Page 30 of 31
Posted: Thu Jul 03, 2014 4:51 am
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
Hot Rod was nervous.
He hated being nervous. But he also hated ceremony and pageantry even more, and today was going to be filled with both of those. It had been so much easier the first time around, he mused, when all he'd had to do was wrestle the Matrix away from Galvatron...
"Only you," a gently admonishing voice broke his daydream, "would be late for your own coronation."
"Sorry, Magnus." Hot Rod looked up at his old friend, who was resplendent in his newly-rebuilt, freshly-repainted armour. "Looking good," he said offhandedly.
"Which is more than I can say for you," the older Autobot said. "Stand up straight, stop frowning and for Primus's sake, keep your head up! The people are going to look to you for guidance. How do you think they'll feel about having a leader who's afraid to look them in the eye?"
"Well, gee, when you put it like that...I'm really glad you're going with Prime," Hot Rod told him.
"Leaders shouldn't be sarcastic," Magnus admonished him. "And believe me, I'm glad I'm not going to be here to change your diapers."
"Was that a joke? From the great stoic Ultra Magnus? First the war ends, now this..." Hot Rod nodded his head firmly. "I'm ready. Let's go before I change my mind."
Ultra Magnus led the way out of the small prep room, hefting the massive ceremonial hammer that was traditionally wielded by the new Prime's second in coronations like this. Hot Rod followed him, trailing a few paces behind as they headed down the east aisle towards the central platform. As they appeared, it would serve as a cue for Optimus and his second to do the same.
Posted: Mon Jul 07, 2014 1:22 am
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
The crowd quieted down to a dull murmur when Hot Rod finally appeared, arriving fashionably tardy. Watching from the Grand Oratory balcony, the three Autobots perked their heads up.
Prowl frowned. "Typical."
"Ah, come on!" Ironhide gave him a friendly shove. "It's part of the kid's charm."
Optimus Prime nodded. "That it is." He shifted his gaze to the other two Transformers. "Shall we?"
"Hot Rod is now making his way toward the platform," Slamdance continued to broadcast. "Currently acting Leader of the Reconstructionist Party, he has once more been chosen to carry the mantle of Prime. With him is Ultra Magnus, once-steward and City Commander, and for a short time, bearer of the Matrix. He served as the soon-to-be renamed Prime's second, as well.
"And approaching from the Grand Oratory is the Leader of the Autobots, Optimus Prime..."
The assembly fell silent when Optimus, flanked by Ironhide and Prowl, moved down the steps from the entrance of the Grand Oratory. At each side, soldiers lined the short stairway and the aisle leading to the platform waiting in Central Hall.
The Matrix hung from the Autobot Leader's neck by a silver chain. Its blue crystalline core glinted inside the artifact's spherical casing, copper-toned and freshly polished for the occasion. The orb's brilliance, almost hypnotic, caught the eyes of onlookers as Optimus moved past.
Like Ultra Magnus, both his witnesses carried symbols representing their respective roles in Autobot government. Ironhide, grinning proudly, walked alongside the Autobot Leader's left. He carried a large, beautifully wrought shield, emblazoned with the seal of Autobose Security. It was a symbol of the Prime's Honor Guard.
And to Optimus's right, Prowl, stone-faced and dignified. A longsword, sheathed in a decorative scabbard, suspended from a segmented belt along his waist. A symbol of the military, it was adorned in swirling gold patterns and ancient Cybertronian characters. Prowl's hand rested on the hilt of the blade as he strode down the walkway.
The platform was set in the middle of Central Hall. Two sets of steps led up to the front and back of the stage. It was small and circular, raised several feet above the floor, and illuminated by tall torches positioned along the corners of the platform. They clutched onto glowing orbs of varying blues, purples and greens, giving a calm but ethereal ambiance to the setting.
And at its center, a circle was painted, with five smaller spheres orbiting its edge, each colored differently to represent the five progenitors and were spaced apart at equal distance.
The onlookers were seated around the platform, starting only a few paces away from the stage's base and stretching as far back to the towers of the High Council Pavilions. The front row was offered to high ranking officials, with one section reserved especially for the crew of the Ark. Wheeljack, Brawn, Windcharger, Mirage, Bluestreak, Sideswipe and, visiting from Protihex, Ratchet, to name only a handful. With but a few notable -- and unfortunate -- absences, most of Optimus Prime's old crew was present.
The trio of Autobots stepped onto the stage. Prowl and Ironhide found their places outside of the circle that had been marked for the witnesses, while Optimus Prime stood waiting at the center.
The Autobot Leader's optics followed Hot Rod and Ultra Magnus as they made their way up to the platform.
Optimus then held out his hand and kindly asked, "Are you ready?"
Posted: Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:27 pm
"Don't worry, Dirge and I will make sure he goes," The minicon offered.
"Stratus!" Aero Blade snapped, as though scolding the minicon briefly before looking back at Smokescreen again, seeming tired almost as he started in an explanative tone. "Smokescreen, that was a very unusual circumstance. I was new in a world very off-kilter, I saw Autobots willing to attack each other, and I worried greatly over what would happen when the found out about me. I wasn't in my right mind. Don't you dare say anything!!"
The last seemed to have been hastily added towards to Stratus, not intended at Smokescreen. Stratus tried (though not very hard) to look innocent at the outburst.
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 3:21 am
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
Ultra Magnus stopped at the circle's edge at the foot of the podium, allowing Hot Rod to ascend it alone to meet Optimus Prime. The veteran soldier gave Prowl and Ironhide a curt nod.
Hot Rod gave Optimus a wry smile and said, "Of course not. But at least I realize it this time."
He took Optimus's hand in his own and shook it firmly.
"Are you? Taking on responsibility is one thing. But giving it up? That's ten times harder, for people like us."
"You're too hard on Stratus," Smokescreen told Aero Blade. "He's only got your best interests at heart, even at the expense of his own well-being. You should really listen to what he's got to say, from time to time."
"And my point stands. There might have been extenuating circumstances, Aero, but you still chose to trust me. I could have been evil for all you knew, but you took the chance anyway. And, hell, you trusted Dirge and he still had Decepticon symbols painted on his wings! It took a lot of courage, considering the life you'd led, but you did it. I know you have it in you to do it again, and I think you'll be surprised how much easier it is to do when you're not under fire."
Posted: Mon Jul 28, 2014 5:35 am
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
Optimus considered Hot Rod's question for a moment. "I suppose," he answered slowly, "I have... always been a constant. I stepping down? One may as well say, 'the weather has stopped'." The Autobot Leader laughed softly. "It is a strange feeling, I admit. But it feels right, as if all that has transpired has been leading up to this point. I am ready..."
He shifted his gaze to the assemblage. "I believe we all are ready to move forward."
Optimus moved a few steps away from Hot Rod toward the edge of the circle. He raised his hand to the crowd. "Welcome, friends and allies," he began. "Today marks a most momentous and sacred of occasions. Today, I pass the torch."
The Autobot Leader swept his arms open. "To you, my friends, who join us on this day to do your homage, are you willing to do the same?"
The audience cheered 'aye' in response. While they did so for the sake of ceremony, it served also to lighten the mood of the event. This, after all, was a celebration. A new Prime was about to be named!
