Title: A Certain Understanding

PCs: Starscream, Megatron, Rumble, Soundwave

Location: The Forge

Date: 21 January 2015

Summary: Megatron speaks to his loyal- and not so loyal- followers. Starscream and Soundwave come to a certain understanding.

++ The Arena <Forge> ++

Megatron is in the hole in the wall bar at a corner table working on a datapad. The look on his face is pretty intense and he seems absorbed in what hes tapping out.

Soundwave has been hard at work himself, having helped set up the logistics of the raid the Cons just held. He's been trying to get information from those datachips, salvage what he can from the corrupted computer, and figure out the Cons next move after the false "news" report sent out by the Senate. It's almost enough to make even SOUNDWAVE need a drink. Maybe... a small one? The telepath makes his way to the bar and spots Megatron. Stopping, he hesitates... should he bother the Con leader?

Megatron decides to take a break and sets the datepad down. With a sip from his mug of energon (seekers use glasses, fearless leaders use MUGS (insert tim the tool man grunting here)) he spots the Outlier and smiles a bit, "Soundwave, sit." he says as a command without realizing it. He kicks the chair to ths side of him back a bit for the telepath,

Soundwave doesn't mind. He wordlessly obeys, secretly thrilled that he appears to be getting a moment alone with the great Decepticon leader! The outlier's big blue bulk is surprisingly light-of-foot and quiet. Settling in, he looks at Megatron. "Query: You are feeling... intense?"

Megatron nods as he glances back toward his datapad, "The other night was a failure." he says flatly.

Tilting his head in some mild confusion, he asks, "Why? Did we not achieve our goal of causing a stir and obtaining some information?"

"We did that," Megatron says and is quiet for a moment. "I can not afford to waste my tme on those who will not obey me without question. Even if I am purposefully slagging the mission." he says finally.

Soundwave leans back, getting a little more comfortable in his chair. His expression is quite intent, however. "Who do you mean?" If there was rebellion the outlier is ready to seek it out and set them straight.

Megatron looks at Soundwave, "When I tell a mech to do something I do not need to hear what you think about it -- I need you to obey. I am fighting for everyones right to be themselves, not what a functionistic regeme dictates but to do that I need... everyones absolute obedience is a must." he thinks to himself that he needs everyone to be the very cogs in the machine hes building called the Decepticons -- be the cogs they are fighting to keep from being. If Soundwave didnt need a drink that badly when he came in he probably will before this converstaion is over.

Rumble emerges from one of the fighting pits...looking to be quite a mess, but most of the mess that's on him is from the larger mech he just got done trashing. "Yeah, I don't hear you talkin' smack NOW! Maybe it's cause you don't got a faceplate anymore! Heheh," he calls back into the 'loser' (or what remains of him). Then he grins and begins wandering into the area where Soundwave and Megatron are. "Oh! Scuse me, I'll be quick-like," he says, grabbing a polishing rag to get the mechfluid and sundry shattered armor plate pieces off of him.

Soundwave listen to this quietly, simply glad to be an audial that Megatron trusts. "Deadlock? He is... chaotic. Undisciplined in his mind. He needs some... focus." The rest of that makes Soundwave pause, looking down a little uncomfortably. "I... understand. I think. An army must be willing to take orders." Yes, that sounds reasonable. Right?

Then Rumble appears and Soundwave finds he is quite pleased to see him. "Rumble!" He doesn't say whether Rumble can stay or go- that's up to Megatron. "You are well?"

Megatron takes a drink from his mug and looks at Rumble, "Good fight, Rumble. You are starting to draw a crowd here in your own right." he glances at Soundave as he speaks. "They must obey. IT is the only way." he pauses a beat then continues, "What were we able to gleam from the cmputer systems the other night? And what is the senates reaction to this 'terrorist' hit?"

