact. You said you'd be there when I needed you, right?
Please come back.
Expression becomes tangible when we put it into word, so I understand perfectly the reassurance of the written word. Our thoughts come with more ease.
You are most welcome, and I am proud to have helped you.
I am humbled, even in all of this calamity. Thank you. I have hope that you will find some new joy, in some part of your life.
Bullets are by no means the only ones.
There is currently plenty of room inside of the lab for your plant, and Hound of course has free reign to come and go, so watching over it wouldn't be hard.
I know despite yourself you've kept it intact and safe until now, and I couldn't make your hard work count for nothing! You can bring it over to the lab whenever you like. I am not always around but you can trust any volunteers if they are working, they assist me with general care and can find a place to hold it.
Around half the lab is on wheels or on hook shelves in the walls but the rest definitely needs some organizing help. I was considering asking for the small labspace next door too-- but perhaps if you have ideas for some modular installations that would be wise as well.
The lab space on the north side of the lab adjoins to the next room by just one dividing wall. Last time someone used it was to store inefficient mechanical parts for projects, and I think it's still storage, just locked. It would be nice to give the energon plants their own smaller space instead of trying to cordon them off. Do you have any opinions on that?
In any case, I'd welcome a hand in rearranging things. I can only get so much stored and lately I've run out of people to coax into taking leftover plants. Someone is going to reprimand me. ;) Finding some better ways to organize this mess would be great.
When can we talk?
Quicksight told me he'd come for support but if you wanted me alone... I can do that.
I realize I was disrespectful, too.
I have some questions for you. Personal matters best done in person. I just need to talk to a couple of mechs that I know I can keep from gossiping about it. It's about something I've never done before, and I don't want to mess it up.
And there's something else, besides-- I want to find out if you might want to be a part of it. I don't know if I'd call it practice if I'm being quite serious-- sorry if this seems so cryptic. I've never been in this kind of place and I feel like I need some element of surprise on my side. Makes me feel like I have some power over... something.
Hope to see you soon,
I'm sorry about the cleaning solutions and sponges!
I was told to take some out for when we opened up the washing fundraiser, I had assumed it was already cleared, but if we need restocking I'll be sure to buy some more myself when we make another stop.
I think most of us will be fine without too thorough scrubbing for now, but if anyone complains about it feel free to tell them I goofed up. If they complain nicely enough maybe I'll give them a scrub myself.
I wanted to let you know that I talked to Rickshaw.
I think things are a little better with him. He listened a little to me.
He could really use some friends, though. I think a lot of what he's experiencing may be because he feels... unsafe. Maybe some of that is being alone. I understand that.
So if you see him around... say hello. Smile at him. Find out how his day is going. Find out how he's faring.
It's the little things.
SUBJECT: Don't Delete This
Because I know you'd probably be tempted. Unless you ignore me, which is possible.
Had a nice talk with Magnus. We're cool. I think.
He also suggested we practice unarmed combat when I mentioned I can't throw a punch. He seemed concerned about my inability in that department. So... I want to learn something. It would also show him that I'm definitely listening and that I take his words to spark.
He seems to worry a lot. So I think if he can see that I regard him highly, he might feel a little more at ease about my knowing... things. Does that make sense?
I hope you read this, Rod.
If you don't, though, that means I can draw something bawdy at the end of this note and YOU WILL NEVER SEE IT.
((Skystalker leaves a drawing at the end. It's hilarious and a little inappropriate. A perfect balance.))