"Excitement has descended on Central Hall," Slamdance relayed to the audience watching from their homes. "With the convocation's consent, the ceremony now commences--"
"... Some believe that Primes are beings that symbolize an era," Optimus went on. "That we define it. I presided over a period of great, long-lasting conflict. For the survival of our race, it was a role that I willingly assumed and not simply out of necessity.
"The day finally came, though, that our centuries-old conflict would come to an end. My role is complete, and I hope I served you well. And as our war takes its rightful place in history, in its stead we are faced with a new age. One that was hard-fought and earned -- and not without sacrifice. Yet, there is still work to be done. We have need of a Prime - one that is not synonymous with war - to usher us through the bright future that stands before us. And may it be filled with peace and prosperity."
He glanced back at Hot Rod. "We have need of a Prime to represent these ideals, and preserve what we fought all these years to achieve."
Optimus Prime moved back to the center of the circle, once more standing face to face with the youthful Autobot.
Slowly, he raised the chain over his head and brought the Matrix forward, cupping the shining heirloom in his hands. He carefully detached the silver bonds attached to the orb's handles and passed them over to Ironhide.
"While the Matrix is a sacred implement of great power and wisdom," Optimus continued, "it is also a symbol that bonds us. It unites a Prime with its people, for it is a Prime's duty not to reign, but to serve--
"Lead, yes, but never to reign," the Autobot Leader emphatically added.
He then gripped the handles of the Matrix and held it before Hot Rod. "Hot Rod of Nyon," Optimus's voice rose with authority, "do you swear to faithfully execute the role of Prime, and will to the best of your ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Peoples of Iacon and other Territories to any of them belonging or pertaining, according to their respective laws and customs?"
Posted: Fri Aug 01, 2014 3:20 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
"Psst! Did you know I am running as Hot Rod's PR manager thingie?"
"For the forty-fifth time, Trailbreaker, yes." Windcharger whispered back, pressing his fingers against his temples. "Look, I didn't get back here from Protihex to listen to you, I got back to see... this."
"Shhh!" Bumblebee whispered from the row in front of them. "This is the main part!"
"You're just jealous that you didn't get to be Prime. Like, Bumblemus Prime the first." Trailbreaker chuckled. "Bumblemus Prime."
Jazz smiled at the general proceedings. Some things never change. For the first in his life, he felt rather optimistic about the going-ons. He looked at Sunstreaker's empty chair, then looked back at the rows behind him. He could recognize a lot of the faces there. Cosmos, Broadside, Pyro, Searchlight, Brainstorm, Drift... Jazz considered confronting the kid about their shared past, but shook his head. That's so long ago and the kid's changed.
But there were also empty seats every now and then, and he let out a sigh. Smokescreen... Kup... Slag... Rewind... Swoop... Whirl... Crosshairs... Blades... Skram... so many empty chairs. There were several of the Protihex casualties that were managed to get emergency treatment courtesy of equipment from IMR -- Warpath sat next to Cosmos, his body rebuilt into something new after they scraped what's left of him off the tarmac. Gears, grumbling to himself, sat next to Bumblebee in another new body courtesy of the Constructicons, frowning to himself. Likewise, so did Blurr, who was clapping, moving his hands too fast for Jazz's optics to follow.
But still, a lot of people died. A lot of people left.
Peace came at too high a price.
But it's worth it. It's always been worth it.
Springer sat alone on a booth. There was no one in the bar that would recognize him except for Thundercracker, Ramjet and Dirge sitting on the other end of the bar, and they seem far more concerned to joke around.
Seekers in Iacon! Mass hysteria!
Springer looked up at the television screen, and watched as Optimus Prime held the Matrix before him and prepared to give it to Hot Rod. Springer smiled. He had had his differences with both Optimus and Hot Rod, and certainly a lot of other people, but he still considered Hot Rod his friend.
"Here's to you, kid." Springer said quietly, raising his glass into the air. "Arcee and Kup would be proud."
Posted: Sat Aug 02, 2014 9:47 am
Quick Switch stood smartly in the back of the room as Prime prepared to pass on the Matrix of Leadership. So many emotions churned and boiled within the one-time security director and elite guardsman of Optimus himself... Now it ended.
No, it had ended a longer time ago than that.
He looked on impassively.
Posted: Mon Aug 04, 2014 1:34 am
Aero Blade would give a brief, loud sigh, a sound Smokescreen was familiar with - defeated disapproval, but accepting it. Aero Blade had this happen to him enough times already to know once his friends set their minds on something for his own wellbeing, they weren't going to be convinced out of it.
"You just don't do anything else to go off the rails until in the meantime, alright?" Aero Blade would tell him. "One way or another, I'm getting you out of here."
Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 4:33 am
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
"As much as it scares me to say it," Hot Rod told Optimus, "I think you're right. But I--"
His gaze dropped to the floor as he tried to figure out how to put what he was feeling into words. He sighed and said, "Thank you. Thank you for believing in me, even when I didn't believe in myself. The first time this happened, I wasn't ready. Not even a little. I did my best, and I'd like to think I did pretty good...mostly because I had Magnus and Kup watching and telling me what to do. But now I think I've at least got some idea what to do, and that's all thanks to you."
He looked back up, now with a lopsided grin on his face. "I guess we should do this before one of us changes our minds, huh?"
He took a step back as Optimus addressed the crowd, listening to every word that his leader -- Optimus would always be his leader, Hot Rod decided then, even if he was no longer his commander -- had to say and taking each of them to heart. And when Optimus held out the Matrix to him, he didn't hesitate. He reached out and took hold of the heirloom, his own hands engulfing Optimus's, and for a moment they both held the Matrix of Leadership together as equals.
"This I swear."
"Oh, will you guys shut up?" Bluestreak said over his shoulder to Bumblebee and company. "And yes, I am aware of me irony of me saying that, it's not funny, shut up."
"It totally is funny," Hubcap said from the row behind.
"What are you even doing here?" Bluestreak asked. "Aren't you still a fugitive?"
"What? You wound me, Bluestreak!" Hubcap grinned. "I sold out my criminal counterparts, got off scott-free for all my many profitable crimes and made a return to civil society as Hot Rod's campaign manager. And now I'm in a perfect position to profit from government waste...er, that is, to earn a legitimate salary stopping people from doing what I used to do. Yeah, that's what it is..."
Sideswipe groaned. "Do not ruin this ceremony by making me call Red Alert over, runt."
"You've gotta forgive him," Bluestreak whispered. "He's just testy because...well, you know. Sunny not being here."
At the back of the room, Cyclonus stood in respectful silence and watched the proceedings. Buzzsaw was perched on his shoulder, which the senior Decepticon found quite uncomfortable.
I don't know why Megatron allowed them to do this all the time...
The two of them were not the only Decepticons in the hall, though. Blitzwing, the newly-minted leader of the Decepticons on Cybertron, stood alongside him, as did his bodyguard Rage and many of his other senior officers. Cyclonus's top crew, on the other hand, were out and about in Iacon inspecting the Autobots' starship stockpile for a vessel suited to the journey they were going on.
(The Decepticons has plenty of ships, but war cruisers like the Tyrant were hardly the face they wanted to present to the galaxy at large.)