Rumble grins. "I'm real well, thanks!" he answers Soundwave. Once he's all cleaned up, it's pretty obvious that he's only sustained a few dents, and the majority of the mess belonged to the loser of the bout. "Thanks, Megatron! Next time, it'll be Frenzy." He says it with a straight expression, but it's something of an inside joke, as Rumble and Frenzy fight all the time anyway...they don't need the Forge as an excuse to throw down. He remains there for now, sort of listening, but the bouts in progress are always a distraction for him.

Soundwave nods. "You are the head of this effort, Megatron. It is your writings and your vision that have brought all those here now to your side- and your service. A military unti is only as effective as they are cohesive. It is not an unreasonable thing to ask." As for the rest, Soundwave informs Megatron, "We are still gleaning information. However, some records have come up concerning a relinquishment clinic. Which is where Cybertronians go to end their lives and donate their bodies to a greater good. When I have more information, I shall inform you immediately. As for the Senate... well, they sent out a news release. I can send it to you, if you like." He adds, "Rumble, have you seen that news release?"

Rumble suddenly looks over at Soundwave, with something of a deer-in-headlights expression. "...Yeah, but can I see it again?" he asks sheepishly.

Megatron frowns, "Relinquishment clinic? Why do I feel this is not a voluntary thing?"

Soundwave nods to Rumble, and prepares a video feed for both the small mech and Megatron should he choose to watch it. He plays the Senate's news broadcast. The Senate has rigged their raid up to look as if the Decepticons were heartless monsters, not freedom fighters. Then he turns to the Con leader. "Actually, most individuals who go to these clinics are simply tired of living. They're existed for thousands or millions of years and are simply ready for it to end. However, such a clinic holds many possibilities for abuse, and some coersion, theft and other crimes are suspected there."

"Aw yeah, those places. They're suicide mills is what they are! They make mechs wanna die. I blame them for this mess," Rumble exclaims.

Megatron watches the news report and his optics flare red for a moment but hes not surprised realy at the twist to the actual incident, the senate as put to the attack. "Learn all you can about that clinic." he says, "Im curious to know whos made use of it and where their bodies have ended up."

Soundwave looks to Rumble. "Explain." He blames the clinics for ALL this? Or...? Then he turns to Megatron. "Yes. Bodies are harvested for useful parts- such a T-cogs, which find a lucritive market in some cases. Deceased mechs T-cogs are quite popular among certain... circles."

"If someone can make a profit from doin' it, then there's a black market for it. I think that's one of the Swindle Laws of Acquisition," Rumble muses. "...Anyhow. Sure, they are whatcha call fly-by-cycle operations. They can get busted easy. So they pop up for a l'il while...make their money, then close down an' move on to avoid detection."

Megatron looks at Rumble, "How do you know all this, Rumble?"

Soundwave nods. "Yes. But why do you blame them for this mess? What mess were you referring to?" He could just scan Rumble's mind, but this is his idea of polite conversation.

"Nah, I blame the *Senate* for the fact that these clinics even exist, cause if they didn't make things so oppressive, then they wouldn't be gettin' all that business, see," Rumble explains. "I know about them cause they do their dirty business in places where they're least likely to get shut down."

"I think youre right, Rumble as for why some probably use those places." Megatron says, "See what you can find out about anything you can on these shops, Rumble."

Soundwave ahhhs, "I see. Yes... making sure a good portion of the populace is weary and broken in spirit is a good way to ensure an ample and endless supply of new spare parts." His optic visor darkens slightly with a trace of concern. Why does Rumble seem to know so much of this? "Have you been involved with those clinics? You didn't consider one once, did you?"

To Megatron the outlier asks, "The Senate is going to slant anything we do against us. We will take action anyway, of course. But would you like for me to seek ways to counterbalance their false propoganda? I hear word of possible rumblings in Nyon concerning starting an underground radio network. One that the people can listen to and gain the REAL story, not the false one the Senate feeds them."

"Sure, I can find out more," Rumble agrees with Megatron, then he shakes his head at Soundwave. "No, I just go to places where you hear a lot about this sorta thing. Go to the Joint an''ll be surprised what mechs will discuss."

Megatron would have thought his writings would be enough to counterbalance te propaganda the senate is doing with the media agianst them but, Soundwave does brin up a good idea. "Excellent idea, Soundwave." he says. The possibilities of use with this underground radio network is limitless. The more he thinks about it the more he likes it. He takes in Rumbles reply and says, "Excellent, Rumble." then he listens to the rest of his comment to Soundwave.

Yes, Soundwave is familiar with the tales that are told in places like that. But he finds himself glad that Rumble never felt the need to consider such a place himself. "You really do get around. You have a grasp on the ...perhaps the term would be... "common mech". The very person the Decepticon movement seeks to empower. You have been there- are there- in the trenches." Soundwave then nods to Megatron. "As you command." Soundwave's (small) drink finally arrives but the mech doesn't drink it just yet. Instead he asks Megatron, "You are... tense? Are you unhappy with the Decepticon soldiers?" Pause. "Is there... something I can do?"

Megatron works on his energon for a moment and then says very quietly, "I need you do find out where those who have joined me, stand in regards to what I am fighting for...I need to know whos in this for me and whos in this for themselves, Soundwave."

Rumble is quiet for now. Soundwave has that effect on him. Back in the 'good old days', Rumble had a way of running his mouth until he got shot, but Soundwave has some sort of calming effect on him, odd though it may seem.

Decepticon movement for purely selfish motives, the one individual who is perhaps the most questionable concerning this matter appears rather conveniently, flying into the Forge and protoforming in front of Megatron. He smirks a little. "Isn't there something you all would like to tell me?" he says, gesturing grandiosely.

Soundwave looks at Rumble and is glad to be a calming influence on someone. It's ironic, considering hos own conflicted and chaotic origins. then he nods to Megatron. "I shall do that. I shall get a report on the state of Decepticon morale and report to you. I believe, though, that I can safely say that many are pleased to be finally taking action. To be doing something." Aaaand- then there's Starscream. Who IS in it for himself. Soundwave refrains from an optic roll and takes the first, small sip of his little drink, ignoring the Seeker.

Megatron watches Starscreams always dramatic entrance and then gets an evil glint in his optics, "Yes that you are a fool. Drinking while on duty? That cost the capture of Blurr. Explain yourself, Starscream."

Rumble smirks slightly, settling down beside Soundwave and looking amused. Now THIS was going to be a hot mess. Of that there was no doubt. Rumble just hoped there would be some gratuitous violence involved.

Starscream shrugs nonchalantly, sighing dramatically and leaning against a wall. "Can we /not/ talk about my less dignified moments? Besides, it's not as if the Senate is going to arrest all of us prematurely simply because Blurr got away." He tosses Megatron and Soundwave an exasperated look. Then he claps his hands together. "Yes, well, now, moving on! How was the raid?"

Soundwave heh heh hehs.... at least inwardly, at Megatron's sharp comment towards the Seeker. Starscream is valuable, but he is also treacherous... and a loyal Decepticon like Soundwave loses no love on the Seeker. As Rumble sits down beside him, Soundwave shifts to make sure there's room. He enjoys the proximity of the little mech. Something in his carrier subroutines that are soothed by the presence of a minicon. Soundwave looks up at Starsream's protestations. "We achieved our main goals and are analyzing data now."

"I said nothing about 'moving on'." Megatron says, "And you are not in a position to make sssumptions like that. I made you my second in command because of your skills but I saw nothing but failure the other night. Perhaps I should rethink the position I gave you, Starscream."

Rumble is watching the standoff between Megatron and Starscream, looking very hopeful indeed. There's something really satisfying to him to watch Megatron put this insufferably vain and overbearing snoot in his place.