The fact that they were here at all for such a special occasion was a sign of the progress they'd made over the last few decades. Aside from the short setback on Earth after the Quintessons stole Cybertron from them, the two factions had been at peace for the better part of a decade and a half. They'd built on that, somehow, and gone from grudging, distrustful allies to practically friendly, somehow. But as much as Cyclonus would like to take credit for that, he'd merely taken the last step. The road to peace had been paved, however grudgingly, by Gigatron, and he deserved the credit for what their world had become. But Gigatron had disappeared, he knew not where, and despite both factions' best efforts no sign of him could be found.
Cyclonus had an idea of where he'd gone, though. And if he was right, the other Decepticon had gotten everything he'd ever hoped for.
(OOC: No quiet ending for you!)
Sandstorm unceremoniously dropped down in the booth beside Springer. It might have taken the other Wrecker a moment to recognize him, though, because he'd been nearly totally rebuilt after the heavy damage he'd taken in Protihex. He was still getting used to the large, rotor-equipped wings on his shoulders, which made it difficult to sit without leaning forward.
"So...not in the mood for waxing, polishing and heading to the ceremony, are you? Me either. Broadside tried to drag me, but I don't feel much like celebrating."
Smokescreen smiled. "Good," he told Aero Blade. "I'll keep myself on the straight and narrow as long as you do the same. But in the meantime, I think Deep Cover's people probably have a few weeks worth of questions for me. It's probably best we let them start now, so we can get them over with sooner."
Posted: Fri Aug 15, 2014 3:58 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
"Bluestreak." Trailbreaker chuckled. "Come on, man, you know you're itching to gossip just like the rest of us. 'Sides it's nothing we haven't seen like a dozen times with the two of them anyway mm m mmph mm!"
Windcharger waved a finger around in the air with a mischievous grin, the tip of the finger (and Trailbreaker's mouth) glowing with purple energy.
Bumblebee looked back at Hubcap
and gave the other Autobot a grin as he countered Bluestreak
's thinly-veiled accusations. Having been involved with part of Hubcap's madcap run (and after reading up on his file as his new position in the SIS) Bumblebee had grown to... respect the sleazy Autobot, in a way, although he certainly knew that he'll still need to keep an eye out for him.
"Better the devil you know, am I right?" Jazz chuckled at Bluestreak, trying to lighten the mood after Sideswipe
's groan. "Be it Hubcap, or Red Alert, or the Decepticons, or, well..."
Jazz spared Drift one last glance. Flashes of his team dying in the Sonic Canyons, of Deadlock's taunting smile as he killed them, of the coffins he had to close, of his barely-restrained anger when he learnt that Drift had defected...
Better the devil you know...
Jazz reflected on Sunstreaker, and how far fallen his once-friend had became. Better the devil on your side, than someone like him. Jazz appreciated the feelings that led to Sunstreaker's rebellion. Primus knows he had those feelings himself -- the Autobots being too clean to be effective... how he had those feelings of bloodlust during the months after Drift's defection and preaching the Word of Primus to everyone... Ratchet, Prowl and Bumblebee, the only ones to know about it, had to go so far as to lock Jazz's quarters shut and spread word about how Jazz's fallen down with Cybercrosis until he calmed down.
Jazz's attention moved from Drift and the other Ark crewmembers to regard Hot Rod. The new Prime will have to deal with his own devils in his time, in his own ways.
"I could magnetize all their mouths." Windcharger piped up, while Trailbreaker crossed his arms and continued to mumble, trying to retort to Sideswipe's words with a witty comment. "I mean, that's a possibility."
Drift was vaguely aware of how Jazz was giving him looks, and twice he had slunk away from them. No matter what form of forgiveness or absolution he seeks -- be it Autobots like Sideswipe or Decepticons like Bludgeon -- it won't wash his hands clean. No matter what religion he believed in... Primus, the All Spark, Unicron, Mortilus, Adaptus... none of them could change the fact that he had taken away the lives of many Autobots and innocents in cold blood. Yes, he didn't kill as many as the likes of Bludgeon or Sixshot or Cyclonus now standing around regarded as heroes, but that still doesn't change the fact that his hands were stained with the souls of the dead.
And no amount of religious parading would bring back Jazz's team. They were dead. Consigned to the Well of All Sparks thanks to him.
Drift shook his head. After this was over, he will have to find Jazz. Enough running around.
He shifted on his seat, glancing at the Autobot sitting next to him -- Pyro, who was rubbing his hands together, optics wide open. In overwhelming admiration or abject jealousy, Drift did not know. Pyro had been making squeaky noises ever since Optimus Prime pulled out the Matrix, seemingly unconsciously placing his hands over his own chest. Drift knew better than to ask.
Blitzwing tried so hard to stand still. Cyclonus
, Blackjack, Shrapnel who was stroking that creepy pet of his, a surly Hook, even the likes of Bludgeon, were standing around and behind him. Road Hugger, leader of the Combaticon forces of Protihex, stood flanked by a smaller group of Combaticons slightly away from them.
He was Decepticon leader! How did that happen?
The ceremony, happening on the way from Protihex to Iacon, was quick and swift. Bludgeon, being a former leader of the Decepticons himself, stood in for the missing Gigatron and the deceased Megatron to formally pass over the torch.
And how could he stand up to them? To Megatron, to Gigatron, to Bludgeon... and to all the other great former leaders of the Decepticons? Galvatron, Shockwave, Soundwave, Straxus, Ratbat...
He's better than Starscream, though, that
Blitzwing tried so hard to keep his expression straight without looking bored or overly interested, his stance full of authority but not too stiff like a common soldier... and it was hard to pull off dignified and natual at the same time. Every now and then an Autobot or two would glance his way. A cameraman or two would point their recording devices towards the Decepticon group, doubtless going to use this as additional advertising for Hot Rod's Primacy.
Good for the kid, Blitzwing mused. He first met Hot Rod during the first Battle of Autobot City in... Earth year 2006? 2005? Blitzwing can't remember. And back then Hot Rod was a brash young brat and Blitzwing was a dumb thug.
Oh, how times have changed...
"Oooh, ooh, how about that one?" Misfire pointed at a garishly coloured starship. "This is like candy shopping -- everything looks really awesome!" The pink-coloured Decepticon Targetmaster practically bounced as he moved from ship to ship, easily distracted by every other ship on sale in the spaceport.
"I cannot believe we are entrusting such a crucial task to that dimwit." Barrage shook his head, pinching his forehead. His hands kept drifting down to his sidearm, before he caught himself and raised them up, massaging his own wrists. "What's with
him, anyway? Skywarp spiked his fuel with sugar?"
Barrage wondered how he was dragged on by this group of lunatics. He knew he was going to join the crew leaving Cybertron -- anywhere he can walk around without having to resist the urge to turn buildings into a wreck to strike terror is certainly welcome... but these particular lunatics certainly isn't what he had in mind for a crew. Misfire is a hyperactive kid, and the other Decepticons standing around Barrage aren't exactly conversationalists either. Barrage never liked conversation but he liked this awkward change of atmosphere less.
Misfire has changed from being a morose, gloomy passive-aggressive loser to this jubilant little five-year old. Sixshot, meanwhile, has gone to being the creep that exudes an aura of 'I will dismember you, snap your spine and blow up your home town' to... well, still the same dangerous-feeling being, but one that was cluelessly being half-dragged by Misfire as he inspects the spaceport, occasionally asking the other Decepticons if it was 'normal behaviour'.