Starscream dutifully ignores Megatron, instead turning to Soundwave. "Good, and what of it? What did you find?" Starscream asks the communications officer. "I've heard rumors that they're further developing tech so as to keep a better optic on.. everyone."

Soundwave heh heh hehs even MORE (still inwardly) at Megatron's further biting commentary towards Starscream. He looks down to Rumble, holding his own drink as he does so. "Do you frequent here, Rumble? Confession: I haven't partaken much of the engex available here. Do you have any recommendations? Something not too heavy? I do not wish to be overstimulated."

Starscream *ignores* Megatron and talks to HIM instead, causing Soundwave to stare at the Seeker, then turn to look at Megatron like: your call here, Megs. He waits for the Con leader's response.

"Do not ignore me, Starscream." Megatron says in a tone laced with danger, "Explain your actions the other cycle. I am not going to ask you again."

"Somethin'...not too heavy? Uhm...just ask for the lightweight fuel," Rumble suggests. Of course, *he* always gets the rotgut engex, but he's so used to it, it would probably bowl over someone more sensitive like Soundwave. "Cause I mean, who's gonna judge? No one around here." The twinkle in his optic returns as Megatron *insists* Starscream get with the program and stop being insolent. The hopeful look on Rumble's expression is almost...joyous, in its tangible hope that Starscream's going to get shot.

The seeker's optics burn crimson with simmering rage that has not yet boiled over. He stares bitterly at Soundwave for ignoring him. He hopes Soundwave picks up on the raw disdain and disgust he has for him and is purposefully thinking and feeling at the moment so as to spite the communications officer.

Starscream doesn't even look at Megatron. %cAnd why do you care? You don't even trust me. Maybe I should just give you the answer you want, see how you like leading the Decepticons WITHOUT/

Starscream doesn't even look at Megatron And why do you care? You don't even trust me. Maybe I should just give you the answer you want, see how you like leading the Decepticons /without/ my skills and resources. Even if I was the rank of those witless YX drones, you'd still treat me the same as you do now. Like slag.

"You doubt my dedication to the cause."

Megatron cycles air through his systems like a sigh. Theres so much potential in the mech if hed just get his head out of his afterburners. "Tell me why I dont trust you, Starscream. Then tell me why I should."

Soundwave looks down at Rumble and sighs just a little bit. "Perhaps only I would care, but... my job to keep to keep watch. It's a job I take seriously, and one that is hard to shed even when off duty. Also... if I have imbibed too heavily, I... lose focus." GASP IMAGINE THAT. Of course, a lightweight like Soundwave might be especially susceptible to such things. Then Starscream sends that flash of disdain into his mind and the outlier winces, momentarily distarcted before regaining his composure. His red visor turns up to glare at the Seeker. "...."

Megatron cycles air through his systems like a sigh. Theres so much potential in the mech if hed just get his head out of his afterburners. "Think back on your performance the other night here and then try to convince me why I shouldnt question your detication."

Rumble gives Soundwave a puzzled look. He doesn't really 'do' concern, technically, but his concern is actually a combination of curiosity and confusion. Naturally, he can't sense that hatred that Starscream has for Soundwave, so he's left to wonder what, in fact, just happened. He frowns slightly. If Megatron or Soundwave needed him to pound this flake-cake Seeker, he'd do it, no question!

Starscream just stares blandly at Megatron, his expression unreadable. He glances briefly over at Soundwave, smirking lightly. Then he looks back at the leader of the Decepticons. Starscream's optics narrow. "Why don't you ask yourself the same question, Megatron. Why would I even suggest slaughtering the Senate if I didn't wholly support the Deception cause? Why would I have broken ungrateful slaggers like Blast Off out of jail? Why would I be standing here?" He folds his arms.

Soundwave waves a hand at Rumble and continues, "It is nothing to concern yourself with. I simply... desire to do my job. As best as I can. At ALL times." He then turns to Megatron and Starscream and offers an answer to the Seeker. "Self-aggrandizement, perhaps?" Yes, he takes your disdain, starscream, and ups it one.

Megatron studies the Seeker for a long moment then, "Any of these actions can benefit you on a personallevel above and beyond what you have joined this army to do. As long as your personal agenda does not interfer with mine, or the Decepticon cause, I dont care what you do."

"Yeaaaaah, maybe it's self-aggrandiosimatizing," Rumble murmurs quietly.

Starscream steps back, arms still folded, shooting Rumble and Soundwave an icy glare, which Soundwave will receive in the form of piercing bitterness, like a frozen tsunami aimed straight for the communications officer's mind. "Well, fine, then. Don't ask questions like that and I won't question your ability to lead," he says simply, stepping back. "Now it's about time we talked about actually important.

How much of the information from the raid has been analyzed?"

Soundwave is at least more mentally prepared this time, and Starscream's black thoughts, while they register, aren't quite as disruptive as before. But let him keep sending those thoughts- it just allows him access into the Sekker's mind. Little piece here and bitter emotion there, he will slowly gain a picture of the Seeker- and perhaps how to blackmail him someday. Yes, Soundwave decides.... for someone like Starscream *blackmail* might actually be justified....

Megatron finishes his energon and stands, "I grow bored wtih this. Soundwave fill him in." /but only the bare minimum/ He steps away from the table and walks out.

Rumble doesn't mind being hated. He doesn't have a sensitive spark like Soundwave does. If Starscream wants to glare the anger of a million burning suns into his spark, then so be it. He watches Megatron leave, then turns to look toward Starscream with a slag-eating grin. "Hear that? You're boring."

Soundwave nods as Megatron gets up to leave, "As you command", and finds he's even more annoyed at Starscream now. LOOK you made Megatron LEAVE you JERK. Hmph! He pauses to smirk just a bit at Rumble's response. Then eventually... slowly... returns his focus to Starscream. He gazes at him quite a looong moment before replying, "We accessed some data suggesting some new developments at a relinquishment clinic. Our tech mechs are currently sorting through the data, some of which was corrupted by /Blurr/... the mech you let /escape/...." he lets that just sit there a moment before continuing, "but we may soon by needing to pay one of those places a visit."

Starscrem is undaunted by Rumble's insult and unruffled by Soundwave's annoyance. He smirks a little, turning to the communications officer. "Well, Soundwave, clearly you have no idea how this game works. If you want information from Blurr, leave that to me. I have my reasons for making my dedication to the cause look less.. than expected." He shrugs. "A reliquishment clinic? I suppose. Do tell me when you go. I'd love to tag along~"

Rumble doesn't see any reason why Starscream has to 'keep up' those appearances of not being particularly supportive when they weren't actually in the public view where others could witness it. Something about that, on a very general level, didn't sit right with Rumble. "Hmph." He pats Soundwave's hand, then strolls back toward the fights. "Catch you later," he tells Soundwave. And just in case he has the 'mental feelers' up, Rumble thinks, (Have fun with that clown.)

Soundwave reaches for Starscream's mind, wanting to know just how much of that is truth and how much is deceit. "Very well. But I know more than you realize. MUCH more." He leans in, letting his optic visor gleam and letting Starscream *wonder* just how much the telepath might have picked up on his inner thoughts. Then he reaches a big, blue hand towards the Seeker. "Would you like me to learn /more/?" Of course, should he touch Starscream and concentrate he could pick up even DEEPER thoughts and intentions.

Then Rumble gets up to leave and Soundwave pauses to look down and nod. Heh, yes. "Be well, Rumble."

Except the only thing he'll receive is a white hot angry flash of well aimed spite and a slap in the face. Starscream steps back, away from Soundwave's large hand reaching inappropriately for him. "No, you /idiot/, learn it yourself, I'm not your primary school advisor," he snaps bitterly. "Don't touch me," he says haughtily, "you look dirty."