Barrage glanced at Darkjet and Moonjet, the two Imperial troops that Cyclonus had adopted, who had been mostly silent throughout their walk as they try to keep up pace with the manic Misfire. The four Constructicons they bumped into (the Constructicons had left the ceremony for Hook and Scrapper to deal with) were noisily arguing with the Cyberjets over something banal.
Barrage let out a sigh.
Why did he have to put up with these lunatics? He liked it better when all he had to do was shoot Thunderwing shells.
Springer jolted into an upright, alert position as soon as the unfamiliar transformer dropped into the booth, his hand on the hilt of the sword on his back and having pulled it halfway out before recognition settled in. He let go of his weapon and sighed, making a waving motion to the bouncer that had perked up.
?" Springer asked with a not-ingenuine surprised expression. "You-" -look like me with a few altered parts
, Springer wanted to say, but instead he continued with "You survived too. That is good news."
That wasn't a lie. In the Wreckers' line of work, people die every time. And while what Springer considered the core team -- Springer, Roadbuster, Whirl, Topspin, Twin Twist, Sandstorm, Broadside, Rack'n'Ruin -- had survived, they have all died at one point or another. And Springer was truly happy that he had confirmation of at least two of his friends surviving.
He briefly considered if Sandstorm wanted a fight -- if he wanted to do what Roadbuster, Whirl and Topspin did to him a while back -- but dismissed it out of his mind. "Yeah." He replied to Sandstorm with a nod. "Don't feel like celebrating. These kind of events never were my kind of thing... I mean, good for the kid, but there's been too much death today. Whirl and Twin Twist and... well, you know."
Springer sighed as he poured himself and Sandstorm each a glass of the energon drink on the table. "So what're you up to now? Can't imagine a society where Decepticons attend a Matrix passing would be healthy to the Wreckers' continued existence as a group."
Posted: Sat Aug 16, 2014 5:52 am
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
Ratchet smiled at the bantering between his former-crewmates. It was nice to have the old family together again to enjoy this moment.
We all will have to meet up at Macadam's later once my business in Iacon is done.
The medical officer glanced over his shoulder to the seats behind him. He had reminded First Aid that the ceremony was today and hoped, futily, that his once-apprentice would make it. Ratchet wasn't able to pick him out from the crowd, however.
This was to be expected, he thought. And truly, Ratchet sympathized. He would be visiting the IMR soon enough, after all.
But for now, he would celebrate.
For a brief, yet profound moment, Optimus Prime and Hot Rod held to the Matrix. Time felt suspended. The theater was utterly silent, caught in the magic of anticipation.
"Hot Rod," the Autobot Leader then continued, "I pass the torch to you. Protect and cherish the people, as I did, and lead us in the way wherein we should go."
Slowly, he loosened his grip and handed the Matrix completely over to the younger Autobot.
"Now, take hold of the flame, Hot Rod," said Optimus. "And arise, Rodimus Prime."
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 1:48 am
Quick Switch watched as the Matrix changed hands. He felt drained.
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2014 8:42 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
As Optimus released the Matrix, a blue flash bathed over Hot Rod. He felt it molding him, felt his legs grow longer and his shoulders broader...and when the light faded, Rodimus Prime stood where the younger Autobot had been.
His flame-adorned front split open to accommodate the Matrix, and he installed it into his chest cavity. He did so quickly, without ceremony, because he honestly wasn't sure he'd be able to go through with it if he delayed even one second. As his chest closed up he expected to feel a heavy burden settle on his shoulders, just as he had the first time. But he didn't. This time all he felt was...familiarity? Maybe a degree of comfort? He wasn't sure. But certainly, there was none of the fear or pressure that he'd felt decades ago, as the "Chosen One" who'd saved their world from the Chaos Bringer.
Straightening up, he turned to face Optimus square on and saluted his mentor, friend and now-former leader.
"I relieve you, sir."
Bluestreak gave Trailbreaker a funny look. "You're Prime Minister now, TB. You're not going to be the gossiper anymore, you're going to be the gossipee."
Hubcap, on the other hand, saw what Windcharger had done and grinned.
"You know, if you're willing to do that for hire we can save ourselves a ton of political headaches. As soon as Trailbreaker gets off-script, bam, he can't talk anymore!"
"I'm pretty sure that would count as treason," Sideswipe opined grimly. Then he leaned over to Jazz and whispered, "Can the glares, dude. People are noticing."
Cyclonus saw the look on Blitzwing's face, the uncertainty in his posture. He didn't like it.
"Stop that," he growled as he sidled up to the other Decepticon. "Do not fall into the trap of second-guessing your worth. That is what they would have wanted you to do. Megatron, Straxus, Thunderwing...Galvatron. They kept us on the path they chose by making us believe we needed them to decide our future for us. But we don't. We never did."
Needlenose walked alongside Darkjet and Moonjet, careful to keep himself between the two youngsters and the other Decepticons.
"Sorry about Misfire," he told them. "He's a bit...giddy, the war ending and all. And he can be a bit much at the best of times." He shook his head. "Besides, he's got terrible taste. That last ship, with that weird mix of boxy parts and curved lines? No class at all!"
Spinister, who was trailing the group to ensure that none of them wandered off (and that Slugslinger didn't try to start any duels with the Autobot dock workers) gestured for Barrage to join him. "I promise, we absolutely are not letting Misfire influence the decision. But the other choice was to leave him unsupervised in an unfamiliar city."
"Hey!" Triggerhappy interjected. "I said we should tie him up on a leash outside our hotel until we get back."
"That would be an insult to his fundamental dignity as a sentient being," Spinister replied. "And besides, there's almost a 50% chance he could figure out how knots work and get free." Deadpan, he turned to Barrage again and asked, "Have any of the ships we've seen impressed you, in terms of weapons and defences?"
Sandstorm sighed as Springer gave his new bodywork a strange look.
"Believe me, I know. According to the medic, this is an 'upgrade'. Ha! I've crashed eight times trying to figure out the tilt-rotors. Red Alert keeps trying to send me to the drunk tank."
His face got a bit more morose as the other triplechanger mentioned their fallen comrades. "They'll be missed," he agreed, though it was clear he didn't feel the same depth of grief that Springer did. Losing your entire world did, after all, tend to make a person numb to further loss.
Seeing the person who ordered your world's destruction put back in charge of your faction did tend to raise some other emotions, though.
Sandstorm didn't blame Rodimus for what happened, not really. The Decepticons had taken over his world, and the Autobots didn't have the force needed to liberate it. Denying the resources to the 'Cons -- who would have ravaged who knows how many worlds with that much Energon at their disposal -- and taking in Paradronian refugees were, from their perspective, the best they could do.
It had still left Sandstorm homeless, though. And with Rodimus taking charge on Cybertron and Cyclonus -- now lauded as a mech of peace, in spite of leading the invasion of Paradron all those years ago -- standing at Optimus's side as co-leader of the group leading the planet, Sandstorm was at loose ends.
"I honestly don't have a clue," he admitted. "I don't want to go with Pri-uh, with Optimus, but I can't stay here."
Posted: Mon Sep 01, 2014 5:07 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
Optimus bowed his head. "Thank you."
Prowl and Ironhide took cue from the Autobot Leader and made the same gesture toward Rodimus Prime.
"May you lead with wisdom, with compassion, and with integrity." The former-Matrix bearer stepped backward to his witnesses outside of the circle. "I believe in you--
"We all do."
Ironhide pointed his hand like a gun at Rodimus, making a clicking noise. "All yours, kid," he said with a smirk. "Make us proud."
Prowl, stone-faced as he had been throughout the entire ceremony, gave a curt nod.
Optimus then turned away and started down the front steps of the platform. Ironhide and Prowl followed, and together made their way down the aisle leading back to the Grand Oratory.
Posted: Fri Sep 05, 2014 9:04 pm
((ooc: Think the Seekers at Maccadams are sufficiently drunk by now? We haven't done anything with them ))
Aero Blade would seem to make a tired smile from beneath his faceplate, giving Smokescreen
a brief nod before turning towards the room's door.
When he'd first come in he was keeping his distance from Smokescreen, unsure of who he was now, given his latest behavior. But now that Aero Blade had managed to reconnect with his old friend, he seemed reluctant to leave him, worried of what would happen to him after he was gone. But good or bad, nothing was going to happen so long as they were still standing in that room. So with great effort, Aero Blade would go to the door, and knock to signal the mech outside.
Posted: Mon Sep 08, 2014 2:53 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
Drift heard several people break out in applause as the Matrix passed, most notably Blurr, who's dissolved in a vibrating blue mass as he moved too fast for Drift's optics to follow. A quick thump to his side, and Drift turned around and raised an optic brow as Pyro had, seemingly, fainted out of excitement, nearly crushing Searchlight who barely got out of the way.
Drift was about to kneel down and check Pyro's vitals, but the other Autobot had quickly recovered and gotten to his feet without any word. No one around Pyro asked him any questions.
Drift and Searchlight shared a look, collectively shrugged and returned to applauding.
Trailbreaker tried to say something. To argue at Bluestreak's retorts, to try and give Rodimus Prime a wolf-whistle, to make a comment at whoever the hell that is that fainted in the rear rows, but all he managed was "Mmm mmph mmm MMM!"
Gears snorted at Trailbreaker as he looked back at Bluestreak. "Highly doubt that it's going to happen, thank you very much. Trailbreaker's too much of a motor-mouth to stop gossiping. Freakin' media's going to eat him alive." He paused, then scowled. "Hate the media."
Windcharger gave Hubcap a grin and a thumbs-up. "Treason's fun. And I can't believe I haven't thought of that five million years ago- OW!" A small force bubble appeared in front of Windcharger's face and expanded quickly, the force hitting Windcharger in the face like a slap.
The purple aura around Trailbreaker's mouth disappeared and he gasped in a mock breath of air, before letting out a really loud cheer.
Gears rolled his optics and turned to Ratchet. "Hey doc, any chance you could remove his vocalizer by accident? Please?"
Jazz turned to Sideswipe and flashed him that winning, easy-going smile of his. "Glares? Whatever could you be talking about? I was worried that Pyro was going to faint." It was, of course, obviously a lie, but Jazz continued, pointing at his visor-eye. "Besides I don't think anyone can notice with these. I could be looking at the 'Cons, or the decor, or anything."
Blitzwing visibly stiffened at Cyclonus' growl before willing himself to relax. Cyclonus' voice has a certain aura of gravitas to it, the gravitas that only a non-Starscream Decepticon second-in-command could have.
"I am-" Blitzwing started to retort, but stopped himself. Yes. That was what Megatron and everyone else would want. And he noted the pause before Cyclonus stopped at the name Galvatron. Blitzwing knew as much as anyone how fanatical Cyclonus had been to Galvatron.
If Cyclonus can change, can grow to this better mech...
"Yes." Blitzwing nodded, giving the taller Decepticon a smile. "I apologize. We don't need them. We are the Decepticons." Blitzwing afforded a short glance at those assembled behind him. His people now. "And this is the future."
When the crowd started to clap, Blitzwing raised his arms and started to clap slowly as well, as dignified as he could muster.
Truth be told, he liked Rodimus Prime -- Rodimus gave him a chance, when not even Galvatron did. Whereas there had been too many bad blood between him and Optimus. Yes, Blitzwing decided. It would certainly be far less tense to talk to Rodimus than to Optimus.
Shrapnel spared Rage a quick glance and raised an optic brow. "Half-expected you to make a loud 'boo' by now, now." The Insecticon whispered.
Darkjet nodded at Needlenose. "That was... unexpected, really." The Predator said. "Such individuality, such emotion, would get you shot at the Hub."
"I liked the colours of that ship." Moonjet said timidly, glancing backwards at the ship Misfire had just pointed out.
"Well, we find more outrageous colours to be more... desirable, so to say." Darkjet said, gesturing at his body. "These... wild colours? It's a mark of accomplishment, that we have been blessed with enough talent to be distinguished from the normal drones."
"They're not drones per se, but they act like them." Moonjet chimed in. "That's what's normal for us... which I assume isn't for you?"
Barrage fell into line next to Spinister, possibly the only other Decepticon in the group who wasn't completely insane. "He has gone off the rails. More so than before. Letting him out of sight would be bad. Would be bad for peace." Barrage replied, the mandibles on his face moving as he spoke. "I liked him better when he was whining about how he can't shoot anything."
Barrage paused. "I liked it better when I can shoot anything and crush everything." He said, slightly relieved to let it out of his chest. If there's anyone who could understand him, it's Spinister. "I'm really glad we're going out to space. We can shoot stuff in space."
He paused as he considered Spinister's question, deciding not to answer the Mayhem's remark about Misfire getting free from knots. It was most likely a joke. "The ships here are all commercial, I believe. None of them look really sturdy enough if we are going to war. I suppose we can strap some retrofitted warship weapons to the sides, though."
"I heard that!" Misfire yelled back at Triggerhappy! "You're a bunch of jerks!"
Sixshot, who had spent nearly the entire trip being pulled by the wrist by Misfire who had gone from being absolutely terrified of him to pulling him around like his best friend after judging that Sixshot won't eat him, gave Spinister and Triggerhappy a bewildered look as Misfire jerked on his hand and pointed at another ship and started chittering wildly.
"You have tilt-rotors?" Springer asked, giving Sandstorm a frown. "I have never flown as one of those before. I'm so used to this single-rotor changeform... and, well, now I have to get used to you looking a bit like me."
He sighed. He kept forgetting Sandstorm's gone through a lot more than any other Wrecker had -- kid had gone through a lot of tragedy.
And Springer felt another pang of guilt -- who was he to throw a tantrum when someone like Sandstorm's gone through so much and is still holding on?
Springer nodded at Sandstorm, understanding his plight. He can't go with Optimus Prime either -- too much bad blood has gone down between him and the Decepticons. Too many brothers in arms killed by the likes of Spinister and Cyclonus and Sixshot. But taking orders from Rodimus? He respected how much the kid has grown, but he know he's never going to see past the fact that Rodimus was Hot Rod.
And having someone second-guessing everything their leader's doing? That's not quite a good thing to have.
"Well, that makes two of us." Springer said, sighing. "I've no clue what to do, which is odd... I always thought I did, you know? I always thought I knew how to beat the Decepticons, how to beat the Imperials, how to beat every single threat that came along... and when push comes to shove I end up shoving every plan I make and improvising on the way. That's what we do, isn't it?"
Springer shrugged. "So we improvise. We could disappear from public view, clean up whatever threatens this brave new world before they even catch Hot Rod's attention... or we could just wander around space playing space cops or whatever..."