Soundwave flinches back, jerking backwards only to glare a little longer at Starscream. There's a small part of him that wouldn't mind lunging at the Seeker and MAKING him give up all his secrets. .....Just to make sure Megatron and the Decepticon cause are SAFE, is all! But no, Starscream is the SIC and that would not do. Nonetheless, he still brings up his hand and flexes it. "And you look /frightened/."

Starscream eyes Soundwave hand flex and his boosters activate, moving him up, away and out of the communication officer's reach. But Soundwave is right, Starscream is looking a little frightened. But in kind of a odd, funny way, like Soundwave might have unintentionally ALMOST found out something Starscream really didn't want him to know. "I mean it!" he says, a hysterical edge creeping into his voice. "DON'T touch me!"

OH, now this is a pleasant surprise. Yes, Soundwave will remember this. Again there's part of him that would love to advance further on Starscream, reaching up and flexing his fingers menacingly, mwahahahaing all the while.... but no, that would again not be the proper way to treat his SIC- even if he DOES deserve it. As it is, Soundwave permits himself a low, monotone laugh that rumbles and echoes softly along the bar. It probably sounds both annoying- and possibly somewhat /sinister/ coming from the ordinarily almost emotionless mech.

Starscream's demeanor relaxes a little, as he is now out of Soundwave's reach. He floats smugly out of the communications officer's reach, laughing a little. "What's so /funny/, Soundwave? Must have really hit a nerve, I didn't even know you were capable of /laughter/."

Soundwave doesn't look up anymore, instead reaching for his drink and taking a sip. He's basking in this. "I am capable of a great many things, Starscream. You are welcome to come down here anytime and find out what some of them are." Now he finally looks up at the Seeker. "Or are you afraid of what I might find?"

Starscream shoots the comm officer an annoyed look. "Afraid? Ha.." he folds his arms. "Why would I be afraid of you, Soundwave? You're just an ignorant fool who knows nothing about me," he says, drifting lazily back and forth.

The seeker eventually descends though, to help himself to a drink from the barrel of engex on the counter.

Soundwave turns to look as Starscream finally comes down. The outlier doesn't make any other moves, merely watching him with that one expressionless visor of his. "Soundwave: not ignorant. Soundwave: knows more than you think. You cannot hide everything from me, Starscream. It is my "gift" after all. I know without even *trying*. And when I DO try- I know even more." His voice is low and monotone. "You cannot keep secrets from me. Not forever. You waste your time trying."

The seeker seems nonplussed. "Whatever," he says sassily, as if Soundwave's intimidation had absolutely no affect on him whatsoever. "Who said I had any secrets to keep anyway?" He laughs, and takes a sip of the engex, but it doesn't suit his tastes so he pours it out onto Soundwave's lap. He glances over at the officer. "You'll only ever know as much as I want you to know," he says, with a laugh.

That expressionless gaze just keeps BORING into the Seeker. "I know that your spark holds treachery." Soundwave says quietly, so that no one besides them hears.

Starscream remains calm, a soft chuckle escaping him. "And? Clearly, if you were going to do something immediate about it, you would have." He smirks a little, turning to face Soundwave. "If you're trying to make me afraid, sorry, but you failed."

Soundwave shrugs. "I am simply letting you know that you are not as clever as you think you are." He takes a sip of his drink. "You /are/ clever, yes. You are skilled. Thus your benefits outweigh your...costs." He turns to look at Starscream. "But never think that I am not watching you. I will not allow you to usurp Megatron's leadership. That said..." he looks back at his glass. "Some things can remain... between us."

Starscream swells up a little, his ego inflating a little bit. "Do you take me for a fool?" He laughs at Soundwave, floating over to the communications officer, looking smug. "Then that's all very well and good," he says, patting Soundwave on the helm, "because as far as I am concerned, I have no plans to usurp that I am aware of," he says deceitfully.