Thundercracker's vision blurred as he blinked. Stupid Ramjet, making him drink that... that green... green-orange thing. The thingy. Stupid Ramjet. There's three of him. No, four.
He tried to get his head off the table and wave at the bartender. Maybe another drink will clear this vision.
"Duuuurgeeeee." Thundercracker slurred. Whatever was in the drink numbed his tongue. Except Cybertronians don't have tongues. "Duuuuurgeeee why you leave ussss." He said as he lifted his head slightly from the table, before failing to maintain it and the head crashed down again.
Oh, look, there are five Ramjets now.
Posted: Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:31 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
(Thanks to ziggy for helping me with this!)
Rodimus Prime forced himself to meet Optimus's eyes, and to give Ironhide a cocky grin (he more-or-less ignored Prowl). When the trio started to leave the podium, he stayed behind, watching them leave with a strong rush of nostalgia.
Out with the old and in with the new, he mused sadly.
He wanted to follow them out, but his feet didn't move. They wouldn't, he knew, because before he could go he owed something to the collection of Autobots who filled the auditorium.
"So," he said, raising his voice to be heard over the din of the crowd, "here we are again. Some of you were here the last time I gave a big, fancy speech after taking on the Matrix. 'Let this mark the end of the Cybertronian Wars as we march forward into a new era of peace and happiness!', I said."
The Autobot leader let out a short sigh. "That didn't exactly work out, did it? But what the hell did I know? I was just a kid, thrust into a role that I was completely unprepared for by the cold hand of destiny. And now I stand before you, two decades later...and I find that I'm still a kid who's completely unprepared for what he's got to do. But at least I realize it this time, and I figure that's progress.
"And yet...and yet. This time, even after all the chaos and death that led us to this point, I'm optimistic. So many have come today, from different backgrounds, different construction types, from different nations. Iacon, Kaon, Crystal City, Protihex... Citizens of all walks of life. Autobot, Decepticon, Neutral... Each giving us valuable insights into each other. Through mutual understanding, I am positive that we can all build a better world together.
"'Til all are one!" He chuckled. "That's what I used to say. I don't think I ever really thought about what it meant, though. Looking around the room now, though, I'm finally starting to see it. Different races, different factions, different generations, all gathered under one roof. I see Jazz and Bumblebee, Lightspeed and Rollbar, Quickmix and Nightbeat and Minerva and Yukikaze and Rollout and High Beam. I see Recoil and Gort and Boomer and Flintlock."
He smiled out at the crowd. "I even see Blitzwing and Cyclonus and Road Hugger and even Bludgeon of all people. And that's why I think we may actually be poised on the cusp of a new era, this time. Because this isn't a peace founded on conquest. It's a peace founded on cooperation and friendship, and those are the peaces that last.
"And here I am, some punk kid from Nyon with a shiny bauble. I'm not Optimus Prime, and I'm going to make mistakes that Optimus would have known better than to be tripped up by. But you know what? That's okay. Because I'm not doing it on my own. I've got all of you to help me out."
Rodimus gave the crowd a roguish grin, then finished by saying, "Now lets go find out what the future holds...together."
"You brought that one on yourself, Windcharger," Bluestreak told the other Autobot with a laugh. "People keep forgetting that being a motormouth isn't Trailbreaker's only superpower!"
Sideswipe didn't dignify Jazz's lie with a response. Instead, he just said, "Drift killed a lot of people. But how many Decepticons do you think we killed over the years. It's war, man. People die. Stuff happens. You've got to let it go."
He glanced pointedly over to Bludgeon, who stood in the back along with the other Decepticons.
"You hold onto that stuff, it'll eat you up, you know?"
"That's better," Cyclonus grunted at Blitzwing. Then he smiled. "Don't worry. I'll be out of your way soon enough too.
Rage glanced at Shrapnel and said, sadly, "Cyclonus has made it clear that if I disrupt the ceremony, he'll shoot me."
Needlenose shrugged. "Used to be that way too. But, hey, times change right?"
He grinned when the two ex-Imperials expressed their fondness for bright colours.
"Not so different here, my friends. Especially with the mass-produced types. Why do you think all of our seekers paint themselves such bright colours? It certainly ain't for disguise, that's for sure. But when all your buddies look the same, you gotta stand out somehow." He shook his head. "And some of those seekers or Reflectors act so much like drones you'd never know the difference, I'll tell you that."
Spinister nodded. "Yes, he was much easier to control then."
He sighed. Barrage's difficulties weren't unique, and it would take a long time to get over them. The Targetmaster had been feeling ill at ease himself for much the same reason. He didn't say anything -- couldn't think of what to say, if he was honest -- but his expression showed that he understood exactly what the Insecticon meant. The war had left most of them damaged, some very badly so.
"That's not necessarily a bad thing," he said when Barrage gave his assessment of the selection of starships. "A military vessel would have cramped quarters and very little for the crew to do. A roomier civilian ship will allow us to build in some creature comforts, and hopefully keep the Autobot and Decepticon crewmembers from clashing too much." He shrugged. "Besides, with the Imperials and Quintessons beaten back, there aren't many aliens out there advanced enough to pose a threat even to a civilian Cybertronian starship. Even moderate defences will leave us more than capable of defending ourselves."
He saw Sixshot's distress and looked away so the sixchanger wouldn't see the amusement on his face.
Sandstorm scowled. "Neither have I," he told Springer. "I nearly crashed four times on the way here."
He pondered what Springer had to say, then shrugged. "If all else fails, I guess we could move to Protihex. I hear it's a good place for people to retire to."
Ramjet shook his head in disgust. He'd had just as much to drink as Thundercracker but he was perfectly sober...or so he thought.
"Slag'n l'teway't," he slurred, his rustic accent becoming practically incomprehensible thanks to the addition of intoxication (OOC: I figure he sounds like Sylvester Stallone at his most indecypherable). "S'ry D'rg, b't he's j'st ta w'zy ta h'ld h'z dr'nk."
Posted: Wed Oct 01, 2014 4:35 am
SOMETIME AFTER THE CEREMONY
Prowl's Office, Autobase
The lighting in Prowl's office had been dimmed, save for the fixture at his desk. Prowl reclined slightly in his chair, holding a datapad up toward his face. He was not looking over reports, as he often did during the lulls, or figures, or itineraries, or some other form of tedium. He was simply reading.
A well earned moment of leisure, the chief strategist had told himself. The Gunshot that Killed a Civilization was the story; an allegorical tale inspired by the Great War. The protagonist of the tale, he surmised, was inspired by Optimus Prime. And the villain, as to be expected, was a disenfranchised insurgent of the disposable class. In spite of its inaccuracies and exaggerations, it was quite popular centuries ago.
Prowl too had enjoyed it then, though even now he struggled to recall ever deriving such pleasure from it. Surely he must have, he would tell himself.
Abruptly the office door opened and in came Red Alert and Deep Cover.
"I'm sorry, sir," his receptionist told him over the intercom, "they said that they were here on senate business."
Calm and dispassionate, he placed the tablet down. If the interruption had irritated him, Prowl did not show it.
Red Alert stood at the front of the desk, glowering contemptuously down at the defense minister. "Feeling nostalgic?" he said, noting the open tablet. "Don't worry. We won't be long."
Prowl ignored Red Alert. He was silently sizing up the ISS Security Director's companion.
An informant had approached the strategist shortly after the Trion touched down at the Decagon. It had been imparted on him that Deep Cover had been appointed as the new head of the Secret Intelligence Service. With Smokescreen's more illicit activities exposed -- which he had also learned -- it was only a matter of time that his successor would pay Prowl a visit.
The irony that Red Alert would be colluding with a member of the SIS was not lost to Prowl. And surely, he quickly deduced, this was collusion. Why else would the head of the Iacon Security Service associate with a group he'd have little reason to trust? Red Alert had taken Prowl's measure.
"Well... the newly appointed SIS Director," Prowl acknowledged the other Transformer, opting not to indulge Red Alert. "To what do I owe this intrusion?"
Iacon Medical and Research Institute
Blades's body had been transferred to a small secluded room in the IMR's intensive care unit. Security measures, which were not entirely unfounded, were minimal but had been put in place by the ISS, ordering that he was to remain restrained to his bed at all times.
Insensate, the once-blue glow of his optics lost, Blades was beyond reaching. The life support unit latched to his torso had merely extended his spark well past its expectancy. Without a functioning brain module there could be no recovery.
First Aid had rarely left his former-squadronmate's side since his arrival at the IMR, tending to Blades's external wounds and cleaning him, leaving only to recharge and see to his usual administrative duties. This naturally concerned many of his colleagues, especially members of the IMR board of directors.
And people, as they tend to do, were beginning to 'talk' of the new Chief Medical Officer's mental state and his preoccupation with the hospital's criminal patient.
First Aid looked on at the foot of the slab as Ratchet leaned over the comatose body, an in-built diagnostic headset flipped over his left eye.
"Soooo..." First Aid began to say with some difficulty, perhaps to avoid asking the obvious question. "How much longer are you here?"
"For the next few days," said Ratchet, not looking away from Blades. "Partially on business, but I had to be here for the ceremony." The telescopic lens spun and contracted as he examined the once-Autobot's head. "And to see Optimus and the others off to Primus knows where--
"I'm planning on meeting up with some of the old crewmates at Maccadam's later," he coyly added, hoping First Aid would take the subtle invitation. He didn't, understandably. "Also, I'm here for supplies, but more importantly, there's the conference with the board."
"Right." First Aid slowly nodded. "The proposal for a hospital in Protihex."
"Yeah, that. All part of Groove's reconstruction program. You'll be there at the meeting, I hope?"
"Of course I will."
"Good. After all that's happened there, Groove is going to need all the support he can get." Ratchet glanced over at the readout displayed on the screen of the spark support machine. "It's all for a good cause. You'd be proud of the work he's doing there."
"Oh, I am," the Protectobot's voice wandered as he spoke. "We, uh--we all are. Governor of a city-state. It's amazing, really."
An awkward pause fell over the room.
Unable to hide his vulnerability, he finally said, sheepishly, "I--I appreciate you coming to see him."
Ratchet looked away from the monitor to the other medical officer. "Of course, of course," he calmly reassured the younger Transformer. "I know how much your friends mean to you."
"Just needed a second opinion, I guess."
Ratchet sighed. He then stood up straight, the headset folding away into his helm, and forced his gaze to meet his colleague's. Another awkward pause followed.
First Aid lowered his head. "I see..."
"I wish I had a more optimistic prognosis for you, but you know just as well as I do that there's not much that can be done."
First Aid grew anxious. "But -- but couldn't we... I mean, we might be able to salvage his memories and transfer them to a new brain module."
"Assuming there's anything to recover," Ratchet countered. "And assuming our best cerebro and mnemosurgeons are willing to do it. These procedures you speak of -- they're very extensive, very time consuming, and very costly. Not to mention that there's a gigantic waiting list."
"And that it's reserved for special cases," the younger Transformer acknowledged angrily, "usually going to the most in need, to the 'most deserving'. I know."
"Do you?" Ratchet squinted at him questioningly. "Criminal Justice offers him fair medical treatment -- to an extent. With Blades's history, especially after the whole fiasco at the Amphitheater, he would never be approved. And honestly," he sighed, "I'm sorry, but I wouldn't approve it. I just can't, for the sake of the institute and its patients. I suspect the rest of the IMR board feels the same."
"Glad to hear that public image takes precedence over our Hippocratic oath," First Aid grumbled.
"It isn't like that at all." Ratchet's expression softened. "Listen, I care about you, First Aid. You were my apprentice, after all. I know I should offer more comforting words during this time -- that you and Blades have history, regardless what he has done, but you also need to face the facts;
"Blades's spark -- which would fade within minutes without life support -- has been without a brain module to parse it for the past several cycles. The damage is already done. At the spark's stage of contraction, I'm not even sure we'd be able to move it safely to a containment unit."
First Aid tossed up his hands. "Argh, I know, I know," he groaned. "I guess I was, I don't know, hoping for some kind of alternative."
He looked to Blades's lifeless form. "He's in a living hell," First Aid said. "A blank. Which I'm sure many would say is more than he deserves."
"I'm not saying that. I'm not saying that at all."
First Aid dropped down, defeated, into a chair at the side of the bed and buried his head into his hands. "I don't know what to do, Ratchet," he admitted. "Really, I'm all he has left. On the legal end of things, he left no will or testament, no Amica Endura to consent. Even if he had those things, I doubt they'd be honored. It's a miracle the ISS -- or the IMR for that matter -- are allowing us to keep him alive as long we have. And who knows how long that 'accommodation' will last!"
He looked to his once-mentor, his visor wide with anguish. "I know Blades had brought this on himself, but I can't leave him to... to them, to the authorities or the institute to decide his fate. I know I'm being selfish, but I can't -- I won't!"
"Then don't let them." Ratchet knelt down in front of First Aid and consolingly put his hand on his colleague's. "We'll make the arrangements, okay? Grant you power of attorney, whatever it takes. I'll see to it." He smiled. "I'm here for you, but at the risk of sounding horribly trite, I guess you have to ask yourself, what would Blades want?"
Posted: Thu Oct 02, 2014 3:06 pm
Central Hall, High Council Pavilions
When Rodimus Prime finished giving his speech, Blurr was, as always the first to jump to his feet and let out a thundering applause, his hands clapping fast enough to sound like a dozen of people were clapping at once. “WOOOOOOOOOOO!” Blurr whooped. “RO-DI-MUS! RO-DI-MUS!”
Around Blurr, other Autobots slowly got to their feet and clapped as well. The massive Brainstorm on the Wreckers’ row, the small Searchlight alongside the surviving Throttlebots, Brainstorm, with difficulty thanks to a strange-looking golden briefcase clamped to his wrist, war veterans like Cosmos and Bumblebee, younger ones like Jackpot and Path Finder, Strafe and Scattershot…
Gears snorted as he glanced to the Autobots on either side of him, let out a scowl, hopped to his feet and clapped along, his pouting expression making it clear he’s not enjoying this.
Blitzwing joined in the clap, although in a more respectable way than the Autobots, who were fast turning into a ruckus. Some Decepticons, like Blackjack and an ever-insufferable Hook, grudgingly joined in, but some, like Bludgeon, did not. On the Combaticons’ side, Road Hugger, Detour, Brawl, Blast Off and the rest of them – half of which were Autobots or former Autobots – rose up alongside the Autobots and continued the chant.