Soundwave snakes a hand up as Starscream pats his helmet, brushing against the Seeker's arm and seeking a solid grip on it.

[Combat:] Starscream partially blocks your attack and takes less damage.

Starscream stiffens and his optics widen. He jerks away from Soundwave as if he's been stabbed! However, the communications officer is reaching up to grab him! He tries to dodge him, but fails. He does manage to wiggle away Soundwave, his ventilators wheezing. "I told you not to touch me!" he pleads angrily.

Soundwave sniffs just a little smugly and turns to gaze at his drink again. "It was... a reflex. My apologies." Yeah, right.

Starscream glowers at Soundwave, rubbing his arm petulantly as if injured. He doesn't appear bruised or wounded in any fashion though, one may wonder, does he /really/ think Soundwave is that dirty? Perhaps, perhaps not.

"Oh /please/. I don't even need to read minds to see through THAT one."

Soundwave just *barely* manages to refrain from another low series of chuckles, bringing another taste of his engex to his mouth in order to stifle the sound. Lowering the glass, he responds, "Take it for what you will. But do not underestimate me, Starscream. I will loyally serve you as my Commander, but only so long as you loyally serve Megatron."

He's still rubbing his arm sulkily, looking annoyed. "Hmph. Do whatever you like, see if I care," he says harshly, "it's not like Megatron is going to punish you for disobeying me."

Soundwave smirks just a bit under that faceplate. "Probably not." Feeling completely in control now, the outlier takes another swig from his drink. Still a small one, but enough to just feel a warm little buzz. "However, I also seek unity. Order. We are all in this together. Or... we /should/ be."

"So what are you waiting for," Starscream flies forward, leering over Soundwave, "if I am the traitor you think I am, there would be more order to be gained if was no longer Megatron's second in command," he taunts him. "What's /stopping/ you?"

Soundwave looks thoughtfully up at Starscream- and tells him the truth. "Because you are valuable. You bring a certain... craftiness and edge that we need. Even a ... ruthlessness that is required in order to get the job done. You are quick-witted and skilled and among the best fliers on Cybertron. Your aerial skills and command alone give us an advantage against our enemies." His gaze darkens momentarily. "I am not blind to your faults, but.... I am not blind to your strengths, either."

Starscream looks dissatisfied. "So? There are plenty of other seekers around. And you heard Megatron speak about replacing me," he says, his tone turning bitter. He looks away, distraught. "Surely, you would /never/ disagree with him." He folds his arms.

Soundwave's thoughtful look doesn't fade. "Most of the time? No." He looks down again. "But I have my own opinions, and there have been a few times I have not quite... understood Megatron's reasoning. I trust his judgement implicitly. He WILL lead Cybertron to a newer, greater tomorrow. But.... I am an individual with my own thoughts and opinions. I simply know that it is not my place to question his vision. My highest and greatest function is to ensure it comes true, for then all of Cybertron will finally be EQUAL." He adds, "Yes, there are other Seekers, but I have seen none as skilled in flight- or politics- than you."

"Well," Starscream says, hovering backwards, "that's definitely /new/, not always agreeing with Megatron? I'm /shocked/." He smirks. "Tell me Soundwave, if Megatron decided to rid himself of me," and he flies nearer to the communications officer,"would you be glad?"

Soundwave raises an optic ridge. It's true, he doesn't often disagree with Megatron, but... it CAN happen. He's not brainwashed after all. Then his thoughtful look returns. He gazes intently at Starscream and then.... "No. The loss of any Decepticon is just that... a loss. One less voice to be heard against a rising tide of Senate silencing."

Starscream's expression hardens. "I don't believe you," he says, full of angst. "If you could get rid of me in a snap, you would," he says coldly, "just like every other damn person that walked out of my life." And before Soundwave can inquire further, the seeker transforms haughtily and flies out of the Forge.

Soundwave blinks at that, then shrugs. Turning back to his (very small) drink, he finishes the glass.

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