“Damn right, I’ve got two superpowers. My mouth and my big ol’ forcefield generator.” Trailbreaker grinned. “One-trick pony my exhaust! And now I’m about to make good use of the former.”
When the cheering started, Trailbreaker actually hopped up onto his chair, planting one foot at the chair in front of him (Gears’ thankfully recently-vacated seat) and let out a loud, embarrassing cry of “RO DEE MUSSSS”.
Windcharger and scowled at Trailbreaker and Bluestreak as he recovered, and when Trailbreaker hopped up the chair, the smaller Autobot facepalmed. “He’s drunk again, isn’t he.”
“Hmm.” Jazz nodded at Sideswipe’s words, still flashing that easygoing smile of his, though he did follow Sideswipe’s glance at Bludgeon. Bludgeon was one of the Decepticons who did not clap, and instead stood straight up with his arms folded. Jazz could swear the Pretender realized he was being talked about, and that there was a slight change in his head’s direction, but he dismissed it.
“Yeah, man, I know.” Jazz replied to Sideswipe at last, exhaling hard, the smile disappearing from his face. “Believe me, I know. Just gotta deal with it eventually. Probably find some time to talk to the kid, so that it doesn’t eat both of us- well, so it doesn’t eat me up.” He paused, let out a chuckle as Trailbreaker made a fool of himself, and joined in the clapping.
“Unfair as it is for me to ask this question at the moment…” Jazz paused, decided there was no better time, leaned next to Sideswipe and whispered, “Any word about Sunny? And I totally mean it in a non-hostile way. If you don’t want to let me know, I totally understand.”
Blitzwing chuckled at Cyclonus, looking up at the technically younger Decepticon. As he listened to Rodimus’ speech, Blitzwing smiled. Yes, Blitzwing decided. They might not have Rodimus Prime, or some punk kid from Nyon who had achieved greatness, but they had Cyclonus.
A Unicron-spawned soulless hunter with no purpose in life but to be loyal to Galvatron… yet somehow now one of their best and most honorable among the Decepticons.
Blitzwing was genuinely sorry that they’re going to soon lose Cyclonus as he goes off to space… and hopes that an old warhorse like him could hope to achieve great honour like Cyclonus and Rodimus Prime did.
“Ah, so he did that, that.” Shrapnel chuckled at Rage. “I thought it was getting too quiet, quiet.” Shrapnel frowned in thought as he petted Needler. “Say, Rage, if we both hollered really loud while they’re cheering, do you think they would consider it respectful or really rude, rude?”
“Right, sometimes we forget we are both fruits from the same tree.” Darkjet replied to Needlenose. “It’s hilarious how we Imperials talk about how perfect we have become, how advanced we are and how you are evolutionary throwbacks, but we have progressed so little culturally.” Darkjet shook his head. “If we ever meet the Imperials in our travels, I need to set it right.” He paused.
“Individuality’s what sets us apart from actual machines.” Moonjet said, frowning. “Or something. I think I read that in one of the datapads that, uh, the little gold guy that's walking at the back of our little crowd gave me. Slag? Slog? Slug? Dammit, what’s his name- I forgot!”
"Slog." Tinker said as he glanced back at the golden Pretender, who was trotting behind the arguing Cyberjets and Constructicons, trying to catch up with his little legs. He had separated from the other Pretender Monsters, apparently 'trying to catch a break from Wildfly', though considering the ruckus going on around, it probably wasn't the break he was hoping. Slog didn't seem to mind, though -- he was holding a datapad almost as large as his own body was, skimming through the Autobot art catalogue and muttering to himself, though he wore a most happy expression. "Well at least someone's enjoying himself."
“He was much more worthless back then, too.” Barrage told Spinister, though his flat voice would make it evident he meant Misfire no actual malice... it’s just that he doesn’t know how to display emotions properly. “Frankly surprised he didn’t take his own life in shame in the millions of years of war. I know I would.” Barrage paused, then frowned. “Or is he that bad a shot?”
Barrage’s hand inched down to the two subsonic machineguns strapped onto his waist, stroking the handles and the triggers almost absent-mindedly as Spinister spoke, as if only conscious strength of will was causing him not to flip out and shoot everyone not with a Decepticon insignia in the head. “I did not consider it that way, I must admit.” Barrage replied in that matter-of-fact way that he speaks. “That shows why I am not in charge. Yes, being kept away from Autobots would prevent accidents from happening.” Barrage tilted his head. “And aliens are inferior, technology-wise, to us. Yes, I see the point.”
Sixshot turned away from Spinister, who was too busy talking to Barrage, as Misfire dragged him on along. “Ooh, this one, this one!”
“I have never been in such hectic a situation before.” Sixshot told Misfire with a bit of a frown. “Is this how Decepticons interact with each other in… downtime?”
“Oh absofragginglutely.” Misfire replied with a grin that was not at all sane. “Come, Sixs, tell me what you think about this one!”
Sixshot knew Misfire didn’t care about vulnerabilities or which part of the ship he would tear apart first, nor the armaments or most explosive parts of the ship (and the Autobot merchant, trying to hold himself together with so many famous Decepticon war figures around, certainly didn’t appreciate it) so he frowned. “It is… purple?” Sixshot said at last, and added, “I like it?”
“See, my buddy Sixshot here likes it!” Misfire said, patting Sixshot on the arm and then leaned in towards the merchant, in a way that was supposed to (and failed to) be friendly. “How much for this one, hey?”
With a Decepticon leaning in to his face, armed with an unsettling grin at that, the merchant just managed to babble out, "Fifteen- I- I mean, twelve- twelve thousand Iacon Credits."
"I think we can afford that? I think?" Misfire said, looking up at Sixshot, who shrugged helplessly. Misfire then called out. "Oi, Constructicons! Which one of you is holding the money purse?"
"I think 't was Long Haul!" Bonecrusher called back. "Haul, go help th' kid out!"
"It certainly was not Long Haul!" Long Haul snapped, punching Bonecrusher in the shoulder. "So just because I'm materials transport you expect me to bring everything, right down to freaking money? I never even touched the damn thing at all!"
“Hmm.” Springer nodded at Sandstorm as he looked down onto his drink, looking at the face that stared back at him. “Protihex and retirement sounds good.” Springer said listlessly, his eyes staring into the distance, as if he could find all the answers within that drink. He felt… old. Felt so old. He’s never felt like this before.
Dammit, he’s sounding like Kup. That’s never going to happen. Not if he can help it.
He brightened up suddenly, a hint of his old bravado and unstoppable energy coming back to his face. “Retirement… well, if we ever decide to retire, that is. I’m sure there are lots of things in Protihex two ex-Wreckers could do. So long as we don’t, oh, blow up the city or something.”
Thundercracker raised a hand from the table, tried to point at Ramjet, and failed, his hand falling down and clanging loudly against his own leg. “The heeeeeeell yooooo talkiiiing Raaaaamjt” Thundercracker slurred, trying to lift his head up, but it merely rolled around so his face is planted on the table instead of resting on its side.
Posted: Thu Oct 09, 2014 5:04 pm
A smile crept onto Quick Switch's face as he watched Hot Rod become Rodimus Prime. Watched the mantle pass.
Optimus, the peerless warrior.
Optimus, the dockworker.
They were equals. As were himself and Pri--no, Optimus. In more ways than one.
The smile remained. What once would have been hatred and xenophobia was now at peace.
He was at peace. The Torkulons had seen to that.